MARCH 31, 2015

World Cup 2015: Australia

Starc tops the new-gen class

Andy Bull, in his column, The Spin, writes that Mitchell Starc shone brightest among the bunch of youngsters who took the World Cup by storm.

Starc finished the World Cup as the No1 ranked bowler in ODI cricket, and the player of the tournament, with 22 wickets at an average of 10.18, a strike rate of 17.4, and an economy of 3.5. No bowler has ever had a better World Cup. No bowler, in fact, has come close to matching those figures. To find the last time the leading wicket-taker in the tournament finished with such a low average and strike rate, you have to go back to 1975 when Gary Gilmour took 11 wickets at 5.6 each in the two games he played.

MARCH 30, 2015

Fifty-over cricket, I was wrong

Jon Hotten: This World Cup gave us driven, vibrant, electric ODI cricket, played at the limit of current ability, and it was magnificent
MARCH 22, 2015

Why does cricket need the Associates?

Kartikeya Date: Because it gives more young people the chance to enjoy a sport, and society is better for the existence of sport
MARCH 20, 2015

Is Root right for England?

Jon Hotten: He is a success story of the English system, but his kind of batting is going to be outdated in the next four years
MARCH 11, 2015

Why cricket needs greater context

Roger Sawh: The points earned from one-day series should count towards qualification for the next World Cup, so the game's new fans stay engaged
MARCH 04, 2015

The future of ODIs as seen through this World Cup

Jon Hotten: Stats and trends that are more than six months old are redundant. A revolution is coming
FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Throw open the gates to the Associates

Samir Chopra: Keeping them in the World Cup will inspire their countrymen to dream bigger and also prevent the game from being monopolised by a small club
FEBRUARY 10, 2015

ODI cricket

Cricket and semantic satiation

In his piece for the Guardian's Spin, Andy Bull analyses how Twenty20 cricket and rule changes have made traditional ODI strategies redundant and have disempowered fielding sides.

You may say it's made the game good to watch. It's certainly more unpredictable. In the scramble onwards, who knows what a par score is, or a winning total? But as Finch said, there should be a place for the tight contests too. "From a player's point of view, I think the most exciting games are the low-scoring ones, when you're defending 180 and you've got nothing to lose, they can be really exciting games." One thing is clear: if the ICC is serious about trying to redress the balance of the game, bat-size can wait - it's its own meddling with the regulations that has tipped it out of kilter. It has chosen to disempower the fielding side at the very moment the game was already evolving in favour of the batsmen.

JANUARY 28, 2015

When will we see the first truly freelance cricketer?

Jon Hotten: Will the likes of Pietersen become guns for hire in the full sense of the term, offering a complete package of services to the highest bidder?
JANUARY 26, 2015

Who is the BBL aimed at?

Michael Jeh: There's nothing wrong with the quality of the cricket on offer, but the bells and whistles surrounding it are intrusive and overwhelming
DECEMBER 14, 2014

All Sehwag's children

Jon Hotten: Batsmen like David Warner will lead the game into the next generation. One man heralded the trend
NOVEMBER 23, 2014

English cricket

A battle for English club survival

Last week's figures about the decline in participation in English club cricket set alarm bells ringing although they were only confirmation of what many had been saying for years. The ECB has promised to take action to reverse the decline, but for some clubs - often with rich histories dating back decades - it may already be too late. In the Sunday Telegraph, Nick Hoult looks at the stories of various village and town sides that have hit hard times and speaks to those trying to balance the books and keep a vital part of the game alive.

Close geographically to Thixendale but a world away in terms of cricket is the Lancashire League, which once could rival county cricket for crowds and star overseas players. Now many clubs are faced with big debts and the days of signing overseas stars such as Allan Donald (Rishton), Learie Constantine (Nelson) and a young Shane Warne (Accrington) are long gone.
"It is in the league's rules that you have to sign an overseas player but you have to pay them a salary of over £5,000 for the summer, an air fare, you can't get car insurance for the summer for less than £1,500 and then you have their accommodation costs. Overall it is about £10,000 which could easily pay for three level three coaches doing 100 sessions a year with the kids," Michael Brown, the chairman of Burnley Cricket Club, said.

OCTOBER 30, 2014

Cricket's humanity resists specialisation

Jon Hotten: While major sports across the world are driving their competitors towards homogenous physical ideals, cricket seems to celebrate diversity
OCTOBER 19, 2014

Broadcasting

Has cricket hit the roof?

Cricket's dominance in India might not be fading just yet, but the team's performance has not been as compelling as the last decade and high-profile retirements since have also had an impact on viewership. Ashok Malik, in Asian Age, wonders if a saturation has been reached, especially with other sports enticing the average fan.

Cricket viewership, even Indian Premier League viewership, is not growing. It has either reached a ceiling (IPL) or a floor (Test cricket). Even limited-overs cricket (the Fifty50) game, the mainstay of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is showing a worrying pattern. On-ground presence is lower than previously. The BCCI is masking it by hosting matches mainly in smaller cities and towns, where the novelty may still be there. As for television, a comparison between the India-West Indies limited-overs series of 2011 and 2013 would be telling. Both series were played in India. The first was played in the aftermath of India's World Cup victory and showed a TRP of 3.4 (male/15-34/Sec A, B and C). By the 2013 series, the TRP number had fallen to 2.2. TRP figures for the just-concluded (October 2014) India-West Indies series were not immediately available.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

What will cricket be like 50 or 100 years from now?

Jon Hotten: It's a daunting thought because it feels like the game has already completed its evolution, leaving little wriggle room
JUNE 27, 2014

ICC annual conference 2014

Cricket makes 'a fool of itself'

The doubts over N Srinivasan's status in the BCCI and the investigations against his IPL franchise and son-in-law for allegations of corruption did not hinder his appointment as the ICC's first chairman after a restructure of the world governing body. Chloe Saltau, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, says the support Srinivasan has received from other ICC members does not help improve the game's image when it comes to fighting corruption.

Even if, as Srinivasan says, he is proven to have done nothing wrong, the fact that other members of the ICC endorsed him for the chairmanship hardly inspires confidence in their collective desire to stamp out corruption from the sport.

JUNE 11, 2014

What's more important: participating or getting better?

Michael Jeh: If clubs in junior cricket focus solely on retaining players year after year, there is bound to be a dilution in talent and the level of competition
MAY 14, 2014

England and the IPL: a thaw will come

Jon Hotten: It's clear now that T20 cricket will not exist in isolation from the rest of the game, and the sooner the ECB realises it, the better
MAY 07, 2014

Caribbean national sides, anyone?

Martin Jones: Why dissolving West Indies might be the best option for West Indies cricket
APRIL 18, 2014

Why India are not cricket's Brazil yet

Samir Chopra: The numbers might be in their favour, but they can neither boast sustained excellence or a distinctive playing style
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