Mavericks

JUNE 26, 2014

Let's hear it for the unorthodox

V Ramnarayan: Spinners who can't be bracketed into one style flourish today in cricket, while they struggled to make it big in the past
Sonny Ramadhin troubled England with his variations in 1950 but lost his edge on the next tour, and later confessed to having chucked during his career © PA Photos
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JUNE 06, 2014

Offbeat

Green gloves, ducks and bats taped to ceilings

While reviewing Chris Waters' book 10 for 10 - on Hedley Verity's record - for the Guardian, Andy Bull recounts some entertaining stories of superstitions that cricketers have followed.

Others take things further still. Duck seemed so portentous to Steve James that he refused to eat it, and wouldn't even let his children have a rubber one to play with in the bath, until after his career was over. He sympathised with Neil McKenzie, who developed an obsession that meant he would go out to bat only when all the toilet seats were down, and even went through a phase of taping his bat to the ceiling because his team-mates had once done that to him on a day when he scored a century.

JUNE 06, 2014

West Indies cricket

Serving the community with Chris Gayle's Big Six Club

Chris Gayle is looking to give something back to Jamaican society, through cricket. He has opened an academy in Kingston, at the Lucas Cricket Club, for "underprivileged youngsters". The academy, which also has a branch in England, will have two programmes: the Chris Gayle Academy team, and the Chris Gayle Big Six Club.

The academy team will cater to 16 young players on an annual basis, aged between 16 and 21, and - the plan is - give them the opportunity to play other Jamaican teams and touring youth squads. The Big Six Club is a 12-week programme targeted at kids from troubled communities (think low school-attendance rates, high crime levels, and rising drugs abuse).

An emotional Gayle, at the academy's launch, remembered how he was attracted to the game when he was a kid. "Being here brings back memories of me as a youngster, who used to jump the walls of Lucas from my house across the street, just wanting the opportunity to learn the sport of cricket and become a better person," Gayle said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. "To have come from that far, and being here now, is quite moving, and the hope is that this academy will similarly open doors and opportunities for youngsters."

MAY 12, 2014

Sehwag finds runs but searching for swiftness

Shiva Jayaraman: Virender Sehwag has his first fifty of IPL 2014, and while his numbers compare favourably with his Indian counterparts in the tournament, he has not scored as quickly as he has done previously
MARCH 21, 2014

England cricket

KP for England captain?

The ECB have closed the book on Kevin Pietersen and have been urging the English fans to bid farewell to the talismanic batsman. Ted Corbett, writing in the Hindu, prefers to walk to a different tune and offers examples of previous comebacks from improbable circumstances

I would be happy to see Pietersen walking out to bat for England again -- say in the first Test against India -- and it would also give me pleasure to hear that he had been made captain once again. When Geoff Boycott stepped down from his England spot there were many who thought that at 36 he would not play for England again. Eventually Alec Bedser, chairman of selectors, saw that if England was to be great again Boycott had to return and made it his business to negotiate a way back.

MARCH 05, 2014

The contagious madness of Shahid Afridi

Hassan Cheema: He frustrates his fans more often than not, but he is also an addiction, one that pulls at the heartstrings
DECEMBER 27, 2013

Why we'll miss Swann

Dave Hawksworth: Not just a fine and match-winning bowler, he could also be relied on for a wry smile, a joke, and a willingness to go left-field when answering a question
JUNE 10, 2013

Pakistan cricket

The birth of the reverse sweep

Mushtaq Mohammad takes Aditya Iyer of the Indian Express on a trip down memory lane, reflecting on how it felt to become Test cricket's youngest centurion, his admiration for brother Hanif, and his exploits during club matches in England.

"In one such match, I was up against a Middlesex club with the great Fred Titmus in it. We were chasing a rather large target and Freddie, a giant of an off spinner, was bowling. I couldn't get a run. I looked around and realised that the only gap was at third man. My shot was pre-meditated, but it connected and went for four," he says. "But Titmus appealed!"

Appealed? "Yes, poor old Freddie. He went wild and pulled his hair out. This was 1964, you see. The umpire told Freddie, 'You got a ball in your hand, he has a bat. He can do whatever he wants with it'. And there, the reverse hit was invented."

APRIL 08, 2013

Gayle forces the pace of change

Jon Hotten: Clad in his space-garb, his gold pads and his gridiron helmet, shoulders rippling under his muscle shirt, Chris Gayle is an implacable object, driving cricket forwards, challenging the world to produce another batsman that plays like him
MARCH 08, 2013

An encounter with the 'dreaded' Roy Gilchrist

Richard Minott: A West Indies fan on experiencing the softer side of the once-feared Roy Gilchrist
JANUARY 16, 2012

The tortoise can triumph

Kamran Abbasi: When Pakistan play England, to paraphrase Coldplay, every series is a watershed. Confrontations are frequent, disagreements a ritual
JANUARY 14, 2006

The power of a six

ESPNcricinfo staff: Rodney Cavalier is chairman of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust; he once said that cricket is one of the few sports where intensity has its own reward for the spectators
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