NOVEMBER 17, 2014

An irreverent look at cricket numbers

Anantha Narayanan: A 100 random numbers that tell stories - loads of fun in store. Plus, another Bradman surprise
Jack Hobbs' career aggregate of more than 60,000 first-class runs are the most by any batsman © Getty Images
OCTOBER 02, 2014

Curtains on the pig saga

Remember Ash the pig? He was the one smuggled into the Gabba on a steaming summer's day during the last Ashes and later found to be dehydrated and in fairly sorry condition. Well, the update is that David Gunn, accused of smuggling him in wrapped in a blanket, his snout taped shut and ensconced in a baby harness, no longer faces charges of animal cruelty. The charges were reportedly dropped by Brisbane's prosecuting authorities because they couldn't prove that Gunn was the same person who'd smuggled in the pig. And Ash? Well, he was adopted soon after his ordeal and spent his recuperation eating liver and swimming in his own pool. He's now reported to be in good health.

SEPTEMBER 04, 2014

Cricket trivia

The enormity of compiling A to Z XIs

What's your XI with all names starting with 'F' or 'N' or for that matter, 'Z'? Andy Bull, in the Guardian, discovers that the exercise of compiling alphabetical XIs can be depressing, obsessive and soothing at the same time. (P.S. Do scroll down to the comments section too)

Boycott, Broad. And so it went, night, after night, after night. Not Broad. Brearley. Boycott and Brearley, then Broad. And day, after day, after day. On the bus. During meetings. Watching trailers. Swimming lengths. It became an obsession and, by extension, a curse. Compiling alphabetical XIs is, you see, something of a Sisyphean task, in that by the time you've got to the end of 'W' - you can't wring much mileage out of X, Y, and Z - you've entirely forgotten most of the people you picked for the A side. Butcher, Barrington, some team this. And since you've forgotten, you start all over again, expecting, this time round, that all the names will stick.

MAY 16, 2014

English cricket

The cricket ball goes to space … almost

The ECB has sent the cricket ball "where no cricket ball has gone before": to the "edge of space".

A white ball was sent up from Edgbaston, Birmingham, strapped to a helium balloon, to an altitude of 110,000 feet (or three times the height at which commercial aircraft fly), where it is said to have experienced temperatures of -54C and reached speeds of 500mph while freefalling back to earth. It landed in Newbury, Hertfordshire, in "near-perfect condition".

The stunt was organised as part of the launch of the ECB's revamped T20 competition, the NatWest t20 Blast, and required the input of "a team of aeronautical engineers", according to the ECB site. For the video of the ball on its way to the upper layers of the earth's atmosphere, click here.

MAY 14, 2014

IPL 2014

Modi on the IPL innovations that weren't

Lalit Modi talks to Business Today's Suveen Sinha about how he went about establishing the IPL, and reveals some of his more innovative plans for the tournament that did not come to be. Featuring shrunk 30-yard circles, heart-rate monitors, and ball-by-ball commentary on Twitter, among other things.

There were also suggestions in favour of reducing the 30-yard circle to make the game pacier and give batsmen and fielders something else to think about. Eventually, though, that idea was scrapped because I didn't want to tamper with the fabric of the sport. Then there was the idea of giving online viewers an option to choose from 12 different camera angles on YouTube. I remember the meeting in San Francisco with YouTube's top bosses ...

JANUARY 14, 2014

Virginia Woolf and cricket, framed

Open Culture gives us a couple of vintage photos of a young Virginia Woolf playing cricket with her siblings, including her painter sister, Vanessa Bell. Growing up, the sisters were "tomboys", Woolf says in an extract.

Vanessa and I were both what we call tomboys; that is, we played cricket, scrambled over rocks, climbed trees, were said not to care for clothes and so on.

OCTOBER 30, 2013

The Lord's anomaly

Jon Hotten: There's something curiously wonderful about the fact that batting's big four - Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and Kallis - never made Test hundreds at the home of cricket
SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

Ten things you need to know about Otago Volts

Paul Ford: It's not all BB Mac, you know. They also have a doppelganger, a mattress, a chameleon, and a bearded trainer
SEPTEMBER 21, 2013

A zero-sum game

Zeeshan Mahmud: A fantastic XI, made up of players known for their trysts with ducks
OCTOBER 12, 2012

Australian cricket

The world's longest net session

There are plenty of international batsmen who could benefit from a few more hours in the nets. Perhaps they could learn from Jade Child, a cricketer from Ricky Ponting's home town of Launceston. This week, Child earned himself a Guinness World Record for the longest net session ever when he batted for 25 hours straight.

Child, 26, started batting at 8pm on Wednesday and finished at 9pm on Thursday, not surprisingly also claiming the world record for the most balls faced in a net session along the way. The previous record stood at 12,353 deliveries and by the end, Child had faced 15,701 from a bowling machine and also from local bowlers.

"I'm tired, but I'm happy," Child told the Examiner. "The support I had was incredible, I had people here at 3am helping out when they could've been sleeping, and my wife, Ktima, has helped so much with putting everything together."

In breaking the world records, Child raised about $2000 for the Save the Tasmanian Devil programme.

NOVEMBER 10, 2011

On 15,000 and 500: Tendulkar and Boucher can rest easy

Samir Chopra: I should take note of two new staggering numbers that have entered the test pantheon: 15,000 and 500
NOVEMBER 02, 2011

The case of the Curiously Significant Numbers

Samir Chopra: Does the number 1381 ring a bell?
NOVEMBER 18, 2009

Least number of absences over a long career

Anantha Narayanan: A look at players who have missed the least number of matches in all forms of the game
APRIL 06, 2009

Teams with four or more batsmen having 50+ averages

Anantha Narayanan: Recently I received a trigger mail that the first four Indian batsmen during the recently concluded Napier Test had a batting average above 50
MARCH 18, 2009

The worst specialist bowlers in Test cricket, and the worst team

Anantha Narayanan: Some readers have suggested that I should look at the worst bowlers in Test cricket the same way I have looked at the worst specialist batsmen
MARCH 06, 2009

The worst specialist Test batsmen

Anantha Narayanan: A number of remarks raised in response to my last article on the worst Test batsmen suggested that I should also look at the specialist batsmen to determine who was the worst ever
FEBRUARY 26, 2009

Okay, Bradman is at No.1... but who is last?

Anantha Narayanan: A lot of analysis has been done on the best batsmen in Test cricket
FEBRUARY 16, 2009

Does the tail wag more inTests now?

Anantha Narayanan: During the last few Tests of 2008 I got the feeling that late order batsmen were playing rear-guard innings far more effectively than they normally do
JANUARY 30, 2009

A consistency index for batsmen

Ric Finlay: A stats analysis to measure the consistency of Test batsmen
JANUARY 23, 2009

A ranking system for Test openers

Anantha Narayanan: How do today's great opening batsmen like Hayden, Sehwag and Smith compare with those of the past like Hobbs, Gavaskar and Sutcliffe