2007 in review: Timeline-July to September December 27, 2007

Twenty20 comes to town

Cricket's shortest format is a global hit, a parallel league gathers pace in India, and more



I'll take it from here: Geoff Lawson took over as Pakistan coach in July © AFP

July

1 India win the Future Cup in Ireland, thanks to an unbeaten 61 from Yuvraj Singh, who comes to the crease when India are wobbling at 38 for 3 against South Africa in the final game.

2 Former India Test batsman Dilip Sardesai dies at 66 in Mumbai after suffering multiple organ failure.

5 James Anderson is fined half his match fee for shoulder-barging Runako Morton during the second one-day international at Edgbaston.

6 Graham Thorpe continues his association with New South Wales, becoming the state's assistant coach for 2007-08. Thorpe fills in for Matthew Mott, who becomes the Blues' senior coach after Trevor Bayliss is appointed coach of Sri Lanka.

7 Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are left out of the 30 Indian probables picked for the Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa in September. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan and Robin Uthappa, who had all been dropped from the national side earlier in the year, are included.

11 Arif Butt, the former Pakistan fast-medium bowler, dies at the age of 63 in Lahore after a month in hospital. Butt was suffering from a number of heart and lung-related ailments stemming from diabetes.

12 Tatenda Taibu's return to the Zimbabwe cricket team is almost complete after he is included in a select side for two four-day matches against India A at home.

14 Muttiah Muralitharan becomes only the second bowler after Shane Warne to enter the 700-wickets club in Test cricket. He gets to the landmark when he takes 12 wickets in Kandy against Bangladesh.

16 Geoff Lawson is appointed coach of Pakistan. Lawson's two-year appointment ends a lengthy wait without a coach since the death of Bob Woolmer during the World Cup.

Tom Brooks, the former New South Wales player and Test umpire, dies aged 88. Brooks played 16 matches for NSW, but he was most famous as an umpire.

17 The West Indies national team calls for the resignation of Bruce Aanensen, the WICB's chief executive, who has been in office for less than three months, highlighting what seems an almost irreparable divide between players and officials.

23 Brian Lara becomes the first big-name signing for the Indian Cricket League, which announces that it has also contracted former Indian allrounder Madan Lal to coach its Delhi team and Balwinder Singh Sandhu as director of academies. Lara's joining the ICL had first been reported in May and at the time the names of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath are also linked with the league.

Sri Lanka's champion allrounder Sanath Jayasuriya passes the milestone of 12,000 runs and 300 wickets in ODIs when he takes four wickets in the one-day international against Bangladesh in Colombo.

24 John Bracewell holds on to his job as New Zealand's coach for two more seasons. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announce that John Wright will be given a high-performance role, although the exact nature of his position is still unclear.

30 Australia captain Karen Rolton becomes the second most prolific run-maker in the history of women's cricket, when her unbeaten 81 inspires her side to Rose Bowl Series success over New Zealand at the Gardens Oval in Darwin. Rolton eclipses New Zealander Debbie Hockley's ODI aggregate of 4064 runs.

August

3 The BCCI's secretary, Niranjan Shah, tells the press that players signing up with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) will be banned for life.

4 Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, the two Pakistan bowlers who returned positive dope tests last year, clear the latest tests held at the fitness and training camp in Karachi earlier in the week.

7 Jamaica captain Wavell Hinds is banned for the rest of the year for alleged verbal abuse of umpires. A report in Jamaica's Sunday Observer says Hinds allegedly verbally abused the officials during Kensington Cricket Club's match against Trelawny Parish at Kensington Park.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is named captain of India's Twenty20 squad for the World Championship to be held in South Africa in September.

8 Shoaib Akhtar is fined US$5000 by the Pakistan board for two breaches of the players' code of conduct: leaving a fitness and training camp without permission, and failing to appear before the disciplinary committee of the board.

9 Ashley Giles finally admits defeat in his battle to overcome a serious hip injury and announces his immediate retirement.



One in 16: Durham's Neil Killeen, Steve Harmison and Paul Collingwood celebrate their win in the Friends Provident Trophy in August © Getty Images

Ramnaresh Sarwan calls the experience of being dropped from West Indies' Test squad in Pakistan in November 2006 one of the most shocking incidents of his life and hits out against the team management, calling it a political decision.

11 Jacques Kallis is given the boot by South Africa for the Twenty20 World Championship in September, the arena where the pressure to score quickly is at its greatest.

12 More than three months after Bennett King stepped down as West Indies coach, the WICB finally advertises for applications to fill the vacancy.

13 India win their first series in England since 1986, albeit 1-0, after England held on for a draw on the final day of the last Test at The Oval. On a day when wickets fell at regular enough intervals to keep India interested till the very end, England hold on, but Michael Vaughan's unbeaten home record slips from his grasp.

14 Muttiah Muralitharan is reported to be considering taking legal action against Bishan Bedi in the wake of disparaging comments made by Bedi about Muralitharan's bowling action. A letter of demand is sent to Bedi claiming Rs 750 million (US $7 million) in damages for defamation.

Jacques Kallis' omission from the South African squad for the Twenty20 World Championship prompts him to quit as vice-captain of the team. Kallis is non-committal about his future as an international player, though he rules out the possibility of an early retirement.

18
Shane Warne says he is considering applying for a German passport so he can play county cricket as a non-overseas player in 2008. Warne's mother was born in Germany and he plans to investigate the matter further during the English winter.

19 In their 16th year as a first-class side, Durham claim their first domestic trophy when they win the rain-interrupted Friends Provident final by 125 runs at Lord's. The overnight wait does not disrupt their momentum, as Paul Collingwood and Liam Plunkett run through Hampshire's lower order, the last five wickets falling for 13 runs.

20
The Indian Cricket League is officially launched in Mumbai. Forty-four Indian cricketers who have signed with the league are assembled at a press conference where Kapil Dev, the chairman of the ICL's executive board makes an announcement regarding the league's launch.

Abdul Razzaq, the Pakistan allrounder, announces his retirement from international cricket in protest against his omission from Pakistan's Twenty20 World Championship squad.

26 The West Indies Cricket Board accepts, "with regret", the resignation of its chief executive Bruce Aanensen after a meeting in Barbados.

31 Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf approves the amended draft of the Pakistan Cricket Board's new constitution, according to Nasim Ashraf, the chairman of the PCB.

September

1 Andrew Hall, the South African allrounder, quits international cricket. Hall's abrupt move is presumably prompted by his omission from South Africa's squad for the Twenty20 Championship later in the month.

3 Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, Heath Streak, the former Zimbabwe captain, announces that he will not be returning for another season with Warwickshire.

5 Upul Chandana, the Sri Lanka allrounder announces his retirement from international cricket. Chandana, who played 147 one-day internationals and 16 Tests during his 13-year career, does not make clear his reasons for quitting the game.

6 Pakistan's preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 are rocked by an "incident" between Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif in Johannesburg which leads to the latter injuring his leg. According to sources, the two are allegedly involved in a dressing-room spat which results in Asif being struck by a bat on his thigh.

10 Matt Prior, England's wicketkeeper throughout the summer, is not awarded a central contract for 2007-08. It is the second consecutive year that no keeper is centrally contracted. The two new players in the contracts list are James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom. Ashley Giles, who has retired, Simon Jones, and Marcus Trescothick do not have their contracts renewed.

Kenya's ambitions to bridge the gap between themselves and the Full Member countries are dealt a blow by the news that Roger Harper will not be renewing his contract as coach after the ICC World Twenty20.

Ricky Ponting wins the ICC Player of the Year award for the second year running. He also wins the Captain of the Year prize, plus spots in both the Test and one-day teams of the year. Mohammad Yousuf and Matthew Hayden win the awards for Test and One-Day Player of the Year. Simon Taufel wins the Umpire of the Year prize for the fourth year running.

Middlesex overcome a few late jitters to beat Derbyshire by three wickets with two overs to spare in the Pro40 Division Two. The match, however, will be best remembered for being the first under lights at Lord's.

11 Ashwell Prince resigns as president of the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) following a newspaper report that 30 cricketers have signed a memorandum calling for the eradication of the quota system in South African cricket. Prince, who is touring India with the South Africa A squad, alleges that details of the meeting between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the cricketers were leaked to the media.

12 Australia, the world champions and Twenty20 tournament favourites, are toppled by Zimbabwe in a thrilling, unforgettable, upset.

13 Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladesh's captain, slams his way to the fastest fifty in Twenty20 cricket to knock West Indies out of the ICC World Twenty20.

14
Rahul Dravid resigns as India captain with immediate effect. In a letter written to the Indian board, he asks to be relieved of the captaincy before Australia's forthcoming ODI tour of India.

In South Africa, meanwhile, India and Pakistan play out a thrilling tie at the ICC World Twenty20, with Misbah-ul-Haq run out off the last ball of the match. India prevail in the bowl-out that follows.

16 Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Stephen Fleming make themselves available for the Indian Premier League (IPL), an officially-sanctioned domestic Twenty20 competition to be held in India in April 2008.



September surprise: India win the World Twenty20 in Johannesburg © Getty Images

17 It is announced that Greg Chappell is to return to Indian cricket six months after he left it, this time as an advisor for the Rajasthan Cricket Association's Centre of Excellence.

18 Mahendra Singh Dhoni's rapid career rise continues with his appointment as captain of India's one-day team for the home series against Australia and Pakistan. The squad for the first three ODIs against Australia includes Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan but not Virender Sehwag.

19 Yuvraj Singh enters the record books as the first batsman to hit six sixes in a Twenty20 international, when he takes 36 runs off the 19th over of the game against England. Stuart Broad is the hapless bowler.

20 A sensational spell of 4 for 13 from RP Singh dumps South Africa out of the Twenty20 party as India romp to a comprehensive 37-run victory that seals a place in the semi-final against Australia. South Africa, previously unbeaten in the competition, again prove masters of the choke, falling ten runs short of the 126 that would have taken them to the last four and eliminated New Zealand.

Ottis Gibson takes over from Allan Donald as England's bowling coach.

22 In a remarkable finale to the English county season, the title race comes down to the last ball of the last match at The Oval. Lancashire fall agonisingly short of ending 73 years of waiting for a Championship, and the title goes to Sussex.

24 India become inaugural Twenty20 world champions, holding their nerve to beat Pakistan in a thrilling final in Johannesburg.

Australia's injury concerns are worsened ahead of their limited-overs tour of India with Michael Hussey ruled out of the trip due to a strained left hamstring. Hussey is the third Australian to come out of the ICC World Twenty20 carrying a hamstring injury. Shane Watson is to miss the India tour, and Ricky Ponting is expected to sit out the opening games.

27 Mohammad Yousuf agrees to cancel his contract with the Indian Cricket League and instead represent Pakistan, after talks with Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the PCB. Yousuf does not comment on the possible legal repercussions of opting out of the ICL contract, saying the board will handle all such issues. The ICL says it does not object to Yousuf playing for Pakistan if matches clash.

28 Derek Shackleton, who played seven Tests for England and took a record 2669 wickets for Hampshire, dies at the age of 83. In all, Shackleton took 2857 first-class wickets at 18.65; his 18 Test wickets cost him 42.66.

Shaun Pollock is dropped from South Africa's squad for the first Test against Pakistan at Karachi - for the first time in his 107-Test career - three days before the match is due to begin.

Ravi Shastri, the former India captain, is appointed chairman of the National Cricket Academy.

30 The hearings in the Darrell Hair case begin in London, at the Central Office of London Tribunals. Hair is suing his employers, the ICC, for racial discrimination in the aftermath of The Oval chaos.

Jamie Alter is a staff writer at Cricinfo