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A few heavyweights hang up their boots, a landmark tournament gets underway in India, and more
December 27, 2007
3 In the Karachi Test, Mark Boucher breaks Ian Healy's record to become the wicketkeeper with the most dismissals in Test cricket. Boucher reaches the landmark in his 103rd Test, 16 matches fewer than it took Healy to get to the figure of 395.
4 Sanath Jayasuriya becomes the first cricketer to play 400 ODIs when he takes the field for the second ODI against England in Dambulla. Jayasuriya had amassed over 12,000 runs, and taken over 300 wickets in his career till then.
9 Seven days into the hearing of his racial discrimination case against the ICC, Darrell Hair withdraws his allegations. Hair was taking legal action over having not been allocated any Tests or ODIs since he accused Pakistan of ball-tampering in the fourth Test at The Oval in August 2006. Hair, who has a contract with the ICC till March 2008, is to umpire matches involving Associate nations for the rest of that term.
10 England secure a historic victory with a five-wicket win in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo to claim their first limited-overs series success in Sri Lanka and their first significant victory in the subcontinent for 20 years. Alistair Cook's calm 80 sets up the England chase after the hosts had been restricted to 212 by some hostile fast bowling.
11 Shoaib Akhtar is handed a 13-match ban and a fine of approximately US$57,000 for a number of breaches of discipline, including his spat with Mohammad Asif in South Africa. He is also placed on a two-year probation, during which any disciplinary breaches could result in a life ban.
12 Inzamam-ul-Haq retires from Tests after the second Test against South Africa in Lahore, bringing down the curtain on a 15-year career. He manages only 17 runs in his final game to finish two short of Javed Miandad's aggregate of 8832, the highest by a Pakistani in Tests. Seventeen of Inzamam's 25 hundreds came in matches Pakistan won.
14 Andrew Symonds is apparently the target of racist abuse during the fifth ODI against India in Vadodara, when he is subjected to monkey chants by the crowd while fielding on the boundary. The monkey taunts are repeated in the seventh ODI in Mumbai and four offenders were evicted from the Wankhede Stadium and booked by the police.
17 New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan retires from international and domestic cricket, citing personal reasons and health problems as contributing factors. He finishes as New Zealand's fourth-highest run-scorer in ODIs, and with over 3000 runs at 38.46 in Tests.
21 John Dyson, the former Australia batsman and former coach of Sri Lanka, is appointed coach of West Indies, succeeding his compatriot David Moore. Moore had assisted the head coach Bennett King, who departed after the World Cup, and was in charge on a temporary basis.
27 In his autobiography, Behind the Shades, Duncan Fletcher, the former England coach, claims that Andrew Flintoff had turned up at a fielding session during the tour of Australia in 2006-07 "still under the influence of alcohol" and "in such a state that he could not throw properly". He also slams the influence of former cricketers Ian Botham and Geoffrey Boycott on the England set-up, and the ECB for setting up an independent review of the 0-5 Ashes loss to Australia.
28 Jamie Siddons, considered among the finest Australian players never to win a Test cap, is appointed coach of Bangladesh. Siddons had been a senior coach at the Australian Centre of Excellence from the 2005 Ashes and later was an assistant coach with the Australian team.
6 Sachin Tendulkar declines the Indian Test captaincy, citing personal reasons, two days before the national selectors are to decide on the position. Tendulkar was widely tipped to be named India's captain after Rahul Dravid decided to step down in September.
Australia's Test cricket season starts with a row between Cricket Australia and various media groups, including the world's top three news agencies - AFP, Reuters, and Associated Press - which leads to several organisations being locked out of the Gabba after they refuse to agree to new terms demanded by the board. The main problem centres on rights to photographs and the amount of text and data allowed to be sent from the ground. After a week-long dispute, which affects coverage of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka in Brisbane, the news agencies strike a deal with CA.
8 Anil Kumble is named India's Test captain for the home series against Pakistan. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading the team in the limited-overs formats, Kumble's appointment means that it is the first time India have had separate captains for ODIs and Tests.
12 KC Ibrahim, who played four Tests for India against West Indies in 1948-49, dies at his home in Karachi. He was 88 and at the time of his death was India's oldest living Test player. Ibrahim captained the Bombay side that won the Ranji Trophy in 1947-48, and scored 1171 runs that season to win the Indian Cricketer of the Year award.
17 During his unbeaten 67 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart, Adam Gilchrist becomes the first batsman to hit a hundred sixes in Test matches. Gilchrist helps Australia to a mammoth 542, and they clinch a 96-run victory to earn a 2-0 series win.
20 Marvan Atapattu, one of Sri Lanka's finest batsmen, announces his retirement after an eventful tour of Australia, during which he referred to the Sri Lankan selectors as muppets headed by a joker. Atapattu finishes with 5502 runs at 39.02 in Tests, including six double-centuries. He captained Sri Lanka in 18 Tests and 63 ODIs.
22 Noel McGregor, one of the members of the first New Zealand team to win a Test match, dies in Christchurch from a heart attack, aged 75. McGregor, a right-hand batsman, played 25 Tests, and scored 892 runs at 19.82. His first-class career spanned 6573 runs in 148 games over 21 years.
25 In the first Test against Pakistan in Delhi, Sachin Tendulkar goes past Allan Border's run tally of 11,174 to become the second highest run-scorer in Tests, behind Brian Lara, who has 11,953.
28 After a six-week long hearing, a jury in Jamaica records an open verdict on the death of the former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, after deciding there was insufficient evidence of either a criminal act or natural causes.
30 Zimbabwe clinch their first ODI win over a major Test-playing nation in four years when they beat West Indies by 30 runs in Harare. A spirited batting performance takes Zimbabwe to a challenging 274, the bowlers stifled the runs to pull off an upset. Zimabawe, though, lost the next three matches to suffer a 3-1 series defeat.
The inaugural tournament of the Indian Cricket League kicks off in Panchkula, near Chandigarh. It is a six-team affair and follows a round-robin format, with the top four sides making it to the semi-finals. The prize money for the winners is an astounding US$1 million.
3 Muttiah Muralitharan becomes the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket after he breaks Shane Warne's record of 708 Test wickets. Murali's 709th wicket is that of Paul Collingwood during England's first innings in the first Test in Kandy.
Sanath Jayasuriya announces his retirement from Test cricket. The 38-year-old finishes with 6973 runs at 40.07, including 14 Test centuries and a highest score of 340.
4 Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa batsman, signs a two-year deal to coach the Indian national team. He will start work on March 1, 2008, almost a year after his predecessor, Greg Chappell, resigned from the post.
6 Kumar Sangakkara, who has scores of 150-plus in four consecutive Test matches, upstages Ricky Ponting from the No. 1 spot in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen. Sangakkara moves up two spots from No. 3 following innings of 92 and 152 in the in Kandy Test against England.
10 Zimbabwe Cricket holds its invitation-only AGM. Only hand-picked provincial administrators were allowed to attend with players, stakeholders and even life appointees of the board barred.
12 Bad light helps Pakistan hang on for a draw in the third Test against India in Bangalore, but their defeat in the first Test in Delhi means they lose the series 0-1. It is India's first home Test series victory over Pakistan since 1979-80. Sourav Ganguly is declared the Man-of-the-Series for his 534 runs at an average of 89.
16 Chennai Superstars win the inaugural ICL tournament, beating Chandigarh Lions by 12 runs in Panchkula. After being put in to bat, the Superstars manage 155, but Shabbir Ahmed hobbles the Lions' chase with his 4 for 23, which includes the first hat-trick of the tournament.
18 The newly reconstructed stadium in Galle hosts its first international match after it was ravaged by a tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004, when Sri Lanka clashed with England in the third and final Test. Rain helped England hold on for a draw after conceding a mammoth 418-run first-innings lead, but they lost the series 1-0.
In a bid to bridge the gap between domestic and international cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket decide to launch a five-team provincial tournament. They hope the new format will replace the existing 14-club Premier competition in the future.
Siddarth Ravindran is an editorial assistant at CricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
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Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia