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Bad boys grab the headlines, the battle for Asian supremacy, and the first season of the IPL is a success
Judhajit Basu and Siddhartha Talya
December 27, 2008
1 A disciplinary committee of the PCB bans Shoaib Akhtar for five years for violating the players' code of conduct. He had earlier been charged with publicly criticising the PCB for denying him a central contract. A PCB-appointed tribunal later reduces his ban to 18 months, which is then suspended by the Lahore High Court pending a full and final judgment.
Michael Clarke is named vice-captain of Australia after Adam Gilchrist's retirement.
The ICC announces that five bowlers in the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia were found to have "potentially flawed bowling actions".
3 Dale Steyn takes 5 for 23 as India are shot out for 76 on the first day of the second Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad. The visitors win the Test inside three days, by an innings and 90 runs.
The IPL's media guidelines, particularly with regards to the use of pictures taken at its grounds, elicit concern among media agencies, especially in India, where an influential lobby group calls the guidelines "unprecedented" and "unacceptable". The restrictions are eventually eased, in favour of the print media, but cricket-specific websites are still barred from covering matches from the ground and using photos normally sold to them by photo agencies. As a result, global news agencies, who had earlier threatened to boycott the IPL over the issue of photographs, eventually proceed to do so.
6 Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul add a match-winning 157 for the fourth wicket as West Indies level the series 1-1 against Sri Lanka in Port-of-Spain.
8 India postpone their tour of Zimbabwe indefinitely due to a packed itinerary.
The ICC confirms its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit held interviews with three Pakistani players in Lahore to seek specific information in the aftermath of Shoaib Akhtar's claims that he was offered money to underperform.
9 Jacques Kallis is named the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2007 by Wisden. Kallis made 1210 Test runs at 86.42 and took 42 wickets at 25.75 in 2007.
13 India level the Test series 1-1 against South Africa in Kanpur, winning by eight wickets.
16 The ICC appoints a new panel to pick and evaluate international and Elite umpires. It also decides to expand the Elite panel from 10 to 12. Asoka de Silva and Steve Davis are later promoted to the Elite panel to complete the list of 12.
17 The News Broadcasters Association, an umbrella body for major television news channels in India, which had initially threatened to boycott the IPL, drops its threat after a "successful meeting" with IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, where differences over accreditation and access to match footage are resolved.
18 The first IPL match, between Bangalore Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders, is a one-sided affair. Brendon McCullum scores a blistering 158 off just 73 balls to help Kolkata to a massive 140-run win.
West Indies turn down an invitation from Pakistan to play an ODI series there in August, citing a busy schedule.
Johan van der Wath is dropped from his South African domestic side, Eagles, over his participation in the ICL.
23 New Zealand agree to a three-ODI tour of Pakistan in August 2008.
24 The ICC announces it will hold its annual conference in Dubai, breaking with a 99-year association with Lord's. It later confirms the move was a result of doubt over whether Peter Chingoka, the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, would be able to obtain a UK visa.
25 The ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, is ousted from his post over differences with board members and the president, Ray Mali, over a number of issues, including Zimbabwe.
Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth are involved in an on-field controversy after an IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. Harbhajan is alleged to have struck Sreesanth, and is eventually banned for the remainder of the IPL after the allegations are confirmed.
27 Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago by nine wickets in the Carib Challenge final.
28 Helen Watson, the New Zealand allrounder, announces her retirement from international cricket.
30 Mohammed Moosajee is appointed South Africa's team manager for a three-year term, replacing Logan Naidoo.
Sri Lanka's media manager, Samantha Algama, is sacked by Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee, headed by Arjuna Ranatunga.
1 Lancashire take advantage of Mohammad Yousuf's continuing ineligibility for the IPL and sign him as a replacement for Brad Hodge.
2 PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf files a Rs 22-crore defamation suit against Shoaib Akhtar over comments made on a TV show.
3 Bangladesh women make history by claiming their first win against an international ODI side, beating Pakistan women by four wickets in an Asia Cup match in Kurunegala.
4 Shoaib Akhtar is cleared to turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL after an appellate tribunal in Pakistan decides to suspend his five-year ban for one month.
6 Charu Sharma, CEO of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, is relieved of his duties after the team manages just two wins in seven matches. Brijesh Patel is brought in as replacement.
7 Shaun Pollock, the former South Africa captain, joins the MCC's World Cricket Committee.
8 Sunil Gavaskar, who was asked to choose between his ICC role and his media commitments due to a potential for conflict of interest, decides to end his eight-year stint as chairman of the ICC's cricket committee.
11 India thrash Sri Lanka by 177 runs in the final of the Women's Asia Cup in Kurunegala to clinch their fourth successive title
12 Lisa Keightley, coach of the Australian women's team since June 2007, decides to step down from her role at the end of the month due to personal reasons.
Ryan Sidebottom is named England's Player of the Year. The Women's Player of the Year title goes to Claire Taylor. Two one-off presentations are also made to Ashley Giles and Marcus Trescothick in recognition of their England success over the years.
13 Bomb blasts in Jaipur cast a shadow of uncertainty over the IPL match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the city. Lalit Modi turns down a request from the Bangalore Royal Challengers to shift the venue from Jaipur, a day later.
The WICB finds Marlon Samuels, the 27-year-old Jamaica and West Indies middle-order batsman, guilty of violating the ICC Rule of Conduct that pertains to receiving money, benefit or other reward "which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute".
15 Five senators in a letter, allege that the PCB has provided incorrect information about the salaries of board staff.
The US$100-million deal between the ECB and Allen Stanford is in doubt after the MCC warns that it will not sanction Twenty20 matches featuring Stanford's trademark black bats.
Shabbir Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan are blocked by the PCB from playing in a one-day match for the Water and Power Development Authority against the visiting Hong Kong side on May 14 due to their involvement in the ICL.
16 Sanath Jayasuriya is included in Sri Lanka's 15-member squad for the Asia Cup following the intervention of Gamini Lokuge, the country's sports minister, after selectors had left him out of the original squad.
17 The exodus of players from Zimbabwe continues as Gary Brent and Terry Duffin call it quits.
19 Monde Zondeki is awarded a national contract by the South African board for 2008-09
23 Vince van der Bijl is appointed the ICC's umpires and referees manager.
26 Neil McKenzie, Robin Peterson and Albie Morkel are upgraded to national contracts, taking the number of South African contracted players to 18.
Australia defeat West Indies by 95 runs in the first Test, in Jamaica.
England win the Old Trafford Test against New Zealand by six wickets. Andrew Strauss makes 106 in England's fourth-innings chase of 294.
28 UAE introduces homegrown quotas, with the Emirates Cricket Board ordering that at least four of the country's 15-man Asia Cup squad must be Emiratis.
29 AV Jayaprakash, the Indian umpire, retires from all forms of the game.
30 Ricky Ponting becomes the seventh man to join the 10,000-Test runs club
1 Rajasthan Royals are crowned winners of the inaugural IPL after beating Chennai Super Kings in a closely-fought final by three wickets.
Stuart MacGill announces his retirement from international cricket and that the second Test against West Indies in Antigua will be his last.
Lyn Fullston, the dual international who represented Australia in women's cricket and netball, passes away in Adelaide after a long battle with illness.
3 Mohammad Asif is detained at Dubai airport on suspicion of possessing drugs.
4 Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan keeper, is appointed wicketkeeping coach by the Pakistan board for three years.
The method adopted for verifying the ages of cricketers comes under scrutiny from the ICC's medical council.
8 Ryan Sidebottom helps England claim the three-Test series against New Zealand. England win the third and final Test at Trent Bridge by an innings and nine runs.
Bandula Warnapura, the former Sri Lankan captain, is appointed development manager of the Asian Cricket Council.
9 Justin Langer, the former Australia batsman, is is appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, the country's third-highest civilian honour, former recipients of which include Keith Miller, Glenn McGrath and Mark Waugh.
11 Antigua-based billionaire Allen Stanford confirms that he will be investing up to US$150 million in a series of Twenty20 matches over the next five years.
12 Andrew Symonds is fined for missing the team bus on the tour of the West Indies.
14 Salman Butt and Younis Khan inspire Pakistan to their first multi-nation title for more than five years, defeating India in the final of the Kitply Cup in Mirpur by 25 runs.
New Zealand Cricket undergoes a major restructuring program, disestablishing 11 positions - among them those of the general manager of the team and the high-performance manager - and creating 20 new ones in an effort to become a world-class sporting organisation.
16 Beau Casson and Michael Clarke help Australia grind their way to an 87-run win in the third and final Test in Barbados to secure a 2-0 series victory against West Indies.
17 The MCC, the guardian of the laws of cricket, concludes that Kevin Pietersen's controversial switch shot is legal.
19 The ICC amends the rule regarding the length of the interval in ODIs in response to the farcical finish to the second one-dayer against England at Edgbaston, where New Zealand were denied the chance to level the series when rain ended the game with one over to go for the result to have counted.
Forty two-year-old Graeme Hick, in his 1196th senior match, sets a record for the most games played in senior cricket, turning out for Worcestershire against Somerset.
20 Cricket Canada takes a big leap forward with cricket being officially recognised by the government, leaving the sport eligible to potentially receive large amounts of funding.
23 Pressure from its cricketers forces Cricket South Africa to make an embarrassing about-turn and sever cricketing links with Zimbabwe.
24 Graham Napier rewrites the Twenty20 record books with a breathtaking assault against Sussex at Chelmsford - 152 from 58 balls, the highest score in English Twenty20, which includes a record 16 sixes.
25 Cricket Canada announces the appointment of their first Canada-born captain in many years, Zubin Sarkari.
Saleem Altaf, the PCB's director of special projects, who was sacked earlier in the month for allegedly leaking sensitive information to the press, is temporarily reinstated on the basis of an order from the Lahore High Court.
The ECB cancels the 2009 summer tour by Zimbabwe and suspends all bilateral arrangements with the Zimbabwe board. The British government makes it clear to the ECB that the Zimbabwe team will not be allowed into the country to take part in the 2009 World Twenty20.
27 Ricky Ponting plays his 300th ODI, captaining Australia in the second ODI against West Indies in Grenada.
Scott Styris and Daniel Vettori guide New Zealand to a 51-run victory at Lord's in the final ODI to clinch the five-match series against England 3-1.
Playing their first-ever Twenty20 international, West Indies women rout Ireland with a 75-run win at the Rush Cricket Club in Dublin.
29 Journalists storm out of Geoff Lawson's press conference as tempers fray after Pakistan's 64-run loss to Sri Lanka, which pushes the hosts to the brink of elimination.
30 Cricket Australia follows the ECB's example, handing contracts to their female international players just three months after eight England players made history by receiving Chance to Shine deals.
Gloucestershire, already struggling financially to compete with other English counties, will not pay fees to agents, says their chairman.
Shoaib Akhtar's ban on playing for Pakistan is temporarily suspended by the Lahore High Court pending a full and final judgment. The fine imposed by the PCB, though, remains.
Judhajit Basu is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo, Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistantFeeds: Judhajit Basu
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge