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The first quarter of 2012 had whitewashes, record defeats, and a goodbye to India's greatest No. 3
December 24, 2012
January1 Andrew Flintoff reveals he struggled with depression during the 2006-07 Ashes in Australia, where he led England to a 0-5 series whitewash.
6 Australia mark the 100th Test at the SCG with an innings-and-68-run win over India. Michael Clarke scores his maiden triple-hundred, and Ricky Ponting makes 150, his first century in nearly two years.
South Africa complete a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka - their first home series win since 2008 - after winning the Cape Town Test by ten wickets. Jacques Kallis makes his second double-hundred*.
10 Hashan Tillakaratne, the former Sri Lanka captain turned politician, writes to the ICC claiming there was political interference in the Sri Lanka Cricket elections held on January 3, and that the elections also violated the SLC's constitution. The ICC says it has "no knowledge of such a letter".
Bangladesh board CEO Manzur Ahmed dies in Dhaka aged 55.
The six Bangladesh Premier League franchises are auctioned for a total of US$6.49 million. Chittagong is the most expensive at $1.2 million.
Sri Lanka succumb to the third largest defeat in ODIs - by 258 runs - against South Africa in Paarl after being dismissed for 43, their lowest one-day total. South Africa, under AB de Villiers, go on to seal the series in the third ODI, though they lose the final two.
12 Mervyn Westfield is convicted of spot-fixing after pleading guilty to criminal charges arising from an investigation by Essex police. In February he is sentenced to four months in jail and the ECB bans him for five years.
15 India concede the Test series against Australia 3-0 with an innings defeat, in Perth, inside three days. David Warner's 159-ball 180 is the highlight of the demolition job.
19 Saeed Ajmal takes ten wickets as England are bowled out for 192 and 160 in Pakistan's ten-wicket win in the first Test, in Dubai.
Shahid Afridi (US$700,000 from Dhaka Gladiators) and Chris Gayle ($551,000 from Barisal Burners) fetch the highest prices in the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League player auction.
23 Rajasthan become only the fifth team to win the Ranji Trophy in successive seasons after beating Tamil Nadu on the first-innings lead in Chennai.
28 Australia complete a 4-0 whitewash of India in Adelaide after Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting help themselves to double-centuries. The Test is India's eighth successive overseas defeat.
Zimbabwe slump to their worst Test loss - by an innings and 301 runs - after being bowled out twice in a day by New Zea;and in Napier.
February1 Mohammad Amir is released from Portland Young Offenders Institution in Dorset after serving half of a six-month sentence for his part in the spot-fixing incident at Lord's in 2010.
2 The Woolf Report asks the ICC to overhaul its finances and abolish its "subscription" model of funding and its revenue distribution method, so as to dispel the notion that the governing body is "owned" by the Full Members.
3 Lisa Sthalekar stars for Australia in their 4-1 win over New Zealand in the women's T20 series with one half-century and ten wickets.
4 Indian allrounder Ravindra Jadeja is bought by the Chennai Super Kings for US$2 million after being placed in the IPL auction at a base price of $100,000. Mahela Jayawardene and Indian fast bowler Vinay Kumar are the two other players to get to the million-dollar mark.
5 Yuvraj Singh is diagnosed with cancer and undergoes chemotherapy in the United States. He calls his treatment the "toughest battle of my life", but makes a successful return to international cricket in September.
6 Saeed Ajmal finishes with 24 wickets in the series as Pakistan whitewash England 3-0 with a 71-run win in Dubai. Pakistan are bowled out for 99 in the first innings, but Ajmal and Abdur Rehman combine to restrict England's lead to 42, after which Younis Khan's and Azhar Ali's centuries give Pakistan's bowlers a big target to defend.
9 New Zealand take the one-day series against Zimbabwe 3-0. Only one Zimbabwe batsman manages a half-century in the games.
Mashrafe Mortaza reports an approach from a fellow cricketer regarding potential spot-fixing during the Bangladesh Premier League.
10 Nimbus Communications, whose television rights contract for cricket in India was terminated in December 2011, claims damages of close to $121 million from the BCCI, contending that the Indian team rested top players, contrary to the contract, and that there was no India-Pakistan series as stipulated.
11 Titans win the SuperSport Series with the biggest first-class victory in South Africa. They bowl Dolphins out for 62 and 86 and win by a margin of an innings and 325 runs.
14 Former Queensland fast bowler Joe Dawes replaces Eric Simons as India's bowling coach.
New Zealand win the T20 series against Zimbabwe 2-0. The visitors do well to post 200 in Hamilton but Kane Williamson's five-ball 20 late in the innings takes New Zealand to an easy five-wicket win.
16 Andrew Symonds retires from all professional cricket, citing family reasons.
Some succour for England when they sweep the one-day series against Pakistan 4-0 and then take the T20 series 2-1.
22 South Africa beat New Zealand 2-1 in the T20 series after young fast bowler Marchant de Lange manages to defend six runs in the final over of the third T20 in Auckland. They also take the one-day series 3-0.
27 West Indies beat India 3-2 in the women's T20 series at home. West Indies also win the one-day series 2-1.
Michael Clarke caps a remarkable first year as Australia's captain by taking home his third Allan Border Medal. Clarke is also named Test Player of the Year.
29 The Guyana board president, Ramsay Ali, resigns after he and other board officials are raided by Guyana police and court officials. The government had earlier locked out the board officials from their offices due to disputed elections in 2011 and appointed an interim committee, headed by Clive Lloyd, to take charge. The West Indies board refused to recognise the interim committee, which went on to cause Guyana to lose hosting rights for a Test against Australia scheduled in April.
Imran Nazir's 43-ball 75 helps Dhaka Gladiators beat Barisal Burners by eight wickets to win the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League title. But controversy dogs the tournament as payments to players are delayed, a man is arrested in relation to match-fixing claims, and confusion surrounds qualification for the semi-finals.
March1 Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell are dropped for New Zealand's third ODI against South Africa after they are found to have broken team protocol following the defeat in Napier. Ryder and Bracewell went out to a hotel after the match and became involved in an argument with a patron.
4 Dav Whatmore is appointed Pakistan coach for two years.
West Indies batsman Runako Morton is killed in a road accident after his car crashes into a utility pole in central Trinidad.
5 Charlotte Edwards hits a hundred and a half-century in England's 3-0 win over New Zealand in the women's T20 series in Lincoln.
8 Australia wrap up a successful summer by winning the CB Series, beating Sri Lanka in the best-of-three finals. India, the other team in the tri-series, lose four games and tie one, but play the match of the tournament against Sri Lanka - chasing 321 inside 40 overs.
Jesse Ryder announces he is taking an indefinite break from cricket to resolve personal issues.
9 Rahul Dravid announces his retirement from international cricket.
On the same day, England seamer Isa Guha retires from international cricket, and Central Districts batsman Peter Ingram, who also played two Tests and eight ODIs for New Zealand, announces his retirement from first-class cricket.
11 The first Test between New Zealand and South Africa ends in a draw in Dunedin after a potentially compelling fifth day is washed out.
16 Australia beat India 3-0 in the women's one-day series. The series sweep includes a 221-run win in Mumbai, where Ellyse Perry takes 5 for 19 to bowl India out for 79. Australia also win the T20 series 4-1.
17 Vernon Philander takes ten wickets in South Africa's comprehensive win over New Zealand in the second Test, in Hamilton.
19 Queensland win their seventh Sheffield Shield title after beating Tasmania by three wickets in the final. Alister McDermott takes six wickets in the first innings and James Hopes five in the second.
22 Bangladesh, having beaten beat India and Sri Lanka to reach the Asia Cup final, lose by two runs to Pakistan in front of a heartbroken Mirpur crowd. Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first batsman to make 100 international centuries when he reaches the milestone in India's defeat to Bangladesh.
25 West Indies and Australia draw the one-day series 2-2, with one tie. West Indies' victory in the second match, in Kingstown, is their first ODI win against Australia since 2006. The two sides win a match each of the T20 series as well.
26 Chris Cairns wins his libel case against Lalit Modi and is awarded £90,000 (US$142,000) in damages. Modi is also ordered by the judge to pay costs, which amount to around $2.4 million.
27 South Africa win the three-Test series 1-0 after a draw in Wellington. Vernon Philander gets 50 wickets in his seventh Test, making him the second-fastest to the milestone.
29 Rangana Herath takes 12 wickets and Mahela Jayawardene scores 180 in Sri Lanka's 75-run over England in the Galle Test.
2 Star TV, owned by Rupert Murdoch, wins the rights to broadcast Indian cricket for the 2012-2018 period. The deal, which also includes internet and mobile rights, is valued at Rs 3851 crores (approximately $750 million) and covers 96 matches.
3 Australian fast bowler Ron Gaunt, who played three Tests in the 1950s and '60s, dies aged 78.
7 A dazzling 151 by Kevin Pietersen and ten wickets from Graeme Swann help England beat Sri Lanka in Colombo to level the series 1-1.
11 Australia chase 192 runs in two sessions to win the Barbados Test by three wickets.
16 Jamaica win a record-breaking fifth consecutive Regional Four-Day Competition title after bowling out Barbados for 90 on the final day.
Stuart Law resigns as Bangladesh coach after nine months in the job, citing family reasons.
27 A 75-run victory in Roseau, hosting its first Test, gives Australia a 2-0 win against West Indies. Matthew Wade is the Man of the Match for his maiden Test hundred, while local boy Shane Shillingford takes 10 for 219. Player of the Series Shivnarine Chanderpaul becomes the second West Indian to cross 10,000 Test runs.
29 West Indies beat Sri Lanka 2-1 in the women's ODI series held in Barbados.
* 08:38 GMT, December 24: The error that it was Kallis' maiden Test double-hundred was amended
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If they are to live up to their potential in next year's World Cup at home, they need to look within and search for inspiration pronto