Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Mid Day, Mumbai, January 13
The 13-year-old captain of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Himanshu Sonthalia, scored 115 and took a hat-trick in a Giles Shield schools match against S. M. Shetty.
ABC Online January 27
Twenty-four players from Dubbo, New South Wales, claimed a world record by playing continuous cricket for 26 hours 47 minutes, beating the mark set by a French club by 24 minutes. "It couldn't be better, really," said captain Wade Vine. "We've knocked off the French in a game of cricket on Australia Day."
Evening Star, Ipswich January 27
Former Essex cricketer Don Topley, 40, went on a sponsored slim after doctors told him that, at 19st 4lb, he was obese. Staff and students at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, where he teaches PE, challenged him to lose three stone.
Herald Sun, Melbourne February 1
Shane Warne, still chasing his maiden century four years later, was told he was wrongfully denied the chance of scoring one in a Test in 2001, when he was caught in the outfield for 99 against New Zealand at Perth. Channel 9 had unearthed previously unseen footage showing that the crucial ball, bowled by Daniel Vettori, should have been called a no-ball. The tape was played at the Allan Border Medal dinner last night. Asked how he felt, Warne said: "We're on TV so I can't swear."
The West Australian February 9
A Perth club cricketer has been suspended for two matches for racist vilification. Bowler Peter Gardiner of Joondalup was having a staring match with a Gosnells batsman, Kyle Coetzer, when he said: "What are you effing looking at, you Pommy git?" Coetzer said he was not offended, and was Scottish, not English, anyway. But the umpire insisted on reporting the incident.
The Transcontinental, Port Augusta February 16
Batsman Mark Benbow was at the centre of a hat-trick of run-outs. Benbow, playing for South Australian club West Augusta, was trying to complete his maiden A-grade century in the final over against Central-Stirling when he lost two partners off successive balls. Benbow was then last man out for 99, having instructed his partner, No. 11 Cameron Pannach, to run no matter what.
All Out Cricket March
Alan Hansford, a seam bowler for Sussex between 1989 and 1992, believes he has been snubbed at Hove since it became known he was gay. "I was outed in Sussex cricket by a friend and former county colleague in whom I had confided," Hansford said. "On the first occasion I went back to the county ground, my former second-team coach saw me from afar, turned and walked away."
Daily Telegraph March 9
After a public outcry, Cambridge City Council reversed a decision to scrap cricket on Parker's Piece, the historic open space that nurtured Sir Jack Hobbs. The council were hoping to save £3,000.
The Courier-Mail, Brisbane March 11
Players from the Nerrena club in Victoria were served green-speckled cupcakes for tea by rivals Inverloch. They later claimed the cakes were laced with marijuana. "I thought, gee, this is pretty good, they usually feed us crap," said Nerrena player Tim Clark. He ate five, other players also tucked in and then their game went to pieces. One player took nearly 20 minutes to put on his pads, while two others broke out in hysterical laughter and fled the pitch for drinks of water. Nerrena lost by 50 runs and ended up relegated. Inverloch secretary Ian Smith said the allegations were all rumours. "This is just a witch-hunt," he said.
Herald Sun, Melbourne March 14
Former Australian Test player turned commentator Michael Slater revealed in an ABC interview that he suffered from bipolar disorder during his playing career which caused bouts of depression and panic attacks.
The Times March 15
Playwright Harold Pinter, asked to confirm his reported remark that cricket was more important than sex, replied: "That was a joke."
Financial Times March 19
Jim Foat, the Gloucestershire batsman of the 1970s, has had an aspect of cellular metabolism named after him by a biochemist who happens to be a fan. In a paper in the journal Progress in Lipid Research, Simon Eavis of the Institute of Child Health in London coined the phrase "the Fat Oxidation Activity Transfer complex" (FOAT). Eavis said there was an unspoken challenge between him and a friend. Previously, Foat was most famous for brilliantly running out Tony Greig in the 1973 Gillette Cup final.
The News, Karachi March 21
A London-based Pakistani businessman, named as M. Jamshaid, offered the Pakistan Cricket Board £1m if it would pick him to play against India. The board said it first treated the offer as a joke, but when it received repeated requests it told Jamshaid to spend the money on cricketing development in his home area of Pakistan. "You might not be a deserving cricketer but you are definitely a millionaire," said the board, "and what you need to do is to spend the amount on a noble cause."
Daily Mirror, Colombo March 24
The Sri Lankan parliament broke standing orders to congratulate Muttiah Muralitharan on his marriage to Madhi Ramamurthy. No one had been congratulated on a wedding before. Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandra said: "Parliament has power to set a new example on occasions such as this as there are no two Muralitharans. Only one."
Daily Telegraph April 4
The pitch at Fulmer, Buckinghamshire, has been sabotaged by being sprayed with weedkiller. Club captain David Jackson said: "Someone has got it in for us. We have our theories, but I will not say any more." Another villager, Clive Bushnell, said: "The problem is old women."
Daily Telegraph April 12
Australians should use their cricket bats to whack cane toads, the imported pest that is threatening to overrun Queensland, said Liberal MP David Tollner. The RSPCA called the advice inhumane.
The New Zealand Herald April 13
New Zealand Cricket roped off an area at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, to keep flag-waving supporter Sonny Shaw off TV screens. Shaw habitually sits near the sightscreen, sometimes stripped to the waist, waving a flag. Sky TV producer James Cameron made the request after complaints from cameramen. "It was to create a cleaner shot," he explained.
The Hindu April 15
Bob Woolmer yesterday opened an operating theatre named after him at the hospital in Kanpur where he was born.
Daily Telegraph April 16
The Langwith club in Nottinghamshire had to cancel its fixtures after about 200 gipsies parked their caravans on the square.
The Times April 22
A new resort complex planned for the 2007 World Cup could obliterate the home of a quarter of the world's population of the St Lucia white-breasted thrasher, a bird found only on St Lucia and Martinique.
The Times April 23
Ian Botham delivered a petition with more than 500,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street calling for St George's Day, honouring England's patron saint, to be made a national holiday.
University Of Bradford (press release) April 28
Imran Khan has been named as Bradford's new Chancellor, the university's figurehead.
The Star, Sheffield May 2
The Huddersfield League banned Kexborough Cricket Club from wearing new shirts which had their names and squad numbers on the back. "Cricketers should be attired as if they are playing in a real Test match," said League chairman Roger France. "We are not a Test side," said Kexborough secretary Neil Hinchcliffe. "We are Kexborough."
Bolton Evening News May 4
The captains in the Bolton Association local derby between Atherton and Astley & Tyldesley were father and son, Steve and Paul Walsh.
Tunbridge Wells Extra May 9
A car crash outside the ground stopped play in the match between Rusthall and Chelsfield Park. Each side happened to be fielding a doctor, and they rushed off to help the injured.
Llanelli Star May 11
A tractor driver was cutting grass at South Llanelli CC when the ground gave way, revealing a 24-foot hole - part of a flywheel pit of a steelworks that closed in 1941.
Mid Day, Mumbai May 14
Cricket fans held a rally to protest against a ruling by the Maharashtra government ending an old rule preventing clubs holding more than 30 weddings a year. There is now no limit, providing the clubs pay the state Rs 25,000 (£320) each time. Cricketers objected that endless weddings would eat into the seven months that grounds are available for the game after the monsoon. "We have around 80 registered tournaments," said Lalchand Rajput, the Mumbai Cricket Association secretary. "How will we manage to conduct these?"
Daily Telegraph May 19
Jim Smallbone of Petersfield and Hampshire Over-50s became suspicious after bowling three successive full tosses, and measured the pitch at Petersfield Heath. He found it was seven feet short of 22 yards.
Somerset Guardian May 19
A helicopter stopped play in the match between Babington and Ditcheat, played in the grounds of the Babington House hotel. It landed to take an injured chef to hospital.
Highland News May 20
Simon Harrison, captain of Northern Counties Second XI, dropped a catch against Ross County but in the process ignited a box of matches in his pocket. He suffered minor burns; his trousers failed to recover.
Kentish Gazette May 20
Three open-air performances of Macbeth have been arranged for the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, in July.
Slough Express May 20
Fabian Cowdrey, 12-year-old grandson of the late Lord Cowdrey and son of Chris, received a signed bat from England batsman Andrew Strauss after scoring two centuries in two days for Caldicott Prep School.
Mail on Sunday May 22
Former England player Dermot Reeve has resigned as a Channel 4 commentator after admitting cocaine addiction. "At first it was just once a month," he said, "but as my marriage problems increased I used it more to escape."
Sunday Telegraph May 22
Chief executives of Britain's four main sports (football, cricket, rugby and tennis) are to meet Culture, Media and Sports Secretary Tessa Jowell to try to persuade her to make black-market ticket sales illegal in other sports - as they already are in football - and to increase the maximum fine from the present £5,000.
Saturday Observer (Kent) / The Times May 28/June 6
A block of ice stopped play when it fell from a clear sky on a warm afternoon at Davington Priory, Kent. A Murston batsman was taken to hospital after collapsing, and the ice - about ten feet square - only just missed an umpire. Priory captain Graham Owen said the ice exploded on the pitch. "There was an enormous `whoosh', and then slush just spread across the ground. We looked around in amazement, but couldn't see any aircraft or anything else it could have come from."
Olney & Newport Pagnell Phonebox June
Play stopped in the match between Olney Town Second XI and Willen Second XI when a sightscreen was caught by a gust of wind and flew towards the River Ouse; the players recaptured it just short of the water. The game resumed after the screen was tethered to a tree.
Liverpool Daily Post June 1
John Williams, captain of Mold Second XI in North Wales, took five wickets in five balls against Bethesda.
Daily Telegraph June 2
Bryan Pietersen, brother of the more famous Kevin, "went bananas", according to opponents, after having an lbw appeal turned down in a Southampton evening match between Trant and Otters. After Trant had scored 186 from their 16 overs, Pietersen took two wickets with his first two balls before embarking on a campaign of remonstrating with the umpire. "I could have understood it," said one Otters player, "but we were 17 for four at the time."
Chichester Observer June 2
Craig Primmer, a 6ft 5in pace bowler from New Zealand, took seven for nought in nine balls, including two hat-tricks, for Pagham against the Crawley team, Ram. In 2003, he took four in five balls, with a hat-trick, against Clymping.
rediff.com June 6
Mansur Ali Khan, formerly the Nawab of Pataudi, faced arrest in Haryana for allegedly poaching an endangered black buck and two hares.
Eastern Daily Press June 7
Norfolk village cricketer Tony Garrod, 60, scored his maiden century for North Elmham at Happisburgh, in his 30th season with the club.
cricket365 June 9
Kevin Pietersen failed in an attempt to hit a ball 140 metres across the Thames in London. He managed 111 metres.
The Guardian June 17
Cricket-style clothes have been part of a trend towards sporting looks in men's fashion. Swedish designer Siv Stodal unveiled yellow-and-turquoise cricket-style sweaters while John Galliano had trousers complete with attached pads. Club player Nic Fearon-Low wore head-to-toe Louis Vuitton in a nets session and described the outfit as "stylish though impractical". He explained: "There were too many buttons on the trousers."
BBC News June 20
A bull stopped play in the Second XI Championship match between Derbyshire and Leicestershire at Dunstall. Derbyshire coach Karl Krikken thought the bull had been frustrated in a failed romantic episode. "It jumped the fence and ran on to the ground, chasing players and spectators for 20 minutes."
The Sunday Independent (Johannesburg) June 26
Midnight street cricket has come to central Johannesburg, where Pakistani immigrants have created their own impromptu stadium outside the Gauteng legislature. Restaurant manager Irfan Ahmed organises tapeball games with friends when he finishes work at 10 p.m.