The following stories were reported in the media during 2005 (July to December)
The Times July 1
The Professional Cricketers' Association has launched a 24-hour helpline, staffed by professional counsellors, to help past and present players with emotional problems.
Liverpool Daily Post July 4
West Indian fast bowler Adam Sanford took three wickets - all bowled - with his first three balls for Ormskirk against Hightown in the Liverpool Competition.
The Asian Age July 4
A seed company near Hyderabad, India, is giving farmers a free cricket ball with every packet of processed maize seeds.
Mid Day, Mumbai July 6
The Indian government has reversed a ruling that barred Sachin Tendulkar from displaying the national flag on his helmet. The cabinet said it will amend the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, and will allow the flag to be used on sporting uniforms - but not below the belt or on underwear.
Wirral Globe July 13
Tim Melville, 18, died after being hit on the chest by a short-pitched ball while batting for Wallasey Under-21 against Hyde. His father, Graham, said no one should be put off cricket by what had happened. "It is a fantastic game," he said. The family were planning to raise money for Wallasey CC at Tim's funeral.
Times Of India July 20
India's top golfer Arjun Atwal complained of his country's indifference despite unprecedented success on the USPGA tour: "I have gone to every possible sponsor. But they say `You don't play cricket.'"
BBC News July 24
At a lavish ceremony in Dubai, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad's son, Junaid, married Mahrukh Ibrahim, whose father Dawood is India's most wanted man. He is suspected of masterminding bombings in Bombay that killed 300 people in 1993. Intelligence officers monitored guests in case the bride's father or any of his known associates turned up.
Scotland on Sunday July 24
A nine-year-old girl, Clemmie Mitchell, took a hat-trick in a boy's Under- 12 match for Glasgow Accies against Kilmarnock.
Asian Tribune, Bangkok July 25
Police intervened to stop the annual cricket festival organised by the British Tamil Association, which is alleged to have links with Sri Lankan terrorists.
Daily Telegraph July 28
Shahzad Malik of Langleybury CC in Hertfordshire scored 403 off 137 balls, including 38 sixes, against Middlesex Tamils. "They had a lot of spinners," said Langleybury captain Nigel Ilott, "and Shahzad loves that."
The Times August 6
Alex Hales, 17, scored 52 in an over during a Twenty20 competition on the Lord's Nursery organised by the London County Cricket Club. Hales hit eight sixes, three of them off no-balls, and a four.
Daily Mirror August 17
Liam Botham, son of Ian and a former Hampshire cricketer, has been forced to retire from rugby league due to a persistent neck injury. He had just joined Wigan Warriors from Leeds.
The Guardian August 20
Listeners to Radio 5 Live have voted the helpless laughter of Brian Johnston and Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special the greatest sporting commentary of all time. Both cracked up after Agnew described the freak hit-wicketdismissal of Ian Botham at The Oval in 1991 with the words "He just couldn't quite get his leg over." This received 78% of the vote, easily beating Ian Robertson on the 2003 rugby World Cup final and Kenneth Wolstenholme's TV description of the climax of the 1966 football World Cup.
Huddersfield Daily Examiner August 23
The Huddersfield League game between Barkisland and Lascelles Hall was halted for an hour after the Barkisland club's 83-year-old landlord, John Maude, parked on the field and got out his flask and sandwiches for a picnic. Mr Maude, a former captain who first played for Barkisland in 1937, was locked in a dispute with the club about a new lease, and had resigned as president earlier in the year. He died a month after the incident; "I don't think the stress did him a great deal of good," said his son David.
Mid Day, Mumbai August 27
The paper's reviewer, Sarita Tanwar, described Bollywood's latest cricket film as "brilliantly crafted" and "the best film of the year so far". Iqbal is about a deaf and dumb boy who dreams of success in cricket against the opposition of his poor father.
The Times September 2
Minor Counties umpire Steve Kuhlmann, in Torquay to take charge of the game between Devon and Berkshire, was kicked out of his hotel after asking for fresh fruit instead of a cooked breakfast.
Mid Day, Mumbai September 5
Police said that a Mumbai bar dancer, Tarannum Khan - known as "Tannu" - had lost 15 million rupees (£190,000) in a bet on India to beat Sri Lanka in the final of the Videocon Cup. They added that several Sri Lankan cricketers were regular customers at the Deepa Bar, and that one had assured her the game was fixed in India's favour.
The Times September 7
On the eve of the crucial Oval Test, former prime minister Sir John Major revealed a poem he had written when trapped on the front bench during a previous Test:
Oh Lord, if I must die today Please make it after close of play. For this I know, if nothing more, I will not go, without the score.
"Hardly Wordsworth, I know," he said. "But it is a sentiment that many will share over the next five days."
The Courier-Mail, Brisbane September 13
The Bradman Foundation has agreed to a new Indian biscuit - the Bradman Chocolate Chip Cookie - being named after The Don. The decision was bitterly criticised by the Bradman family, who have been at odds with the foundation since his death in 2001. "Sir Donald is a loved and missed family member," it said in a statement, "not a brand name like Mickey Mouse." The foundation said it had reached an agreement with Sir Donald more than a decade ago to use his name commercially.
Daily Record September 16
Cricketers playing for Crathie, on the royal estate at Balmoral Castle, discovered they had been playing all season on a pitch seven feet too long. A confusion between yards and metres was blamed. By that time, however, the team had been relegated, their bowlers having struggled to find a length all summer.
Carib Weekly September 23
Trinidad & Tobago Under-19 cricketer Justin Raymond-Guillen was released by kidnappers after two weeks when his wealthy family paid a ransom. He was unharmed, but bruised by the tape used to bind him. The family said the payment was nowhere near the $2m cited in the media. Fellow-players, including his friends Dwayne Bravo and Daren Ganga, had appealed to Justin's abductors for his safe return. "He is a promising young individual and human being, not just a good cricketer," said Ganga.
The Observer September 25
A chance remark about the Ashes gave David Hicks - known as "the Australian Taliban" - the chance of release from Guantanamo Bay prison. Hicks's lawyer asked him how he felt about the cricket; he replied he was not bothered if England won because his mother was British, and she had never claimed Australian nationality. The lawyer said this meant he was legally British too. "The implications were stunning," said the lawyer, Major Michael Mori. Britain insisted on its detainees being released from Guantanamo while Australia did not. Hicks had been held there since being captured in Afghanistan in 2001: on the battlefield, according to the US; waiting for a taxi, according to Hicks.
Evening Post, Leeds September 28
An angry motorist ran off with the stumps after his £40,000 BMW was dented by a six. Dave Perkins parked his car by the boundary while attending a party in the pavilion to celebrate the christening of his grand-daughter. He claims no one told him the match between Old Modernians and Cookridge was about to start. After the incident, Perkins marched on to the field, demanding to know who was responsible. When no one answered, he grabbed the stumps and threw them over a wall. Perkins, managing director of a building firm, said he was suing the club. "What gives them the right to smash cricket balls and damage people's cars?" he said. "Most people think it's disgusting."
The Guardian October 13
A new book listing the 50 greatest Yorkshiremen and women included Sir Len Hutton and Fred Trueman but not Geoff Boycott. "It's the most dangerous book I'll ever write," said the author, Sir Bernard Ingham, formerly Margaret Thatcher's press secretary.
Daily Telegraph October 19
Steve Harmison matched his maximum bowling speed by driving at 97mph on the A1(M) in Yorkshire. He was fined £100 by Harrogate magistrates.
Enniscorthy Echo October 19
A local author, James Caulfield of Barntown, claims cricket originated in Ireland. Caulfield believes it derives from an ancient Irish game called cattie, in which players had their own "cat-stick" or sheelelagh to hit the ball.
Daily Telegraph October 24
Swan Green CC have been denied promotion by the Hampshire League because their pitch is too dangerous. The League complained that the ground fell 20 feet, that there were five trees inside the boundary and that the outfield was bumpy. "This is a case of health and safety gone mad," said captain Tim Lines.
Press Trust of India October 30
Four months after the London rush-hour bombs, which killed 56 people, Mohammad Tanweer remained baffled about the involvement of his son, Shehzad, the Yorkshire-born suicide bomber who blew up himself and seven others in the Aldgate attack: "He had planned his career in sport," said the father. "Even on the night before he died, he was playing cricket."
Oldham Advertiser November 16
Five female members of Oldham Cricket Club defied a 113-year-old ban and turned up at the annual Central Lancashire League dinner. "We got a few strange looks," said Oldham committee member Kath Inkpen, "but it was a very good night." League chairman Howard Dronsfield insisted there was no rule barring women, merely a tradition: "The language was quite strong, but the ladies all enjoyed themselves."
Herald on Sunday, Auckland November 17
Former England batsman Aftab Habib walked off the field during a New Zealand club match to protest against the level of abuse. Habib, given not out playing for New Plymouth United against Hawera, said he endured three minutes of sustained swearing, and the umpires did nothing. Accused of bringing the game into disrepute, Habib said he was entitled to retire for any reason [Law 2].
The Times November 24
Two days after starting an art class in Brighton, Phil Tufnell sold his first painting. Disc jockey Fatboy Slim paid £1,100 for Spinning, "a red, whirling window into Tufnell's soul", as a present for his TV presenter wife, Zoe Ball.
Lancashire Evening Telegraph November 24
Lancaster Bombers of the Northern League have beaten off several rivals to sign Chris Flintoff, Andy's brother. Flintoff scored more than 800 runs for Penwortham in the Palace Shield in 2005.
The Guardian November 26
Historian Paul Addison was asked what aspect of modern Britain would have most upset Clement Attlee, the country's first post-war prime minister. Rupert Murdoch winning the TV rights to Test cricket, Addison replied.
Reuters December 2
At least one man was killed, nearly 400 injured and a dozen houses burned down in a series of clashes following a controversial umpiring decision in rural Bangladesh. Police fired gunshots and tear gas to disperse the rioters near Brahmanbaria, 60 miles from Dhaka.
Hindustan Times December 2
Two rival Himachal Pradesh teams turned up in Dharmasala for their Ranji Trophy match against Tripura, as a result of a dispute between warring administrators. Tripura were awarded a walkover.
Times of India December 4
A man questioned by police in an investigation into fake tickets has been found dead. Venkatesh Kotian, 61, was lying on a railway track near Vasai station, Mumbai, with a severe gash on his head. Kotian was head of the Fort and Colaba Ushers Association, which had been hired to man the gates at the Wankhede Stadium for last Monday's one-day international against South Africa. Police say as many as 10,000 bogus tickets may have been circulated, resulting in genuine ticket-holders being forced out; they believe that ushers were involved in the racket.
Indiantelevision.com December 5
An estimated 45,000 spectators in Mumbai saw Super Smashers (captained by 12-year-old Devin Bhatia) defeat Mark's Maniacs (captained by Mark Waugh) in Cartoon Network's Toon Cricket 2005. Super Smashers included Scooby Doo, Johnny Bravo, Dee Dee, Jerry, Fred and Bob the Builder. Mark's Maniacs had Mojo Jojo, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Tom, Dexter and Noddy. [Dexter is a boy genius inventor, not a former England captain.]
Times of India December 6
Nandu Patil, 29, scored 403 not out for PD Hinduja Hospital against Central Excise in the Times of India Shield. Patil had intended to bat on and beat the 72-year-old tournament record of 515, but the opposition quit at the tea interval.
Evening Herald, Plymouth December 17
Plymouth CC are to stage their second Christmas fancy-dress Twenty20 competition between teams of Elves, Fairies and the reigning champions, Santas.
The Guardian December 19
England captain Mike Gatting behaved "disgracefully" on the 1987-88 England tour of Pakistan, according to the then British Ambassador to Pakistan, Sir Nicholas Barrington. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act include despatches sent to London at the time by Sir Nicholas, who blamed Gatting for the famous finger-wagging row with umpire Shakoor Rana. "I am afraid there is some truth in Pakistani reports that the England team made a fuss because they were losing... they should just grin and bear it."
The Age, Melbourne December 31
Eton College fast-medium bowler Theo Bossom [mistakenly called Bassoon in some reports] took six wickets in an over on the school's Australian tour. Playing against a Bathurst Under-16 select XI, Bossom tore through the middle order, and Bathurst crashed from 38 for one to 38 for seven, and then 68 all out. Bossom finished with seven for four. However, a local historian said the feat was not unprecedented even in Bathurst: J. D. Dowd took seven wickets in seven balls during a school match there in 1900.