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What to look forward to in 2013

A handy month-by-month breakdown of what we can expect from the world of cricket this year

Alan Tyers
There was plenty of short bowling to the New Zealanders, 1st Test, South Africa v New Zealand, Cape Town, 3rd day, January 4, 2013

New Zealand: soon to embark on a side line as contortionists  •  Gallo Images

January: After he is among the wickets and runs against Sri Lanka, there is a growing clamour for Mitchell Johnson to be selected for the Ashes. From English people.
February: Woes for New Zealand as they are bowled out for 7. "We probably underestimated our opponents," admits the captain, Brendon McCullum. "Some of those six-year-old girls were seriously useful competitors, and at the end of the day we have to accept that beach cricket can be an unforgiving format."
March: There's another statistical milestone for Sachin Tendulkar when he becomes the first right-handed batsman to be the subject of one trillion arguments on the internet.
April: Great excitement about the IPL, with English journalists working round the clock to write unkind articles about the standard of fielding, cheerleading and fireworks.
May: Increasingly worried about fatigue on their coaching staff, England begin a rotation policy that sees Ashley Giles and Andy Flower adopt a one-over-on, one-over-off policy during important matches, giving whichever coach is not on the balcony a welcome chance to text his young family.
June: In a bid to make him better accepted by the Indian public, the BCCI arranges for Duncan Fletcher to host a TV chat show. Saturday Night with Duncan! is a disaster, with the taciturn Zimbabwean refusing to speak to any of the guests, and former Indian cricketers constantly wandering into the studio to tell Fletcher how to present the programme.
July: Glenn McGrath predicts a pair of 5-0 Ashes victories for the baggy green, but there is controversy when a Mayan apocalypse sect rubbishes his forecast as "wildly unlikely - some straight-up crazy talk".
August: Australia unearth another 27 exciting young fast bowlers. They are thus able to buy bandages and crutches for them at a bulk discount when they suffer a mass outbreak of hamstring and back strains.
September: The County Championship comes to an exciting conclusion amid incredible tension at Hove when a retired teacher called Keith spills a thermos flask of tomato soup on Umpire Richard Kettleborough.
October: Drama in the southern hemisphere as New Zealand sack their entire playing staff and appoint a new skipper. NZC supremo David White insists: "Murray from Flight Of The Conchords is the man to lead us forward."
November: Promising Pakistan youngster Shahid Afridi hits a six in the first over of an ODI. "Perhaps this will be the time when he finally makes a really big score," says everyone. It isn't.
December: Cricket fans are agog with excitement at the first Ashes series for literally a few weeks. There is universal self-congratulation for the marketing campaign of the year: "Cricket 2013 - because you can never have too much of a good thing", and for the sport's administrators it's trebles all round.

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