Several eyebrows were raised after Dhoni was omitted from the nominees list © AFP

Much ado about Dhoni The Indian media got their knickers in a twist over Dhoni's absence from the shortlist for the 2006 ICC awards. Not without reason, it might be said. OK, perhaps he didn't qualify for the Master-of-the-Universe category but he surely deserved a place among 17 - yes 17, not just three or four - nominees for the one-day Player-of-the-Year award? Wasn't he largely responsible for India becoming awesome chasers last season? Didn't he average lesser than only Michael Hussey and Yuvraj Singh in the period under consideration? Don't his towering sixes with knotted limbs and brown locks (or are they black now) count for anything either? When asked to explain the appalling absence Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said "The selection panel has made the nominations. Why Dhoni was not included can be best answered by the panelists."

Go off in green and gold Anticipating an extremely barmy army at this summer's Ashes, Aussie fans have been urged by Cricket Australia to shout their support by wearing replicas (they have to buy them first of course) of the new one-day kit which has an overdose of green and precious little gold. Cricinfo's Australasian editor Peter English echoed the general reception to the new kit, which includes collarless shirts, when he described it as "to have been picked up from surplus stock of army-style casual gear during the squad's pre-season boot camp". Now five one-day teams sport green and three wear blue. Clearly we could do with some variety here.

Crackers and cricket Imagine Brett Lee steaming in to Kevin Pietersen with revenge for The Oval on his mind in a stadium hazy with smoke and 'bombs' going off every other minute. Fantasy? Not really because Australia and England play their Champions Trophy match on October 21 which is also Diwali the Indian festival of light. Though crackers are banned from the stadium, they're be plenty in the adjoining areas and the height of the festivities will coincide with the second innings of the day-night game. Surely the Ashes pale in comparison to a match that's being played on a day when India celebrates the victory of good over evil.



Buy a replica shirt and you can stand in one of three photos with the Australian team in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney © Getty Images

And you thought The Oval was chaotic The County League Division Four match between Westbury and Walls ended with the visitors heading for their cars and leaving for home after discord over an umpiring decision. The game started badly with Walls turning up late and Ian Martin, the Westbury captain, claimed the toss according to the rules. Walls soon slipped to 116 for 8 and the fun began when Right Reverend Geoffrey Creese adjudged the ninth batsman leg before in spite of a muted appeal. After a bit of dissent the bastman walked off and was replaced by the last man. However, soon more Walls players came on to the field and argued with their Westbury counterparts. After that, Walls packed up and left after kindly offering to pay for their teas. Needless to say, Westbury were awarded the match.

International records are child's play Greg Davies, 12, and Alistair Wood, 13, shared an opening stand of 302 for Bassett Under-15 against Malmesbury in the Wiltshire Junior County Final. The partnership is the highest for a limited overs game beating the 286 set by Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England at Headingley in July. "I've never hit more than 46 before." Alastair told The Sun. "But once I was past 50 I felt like I could go on and on." He made 144.

Quotehanger "As someone who has had his problems with being away from home playing for England, I feel for Marcus. I have been warning about the pressures, stresses and strains of being away from home playing cricket, in England as well as abroad, and have been criticised for speaking openly about homesickness. But people have got to understand we are not robots. We are normal human beings with families and lives back home" Steve Harmison offers sympathy and support to Marcus Trescothick and confirms that England players are indeed normal human beings.

George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo