General Cricket Musings

22 02 2010

Shock Horror – Exciting ODI Cricket….

Due to the huge disappointment that there are no more test matches to come between India and South Africa, the Compulsive Hooker team have taken a stand against the ODI series that got under way yesterday. Our resolve to take no notice of it was severely tested though due to the excitement coursing through our Indian colleagues as the game developed. Finally giving in, we turned it on for the last ball (wishing we’d actually watched the whole thing) to find South Africa only 3 runs away from an unlikely win. Parnell was then run out to give India victory by 1 run. Bearing in mind the Proteas had been 225-8 with Steyn and Parnell at the crease it was highly unlikely they would even get close so well played to these two.

ODI cricket appears to be the least loved form of the game currently in world cricket, with many players, including Shane Warne for example, stating that it is the form that is most likely to be affected by the 20/20 revolution. Unquestionably it can be incredibly dull in probably 3 matches out of 5 (the current Australia Windies and Australia Pakistan series demonstrated this perfectly) but when it gets it right it is brilliant.

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Tinkering with County Cricket

Proposals have been put forward again to split the existing County Cricket set up in England into regional divisions, meaning a reduction in games and with semi finals and finals at the end. This is due to the fact that the schedule is deemed to be over crowded and with added pressures emerging from competitions such as the 20/20 Champions League, something has to give.

That something is proposed to be the four day Championship competition, which the advocates for this scheme are suggesting be cut down to 12 games. Understandably the counties are reluctant to cut the Pro 40 and 20/20 competitions due to the fact that these are the main money spinners, and with Counties eternally struggling to make ends meet, there is no chance of these being conceded.

Unfortunately what this represents is money again dictating what sort of cricket is played. First Class cricket is the essence of the game and with its primacy being chipped away it has long term dire implications for test cricket. Being cricket traditionalists by way of thinking here at the CH, we cannot really support these proposed changes.

It would be interesting to see what people think of the County Championship in the comments section below. Do you follow it online/live/in the media? Do you think these changes might be a good thing/bad thing? Let us know!

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A Warning for England

A result that slipped under the radar in the excitement of going to see a live cricket match and the culmination of the India South Africa series, was New Zealand’s defeat of Bangladesh in their one off test match a couple of days ago. As expected New Zealand won relatively comfortably in the end with the visiting side collapsing as per usual in their second innings when seemingly in a position where they could draw the game.

England, who are due in Bangladesh imminently for their test, ODI and 20/20 games, should not take them lightly as other wise they could easily end up in providing Bangladesh with their first notable scalp in world cricket. It’s not as if it has happened before is it – England collapse against no-hopers? Never.

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Following on from the success in New Zealand of one or two of Bangladesh’s youngsters we have put a list of players we tip for possibly great things over the next 10 years.

1. Shakib Al-Hasan (Bangladesh)

2. Martin Guptill (New Zealand)

3. Kieron Pollard (West Indies)

4. Adrian Barath (West Indies)

5. Mohammed Aamer (Pakistan)

You may be surprised to read that we have included Pollard in this category, but having watched some of his recent performances where he has held what little Windies batting there is together, we have been impressed. Providing his head is right we believe he can make it in test cricket as well. The others are not radical picks but have all shown glimmers over the past 6 months.

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