2010: A Cricketing Year

3 01 2011

A few days late perhaps, being as we are in the early days of 2011, but we thought we would do a short review of the year and our favourite sporting moments, it’s heroes and its villains. We will split this into a couple of posts over the next couple of days; one for cricket and one for rugby with a few extras thrown in.

The Highlights

England Win 20/20 World Cup

As we wrote here and here at the time, this was an astonishing tournament for England. Astonishing in that England won a competition in a format which, until only shortly before, they had demonstrated a worrying inconsistency; but also personally so (something that took us by surprise) as, given a tournament that is not a overhyped domestic commercial affair, we heartily enjoyed the shortest form of the game.

Eoin Morgan’s Century at the Rosebowl

Interestingly, given the Compulsive Hooker’s well advertised love for test cricket, the first two highlights that sprang to mind were limited overs affairs. Morgan’s hundred was a wonderful innings and reinforced the growing belief that not only is Morgan probably the finest English limited overs player for quite some time, he is also one of the premier players in the world. In test cricket Morgan’s time will come again, probably sooner rather than later with Collingwood’s current travails, and when it does we look forward to seeing how he gets on with some interest.

India’s Series Against South Africa

With India and South Africa both seemingly being afflicted with the same disease as England, namely winning well only to lose well in the following test or vice versa, and with both a home and away series being played for each side, this has been a fascinating battle. Both sides are so well matched, particularly if Zaheer Khan is playing, that wherever the games are being played it is difficult to know who has the edge. With the Indian leg of the battle cut short in a brutal bit of planning by the BCCI and SACB that left us gasping for more, we are pleased to see a three test series currently being played.

2nd Ashes Test, Adelaide

Despite the fact that the MCG may have been a greater margin of victory and that it may have been the win that retained the Ashes, it is the Adelaide test that was the highlight for us in this Ashes campaign. England dominated Australia in the second half of the Gabba test and didn’t let off here. A brilliant display of such all round cricketing perfection that we had to keep pinching ourselves to remind us that it was England in Australia we were watching.

The Low Lights

The Pakistani Spot fixing Scandal

With no resolution yet to this saga and an apparent willingness by certain people around the world, not just in Pakistan, to try and sweep this under the carpet, this has been a nightmare scenario for world cricket. With the possibility that we, the cricketing public, might lose the talents of Mohammed Aamir, not to mention any others that may emerge should the skeletons in the closet be aired fully, it really is a sad state of affairs. Pakistan have all the talents in the world but sadly are led and managed by a succession of inept and sometimes downright dangerous (to the game that is) people. Let us hope 2011 sees some appropriate punishments as well as an extra vigilant ICC.

Cricket Scheduling Worldwide

Whether it is the IPL, the Champions Trophy, the English domestic season or simply maddeningly short test series, the cricketing authorities around the world have a great deal to answer for. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again but that old cliché ‘less is more’ really is true. International cricket matches should be events that whet the appetite; domestic leagues should entertain whilst providing quality fixtures bearing the players themselves in mind and above all they should be fan friendly – something that at some point around the world all the boards fell down on.

Most Entertaining Player Award

Only one possible winner for this award – Graeme Swann. His video diaries are hilarious, his press conferences interesting and amusing and he plays the game with a rare joie de vivre. Well done sir.

Batsman of the Year

Sachin Tendulkar – who else?

Bowler of the Year

Dale Steyn. In a cricketing era where former players and experts generally have bemoaned the lack of quality bowling around the world, Dale Steyn deserves special mention as someone who has bucked the general trend. Fast bowling of the highest class is always exciting to watch and we look forward to him continuing his spree of destruction through 2011.

Villain of the Year

Ijaz Butt. A clown, a buffoon and an idiot are all adjectives that sum this man up. Pakistan cricket doesn’t need him.

Finally, here is a composite test eleven from the 2010.

  1. Graeme Smith
  2. Virender Sehwag
  3. Jonathan Trott
  4. Sachin Tendulkar
  5. Hashim Amla
  6. V.V.S. Laxman
  7. M.S. Dhoni
  8. Dale Steyn
  9. Graeme Swann
  10. Zaheer Khan
  11. Jimmy Anderson

Thoughts on this and any other highlights or low lights you may have?

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4 responses

3 01 2011
Jonathan

You picked Steyn ahead of Swann???

Both brilliant, of course, I have seen Swann bowl more than Steyn this year, so there is some bias! I had hoped to watch Steyn in the Pak series but didnt get the chance.

Personal highlight – that catch by Collingwood of Ponting at the MCG. Summed Ponting’s winter up really, just no luck to be had!

Lowlight – yes the Pak controversy, but since then, more the response from the ICC. Woeful at best, and just shows how far there is to go in this area of the game.

Other than that, as an England fan, 2010 has left me with a warm glow. The boys have been immense, played wonderful cricket with a tremendous spirit. Trophies to boot, it has been a great year, lets hope it continues!

3 01 2011
Bradders

It was in the balance for a few minutes but in the end plumped for Steyn due to Swann’s wickets against Bangladesh. Not his fault of course as he can only play whoever is put in front of him, but Steyn for me was just immense.

4 01 2011
Russ

You picked Smith over Tamim Iqbal? Was it the inferior average and strike-rate or the inferior opposition that tipped the balance?

The first India-Australia test was a highlight too. It isn’t often you get a test that close.

4 01 2011
Bradders

Iqbal has had a brilliant year and i must admit that it was as much oversight as anything else! When I was writing it I had in mind how generally unexcited I had been by the Bangladeshi series and possibly that caused me to forget Iqbal’s contributions.

Very much enjoyed that first test as well.

Cheers

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