0England v New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand: First Test — England Claim the Honours

After such a slow start to the game the first test fin­ished at break neck speed today – and what a per­form­ance by Stu­art Broad to raise the chequered flag.

Not only did he club 20 odd import­ant runs (not out) as England’s innings came to a quick and dis­ap­point­ing end but he fol­lowed that by a spell of supreme fast-medi­um bowl­ing which decim­ated the New Zea­l­and order.

When Broad is on-song like that he was today there is simply no stop­ping him and he can be vir­tu­ally unplay­able. The last time he delivered a per­form­ance like this was against the Old Enemy at the Oval in the 2009 Ashes clash. I recor­ded the high­lights of that day’s play and kept them for a few years just so I could watch it again and again. That day he got a 5‑for, claim­ing the scalps of Wat­son, Pont­ing, Hus­sey, Clarke and Had­din – so pretty much the Aus­trali­an top order.… Read Full Article

0England v New ZealandEngland v New Zealand: First Test, Day 3 — Match Nicely Poised

What a topsy turvy match is prov­ing to be! Three days gone and it’s still very unclear who is on top.

Until just before 6pm it was very much England’s day.  The bowl­ers stepped up to the plate and man­aged to eek out a slight lead. And then the young pre­tend­er Root hit a steady half cen­tury well sup­por­ted by the even stead­i­er Trott.… Read Full Article

0England v New ZealandEngland v New Zealand: First Test, Day 2 — Oh Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Anderson…

Or so the song goes.

A review of the second day’s play would always be incom­plete with a nod towards shin­ing star James Anderson.

By dis­miss­ing Kiwi open­er Peter Fulton (his second wick­et of the innings) Jimmy became only the fourth mem­ber of England’s pres­ti­gi­ous 300 club. Ian Botham, Bob Wil­lis and Fiery Fred True­man are the only oth­er cur­rent cus­todi­ans.… Read Full Article

0England v New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand: First Test, Day 1

It was sup­posed to be oh so simple wasn’t it?

The Kiwis over as the apéri­tif for the forth­com­ing Ashes clash later on in the year. So one day in to a sum­mer of anti­podean crick­et and with the home side win­ning the toss and elect­ing to bat, surely Eng­land have raced away at 3+ an over against a second rate attack?

Not exactly. Steady pro­gress dur­ing the 80 over of play. Hardly an A+ score but a reas­on­able C grade. Eng­land still have wick­ets in hand with the two York­shire boys (Tim Bresnan was left out from the final XI) at the crease.… Read Full Article

0IPLThe IPL — The ‘X Factor’ with a cricket ball

Up until a week or so ago I hadn’t had the ‘pleas­ure’ of watch­ing any of the Indi­an Premi­er League.

As the name of this site sug­gests, I ‘adore crick­et’ so thought to myself well why not. It involves a bat and a ball, bats­men and bowl­ers so can’t be that bad.

How wrong I was. I man­aged to brave half an hour before it gave me a head­ache. It is truly a dread­ful spec­tacle for any­one who cher­ishes our won­der­ful game.… Read Full Article

0International Cricket Council logoWhat’s wrong with the ICC test ranking system?

Any­one that fol­lows test crick­et will know that all the sides are ranked, for example, at the time of writ­ing South Africa are (rightly) ranked the best side in the world.  I’ve long felt that the sys­tem used to rank teams needs revis­ing, as it often seems to pro­duce rank­ings that are clearly at odds with how well teams have been play­ing.  Let me use the cur­rent rank­ings as an example.

Read Full Article

0New Zealand v England CricketNew Zealand 0–0 England: Good for Test Cricket

It’s not often you’ll hear me cheer a series where all of the test matches fin­ished in draws, and it’s even less often that I cel­eb­rate Eng­land fail­ing to win a series.  How­ever that is exactly how I feel about the recent drawn series in New Zea­l­and.  Now before the barmy army hang draw and quarter me, give me a chance to explain myself!

Read Full Article

0Bangladesh v Sri Lanka CricketCricket: A Testing Future?

The oth­er day I had the brief pleas­ure of watch­ing Bangladesh versus Sri Lanka on the goggle box. It only las­ted about an hour as oth­er fam­ily mem­bers suc­ceeded in pris­ing the remote away from me as soon as my back was turned.

But it was test crick­et at its best. There wasn’t a flurry of wick­ets and only a few runs were scored but from the per­spect­ive of the game it couldn’t have been more vital.

The awe­some and ever green middle order bats­man Kumar Sangakkara had craf­ted yet anoth­er fine cen­tury as he looked to mar­shal the tail to get a mean­ing­ful first innings lead over the hosts. Sri Lanka had a lead of around 40 runs with only four wick­ets in hand. Grip­ping test match crick­et as the game ebbed and flowed.

The sad thing was the crowd – or lack of. I wasn’t there I could only see what the TV beamed back. But from what I could see it was like watch­ing a second XI match in terms of bums on seats. It was the pro­ver­bi­al ‘one man and his dog’ stuff.… Read Full Article

0Earth Cricket BallToo many Overseas Players?

As I write this I am try­ing to find the right prose that doesn’t make me come across as some silly and nar­row minded ‘little Englander’ who sees all ‘them for­eign­ers’ as some­thing to be feared and hated.

World class over­seas play­ers such as Curtley and Court­ney and the Mas­ter Blaster Viv Richards have helped to light up the county cir­cuit in pre­vi­ous sea­sons and brought joy to mil­lions. All fans want to see the best qual­ity play­ers on show – myself included.

But I do want to have a little grumble about the extent of the abuse of the spir­it of the term ‘over­seas’ play­er.… Read Full Article

1Yorkshire County Cricket ClubYorkshire CC Venues — Or Lack Of!

When I were ‘nowt but a lad’ as they say round me I used to sneak out of the house to watch my beloved York­shire at nearby Abbey­dale whenev­er they came to town.

Know­ing the ground well I used to hide in a clear­ing in the hedge and would then base myself there for the rest of the morn­ing and afternoon.

Home tal­ents includ­ing Dav­id Byas, Richard Stemp, Richard Blakey and a young Michael Vaughan (who is a little older than me– I’m not that old!) would wow the crowds with their play.

Read Full Article