World Cricket Weekly 19 May 2011

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Hello, and welcome to the first edition of ‘World Cricket Weekly’, a new column exclusive to World Cricket Watch. Each week I will endeavor to cover the unbelievable amount of cricket that occurs on a weekly basis, and whilst I’ll leave the hard statistics to our friends at cricinfo, I will attempt to give you a nice personal summary of the major tournaments and match-up’s from around the world. Furthermore, the column will also include some personal musings, the occasional interview and plenty of biting editorial insights on the modern game.

Pakistan in the West Indies

WI 226 & 152 defeated Pak 160 & 178

Something very very strange occurred in Guyana last week. No, it wasn’t a terrible hurricane, or another Latin American dictatorship, but actually a victory for the West Indian test cricket team. Yes, for the first time in over two years the once mighty Windies managed to perform at a good enough level over five days to ensure a victory in a test match.

West Indies Win

Led by their fairly lackluster captain, Darren ‘probably wouldn’t get a game if I wasn’t captain’ Sammy, the Windies managed to bowl out Pakistan for a sum total of 338 over two innings, to give themselves a 1-0 lead in the two match series. Although I’ve just given him a roast, I must report that Sammy did manage seven wickets for the match, and the newcomer Devandra Bishoo picked up four important wickets in the first innings. So, despite strong resistance from the suddenly-stoic Misbah-ul-Haq, the Windies can now push for a series win that will surely give them great confidence moving forward.

Two last things about this test match are worth noting. One, is that the Windies managed this victory without their enigmatic former leader Chris Gayle and Mr Mercenary Kieron Pollard. Secondly, other than a few school kids, presumably on a ‘research mission’ into a dying format, the crowds were depressingly low. Perhaps now they have a lead the crowds might turn up in their tens, but it’s probably unlikely.

Indian Premier League

Attempting to summarise all that happens in one week of the IPL is surely an impossibility. I mean, it would just be ludicrous, particularly given the tournament is not being shown in my country of residence. That said, it has been interesting to note that three ‘old-timers’ have dominated the IPL headlines in the last week.

The first, and perhaps least interesting, is that the Prince of Kolkota himself, Sourav Ganguly is due this evening to face his former side (and presumably his fiefdom, given he’s a Prince and all). Ganguly now runs around for new-boys Pune and he will presumably smash some glorious off-cuts against his team of birth. This odd match-up is worth mentioning, as it represents the inherent problem with this year’s version of the tournament.

Sourav Ganguly

One of the fantastic elements of the first couple of years was that the young players and international mercenaries were paired with local superstars, who had a strong connection to their area. So, Ganguly led Kolkota, Sachin led Mumbai and so on. As far as I can see this has been largely scrapped, and now it is very confusing as the merry-go-round of players means that it’s hard to give loyalty to a particular franchise. For more on this, have a listen to a recent edition of our podcast, One Hand One Bounce.

The other two retirees in the news have been Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne. Now, these fellas are in the news for two completely different reasons that are in no way any surprise at all. Warne, as you should now know, has been slapped with a $50,000 fine for tweeting-in-anger about the conduct of Rajasthan Cricket Association secretary Sanjay Dixit. Warne, it seems, has learned little of the etiquette of communicating through technology. His misdemeanors have included:

–       Getting in trouble with Mark Waugh for having phone conversations with bookies

–       Sending various SMS messages to likely English lasses

–       Establishing a ‘twitter storm’ surrounding his relationship with Liz ‘desperate for a headline’ Hurley

Warne has now apologised, but it is a sad end to his illustrious professional career nonetheless.

Finally this week, it is with great pleasure that I talk about old ‘gilly’. Man, it could just be 2004 couldn’t it?? 106 from 55 deliveries…boy oh boy. I challenge anyone to say a bad word about this bloke, and it’s fantastic to see that he can still perform on a big stage. Spare a thought though for Bangalore’s opening bowlers, Van der Wath and Langeveldt, who combined for eight overs, 2/98. That’s some pasting!

Feel free to comment on any topic raised in this week’s column, and I will attempt to address your questions/queries in the next edition.

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