Phil Hughes; talented and now gone at 25

Phil Hughes (photo: Cricket Australia)

Phil Hughes (photo: Cricket Australia)

The cricket world is hurting this week.  I’m hurting. The news rocked us all.

The age of 25 is far too young; what hurts even more is the death was on a sporting field, with the sportsman doing something he loved. Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: time to test the mettle

Dale Steyn has to be a threat come November (picture: Google)

Dale Steyn has to be a threat come November (picture: Google)

Raise your hand if you’re excited for the summer of cricket to hit the shores of Australia.

If you did, then the first visitors won’t disappoint; the ever talented South Africa.

Three Twenty20s and five One-Day matches means no long form test matches, but Dale Steyn will come prepared.  So will Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers. Continue reading

Cricket: Twenty20 bowling “101”-is it really that hard?

Dale Steyn v Mitchell Starc (photos: Getty Images)

Dale Steyn v Mitchell Starc (photos: Getty Images)

Recent performances in world Twenty20 cricket – especially with the ball – has got me thinking; is there anyone in a national side that still knows how to bowl a good yorker or land it on an uncertain length for a batsman consistently?

Mitchell Starc can hardly be forgiven for his penultimate over debacle against the West Indies in the World Twenty20Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: Tables turned, Proteas humiliate green and gold tourists

South Africa celebrates a crushing victory (Photo: ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

South Africa celebrates a crushing victory (Photo: ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

One could be forgiven for doing a double take at reading the scoreboard.  After such a resounding victory in Centurion, the Australian batsmen meekly surrendered to the tune of a huge 231 runs at St. George’s Park on day four of the second test. Continue reading

Cricket: 2012 World XIII (Tests, T20’s, OD’s)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

Well, it is that time of year again.  The time where obsessed cricket fanatics (such as myself) sit down, ponder for hours, and then finally write some sort of scribble about the top players for the year.

This is a first for me, and I’ve decided to pick 13 players worldwide who will make up my inaugural World XIII.  They are in no particular order.

When some of you read this, you might ask ‘where’s Brendon McCullum, or perhaps Hashim Amla?’  Yes, I did consider them, but in my mind didn’t make the cut for 2012.  Their years were both excellent and helped lead their teams to some great victories, but in my mind they were beaten by others for consistency and other similar factors.  Add to the fact that picking just thirteen players is extremely difficult.

Amla was ahead of McCullum in breaking into the squad however. Continue reading

Cricket: Twenty20 BBL: Heat v Hurricanes Match Preview

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Brisbane Heat 2011/2012

The Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat will kick off the Big Bash League‘s first double header of the season tonight at the Gabba.

With Daniel Vettori injured and having to pull out of the Heat campaign, and Cricket South Africa not willing to release paceman Dale Steyn for his one-off game, the Brisbane Heat will be needing to make a couple of changes to its squad.

They face strong opposition in BBL|01 semi finalists the Hobart Hurricanes.  The purple army has strengthened its side in BBL|02, retaining the big-hitting Travis Birt, wily spinner Xavier Doherty, and have secured Ricky Ponting for the entire competition after his retirement from the Australian squad. Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: Third Test Preview

Peter Siddle in Adelaide (photo from cricket.com.au)

Attention turns to the WACA on Friday as the third and final test between Australia and South Africa gets underway.

It has been a test of endurance and fitness this series, as bowlers and batters alike have toiled in the middle for hours on end.

For the Australians, the side injury to James Pattinson is a bitter blow for both the paceman and the Australian team.  After being injured last summer, Pattinson will once again sit on the sidelines for the majority of Australia’s summer campaign.

Here’s a look at the areas for both teams in which could prove vital in Perth:

Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: Second Test Preview

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke at Adelaide (ESPN Cricinfo)

(At the time of writing, the squad is unconfirmed)

Adelaide Oval will see a very fierce battle begin on Thursday, as the Aussies take on South Africa in the second test.

With the first match at the Gabba ending in a draw, Michael Clarke will be looking to put the South Africans back in their box.  Having had the entirety of Day 2 of the first test washed out, making the chance of an outright result small, both teams will be looking to stamp their mark on the series. Continue reading

Cricket: Under The Microscope: Hobart Hurricanes

Hobart Hurricanes (sourced from Google Images)

Hobart’s cricketing “purple power” is back for BBL|02 and primed to make another run for the finals.  The Hurricanes welcome back a strong team from BBL|01, including a couple of new signings, and some players who have made the move from other teams.

The Hurricanes first game is against the Brisbane Heat on December 9.  Let’s take a look at some key players and stats for the upcoming season:

Ricky Ponting: “Punter” was limited to just one game in the inaugural Big Bash League season due to international commitments.  The veteran 37 year old will be back once again to add strength and experience to a strong batting line-up.  Never backs down from a pull or hook shot, and is a sublime timer of the ball.  Reinvigorated form after last summer but must keep going to ensure national spot. Continue reading

Cricket: Under The Microscope: Brisbane Heat

Brisbane Heat (sourced from Google Images)

Teal coloured clothing will swamp the Gabba starting December, as the Brisbane Heat begin their KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League campaign for 2012/2013.

With Matthew Hayden retired, and the team missing out on BBL|01 finals by a very small margin, the Heat will be seeking redemption as the revamped tournament begins on December 7.

Here’s a look at players who could give us a whole lot of entertainment:

Continue reading