Cricket: England are being overcooked and then burnt

Alastair Cook's facial expression says it all (photo: The Mirror)

Alastair Cook‘s facial expression says it all (photo: The Mirror)

After a 95 run drubbing at the hands of India, and having not won any of their last 10 Tests, England are searching for answers that should have come six months ago.

Unfortunately, the management of the situation at the time, the Kevin Pietersen drama included, did not allow for the fresh overhaul that the England Cricket Board and on-field team needed. Continue reading

Cricket: IPL over, but entertainment galore

2014 champions Kolkata (photo: BCCI)

2014 champions Kolkata (photo: BCCI)

Let’s start off with a figure, and that figure is 714.  That’s the number of sixes hit across edition seven of the Indian Premier League, and 60 matches.

This tournament provided one of the greatest spectacles in the history of Twenty20 cricket.  From game one between the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, the stage was set. Continue reading

Cricket: Money runs deep down the wicket

(Image: 9Cric)

(Image: 9Cric)

There is no doubt that “money talks” in the international sporting world.  Unfortunately, to the detriment of the game, it extends beyond this realm, even digging into domestic and local matches and events.

Recent events have dug up some shocking accusations and finger-pointing; and former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent is at the centre of it. Continue reading

Cricket: Scheduling squeezes all too apparent among the chaos

IPL 2014 is taking over the cricket fixture for two months (picture: Informal Sports)

IPL 2014 is taking over the cricket fixture for two months (picture: Informal Sports)

Trying to work international cricket around domestic – and vice versa – does not really work.  Why?

For starters, too many matches are crammed within timeframes which leaves players fatigued – and next, they’re jumping to another country for the next tour.  International teams rarely come home. Continue reading

Cricket: The Ashes: An ugly head appears again-it’s the DRS

The picture is self explanatory (source: World Cricket Watch)

The picture is self explanatory (source: World Cricket Watch)

I’m talking about the controversial, and at times flawed, Decision Review System (DRS).  Since its inception at the top level, the amount of criticism the system has copped has seen India not use it during series, and all manner of other types of howlers have made it look like cricket’s worst nightmare. Continue reading

Umpiring is a tricky job; but there’s definitely an upside

Australian umpire Simon Taufel in action (India Today)

Australian umpire Simon Taufel in action (India Today)

I don’t envy the job sport referees, umpires and judges have.  They must make split second decisions under pressure, and they make them numerous times in a game.

Being able to make these decisions is a burden unto itself.  Faced with two teams on the field, the umpire must be the principle instigator of ensuring said teams play the game in a fair and sportsmenlike manner.  At times you are faced with player arguments, heated battles and a lot of noise directed towards you.

As a (rookie) cricket umpire myself, for the Box Hill Reporter District Cricket Association*, I have experienced all of these situations under a range of “game circumstances”. Continue reading

Cricket: Australian Champions Trophy 2013 Squad Preview

ICC CT13 Logo (from

ICC CT13 Logo (from

It’s almost “the battle before the Ashes“.  Australia will be in England from June 3-23 for the very last installment of the ICC Champions Trophy.  If you wanted Ashes preparation, this is it.

While a few players in the Champions Trophy squad will not be participating in the coveted test series, a fair majority of the team will have several matches to adjust to both the playing and weather conditions in England.  Perhaps not outright favourites for the Ashes, Australia still boasts a very good one day record at the tournament, and will be looking to secure another piece of silverware.

The following is a look at each player in the squad and how they can help Australia to victory: Continue reading

Cricket: 10 great Australian cricket moments of the 21st century

QLD Bull Ryan Harris, Feb 2013 (photo mine)

QLD Bull Ryan Harris, Feb 2013 (photo mine)

Cricket is in the blood of all Australians.  It’s our summer sport; we play it in the backyard, at a BBQ, on the street, on a field, anywhere we can find space.

For that matter, we become so engrossed in it, we can’t turn away.

Welcome to a list of 10 moments I have compiled (with the help of some Twitter discussion) of Australian cricket moments of the 21st century.  They are not listed in any particular order. Continue reading

Cricket: India v Australia: Test Series Analysis and Review

Michael Clarke & MS Dhoni pose w/ the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (from

Michael Clarke & MS Dhoni pose w/ the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Australia was thrown a curveball from the moment they stepped on to the sub-continent in February.  In the end that curveball proved to be the side’s ultimate downfall.

Batting and bowling failures alike culminated in a shocking (and at times horrifying) 4-0 series loss to India.

There are plenty of words to describe each test, each player, and each moment, but none more so than disappointing.  Even travelling with a team that had largely not played in Indians conditions before, Australia was rolled, crushed and decimated over the past month in a way no-one expected.
Continue reading

Cricket: The Mohali Mess

CA Banner

Cricket Australia Banner

After omitting four players for the third test against India, including vice-captain Shane Watson, Australia’s shortcomings were laid bare in Mohali. Despite scoring 408 in the first innings and losing significant time to rain delays, India still claimed a six-wicket victory to take an unassailable 3 – 0 lead in the four test series.

James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and Watson all felt the knife prior to the match, dropped from selection consideration after failing to submit a presentation to Mickey Arthur regarding what qualities they brought to the team. Australia felt the impact hard.

On paper, the squad was mediocre. Steve Smith and Xavier Doherty aren’t good enough to spin on the international stage. Their impact was minimal, and both were certainly outshone by India’s superior spin attack.

Read the full article HERE on Upstart