Cricket: An interview with Greg Shipperd

Victorian Bushrangers coach Greg Shipperd (source: Google Images)

Victorian Bushrangers coach Greg Shipperd (source: Google Images)

He has been the stalwart of the Victorian Bushrangers since the tragic death of then coach David Hookes in 2004.

For almost ten years, Greg Shipperd has overseen what is arguably one of the strongest lists ever seen in Australian domestic cricket.  The Victorian presence in the Australian side has substantially lifted in the last decade. Continue reading

Cricket: Players In Focus: James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile

Here’s two players who have been making their mark on the state scene

Nathan Coulter-Nile

Solid without being spectacular, Coulter-Nile has been a valuable asset to both his West Australian state team and the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) Perth Scorchers.

Nathan Coulter Nile (sourced from Google Images)

Nathan Coulter Nile (sourced from Google Images)

Having spent four seasons in the yellow and black of the Warriors outfit, Coulter-Nile uses his 191cm to generate awkward bounce.  No slouch with the bat either, Coulter-Nile hit an enormous six against the Brisbane Heat in the BBL to help secure victory in a rain-affected match. Continue reading

Cricket: Player In Focus: Matthew Wade

Matthew Wade v Melbourne Renegades, Dec 7, 2012 (photo mine)

Matthew Wade v Melbourne Renegades, Dec 7, 2012 (photo mine)

Matthew Wade has copped more proverbial bouncers at the throat recently than you could poke a stick at.  All through it he’s pressed on, despite being rested for the first part of the one-day series this summer against Sri Lanka.

Since moving to Victoria from the island state of Tasmania, Wade’s career has blossomed beautifully.  Culminating in test and ODI debuts last year for the national squad, Wade is continuing to build on the criticism he is receiving and his experience. Continue reading

Cricket: State v State back again after the Big Bash Final

Usman Khawaja, for the Sydney Thunder, 8 Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Usman Khawaja, for the Sydney Thunder, 8 Jan 2013 (photo mine)

The bright colours will be gone next week from the Australian state scene, with domestic one-day cricket and first-class competitions kicking off after the furious Big Bash League.

Even with the quality of cricket on show for the better part of six weeks, it will be a welcome switch for a lot of the traditional cricket fans out there.  State cricket is by no means dwindling, and seriously needs to be the platform from where the next generation of cricketers are selected.

Now, I have nothing against the Big Bash; it’s fun, allows a whole heap of players to get a taste of top level cricket, and can draw some big crowds and new faces. Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Home and Away Team Reviews

Brad Hodge v Melbourne Renegades, Jan 6, 2013 (photo mine)

Brad Hodge v Melbourne Renegades, Jan 6, 2013 (photo mine)

It was a competition full of surprises, monster sixes, and above all, some great cricket (even if there was a bit of controversy, but hey, that’s normal!)

In this review I’ll take a look at all eight teams during their ‘home & away’ campaign during their eight matches.  There was a whole lot of mayhem throughout.  On the upside, TV ratings for the Big Bash were fantastic.  The crowds were also very engaged, especially at the two Melbourne Derby clashes.

Fox Sports once again has provided us with excellent, if not biased, coverage of every game.  The insights that the likes of Damien Fleming and Brendon Julian offer is second to none.

Continue reading

Cricket: Renegade consistency top notch

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Aaron Finch v Adelaide Strikers, Jan 2 2013 (photo mine)

I am simply amazed at the consistency of the Melbourne Renegades.  From the out of whack team of last season’s Big Bash League, to the in form and red hot favourites this time around, the Renegades are doing it very smartly.

The list of players doesn’t include many big names; Captain Aaron Finch and Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidaran are the two standouts.

Without fuss, the Renegades have built up a list that is made up of players who are good cricketers that simply play well.  Ben Rohrer, Peter Nevill, and Darren Pattinson are just a few of those. Continue reading

Cricket: Shane Warne’s lashout will cost his BBL campaign

Shane Warne lashes out at Marlon Samuels. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Warne lashes out at Marlon Samuels. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Warne has had something of a nightmare week and a bit.  First a charge for speeding in his Jaguar over in the United Kingdom, and last night a massive verbal stoush at West Indian and Melbourne Renegade batsman Marlon Samuels in the Big Bash League.  He even let rip a few expletives that were caught by the mic he was wearing for Fox Sports.

We all love a little bit of banter and a bit of heat out on the cricket field, but the altercation last night, which in fact flared while the Melbourne Stars batted, went too far. Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Melbourne Stars v Hobart Hurricanes preview

Two very good sides will take to the MCG on Saturday night.  Only one will win, but it is going to be a tight contest.

The Melbourne Stars didn’t just crush the Perth Scorchers on Wednesday night; they sent them flying into next week, in a whirlwind of shock blonde hair and two overs of power hitting from Luke Wright.

Now they come up against an opponent very much their equal; the Hobart Hurricanes.  Tim Paine, Jonathan Wells, the big hitting Travis Birt and Owais Shah all demonstrated they all can bat.  Ben Laughlin, Michael Hogan and Evan Gulbis were also very good with the ball.

It is going to make for an interesting clash.  The Hurricanes won’t easily forget last years clash, when Wright went bananas and proceeded to smash 117 from just 60 balls.  Then again, Travis Birt dished it up to Clint McKay, sending three balls out of the park in Hobart.

Continue reading

Cricket: Round 1 Big Bash League action wrap-up

Aaron FInch bats against the Melbourne Stars (sourced from The Australian)

Aaron FInch bats against the Melbourne Stars (sourced from The Australian)

Some massive sixes and exciting chases brought round one of the 2012/13 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League to a close.

Stars v Renegades:

It started with the Melbourne Derby-Stars v Renegades at Etihad Stadium.  I was at the game, and the 23,584 fans there weren’t disappointed.  After a well-made 53 to English import Luke Wright, as well as 42 and 28 respectively to veterans David Hussey and Brad Hodge, the Stars set the Renegades a total of 168 to win.

After a poor BBL|01, the Renegades have assembled a workhorse team, with only the one real big name; Muttiah Muralitharan.  Nathan Rimmington and Darren Pattinson, despite some low-wicket figures, displayed great composure and bowled a consistent line and length.  The Stars batted without any real trouble, but the score didn’t seem to be enough. Continue reading

Cricket: Under The Microscope: Sydney Sixers

Sydney Sixers logo (sourced from Google Images)

Inaugural Big Bash League and Champions League Twenty20 winners, the Sydney Sixers are on top of the Twenty20 world right now.

Demonstrating a balance of excellent batting, bowling and fielding, the Sixershave displayed the mantra that is needed to succeed in the shortest form of the game.

The Sixers have signed a squad for BBL|02 that is full of young talent and experienced players.  After their two tournament wins, can they raise the Big Bash League silverware again?  We will find out, starting December 8.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the players that will be donning Sixers pink this summer: Continue reading