Cricket: Big Bash League: Season Three: the attraction

BBL 03 teams (photo from icricketbuzz.com)

BBL 03 teams (photo from icricketbuzz.com)

SHOWTIME

The Big Bash League (and a full-on summer of cricket) is ready to grab our attention once again.  Seven weeks of action include 32 group stage matches and three finals, from December 20 2013 to February 7 2014.

Reigning champions the Brisbane Heat have compiled another strong squad; the Melbourne Renegades continue to attract fans after a surprise BBL|02, and the Sydney Thunder have recruited batting superstar Mike Hussey. Continue reading

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: Peter Siddle and Phil Hughes

Peter Siddle, Boxing Day 2012 (photo mine)

Peter Siddle, Boxing Day 2012 (photo mine)

The Australian cricket summer took a series of unexpected twists and turns.  From the series loss to South Africa, to the Aussies losing several pace bowlers to injury, it was a long and toiling summer.

Two players who stood the test of summer were Phil Hughes and Peter Siddle.  The battler and the workhorse were prime indications of players who had worked hard to prepare themselves for the test (and in Hughes’ case, the one-day) series. Continue reading

Cricket: India the proving ground for Ashes

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo  mine)

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo mine)

India.  The dustbowls.  Home of the raging turner or the swinging sensation.

Also the proving ground for a host of Australian players before the Ashes series in England in July.

Questions will include; do both spinners get played, which pacemen get the gig, and who is going to open the batting?

Nathan Lyon will relish the challenge of really getting the chance to prove why he is Australia’s number one spinner.  Michael Clarke returns to the country where he burst onto the test scene in 2004.

Will it be the left arm combination, the Mitchell’s, Starc and Johnson, who can undo India with pace and swing?  Or perhaps Peter Siddle will enjoy steaming in and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Chennai is the first venue between these two rivals.  And if there is going to be any indication of form, it is going to be the sub continent.

Here’s a player by player preview (the entire 17 man squad): Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka: Boxing Day Test Preview

MCG Panorama

Overview:

Momentum looks to be with the Australians heading to the MCG and the 2012 Boxing Day Test, after the Aussies found some spark to rout Sri Lanka on the final day in Hobart.

Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc, who both bowled more than 50 overs each in Hobart, were the catalysts for the turnaround in the final innings after Sri Lanka began to settle in.  Nathan Lyon, despite match figures of 2/133, bowled some superb tight lines to keep the Sri Lankans under pressure. 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: 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