A pathetic and gut-wrenching batting effort from the Australian cricket team in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge let down all their fans and the reputation Australian cricket has earned over the decades. I am undecided as to what is more depressing: the Australians’ woeful display leading to a humiliating Ashes loss, or their effort to make mediocre bowlers like James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn look like world-class players. Either way, here are the major villains of this failure. Selectors If they wanted to persist with Haddin, why drop in the middle of the series? The Ashes is not the time to experiment with new players. The axing of Haddin undoubtedly led to fraction and disharmony within the team – a recipe for disaster. No one can ever justify why Haddin, Shane Watson and Peter Siddle were selected in the first place. The tour of West Indies was the perfect time to blood a new wicketkeeper, bowler and an allrounder. If Siddle was not expected to … [Read more...] about Homo sapiens learn from their mistakes, Australia’s cricketers didn’t
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has launched a cricket academy in partnership with Mahesh Inder Singh Sodhi and former Indian all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi at the Togan village near Mullanpur in Punjab. Apart from that, he appears to be confident that CSK can lift the trophy this year. Infrastructure is something which can take the small city talent to a different level. On Saturday, during the launch of a cricket academy newly opened by Mahesh Inder Singh Sodhi and his son former Indian all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi, India's 2011 world-cup winning star emphasised on this very certain point. Harbhajan also felt that despite creating superstars like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab’s grassroot-level cricket is still lagging behind. “These days, very few kids are coming out to play outdoor games. We need to encourage them and we have to create better infrastructure. In Punjab, sports infrastructure is lacking. We need more … [Read more...] about Harbhajan Singh launches Cricket Academy at Togan Village
Amidst a swathe of bucket-clad heads, bright lights and a cacophony of the current top songs around the world the cricket out in the middle can lose its relevance. The Big Bash League has been a success by almost every measure. With the men’s competition now in its seventh and largest iteration and the women’s gaining traction in its third, Cricket Australia and Network Ten have combined to make cricket ‘summer’s best value entertainment’. With finals still to come, the BBL has already attracted the better part of one million fans. TV coverage proudly shows shots of the crowd – of young boys and girls and their families all together enjoying the cricket. There are advertisements all around to sign up for your local Milo T20 Blast program. Interest in cricket seems to be at an all-time high. But is it the cricket the crowds are coming to see? I have been to two Big Bash games since the competition’s inception and have found both games … [Read more...] about Is anyone actually watching the cricket?
While the expansion of the Big Bash League and increased coverage of women’s cricket mean that mathematically the new broadcast deal sees more free-to-air cricket than ever before, that is nowhere near the complete story. It could even be described as an ‘alternative fact’. 16 BBL games will be exclusively broadcast on Fox Sports, with the season expanded to 59 matches. While previously Network Ten broadcast 100 per cent of the tournament, Channel Seven will now broadcast 73 per cent of matches. The percentages, and not the total number of matches broadcast, tells the real story. Women’s cricket is the big winner, and Cricket Australia should be commended for their dedication. The problem is that the broadcast deal uses increased women’s coverage as a mechanism to put men’s limited overs internationals behind a pay-wall. CA can still claim a net increase in free-to-air cricket coverage, while putting men’s ODIs and international T20s on Fox … [Read more...] about Bold new broadcast deal spell the end of ODI cricket
The bushfires and whirlwinds in parts of Sydney on Saturday had nothing to do with weather conditions. Even renowned climatologists were stunned and befuddled. The sound of the thunder was typical of the former TV mogul and one of the masterminds of World Series Cricket, white ball and colour clothing. The mighty Kerry Packer. “Whaaat!” he thundered from up above. “Cricket’s TV rights go to Foxtel and Channel Seven! Certainly should not go to Channel Seven! Absurd! Ridiculous! Incongruous! How dare they? What’s wrong with my Channel Nine? “There can be only one free-to-air channel for Test cricket broadcasting in Australia and it is Channel Nine!” He immediately sent for Richie Benaud and Tony Greig, his right-hand men. Both were equally perplexed and bewildered at the switching of channels for Test coverage in Australia. Brilliant minds started working. World Series cricket is history. It is now time for Heavenly Series cricket. With my … [Read more...] about Plans for Heavenly Series cricket are on the way