Panadura Sports Club v Sri Lanka Army at Panadura, Premier Limited Over Tournament

Well, that sure was something, right?

Last evening came together just perfectly.  I had a free few hours,, and the fourth day between Australia and New Zealand was brilliantly poised – and what a day it turned out to be!

It was the first time I had had the opportunity to watch a test match conclude in such thrilling form.  Sure, I have read along with Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball coverage, but it is just not the same, as much as I claimed it was previous to subscribing to

The match was positively enthralling.  Every ball mattered.  As you might have seen over on Twitter, I was having the time of my life.

I am not going to write a match report, that is simply not my forte, but for me the heroes of the match were Bracewell, of course, as well as the debutant Coult, who took five for the Kiwis.  David Warner carried his bat for 123, but it just wasn’t enough.  And you have to feel for him, he left it all out there, only to watch one teammate after another lose their wicket to those hooping New Zealand deliveries.

For me, another standout was Brownlie, whose 56 in the first innings pulled New Zealand out of the fire, and Lyon, Australia’s number 11, who held on for dear life at the end, and showed courage in the face of a relentless attack.  He only scored nine, but that was more than the second innings scores of Clarke, Hussey, Siddle, Pattinson, and Starc COMBINED.

God bless that Hobart pitch, too, it was a fine stage and added some real personality to the match.  It is unfortunate that it is not hosting any tests during the Indian series, but that’s the problem with having so many wonderful grounds in Australia.

(On a side note, it was also quite the advertisement for Tasmania as a tourist destination, as Hobart has moved right up my list.  Someone, somewhere: pay me to travel the world and write about cricket, okay?)

At the end of the day, if organizers cannot see that this form of the sport is cricket at is absolute zenith, then they are blind.  And deaf.  And probably illiterate.

I don’t want to totter here, but wouldn’t be just wonderful if these two squads were set to play three more tests?  Oh well.

Finally, as my regular readers know, I have only been a fan of cricket for around five years, and this is the first time I have been able to enjoy an Australian summer properly with a subscription, and I must say that I am the brink of declaring Australia my country to support in world cricket* – only because I really do love that their test matches are on during prime time hours here in the states.

Even though I love watching India and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh play cricket, matches in SE Asia take place in the overnight hours.

And while I do love English cricket, their matches happen during work hours, and therefore are great to follow along with during the day, but are otherwise unwatchable.  Same with South Africa.

But Australia?  First ball around dinner time, lunch around 19:30, stumps a little after midnight.  Just about perfect.

Of course, New Zealand is in a similar time zone, but I don’t know, despite last night, they really do not have the history of their big brother to the north, when it comes to cricket anyway.

Looking through the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, Australia host India, of course, and that is the last test series they host until 2012, when South Africa and Sri Lanka visit for three tests each.   Then, of course, there is the Ashes in the fall of 2013, India returns the following year, and then the Aussies are home to the 2015 World Cup.

Whether or not I choose Australia, I have a ton of prime time cricket to enjoy going forward.

Tomorrow (or maybe tonight) the county write ups return, and the mystery is about to be solved.

Until next time.

*I know that “choosing” a nation to support is pretty silly, but come on, it is 2011, we are a global village.  Nationalism is so 20th century.

Australia v New Zealand at Hobart, 2nd Test

I need to bang this out quickly, as there is an early start this morning in Hobart because of the rain yesterday, and I have dishes to do.

Okay, Somerset Cricket Club, surely they have won a bunch of County Championships, right?  I mean, their Wikipedia entry is seriously extensive and dense.

What?  Not a single one?

Yep, that’s right, the club formed in 1875, made its first class debut in 1882, was admitted the Championship in 1891, but has never won the county title.

Somerset did win a one-day double in 1979 (their first pieces of top division silverware) and they have won a handful of other one-title competitions, as well.  Most recently in 2005 when they won the t20 tournament.

120 years in the Championship and not a single title, I cannot even begin to calculate the odds.   And there are FOUR counties that have also not reached England’s cricketing pinnacle…almost unbelievable.

To gain some perspective, there are 15 NFL franchises that have never won a Super Bowl, but that competition has only existed in its current format since 1966.

In Major League Baseball there are of course several squads that have never won a World Series, but this is mostly due to expansion.  All 16 original Major League teams have each won at least two world titles.

Premiere League Football gets difficult, of course.  The Premiership as we know it has only existed since Sky Sports invented football in 1992.  And since then only four clubs have won titles.

Sky Sports aside, 23 different English clubs have won a first division trophy, and a great deal more teams than that have played at the top level in England.

I am unable to draw any conclusions from these comparisons, it is just really odd to me to think that four of the 18 counties in England that play in a tournament that has existed since 1890 have never won a title.

The Ground

Somerset has hosted cricket matches at 18 different grounds, but their headquarters is the County Ground in Taunton, Somerset, and it has been their home since 1882:

The ground holds 8,500 and hosted one day internationals in the 1999 world cup.

Somerset CCC has owned the ground outright since 1896.

Oh, and just like every other cricket ground in England (or so it seems) the County Ground has hosted an Elton John concert.

Notable Players

(Yes, I know, using titles like above is cheating, but I have completely run out of segues.)

When it comes to Somerset’s notable players, one player sticks out amongst the crowd:  Sir Ian Botham, the England all rounder who even has a stand named after him at the county’s home ground.

Botham played alongside Viv Richards at Somerset.  The West Indian was called by Wisden as the greatest one day cricketer of all time, and he scored almost 7,500 one day runs for the club, the most in its history.

The most first class runs?  Harold Gimblett, 21,142.

The most first class wickets?  Jack White, 2,165.

These days, the club features internationals such as Marcus Trescothick (their captain), Craig Kieswetter, and Kieron Pollard.

The last name on that list takes us into:

Back on the pitch:  India beat the West Indies in the 5th and final ODI, despite Mr. Pollard’s ingaugural ODI century.

Also, Pakistan are in the middle of crushing Bangladesh, and Australia look to finish off New Zealand starting in about 10 minutes, as long as the rains hold off, that is.

Until next time.

Bhutan v Saudi Arabia at Lalitpur, Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup

Okay, before getting on with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, I wanted to say something about the two magnificent individual performances we saw on the cricket field yesterday:  James Pattinson and his second five wicket haul against New Zealand, and of course, Virender Sehwag’s awe-inspiring 219 against the West Indies.

However, better writers than me have already covered all of the necessary bases. There have been skeptics and worshippers aplenty  And I suggest you read them instead. Jarrod on Sehwag, for instance, is a good place to start.

I am much better off writing about the weather, and stadiums, and of course: counties:

Northamptonshire was formed in 1878, and was admitted to the Championship in 1905, the same year as their first class debut.

They also have never won a County title, and so the search for who has actually won all the titles continues.  They have enjoyed sporadic one-day success:  Friends Provident Trophies in 1976 and 1992, as well as a Benson and Hedges Cup title in 1980.  They did win the second division title in 2000, and they won some Minor County titles in the 19th century, but that’s really about it, and no one really counts those, do they?

The club has finished bottom 11 times, and from May 1935 through May 1939, they did not win a single one of the 99 first class matches they played.

It’s not easy being a Northants’ fan, for sure.

They have made it to the knockout stage of England’s t20 competition five out of the eight years the tournament has existed, so there is some hope in that form of the game, going forward.  Maybe.

The Ground

The club has played the vast majority of their home matches at the County Ground in Northampton:

But they have also played first class matches at the Town Ground in Kettering, the School Ground in Wellingborough, the Town Ground in Peterborough, Wardown Park in Luton, the Ideal Clothiers Ground in Wellingborough, and Stowe School in, of course, Stowe.

In fact, counting one day and t-20 matches, they have played home matches at 16 different cricket grounds.

However, the County Ground has been their primary home since 1886.  It seats 7,500 and hosted two ODIs during the 1999 World Cup, including Bangladesh’s first ever World Cup victory.

Now lots of cricket grounds were also home to football teams.  But mostly this was just for a few years, and was usually in the 19th century.  However, Northamptonshire Cricket Club shared the County Ground with Northampton Town F.C. for 97 years: from 1897 until 1994.  The club even played one season of First Division football at the ground in 1965-1966.   And, shoot, George Best and Manchester United played at the County Ground during an FA Cup match in 1970. (The Cobblers lost 8-2, a hauntingly familiar score for this Arsenal fan.)

Notable Players

The club has recently featured several famous Internationals:  Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey, Curtly Ambrose, and Sourav Ganguly.

Dennis Brooks scored the most first class runs for the club (28,980), and Nobby Clark took the most wickets (1,102).

Looking over their current squad, however, I don’t recognize a single name.  I know that is not exactly saying much, but that still might explain some of the problems they continue to have.

Wait, scratch my last: there are two players of note:  Chaminda Vaas, the Sri Lankan quick bowler (maybe the best ever?) who played in 111 tests, taking 355 wickets before retiring from tests in 2009.  He only plays in Northant’s T20 matches, and is actually their opening batsman, and that explains their success in that format.

Also of note:  none other than Johan Botha, the South African medium-pacer cum off-spinner.  You might remember him from this post.  I know I sure do…

In a world with no rules, Captain Botha of the Border Men has one night, to break them all…

Until next time.

India v West Indies at Indore, 4th ODI

Again, another county that’s not the easiest to spell, and another county that has just simply not enjoyed a great deal of success, relatively speaking.

Tonight: Leicestershire.  Also tonight: beer.  Yes, I decide to finally imbibe while writing a post.  I am also enjoying a replay of the first South Africa – Australia test from a few weeks past.  All in all, a good head space to be in.

Leicestershire was formed in 1879, although records date cricket in the area as far back as 1776.  They made their first class debut in 1894 and were admitted to the Championship the following year.

Unfortunately, and this just seems to keep being the case for county after county, it took many, many years for the club to finally win a county title.  80 years to be exact.  Now, they did win two more in 1990s (’96 and ’98), as well as a couple Pro40 titles in 1974 and 1977 and a trio of t20 cups just in the last decade, most recently in 2011.

A quick note here on non-County Championship titles, or one day tournaments, as it is all very confusing.  There is the Pro40, the FP40, the Sunday League, the Benson & Hedges Cup…and so on.

The Sunday League was also known as the NatWest Pro40, a 40 over competition featuring all 18 counties.  It started in 1969 and was retired in 2009, replaced by the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition in 2010.

The FP40 has been around since 1963 and has also been known as the NatWest Trophy, the C&G Trophy, the Gillette Cup, and the Friends Provident Trophy.  It featured all 18 counties plus teams from Ireland and Scotland.  It was also replaced by the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition last season.

The CB 40 tournament was formed to consolidate the 40 over cricket cups into just one, as the evolution in popularity of t20 required a reduction in the number of matches required of the counties.  It features all 18 counties PLUS national teams from Scotland and the Netherlands PLUS the Unicorns, which is a club made up of cricketers not under a current county contract.

Now, the Benson & Hedges Cup was held between 1972 and 2002 and it seems it was the red headed step child of the one day competitions in England.   It changed formats several times over its 30 existence, and never quite reached the prestige of the other two cups.  I will however, continue to count it among the titles won by the counties I post about, even thought Wikipedia does not.

Finally, there is the t20 competition.  Which for now is rather straight forward.

Postscript: I am going to start using Wikipedia as the main source when it comes to titles won by a county, as Cricinfo’s write ups actually seem a bit obsolete on occasion.

Okay then, now back to Leicestershire.

It played its matches at Grace Road between 1877 and 1901, at which point they became rather nomadic, before finally returning to a refurbished ground in 1946.

Here’s the ground in 2007:

It seats 12,000 and has hosted several World Cup one day internationals.

Les Berry scored the most first class runs in the club’s history (30,143) while Ewart Astill took the the most first class wickets for them (2,131.) However the always trustworthy Sam Collins points his loyal readers to notable players such as Charles Palmer, a “small man with poor eyesight” who captained Leicestershire to third place in the Championship in 1953; and Tony Lock, the off spinner who captained them to second place in 1967.

James Whitaker, who only played one test and two ODIs for England but was a member of the 1986-987 Ashes winning side, played for Leicestshire his entire career (1983-1999), and was Leicestershire’s captain for the two county titles won in the 1990s.

Nowadays the side features internationals such as Matthew Hoggard and Abdul Razzaq.

Ladies and Gentlemen: the Foxes.


Not a great deal happening on the pitch, though test cricket is back in force tomorrow.

Until next time.


Western Australia v South Australia at Perth, Sheffield Shield

Hampshire County Cricket Club, aka The Royals, is another club from the south of England where cricket was first played, and has been around in one form or another since the 18th century, but the club as we know it was formed in 1863 (the Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg), and made their First Class debut in 1864.

However, they were demoted in the 1880s and were not admitted to the County Championship until 1895 – and it was another 66 years until they won their first title.

Hampshire won a second County title in 1979 thanks to an influx of West Indians into the side, and they have been mildly successful in the one day tournaments over the last few decades, as well, most recently winning a t20 cup in 2010.

Up until 2001, the county played their home matches at the County Ground in Southampton, at which time they moved into a state of the art new ground: The Rose Bowl:

The ground opened to much fanfare in 2001, it can seat 25,000, and it hosted its very first test this past summer during Sri Lanka’s tour of England.

Oh, it has also hosted concerts by the likes of REM and Oasis.

I don’t mean to editorialize, and I will be the first to admit that it is an impressive structure, and yes I know I have in the past drooled over newer cricket grounds in the U.A.E. …but the Rose Bowl just doesn’t do it for me.

I like cricket grounds in England to have history, and if not history then character.   And the Rose Bowl, I am sorry, really has neither.  It’s a freeway exit.

(Says the Arsenal fan.  The irony is literally dripping off my keyboard.)

Hampshire has been lucky enough to feature several quite famous players, Shane Warne notwithstanding.  Sam Collins, in his write up on Hampshire, points me to Phil Mead, who hit 48,892 runs for the club, the most in its history, including a mind boggling 138 hundreds.

On the bowling side, Malcolm Marshall played for Hampshire from 1979-1993.  Mr. Marshall needs no introduction to even the most naive of cricket fans, but for the layman: he was West Indian quick bowler, probably one of the finest pace bowlers to ever walk onto a cricket field, and part of West Indies test side that dominated the sport for 15 years.

He took 376 test wickets (his last wicket belonged to the one and only Graham Gooch) and over 1,600 first class crickets.

Sadly, he died very young, of cancer, in 1999.  He was only 41.

If I had a time machine, and could go back in time to watch one cricketer in his prime, I would be hard pressed not to pick Malcolm Marshall:


At the time of his death, he was a bowling coach for Hampshire County Cricket Club.

Currently the side features one my favorite cricketers around today, Shahid Afridi, as well as Aussie international, Simon Katich, and thanks to the deep pockets of billionaire owner Rod Bransgrove, the club will probably continue to feature high class international players and compete deep into most one day competitions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hampshire County Cricket Club.

Afghanistan v Bhutan at Lalitpur, Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup

I really phoned in Friday’s blog about Glamorgan, and I honestly feel a little bad about that.  No, really.  But I have a good excuse: my work computer has what is known as a “Google Redirect Virus” – which is exactly what it sounds like: whenever I Google a term and click on a result, I am redirected to a spam website.  It is terrifically annoying and evil.  And as you can well imagine, it makes it very difficult to write about a County Cricket Club.

(This is a shared work station, so please no “stop downloading porn vids at work, dude” comments.)

I alerted IT, of course, but the virus is still there.  The good news is that I have found a workaround, so let’s do this:

Today we will talk about the county that is by far the most difficult to spell: Gloucestershire.

The club was formed in 1870, made its first class debut the following year, and has never won a First Class County Championship (though they won three “unofficial” titles in the 1870s.)  They were runners up in 1930, 1931, 1947, 1959, 1969, and 1986, but they have never reached the pinnacle of the English County Game.  Officially, anyway.

They have won several one day trophies.  Nine, in fact.  Most recently in 2004, and have recently become, according to Sam Collins, the “team to beat” when it comes to one day cricket.

Gloucestershire (got it right on the first try, no ctrl-v even) plays the majority of its home matches at the quaint little County Ground on Nevil Road in Bristol.

It seats 7,000 during county matches and 15,000 during ODIs (it hosts about one a year.)

It has been the home for Gloucestershire since 1889 and while most would not call it England’s most picturesque ground, it is steeped in history, as it was home to Gloucestershire’s most notable players, and one of the most famous and important men in the history of English cricket:  W.G. Grace:

He was captain of the side from 1870 until 1898, piling up 22,808 runs and taking 1,339 wickets.  He is widely considered to be England’s first true all rounder, and one of the greatest cricketers of all time.

Along with his two brothers, he also played in 22 tests for England.

His Wikipedia entry is long and fascinating, and worth a read.  The County game as we know it does not exist without his influence.

The most runs in the club’s history were actually scored by another very famous cricketer, Wally Hammond, with 33,664.  Hammond played for the club for 31 years and also played in 85 tests for England, and was captain of his country in 20 of those matches.  He knocked 22 test centuries and like WG Grace, was another true all-rounder, taking 732 first class wickets during his remarkable career.

Hammond reads like cricket’s version of Ty Cobb though: hard to get along with yet extremely talented.

Charlie Parker took 3,170 wickets for the club, the most in Gloucestershire’s history, and the third most in the history of First Class Cricket.

And in so many words, that is Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

As always, special thanks to and


Back on the pitch: not too terribly much happening.  The West Indies beat India by 16 runs in the 3rd ODI in Ahmedebab, their first win on the tour, and that was the only international match happening in the last 24 hours.

But there is a whole lot of test cricket about to happen: the 2nd test between Australia and New Zealand starts on the 9th and is available to watch on  The first test between Bangladesh and Pakistan also starts on the 9th and is available to watch on ESPN3.  And…AND…the first test between South Africa and Sri Lanka starts on the 15th and is also available on  Life is good for cricket fans in the states right now, that is for sure.

Until next time.

Occupy Bryn Mawr Park

In response to this article’s directive, here is my letter to the ICC:

To Whom it May Concern:

My name is Matt, I am an American, and I am a fan of cricket.

While that might instantly negate all I am about to say, I do ask that you read this e-mail in its entirety, as I do believe I can offer a unique perspective on your remarkable sport and the organizations that run it.

As mentioned, I am an American.  Raised on french fries and baseball and lawnmowers.  I did not discover cricket until my early 30s.  And this I believe might be cricket’s first problem: you ignore America.

Yes, you do.

I am friends with countless sports fanatics, guys who watch football, soccer, baseball, the Olympics, the Tour de France, and car racing, but who couldn’t pick Sachin Tendulkar out of a lineup, much less even begin to understand the intricacies and the minutiae of cricket’s scoring system.

However, when I tell these same people that I love cricket, that I write a blog about cricket, their ears instantly perk up, and they start asking me all sorts of questions: what do the scores mean?  who are its best players?  where are the best leagues? do matches really last for days and days and days?

In other words, you have sport fans in the United States eager to learn.  Despite what certain pundits might tell you, there is always room for another sport in America.

Also, lest you forget, there are over 2.3 million Indians currently living here, our only option for watching cricket online (legally) should not be

That’s my first suggestion: stop ignoring us.

And it goes hand in hand with my second suggestion:  stop dumbing down the game.

As you start to dip your big toe into the American Sporting Waters, you will be tempted to dumb the game down for the unwashed mases: don’t do this.  And, in fact, stop doing this everywhere else, too.

What I mean is: test cricket is cricket at its very best.  Full stop.   And this is coming from the uneducated cricket loving American.

Fifty over cricket has its place, of course, and the occasional Twenty20 match can be fun, and I understand that domestic limited over tournaments have to exist for financial reasons, but these should always be secondary to the game in its purest form.

So when you do bring cricket to America, bring us first class cricket, do not bring us West Indies v England in a three match t20 series.

Finally, and most importantly, clean up your act.  Get rid of the mafia that runs your wonderful, wonderful sport, as they are the ones killing our game.  I really have no specific suggestions on how to accomplish this, and I am sorry to criticize sans proposal, but hopefully you are aware of who the really bad men are, and you need to root them out and ban them from the game forever.

There is a lot of money to be made here, stop letting the corruptors steal it from you, and stop letting them steal the game from the people who pay you that money: us, the fans.

You run your organization like the Roman Catholic Church, all secrets and black smoke and a seemingly endless stream of bad decisions.

Find a new system to copy.

FIFA is a joke, and the IOC is corrupt and shiftless, so do not emulate their models.  Instead, look at international organizations such as the Red Cross, or Doctors Without Borders, or maybe a well run multi-national corporation like Apple Computers, or Ford Motor Company.

Those are my three main suggestions:  America, Test Cricket, and Ford.

Oh, and one last thing: grant more countries full test status.  Start with Ireland, promote them yesterday, and then create a system that isn’t the interminable Intercontinental Cup for helping more teams reach full test status.  I think 16 teams playing tests around the world would be a real boon for cricket’s bottom line.

Other than that, remember this: it is a beautiful game.  Full of villains, and history, and magic.  I fell in love with it instantly and deeply, but only by accident.  Stop being so insular, celebrate your game, as it really is for everyone.

And that’s the rub right there, fellas:

It is the fan’s game. It is not your game.

Sincerely yours,

Matt Becker

Minneapolis, USA

India v West Indies at Visakhapatnam, 2nd ODI

It’s Friday, let’s knock this out:

Glamorgan County Cricket Club, nickname: The Dragons.  Another younger club, another club that had to wait many years for its first County Championship, and another Club that has not really enjoyed a great deal of success.  (Seriously: who has won all the titles?)

They are also the sole Welsh representative among the 18 counties in the Championship.


The club was formed in 1888 and was admitted to the Championship in 1921.  They have won three county titles: 1948, 1969, and 1997.  They have also won three Sunday League cups: 1993, 2001, and 2004.

Oh, and according to Wikipedia, they are the only County to have defeated every major test cricket side, though “major” is not defined.

They play their home matches (well, the majority of them anyway) at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, also known as the SWALEC Stadium (SWALEC is a Welsh renewable gas and energy supplier.)
It has been their home since 1997, before which they were quite the nomads, it was named after the wife of the Marquis of Bute., and hosted its first test during the 2008 Ashes (it also hosted Sri Lanka for a test this past summer.)

Here she is, bathed in a Welsh sunset:

Oh, and according to Wikipedia, Glamorgan’s Mike Powell had a rib that was surgically removed buried at the ground in 2007.

Glamorgan is one of many counties that suffered in the post war years because of players that were tragically killed while serving in the military.  Notably, the team lost is rudder, the batsman Maurice Turnbull.   Note to self: writing about English cricketers killed during the two great wars would be time well spent.

Alan Jones scored the most runs for the club, 34,056, in over 25 years with the club.   Don Shepherd took the most wickets: 2,174.

Currently, the team has had a hard time attracting major international stars, and therefore its form has suffered accordingly.

And, that, in so many words, is Glamorgan County Cricket Club.

Special thanks to Wikipedia and Google and Cricinfo for all the information.

Back to work now, until next time.

Australia v New Zealand at Brisbane, 1st Test

A rare evening post, but I have Australia v New Zealand to inspire me.

I give a great deal of slagging, but I have to say: it is better than nothing.

Tonight: Essex County Cricket Club.

The club was formed in 1876, made its first class debut in 1894, and won its first Championship in 1979.  (Note: all of these clubs had to wait so many years for their first County Championship.  First of all: holy cow their poor fans and second of all: who the hell was winning all the titles?  I have a feeling I will find the answer to that sooner or later.)

Essex won five more County Championships in the 80s and 90s, their last in 1992 (the year Durham made its first debut, interestingly enough.)

They have also won eight one day cups, a nice haul for its long suffering fans, for sure.

According to their wiki page, they have three home grounds, but I believe their main ground is the County Ground in Chelmsford:

While heir most attractive home ground is in Colchester, the Garon Park Castle Ground:

And, well, I cannot find a great deal of info on their third ground. (I get lazy during these evening posts.)

None of the three grounds has hosted a test, of course, but the County Ground, whose naming rights are now owned by Ford Motor Company, did host ODIs during the 1999 World Cup.

Here’s a better photo I found on its Wiki page:

Notable players?  That’s easy: Graham Gooch played for Essex, scoring over 30,000 in his time with the County (1973-1997.)  He also captained England and is their leading test scorer ever (8,900), and he currently is his home country’s batting coach.

Currently the squad features the dreamy Alastair Cook, as well as other internationals such as Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate (he of the Mashonaland Eagles.)

Looking at ten Doeschate’s Wiki page tells me that he has played for the following cricket sides other than Essex: the Kolkata Knight Riders (Indian domestic), the Tasmanian Tigers (Australian domestic), the Canterbury Wizards (New Zealand domestic), the Mashonaland Eagles (Zimbabwean domestic, of course), and the Dutch national team (despite the fact that he was born in South Africa.)

Ryan ten Doeschate: modern day cricket mercenary.

And that’s Essex.

Back on the pitch: Australia are 27/2 (sorry, I mean, 2/27) after New Zealand were 295 all out before lunch.  Ponting is on 14 off of 17, and Australia are in desperate need of runs.

And now there is a ball inspection break, so a  good time to sign off.  Until next time.

Mashonaland Eagles v Southern Rocks at Harare, Stanbic Bank 20 Series

Today is December 1st, and yesterday was the first day of the Australian Summer of Cricket:  two tests against New Zealand, four against India, and then the ODI tri-series featuring Sri Lanka and India.  All of these matches will be live on

And what’s even cooler is that the matches will be on during prime time here in the mid-western US.  For some reason, I just assumed they would be starting at midnight or later, because that’s when Aussie Rules and A League matches start.  But test cricket is a morning sport.  I just never put two and two together.

Of course, I will be sleeping for good chunks of each match, but at least I will be able to watch some of it.

Part of me believes that I have strayed away from cricket because matches on the Sub-Continent are just not as accessible as matches in England.  They are on at odd hours, for instance, and I do not have the ability to watch them online.

Hopefully, this Australian summer will bring me back to the fold.  Last night I was following the match on my phone while at my wife’s show, that’s when I knew it was starting to happen for me again.


Most cricket blogs analyze cricketers, or cricket squads.  Or they tell jokes.  Or they dissect other cricket articles.  Or simply at the very least make interesting comments about the sport.  I do none of that.  This blog is so…surface.

But I guess the point here was not to write for Cricinfo, it was simply to write, which is what I am doing, albeit wanderingly (not a word, but should be.)

On the pitch, the first day of Australia v New Zealand was shortened by rain (or “truncated” as the educated cricket followers say.)  New Zealand had collapsed before lunch, losing four wickets in an hour, and then they lost another right after the break.  But four-eyes and Brownlie steadied the ship with the 6th wicket partnership, 80 runs off 25 overs before the bad light and the rain.

They four young Aussie bowlers each took a wicket, with Starc taking two.  That’s a good sign for the summer.

Meanwhile, at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh…

…Pakistan crushed, CRUSHED, the hosts by five wickets with 146 balls remaining.  My new favorite cricketer, Shahid Afridi, was 24 not out and took 5 for 23.

(This brings up something I find interesting: in Australia, a team’s score is listed with the wickets first, then the score.  Australia is 5/123, for instance.  While in the rest of the world, it is the opposite: Pakistan is 93/2.  I wonder why that is?  Worth reading about.)

Oh, and finally, in the Stanbic Bank 20 Series, The Mashonaland Eagles beat the Southern Rocks by 70 runs in the last group stage match, qualifying for the semi-finals taking place tomorrow.

That’s it for today.  Until next time.