The big news from outside the System this past week was Afghanistan’s defeat of Zimbabwe by 100 runs, which leveled their four ODI series at two-a-piece. The series was Afghanistan’s first bi-lateral ODI series against a Full Member, and they ended it all square. A great accomplishment from one of cricket’s best stories. With the World Cup coming up around the corner, look for this team to make a little noise in that ODI showpiece. Cricinfo has the scorecard.
I missed this last week, but congrats to the upstart American Cricket Federation on securing another top class honorary board member: “The American Cricket Federation is very happy to announce that the captain of the 1996 World Cup-winning Sri Lanka squad, Arjuna Ranatunga, will be joining its Honorary Advisory Board. Ranatunga joins existing HAB members Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd, Shaun Pollock, Michael Holding, Stuart MacGill, Damien Martyn, Nathan Bracken, Alvin Kallicharran, Niall O’Brien, Vince Adams and Stephen Rooke.”
Cricket will return to the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea this fall, with both Associates and Full Members participating. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Maldives, Nepal and South Korea will compete for the men, and China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the women. According to Cricket Country, “South Korea has been trying to convert their baseball players into cricketers and currently are in Fiji for the preparation. … The Yeonhui Cricket Ground has been constructed in Incheon , and will have 7 turf wickets and seating for over 2,000 spectators. The exact format of the tournaments is yet to be confirmed. The last Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, saw cricket being played for the first time. Bangladesh won the gold medal in men’s and Pakistan won the gold in women’s tournament respectively.” Converting baseball players into cricketers, eh? It’s like the bizzarro version of that baseball movie from Don Draper.
In a related story, the ICC has rejected offers to have cricket appear in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Story via LiveMint.com.
Khumbutse Khukuri Club have won the first Himalayan Cup Cricket Tournament last week in Houston, Texas. From Sportskeeda: “The four-day event was organized by Nepalese Association of Houston (NAH) and coordinated by Rupak Rauniar and Binay Gupta. The tournament featured seven Nepali cricket clubs based in the greater Houston of Texas, USA. Each team consisted of eight players and the qualifying rounds were played in eight overs. The semifinals and finals were played in 12 overs.”
Insular American alert! Insular American alert! Ralph Gardner Jr of the Wall Street Journal attended a charity cricket match on Long Island, where he promptly embarrassed us all: “Cricket bears a passing resemblance to baseball but, to an outsider, appears to lack the machismo. In baseball, the pitcher bends his arm at the elbow, whipping the ball at maximum velocity. In cricket, the ball is thrown with the arm straight, which looks vaguely girlish. Also in cricket, as I understand it, points are scored and accolades earned just as easily by hitting the ball along the ground. In baseball, poetry is made when the projectile takes flight and travels as far as possible.” A sexist and an ignorant American, you must be a devil with the ladies, Mr. Gardner.
The Hindu has a short article on one of my favorite cricketers, Isa Guha: “She balanced cricket with academics, a trait Guha continues even now while pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience. ‘My parents were proud of the fact that I was playing cricket, they used to ferry me around during the weekends to play the game. I did well in studies too (bio-chemistry) and I had the best of both worlds,’ said Guha, who rated the 2009 World Cup victory as special.”
The Lincolnshire Echo has a story about the growth of the game in the Arctic Circle: “Norway has 54 domestic teams playing across five divisions. At international level, it is enjoying success after being promoted to Division One of the ICC Europe League after seeing off the likes Germany, Austria and Belgium (yes, they have national teams too).
The Norwegian Cricket Federation (NCF) also has a growing youth-set-up and last week their under-19 team enjoyed a tour of Lincolnshire, playing games at Nettleham, Owmby, Sleaford and just over the Nottinghamshire border in Collingham.”
This article in The News on Sunday about empowering women through cricket in Pakistan takes on a whole new meaning after Halima Rafiq’s suicide: “In Pakistan, due to cultural reservations, female sportspersons have limited exposure. The government needs to promote female participation in sport and physical activities. Empowerment of women through participation in sports and physical activity is at the heart of UNDP’s 2014-2017 Gender Equality Strategy.”
More from Pakistan in The Nation: “Newly-elected chairman of International Cricket Council for Physically Challenged (ICCPC) Raja Imran Hussain has said Pakistan will host the four-nation handicapped cricket championship in December to mark the World Disabled Day.”
Chinese women’s cricketers were impressive in Asian Games warm-ups. From ITV: “The Chinese women’s cricket team are in Jersey as part of their preparation tour ahead of the Asian Games. The strong squad were invited to play at the Lord’s cricket ground in London and then onwards to play in the island…Jersey is grateful for the competition saying it is the best side they have ever played.”
In Sunderland, a 15 year old girl broke the record for cricket’s best score from a female bowler. SWNS: “A teenage cricketer has smashed the record for the best performance by a female bowler in the history of the game – aged just 15. Talented Amy Hearn destroyed the opposition – taking seven wickets for just five runs in 3.4 overs. The previous record was by Anya Shrubsole for England Women against South African Women – who took five wickets for 17 runs in 10 overs in 2013.”
And, finally, Scotland will be touring Australia and New Zealand this fall in a World Cup 2015 warm-up. Included will be two ODIs in Hobart, my personal favorite cricket ground. Boxscore.com has it.
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