Friday, April 30, 2010


Cricket never sleeps!
With the conclusion of IPL 3 we get straight into World T20
Your opinions on who will follow India and Pakistan in lifting the trophy?
Leave your comments below,

PS: Uncle Haroon recovering well, his mighty Zimbabwean team on fire in the warm-ups!!


IPL moving forward

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After being involved with the IPL since its inception three years ago, I have turned my thoughts to, what I believe, is the best way forward heading into for IPL4......

With two new franchises entering the tournament and player contracts up for renewal, there are some decisions that need to be made on the best and fairest way to structure this.

The basis for these decisions should be total transparency and no favouritism to any franchises. This will ensure all franchises will be on an even level.....

1 - Retention of players

If franchises were allowed to retain the services of a set number of players, there may be questions raised as to the amounts the players were being paid. Also, this would not be fair on the two new franchises as the top players would all be locked in too their current franchises.

However, I fully understand that some players are at the core of their franchise and other players who have developed considerably due to the time and effort invested into them over the past three years. This needs to be taken into account and I believe my system allows for franchises to exercise an option to do this.

With transparency being the key, my thoughts are;

• No retention of players is a must for to achieve total transparency in regards to the salary cap. It will increase the creditability of the IPL as the players final price will be established at the auction, whatever that may be.

• However, the player can then offered back to his original franchise for an extra $50k to regain their services.

• If the player is important to the franchise, the extra $50k will be paid to the player to keep him at the franchise if not then he plays for his new franchise.

• All players bought at the auction should continue to receive three year contract for the Auction value per year.

2 - Salary cap/ squad

I believe the salary cap should be US$9 million per franchise, not 7million as most franchises will spend $5/6 million on 6/7 players , which will form the core of the franchises. The rest of the salary cap will be spent on the other 13/14 players. The strategy will be very important here.

The squads for each franchise should be capped at a total of 20 players for the season. There will be variations on how the squads are made up such as some will field 10 internationals and 10 Indians in there 20, others will field only 6 internationals and 14 Indians, etc

All franchises should still be allowed a maximum of 10 internationals in their roster; however, they may not be available for the entire IPL season due to international commitments.

This would mean the 10 franchises are committing a total of US$270 million to the players over the next 3 years ………….. WOW that's a lot!

3 Captains

I believe Captains, for all franchises, should be appointed well before the auction and should not be included in the Salary Cap.

The fans associate the captain with the franchise and, some more so than others, are part of the brand. With this being the case, his contract should be between him and the owners.

If a franchise wants a particular captain, either their existing captain or a new one, they need to negotiate and agree to a deal. If current captains cannot agree to a deal, he can potentially move to a new franchise as their captain or enter the auction.

This will allow for owners, coaches and the captain to make their plans and strategies well before auction time.

I believe it would be great for the IPL to have the owners, coaches and captains all sitting at the table working out which players they were going to bid on. It makes sense and would become a huge media event.

Imagine Lalit plus all owners, captains and coaches arriving in London for a 3 day auction dressed in suits ready to do media conferences, photo opportunities, etc and then culminate with the auction, it would create a real buzz...

All 10 franchises would need to finalise their captains well before auction, around July 1 would make sense.

4 - Super rounds / trades

During IPL4, I think franchises should be allowed 3 super rounds used at their own discretion.

• A super round would allow the franchise to play 5 overseas players instead of 4.

I believe when and where you used your super rounds would become a massive talking point.

I also believe there should be a trade period during the IPL season, around the half way point. During the trade period the franchises could be allowed 1 trade each, however, it would not be compulsory.

However, if they did choose to trade a player, it would be on a loan basis for a set amount of games, perhaps 3. This could be a great option to recruit an international player who is not being used by another franchise.

I Think the IPL should stay a 6 week tournament, even with the 2 extra franchises.

This can be achieved through a more hectic schedule as the T20 format allows for back to back games if there is no travel involved between matches. Also, I believe it is feasible to have 3 games scheduled in a day which will save a lot of time.

My reasoning is that the best players need to be available and if it goes for 8-10 weeks, international cricket boards may have issues as it may impact to heavily on the scheduling.

5 Umpires / bowling actions/laws

There needs to be a set process implemented for any bowler that is reported for a suspect action. This should include being immediately analysed at the official IPL bowling centre such as current centres in Perth or Bangalore.

The definitive decision should be made based on the data provided by the technology used to measure flex levels. This will take away any bias of any individual and promote the 100% transparency that I believe is required.

Umpires are a unique brand of person but are crucial to the sport. The best umpires throughout the tournament should be rewarded with the roles during the finals series.

This can be done through the captains rating each umpire at the conclusion of each match. At the end of the tournament, the votes are counted and the leading umpires are awarded the semi finals and final.

With the entire switch hitting faze the batsmen are going through, the leg side LBW law should be looked at. I believe as soon as the batsmen decides to employ this tactic, the rule stating that a ball pitching outside the leg stump cannot be adjudicated as LBW should be abolished.

If a batsmen wants to try and reverse a bowler or switch hit then it’s irrelevant where the ball pitches. If he is struck in line and the ball was going to hit the stumps then he's out.

Also, any no ball should be a free hit, not just for over-stepping.

6 - Left Field Ideas

• After initial 6, the bating captain has an additional power play or slog over, where only 2 fielders are allowed outside the circle like the first 6 overs, that he can use at his discretion.

• The bowling limitations should be changed to 4 bowlers with a max of 5 overs each rather than 5 bowlers with a max of 4 overs each. This would ensure the best bowlers are bowling more overs.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bradman blitz at Blackheath

When the great man scored a hundred in three eight-ball overs, spanning around 18 minutes

Few would ever question that Don Bradman is one of sport's - not just cricket's - most remarkable individuals. Rarely has one man so dominated his field and emerged head and shoulders above his peers. But he had, and continues to have, his critics, those who argue he was a batsman who did not take chances and who amassed runs rather than scored them in the more cavalier method of someone like his great rival Wally Hammond.

And yet when the occasion demanded, Bradman could open up and cut an attack to shreds. On Monday, November 2, 1931, he and New South Wales team-mate Wendell Bill travelled into the Blue Mountains, about 60 miles from Sydney, to play in a match to open a new malthoid pitch at Blackheath, the first in the district. The two star names were included in the Blackheath XI against neighbouring Lithgow.

With a large crowd gathered, Bradman was soon in full flow, taking 38 off the first over he faced. After passing his hundred, a bowler called Bill Black was brought on. Bradman casually asked wicketkeeper Leo Waters what to expect. "Don't you remember this bloke?" Waters replied, adding mischievously: "He bowled you in an exhibition match in Lithgow a few weeks ago and has been boasting about it ever since, at your expense."

Black had indeed bowled Bradman for 52 in an up-country match, a feat that caused the supposedly impartial local umpire to yell, "Bill, you've got him" as the stumps were hit. The ball was mounted and Black had been dining out on the moment since.

Bradman ambled down the pitch to chat with Wendell Bill and reportedly said: "I think I'll have a go." What followed was brutal.

In three eight-ball overs he scored exactly 100, with Wendell Bill chipping in with two singles to get Bradman back on strike. There is no record of how long the onslaught took but it is estimated to have been around 18 minutes, given the time taken to retrieve 10 sixes.

The first over from Black produced 33 runs (6,6,4,2,4,4,6,1), the second, from the blameless Horrie Baker 40 (6,4,4,6,6,4,6,4) and the third, again from Black, 29 (1,6,6,1,1,4,4,6), which included the singles by Wendell Bill off the first and fifth deliveries. A bewildered Baker demanded to be taken off with figures of 2-0-62-0, while Bradman was eventually dismissed for 256, which included 14 sixes and 29 fours. Wendell Bill made 68.

"It's important, I think, to emphasise that the thing was not planned," Bradman said years later. "It happened purely by accident and everyone was surprised at the outcome, no one more than I.

"Wendell Bill became one of my staunchest friends, and in later years he said he got more notoriety out of the two singles he scored in those three overs than anything else he ever did in his life."

In 2008, Syd Edgar, who had watched the innings from up a hoop-pine tree as an eight-year old, recalled: "When word got around that Bradman was coming to Blackheath, I think nearly everyone attended. I was yelling at him 'Hit it over here, hit it over here' and he hit one past my head out of the ground."

As entertainment it was superb, but it hardly stood either batsman in good stead for the opening match of the Sheffield Shield season the following Saturday. The pair were dismissed for ducks in the same over from Queensland fast bowler Eddie Gilbert.

At the post-match dinner one of the Lithgow players, Bob Nicholson, a coalminer, sang, so impressing Bradman, who was to announce his engagement later in the week, that Nicholson was invited to sing at the wedding, the following April.

After the match Bradman presented the bat, which weighed 2lbs 2ozs, he used to the Blackheath mayor, who had it mounted on a wall in the council offices. It was said he asked people to swear on it when an honest response was needed. It is now on loan to the Bradman Museum at Bowral.

By; Martin Williamson. Executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe,the Middle East and Africa

Thursday, April 8, 2010





MCC Archive Pics


The cricketing season might be over, but the friendships and bonds made during the season continues.

The SA9 players have a fishing trip planned for Bloemhof, lets hope the weather holds up and they have an awesome time!
Catch plenty fish lads!

The 'serious' cricketers of Marlboro travel to Rustenburg for the annual action cricket tournament.On previous visits the team were unlucky, losing out in critical parts of games.
Hoping to bring back silverware this time!!