Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In the International Spotlight...Panama Cricket


The Panamanian cricket team is the team that represents the country of Panama in international cricket matches. They became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2002. Their international debut is believed to be against a side from Trinidad and Tobago in 1964.

Cricket has been played in some organised fashion in Panama for nearly a century. It was introduced to the country by West Indians and South Asians who settled during the canal construction days. The game is most popular today among the descendants of these workers.

Their first international in recent years was a friendly series played against Venezuela in 2000 which they won 1-0. Panama were invited to play in the 4th South American Championships later that year. The team performed well in its first international tournament, finishing fourth of seven teams.

The competition set the ball rolling for international cricket in Panama and the following year saw the team on tour in both Argentina and Colombia. That summer, Panama also had the chance to qualify for the 2nd Americas Cup against affiliate nations in the Americas Region. Two places were available but these went to the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas, with Panama finishing the tournament in last place.

In 2002, Panama were granted affiliate status by the ICC along with a number of other countries in the Americas Region. Two years later, they hosted their first international tournament: the Americas Affiliate Championships. They finished as runners up to the Bahamas, just missing out on qualification for the ICC Americas Championship.

The affiliates tournament was expanded to a multi-division competition in 2006, and Panama were placed in Division Two. They finished third in that tournament, played in Argentina, behind the hosts and the Bahamas. They retained their place in Division Two for 2008. In that installment of the competition, played in Suriname, Panama finished in third place and will remain in the division for the next cycle, likely to be played in 2010.

Panama entered and hosted the Central American Championships for the first time in 2009. They came in as favourites, being the strongest Central American international side and won the competition as expected. The tournament was their first international Twenty20 competition.

Panama will take part in Division Two of the region ICC Americas Tournament which should be taking place in 2010.

Links to more information on cricket in Panama:
Panama Cricket at

Venezuela vs Panama @

Panama gets back into international cricket

Panama's cricketers end their seclusion.


*Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Player Profile (#52)...Andrew Symonds (Australia)


Andrew Symonds (born 9 June 1975, Birmingham, England) is an all-rounder in the Australian cricket team. A two-time World Cup winner, Symonds is a right-handed middle order batsman and alternates between medium pace and off-spin bowling.

Since mid-2008, he spent most of the time out of the team, due to disciplinary reasons, including alcohol. In June 2009 he was sent home from the 2009 World Twenty20, his third suspension, expulsion or exclusion from selection in the space of a year. Many cricket analysts have speculated that the Australian administrators will no longer tolerate him, and that Symonds may announce his retirement.

Andrew Symonds O.D.I career
Symonds is an aggressive right-handed batsman who can also bowl off spin or medium pace, making him a good all-rounder. He is an exceptional fielder, with a report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the fifth equal most run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the fourth highest success rate. He is very agile for his size and weight (medium-heavy build; 187 cm tall), has excellent reflexes, is able to take catches well and has a powerful and accurate throwing arm. His nickname is Roy, shortened from the name Leroy, after a coach from early in his career believed he resembled local Brisbane NBL hero Leroy Loggins. Andrew Symonds once won the Cricket Writers' Club's prestigious Young Cricketer of the Year award following a successful debut season with Gloucestershire. He was selected for the England A tour of Pakistan that winter, but pulled out in order to win a place in the Australian side (a decision that turned him into an overseas player for Championship purposes). Symonds's place on that England A tour, which was captained by Nasser Hussain, was taken by Middlesex's Jason Pooley.

He made his One Day International (ODI) debut for Australia in 1998. He opted to represent Australia over England (his country of birth).

As an ODI player, he is known for scoring runs at an excellent strike rate of over 90, with a highest score of 156. He cemented his place in the team in Australia's opening match of the 2003 Cricket World Cup, where he scored 145* to guide Australia from 4/86 to 8/310. Symonds is sometimes branded as a one-day International 'specialist' as his ODI record with both ball and bat are far better than that of his Test match averages.

At the 2006 Allan Border Medal count, Symonds would have won the One Day player of the year award as he polled the most votes, but was ineligible due to a late night of drinking which led to him turning up still inebriated to a match against Bangladesh, after which he was suspended. Symonds won Player of the Series in the 2005/06 Australian VB Series.

Although selected in Australia's 15-member World Cup squad he was unavailable for selection for the first few matches because he ruptured his biceps while batting against England on 2 February 2007 in the Commonwealth Bank Tri Series. Surgery was performed and Symonds underwent extensive physical rehabilitation. As a result he missed the remainder of that tournament as well as the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in New Zealand while Australia suffered their longest losing streak in over a decade. Symonds remarkably made a relatively quick recovery after returning for Australia's win in their last preliminary World Cup match against South Africa. He bowled the final ball of the 2007 Cricket World Cup that was hosted in the West Indies.The final was contested between Australia and Sri Lanka and was shortened to 38/36 overs per side due to rain throughout the day. Even the final few overs of the Sri Lanka innings were played in almost darkness.

During the second final of the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank Series against India on 4 March 2008, Symonds shoulder charged a male streaker who had entered the playing arena. Symonds, who had once considered a career in rugby league with the Brisbane Broncos, may have faced assault charges had the man taken legal action.

When in Darwin during the One Day Series against Bangladesh in August/September 2008, he left the team to do some fishing, while the Australian cricket team was at a compulsory team meeting and was ordered to be sent home by the coach and acting captain Michael Clarke.

Andrew Symonds Test career

Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting

In March 2004, he made his long-awaited Test debut in Australia's tour of Sri Lanka after showing great form in O.D.I cricket in 2003. However, he encountered difficulty against Muttiah Muralitharan on the dusty, spinning Sri Lankan tracks, failing to pass 25 in any of his four innings, and was dropped after two Test matches. He was recalled in November 2005 following the injury to Shane Watson, as Australia's search for an all-rounder continued. After 5 Tests, with a batting average of 12.62 and a bowling average of 85.00, his position in the team was under a cloud until the 2005 Boxing Day Test. On the first day of the match, he was out caught behind for a golden duck. Then, with his batting average threatening to drop under 10 and bowling average pushing 100, Symonds took 3/50 in the South African first innings before blasting 72 off 54 balls in the second innings (including a new Australian record for the fastest Test fifty - 40 balls) and taking 2/6.

Whilst batting in the second Test in the Australian 2006 tour of South Africa, Symonds was struck in the face of his helmet by a bouncer off Makhaya Ntini. Symonds required four stitches on the inside of his upper lip. Struggling for reliable impact, Symonds was again dropped at the end of this series.

Following the retirement of Damien Martyn during the Ashes in 2006/07 Symonds was again recalled to the team. Scoring just 26 and 2 in his first Test back he found himself under pressure to justify his place in the team. In the Boxing Day Test Symonds faced his biggest challenge when arriving at the crease with Australia in deep trouble at 5/84. After a slow start to his innings he proceeded to score his first Test century, combining with his good friend Matthew Hayden to put on a 279 run partnership and bringing up the century with a six. Symonds was finally dismissed for 156.

During Sri Lanka's tour of Australia he had good form with the bat but had an ankle injury which ruled him out of the rest of the test series.

During the second test against India on 2 January 2008 Symonds completed his second test century, coming to the crease with Australia at 4-119. When Michael Clarke (1) and then Adam Gilchrist (7) were dismissed in quick succession Australia found themselves in poor shape at 6-134. Symonds and Brad Hogg put on a record 7th wicket partnership at the S.C.G (also a record for Australia vs. India) of 173 until Brad Hogg was dismissed for 79. Symonds was the beneficiary of some controversial decisions in the course of his innings. At stumps on the first day, Symonds was not out on 137, and Australia 376-7. By the end of the innings, Symonds finished on 162 not out, when the Australians were finally bowled out for 463.

Symonds misbehaving antics

Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh

In 2007 crowds at the One Day Series in Vadodara, Nagpur and Mumbai were seen to offend Symonds with monkey chants. After the BCCI initially denied the incident at Vadodara took place, further incidents occurred at the other grounds in the series.

In January 2008, Indian spin bowler Harbhajan Singh received a three-match ban after a complaint that he had racially abused Symonds during the third day of the Second Test at the SCG. It was alleged that Harbhajan called Symonds a "monkey" after Symonds confronted him over touching fellow Australian player Brett Lee. The case was decided by the match referee, Mike Procter, in a hearing held after the match. The BCCI lodged an appeal against the decision. On January 29, 2008, after the hearing of the appeal, at Adelaide by ICC appeals commissioner John Hansen, the racism charge on Harbhajan Singh was not proved and the three Test ban was lifted. However, a lesser charge (Level 2.8 offense) of using abusive language was applied and Harbhajan was fined 50% of his match fee. Hansen later admitted that he "could have imposed a more serious penalty if he was made aware by the ICC of the bowler's previous transgressions" - including a suspended 1 Test Match ban. The ICC claimed the "database and human errors ... played a part in Harbhajan Singh escaping a more severe penalty during his appeal hearing in Adelaide"

"Hansen also criticised Symonds in his report accusing him of swearing at Harbhajan after a friendly gesture by Harbhajan towards Brett Lee. Also it was reported that senior players had written a letter to John Hansen requesting a downgrading of the charge. The letter was signed by Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting and counter-signed by Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds. The stump microphone audio from immediately after the alleged incident between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds was released by Channel Nine.

Symonds was set to play in the August 2008 opening game in Darwin, but instead headed back to Queensland after missing the team meeting on Friday to go fishing. Stand-in captain Michael Clarke said Symonds needs to re-evaluate his desire to represent Australia, saying "The main concern from us is Andrew's commitment, to playing for this team and in my opinion and I know the rest of the leadership team's opinion, you need to be committed 100 per cent".

He was also not selected for the Australian Tour to India, Oct 2008 - Nov 2008, as a part of his misdemeanor. However, after the 2-0 series loss Australia received in India, Symonds quickly become an integral part of Australia's future plans. He was selected to play the test series against New Zealand during November - December 2008. He did not play any significant role in the first test in which Australia won. However after the end of the test, on 22 November, he was involved in an incident in Brisbane and was reported to be involved in a brawl with another patron who had attempted to hug and have his photo taken with the cricketer. He was cleared by Cricket Australia to play in the following test in Adelaide on 26 November.

He then played in the First two Tests against South Africa, but performed poorly. He was omitted from the team for the Third Test due to injury; at the same time many critics called for his omission on performance grounds.

In January 2009, Symonds gave an interview with sports comedians Roy & HG, where he made remarks about the acquisition of New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum by the New South Wales Blues to play in KFC Twenty20 final against Victoria. Sounding intoxicated, Symonds called McCullum a "lump of shit", and said that having dinner at the home of teammate Matthew Hayden was enjoyable because he could glance at Hayden's wife. He was charged by Cricket Australia with violating the code of conduct and was fined, following a hearing over the 25-minute "audiotape" with Cricket Australia chief Michael Brown. As a result, he was also barred from selection for a period until he was deemed to have been successfully rehabilitated.

In the meantime, he continued to play for Queensland but was overlooked for Australia's ongoing international matches. He was recalled in April to play in the ODIs against Pakistan.

He was not selected in the 2009 Ashes squad. Shane Watson, Andrew McDonald and Marcus North were selected instead. In early June 2009, Symonds was sent home from the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in England, following a late night drinking episode after a team dinner. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland called a press conference to announce Symonds' dismissal, which is likely to mark the end of Symonds' international cricket career. His Cricket Australia contract is also now under review.

Links to more information on Andrew Symonds:

  • Andrew Symonds at
  • The official website for Andrew Symonds

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Saturday, June 6, 2009

    The biggest upset of the century

    netherlands upset England twenty20

    I was trawling through the internet for something to write about and I was shocked to see what I saw, I kept saying "Netherlands beat England" over and over again. England is the home of cricket, and where Twenty20 cricket first started off from. This game was played at Lords, which is known the world over as being the spiritual home of cricket. Anyone would expect England to easily trounce a minnow like the Netherlands but as some history suggests, not even the giants of cricket are immune to the biggest upsets (Bangladesh Beating the Aussies at Sophia Gardens in 2005, Ireland's heroics at the 2007 World Cup are two examples that stick out in my mind).

    The Netherlands played well above their weight and known skill level to beat England by 4 wickets in the upset with TN de Grooth being the man of the match. This is a game that will go down in history and remind the big players in world cricket to not underestimate any opposition. I hope that they will produce more giant killing performances.

    View the news bulletin and scorecard by clicking HERE. Also see them celebrate their deserved win by clicking HERE.

    netherlands upset England twenty20

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    The ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup

    2009 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup

    The ICC World Twenty20 is the international championship of Twenty20 cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC). The tournament consists of 12 teams and is contested by all Test-playing nations plus qualifiers. The championship is expected to be held around every two years.

    The inaugural event, the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, was staged in South Africa from 11-24 September 2007. The tournament was won by India, who become the first World T20 Champions after defeating Pakistan by 5 runs in the final at Johannesburg.

    All Test-playing nations achieve automatic qualification to the tournament, with the remaining places filled by ICC associate member nations through a qualification tournament.

    Qualification for the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 came from the results of the first cycle of the ICC World Cricket League - a 50-over format league for non-Test playing nations. The two finalists of the Division One tournament - Kenya and Scotland - qualified for the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament alongside the Test-playing nations. Qualification for subsequent tournaments, beginning with the 2009 event, is achieved through a special event using the twenty20 format.

    The 2009 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier was played between 2 August and 5 August 2008 in Stormont, Belfast in Northern Ireland. The six competing teams were: Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, The Netherlands and Scotland, with the top three earning a place at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England. The competition was won by Ireland and the Netherlands, who shared the trophy after rain forced the final to be abandoned without a ball bowled. Both teams qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 finals in England. Due to the withdrawal of Zimbabwe from the competition, the two finalists are joined by third-placed Scotland.


    The tournament format for the 2007 edition consisted of four stages:

  • Group Stage - Four groups of three teams (two seeds and one qualifier) with two games per team and the top two teams qualifying for the Super 8s.
  • "Super 8s" - Two four-team groups playing three games each. The make up of the groups was pre-decided based upon all seeds qualifying; if a seed failed to qualify the beneficiary took their allotted place in their respective group.
  • Semi-Finals - Group Winners playing the runner up of the other Super 8 Group.
  • Final

    Participating teams in the 2009 edition of the Twenty20 World Cup are:

    New Zealand
    Sri Lanka
    South Africa
    West Indies

    Links to more info on the 2009 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup:

    Twenty20 World Cup Coverage

    Cricinfo's 2009 ICC World Twenty20 coverage

    ICC World Twenty20 Website

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • In the International Spotlight...Myanmar Cricket


    The Myanmar cricket team is the team that represents the country of Myanmar aka Burma in international cricket matches. Cricket in Myanmar dates back to when Burma was a province of British India. The British brought the game there, as they did to the rest of India, and the game progressed to the level where the Marylebone Cricket Club played two two-day first class matches there on a tour to India in 1926/1927. The first of these was played at the Gymkhana ground in Rangoon against a Rangoon Gymkhana team. That game was drawn with the MCC on top after forcing the home side to follow-on. The second game was against the Burma team themselves at the BAA Ground, also in Rangoon. The MCC won this game restricting Burma to low scores in both their innings, and only having to chase 7 runs to win in their second innings. This remains the country's only first class game.

    Cricket remained very much a minority sport in Myanmar, and was nowhere to be seen between 1988 and 1995. In 2002 the game was seeing a resurgence, with a seven team league organised by former Bengal first class player Naresh Kumar, with some former first class players taking part in games attended by around 250 people. Cricket was also featured on TV news reports. The Myanmar Cricket Federation received a visit from the ICC in 2004 and became an affiliate member of the organisation in 2006. The game is currently played primarily by ex-pats, but the game has been introduced into schools.

    Just two months after gaining ICC membership, Myanmar headed to Malaysia to take part in the ACC Trophy for the first time. They did not have the best of experiences, with a series of heavy defeats, details of which follow:

  • 16 August: Lost to Kuwait by nine wickets. Kuwait chased a target of 134 in just ten overs.
  • 17 August: Lost to Hong Kong by 422 runs. Myanmar scored just 20 when they batted.
  • 19 August: Lost to Bhutan by nine wickets. Bhutan, who had also received heavy defeats in their previous games, chased a target of 77 inside seven overs.

    The nadir of their tournament came against Nepal, who eventually finished in fourth place in the tournament. Myanmar were bowled out for just 10 runs, with no batsman scoring more than a single and half the total being made up of extras. The Nepali reply started with three runs off the first ball, followed by three wide deliveries that went for five runs and another three runs from the second legitimate delivery. Nepal therefore reached their target in just two legitimate deliveries. Some called it the greatest mismatch in the history of international cricket.

    Myanmar should be protected from such vast mismatches in the near future as the ACC Trophy is being split into two divisions, with Myanmar in the lower of the two, the Challengers division.

    Links to more information on Myanmar Cricket:

    Myanmar's Only 1st Class Cricket game

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Monday, June 1, 2009

    A look at cricket grounds in the future...

    Just been looking at pictures of cricket grounds and I thought this picture of Lords is pretty neat. This image perhaps gives an insight into what many cricket grounds would look like in the future, it would be a dream to go to a ground like Lords :).

    Lords 2

    Lords Cricket Ground view 1

    Lords Cricket Ground view 2

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

    Player Profile (#51)...Ian Butler (New Zealand).

    Ian Butler

    Ian Gareth Butler (born 24 November 1981 in Middlemore) is a New Zealand cricketer, but has dual UK/NZ citizenship.

    Although overshadowed by express speedster Shane Bond, Butler's fast bowling has proved a potent force in itself. His ability to get lift from benign surfaces winning him a test best 6 for 46 against Pakistan in Wellington in 2004. Following a series of back injuries, he failed to establish himself as an automatic selection in an increasingly strong New Zealand side and hasn't appeared in first class cricket since December 2004 though he is still active in one day cricket for Northern Districts.

    At the age of 17, he had his first professional contract with Penrith in Lake District. The following year, he played for Purley in London.

    He's taken 113 first class wickets at 31.01 and played for Northern Districts from 2001/02 to 2004/05. In 2006/2007 he played for Northern Districts in 20/20 games.

    He had English county stints with Gloucestershire in 2003 and Kent in 2004. In 2005, he played for Northants and Lashings.

    In 2007 Ian played for Harborne Cricket Club in Birmingham, and trained some boys from King Edward's School Birmingham, Edgbaston. Many boys are of beginner to intermediate skill level (eg. Wrik Ghosh, Ben Harkom, Hugo Clay) but one name worthy of note amongst these is that of pace bowler Prithu Banerjee. Noted for his vicious in-swinging deliveries and hard hitting batting in the No.5 position, he is fast making a name in cricketing circles.

    In 2008 he, again, played for Harborne Cricket Club, as well as Lashings Cricket Club in London.

    Butler was recalled to the New Zealand squad in early 2009, and played in a Twenty20 International against Australia in Sydney.

    He has most recently played in a Twenty20 series and one-day series against India.

    Links to more info on Ian Butler:

    Ian Butler on

    Ian Butler stats on

    Ian Butler on

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Player Profile #50: RP Singh (India)


    Rudra Pratap Singh (born 6 December, 1985 in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, India) is a left arm fast-medium bowler who has represented India in one day cricket and Test cricket.

    R.P. Singh first came into contention during the under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2004, when he took eight wickets for a very impressive average of 24.75. He later performed consistently in the Ranji Trophy for Uttar Pradesh and impressive performances saw him earn a place in the ODI side in 2005.

    In his third one-day match, Singh got his first man of the match award as he played his part as India restricted Sri Lanka to a modest 196 all out. Swinging the ball on a batting wicket, he took 4 important wickets to rattle Sri Lanka. His bowling figures of 8.5 overs, 2 maidens, 35 runs and 4 wickets announced his arrival on the international stage.

    Singh was selected to make his Test debut in the 2nd Test against Pakistan in Faisalabad, Pakistan in January 2006. He won the man of the match award on his debut after taking 5 wickets in the match.

    Singh's 4 wicket-haul in the fourth match of the one-day series against Pakistan in 2006, helped India take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, and won him the man of the match award. India went on to win the series 4-1. In his first 11 ODI matches, he was awarded the man of the match award 3 times.

    Singh was favoured to Sreesanth for the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy due to his superior economy rate. However, he was unable to maintain his level of performance, and was dropped from the side.

    In 2007 it was announced that Singh would be signing for English side Leicestershire as their second overseas signing. He was however unexpectedly recalled to the Indian side following their poor World Cup campaign and only made a handful of appearances.

    Singh was included in the Test squad for the tour to England and has performed well, taking 5/59 at Lord's his first five-wicket-haul in Tests. In the one-day series he took seven wickets at 31.71 from five matches.

    Singh was selected to play in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa in September 2007. Singh emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in the entire competition, taking 12 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 12.66 runs per wicket. India won the 12-nation tournament after beating Pakistan in the final. R.P. Singh's best figures were 4/13 in 4 overs in India's final Super-8 stage match in which they eliminated South Africa from the tournament.

    Singh was then selected for India's one-day home series against Australia and Pakistan that followed, playing four games in each series and picking up a total of 11 wickets.

    Reportedly, Singh has also hit 149kpmh. In home series against Australia in October 2007 he regularly bowled at late 140s and repeated his hostile spells in the home soil of Aussies. However his last two tests against South Africa in his home soil was very dissapointing.

    Links on more info for RP Singh:

    RP Singh on
    RP Singh images

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Temporary break from publishing

    To all my readers,

    I will be having a 3 week break from publishing articles and information. I am moving house and I had to get the internet cut off because of that. I will also be starting my course in web and advertising design so will be organising things for that. As soon as I can I will return to publishing as normal.

    Thanks for your patience :)

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    In the International Spotlight...Israel Cricket


    The Israel national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Israel in international cricket matches. Despite being geographically part of the Middle East, they are members of the European Cricket Council.

    They regularly take part in the European Championship, and are currently ranked as the 12th best non-test team in Europe by the International Cricket Council, having been an associate member of that organisation since 1974.

    As is most often the case, cricket was introduced to Israel by the British. Local enthusiasts managed to keep the game going once the British had left in 1948, but the game was struggling until the mid 1960s, when an influx of Jewish immigrants from cricket playing countries revived the game, mainly South Africa, United Kingdom, and the sub-continent.

    The first national league was formed in 1966, which lead the formation of the Israel Cricket Association (ICA) in 1968. The league prospered despite conditions ill-suited to cricket. Games were played on dusty, grass-less football fields, on matting wickets. However, the enthusiasm of the players has overcome these drawbacks.

    ICC Membership:
    Israel became an associate member of the ICC in 1974, with only Pakistan opposing their membership. Israel competed in the first ICC Trophy in 1979, failing to get past the first round. They also failed to progress beyond the first round in the 1982 tournament and 1986 tournament.

    They reached the plate competition of the ICC Trophy in 1990 and 1994 and in 1996 competed in the first European Championship in Denmark, finishing eighth in the eight team tournament. The 1997 ICC Trophy in Malaysia gave them a brief, though unwanted, moment in the spotlight. Malaysia does not recognise the state of Israel, and they faced political demonstrations throughout the tournament from the Islamic Party of Malaysia. They were the first Israeli sports team to play in the country and finished in 21st place.

    In 1998, they finished ninth in the European Championship ahead of only Gibraltar and the following year travelled to Gibraltar to take part in a quadrangular tournament also involving France and Italy, losing to France in the third place play-off.

    21st Century:
    Israel have been playing in Division Two of the European Championships since 2000, finishing fifth in 2000, fourth in 2002 and sixth in 2004. In the 2006 tournament, the Israeli team were again met with protests, due to the then ongoing crisis in the Middle East. Their first match, against Jersey was cancelled and their remaining two group games were met by protests. Their play-off games were then moved to RAF Lossiemouth to be played under armed guard. The second of these games, against Greece was forfeited by the Greeks, who had travel problems. Israel thus finished in seventh place.

    In November 2007, Israel were defeated in a relegation match against Croatia, in the first international cricket game played in Israel. The loss meant that they were relegated from the 2nd European division, to the 3rd. Their next competition will be in 2009.

    Links to more information on Israel Cricket:

  • Israel on
  • History of Cricket in Israel
  • Israel cricket at Cricinfo's Beyond the Test World blog

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    English County Cricket Clubs: Gloucestershire


    Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Gloucestershire. Its limited overs team is called the Gloucestershire Gladiators.

    The club plays most of its home games at the County Cricket Ground, Bristol. Currently, each season a number of games are played at both the Cheltenham and Gloucester cricket festivals held at the College Ground, Cheltenham and The King's School, Gloucester.


  • Team totals:

  • Highest Total For: 653-6 declared v Glamorgan at Bristol (Greenbank) 1928
  • Highest Total Against: 774-7 declared by the Australians at Bristol 1948
  • Lowest Total For: 17 v the Australians at Cheltenham (Spa) 1896
  • Lowest Total Against - 12 by Northamptonshire at Gloucester 1907


  • Highest Score: 341 Craig Spearman v Middlesex at Gloucester in 2004
  • Most Runs in Season: 2860 WR Hammond in 1933
  • Most Runs in Career: 33664 WR Hammond 1920-1951
  • Most Hundreds in Career - 113 WR Hammond 1920-1951

    Best Partnership for each wicket:
  • 1st: 395 DM Young & RB Nicholls v Oxford University at Oxford 1962
  • 2nd: 256 CTM Pugh & TW Graveney v Derbyshire at Chesterfield 1960
  • 3rd: 336 WR Hammond & BH Lyon v Leicestershire at Leicester (Aylestone Road) 1933
  • 4th: 321 WR Hammond & WL Neale v Leicestershire at Gloucester 1937
  • 5th: 261 WG Grace & WO Moberly v Yorkshire at Cheltenham 1876
  • 6th: 320 GL Jessop & JH Board v Sussex at Hove 1903
  • 7th - 248 WG Grace & EL Thomas v Sussex at Hove 1896
  • 8th - 239 WR Hammond & AE Wilson v Lancashire at Bristol 1938
  • 9th - 193 WG Grace & SAP Kitcat v Sussex at Bristol 1896
  • 10th - 131 WR Gouldsworthy & JGWT Bessant v Somerset at Bristol 1923


  • Best Bowling: 10-40 EG Dennett v Essex at Bristol 1906
  • Best Match Bowling: 17-56 CWL Parker v Essex at Gloucester 1925
  • Wickets in Season: 222 TWJ Goddard in 1937 and 1947
  • Wickets in Career: 3170 CWL Parker 1903-1935

    Earliest cricket:
    Cricket probably reached Gloucestershire by the end of the 17th century. It is known that the related sport of "Stow-Ball" aka "Stob-Ball" was played in the county during the 16th century. In this game, the bat was called a "stave". See Alice B Gomme : The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland.

    A game in Gloucester on 22 September 1729 is the earliest definite reference to cricket in the county. From then until the founding of the county club, very little has been found outside parish cricket.

    Origin of club:
    Records from 1863 have been found of an organisation in Cheltenham that is believed to have been the forerunner of Gloucestershire CCC, which had definitely been founded by 1871. Exact details of the club’s foundation have been lost.

    The club played its initial first-class match versus Surrey at Durdham Down near Bristol on 2, 3 & 4 June 1870. Gloucestershire joined the (unofficial) County Championship at this time.

    Club history:
    The early history of Gloucestershire is dominated by the Grace family, most notably W G Grace. WG's father, Dr H M Grace, was involved with the formation of the club. It was a successful period with Gloucestershire winning three "Champion County" titles in the 1870s.

    Since then Gloucestershire's fortunes have been mixed and they have never won the official County Championship. They struggled in the pre-war years of the County Championship because their best batsmen, apart from Gilbert Jessop and briefly Charlie Townsend, were very rarely available. The bowling, except when Townsend did sensational things on sticky wickets in late 1895 and late 1898, was very weak until George Dennett emerged - then it had the fault of depending far too much on him. Wally Hammond, who still holds many of the county's batting records formed part of an occasionally strong inter-war team, although the highest championship finish during this period was second in 1930 and 1931, when Charlie Parker and Tom Goddard formed a devastating spin attack.

    Outstanding players since the war include Tom Graveney, "Jack" Russell and overseas players Mike Procter, Zaheer Abbas and Courtney Walsh.

    Gloucestershire enjoyed a run of success in one-day cricket in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They won several titles mainly under the captaincy of Mark Alleyne whilst being coached by John Bracewell.

    The club's captain for the 2006 season, Jon Lewis, became the first Gloucestershire player for nearly 10 years to play for England at Test Match level, when he was picked to represent his country in the Third Test against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge in June 2006. His figures in the first innings were 3-68, including a wicket in his very first over in Test cricket, and he was widely praised for his debut performance.

    Gloucestershire reached the final of the 2007 Twenty20 Cup, where they narrowly lost to Kent.

    Links to more information on the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club:
  • Gloucestershire County Cricket Club official website
  • Gloucestershire CCC on
  • Gloucestershire CCC on
  • Gloucestershire Cricket Lovers Society

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Player Profile(#49)...Shaun Tait (Australia)


    Shaun William Tait (born 22 February 1983 in Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia) is a professional Australian cricketer. Tait plays domestic cricket for South Australia and is also a representative for Australia at Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International level. He is a right arm fast bowler.

    Bowling style:
    Tait's delivery action is unique and marked by significant lateral twisting of the spine. The 'slingy' nature of his action has led to comparisons with former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson. Dubbed "The Wild Thing", Tait is considered one of the fastest bowlers in the world and delivers the ball with phenomenal speed, at around 150km/h, and occasionally faster. One delivery was measured at 160km/h in an One Day International on 4 February 2007 against New Zealand. Despite his speed, Tait has often been described as "erratic" and is capable of bowling many extras. His unpredictability, however, is seen as a weapon to some, and his exceptional strike rate seems to confirm this. Tait has also been criticised as "expensive", however others have mentioned that this is irrelevant, as his main role as a "strike bowler" is to take wickets rather than keep the run rate down.

    After a Twenty20 match against New Zealand on 11 December 2007, in which Tait troubled the batsmen and took 2/22, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and coach John Bracewell publicly raised doubts over the legality of Tait's bowling action. Tait labelled the comments as a "disgrace" and added that he'd be willing to undergo tests to prove his action is legal. Only two days after Vettori made them, he was dismissed by Tait in the opening match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

    Domestic career:
    Tait has represented South Australia for a majority of his first-class career, however has also played matches for Australia A and Durham. He has taken over 150 first-class wickets at a strike rate of under 50.

    At the age of nineteen, Tait made his first-class debut for South Australia against Western Australia on 19 December 2002 at the Adelaide Oval. He only bowled in one innings on his debut, yet finished with respectable figures of 3/77 off 22.2 overs. Tait played 5 games in his first season, taking 20 wickets at an average of 22.55. As a result of his strong first season, Tait was awarded with a place at the Australian Cricket Academy alongside such players as Ben Hilfenhaus and Luke Ronchi.

    In the 2003-04 season, an in form Tait was selected in the Australia A team to take on the touring Indians. Tait took 3/85 in the Indians first innings, including the wicket of Virender Sehwag. Tait once again had a strong Pura Cup season, taking 30 wickets at 28.33. This helped earn Tait Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year for 2004. He was further rewarded as he was named in Australia's squad to tour Sri Lanka after Brett Lee was ruled out through injury. While he didn't play a match on the tour, his inclusion signalled that the Australian selectors saw him as a prospect for the future.

    In July 2004, Tait was signed by Durham for the second half of the English County Championship season. His first match was against a Somerset side captained by Ricky Ponting. His County debut was a poor one and saw him take 0/113 off 12 overs including 21 no balls. Tait only played one more first-class match for Durham before flying home again.

    Tait was rewarded with his first Cricket Australia contract for the 2004-05 season, being included ahead of Queensland fast bowler Andy Bichel. Tait repaid the selector's faith in him by having his best Pura Cup season to date. He took 65 first-class wickets at an average of 20.16, surpassing Clarrie Grimmett's record for most wickets in a season for a South Australian bowler. Perhaps Tait's best performance of the season was his spell of 7/99 against Queensland at the Adelaide Oval in November 2004 in which he claimed the wickets of Australian representatives Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, James Hopes, Jimmy Maher, Andy Bichel and Nathan Hauritz. His record breaking season helped him gain a place on the Australian 2005 Ashes tour. On this tour, Tait made his Test debut, and played one other first-class match against Worcestershire.

    Tait missed the opening half of the 2005-06 Pura Cup season with an injury to his right shoulder which he sustained on the 2005 Ashes tour. He struggled on his return taking only 14 wickets at 38.35 in the 4 matches he played. Despite this, Tait was still named a part of the Australia A squad to play in the 2006 Top End Series. While he failed to pick up any wickets against Pakistan A, he managed to take 3/67 in India A's first innings. Tait also had a strong first-class season in 2006-07 taking 29 wickets at 27.10. He also played a first-class match against the touring English side and took 3/87, including the wickets of Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell. Due to his good season, he won the Lord Hampden Trophy for South Australia's best player for 2006-07.

    An elbow injury kept Tait out for the opening parts of the 2007-08 Pura Cup season, however upon recovery a match against Queensland at the Brisbane Cricket Ground saw him take his first 10 wicket haul in first-class cricket. He took 3/69 in the first innings and 7/29 in the second, his best ever first-class figures.

    International career:

    Test cricket:

    Tait was named in Australia's Test squad to tour Sri Lanka in 2004 as a replacement for the injured Brett Lee. Tait didn't play a Test on the tour, however after an impressive domestic summer, in April 2005 Tait was named in Australia's squad to tour England for the 2005 Ashes series.

    Tait made his Test debut against England on 25 August 2005 at Trent Bridge. Some suggested that Tait should've played in the first Test of the series, but it was injury to Glenn McGrath and the poor form of Jason Gillespie that gave Tait his chance. Tait bowled 24 overs and took 3/97 in his first innings, the best figures of any Australian fast bowler in the match. Tait's first Test wicket was that of Marcus Trescothick. He also picked up the scalps of England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and batsman Ian Bell. While Tait went wicketless in the second innings, he held his spot to play in the final Test of the Ashes series at The Oval, taking 1/61 in the first innings and 1/28 in the second.

    Tait injured his shoulder ahead of the Super Series against the ICC World XI, and as a result was ruled out of playing any of the matches. Despite calls from Jason Gillespie and Ian Chappell for his inclusion in the side for the 2006-07 Ashes series in Australia, Tait didn't get a place in the team with the selectors opting for Stuart Clark who proved effective and quashed hope of Tait cracking the side for a while longer.

    Tait was selected in the 13 man squad for Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in November 2007, however his ongoing elbow injury forced him out, being replaced by Ben Hilfenhaus, with Mitchell Johnson making his Test debut. Having returned to fitness in December, he once again earned a spot in the Australian squad, this time for the Test series against India. While there was some suggestion that Australia might use Tait in a four pronged pace-attack as early as the first Test, spinner Brad Hogg was selected over for Tait for the first two tests. Tait was eventually chosen above Hogg for the third test, with the WACA wicket expected to suit. Although seam and swing dominated the match, Tait went wicketless in his 21 overs giving away 92 runs at an economy of 4.3.His claims to "bowl over" the Indian team had evidently backfired and he announced that he would take an indefinite break from cricket after this test.

    One Day International cricket:
    Tait made his One Day International debut on 2 February 2007 against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the 2006-07 Commonwealth Bank Series. Tait claimed 2/68 off 10 overs on debut and his first One Day International wicket was that of Ed Joyce. He was much more economical against New Zealand at the MCG, bowling a miserly 1/26 from 10 overs and clocking 160 km/h on the radar. Tait played no more games for the series, finishing with 3 wickets at an average of 31.33.

    Later that month, Tait was selected as a part of Australia's squad to take on New Zealand for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in New Zealand. Tait was selected for the final two games of the series, which were batsman dominated. He took a mere 2 wickets at an average of 62.00 as New Zealand chased down scores of over 300 twice and whitewashed a very understrength Australia.

    Despite his lack of matches in the Chappell-Hadlee series, Tait was selected in Australia's 15-man squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. As a result, both his greatest goals in cricket had been achieved, having already played two Ashes tests in 2005.

    Tait wasn't originally expected to play a large part in the World Cup, however with Brett Lee ruled out for the tournament due to an ankle injury, a relatively inexperienced Tait assumed Lee's mantle as the spearhead of the bowling attack. Despite the added pressure, Tait performed to much acclaim in the World Cup, finishing the tournament as the equal second leading wicket-taker with 23 wickets at an average of 20.30. Tait's best efforts of the tournament included a Man of the Match performance against England in a Super 8s match at Antigua in which he claimed 3/41 off 10 overs, as well as 4/39 off 10 overs, his best One Day International figures at the time, against a strong South African team in the Semi Final at St Lucia. While Tait went wicketless in a rain affected Final against Sri Lanka, Australia won the match and Tait's efforts throughout the tournament helped Australia secure their third consecutive and fourth overall Cricket World Cup title in the "most dominant campaign" by a team in World Cup history.

    Tait missed the Australian cricket team's tour of India in October 2007 due to a complicated recovery after elbow surgery in June 2007 however once he recovered he gained selection ahead of Stuart Clark for the 2007-08 Chappell-Hadlee series in December 2007. In a series in which his bowling action was questioned, Tait performed well, taking 5 wickets at an average of 17.80.


  • Donald Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: 2004
  • Lord Hampden Trophy: 2007
  • ICC Emerging Player of the Year: 2007
  • Australian Cricketers' Association All-star Ford Ranger Cup team: 2007-08

    Links to more information on Shaun Tait:

  • Cricket Archive Profile of Shaun Tait
  • Cricinfo Profile of Shaun Tait
  • Shaun Tait: Shaun Tait official website
  • Shaun Tait Profile | ODI , T20 and Test Statistics - Yahoo! Cricket
  • Shaun Tait on

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • In the International Spotlight...Gibraltar cricket


    The Gibraltar national cricket team is the team that represents the British overseas territory of Gibraltar in international cricket. They have been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 1969. They are currently ranked sixth amongst European non-Test teams.


    Early years:
    Cricket has been played in Gibraltar by British servicemen since the late 18th century. A cricket ground is known to have existed north of the Rock of Gibraltar in 1800. Civilians were playing the game as well as servicemen by 1822. The Gibraltar Cricket Club was formed in 1883, and formed the backbone of civilian cricket until well into the 20th Century.

    In 1890, a ship carrying the Australia national cricket team on the way to a tour of England, docked in Gibraltar Harbour after a collision with two other ships. The Australians played a game against a Gibraltar Garrison team. The local side were dismissed for just 25, and the Australians won the game, scoring 150/8.

    The game was flourishing in the 1930s, with Gibraltar producing many locally born players. However, the Second World War meant a cut back in the game, with many cricket fields giving way to the military, one even being converted into an airfield.

    Post-war years:

    The 1950s saw an increase in clubs, and the Gibraltar Cricket Association was formed in 1960. They were elected to associate membership of the ICC in 1969. Essex County Cricket Club visited after the conclusion of the 1973 English domestic season, and played a Rock XI in a one day game, winning by 178 runs. Visits by English sides of various ability levels have continued ever since.

    In 1982, Gibraltar took part in the second ICC Trophy, without winning a match. They improved on this performance in the 1986 tournament, gaining their first international win against Israel. They performed even better in the next tournament, beating East and Central Africa, Singapore and Israel reaching the plate competition. Israel toured Gibraltar in 1992, winning the match they played against the national side.

    Gibraltar finished in 20th place in the 1994 ICC Trophy, and played in the first European Championship in Copenhagen in 1996, finishing sixth after losing to Scotland in a play-off. They finished 19th in the following years ICC Trophy and played poorly in the 1998 European Championship, finishing last in the ten team tournament.

    In 1999, Gibraltar hosted a quadrangular tournament also involving France, Israel and Italy, losing in the final to Italy. The European Championship was split into two divisions in 2000, with Gibraltar placed in Division Two, which they won. The following year they travelled to Canada to take part in the 2001 ICC Trophy. A withdrawal by Italy and the non-arrival of West Africa left Gibraltar with just three matches to play against Germany, Namibia and Nepal, losing all of them and not progressing beyond the first round.

    Tournament History:

    ICC Trophy:

  • 1979: Did not participate
  • 1982: First round
  • 1986: First round
  • 1990: Plate competition
  • 1994: 20th place
  • 1997: 19th place
  • 2001: First round
  • 2005: Did not qualify

    European Championship:
  • 1996: 6th place
  • 1998: 10th place
  • 2000: Division Two winners
  • 2002: Division Two winners
  • 2004: 5th place (Division Two)
  • 2006: 4th place (Division Two)
  • 2008: 3rd place (Division Two)

    Gibraltar defended their European Division Two title in 2002, but could not continue this success in 2004, finishing fifth out of six teams. They did not qualify for the 2005 ICC Trophy, and finished fourth in Division Two of the European Championship in 2006 after losing a play-off to Germany.

    In 2008, Gibraltar took part in Division Two of the European Championship in Guernsey, playing against the hosts in addition to France, Germany, Jersey and the winner of a play-off between Israel and Croatia. In a recent ICC reshuffle, Gibratar will now play in ICC World Cricket League Division 7.

    Links to more information on Gibraltar Cricket:
  • Gibraltar Cricket Association
  • Gibraltar Cricket Records at
  • The Rock of Gibraltar: Gibraltar Cricket Association Meeting Times
  • Gibraltar Cricket on


    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Friday, January 23, 2009

    English County Cricket Clubs: Glamorgan


    Glamorgan County Cricket Club (Welsh: Criced Morgannwg) is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Glamorgan aka Glamorganshire (Welsh: Morgannwg). Glamorgan CCC is the only Welsh first-class cricket club and they are good so you might as well start betting online. Its limited overs team is called the Glamorgan Dragons. Kit colours are dark blue and red. Shirt sponsorship is by Paramount Office Interiors of St Mellons,Cardiff and Cuddy Group of Neath who are involved in civil engineering and demolition.

    The club is based in Cardiff and plays most of its home games at the SWALEC Stadium in Sophia Gardens, which is located on the bank of the River Taff. Matches have also occasionally been played at Swansea, Colwyn Bay and Cresselly (despite the latter towns being in Denbighshire and Pembrokeshire respectively).

    Earliest cricket:
    Cricket probably reached Wales and Glamorgan by the end of the 17th century. The earliest known reference to cricket in Glamorgan is a match at Swansea in 1780.

    Origin of club:
    The formation of Glamorgan CCC took place on 5 July 1888 at a meeting in the Angel Hotel, Cardiff.

    The club competed in the Minor Counties Championship for many years and then applied for first-class status after the First World War.

    Glamorgan CCC played its initial first-class match versus Sussex CCC at Cardiff Arms Park on 18, 19 & 20 May 1921 and thus increased the County Championship to 17 teams. Glamorgan won this first match, by 23 runs, under Captain N.V.H. Riches. Only one more victory was achieved that summer, Glamorgan lost 14 games and finished with the wooden spoon.

    Club history:

    Glamorgan famously won the county championship in 1948 under the captaincy of Wilf Wooller, whose advocacy of high fielding standards was the key to beating much stronger batting and bowling teams.

    Glamorgan was the unintentional venue for a piece of cricket history on 2 September 1968 when, during Glamorgan v Notts at Swansea, the great Gary Sobers hit all six balls in an over from Malcolm Nash for six.

    Glamorgan won the championship again under Tony Lewis in 1969 and Matthew Maynard in 1997. Maynard, who retired at the end of the 2005 season, was one of the most destructive batsmen in first class cricket over the past 20 years. The 2005 captain, off spinner Robert Croft proved effective on England tours, and is a useful pinch hitter in List A one day games.

    The club has current plans (April 2006) to extend its grounds in the Grade 2 Listed Heritage Park that is Sophia Gardens with a 17,500 seat super-stadium. This is opposed by local residents' groups and earlier plans were objected to by Cadw and local MPs, Councillors and Assembly Members. See the Hit It For Six website.

    On 20 April 2006, it was announced that, subject to the development being completed, one of the Tests against Australia in the 2009 Ashes series would be held at Sophia Gardens.

    Links to more information on Glamorgan County Cricket Club:

  • Glamorgan County Cricket Club website
  • Glamorgan CCC on
  • Glamorgan Cricket at
  • Glamorgan Cricket Club- Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground
  • Glamorgan CCC stats at

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Player Profile(#48)...Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)


    Shakib Al Hasan, also known as Saqibul Hasan, (Bengali: সাকিব আল হাসান) (born 24 March 24 1987 in Rajshahi) is a Bangladeshi cricketer who made his One Day International debut against Zimbabwe in August 2006. He is a left handed middle order batsman and Slow left-arm orthodox bowler. He emerged from Bangladesh's only educational sports institution.

    Hasan is a slow left-arm orthodox, who in only six first-class matches has already taken 28 wickets for his local team, Khulna Division. He has played in 12 under-19 ODIs for Bangladesh, taking 15 wickets and has shown a lot of potential for future success. He took his first Test wicket against South Africa, bowling AB De Villiers. He has become an increasingly important part of Bangladeshi test cricket including taking a record breaking 7 wicket haul and scoring a half century against New Zealand in October 2008. He then got 5-70 and 96 against Sri Lanka in the boxing day test at Dhaka; He was named man of the match.

    Revealing his talent on his ODI debut with an undefeated 30*, Hasan is already becoming a key member to the Bangladesh squad. Averaging 31.60, he provides great support to his teammates, like steadying the ship for his partner Shahriar Nafees to score a century. He has one of the highest batting averages on the Bangladeshi team and has played face saving performances in the middle order for Bangladesh many times. He is currently ranked as the best ODI all-rounder in the world according to the ICC ODI rankings.

    Links to more information on Shakib Al Hasan:

  • Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship All-Rounder Rankings - Shakib Al Hasan
  • Shakib takes top spot among ODI allrounders
  • Shakib Al Hasan on
  • Shakib Al Hasan on
  • Shakib Al Hasan on

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2009

    In the International Spotlight...Cuba Cricket


    The origins of the Cuban cricket team began when baseball was introduced into Cuba in the 1860s by Cubans who studied in the United States, American sailors who ported in the country and American settlers during the 19th century; at the same time, at the end of the 19th century, economic immigrants of the Caribbean countries landed in Cuba, brought this sport to the eastern part of the island. In the 1920s, an influx of sugar workers from Jamaica and Barbados brought cricket with them to the plantations on the east of Cuba. Their teams played in leagues and cup competitions in Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo and Baraguá.

    Cuba's first international match in 1952, against a Jamaican team, included Jamaica's current Governor-General, Howard Cooke.

    By the late 1990s cricket had spread to Havana, where there are more than 500 players. More than 2,000 juniors and adults play cricket today, with it being taught in some schools. More than 20 teams recently took part in a national under-15 tournament.

    Today there is pressure to expand cricket in Cuba with the government stating that it wants to be more closely aligned with other Caribbean countries. In 2002 Cuba became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council.

    The president of the Cuban Cricket Commission is Leona Ford. After hearing of a speech she had given, Cooke persuaded Courtney Walsh to become involved and raise equipment for Cuban teams. Donations have also come from South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Guyana, Canada, India and Britain. Former Indian One-day all rounder Robin Singh travelled to Cuba in 2007 forming a coaching team to train young players.

    Links to more information on Cuba Cricket:

  • Havana Cricket Club
  • Cuba's Cricket Uprising
  • Cuba, land of rum, cigars, salsa and CRICKET!


    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Player Profile(#47)...Danish Kaneria (Pakistan)


    Danish Parabha Shanker Kaneria (Urdu: دانش پرابھا شنکر کنیریا) (born 16 December 1980), is a Pakistani cricketer (leg spin bowler). He was born in Karachi. He made his international debut in 2000 against England at Faisalabad. Kaneria has continued the tradition of Pakistani leg spin bowlers and possesses a very well disguised googly. However his failure to develop an effective straighter delivery has prevented him from reaching his full potential.

    In January 2002, he took 7 wickets for 77 runs in the Test match against Bangladesh in Bangladesh, which are his career best figures so far in Test cricket. Earlier, in the same season, he had taken 6 wickets in an innings twice against Bangladesh during Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan. In October 2004, he took 10 wickets against Sri Lanka at Karachi, with a second-innings haul of 7/109, setting up Pakistan's 6-wicket win. More recently he has played an important role in Pakistan's Test wins over West Indies, England and India.

    In One Day International cricket, he has been economical so far with an economy rate under 4.8 runs per over. His best bowling in ODIs came against New Zealand in Sri Lanka in 2003. He also had a good series against Zimbabwe in Sharjah just before that. He also impressed in English county cricket taking 32 wickets in seven championship matches for Essex in 2005. Although unable to play English county cricket in 2006 due to Pakistan's tour of England, it has been confirmed that Kaneria would return to play for Essex in 2007.

    Success in the one day arena has been more elusive, Pakistan usually opting to play the two spinning all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik instead.

    Despite representing the Muslim-majority Country of Pakistan, Kaneria is a devout Hindu and is of Marwari heritage. He is only the second Hindu to play Test cricket for Pakistan (the first, his cousin Anil Dalpat, was briefly their wicketkeeper).

    Kaneria suffered a broken finger in Essex's LV County Championship Division Two match against Worcestershire at Colchester on August 21, 2008. The bowler was injured attempting to take a catch off Ben Smith. An X-ray confirmed he had broken a finger and may miss the remainder of the 2008 English domestic season.

    Links to more information on Danish Kaneria:

  • Danish Kaneria on
  • Danish Kaneria Interview
  • Danish Kaneria's Official site on


    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • English County Cricket Clubs: Essex


    Essex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Essex. Its limited overs team is called the Essex Eagles and the current (2008) shirt sponsor is Shepherd Neame. The one day team colours this season are blue.

    The club plays most of its home games at the County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford. It also plays some games at Lower Castle Park in Colchester, and at Garons Park in Southend. The club has formerly used other venues throughout the county including Ilford, Leyton Cricket Ground, Romford, and Billericay.

    Essex C.C.C. is presently captained by Mark Pettini, and has a very strong limited-overs team, which has won the National League in both 2005 and 2006, won the Friends Provident Trophy final in 2008, and reached the current Twenty20 Cup finals day.


  • For Essex County Cricket Club's first-class records, see List of Essex first-class cricket records.
  • For Essex County Cricket Club's List A records, see List of Essex List A cricket records.

    Earliest cricket:
    It is almost certain that cricket reached Essex by the 16th century and that it developed during the 17th century with inter-parish matches being played.

    The first definite mention of cricket in connection with the county is a highly controversial match in 1724 between Chingford and Mr Edward Stead’s XI, which is recorded in The Dawn of Cricket by H T Waghorn. The venue is unknown but, if it was at Chingford, it is also the earliest reference to cricket being played in Essex as well as by an Essex team. The game echoed an earlier one in 1718 as the Chingford team refused to play to a finish when Mr Stead's team had the advantage. A court case followed and, as in 1718, it was ordered to be played out presumably so that all wagers could be fulfilled. We know that Lord Chief Justice Pratt presided over the case and that he ordered them to play it out on Dartford Brent, though it is not known if this was the original venue. The game was completed in 1726.

    The earliest reference to a team called Essex is in July 1732 when a combined Essex & Herts team played against the famous London Cricket Club.

    In July 1737, there was London v Essex at the Artillery Ground, London winning by 45 runs. In a return game at Ilford on 1 August 1737, Essex won by 7 runs.

    References are then occasional until 1785 when the Hornchurch Cricket Club became prominent. This club had a very strong team that was representative of Essex as a county. However, the sources differed among themselves re whether the team should be called Essex or Hornchurch. But there is no doubt that Essex was a first-class county from 1785 until 1794, after which the county strangely and abruptly disappeared from the records for a long time.

    Club history:

    Little was heard of Essex cricket from 1794 until the formation of Essex CCC on 14 January 1876 at a meeting in the Shire Hall, Brentwood. The new club did not become first-class until 1894.

    Essex CCC played its inaugural first-class match on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 versus Leicestershire CCC at Leyton. It was the initial first-class match played by either club, and Essex failed to win a match. In 1895, both of these clubs and Warwickshire CCC joined the County Championship. In the club's first championship match, of their first championship season, James Burns scored 114 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and this was the first-ever century for Essex in the County Championship. GF Higgins scored the second championship century for Essex in the same match putting on 205 with Burns for the 4th wicket. The club made an extraordinary score of 692 against Somerset,in which Burns made 0 but the most notable feat was by Walter Mead who took 17-119 against Hampshire CCC at Southampton.

    Essex improved rapidly from 1895, so that by 1897 they were in the running for the Championship, only losing it when Surrey beat them at Leyton. They fell off after this despite beating a fine Australian team on a dubious pitch in 1899, never finishing higher than sixth between 1899 and 1932. Their batting on Leyton's excellent pitches was generally good with the "Essex Twins" of Perrin and McGahey and the sound and skilful Jack Russell, but the bowling depended too much on Mead, Buckenham and later Douglas and when available Louden.

    With the decline of these players, Essex fell to some of their lowest levels ever during the late 1920s. Their bowlers conceded over 40 runs a wicket in 1928 - about the highest ever with uncovered pitches. The emergence of Jack O'Connor, Stan Nichols and when available, the amateur fast bowlers Ken Farnes and Hopper Read, though, made Essex during the 1930s a dangerous if inconsistent side. They finished as high as fourth in 1933, and owing to their pace bowling maintained almost as high a standard up to the outbreak of war. The batting, however, tended to depend too much upon O'Connor and a number of amateurs who were rarely available, and Essex lost too many games to break the North's stronghold on the Championship.

    After the war, however, Essex fell off, taking their first wooden spoon in 1950. During ths period it was left to Trevor Bailey to do all the pace bowling, and he was often unavailable due to Test calls. Not until 1957 did Essex come back into the top half of the table, but Bailey and Barry Knight never had support of sufficient class to permit them to reach the top of the table, even when Robin Hobbs became England's last successful leg-spinner late in the 1960s.

    In the 1970s, with overseas players now permitted, Essex were able to gradually strengthen their team to achieve much more than they ever had before. This decade saw the advent of Graham Gooch, one of England's finest ever opening batsmen, even though he began his Test career with a pair against Australia in 1975. He didn't return to the England team until 1978, but after a slow start began to assert his dominance over Test bowlers as he had on the county scene. Dedicated to training, he forced his burly physique through a tough regime to prolong his career long after some of his contemporaries had retired.

    Along with Gooch, county captain and England batsman Keith Fletcher built a powerful eleven in the late 1970s that dominated domestic cricket from 1979 to 1992, when Essex won six of thirteen County Championship titles. The bowling in the first half of this period was borne by tireless left arm seamer John Lever and spinner and prankster Ray East. The South African Ken McEwan and Fletcher were the best batsmen after Gooch. As Lever declined, England all rounder Derek Pringle and fast bowler Neil Foster took over, whilst John Childs crossed from Gloucestershire to take over as the chief spinner.

    In the 1990s, Essex had more internationals, including Nasser Hussain, who captained England in several series. Bowlers Mark Ilott and Peter Such earned caps, as well as wicket keeper James Foster. Ashley Cowan toured the West Indies in 1997/98 without playing an international match. Essex were also able to sign England fast bowlers Darren Gough and Alex Tudor, after they left Yorkshire and Surrey respectively.

    Enjoying a new sponsorship deal at their Chelmsford home, and a pitch which is always full of runs, Essex, led by combative all rounder Ronnie Irani and boasting the excellent Zimbabwe-born batsman Andy Flower in their ranks, currently have a young team with the talent required to relive their glory days. Recent use of overseas international players including Danish Kaneria and Andre Adams has also increased the overall strength of their squad. They fulfilled their promise by winning the National League Division 1 title in 2005, their first major title in eight years.

    The future looks bright for Essex, especially with the breakthrough of young talent. Alastair Cook has become a regular England batsman, having previously been the England Under 19s captain, and after scoring a famous double century against the touring Australians in 2005. Ravinder Bopara is another promising youngster, who is widely tipped for success.

    Essex facts and feats:
  • Essex have provided four players for the England test team on three occasions. Graham Gooch, Derek Pringle,Neil Foster and John Childs v West Indies at The Oval in 1988 and twice against Australia in 1993 with Graham Gooch, Nasser Hussain, Mark Ilott and Peter Such.

  • Percy Perrin's 343 is the only triple century for Essex but broke a less welcome record too. It is the highest score made by a man on the losing side in first class cricket. Essex piled up 597, thanks to Perrin before 'Derbyshire accomplished the most phenomenal performance ever recorded in First-Class cricket' in the words of Wisden. They replied with 548, dismissed Essex for 97 and won by nine wickets.

  • Essex were the only team to bowl out Bradman's 1948 'Invincibles' in a day, at Southend. They famously conceded the little matter of 721 in the process.

  • University games had traditionally seen County batsman improve their averages at the undergraduates expense but Cambridge batsmen John Dewes and Hubert Doggart both made double centuries in a record breaking stand of 429 against Essex in May 1949. Doggart had made history in 1948 by scoring 215* on his first class debut.

    Links to more information about Essex County Cricket Club:
  • Essex CCC website
  • Essex CCC Official Shop
  • Essex CCC on
  • Essex CCC on

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Monday, January 19, 2009

    English County Cricket Clubs: Durham


    Durham County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Durham. Its limited overs team is called the Durham Dynamos. Their kit colours are blue with yellow trim and the shirt sponsor is Northern Rock.

    The club is based at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.

    Granted first-class status in 1991, Durham is English cricket's newest first-class county. The County Ground at the Riverside is also the newest addition to the English Test match circuit; hosting its first match, England v Zimbabwe in the second Test, from 5 June to 7 June 2003.

    Durham CCC is playing in Division One of the LV County Championship and division one of the NatWest Pro40 League in 2008. Durham won the County Championship in 2008 for the first time.

    For Durham County Cricket Club's first-class records, see List of Durham first-class cricket records. For Durham County Cricket Club's List A records, see List of Durham List A cricket records.

    Earliest cricket:
    Cricket probably did not reach Durham until the 18th century. The earliest reference is a game at Raby Castle on or soon after 5 August 1751 between the Earl of Northumberland’s XI and the Duke of Cleveland’s XI. The game was commemorated by a ballad which starts:

    "Durham City has been dull so long,
    No bustle at all to show;
    But now the rage of all the throng
    Is at cricketing to go."

    As it happens, there was a return game soon afterwards at Stanwick, near Richmond, and that is the earliest reference to cricket in Yorkshire.

    The first recorded match of representative cricket in the county took place in 1848 at Sunderland, between an All England XII and a Bishopwearmouth 22. Despite their extra numbers the cricketers of Bishopwearmouth were comprehensively outplayed as All England's scores of 129 and 143 dwarfed their own 56 and 59.

    The first team to carry the name of 'Durham County' played an MCC team in 1876 and went on to take on the touring Australians in 1878, winning by 71 runs, and again in 1880, losing by an innings and 38 with the great Fred Spofforth taking 17 wickets for 66.

    Origin of club:
    Durham CCC was founded as an official entity on 23 May 1882, and the nascent club played its first competitive match on June 12 of that year, beating Northumberland by 4 wickets at the Ashbrooke Ground, Sunderland. The club established an enviable record as a minor county: becoming the first minor county to beat a first-class county in the Gillette Cup; winning the Minor Counties Championship a record-equalling seven times between 1901 and 1984; and putting together a record of 65 matches without defeat between 1976 and 1982 that remains unbroken to the present day.

    Durham as a first-class county:
    Early in 1989, the Club began the process of applying to become a first-class cricketing county and join the County Championship. First-class status was awarded on 6 December 1991, with Durham becoming the first new first-class county for 70 years. Their first season in the County Championship was the 1992 season.

    Durham have not been distinguished by marked success as a first-class county. In the 2004 season they finished bottom of the two-division County Championship, sixth out of ten teams in the one-day National Cricket League and fifth out of six teams in the Northern Division of the Twenty20 Cup.

    However in 2005 under the captaincy of Australian Mike Hussey Durham finished second and achieved promotion in both the County Championship and the one-day National Cricket League. Hussey was prevented from returning to the Riverside in 2006 as he is contracted to the Australian international team; and with vice-captain Paul Collingwood away on English international team duty Dale Benkenstein was captain for 2006.

    Durham had mixed success in the 2006 season, finishing second in the North Division of the C&G Trophy. However, Durham were poor in the Twenty20 cup, finishing last in the North Division and only managing 2 victories, both against Lancashire. The Pro40 campaign started fairly well, with Durham taking 4 points from the first 4 games with a win, a loss, a tie and a no result. However, several defeats left them needing a win against the champions elect, Essex, in the final game of the season. They managed the victory, but other results did not go their way and they ended up being relegated in 8th place. The Championship season also began with success, but mediocre results in the middle of the season left Durham hanging above the relegation zone by just half a point going into the last game of the season. Durham needed more points than their rivals Yorkshire, but looked in trouble when Darren Lehmann hit a career-best 339 in the first innings. Achieving just one bowling bonus point meant that Durham needed to score 400 without losing more than 5 wickets and then draw the game.

    However, one other team could also be relegated. Nottinghamshire needed just 3 points to avoid the drop at the start of the matches, but only managed 1 point as they were soundly beaten by Sussex. This meant that Durham needed only to score 400 (for maximum batting points) and force a draw. At 191-6 this looked unlikely. But a record-breaking stand of 315 between Benkenstein and Ottis Gibson made it possible. Gibson was out for 155, the highest first-class score in his career. Durham then collapsed again to 518 all out, needing work to be done in the second innings. This was provided by Garry Park, who hit a maiden first-class century (100*) as Durham played out a draw, leaving themselves and Yorkshire in the first division.

    In recent times, Durham has seen a number of their top players make an impact on the England side. Collingwood (who is the first Durham CCC player to hit a Test century and double century), Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett have all established themselves in the national squad with Phil Mustard the most recent inclusion. The recent addition of Graham Onions may be a sign that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future and is an indication of Durham's admirable youth system.

    On August 19th 2007 Durham won their first trophy in First Class County Cricket when they beat Hampshire County Cricket Club in the Final of the Friends Provident Trophy at Lords, which Durham won by 125 runs. Durham broke the record for most runs scored in the final of a 50 overs tournament by scoring 312-5. Hampshire replied with 187 and were bowled out in 41 overs ensuring that Durham won the tie.

    Links to more information on Durham County Cricket Club:

  • Official Durham County Cricket Club website
  • BBC Wear - Riverside Cricket Ground interactive 360° Panorama
  • BBC Wear - DCCC celebrate with the County Championship Trophy 2008
  • Scorecard from the 2007 Friends Provident Trophy Final
  • Durham County Cricket Club

    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.