Thursday, 24 May 2018

Kohli injured back and will not play for Surrey and unlikely to tour with India in England

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Virat Kohli has a slipped disc and it is now very unlikely he will be touring England with India later this summer. Although it is hoped he may be fit in time to play the Test Matches, and only miss  the white ball games. It is also being reported this morning that he will not play for Surrey for the six games that have been well advertised, starting on 1st June at Beckingham. This has not yet been confirmed by the county.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

A few England players just gathering dust in the IPL and no-one playing particularly well.

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The IPL is just about over half way through. It has to said I can't really see how any English players can be credited with playing particularly well. Some are literally gathering dust as they have not played at all, or played just one or two games then dropped.

Ben Stokes has played the most games eight in total. But has only taken ONE wicket and most of the time getting smashed around the park. Batting started well but most recent Innings have produced 0 and 1. So could his place be vulnerable?  

Most others have played just four games maximum. Jason Roy's 1st game was the highlight with a fantastic 91, but followed by a 5 and 1 and he seems to have been dropped after just three games. Perhaps he will play again. Perhaps. 

But there are a few players that really are gathering dust. David Willey CSK, not played a single game. Mark Wood also CSK, just played the one game, got smacked around the park. Dropped. Chris Jordan similar to Mark Wood just one game for Kings XI.

Moheen Ali RCB Not played if anyone needs a rest from Cricket it has to be Moheen, instead he is making up the numbers but not really resting. Alex Hales finally got a game on 29th April for the Sunrisers and scored a good 49, so he should play again. Tom Curran  has played four games for KKR and dropped, he got a bit aggressive with wicket of Watson, a little over the top. 

I am afraid that does not make good reading, it is poor show from our "superstars" and I can't see how this experience is really helping a great deal. As no-one comes out of this so far with a good record. All pretty stressful though. You might expect they will return with less confidence. Not really what we expected or need. You might hope a few of them would do well, but its a pretty lousy record so far. Time to improve, well if they get picked, maybe. But don't really see it myself.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Cricket World Cup Fixtures England 30th May - 14th July 2019

Thursday 30 May: England v South Africa The Kia Oval
Friday 31 May: Windies v Pakistan Trent Bridge
Saturday 1 June: New Zealand v Sri Lanka Cardiff
Saturday 1 June: D/N Afghanistan v Australia  Bristol
Sunday 2 June: South Africa v Bangladesh The Kia Oval
Monday 3 June: England v Pakistan Trent Bridge
Tuesday 4 June: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka Cardiff
Wednesday 5 June: South Africa v India The Ageas Bowl
Wednesday 5 June: D/N Bangladesh v New Zealand  Oval
Thursday 6 June: Australia v Windies Trent Bridge
Friday 7 June: Pakistan v Sri Lanka Bristol
Saturday 8 June: England v Bangladesh Cardiff
Saturday 8 June:  D/N Afghanistan v New Zealand Taunton
Sunday 9 June: India v Australia The Kia Oval
Monday 10 June: South Africa v Windies The Ageas Bowl
Tuesday 11 June: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Bristol
Wednesday 12 June: Australia v Pakistan Taunton
Thursday 13 June: India v New Zealand Trent Bridge
Friday 14 June: England v Windies The Ageas Bowl
Saturday 15 June: Sri Lanka v Australia The Kia Oval
Saturday 15 June: D/N South Africa v Afghanistan Cardiff
Sunday 16 June: India v Pakistan, Emirates Old Trafford
Monday 17 June: Windies v Bangladesh Taunton
Tuesday 18 June: England v Afghanistan Old Trafford
Wednesday 19 June: New Zealand v South Africa Edgbaston
Thursday 20 June: Australia v Bangladesh Trent Bridge
Friday 21 June: England v Sri Lanka Emerald Headingley
Saturday 22 June: India v Afghanistan The Ageas Bowl
Saturday 22 June:  D/N Windies v New Zealand Old Trafford
Sunday 23 June: Pakistan v South Africa Lord's
Monday 24 June: Bangladesh v AfghanistanThe Ageas Bowl
Tuesday 25 June: England v Australia Lord's
Wednesday 26 June: New Zealand v Pakistan Edgbaston
Thursday 27 June: Windies v India Emirates Old Trafford
Friday 28 June: Sri Lanka v South Africa Emirates Riverside
Saturday 29 June: Pakistan v Afghanistan Headingley
Saturday 29 June: D/N New Zealand v Australia Lord's
Sunday 30 June: England v India, Edgbaston
Monday 1 July: Sri Lanka v Windies  Riverside
Tuesday 2 July: Bangladesh v India, Edgbaston
Wednesday 3 July: England v New Zealand Riverside
Thursday 4 July: Afghanistan v Windies Headingley
Friday 5 July: Pakistan v Bangladesh Lord's
Saturday 6 July: Sri Lanka v India Headingley
Saturday 6 July: D/N Australia v South Africa Old Trafford

Tuesday 9 July: Semi-final 1 - 1 v 4 Old Trafford
Wednesday 10 July: reserve day
Thursday 11 July: Semi-final 2 - 2 v 3 Edgbaston
Friday 12 July: Reserve Day

Sunday 14 July: Final Lord's
Monday 15 July: Reserve Day

Friday, 20 April 2018

T16.4 Oh its gone mad, but are the ECB not as daft as they sound?

As if Cricket fans needed anymore bad news this week, after the shock that BBC Test Match Special would not be broadcasting to us live this winter. The ECB now announce that the unpopular "New T20 Competition" won't be T20 it will be T16.4, which works out to 100 balls.

This idea will include a 100 to zero countdown and will consist of (wait for it) 15 overs of 6 balls. Then the final over will be the most ridiculous 10 balls.  This of course throws Duckworth Lewis method straight into File 13 (The bin) and it also throws all the wonderful stats that have accumulated over the years into complete disarray,

However it worse than that isn't it? a lot worse. While some cricket fans love T20 a lot of people simple hate it, can't abide it, will never watch it. 

On top of that a lot of fans are against this new competition anyway. They think three competitions is enough So those people are hardly likely to jump back on board ship are they? No they are on their Happy Island and are staying put. Some might say these people on the Happy Island think money grows on the coconut trees. But they are happy, so no problem. 

This will be a complete and utter slog fest, it won't be Cricket. just an hour of whacking it as far as you can. Some say T20 is already that, they are probably correct. But it also can be very exciting.....

So to the "But's" and I have a few "But's" and my view as to the angle that the ECB are coming from that perhaps many have missed or have not thought about. 

The biggest bug bear and loss of potential revenue to the ECB is not having a world wide competition (such as the IPL and Big Bash) That I can say is a fact, and if a competition could be run and it did sell overseas then that problem is addressed and a lot of money can be made. That really sums up why we are here and talking about this. ECB want a worldwide competition on TV. Simple so far. 

But how do you do this? You need to come up with something a little different, you need money to back it, and you need to be able to attract ALL the top players. They have the money to give it go, they are coming up with ideas to make it different. 

Another way of doing this is to keep your EIGHT chosen grounds sweet. Let them do the marketing and selling of tickets, you have eight different ways of doing this, and the best ideas can be shared around. Eight brains are better than one. Give them a pot of money to achieve this. A loss is already in the budget, that money will be allocated to the eight stadiums. They will be instructed to get on with selling tickets, you can't lose. Sell tickets! Its in the stadium's interest anyway of course. They have the best players in the world coming surely they can sell a few? I don't think they can, I know they can. Can they sell a T20 Blast ticket and sell a T16.4 ticket at half price? Or even better free? Now if you get a good enough incentive and they will sell. If you are being propped up, you can't lose, so your incentives can be very good. And they are going to be propped up. The nominated 8 will get more than 1.3 million all the counties will get. The Cricket grounds will be paid to hold a Cricket Match, will that's easy then isn't it? Surely. Don't think because 100 people that you follow on Twitter hate it that tickets won't sell. They will sell given this freedom. Ok they might give away the tickets, whats the point in that? The TV audience is the point of that. That generates the real money.

So to the TV Audience, well I have heard that perhaps the terrestrial TV companies don't want a extended and long 4 hour show. They want cut it down as much as they can. 3.5 hours would be much better for them. So hence the 100 ball idea, it fits  better with terrestrial TV. Perhaps they will put in time constraints to ensure it doesn't run over time? Now the plan is that a "new audience" will sit down and watch the whole thing, so it can't be too long. A lot of Cricket fans will watch because it's free. But also remember the Winter Olympics effect? You start watching sports you have never watched before. We watched the curling (that is pretty long) we haven't watched it for 4 years. All sorts of people watched the Curling the Freestyle Skiing and those completely mad ones on the metal trays.

The women's game is really thriving now and so the audience is different from years gone by, it will be far more mixed than it was 40 years ago. When it was on TV on a Sunday afternoon 40 overs, your mum didn't watch then, no chance. She would probably be in the kitchen or fast asleep while Dad watched it. A lot more women really enjoy Cricket now, but don't always get the time to watch it. They wouldn't purchase a satellite package for it. So the time is right, get it back on TV. But you do have to compromise. This new audience are not going to watch test matches, they haven't got time. But they might eventually, once the little blue touch paper is lit. It takes time, but they will get new viewers.  

All these ideas and questions does not mean the big picture will change overnight, but it is hoped it might in time. The ECB think that this is answer, it generates money from TV, and it just might get a new audience. Both are possible I think. But by heck its going to be a rough ride with those opposed to it. And they have a point, of course they have. Thrashing the ball about for an hour is not Cricket. The 18 county system has been in place for as long as we can all remember (in slightly different formats but you know what I mean) and we don't really want to change it. But 1.3 million is the carrot, and I can't see anyone opposed to it, that can come up with a way of generating 1.3 million for Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northants and the likes. 

Somehow those for and against have to learn to live and work together for the end benefit of Cricket. There is plan behind it all. Yes it is kind of daft, but it ain't that daft. Of course one of the things that is always going to be a problem is the weather, and this single problem could be the biggest of the lot. Watching Cricket at 9pm is not my idea of fun in England. India yes great, England sorry not for me. Hope you find parts of this thoughtful. I don't like it but I also can't think of another way of giving 1.3 million to all the counties, I just can't. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Shocking news for BBC TMS fans and it ain't going down well

It has been announced that talkSPORT have beaten BBC Test Match Special to the rights to air commentary of England during this coming winter. 

England's tours include Sri Lanka in Oct/Nov 2018 and West Indies in Feb/Mar 2019. So talkSPORT will now have live ball by ball coverage of all ODI'S T20 and Test Match fixtures. 

The first game to be broadcasted will be on 10th Oct 2018 Sri Lanka v England 1st ODI from Dambulla.

The BBC Radio Five Live coverage is extremely popular and has been covering all Test Matches home and away since in inception of radio, however ball by ball coverage really started in 1957. This news has already created quite a backlash from TMS fans (of which there are many all over the world) Here are a few tweets sent to talkSPORT when they broke the news a few hours ago.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

11 English Players in the PSL 22nd Feb to 25th Mar 2018

The following players from England have been drafted to play in the Pakistan Super League between 22nd Feb 2018 and the final on 25th March 2018. Most games are being held in UAE, however the latter stages some games will be in Pakistan. Some players do have cover so they can play in New Zealand.

Istanbul United 

Sam Billings 
Alex Hales
Steve Finn

Karachi Kings

Ravi Bopari 
Joe Denly 
Tymal Mills
Eoin Morgan

Peshawar Zalmi

Chris Jordan 
Liam Dawson (Cover for Shakib al Hasan) 

Quetta Gladiators 

Jason Roy
Kevin Pieterson 

Lahore Qalanders and Multan Sultans have none

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Blow me down, Alex Hales will only play White Ball Cricket

Well on a day when it is announced Eoin Morgan will be available for red ball Cricket, Hales joins Rashid and has just tweeted that he has told Notts he WON'T be available for Red ball and will concentrate on one day cricket! Well I stick to my thoughts, the England ODI fixtures are only in one block for six weeks and this season more than most it is easier to play in both forms for your County.

Eoin Morgan keen to play red ball Cricket again for Middlesex

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Well after a week when Yorkshire learned that Adil Rashid does NOT want to play red ball Cricket  Middlesex are made aware that Eoin Morgan does! So this certainly does come down to personal choice, and the fact that Morgan has not been picked for the IPL 2018 certainly must have some bearing on the matter. Middlesex fixtures  are similar to Yorkshire (and every other county) 

So, England's ODI games are in the middle of the season but only for six weeks, the rest of the season Morgan (and Rashid for that matter) should be available to play. So I am really not sure that Rashid has got this right for 2018, another season could be different, a lot does depend on when England play their ODI's and this season it is all in one block. Not two blocks as it usually is.

Will Middlesex be that interested? Well it would appear that Nick Compton 34 has been told that the county are going to be rebuilding to get promotion back to Div 1 and will be looking at the new younger players. Morgan is 31 and he admits himself a slow starter at red ball and not that good at it! Obviously he has skills that he should be able to bring to the game, and now wants to play, so it will interesting to see if he is picked. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

Adil Rashid's decision to only play white ball Cricket splits opinion

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Yorkshire have announced that the new contract for 2018 for Adil Rashid will only be for white ball one day Cricket. This will mean he will not play in any County Championship game this summer. England's Trevor Bayliss has been reported as saying he is happy with that decision, so you could conclude from that he is not in their plans to play for England either. Rashid has said that this is for 2018 only and "will see how things go" 

The backlash from Yorkshire Supporters in particular as you might expect has been harsh. Most have still not forgiven him for missing the vital end of season decider against Middlesex shown live on Sky TV in September 2016. That was said to be for personal reasons. The reason now is that he said that playing early in the season, he would be playing because "he had to" and would be going through the motions.

Well is that a good excuse? lets look in more detail at the fixtures.

Now the new season's fixture list means Yorkshire play the following number of Championship matches in these months, if he is not picked to play red ball for England then he should be available for the following Championship games.

April - 3  Available
May - 2   Available
June - 2  Not Available
July - 1 Available
August - 2 Available
September - 4 Available

England play the bulk of their ODI's this summer against Australia and India from 10th June until 17th July, so by my reckoning he would actually only miss TWO County games in June and could be available for the other 12! 

Other counties will now be looking over their shoulder at other England white ball players that are unlikely to get into the Test side. Obviously the England captain leads the way Eoin Morgan the prime example. Other players in this sort of category include Plunkett and Willey also from Yorkshire. Two others could be Hales and Buttler. No suggestion of course that these players will follow suit, they really shouldn't because I don't think the public particularly like Morgan for this, and I am sure that Yorkshire supporters are not happy with Rashid. 

Rashid not picked in the IPL this year and also not a 100% certain pick for the ODI Team has been careful to say this decision is only for 2018. If he where to lose his place in the England one day side then potentially he would only play a handful of games for Yorkshire and that would be that. He is available for just 26 days this summer for his county. 

Obviously Yorkshire supporters are not that impressed. Some supporters saying "Play when you are told to, or leave" I think his excuses are poor myself, will this give him a better chance of playing Test Cricket? Don't think it will. How can it? Is the fixture list a poor excuse, I think it is. I am not sure he is certain about this decision either, due to the fact he has said "lets see how it goes"  Ok Lets. 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Worcestershire sign Aussie Travis Head for all forms of Cricket in 2018

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Big signing for Worcestershire as they have announced the signing of Australian Batsman Travis Head who will play in all forms of the game during the summer of 2018. There is just a brief period in June when he won't be available as he will be in the Australian squad to play England in five ODI's and one T20.

He is the victorious winning captain of the Adelaide Strikers who have just won the big bash for the first time. Also recently his 96 runs from 107 balls against England was crucial for the Aussies  only win in the 4-1 series. He is a left handed batsman and also bowls a bit of off spin.

This is an excellent signing for Worcestershire who of course gained promotion to Division one last season.

Domestic Cricket Fixture Spreadsheet 2018

Well it's been a while, I have had a very busy end to 2017 and start of 2018, and Cricket has taken a backseat, life throws up some curve balls now and again. I have now relocated back to beautiful Cheltenham where I was brought up. I have joined Gloucestershire Cricket Club, last time I was member, well a junior member for the Cheltenham Cricket Festival was in 1973. I intend to get to a lot of games this summer, and am in pretty easy reach of Bristol, Worcester, Edgbaston and also make the odd trip to London to The Oval and Lords. So plenty of Cricket to write about this year. Never been in this position before of course, so I so looking forward to getting to see a lot more Live Cricket.

To help plan I have made a good start on the Domestic Cricket Fixture Spreadsheet for 2018 it includes England fixtures and other notable sporting events that will be happening in this great summer of sport. The spreadsheet will open up in Google Sheets and is subject to change at anytime. You should always double check if you are going along to a game, or making an important fantasy dream team substitution, because changes do happen.

Once the season is over I plan to follow England in Sri Lanka, so this really is going to be a Cricket feast that I have never experienced before.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

BT Sport Commentary Team poised to start new era in Cricket Broadcasting

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As ever the public don't get a lot of say in how top sport is beamed into their homes. The first Test Match to be shown on Sky Sports was way back in 1980, and they have had it all their own way since then. Building up a great commentary team. They will however be back in the Summer of 2018 where there is another busy summer of England Cricket fixtures.

BT Sport have to somehow start on the ground running. They have to try and get their own style, but of course how much new style can you bring to a Cricket match? They have a few ideas to try out on us, including a critical 3rd man, rather than Sky's analytical 3rd man.

So the 7 strong team who don't need any introduction are. Michael Vaughan, Ricky Ponting, Geoff Boycott, Graham Swann, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Fleming and the 1st full time female Test Commentator Alison Mitchell. In the studio will be Matt Smith. I expect google will see the question How old is Geoff Boycott a few times over the next couple of months, well I just tried it myself, 77 years young. Some love him some hate him. I like him myself. 

Sky let this competition go because of the time difference, low take up of viewers simply because it is not easy to tune in all night, even I, retired and pretty keen will struggle to stay up for many nights in a row. I expect with their new Sky Cricket channel as the competition gets nearer they are wishing they had the rights.

England have had a pretty good warm up, most batsman getting some runs, and most bowlers getting some wickets, the proof of course will be on the night of Wed/Thur when the test starts officially on 23rd Nov at Midnight.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Another Injury to England Ashes Squad as Jake Ball limps off

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England suffered another Injury problem today as Jake Ball seems to have twisted his ankle in his 4th over and has limped off to be assessed overnight. This is in the 2nd day of a warm up game against Australia XI. Earlier in the day England were all out for 293. England bowled well however and currently they have the Aussies on 128/5 with Woakes taking 2 wickets with Mason Crane, Craig Overton and Jake Ball all taking one each. So good and bad news from Australia this morning.

Steven Finn has already flown home with Injury and has been replaced by Tom Curran. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Another busy Summer for England Cricket Schedule 2018

England Fixtures 2018


24th - 28th May 1st Test Lords
1st - 5th June 2nd Test Headingly


10th June 1 Day ODI Edinburgh


13th June 1st ODI Oval
16th June 2nd ODI Cardiff
19th June 3rd ODI Trent Bridge
21st June 4th ODI Riverside Durham
24th June 5th ODI Old Trafford
27th June T20 Egbaston


3rd July 1st T20 Old Trafford
6th July 2nd T20 Cardiff
8th July 3rd T20 Bristol
12th July 1st ODI Trent Bridge
14th July 2nd ODI Lords
17th July 3rd ODI Headingly 
1st - 5th August 1st Test Edgbaston
9th - 13th August 2nd Test Lords
18th - 22nd August 3rd Test Trent Bridge
30th - 3rd September 4th Test Southampton
7th - 11th September 5th Test Oval 

Tom Curran Called up to Replace Injury Stricken Steven Finn

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After a freak injury while in the nets training for the Ashes warm up game Steve Finn unfortunately jarred his knee and scans have now revealed a torn left knee cartilage. The ECB have said he will return home and not take any further part in the Ashes Series in Australia.  Steve was included as a replacement for Ben Stokes, and so to replace the replacement Tom Curran of Surrey was given an early morning phone call to join the party.

Another Injury is also of concern is to Moheen Ali, as he continues to recover from a side injury. England hope for good news this week as they wait the outcome of the Ben Stokes police enquiry, the ECB will then make a decision on Ben it is hoped that no charge will be made and that the outcome of that will be that Ben Stokes will also join the team and play.