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Can The West Indies Beat the World Champions? 0

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Natalie Ige

Cricket-1The calypso kings are venturing down under to contest Australia in the summer of cricket 2015-2016. The battles between the West Indies and Australia over the last century have brought about some of the most exhilarating and exciting matches through the highs and lows of both teams. Some of the most exciting matches have come over the Christmas and New Year period. Australians will be keen for their ‘Summer of Cricket’Boxing Day odds will provide an exciting contest. However, the West Indies are a mixed bag with an amazing field of talent, but tend to be inconsistent across the different forms of the game. They will be facing a ferocious Australian side that beat them in Kingston in June 2015. The West Indian team have been a class act in Twenty20 forms but have struggled with their performance in test matches due to player unavailability and struggles with the West Indian cricket board. If they are to have a chance with toppling the hosts, the team and the board will need to become a cohesive force that commit to winning their first test match in Australia since 2003. This series will only see 2 test matches played with Australia only requiring a draw in one of the matches to retain the Sir Frank Worrell trophy. Read the rest of this entry →

Great Cricket Moments: Three Timeless Ashes Series 5

Posted on August 22, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
The Ashes is one of the most desired and certainly one of the most interesting  trophies in sports.

The Ashes is one of the most desired and certainly one of the most interesting trophies in sports.

In this year’s Ashes, England has returned with a stunning series of victories to win back the Ashes for the third time since 2009. A poor showing from the Australians, combined with an inspiring display of force from the England team, has well and truly put to rest the embarrassingly dry spell of losses experienced in the 1990s.

The Ashes is perhaps one of the most famous trophies of any sport in the world, not just in the cricketing sphere. Its emblem – a tiny urn just 11cm high – stems from a mock obituary for “English Cricket” that was published in the Sporting Times in 1882 after a humiliating loss for England after a match at the Kennington Oval. The memorable quip – “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” – began to overshadow to the upcoming tour in Australia, in which captain Ivo Bligh vowed to bring back the Ashes for England.

Since then, the two countries have played over 300 Test series. Both teams have tended to use Gunn and Moore cricket bats, available from cricket retailers such as Talent Cricket.

1932-33: The Bodyline Tour
The genteel world of cricket is not usually known for its controversies. Nevertheless, the 1932-33 Ashes have gone down in history thanks to the questionable “bodyline” tactics employed by the England team under Douglas Jardine. Bodyline was a style of bowling employed primarily to counter the superb skill of Australia’s batsman Don Bradman, considered perhaps the best Test cricketer of all time. Bodyline delivery involved bowling the ball towards the batsman’s body on the leg stump side, in the hope that the resultant leg-side deflection could be handled more easily by fielding England players. It was intended to intimidate, hoping to break the extraordinary skill of Bradman. Read the rest of this entry →

The Sad Demise Of West Indies Cricket 4

Posted on June 09, 2011 by Rod Crowley

By the end of the 1960’s the West Indies, under the inspired leadership of the game’s greatest ever player, Sir Garfield Sobers, had established themselves as the dominant cricket team in the world. Fifty years later they are almost nowhere to be seen!

The decline of cricket in the West Indies probably began in the mid 1980s but only became truly noticeable ten years or so later. At that time they still had the basis of a very strong bowling attack with Courtney Walsh and Curtley Ambrose assuming the mantle from the formidable quicks of the past. Bowlers such as Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Gardner and Andy Roberts to name but just a few who were all capable of putting the fear of the God’s into any batsman brave enough to face them at the crease, never failing to take wickets in the process.

In the 90s they also had Brian Lara, who arguably was the best batsman on the planet at that time, although Sachin Tendulkar fans would argue vehemently to the contrary. Lara came off the same conveyor belt of batsman as those before him, players who would play with ferocity, flair, style, timing and always with golden smiles on their relaxed faces. Who could possibly forget the contributions made at the crease by the likes of Sobers, Sir Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharan?

From 1976 until 1991, the West Indies won 59 of 122 tests played, losing only 16 and were easily the best test team in the world. They soon became the best one day team in the world too, particularly once that version of the game began to flourish worldwide. Had T20 been around during those days, the other countries simply would not have turned up for the T20 World Cup, it would have been totally unfair.

Throughout the last century, each generation of West Indies cricket teams spawned their successors, cricket was the only game in those beautiful islands that anyone wanted to play. The stadium’s were crammed every match with the most colourful and musical crowds seen anywhere in the game. They were usually royally entertained by one or two outstanding innings played by one or two of their many outstanding batsmen. They relished too the cowering opposing batsman who had the temerity to stand up to their bowlers, before either having their wickets smashed or their fingers broken. It was often said that the short balls bowled by a West Indies bowler broke more hearts than it did digits!

Those halcyon days of West Indies cricket however seem to be over, other influences have arrived in the islands, mostly from their near neighbours, the USA. The extremely talented sportsmen the islands have always boasted are being tempted to try their hands at American sports while others take advantage of the educational facilities that become available to them from the States. Olympic Games 100 metre sprint champion, Usain Bolt, is a typical example of what outstanding athleticism can earn. He is already a multi-millionaire which is something that would have been impossible for him to achieve had he taken up his first sporting love, cricket, as his sport.

Many others are finding themselves involved in professional baseball and basketball, where money is the incentive and cricket is the forgotten. TV audiences in the country switch on to American TV these days dragging them further away from their sporting heritage and their potential future players further away from the game.

As it stands currently, the West Indies are ranked as the number seven of nine test playing teams in the world and are at number eight in the ODI rankings. Some are even suggesting that they may have to qualify to be involved in the next ODI World Cup, with teams like Zimbabwe, the Netherlands and Ireland threatening their position. All in all, it is a very sad demise and one as Michael Holding once said that they will never recover from.

Their current performances on in the series against India is evidence of just how far behind the West Indies have fall behind the game’s elite.

Co-hosts India the Team to Beat at the 2011 Cricket World Cup 4

Posted on January 19, 2011 by Rod Crowley

India's Sachin Tendulkar will be looking to win the Cricket World Cup at the sixth time of asking in 2011.

As expected Sachin Tendulkar was named in India’s 15 man Cricket World Cup squad despite being sent home from the side’s recent tour of South Africa with a hamstring injury. The 37 year old superstar will be playing in his sixth World Cup after first appearing in the competition back in 1992 when held in Australia and New Zealand. The 2011 World Cup will be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from 19th February, with India playing Bangladesh in the opening game in Dacca.

Amazingly and despite holding a number of world cup records, Tendulkar has yet to finish on the winning side. The best India has achieved with him in the team was the runners up spot in 2003, when India were beaten by Australia in the final. Tendulkar however was awarded the “Man of the Tournament” after scoring an incredible 673 runs, which is the highest amount of runs anyone has ever scored in the world cup finals. He also holds the record for the most aggregate runs scored in world cup final tournaments with 1,796, a number that is never likely to be bettered.

The man known as the ‘Little Master’ even had to put some further ‘icing on the cake’ in 2010 when he became the first player to score 200 runs in a 50 over ODI, which he achieved against no less a side than South Africa.

With Tendulkar in the Indian side it is little wonder why they have been made favorites to win the 2011 world cup, something that they have not achieved since 1983 when the tournament was hosted by England. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Earl Morrall

      In a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1976, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was never really a leading man, but he seemed to be part of the supporting cast for many huge moments in NFL history.

      The second overall pick in the 1956 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, Earl Morrall joined a San Francisco 49ers team that already included the famous “Million Dollar Backfield” of Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson.

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