Benaud on the under arm delivery

April 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reminds us:

It was the day Richie Benaud stood up for principle over patriotism.

As evening descended on the Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 1, 1981, Australasia was gripped by furious debate after an incident many were already describing as having changed cricket forever. 

With just one ball left to play, and New Zealand needing a six to tie the one-day international match, captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother, Trevor, to bowl the final delivery underarm.

In his post-match wrap up for Channel Nine, Benaud defiantly stared down the barrel of the camera and excoriated the Australian team, calling it “one of the worst things I have ever seen done on a cricket field”.

“Let me just tell you what I think about it. I think it was a disgraceful performance from a captain that got his sums wrong today, and I think it should never be permitted to happen again.”

Pre-empting the excuses that would inevitably follow, Benaud continued: 

“We keep reading and hearing that the players are under a lot of pressure, and that they’re tired and jaded and perhaps their judgment and their skill is blunted. Perhaps they might advance that as an excuse for what happened out there today.

“Not with me they don’t,” he summed-up brusquely.

A great man, who never would have done what Chappell did.

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RIP Richie Benaud

April 10th, 2015 at 11:40 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud has died in a Sydney hospice. 

You could not over-state his influence on the game. He has been a commentator for over 40 years. The wonderful Twelfth Man take offs could not have happened without him.  Truly one of the greats.

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Idiot Haddin

March 31st, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has justified his sledging of the Black Caps in the Cricket World Cup final because they had made him “uncomfortable” with their “nice” attitudes earlier in the tournament.

Haddin was speaking to Sydney radio station Triple M on Monday, as the all-night victory celebrations rolled on from their seven-wicket hiding of New Zealand the night before.

Haddin was under fire because of repeated chatter and “sending off” of New Zealand batsmen Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott. But the hard-nosed gloveman didn’t back away from that, declaring: “You know what? They deserved it.”

Haddin suggested the pleasant attitude of the Black Caps during Australia’s pool match in Auckland, which the Kiwis won, had hardened his attitude towards Brendon McCullum’s team if there was to be a rematch in the playoffs.

“They were that nice to us in New Zealand and we were that uncomfortable,” Haddin told the radio station in an interview that was reported in Australian media by News.com.

“I said in the team meeting: ‘I can’t stand for this anymore, we’re going at them as hard as we can.'”

“It was that uncomfortable,” Haddin said.

“All they were was that nice to us for seven days.

“I said, ‘I’m not playing cricket like this. If we get another crack at these guys in the final I’m letting everything [out].'”

What a dick.

I’ve got no problem with some sledging, but to justify it on the basis that New Zealanders were too nice to them when they were over here is very dickish.

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2015 Cricket World Cup Final

March 29th, 2015 at 4:20 pm by David Farrar

There will be no further posts today as I’ll be watching the cricket (sadly on TV, not in Melbourne).

Feel free to comment below as the game gets going.

NZ won the toss and in a bold move have decided to bat first.

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What a game!

March 24th, 2015 at 11:31 pm by David Farrar

The last 15 overs were not enjoyable but that second to last ball was!

The score the Black Caps needed was equivalent to around 350 in a 50 over game which is huge for a follow on. They played so well.

But credit to South Africa and their fielding. Some magnificent saves, but thankfully also a missed catch or two.

It was a clash of titans, and would have been a worthy final.

Talking of the final, if we win on Sunday I reckon Monday should be declared a public holiday!

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NZ vs SA

March 24th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Like (hopefully) most of NZ, I’m watching the world cup semi-final against South Africa. Use this thread for updates and discussion.

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Best game yet

March 21st, 2015 at 8:55 pm by David Farrar

What a stunning game. The NZ total of 393 was incredible, and Guptill’s 237 a peerless innings.

How many people thought we were in trouble when we lost McCallum for 12?

But credit also to the West Indies who didn’t admit defeat after NZ’s turn at the bat, and whacked the ball as hard as they could, maintaining the eight runs an over needed to win. Eventually the wickets started to tumble, but it wasn’t until they’d lost half or so of their team, that it looked in the bag for NZ.

Some stats from the amazing game:

  • Guptill’s 237 (not out) the highest in any World Cup and the second highest in the history of international one day cricket
  • The 153 runs scored in the last 60 balls by NZ – also a World Cup record and the second highest in ODI history
  • Guptill scoring 120 runs off 43 balls at a 279 strike rate
  • Guptill carrying his bat throughout the innings and scoring 61% of NZ’s runs
  • Guptill scoring 35 boundaries – the second highest in ODI history

So NZ now play South Africa on Tuesday at Eden Park. And if we win there it is the final vs Australia or India on Sunday at the MCG.

South Africa won four and lost two in the pools. India has won all six pool games and Australia won four and lost one. But they came very close to beating NZ so if we make the final, either of them will be incredibly formidable.

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A great weekend of cricket

March 2nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Went to England vs Sri Lanka on Sunday, and a very enjoyable high scoring game. England looked much better than against New Zealand, making a respectable 309.

Sri Lanka played a very calculated innings in response. They didn’t try to blast their way to an early victory, but concentrated on getting at least five runs an over and protecting their wickets. There were a couple of points where the required run rate got over seven and if they lost some wickets may have struggled. But they kept nine of their wickets and comfortably started powering up around the 34th over and made it very comfortably in the end. Not often you see three centuries in a one day match.

I didn’t see the thrilling Australia vs NZ game, but followed it most of the day through the ICC app on my smartphone. I could only imagine how amazing it would be to see Australia dismissed for 151. Australia! You expect that from one of the bottom teams, not the favourite.

It was looking like the game against England again as NZ hit out and started piling on the runs to get it over and done with. But Australia is not England. They fight back, they don’t give up. And unbelievably they almost won as NZ collapsed to nine wickets down.

At 7.30 pm I was in a theatre with a play about to start, and half the theatre had their smartphones out getting updates. NZ were nine down and needed a six to win and the lights went out. A cacophony of groans went out as everyone realised they would not know whether NZ won or not for at least an hour. The moment we got to half time, phones quickly came out of the pockets and as we saw NZ had won, cries of relief throughout the theatre.

I still think Australia is favourite to win. NZ is in the best form I have seen them for decades, but Australia will have a home crowd for the final. NZ should easily win their quarter final, so the real pressure will come on for the semi-final and final.

Looking forward to many more days of cricket before then.

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Cricket ratings on TV

March 1st, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Regan at Throng blogs:

In 2011, when New Zealand made the semi finals of the Cricket World Cup, the average audience on Sky Sport per match that the Black Caps played in was only 67,930 viewers. The highest average audience was 79,530 between New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

In 2015, the Cricket World Cup is in New Zealand and the Black Caps matches are screening on both Sky and their FTA channel, Prime. The opening match between NZ and Sri Lanka had an average audience of 161,280 viewers on Sky and another 145,940 viewers on Prime.

The difference in average audience between the last 2 years is quite considerable.

That’s a huge growth from 2011.

Back in 1995 (we couldn’t go back any further without someone logging hours in physical paper journals), the most watched match was between New Zealand and Pakistan on the 17th of December. The average audience for that game, was a staggering 602,950 viewers.

Further more, that equated to 19.3% of the entire population of 3.1million viewers.

In the 1980s (and to a degree the 1990s), cricket was massively watched on TV. We’re regaining some of the viewers of the past, but I guess today fewer people are just watching TV overall.

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How far can sledging go?

February 28th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Alexander Bisley interviews Grant Elliott for the Guardian:

On the topic of Australia, New Zealand’s fellow World Cup hosts, where does Elliott stand on the controversial sledging that caused such a storm during India’s pre-World Cup visit there? “I like to see emotions in cricket. You don’t mind sledging as long as it’s not personal. If it gets to that personal side then it’s just childish, like you’re in a playground again, six years old. I don’t mind it because I think it brings out the emotions in players. I think the public want to see emotions, they want to see a battle, they want to see a fast bowler versus someone who’s trying to hit him out the ground. So I quite like those battles. If there’s a couple of verbals, like I said, if it doesn’t get personal, that’s fine. It’s just the heat of the battle. Obviously the umpires are there to make sure it doesn’t get to a level that’s unacceptable.”

David Warner was fined for his part in an ugly on-field spat with Rohit Sharma during that Tri-Series, and Elliot is keen to stress there is a line that must not be crossed. “You have to keep reminding yourself of the spirit of cricket and not take it to that level…I was brought up in the Johannesburg league system, so that was pretty hairy. I started playing league cricket when I was 14, so the abuse that we got was definitely not acceptable.”

 

I see sledging like caption contests. They should be funny, not nasty.

The all time best sledge and retort in my view was:

McGrath: “Why are you so fat?”

Brandes  “Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a biscuit.”

The entire Australian team were in hysterics at that.

A close second is:

Rod Marsh : “So how’s your wife & my kids?”

Ian Botham : “The wife is fine but the kids are retarded”

The nastiest sledge I have heard of was the teams that made choo choo sounds at Chris Cairns, referring to his sister’s death in a train crash. That is just nasty and sick.

 

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Herald queries Police action on court siding

February 23rd, 2015 at 7:28 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

Cricket followers were introduced to a new practice, court-siding, during the opening Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The attempt to stamp out this activity, named for its initial use at tennis tournaments, saw police officers, some in plain clothes, patrolling the Hagley Oval in search of spectators using lap-tops or constantly on their cellphones. Later, they revealed that “several” people caught court-siding had been interviewed and removed from the ground. This for an activity that is not actually illegal in this country.

Given that, there is every reason to question the police involvement. This has been highlighted by AUT senior law lecturer Craig Dickson. Court-siding’s only offence, he noted, was that it breached the terms and conditions of World Cup tickets, as prescribed by the International Cricket Council. On that basis, it seems reasonable to conclude that any transgressions should be left to the security staff employed by the ICC.

Absolutely. It is not a criminal matter.

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Go Ireland

February 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Ireland’s giant killers have struck again although captain Will Porterfield wasn’t listening to any talk of an upset.

The Irish have a history of Cricket World Cup upsets. Their hit-list has included a tie with Zimbabwe as a qualifier in 2007 before beating Pakistan and Bangladesh ahead of a stunning three-wicket final-over win against England in 2011.

But today’s pulsating four-wicket win over the West Indies in their pool B clash at Nelson’s Saxton Oval ranked among the best of them as they spectacularly added another top-tier nation to their trophy bag.

I love it when a minnow nation in a sport topples one of the top tier teams. Who would have ever thought that an Irish cricket team would beat the West Indies.

So looking forward to other matches over the next few weeks.

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Vincent’s statement

July 2nd, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Have to give full marks to Lou Vincent for his statement:

My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat.

I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing.

I have lived with this dark secret for many years, but just months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth.

It’s a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world.

I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud.

I lost faith in myself and the game. I abused the game I love. I had to put things right.
Speaking out. Exposing the truth. Laying bare the things I have done wrong is the only way I can find to begin to put things right.

The time has come for me to now face them like a man and accept the consequences, whatever they may be. …

Today is the day I offer my deepest apologies to the public and the cricketing world, to the loyal fans, to the dedicated coaches, staff and all players past and present. …

It is entirely my fault that I will never be able to stand in front of a game again. It is entirely my fault that I will not be able to apply my skills in a positive way to help future cricketers.

But it is entirely possible that I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing. To do the right thing for themselves, for their families and friends, and for the sport they love.

I accept my punishment and I thank you for [reading] my statement.

He has been banned for life. Hopefully that sends out a signal.

Will others own up to their part?

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The case against Cairns

May 21st, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Chris Cairns continues to protest his innocence amid more evidence against him being disclosed, this time from Lou Vincent’s ex-wife, alleging he was a cricket match-fixing ringleader.

Cairns’ name was publicly linked with sworn evidence to International Cricket Council investigators for the first time today, as the former New Zealand allrounder issued a second statement in a 12-hour period: ”I totally reject the allegations against me and I will prove this.”

The latest leaked evidence is a sworn 10-page document from Elly Riley, Vincent’s ex-wife, that she provided to anti-corruption (ACSU) investigators last October. It follows leaks in the past week of former test opener Vincent’s explosive 42-page testimony, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s signed three-page statement, both of which are understood to name Cairns as a fixing ringleader.

Riley’s evidence, reported by One News tonight, was that the fixing began at the Indian Cricket League in 2008, and that Vincent told her: ”Chris was going to pay him US$50,000 (NZ$58,000) a game for the fixing.”

I feel very sorry for Lance Cairns, who was one of my cricketing heroes growing up. His one handed six off Dennis Lillie remains etched in my memory. He will be torn between love for his son and love for his game.

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McCullum makes 300

February 18th, 2014 at 11:48 am by David Farrar

In a five hour working group meeting on e-voting but actually mainly been following the cricket online. Brendon McCullum has just made his 300 (302), beating Martin Crowe’s 299,which gives him the NZ test batting record. A superb display from McCullum, and from the Black Caps generally. Has been a great summer of cricket.

UPDATE: And now out on 302. Thank God it was not two deliveries earlier!

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Unsporting?

January 16th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Hawkes Bay Today reported:

The CEO of Hawke’s Bay Cricket Association, Craig Findlay, has come under attack after scoring a blistering 307 retired from 115 balls against a schoolboy bowling attack last weekend.

Findlay, who smashed 27 sixes in his innings for his Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB), was last night having second thoughts about his mammoth feat as outraged parents, players and fans questioned his motive in the division one match against the St John’s College First XI team at Nelson Park, Napier, on Saturday.

The former first-class cricketer pummelled the Hastings schoolboys into submission with a strike rate of 266.66.

If you are the senior cricket executive in the region, whose job is to get people into cricket, it seems unwise to pummel a schoolboy team in that way, even if they play in a club league.  I’m not saying don’t try and score, but maybe declare or retire after your century

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The fastest century ever

January 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Would have been incredible to be in Queenstown yesterday to see the match against the West Indies. Anderson and Ryder played incredibly and they achieved the fastest and 6th fastest centuries in cricket. 131 not out off 47 balls was spectacular.

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Romanos on Lee v Morgan

December 30th, 2013 at 9:10 am by David Farrar

Joseph Romanos writes:

Good on Sir Richard Hadlee for having a go at the idiotic behaviour of Brett Lee the other day.

Sadly there seems to be plenty of halfwits out there willing to back Lee.

The Australian speedster bowled six deliveries to 48-year-old British TV host Piers Morgan and engaged in what Hadlee has termed ”a brutal assault” that was ”extremely dangerous and unnecessary”.

I watched Lee’s bowling in horror and tweeted my displeasure. The tenor of some replies was that Morgan got what was coming to him.

Morgan sparked off the incident when he described the England team’s performance as pathetic during the Ashes series and, tongue in cheek I felt, said he wouldn’t mind facing Mitchell Johnson.

One thing led to another and suddenly there was Morgan, a rotund middle-aged man, standing 20 metres away from one of the fastest bowlers in the world in a net in Melbourne, attempting to live up to his end of a dare.

Lee had the chance to have a little fun with Morgan, but instead deliberately targeted him, even when the batsman backed away several metres.

Morgan was hit four times and it was only good fortune that none of the blows maimed him, or worse.

I admired Morgan’s pluck in stepping into the nets in the first place. At that point it was a bit of light-hearted entertainment that had played out well.

Lee then totally misread the situation. Instead of having a little fun at Morgan’s expense, he tried to hit him.

It was shameful. Such bowling would never have been permitted in a genuine match.

That is the key. Lee wasn’t bowling as he would in a match. He was bowling to try and deliberately hit Morgan.

In 1932-33 Harold Larwood, Bill Voce and company engaged in the infamous Bodyline Ashes series at the direction of their skipper, Douglas Jardine. They bowled short to a leg-side field and all the leading Australian batsmen were hit, some many times.

The tactics were so repulsive that form of cricket was outlawed.

There have been hostile fast bowlers since, including Ray Lindwall, Frank Tyson, Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee, any number of West Indians, Allan Donald and Shoaib Akhtar.

I suggest none has ever set out as obviously to hit a batsman as Lee did.

At times Morgan had backed so far away he was into the netting behind him. And still the ball was aimed at him.

Only once in six deliveries did Lee pitch a ball up and aim straight, and not surprisingly, he hit the stumps.

Lee should have just bowled for the wicket and humiliated Morgan by hitting the stumps six out of six times.

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Who are the cricket players under investigation?

December 5th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand Cricket boss David White knows the identity of the former players under investigation by the sport’s anti corruption unit.

However he cannot name the three players understood to be at the centre of the claims due to the ongoing nature of the International Cricket Council investigation. …

White spelled out key points from NZC’s perspective.

”Firstly no current New Zealand players are being investigated; no games played in New Zealand are being investigated; and lastly no matches under NZC’s jurisdiction are being investigated,” he said.

It is reassuring to know they are not current players. Hopefully the players out themselves to remove the suspicion from others.

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Ryder tests positive

August 20th, 2013 at 9:40 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Cricketer Jesse Ryder tested positive for a performance-enhancing stimulant, RadioLive reported this morning.

If there was a cricketer who’d you guess was most likely to test positive, Ryder would be high on many lists.

A hearing by Drug Free Sport NZ was reportedly held earlier this month during which his lawyers said he had taken a poorly-labelled weight-loss supplement.

Yeah, right.

“Unfortunately for Jesse he wanted to lose some weight so back in March [he] walked into a chemist and, as I understand it, grabbed a product from the chemist.

“He went home, did the due diligence on it in terms of jumping on Google, checking all the ingredients were safe for him to have and not on the wider banned list.”

I wonder if he has receipts from the chemist? And would not a professional sport like Cricket have one or more doctors and experts who you could contact to check?

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The Black Caps

January 7th, 2013 at 10:50 am by David Farrar

blackcaps

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45 all out

January 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The headline says it all. David Leggat calls it the worst performance has has ever seen.

Seems dumping that Ross Taylor as captain hasn’t worked out so well!

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Cricket and criticism

December 23rd, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

John Weekes at HoS reports:

Sky’s cricket commentators have been told they must be nice to the Black Caps and are not to regurgitate their off-field dramas.

The controversy surrounding the sacking of captain Ross Taylor has fired up debate for the summer game but fans expecting Sky commentators to weigh in will be waiting a long time, the company says.

“We don’t put down sporting codes because we’re in the business of promoting sport,” Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said.

Sky and New Zealand Cricket had a business partnership, she said. “It’s natural for our commentators to promote our product.”

Cricket is just a product?

Former New Zealand cricketer and commentator John “Mystery” Morrison said Sky’s policy was “pathetic”. “The day that people don’t debate and argue these issues will be a sad day for the game,” he said.

He said commentators should be allowed to voice their passion and interest and scrutinise the game.

I tend to agree with John.

Sure you don’t want the commentators sledging NZ Cricket between ever over, declaring how much better the team would be playing if it were not for the wallies who did xyz.

But the recent happenings shouldn’t be taboo, and if relevant to the game, commentators should be able to mention them.

Also I hope that the fact NZ Cricket are a business partner doesn’t mean the news and sports shows are instructed to not talk about their problems. I can understand the actual game commentary being a bit sensitive, but the daily news and sports shows should have no restrictions.

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IS NZ Cricket really that bad?

December 8th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

New Zealand Cricket has a talent for mimicry. Sadly it has chosen the wrong body to mimic. Instead of modelling itself on South Africa, India or another cricketing powerhouse, it has chosen the Labour Party. For David Shearer read Ross Taylor; for David Cunliffe read Brendon McCullum, the defeated contender in a two-horse race for the captaincy last year.

I think NZ Cricket should sue for defamation!

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We don’t lose for money

March 12th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand Cricket says claims some New Zealand cricketers have been allegedly involved in match-fixing simply aren’t credible. …

Players for all the main cricketing nations took part, the bookmakers claimed, and New Zealanders were currently being offered to bookmakers to help fix matches.

One bookmaker claimed to have fixed matches with two New Zealand players – who he named – in 2010. The newspaper did not publish the names.

Last night New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association boss Heath Mills told the Herald the allegations were a slur on every player in New Zealand.

I don’t think our players throw games, because they get paid to do so. I think they just play like crap occasionally regardless of financial incentive!

 

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