These are testing times for cricket in Australia, with the players’ association and the governing body embroiled in a pay dispute that could take an ugly turn if not sorted out soon enough. Newspapers in the country kept their focus on the topic on Monday (May 15) morning, while over in England, Kevin Pietersen created a few ripples by letting out his opinion on some of the English players being forced to leave the Indian Premier League for national duty. In South Africa, AB de Villiers expressed his concern over Indian cricket growing faster than anywhere else, and in Singapore, local cricketers impressed Sri Lankans with a game of indoor cricket.
Australian cricket is heading for an uncivil war and the fallout will turn fans off the game.
Fans the game cannot afford to lose given its struggles at all levels bar the booming Twenty20 scene.
Both Cricket Australia and its players must be careful where they tread as they butt heads over a new pay deal.
Cricket strike on cards as players dig in over pay dispute (Herald Sun)
Threats of unemployment from Cricket Australia have backfired badly and a growing resolve among national cricketers to fight for a “fair share” has put strike action as soon as July firmly on the cards.
The Australian Cricketers Association remains extremely concerned by the “strong” industrial relation tactics from CA which have “driven a wedge” between the governing body and the players.
It was only a matter of time before Kevin Pietersen took aim at England cricket boss Andrew Strauss for the injustice of it all.
Strauss confirmed there would be no change to England’s stance on star players Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes missing this week’s Indian Premier League playoffs to attend a training camp in Spain, ahead of their pre-Champions Trophy series against South Africa starting on May 24.
The road to transformation is treacherous and while we celebrate the milestones reached so far, they are not enough.
This past weekend, we celebrated some of the best cricketing talent in our country.
But as we celebrate we must also recognise the pain and suffering that had characterised sport in South Africa. The unity that we enjoy today has been achieved on the back of unprecedented sacrifices made by many in our country.
There’s a great deal of excitement every time AB de Villiers walks to the crease. The cricketing legend is known to turn around matches with his ability to effortlessly pierce the gaps and clear the field with minimum fuss. The utmost ease with which he tames the best of bowlers across formats has earned him the reputation of being one of the best modern-day batsmen in the world. The 33-year-old South African, though, despite being aware of his special talent, refuses to call himself the greatest.
Historically, Pakistan cricket has been defined by its unpredictability. The talent has always been there, but there have been moments of madness interspersed with moments of magic at fairly regular intervals. And it was one such moment of madness that, paradoxically, gave Pakistan the man who defines predictability.
Saying goodbye with a hug (ESPN Cricinfo)
My kids had done something, maybe a crap, potentially lit the back of the house on fire, or had a severe head injury brought on by jumping off a food container onto a death trap. So I missed it.
I was sad, because what I wanted to see more than anything else in the world was the two men meet in the middle. The heart and brains of modern Pakistan cricket, and probably the lungs, bowels, kidney and three of the four limbs as well.
Pakistan’s Test skipper Misbah Ul Haq relies on a strict diet regime to stay in shape and never misses a training session, according to former Pakistani leg-spinner and World Cup hero Mushtaq Ahmed.
“Misbah is the only international player appearing in Test matches at the age of 43 and the reason for his longevity is his self-imposed disciplined way of living off the field,” Ahmed said.
The Pakistani Test skipper played his 75th and final Test against the West Indies this week. Misbah’s team-mate and former skipper Younis Khan also featured in the final Test of his career as the two top batsmen said goodbye to international cricket.
Kenyan cricket must stop living in the past (Standard Media)
There is an international cricket series that started in Kenya yesterday. The hosts are fielding two sides, Kenya XI and Kenya Select, against Oman, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The matches are being played at Simba Union and Jaffreys Ground and the series will run till May 20.
Singapore’s indoor cricketers gave a tough fight to the Sri Lanka All-Stars in a warm-up series over the weekend as they prepared for September’s World Cup in Dubai.
Though the national Open team lost the friendlies 1-2, the players gave a good account of themselves which caught the vastly experienced Sri Lankans, among whom were several World Cup veterans, by surprise.
All was quiet in the grassy, circular field tucked away in a corner of Air Park, except for the occasional plane or helicopter that would buzz softly in the distance.
Fielders, some dressed in all white, were waiting for a game to start.