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  1. #1
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    The Cricket thread

    The wonderful sport of cricket has me checking the sports section most days recently. The recent India/Pakistan series was packed with excellent cricket, South-Africa and Sri-Lanka just toured Australia, and Australia is now touring South-Africa. England are in India, and the West-Indies in New Zealand...

    Post your views and comments here!

  2. #2
    Not again! machangezi's Avatar
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    I love you Wally for posting this thread!!!

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    Selectors facing up to the unthinkable: end of the McGrath era

    By Alex Brown in Cape Town
    March 1, 2006

    AUSTRALIA'S selectors may soon be pondering a move that until recently has been considered cricketing high treason: drawing the curtain on Glenn McGrath's international career.

    Now that McGrath has ruled himself out of the Test portion of the South African tour and the series in Bangladesh, so he can support his family while his wife, Jane, battles cancer, Australia's most prolific paceman has no opportunity to play Tests before the Ashes series later this year.

    Though McGrath is eager to keep playing, the fact remains that by the Ashes he will be approaching the age of 37 and will have no Test-match fitness under his belt. And that will be of major concern to Trevor Hohns's panel, given he has long been considered a rhythm bowler - his success rate generally rising proportionately with his workload.

    This is looming as a major dilemma for Australian cricket. McGrath, generally, has been Australia's first player picked. The paceman to build an attack around. The most consistent performer in the team, along with Shane Warne. But can that still be depended upon? Even with his 542 Test wickets, the most of any paceman, can McGrath be entrusted with the new ball in the Ashes without a Test appearance since the previous summer?

    Though it seems a callous and harsh call to drop McGrath for effectively making the morally correct decision to support his wife and children in a time of need, cricketing realities must also be addressed. As it stands, only Keith Miller and Ray Lindwall have bowled pace for Australia at an older age, and McGrath has already played more Tests than those two combined.

    Also, the Australian pace attack is sorely missing his presence, and any likely successors will need time to learn the pressures and nuances of Test cricket. If McGrath was recalled for the Ashes, would his presence - as intimidating as it may be - slow the process of unearthing new talent? Yet another factor for Hohns's panel to ponder.

    McGrath's manager, Warren Craig, yesterday suggested the veteran quick would consider an English county stint to enhance his chances of a Test recall. He will also have the opportunity of playing for NSW, although he turned down an offer this week to play the Blues' next match against Tasmania, citing his family commitments.

    Still, Craig said his client was "extremely keen to play on". "The time is just not right to come back yet," Craig said. "Jane is doing well in her treatment but he still has kids to look after and a family to support."

    Hohns did not return the Herald's calls yesterday but, in a statement, said: "The selectors fully supported Glenn's decision and look forward to seeing him in Australian colours again in the future."

    Colours. Now there's an interesting thought. Given that Australia are likely to play a triangular tournament in Pakistan ahead of the Champions Trophy in India later this year, then a series against New Zealand and England after the Ashes, McGrath will presumably have plenty of opportunities to play one-day international cricket before next year's World Cup.

    Until his withdrawal from the Australian side before a match against the South Africans at Melbourne's Telstra Dome, McGrath was still a force to be reckoned with in the limited-overs game.

    His "blast 'em out" impact may have faded over the years, but his ability to find a consistent line and length still made him a valuable, economic bowler - and a perfect foil for the all-out aggression of Brett Lee.

    The Australians are already desperately missing McGrath. Just this week, South Africa captain Graeme Smith noted the difference of Australia's attack without his unerringly accurate brand of fast bowling. The Australians, meanwhile, are desperately hoping Lee can fulfil the role as Test and one-day spearhead.

    However, he is still to prove himself capable of fulfilling the role in the long-term. McGrath, then, should certainly have enough match fitness in the one-day international arena to be considered for next year's tournament in the Caribbean.

    But then the counter argument: can a 37-year-old frame withstand the rigours of World Cup competition? Just another question for the selectors to ponder.

  4. #4
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macha
    I love you Wally for posting this thread!!!
    i've been meaning to do it foe a while.... Glad to hear you're a cricket fan, macha!

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    Dizzy Gillespie or Tait are being tipped to replace McGrath in S.A ....

    Gillespie and Tait will be vying to become McGrath's replacement when they play before national selector and former Test quick Merv Hughes in a Pura Cup match in pace-friendly Perth from tomorrow. Selectors will name their Test squad early next week.

    Tait has hit form at the right time after shoulder surgery cost him the first half of the season following his first two Tests on the Ashes tour.

    But Gillespie may be a slight favourite to gain a recall, so soon after his international career looked over following his poor England tour.

    With relative international newcomers Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark likely to be left in South Africa with the Test squad after the one-day series, Australia is lacking an experienced, accurate paceman to partner short-spell speedster Brett Lee, especially since they may play two spinners in Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill in one or two of the three Tests.

    Another seamer discarded since the Ashes, Michael Kasprowicz, has come into calculations through his competition-high 39 Pura Cup wickets this season. But, with the Queenslander already 34, selectors are believed to be more inclined towards Gillespie, who turns 31 next month and has rebounded with 31 Pura Cup wickets at 20 from seven matches.

    However, Tait has surged into calculations after returning to take 12 wickets in three Pura Cup matches and 6-41 in a fearsome spell last Sunday's ING Cup final.

    Selectors are concerned the 23-year-old is still unable to throw due to his recent surgery, but Tait and Gillespie said yesterday that should not detract from his value as a wicket-taker. Though still yearning for a recall, Gillespie said Tait's inexperience should be no liability, nor the fact the often wayward quick would be no steadying counter-balance to the explosive Lee.

    'They say Shaun's similar to Brett but, at the end of the day, they're wicket-takers," Gillespie said. "I'd love to go, don't get me wrong, but with Shaun there's a bloke who bowls 150kmh while swinging the ball, and gets audacious reverse swing. You'd be tempted to pick him, wouldn't you? Shaun bowled some of the fastest deliveries I've seen last Sunday. He's a talent. I'm sure he's well in the front of selectors' minds.

  6. #6
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    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    England look absolutely fuked, especially since losing the Welsh contingent (Simon Jones) with a knee injury.
    Vaughan...gone home
    Trescothick ....gone home.

    Our best chance of taking wickets is probably Monty Panesar, who will soon become the first siiiick (how do you spell that?) cricketer to play for England. Track is made for him. Unfortunately he bats like a so they will probably pick Blackwell as the spinner cos he might hold the tail together except he won't take any wickets.
    What a quandry.

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    England facing tough India opener
    First Test, Nagpur: India v England



    Listen live on BBC Radio Four (198 LW) and Five Live Sports Extra
    The Five Live commentary will be streamed live on this website
    Injury-hit England are set for their toughest task yet as they open their three-match Test series against India on Wednesday.

    England head into the opening match in Nagpur, aiming to win their first Test series in India in 21 years.

    The team's last victory came in 1985 when David Gower's side triumphed 2-1.

    But all-rounder Andrew Flintoff makes debut as captain, with skipper Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and Simon Jones all missing from the squad.
    more in link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cric...nd/4758662.stm

    Flintoff is captaining England? .... doesn't he seemy a little too.., ermmmm ..... dopey?

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    The tour of South Asia has been a disaster.

    It's Macha's fault I reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon
    England look absolutely fuked, especially since losing the Welsh contingent (Simon Jones) with a knee injury.
    Vaughan...gone home
    Trescothick ....gone home.
    Simon Jones is a big loss - as are Vaughan and Trescothic. But Jones, in my opinion, is the equivilant to McGrath in the Australian team - he leaves a big hole when he's not there...

  10. #10
    Not again! machangezi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    The tour of South Asia has been a disaster.

    It's Macha's fault I reckon.
    I'm supporting England. Hopefully they'll beat India.

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    Australia have lost their two opening games on their South Africa tour - much to the delight of the proteas I presume, after their humliating performance in Australia....
    Ponting and Symonds are out injured which is a bit of a worry, with McGrath saying he will not take part in the test series either..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macha
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    The tour of South Asia has been a disaster.

    It's Macha's fault I reckon.
    I'm supporting England. Hopefully they'll beat India.
    You'd want to start praying to allah, macha

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    cricket - Gods game!

    but Dizzie replacing McGrath - come on!!!!!

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    Not again! machangezi's Avatar
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    England can make it through if they stick to the game plan (hope they have one). Too many injuries in English squad puts pressure on the Indian side. They must win (as England team's suffering from injuries) so England has got nothing to lose. All they need is to keep control of the game as long as they can.

    *I don't even pray for myself Wally!*

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    ohfak a cricket thread, what's gonna be next.. lawn bowling?

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    I'll get Admin to block any Europeans posting on pure sports threads like this one.

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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwillyhggtb
    cricket - Gods game!

    but Dizzie replacing McGrath - come on!!!!!
    only for the the S.A tour - and maybe bangladash, which would mean Dizzy/Lee would spearhead the Ozi's bowling attack. Which wouldn't be the first time....
    Dizzy has been showing good form in the pura-cup, and I'm sure his desire to silence his critics would make for interesting stuff.. remember, ....he's still only 31... and not bad with the bat either, as opposed to Tait, who is crap...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    I'll get Admin to block any Europeans posting on pure sports threads like this one.
    uuuh pls nooo! Mr. Marmite

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    you've got something on yer chin....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    you've got something on yer chin....
    Did I tell you about the ribs I had removed?

  21. #21
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    You had a rib removed, then fixed it to your chin?

    You bladdy poms will never cease to amaze me ....
    Last edited by Wally Dorian Raffles; 01-03-2006 at 12:46 PM.

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    Oh, sorry......
















    wrong thread











    Hiw diadsdasdasdasasd








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    .............Medication

  23. #23
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    ^Care for a smoke?


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    Dravid wary of depleted England

    Dravid warned England could not be taken for granted
    India captain Rahul Dravid has warned that injuries and withdrawals will not make England any less hard to beat when the first Test starts on Wednesday.
    Spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh could play a key role but Dravid said relying on England's supposed weakness against spin was wrong.

    "It's almost a cliche like saying India can't play pace bowlers," he said.

    "Harbhajan and Anil is a challenge but to say any spinner can turn up and get them out is unrealistic."


    In Chawla and Suresh Raina, we've also got two young kids who I think you'll hear a lot about in years to come

    The pitch in Nagpur is expected to take some spin, so India could even pick a triple-pronged spin attack also featuring 17-year-old Piyush Chawla.

    Dravid said the teenager might have to wait for his chance, but he had no doubt it would come eventually.

    "It's not always easy to play three spinners but he's very exciting and we're looking at him as a long term prospect who will gain a lot from being around Anil and Harbhajan in the dressing room," he said.

    Another emerging talent who may get his first chance is England's Alistair Cook, who is set to replace Marcus Trescothick.

    Dravid said he had heard good things about the Essex player, but warned that the step up to Test level was a big challenge.

    "It won't be easy but Test cricket never is," he said.

    "You might as well face the challenge up front, and the confidence you gain from that really helps you.

    "In Chawla and Suresh Raina, we've also got two young kids who I think you'll hear a lot about in years to come
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cric...nd/4758812.stm

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    Injured Ponting 'struggling'


    Ricky Ponting cut a forlorn figure at Australia's net session, unable to train because of a stomach injury and knowing his chances of playing in the next two one-dayers against South Africa are slim at best.

    "He was really optimistic for this weekend, or this round (of matches) but I'm not so optimistic," said Australian team physio Errol Alcott.

    "I think he's struggling for this weekend, that's for sure."

    The world's No.2 ranked batsman, Ponting missed Sunday's opening one-day international against South Africa after jumping in the air to play a shot in the nets and straining an abdominal muscle.

    Ponting, all-rounder Andrew Symonds (hip flexor muscle strain) and paceman Stuart Clark (bruised rib) all missed the Centurion match, with Clark looking the only one of the trio likely to return for the Cape Town game on Friday.

    The skipper and Symonds are also in doubt for Sunday's third game in Port Elizabeth, with another five-day break until the fourth match in Durban on March 10.

    The series ends in Johannesburg two days later followed by the three-Test series starting on March 16, and Alcott is anxious not to bring Ponting back too early and risk putting him out for the whole tour.

    "Ricky's coming along well. He's still pretty tender in the spots that showed up on the scan, as I would expect," Alcott said.

    "He's very optimistic each day, and then I have a session with him and it brings him back to reality again.

    "He's very powerful, he's got short levers and he's like a little pocket dynamo.

    "Everything he does he's 100 per cent, even his position and also his batting. And that is the centre of movement for all of us, so it's got to be in good order."

    Asked if Ponting could miss the entire one-day series, Alcott said: "You wouldn't like to think so.

    "But the trouble is we play Fridays and Sundays so if you miss one week he might might miss three games straight away.

    "We've just got to keep assessing him."

    NSW opener Phil Jaques arrives in Cape Town tonight as cover for Ponting and Symonds and looks well-placed to get a call-up for Friday's match.

    Jaques smashed 94 on debut against the Proteas last month in Melbourne but was then dropped when Simon Katich returned from injury.

    Jaques is also in the frame for a place in the Test squad to be named next week, and has put his wedding plans on hold in case he is asked to stay on in South Africa.

    Alcott sounded a word of warning to those expecting to see Symonds back in action on Friday.

    "Symmo is coming along, it was only a week on Wednesday. Everyone seems to think it was two weeks ago," Alcott said.

    "I still think he could be doubtful. He's certainly improved.

    "We put him in the nets today to do some straight line hitting but he was aware of some discomfort, so I'll get him back in the workshop and keep working on him.

    "But I think you've got to be careful because if you let them out there and they re-injure it then you are looking at two or three weeks longer, and I don't want to do that with a Test series if he's in that."

    Alcott was more optimistic about Clark, whose ability to keep an end tight will be vital in turning the screws on South Africa's top order which has been in blazing form so far.

    "He (Clark) was keen to bowl today but we're just holding him back," Alcott said.

    "We're still looking at Thursday for him and for him to be available to play if selected on Friday."

    AAP
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/i...095789460.html

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