A huge thank you to those of you who’ve viewed, shared, liked, commented, followed or interacted in any way on my blog in 2019. I’m extremely grateful and the odd like or comment from time to time really does make it that little more worthwhile.
2020 seems like an appropriate year for a cricket blog and I intend to keep going strong. It’ll be more of the same from me with polls, quizzes, lots of Cricket 19 content and maybe even some thoughts on real cricket… it does happen from time to time!
Like I say, 2020 is a fitting year for our sport and it’s great that England is launching a new domestic Twenty20 comp… oh no, wait!
Happy New Year to you all wherever you are in the world!
Thanks for voting on my latest poll. Let’s take a look at the results…
Well it’s unambiguous then. 83% of voters feel that the one-year ban (Nine months suspended) applied was appropriate.
Numerous people have had their say on the matter and I do have some sympathy for Smith but ultimately naivety, casualness or lack of professionalism (Call it what you will) can’t be used as an excuse. That may seem harsh but once again please don’t forget the extreme monetary value that rides on WBBL matches. Women’s cricket may still be playing catch-up to that of their male counterparts in regards to many aspects of professionalism but Smith is old enough and experienced enough to have avoided all this.
I think that there’s little doubt that there wasn’t any sinister motive related to the Victorian born’s actions and ultimately I’m sure that we all want to see Smith back on the cricket field as soon as possible, ban considered. I know that I do.
An hour before the official release of the team sheet for what would ultimately be a rained off match, Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith posted an Instagram video displaying her side’s playing XI. It’s unlikely that there was any sinister corruption related motive to this and only that Smith was killing time and boredom when drawing attention to her lowly position in the batting order.
In Ed Hawkins ‘Bookie, Gambler, Fixer, Spy’ he alludes to a seemingly innocent conversation in the pool with Ian Bell that could ultimately have been perceived as the England batsman revealing information that could be abused by match-fixers. This highlights how careful players must be. Don’t under estimate how much money rides on Women’s Big Bash matches either!
Hurricanes’ Smith seems to have been naive rather than sinisterly motivated but the words of Cricket Australia when banning her…
“We have been working with Emily throughout the process and Emily now understands the mistake she made”.
… suggest that she’s struggled to grasp the severity of the situation. Why Smith had her phone on her at the time is another question given the current protocol. Team management should already have confiscated it. However, despite the excuses provided by some, let’s be clear that Smith is not a kid but 24-years-old and has been playing regularly at the top level of domestic women’s cricket for some time. She also can’t say that she wasn’t warned. Corruption education has been exhaustive. If it were a male non-Australian cricketer would the likes of Andrew Symonds be offering a defence?
Smith has received a year-long ban but nine months of that are suspended. She’ll miss the remainder of the Women’s Big Bash League and Women’s National League. Ultimately she can’t play any cricket, not even amateur cricket, for the remainder of the Australian summer.
What do you think? Is this ban the right amount? Should she have been let off or suffered an even more severe punishment?
What do the public want? (By public I mean the six people including myself that voted on this poll!)
Not the Hundred!
Interestingly, 67% of voters would like to have just kept the T20 Blast in its current county form. I thought that more than 33% might have plumped for a T20 city based franchise competition but like a batsman’s average the stats don’t lie!
If you haven’t already then please vote on my latest poll on the subject of coin tossing in Test cricket. You can find the Polls section of my blog by clicking on the Menu & Widgets tab at the top right of my home page then selecting Batting Order then Select Category then Polls.
Come to think of it, why don’t I just provide you with the link to my latest poll?
I just wanted to draw (Literally) your attention to some thrilling news. There’s a new Ghostbusters film out next year and judging by the title it’s got a cricket theme!
We all know how little cricket is accessible on TV let alone the big screen which is surprising given the narrative that the game often produces. Hopefully Ghostbusters 2020 will be the start of play on a steady stream of cricket themed movies.
I’m really interested to see what the storyline will be. Will it be ghosts hosting ‘Busters’ at the SCG or will the phantoms and their menaces pop up in India, USA, Papua New Guinea or at Lords?
We’ll just have to wait our turn to bat to find out!
Here’s my latest poll. It’s a chance to have your say on something extremely relevant happening in cricket right now. Please share with your friends so that we can really get a feel for public opinion on this…
Many thanks for voting and be sure to look out for the results in a week’s time.
Please see below for my potential England Lions squads for any series in the near future. There don’t seem to be any fixtures listed but I understand that the Lions will be going on tour this winter. I’ve omitted fringe/new players that are in the full squad (Brown, Crawley, Gregory, Mahmood and Parkinson etc) who could yet be considered based on playing time and schedule. I’ve also omitted likely franchise players (Banton, Duckett, Livingstone and Evans etc) all of whom could come into consideration based on contracts and schedule.
Tom Abell (Captain)
Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper)
Harvey Hosein (Wicketkeeper)
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Captain)
Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper)
Ben Cox (Wicketkeeper)
Tom Abell (Captain)
Ben Cox (Wicketkeeper)
Adam Wheater (Wicketkeeper)
I’ve provided Tom Abell with the captaincy in Test and T20I formats but handed the role to Tom Kohler-Cadmore in the ODI format. I’ve avoided selecting players in all three forms of the game so this captaincy decision utilises Abell’s skill and expertise as well as Kohler-Cadmore’s potential but also allows the less experienced Kohler-Cadmore to not be burdened by the role in T20I cricket.
I think that my squads send out a message that if you perform at domestic level you’ll be considered for England. It’s not a development squad but a best of the rest. As well as omitting less experienced fringe first team players and possible franchise players I’ve ignored the likes of Gary Ballance, Dawid Malan and James Vince who England already know enough about. In the case of Malan and Vince they are in the full T20I squad and may well play franchise cricket this winter.
What are your thoughts and who do you think deserves England recognition?
“Oh what a catch”. “Wow, an amazing catch”. “That’s the best catch I’ve ever seen”.
It’s become a bug bear of mine this current penchant for cricket commentators to label ordinary run of the mill catches as something special.
Last night a commentator got carried away with a catch by Middlesex’s AB de Villiers to dismiss Somerset’s Eddie Byrom. I can’t find the particular BBC clip but the word used to describe this absolute dolly of a catch was something along the lines of “Outstanding” or “Sensational”. Maybe the commentator was simply in awe of an extremely talented player but he could still avoid using hyperbole in his work.
Later in proceedings, Somerset’s Max Waller executed a genuinely high quality catch to remove de Villiers but for the record the commentator described that catch incorrectly…
Waller caught the ball in his right-hand not his left hand! There was also an error when identifying the coloured clothing of a catch held by a spectator. If you’re going to commentate please describe things accurately. On radio I guess that you can get away with it but when there are online clips you can be made to look incompetent. We all make mistakes (Heck, read my blog!) but this was poor and cricket desperately needs better from its professional and qualified media at the moment.
Back to my original point, please don’t describe something as “Great” or “Brilliant” when it’s only “Very good”. This is not meant to belittle anybody’s efforts but only to confirm that reasonably high standards should be maintained.
Please click the link below for match highlights but it’s not the same commentary. De Villiers’ catch barely gets a mention from the commentator here…
This attitude has become an all too familiar thing on BBC commentary. Oh and on that note, if cricket (In the form of The Hundred!) will be on the BBC next year, do we really want Jonathan Agnew fronting it?
Yorkshire are so reliant on their top three of Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and David Willey that if those three don’t fire then they struggle to post anything near competitive totals.
The white rose side played three spinners in the form of South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj, loanee Dom Bess and young Jack Shutt. None of them impressed nor did pace bowler Duanne Olivier. Admittedly the South African England hopeful (!) had a chance dropped but figures of 3-0-47-0 are pretty painful.
Yorkshire don’t seem to understand what they want to be in white-ball cricket. Are there no young and modern minded attacking batsmen coming thorough the ranks? Still, soon it’s back to the four-day affairs where the Headingley outfit should be much stronger… I mean they do tend to actually select their best players for that one!