CricketXI: IPL 2019 – Season Review

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What can I say?

I don’t follow the IPL all that closely but as a self confessed cricket nut who regularly hands out fantasy cricket selection advice…  I should probably try harder next time!

Disclaimer: Not sure about the winner’s team name. Should’ve been disqualified if you ask me then I’d have finished in a far more respectable sixteenth place!

England Pinch Salt!

Following injury to the unfortunate Dawid Malan, England have called up Sussex’s Philip Salt for the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan tomorrow.

Salt has a top score of 74 in domestic T20 cricket, spent some time on the franchise circuit during the winter and regardless of format, has a habit of getting Sussex off to some brisk starts. Hopefully he can do the same for England if he makes the playing XI.

Wright Wronged!

Former England player Luke Wright recently signed a white-ball only contract for Sussex, putting an end to a First Class career that earned nearly 8000 runs and in excess of 100 wickets.

http://m.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/23460.html

Remember that Wright was extremely close to winning a Test cap in South Africa some years ago but England plumped for Ian Bell.

If anything Wright was rather perversely both ahead of his time but also picked too soon. At a time when England, despite inventing it, had no idea how to play T20 cricket but belatedly attempted to select a squad somewhere near resembling a T20 outfit, Wright was sent out to swashbuckle from ball one and promptly scored a paddle of ducks at the World Cup.

Strip away ODI and T20I career bests against then Associates Afghanistan and Netherlands and his stats make for even grimmer reading than they already do. A lack of a consistent defined role may not have always helped him. Was he an all-rounder or just a batsman who bowled? He bowled that last over against New Zealand alright!

Despite his international struggles, Wright was making a name for himself on the franchise circuit long before many of his compatriots. His performances in the Big Bash were record-breaking and over a sustained period of time, confirmed his ability. It’s a shame that it had been lost on England by then.

All-time Big Bash leading run-scorers:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/big-bash-league-2015-16/engine/records/batting/most_runs_innings.html?id=158;type=trophy

Highest individual Big Bash innings:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/big-bash-league-2015-16/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?id=158;type=trophy

Wright could still have a few years in him yet and let’s hope to see some boundary laden innings from the now 34-year-old, wherever in the world he shows up!

MS Dhoni and Everything Wrong with Cricket!

Imagine that you were playing village cricket and the batting side’s captain walked into the middle to contest an umpiring decision. You’d think that the player in question was pathetic and their actions unacceptable. You’d think that they were setting a disgraceful example to kids wouldn’t you!

MS Dhoni did such a thing in a recent IPL match and bar a small and utterly meaningless fine, got away it. Whether or not the umpiring decision was correct is irrelevant. It’d be fascinating to know what the reaction would’ve been had the player in question not been Indian.

Cricket has been played for over 150 years and players have been getting ‘rough’ decisions all over the globe everyday. Few players anywhere at anytime have likely acted with the lack of grace that MS Dhoni did.

Nothing about our game should make anyone angry or disappointed, with the performance maybe but certainly not with conduct.

Has MS Dhoni apologised? Is he embarrassed or is he revelling in the attention? I have no idea but what I do know is that his lowest of the low actions were totally out of place at all levels of our beautiful game.

Mankad? – Mancan!

No introduction needed…

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Take care followers.

Edit: I neglected to say that I have no qualms about it being a pre-determined tactic either. Just like teams prepare to ball short stuff to a batsman with a dodgy track record against short pitched bowling then well done if they’ve done their homework and identified a batsman susceptible to being ‘Mankaded’.