As Durham clinch the 2013 County Championship at their home ground, captain Paul Collingwood can reflect on success at club and country level, especially this season. For England he's scored more than a few runs against Australia and other sides, and has notched up 10 centuries, 20 fifties and 96 catches in test matches (the long form of the game) alone, in addition to a spot of wicket keeping. He's also captained England to their only global cricket tournament victory. But Paul is most well-known for his catching... [more inside]
Boswell's head started to swim. He had been struggling to bowl to left-handers. Suddenly [the batsman] "looked as though he was 50 yards away. He was like a tiny dot. I just couldn't see him. Then I bowled a wide and I heard the noise of the crowd. I bowled a second wide, and the noise got louder and louder and louder." His muscles grew tight. His fingers grew tense. He began to sweat.On the first day of September 2001, promising young fast bowler Scott Boswell came in to bowl for Leicestershire in the final of the C & G one-day cricket tournament against Somerset. A few minutes later, Boswell had given rise to a dark cricketing legend, TV footage that would eventually become one of the most watched cricket clips on Youtube, and his professional career was effectively over. In his first interview since that day, Boswell talks to Andy Bull about what happens after a bowler gets the yips.
Why we love Monty. Just a few months ago, Monty Panesar was the struggling underdog of the England cricket team to some ("from what I've read of his fielding and batting, I think there's potential for him to outdo Phil Tufnell for sheer comedic value"), and downright butt-of-the-joke to others (Ponty turns around and appeals madly. The umpire isn't amused. "What the f*** are you appealing for?" he asks. "The ball," says Ponty, imploringly. "Can I have the ball please?"). After continued improval culminating in a ten-wicket haul (including the key batsmen) against Pakistan last weekend, now the bookies have the turbanator at 10-1 to be BBC Sports Personality of the year. ("Monty is a left-arm finger spinner for crying out loud. What is he doing spinning it a foot? Not even Danish Kaneria, the second best leg spinner in world cricket, could turn it that much"). Quite the turn-around!
You say bodyline, I say leg theory. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series.