Twenty years ago today, as England faced Australia in the first Test at Old Trafford, a young spin bowler prepared to deliver his first ball in Ashes cricket. What came out of his hand that afternoon in Manchester has since become the stuff of legend, baffling commentators, generating encomia, and creating iconic images: Barney Ronay reflects on Gatting b Warne 4, Shane Warne's Ball of the Century.
In another attempt to increase the popularity of cricket in America, a tournament based on T20 (Twenty-twenty), an extremely short form of the game where a match can last as little as three hours, is planned for next year. Though cricket is one of the oldest sports in the country, and the USA is one of the 106 members of the International Cricket Council, speculation still periodically emerges (Slate, BBC) on whether the nation is ready for cricket's big 'breakthrough'. [more inside]
With the NFL and NBA potentially going dark in the fall, Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo of Grantland.com decide to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match to see if it can be a suitable replacement.
"I've never been in a stadium that feels like this one. Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, people from different castes and classes, speakers of a dozen languages, all citizens in the Republic of Sachin. The stern cops give wide smiles and thumbs-ups. The chant goes from "Sachin! Sachin!" to "Hoo … ha … IN-DI-A!" They are interchangeable." [more inside]
Stoolball is the medieval ancestor of cricket and baseball. First mentioned in print in 1671, it was reputedly played by milkmaids, who used their bare hands as bats. The game is still played today in some parts of south-east England, but luckily with frying pan-shaped contraptions instead. An important rule is that not following the spirit of the game will get you sent off the pitch. Here are some pictures of games in progress, along with other medieval bat-and-ball games such as Nipsy and Knur & Spell. Or, if you don't like ball games, try another medieval sport, dwile flonking (play online in flash).
"If that's what's on, then that's what they watch. It's either that, or a cricket match between Scotland and Bermuda. Now, I am an educated man, Charlie, but when someone tries to explain cricket to me, all I want to do is hit him in the head with a teapot." Cricket Explained (An American Viewpoint) for those, following a recent cricket thread, that want to get it, but don't quite yet.
The Googly blog has been launched by Shiny Shiny. With the entry of China into the arena, cricket is poised to become the number one international sport.
The Ashes. Five days have given England it's first Ashes victory in 18 years. Both England and Australia have been strong this year. Both Mick Jagger and John Major should be happy. More history and A poem (initial post here). Congrats to the small isle on a great game.
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.
It's just not cricket - it would appear that the Cricket commentator at The Guardian is having a bad day.