Australia’s rampant rabbit isn’t losing the Ashes

(Picture: IB Times)

(Picture: IB Times)

For all the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the Trent Bridge debacle, the Ashes wasn’t really the catalyst, crux or anything in between.

It’s the regeneration.  Since the retirement of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and co, there’s been a rebuild.  The 2013-2014 Ashes was combed over by England’s dreadful performances.  Many of these have already been talked about, dissected and torn apart. Continue reading

Cricket: Jacques Kallis one of a Protea kind

Jacques Kallis (photo: The Guardian)

Jacques Kallis (photo: The Guardian)

When an international cricket player can score more than 25,000 runs and take almost 600 wickets across all formats, you know you have a keeper.

Jacques Kallis may have officially announced his retirement from all international forms of cricket (having stepped down from test cricket in December of 2013), but the presence and impact he made on the game is forever. Continue reading

Cricket: Spinning our way into the unknown

James Muirhead playing for the Melbourne Stars (photo: SMH/Getty Images)

James Muirhead playing for the Melbourne Stars (photo: SMH/Getty Images)

Australian cricket saw what could be considered its best summer last year – the last one came against India just a couple of short years back.

Breaking down the constituents, one topic of interest has seemingly plagued journos, critics and fans alike; why is there so much talk about the choice of a front-line spinner? Continue reading

Cricket: 10 great Australian cricket moments of the 21st century

QLD Bull Ryan Harris, Feb 2013 (photo mine)

QLD Bull Ryan Harris, Feb 2013 (photo mine)

Cricket is in the blood of all Australians.  It’s our summer sport; we play it in the backyard, at a BBQ, on the street, on a field, anywhere we can find space.

For that matter, we become so engrossed in it, we can’t turn away.

Welcome to a list of 10 moments I have compiled (with the help of some Twitter discussion) of Australian cricket moments of the 21st century.  They are not listed in any particular order. Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Home and Away Team Reviews

Brad Hodge v Melbourne Renegades, Jan 6, 2013 (photo mine)

Brad Hodge v Melbourne Renegades, Jan 6, 2013 (photo mine)

It was a competition full of surprises, monster sixes, and above all, some great cricket (even if there was a bit of controversy, but hey, that’s normal!)

In this review I’ll take a look at all eight teams during their ‘home & away’ campaign during their eight matches.  There was a whole lot of mayhem throughout.  On the upside, TV ratings for the Big Bash were fantastic.  The crowds were also very engaged, especially at the two Melbourne Derby clashes.

Fox Sports once again has provided us with excellent, if not biased, coverage of every game.  The insights that the likes of Damien Fleming and Brendon Julian offer is second to none.

Continue reading

Cricket: Renegade consistency top notch

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Aaron Finch v Adelaide Strikers, Jan 2 2013 (photo mine)

I am simply amazed at the consistency of the Melbourne Renegades.  From the out of whack team of last season’s Big Bash League, to the in form and red hot favourites this time around, the Renegades are doing it very smartly.

The list of players doesn’t include many big names; Captain Aaron Finch and Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidaran are the two standouts.

Without fuss, the Renegades have built up a list that is made up of players who are good cricketers that simply play well.  Ben Rohrer, Peter Nevill, and Darren Pattinson are just a few of those. Continue reading

Cricket: Shane Warne’s lashout will cost his BBL campaign

Shane Warne lashes out at Marlon Samuels. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Warne lashes out at Marlon Samuels. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Warne has had something of a nightmare week and a bit.  First a charge for speeding in his Jaguar over in the United Kingdom, and last night a massive verbal stoush at West Indian and Melbourne Renegade batsman Marlon Samuels in the Big Bash League.  He even let rip a few expletives that were caught by the mic he was wearing for Fox Sports.

We all love a little bit of banter and a bit of heat out on the cricket field, but the altercation last night, which in fact flared while the Melbourne Stars batted, went too far. Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Melbourne Stars v Hobart Hurricanes preview

Two very good sides will take to the MCG on Saturday night.  Only one will win, but it is going to be a tight contest.

The Melbourne Stars didn’t just crush the Perth Scorchers on Wednesday night; they sent them flying into next week, in a whirlwind of shock blonde hair and two overs of power hitting from Luke Wright.

Now they come up against an opponent very much their equal; the Hobart Hurricanes.  Tim Paine, Jonathan Wells, the big hitting Travis Birt and Owais Shah all demonstrated they all can bat.  Ben Laughlin, Michael Hogan and Evan Gulbis were also very good with the ball.

It is going to make for an interesting clash.  The Hurricanes won’t easily forget last years clash, when Wright went bananas and proceeded to smash 117 from just 60 balls.  Then again, Travis Birt dished it up to Clint McKay, sending three balls out of the park in Hobart.

Continue reading

Cricket: Round 1 Big Bash League action wrap-up

Aaron FInch bats against the Melbourne Stars (sourced from The Australian)

Aaron FInch bats against the Melbourne Stars (sourced from The Australian)

Some massive sixes and exciting chases brought round one of the 2012/13 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League to a close.

Stars v Renegades:

It started with the Melbourne Derby-Stars v Renegades at Etihad Stadium.  I was at the game, and the 23,584 fans there weren’t disappointed.  After a well-made 53 to English import Luke Wright, as well as 42 and 28 respectively to veterans David Hussey and Brad Hodge, the Stars set the Renegades a total of 168 to win.

After a poor BBL|01, the Renegades have assembled a workhorse team, with only the one real big name; Muttiah Muralitharan.  Nathan Rimmington and Darren Pattinson, despite some low-wicket figures, displayed great composure and bowled a consistent line and length.  The Stars batted without any real trouble, but the score didn’t seem to be enough. Continue reading

Cricket: Under The Microscope: Melbourne Stars

Melbourne Stars (sourced from Google Images)

Dubbed ‘Melbourne’s favourite cricket team,’ the MCG will be swamped with green this summer as the Melbourne Stars vie for the BBL|02 title.

Making the finals last year by the skin of their teeth, and bowing out gracefully against the Perth Scorchers, the Stars have once again recruited a strong team, with the likes of Captain Shane Warne, David Hussey, and Sri Lankan icon Lasith Malinga.

As we approach the start of the tournament, three weeks from now, let’s take a look at some of the big name players that will don the green shirts this summer: Continue reading