The Reuters global sports blog
from India Insight:
It is said that everyone loves the underdog. You can't fault Ireland if they disagree.
Days after cricket's showpiece event ended, the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced its decision to trim the next two World Cups to just 10 teams and throw out the associate nations from the 2015 edition, featuring only its 10 full members. The 10 spots for the 2019 edition will be determined through qualification.
"This is not a World Cup, it's a glorified Champions Trophy," said Ireland's captain William Porterfield, after the ICC's decision to trim the 2015 World Cup that will see associate teams like Ireland and Netherlands miss out on the chance to rub shoulders with the best of the cricketing world.
Porterfield has a point there. Given that much of the excitement and drama of the initial group stage games of the recently concluded 2011 edition -- hailed by some experts as “the best World Cup of all time” -- was provided by his brilliantly spirited and gutsy team, it is difficult not to agree that Ireland may have been hard done by. Associate member nations will now have to wait until 2019 for a chance to compete again.
Respected but seldom loved at home, admired but also reviled abroad, Ricky Ponting led Australia to great success but his captaincy will ultimately be defined by three lost Ashes series.
The tough, single-minded Tasmanian always put the team first and that, he said, had prompted him to stand down after nine years in charge of the Australia one-day team and seven as test skipper on Tuesday.
The most test (48) and one-day international (164) wins by any captain as well as successive World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007 is an impressive record by any standards, and there has never been any doubt about his quality as a batsman.
from Photographers Blog:
Reuters Photographer Parivartan Sharma takes us to the town of Meerut, north of Delhi, where cricket balls are still being made the old-fashioned way - by hand. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will co-host the 2011 Cricket World Cup starting on February 19.
The cornerstone of Australia’s past and many successes was often their stubbornness and competitiveness but with the nation at an all time low the new way forward is honesty and the equation is a basic one.
Elementary, Shane Watson.
The man can bat, bowl and field, as he showed during the 3-1 Ashes defeat to England and the two Twenty20 internationals, but what was most notable about the all-rounder was his honesty in front of cameras.
Look away now Australian cricket fans, this one’s going to hurt like a cricket bat to the groin. Their team has carried their abject 2010 form into 2011 by slumping to another defeat to a rampant England side but this time in Twenty20 rather than tests.
While England notched up their eighth straight victory in the shortest version of cricket – a new world record – the last ball defeat in Adelaide means Australia have now lost 17 of their last 24 completed matches in all forms of the game.
England’s cricketers wrapped up a 3-1 series victory against Australia in Sydney on Friday and held aloft the little Ashes urn for the first time in 24 years on Australian soil.
They should enjoy the moment. It has been hard earned and a long time in coming. The taste of success will be sweet and should be savoured after so much hurt and torment at the hands of the great Australian sides of the last 20 years.
The retirement of Paul Collingwood from England’s test team was beautifully timed, leaving the selectors with the dilemma of who to replace the versatile batsman but with a long time to contemplate the decision and from a pretty lofty perch.
The 34-year-old brought options with the ball and was arguably the team’s best fielder, so although he has struggled with the bat of late whoever steps into the team has some big boots to fill.
England moved closer to bringing the Ashes back from Australia for the first time in 24 years on Tuesday as they reduced the battered hosts to 169-6 at stumps on day three of the fourth test, needing just four more wickets to wrap up victory and still with a lead of 246.
In all likelihood England will require just three more wickets with Ryan Harris off the field with a stress fracture to his foot and unlikely to be forced to bat in such dire circumstances for the home side.
With the fourth test steaming up on us like Santa’s sleigh with an inebriated Rudolf at the helm, time is running out for England to decide on what to do about a problem like Paul Collingwood.
Is it me or does “Brigadier Block” always seem more out of form than in form?