Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Warne and Samuels show TV cricket is no longer just a gentleman’s game

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When Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels came close to trading blows at the jam-packed MCG, it made for great TV viewing.

Sadly, in a sport like cricket which has always been considered a “gentleman’s game”, it wasn’t an aberration. 

You see it more and more these days – be it international matches, domestic ties – or any televised game.

Like Warne, most of players admit that everything happens in the “heat of the moment”.

Cricket World Cup — live

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Join us for coverage of the revamped Cricket World Cup on the subcontinent. Follow all the drama here with regular posts and some of the best photographs around. Comments welcome!

England v Australia, Twenty20 final — live

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We’re blogging from the final of the World Twenty-20 cricket in the West Indies, with the clash between England and Australia building towards a climax.

England are doing surprisingly well, but who would write off Australia after their semi-final comeback against Pakistan? Stay tuned … and remember, comments are extremely welcome…

Don’t blame the maths for T20 farces

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CRICKET-TWENTY/Paul Collingwood’s call for change to the Duckworth-Lewis system used to determine a target in rain-hit games was understandable, coming as it did after his England team lost  a match despite scoring three times as many runs as their opponent.

It is not the calculation system that needs revisiting, however, but the broader set-up of Twenty20 tournaments.

Ricky Rubio and the Sportswrap speed special

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Ricky Rubio is the one that got away from the NBA. The number five draft pick opted to spend another year or two in Spain rather than join the Minnesota Timberwolves and FC Barcelona are understandably elated to have got him.

Click the video above to see Rubio celebrate his 19th birthday by helping Barcelona demolish Fenerbahce in the Euroleague. We also take a look at Jenson Button’s homecoming after his Formula 1 world title victory, and why batsmen the world over should be glad a certain Usain Bolt opted for track and field over cricket.

Usain Bolt: ultimate pace bowler

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Usain Bolt has long said that his first sporting love was cricket and earlier this year he caused a stir at Sabina Park in Jamaica when he turned up for the first test match against England. But, until Sunday, no-one knew if the fastest man in the world was any good with a bat or ball in his hand.

Bolt was invited to play in a charity tournament organised by West Indies opening batsman and fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle and according to some of the players I talked to had been talking a good game before putting his pads on.

Caribbean cricket chaos could get nasty

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scoreboardThe news that the West Indies squad for Thursday’s first test against Bangladesh have withdrawn their services, effectively announcing a boycott of the series, has thrown cricket in the once-proud Caribbean into further chaos and things could turn very nasty in the coming days.

The dispute regards contractual issues, payments that the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) insist are long overdue, and other matters of compensation. The WIPA say that their players have appeared in the last four series without any form of contract. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) position, to summarise very briefly, is that the WIPA’s demands have been unreasonable. If you are interested in the details (and there are lots of them) then both sides have put their cases online:

Sri Lanka to face Pakistan in Twenty20 final

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Chris Gayle’s magnificent best was not enough to prevent Sri Lanka beating West Indies on Friday night and making it through to the World Twenty20 final, where they will face Pakistan.

Tillakartne Dilshan gave Sri Lanka a total and West Indies were undone by an astonishing first over that saw them lose three wickets…. There’s no coming back from that against a team that bowls as well as Sri Lanka. What an extraordinary tournament this has been, to provide something unexpected almost every game…

Pakistan stun South Africa to reach Twenty20 final

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Pakistan bowled superbly to clinch an outstanding victory over favourites South Africa on Wednesday and reach the World Twenty20 final.

So, more disappointment for South Africa at the semi-final stage and further evidence that Umar Gul (the heroics of Afridi notwithstanding) is the best “death” bowler in this tournament. His spell at the end of the South Africa innings was beautifully delivered and certainly too good for the South Africans … and once again, it was the penultimate over that effectively decided this contest.

Feeble England still can’t get to grips with Twenty20

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England may argue that they were unlucky to exit the World Twenty20 following a five-wicket defeat by West Indies but the simple truth is that they batted poorly throughout the tournament.

With the honourable exceptions of Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen, the batsmen completely failed to get to grips with the art of scoring runs in this form of the game.

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