Defreitas has Ashes ‘vibes’ again

THE former England hero Phil DeFreitas has the same vibes about the Ashes that he had all those years ago when the coveted urn was last won in Australia. DeFreitas was only 20 when he was selected for his first England tour in 1986/87, joining a force that was written off as having no chance …

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Gifted Muralitharan never ‘chucked’

THE retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan from Test cricket marks the departure of one of the giants of the game, a player who made a difference. He is a man with a generous spirit and a love for cricket. And he is not a chucker. From personal experience I KNOW Murali has never been a chucker …

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Shame you, Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar hit the first international one-day double-hundred to set up a big India victory over South Africa at Gwalior on Feb 24 2010, and The Wisden Cricketer quickly jumped in with a witty slant in their newsletter, commiserating with an obscure Zimbabwean: “In what might one day be seen as the greatest miscarriage of …

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Final farewell to loyal Vodafone

HE ECB chairman Giles Clarke paid tribute to Vodafone during the fourth Test against South Africa at The Wanderers, the final match of their 12-year sponsorship of the England team. The partnership began with England’s tour of West Indies in 1998 and encompassed a period of significant achievement, including two Ashes triumphs in 2005 and …

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Bangladeshi ready to make history

NEVER before has the first signing of a Bangladeshi in county cricket been greeted with such acclaim. Worcestershire have agreed a contract with Skakib Al Hasan, rated by the ICC computer system as the world’s No 1 one-day all-rounder. Still only 22, Shakib has turned himself into a formidable left-hand bat and left-arm spinner, good …

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Ireland gain early dominance

A WORLD Cup without Ireland has become almost unthinkable these days, and they have made a good start in the ICC World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa with victories over Scotland and Oman. Their heroics in the last World Cup in the West Indies, when they reached the second stage after defeating Pakistan in …

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Samit Patel forced to be ‘better’

ON TOUR WITH ENGLAND LIONS THE England Lions tour of New Zealand in March produced controversy over Samit Patel — more a lingering worry — and did not garner the results that would have been expected, but the environment and matches provided valuable experience for all, despite cruelly limited opportunities for individuals to impress. Unlike …

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Ricky Ponting is wrong here

THE Australia captain Ricky Ponting has brushed off pleas from politicians, including the Australian Prime Minister, to improve his team’s general behaviour on the field after the unpleasant Test series against India. It seems Ponting has no sense of history. Perhaps the most worrying episode was at Sydney where Andrew Symonds remonstrated aggressively with Harbhajan …

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Canada lose

CANADA withdrew from their one-day international against Kenya in Mombasa on Saturday, claiming at least five players were suffering from an upset stomach. The match was awarded to Kenya, already thumping 190-run winners over Scotland in this three-nation tournament. Scotland beat Canada earlier this week by two wickets, thanks to a century by Ryan Watson. …

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David Graveney apology

ENGLAND’S chairman of selectors David Graveney has apologised to Darren Gough for the dismissive way in which the seam-bowler’s one-day career was ended last week. He was told of his omission from the 30-man World Cup squad by phone text, and the public announcement merely mentioned that Gough, Tim Bresnan and spinner Ian Blackwell were …

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