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Man-of-the-match-Tillekaratene-Dilshan-good-all-round-game-for-the-Warriors

LCPL cricket: Semi-final 1…Guyana Amazon Warriors melt T&T Red Steel in own their backyard, book final spot

By KNews |

image001By Sean Devers

Guyanese fans celebrating at Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad

Guyanese fans celebrating at Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad

The atmosphere in Port- of-Spain last night was like a funeral instead of the usual Carnival as Guyana Amazon Warriors made the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel fans see red.
A partisan capacity crowd of over 25,000 left the Queens Park Oval dejected and disappointed as the Amazon Warriors produced a professional performance to whip the Red Steel by seven wickets in the first Semi-final of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament.

Guyana marched into tomorrow’s final, as T&T, urged on by a raucous crowd which created a sea of red in the stands, stumbled in their own backyard after the South American based team reached 107-3 off 16.2 overs replying to the 103 all out in 19.3 overs by the home team.

Man-of-the-match Tillakaratne Dilshan, with a cultured 39 from 27 balls decorated with three fours and a six, led the Guyana run chase after Krishmar Santokie, Dilshan, Lasith Malinga and Veersammy Permaul conspired to take two wickets each to shackle the home team batsmen.

Pep talks from West Indies batting Maestro Brian Lara and an impassioned flag-waving crowd, which danced to rhythms of Tassa Drummers, Steel pan players and the pulsating music blaring from the Trini Possie Stand, failed to produce the impetus to propel T&T into the finals after Guyana won the toss and elected to field first under lights.

T&T would have gotten some confidence from their win against Guyana when the teams last met at this venue and Kevin O’Brian got going with a boundary in the opening over from the tournament’s leading wicket-taker left-arm seamer Santokie.

Dilshan (2-14) struck in the second over when he removed O’Brian (8) to a sharp return catch to leave T&T on 11-1. It was soon 14-2 in the third over when Mahela Jayawardene (2) popped an easy catch to extra cover as the hosts slipped to 14-2 and the large Guyanese contingent in the crowd, which also included several Hollywood movie stars and former great West Indies players, went wild with delight.

Guyana-Amazon-Warriors-get-excited-over-another-Red-Steel-wicket.-

Guyana-Amazon-Warriors-get-excited-over-another-Red-Steel-wicket.-

‘Slinger’ Malinga was introduced in the fourth over and Sunil Narine in the next over as Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan cleverly wrung the changers as Ross Taylor joined Adrian Barath.

Taylor (6) top-edged Permaul into ‘no man’s land’ before he pulled the left-arm spinner to deep mid wicket in the same over to leave T&T on 25-3 in the sixth over.

The left-handed Darren Bravo joined Barath on a track offering assistance to the spinners. The noisy crowd was stunned into silence when Barath (12) was run out at 32-4 and Bravo (3) fell off Dilshan without addition to the score in the ninth over.

Skipper Dwayne Bravo was joined by 17-year-old Nicholas Pooran, who scored 54 against Guyana on debut from 18 balls, and together they took the score to 56 before Pooran (14), who hit the first six of the match, edged a cut off Permaul, next ball.

Kevin Cooper, who clobbered Narine for two sixes and his Captain, who smashed a Santokie full toss to cover for only the second four of the innings, tried to orchestrate a mini-revival as they carried T&T to 101-7 before Cooper, who hammered 27 from 17 balls, lofted Narine to long-on in the 18th over.

After clarification from the third Umpire, Suleiman Benn was give out caught at point by Permaul for duck as Santokie took his 16th wicket in the competition as he finished another excellent spell to finish with 2-20 from his four overs.

It was 103-9 when Bravo (24) was taken on the cover boundary before Malinga, who ended with 2-18, finished the match on a hat-trick by bowling Fidel Edwards (1) first ball.

Man-of-the-match-Tillekaratene-Dilshan-good-all-round-game-for-the-Warriors

Man-of-the-match-Tillekaratene-Dilshan-good-all-round-game-for-the-Warriors

William Perkins, playing his first match in tournament, and fellow Trinidadian Lendl Simmons pounced on leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who opened the bowling, and smashed him for four.

Perkins climbed into the lively Edwards and swatted him for a boundary before Simmons (8) was beaten for pace and removed in the same over to leave Guyana on 14-1 in the third over.

Perkins, who sweetly cut Badree for four and Dilshan who played a ‘Dilscope’ for six off Edwards before gloriously stroking back-to-back fours off Benn, took the score to 47 before Benn got rid of Perkins in the sixth over.

Sarwan got the shock of his life when he tried to use the electronic bail to mark his guard and the bail started to light up when it was removed from the stumps.

However, the right-handed former West Indies Captain settled down to support Dilshan, who played an array of audacious shots, in their 31-run partnership before Sri Lankan Dilshan was caught and bowled by Cooper at 78-3 in the 11th over.

James Franklyn (16) and Sarwan (18) then saw Guyana home in emphatic fashion with 22 balls to spare.
Tonight, Jamaica led by Chris Gayle face-off with the Kieron Pollard led Barbados in the second semi-final to decide who will battle Guyana in the grand finale tomorrow.

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image001

Limacol CPLT20 move to the final phase

image001So ends that phase of the Limacol CPLT20, everyone calling it a success. And what entertainment it has provided so far!

The organisers invite: Okay! That ends the League Phase of the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Premier League. We now take a 3-day break and return on Thursday, 22nd August, 2013 at 8 pm local at Trinidad where Ramnaresh Sarwan’s Guyana Amazon Warriors take on the home side, Trinidad and Tobago, in the first semi-final! The following day, at 8 pm local again, will witness the second semi-final between Jamaica Tallawahs and Kieron Pollard’s Barbados Tridents. The last few days of this tournament have been action packed and we certainly hope that the final three days end in a frenzy! And we invite you to join us for the party and enjoy the carnival! Until then, on behalf of the commentators and scorers, ADIOS! TAKE CARE!

See what you may have missed – highlights and much more –

Visit the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ILUEsWKmM&list=PL3Wi6IXez6q6jfYTt5lEczdzjdgPvuGSX

http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialCPLT20?feature=watch

http://cplt20.com/news-overview

The main site is: http://cplt20.com/

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West Indies criket legend, Sir Vivian Richars

Vivian Richards tips Caribbean Premier League to develop young players

Vivian Richards says the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Premier League should also give the young players an opportunity to assess their professional career.

West Indies criket legend, Sir Vivian Richars

West Indies criket legend, Sir Vivian Richards

CMC, Antigua:  Former West Indies captain and batting legend Sir Vivian Richards believes the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will provide young cricketers an opportunity to display and hone their skills in a competitive environment.

In an interview, Sir Vivian said the tournament should also give the young players an opportunity to assess their professional career, reports CMC.

“It could also be that sort of a pinnacle that maybe our young professionals, or guys who are aspiring to be young professionals, can now maybe look forward to the cool and smooth T20 tournament; and now with the CPL, this could be the point where maybe the younger professionals would really like to reach,” Sir Vivian said.

“It is an opportunity for them and it is that sort of a playground for them to assess their careers and where they would like to go and hopefully with the professional stuff which has been in the area itself, it gives them an opportunity to become better professionals and something to strive for.”

The tournament includes six franchises with 15 contracted players each including a maximum of four international players and four players under the age of 23.

The teams are Antigua Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.

Reacting to the non-selection of Antigua and Leeward Islands’ captain Sylvester Joseph, Vivian, who will coach the Hawksbills, said the idea was to select a nucleus of players capable of complementing each other.

“We try and look for individuals who we think can be part of a family because if it is that this tournament, the CPL, is going to be a period of about four to five weeks, we look to have individuals who want to represent that brand,” the former batsman said.

“There are certain processes that we have and everyone is on the list and the sheets that we were sent had everyone who were available and we just didn’t go in that direction, it is simple and plain as that.”

The CPL, organised by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), replaces the Caribbean Twenty20 as the premier T20 cricket tournament in the Caribbean.

The competition, which is slated to run from July 29 to Aug 26, will be played in Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
ENDS

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Digicel will sponsor inaugural Caribbean Premier League

Bridgetown (Barbados): April 17, 2013
By Indo-Asian News Service
Telecommunications major Digicel will sponsor the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to be played in July-August.

The CPL in a statement stated that the sponsorship will be a multi-year deal of a significant investment from Digicel, reports CMC.

“We are thrilled to have Digicel as our partner in this venture,” said CPL founder Ajmal Khan of Verus International.

“Its wealth of experience in the region and in West Indies cricket will be an invaluable asset to the CPL, ensuring its initial and long-term success,” Khan said.

Four overseas players and six leading regional cricketers have already signed up for the CPL which will be played at venues across the region.

They include former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor as well as regional stars Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels.

“The CPL is a perfect fit for Digicel. We’re huge fans of West Indies cricket and this is a great opportunity for us to invest not only in what will be an amazing event, but also in the young cricketers who will benefit from around the region,” said Digicel Group Marketing Director Kieran Foley.

“Having seen all the plans for the inaugural tournament, we know the CPL will be a spectacle like nothing else seen in the region and we are looking forward to being front and centre…”

Digicel has been the main sponsor of West Indies Cricket since 2004.

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Mohamed Bin Hammam

AFC head Jilong slams Bin Hammam’s “intimidation tactics”

By Andrew Warshaw

Zhang Jilong

October 19 – The acting head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Zhang Jilong, has accused his predecessor Mohamed Bin Hammam of “intimidation tactics” designed to derail the investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing by the one-time most powerful man in Asian football.

Zhang (pictured left) said Bin Hammam was trying to “intimidate and create technical legal issues and objections in the hope that the more serious allegations of secret commissions, bribery, corruption and other wrongdoings are never exposed to the light of day”.

Bin Hammam, whose lifetime ban following last year’s cash-for-votes scandal was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),  was placed under further suspension in July as a result of claims made by an AFC-commissioned independent report carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which highlighted serious breaches of regulations during Bin Hammam’s 10-year tenure as AFC President, including allegations that he negotiated important contracts on his own and used AFC bank accounts for personal use.

That ban ends on October 23 and although it could be further extended, Bin Hammam has gone back to the CAS to have his name cleared once again.

Zhang has now written to the AFC’s member associations denying any “conflict of interest in the ongoing AFC Disciplinary Committee action against Bin Hammam” or that he had “personally benefited” form Bin Hammam’s support.

He also denied interfering with the ongoing disciplinary process.

In an uncharacteristic outburst, Zhang charged that Bin Hammam and his lawyers “do not want the Asian Football Confederation to consider the evidence that now exists and for which Mr Bin Hammam must answer”.

“The immediate task I believe is that we must all agree to allow our independent Judicial Bodies to hear the evidence and decide the case against Mr Bin Hammam,” he added.

“We can then take the next steps in our journey of rebuilding the Asian Football Confederation.”

Zhang was responding to a widely circulated emailed letter from Bin Hammam’s lawyers, which asserted that “a group of AFC officials working with FIFA” was “trying to seize control of the AFC” and “trying to take over the disciplinary decision-making machinery in order to make sure that Mr Bin Hammam cannot return to AFC”.

The correspondence continued: “They have threatened to bring disciplinary charges against anyone in Asian football who communicated with Mr Bin Hammam to oppose their tactics.”

Mohamed Bin Hammam

Bin Hammam (pictured left) has repeatedly denied all the charges against him and last month reportedly handed FIFA investigators his own independent report that is said to have torn apart the PwC findings line by line.

Whoever is right or wrong in this unsavoury and long-running dispute, the issue has totally divided the AFC and Zhang warned that the organisation was at a crossroads.

“We have a simple choice to make in the face of the distractions being thrown in our direction,” he wrote.

“We can decide to roll up ourselves and do the work such as amending our controlling statutes to put in place comprehensive bylaws and regulations which actually create a system of governance that leads to transparency and accountability.

“Or, we can ignore the truth and go back to business like it was before while pretending that it is acceptable for one man to assume control of this football confederation and run it like it was his own private business.”

“I believe, I understand and know the direction we must take to get where we want to be – and I believe right now we must stay the course and see the legal process that has been started through to its end.

“I never asked to become the Acting President or to take on these incredibly difficult problems and responsibilities.

“But I will not run away from this work either and I ask for your help and support.”

Contact the writer of this story at andrew.warshaw@insideworldfootball.biz

 

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Montserrat represented a the World Domino Federation General meeting

Montserrat was represented for the first time at the World Domino Federation Annual General meeting in Orlando, Florida this week. The meeting followed the conclusion of the World Domino tournament from August 17-26.

A two-member delegation in vice president of the Montserrat Domino Association (MDA) Mr. Winston Telesford and seasoned domino player Mr. Leon Spinks, returned  for Florida, after attending the final two days of the Federation Championship games and the annual general meeting.

Mr. Telesford told The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) that the visit was a good experience. He revealed that apart from observing the championship games they were afforded the opportunity to also play two friendly matches with the Barbados team, who won the tournament. The Montserratians won the first of the two matches they played.

He said one of the things the Association was informed of, was the lengthy time that is devoted to the games, which is significantly different from what is practiced here in Montserrat. Another observation made during their visit, was the difference in the rules governing the matches. He explained that two of the challenges the Association would face in putting on such lengthy matches is getting sponsorship and players.

According to the Vice President, countries such as Barbados were able to produce several teams, where most of the players play domino professionally, which is different from Montserrat players. However, he said that the Association will look at reviewing their rules and other areas, where it is beneficial to Montserrat.

Meanwhile, MDA president Mr. Gregory Willock, explained that the main purpose for their attendance was to build closer ties with the Federation and present Montserrat non-coding method of playing domino to the Federation, which is contrary to the international coding method.

Willock said, “We are really pleased to get the opportunity to send our delegates to the meeting. This would allow us to determine if we need to change the style of Domino that we are playing, or whether we don’t want to associate ourselves and probably be honorary members of the Federation.”

“A few years ago… Antigua volunteered to play some friendly games with us to allow us to get a feel of what this coding style of domino is like at the international level. But when Antigua came here we were at a loss, because…they played a style of coding, a form of coding which we are not accustomed to in any form of dominos here. What we experienced against Antigua was really unfamiliar territory for us,” he said.

He continued, “We decided as an Association that it was necessary for us to make representation even if we weren’t sending a team to the World Domino Federation Championship, to send a two-member delegation to the AGM so we can give the Federation a country update and also inform them of the style of Domino that we play and the rules we play under.”

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Bin Hammam hit with AFC ban over financial wrongdoing

By Andrew Warshaw

July 17 – Former Asian football supremo Mohamed Bin Hammam’s hopes of restoring his power base have been effectively dashed after he was sanctioned by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) when an audit of AFC accounts revealed allegations of financial wrongdoing.

Bin Hammam, the former AFC President who is currently fighting a life ban over last year’s cash-for-votes scandal in the Caribbean, has been suspended for 30 days for “events surrounding the negotiation and execution of certain contracts and with the financial transactions made in and out of AFC bank accounts and his personal account during the tenure of Mr Bin Hammam’s Presidency”.

Last year the Qatari challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA Presidency but withdrew his candidacy just days before the June election following claims that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials.

Bin Hammam, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, was banned for life and has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which is expected to reach a verdict next week.

If cleared, he could technically resume AFC activities but is unlikely to gain sufficient support as a result of the latest move, with the AFC hot seat, currently occupied on a temporary basis by Zhang Jilong of China, going to either Yousef Al Serkal of the United Arab Emirates or Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

Contact the writer of this story at andrew.warshaw@insideworldfootball.biz

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Darren Sammy had David Warner caught at slip

West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Bridgetown, 3rd day

Clarke fights but West Indies still on top

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

Darren Sammy had David Warner caught at slip

Australia 248 for 5 (Clarke 73, Hussey 47*) trail West Indies 449 for 9 dec by 201 runs
West Indies remained firmly on top after three days of attritional cricket in Barbados, where Darren Sammy’s early strikes and Devendra Bishoo’s variations kept Australia’s batsmen from making significant progress. At stumps on day three Australia were 248 for 5, with Michael Hussey on 47 and Matthew Wade on 19, and while they had almost passed the follow-on mark they were not yet safe in the match.

The big challenge for West Indies remained finding a way to turn their impressive performance into a victory. Rain again played a part on the third afternoon and their task for the final two days was to run through Australia’s lower order quickly, bat again and set the visitors a target, and then skittle them a second time. The way this match has unfolded so far, that looked like it would be easier said than done.

But through Sammy and his colleagues West Indies had at least put themselves in the much stronger position. Last time the two sides met in a Caribbean Test series, the hosts had several days of inspired cricket but were unable to string together enough in one match to take a victory from Australia. This time they had started with two encouraging days, and worked through the third in the same fashion.

Michael Clarke provided Australia with a fighting half-century but threw his wicket away, while Shane Watson and David Warner also failed to capitalise on solid starts. Watson was also accountable for the ugly run-out of Ricky Ponting, a calamitous confusion that left Ponting fuming as he walked off the field.

The pair had come together after Sammy removed both openers in almost identical fashion, pitching the ball on off stump and nipping it away from the left-handers Warner and Ed Cowan. Cowan was on 14 when his thin edge found the wicketkeeper and Warner had made a promising start and had 42 when he edged to second slip, and Sammy’s accuracy and persistence was impressive.

Those strikes were followed by the run-out of Ponting for 4 when Watson turned the ball behind square leg and took a single, and then called for the second, hesitated, and called Ponting through again. The throw from the deep to the wicketkeeper’s end found a confused Ponting out of his ground as Watson loitered halfway down the pitch and Ponting’s frustration was evident.

Watson was nearly involved in another run-out later when Clarke was saved only by a wayward throw. That, together with poor use of the review system, were the only real blemishes that could be attached to the West Indies fielding effort. Twice Watson survived lbw appeals that could easily have gone against him, once when he offered no shot to a prodigious inswinger from Sammy, who asked for a review and saw the replays show a perilously close prediction that had the ball hitting off stump, but only in the “umpire’s call” zone.

In the next over, Kemar Roach appealed for lbw against Watson and also received a not-out verdict. This time Sammy decided against asking for a review but replays showed the ball would have struck enough of leg stump to have the decision overturned. West Indies wasted their second review after lunch when Sammy was off the ground and the vice-captain Kirk Edwards asked for the third umpire to check another Roach lbw appeal that was clearly sliding down leg.

But those errors of judgment didn’t prove too costly. Watson threw his wicket away in the first over after lunch when he flashed impetuously at Roach and was caught behind for 39. It was hardly the innings Australia needed from Watson in his first Test batting at No.3. Clarke and Michael Hussey led a fightback with an 82-run partnership and they had to work hard against Bishoo, whose variations kept them from scoring freely.

Clarke used his feet against the legspinner and lofted him straight down the ground for six, but otherwise the Australians typically waited for poor balls from Bishoo and did the best they could to keep the good ones out. Clarke brought up his half-century from his 121st delivery with a fine cover-driven boundary from the part-time offspin of Narsingh Deonarine, and he was fortunate to have got there after a contentious review when he was on 27.

Clarke was adjudged caught behind off a Bishoo ball that stayed low and he immediately challenged the out decision from the umpire Tony Hill. Replays did not clearly show that he hit the ball but nor did there seem to be overwhelming evidence to overturn the call, but that was what happened and it was a serious let-off for Clarke.

Eventually, Bishoo had his reward when Clarke tried to clear long-off but succeeded only in skying a catch, and it was an unwise shot selection at a time when Clarke and Hussey needed to continue building their partnership. Hussey was more watchful and by stumps was approaching a half-century, and Wade struggled against Bishoo with a packed close-in field, but he was good enough to put away the bad balls when they came.

Bishoo’s challenge on the fourth day will be to run through the tail, although with the new ball due Sammy will first turn to his fast men to do that job. And if they can manage it, victory will be a possibility, although a draw remains the more likely outcome.

 

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ON THE WARPATH

Warner to FIFA: You’re destroying the Caribbean region

Former FIFA vice president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner sent FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his organization a Christmas present on Friday and as you can guess, it wasn’t gift wrapped with pretty bows.

In a critical, seven-page statement about international soccer’s governing body, Warner claimed FIFA was engaged in a hostile take over of the Caribbean Football Union. Members of the CFU met in Zurich, Switzerland to reorganize its organization in what was considered in many quarters as the biggest scandal in soccer in 2011.

Warner claimed that FIFA had “no locus standi or even hierarchical relationship” with the CFU.

“I am no longer prepared to sit back and watch from the sidelines, while a few men destroy an entire region for their own selfish and self-serving motives,” he said in a statement.

Warner was forced to step down from both positions for his alleged part in the scandal. He and former Asian Soccer Confederation head Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar tried to bribe Carribean Football Union officials to vote for the former against the incumbent Blatter in the FIFA presidential election. The plot was found out, and bin Hammam was banned from the game. Several CFU officials were suspended and Warner resigned.

Now Warner is on the warpath once again.

Warner called this meeting unconstitutional.

“At this unconstitutional CFU congress, certain decisions were taken by the FIFA president, decisions which the presidents of 26 of the 30 national associations present accepted without even consulting their members who they purported to represent,” he said.

Warner, the minister of works and infrastructure in the People’s Partnership Government in his native Trinidad & Tobago, said the soccer leaders from Anguilla, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago did not support FIFA “and its unethical actions.”

Some of those action, according to Warner, included:

The appointment of a normalization committee to execute various tasks on behalf of the CFU, the appointment of an interim CFU general secretary, the review of the new CFU statutes to be proposed by the CFU Legal Committee, the preparation of the 2011 annual report, setting a deadline for a CFU extraordinary congress to approve the new CFU statutes within 90 dates of Dec. 20.

“Never in the history of the FIFA has an organization that is not a member of FIFA been subject to the ‘law’ of FIFA,” Warner said.

Warner said he would have more to say on Wednesday.

“In one fell swoop, the Caribbean football leadership has now undone its struggle of some 33 years and has disrespected the entire region,” Warner said in his statement. “The arrogance with which the FIFA continues to ride roughshod over duly elected officials of both the CFU and the CONCACAF is not just unethical but plain outright immoral.

“It demonstrates the crass disrespect to the independence and sanctity of the constitutions of both organizations because the FIFA imposes on these two organizations its will which is neither recognized by FIFA’s constitution nor the constitutions of the CFU and the CONCACAF.

“This type of behavior must never be allowed to continue without a voice of dissent being raised against such malfeasance.”

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Most dominant Test side ever

The Invincibles, Lloyd’s West Indians, Waugh’s Australians and others are in the mix. Who’s on top?

S Rajesh

This is one of the favourite topics for debate among any group of cricket diehards: which is the best team to have played Test cricket? It’s a topic which, quite justifiably, elicits strong opinions: does Bradman’s team of the 1930s and ’40s remain the best side ever? Or is it the West Indian team of the 1980s? Anyone who has seen the records of the Australian team of the 2000s can’t ignore their claims to greatness either. And then there are other sides that have briefly flirted with greatness: South Africa won eight out of 12 Tests during the late 1960s, just before they were banned, while England in the 1950s won 36 Tests and lost 13 out of 72 matches.

However, when comparing the numbers, three teams stand out for their sheer domination of the rest of the field. The Australian side, during an extended period from 1930 to November 1952 – interrupted for almost eight years by the War – won 46 out of 70 Tests, and lost only 12. During that period, they won 13 out of 15 series, losing one (the Bodyline series in 1932-33), and drawing one (in England in 1938). The Australian side of the 2000s was, if anything, even more dominant. Between October 1999 and November 2007, they played 93 Tests, and won a mind-boggling 72 of them. One of the remarkable features of their domination was the fact that they played out only 11 draws in 93 games. In 28 series during this period (excluding the one-off Super Test and a series in Zimbabwe), they won 24, and lost and drew two each. And then, of course, was the West Indies team of the 1980s and the early ’90s, which went 15 years without losing a Test series. Towards the end of that period they began to lose a few Tests along the way, but their best period was between February 1981 and December 1989: in 69 Tests in that span, they had a 40-7 win-loss record. (Between January 1990 and March 1995, it dropped to 20-9.) During their eight greatest years, they played 16 series, won 11 and drew five.

All of these teams were remarkable because they set high standards and maintained them over long periods of time. In terms of sheer numbers, the Australian side of the 2000s looks better than the other two: they won a higher percentage of games, had a higher win-loss ratio, and had a greater difference between their batting and bowling averages than the other two sides.

Do these stats make that Australian team the greatest of all time? The jury will be out on that one, for often numbers alone don’t tell the entire story. (Does 16 Grand Slam titles make Roger Federer the best male tennis player of all time? There are some who believe not.) What the numbers do show, though, is that the Australian team of the 2000s is arguably the most dominant team to have played the game. The difference of 17.14 between their batting and bowling averages shows that they were way better than most of their competition during this period. The two series losses during this period – to India and England – spoils the record a bit, but the sheer number of matches they won is awe-inspiring.

The golden periods for Australia and West Indies

Team

Period

Tests

W/L

Ratio

Bat ave

Bowl ave

Diff

Australia

Jan 1930-Nov 1952

70

46/ 12

3.83

38.22

26.40

11.82

West Indies

Feb 1981-Dec 1989

69

40/ 7

5.71

36.27

26.13

10.14

Australia

Oct 1999-Nov 2007

93

72/ 10

7.20

44.39

27.25

17.14

One of the arguments put forward against some of the domination is the quality of the opposition. In the 1930s and ’40s, did Australia have any other significant challenge than England? Similarly, in the 2000s how many teams were up for the fight against Australia? One way to separate the tougher competition from the rest is to look at the win-loss record of the other sides during each of these periods against opposition other than the dominant side. Doing that, and comparing the stats of the other teams, it emerges that:

  • Between 1930 and 1952, Australia’s major competition came from England and West Indies. Both these teams had win-loss ratios of more than 1.5 against teams other than Australia, but the others all had ratios of less than 0.6 against teams other than Australia.
  • During West Indies’ dominant period, all teams except Sri Lanka had win-loss ratios of 0.9 or more against teams other than West Indies. That means Australia, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, and India were all credible opposition for them.
  • During the era of the recent Australian domination, all teams other than West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe had ratios of more than 0.75 against teams other than Australia. (It’s a shame that the most dominant team of the 1980s is left out of discussion in the early 2000s because they aren’t good enough to compete, but that’s a telling commentary of how far West Indies have fallen.)

Looking at performances only against the relatively stronger teams, what emerges is that both the Australian sides played about 20 Tests against the weaker outfits, but the West Indies team of the 1980s played against relatively good opposition throughout – they didn’t play a single Test against Sri Lanka during that period.

In terms of numbers, the win-loss ratio for the Australian team of the 1930s and ’40s dipped to 2.33, a drop of almost 40% from their ratio against all teams. Against England, the Australians won 20 and lost 10 Tests, while the record was 8-2 against West Indies; against the other sides – South Africa, India and New Zealand – Australia won 18 out of 21, and drew the other three.

The performances of the Australian team of the 2000s dipped a bit too against the better teams, but only by about 18% – their win-loss ratio came down from 7.2 to 5.88. The teams that gave the Australians the most trouble were India (7-4 record in 14 games), and England (14-4 in 20 Tests), but against the three weak teams – West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh – Australia have a combined win-loss record of 18-1, with no draws. Even after excluding those matches, though, Australia have a superb record, with a marginally better win-loss ratio that the 1980s West Indies.

To be continued, next issue

Posted in International Sports, Regional Sports, Sports0 Comments

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