Friday, November 9, 2007

1975 Cricket World Cup

The 1975 Cricket World Cup in England was the first edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup. It was the pioneer for the greatest event in Cricket. With eight nations participating, the 1975 Cricket World Cup in England was a major success and paved the way for many more to come. Held in England from June 7 - June 21, the first World Cup saw the West Indies walk away as champions. The West Indies, led by Clive Lloyd was the favorites from the beginning of the tournament and clinched the series by defeating Australia by 17 runs in the final. Clive Lloyd was declared the man-of-the-match. Eight countries participated in the 1975 Cricket World Cup in England.

They were:

Australia . England . India . New Zealand . Pakistan . West Indies . Sri Lanka . East Africa

All the participating countries except Sri Lanka were test-playing nations. The teams were divided into two groups and the top two teams from each group qualified for the semi-finals.

These were:
· England · Australia · New Zealand · West Indies

The matches of the 1975 Cricket World Cup were of 60 overs each and were played only during the day. As a result of this the matches began early. Watched by spectators in packed stadiums, the matches were also relayed over radio to most countries, as television wasn't so popular back then. The players sported the traditional white uniforms and only red balls were used.

With the World Cup off to a flying start, the ICC decided to hold the tournament every four years.

ICC ODI Ranking

18 Aug 2009

Team Rating

1... South Africa - 127

2... India - 126

3... Australia - 119

4... England - 111

5... New Zealand - 110

6... Pakistan - 109

7... Sri Lanka - 104

8... West Indies - 78

9... Bangladesh - 55

10... Ireland - 27

11... Zimbabwe - 26

12... Kenya - 0

ICC Test Ranking

23 Aug 2009

Team Rating

1... South Africa - 122

2... Sri Lanka - 119

3... India - 119

4... Australia - 116

5... England- 105

6... Pakistan - 84

7... New Zealand - 82

8... West Indies - 76

9... Bangladesh - 13

Of ducks and drakes

Ah, The Duck – nothing troubles the scorers more, despite what any commentator may tell you. Especially if it is a quick one and you are still entering all the details of the previous wicket. A duck is almost as much of a symbol of non-batsmanship as scoring a century is of batting ability.
In 1996, Danny Morrison passed the record for most ducks in Test cricket amid a blaze of publicity and memorabilia. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar had held the record with 23 at that stage. Morrison subsequently passed the baton (if you will excuse the truly abysmal pun) to Courtney Walsh, who still holds the record with 43. Muttiah Murailtharan has been dismissed first ball for a duck on no fewer than 14 occasions in Test cricket.
Courtney Walsh: a true giant in the art of making zeroes

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A history of India v Pakistan


Pankaj Roy is bowled by Khan Mohammad in the first Test between the two countries.
India were Pakistan's first opponents after they gained Test status, and they took a strong side to India under the leadership of Abdul Kardar. They suffered a major blow when fast bowler Khan Mohammad was injured early in the tour, but they really paid for not possessing a quality spinner. India's pair of Vinoo Mankad and Ghulam Ahmed took 37 wickets between them, and the batting of Vijay Hazare and Polly Umrigar ensured they had plenty of runs. Mankad grabbed 13 for 131 as India won the first Test at New Delhi by an innings. Pakistan squared the series at Lucknow as Fazal Mahmood exploited a matting wicket to take 12 for 94 and Nazar Mohammad carried his bat for 124. India's batsman and an early four-wicket burst from Lala Amarnath restored India's lead with a 10-wicket win at Bombay. The fourth Test was washed out after two days, and India secured the series with a tame draw at Calcutta.

Tests: India 2 Pakistan 1 Drawn 2

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The measurements of cricket

The measurements of most sports are in round numbers, except for a few of those that have been converted to metric equivalents. The welter of precise measurements in cricket seems distinct, but in fact some have quite a simple origin.
The earliest known Laws of Cricket, the "Code of 1744", give the length of the pitch as 22 yards. Over the centuries the often vague and regionally differing Saxon linear measurements becaine standardized to give a mile (a survival of the old Roman measurement of 1,000 double paces) as equal to 8 furlongs (i.e. "furrow long") or 320 perches (also called rods or poles) or 1,760 yards (from the Old English gyrd that meant stick or twig) or 5,280 feet or 63,360 inches or 190,080 barley corns (e.g. in the thirteenth century a royal Assize of Weights and Measures prescribed "the Iron Yard of our Lord the King" at 3 feet of 12 inches or 36 barley corns). It will thus be seen that 22 yards is in fact one tenth of a furlong or length of a furrow. There was an equally vague Saxon square measurement of land, the hide (called also carucate, from the Latin for a plough, and ploughland) which was the area required by one free family with dependents and that could be ploughed with one plough and 8 oxen in one year. This was in turn divided into four yardlands or 100 acres, the definition of which was the amount of land that could be ploughed by one yoke of oxen in one day. In Norman times the acre became precisely defined as 40 by 4 perches, thus preserving the shape of the Saxon strip-acre, i.e. one furlong by one tenth of a furlong. The cricket pitch is therefore simply the breadth of the Saxon strip-acre.
It would be a mistake, however, to assume that cricket, which is believed to have had its origins on the Weald that was used primarily as grazing ground for sheep rather than ploughland, necessarily took the length of its pitch directly from this source, although the largest Saxon mete-wand or measuring rod, the gad, continued in use into the early days of cricket and was one perch in length, i.e. one quarter of the breadth of a furrow. In 1610 Edmund Gunter, an Oxford trained mathematician, now Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London, invented as an instrument of measurement the chain, taking its length from the breadth of the furrow and dividing it into 100 links of 7.92 inches each (i.e. 4 perches [not 40 as stated by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., vol. 19, p. 729, which is the length of the furrow]; By 1661 use of this chain had become sufficiently popular for the word to be used to designate the measurement itself}. This chain became the common measuring tool for land surveyors. We do not know when cricketers first wished to standardize their pitch, but in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries at least pitches were often physically marked out with the use of Gunter's chain.
The distance between the bowling crease and the popping crease (i.e. the crease over which the bat could be popped for safety) is given by the "Code of 1744" as 46 inches (increased to 48 inches sometime before 1821). Before creases were marked in whitewash in 1865 they were cut into the earth and were, as W.G. Grace remembered from his early days, one inch deep and one inch wide. With allowance made of 1/2 inch from the centre of each crease the distance between the inner edges of the creases was thus 45 inches, that is the length of an ell. This was another Saxon measurement that had been standardized by the time of Edward I who required that there should be an exact copy of his ell-wand in all the towns of his realm. It was used regularly for measuring cloth (hence its later name of clothyard), and indeed the king's alnager had the duty of checking that all cloth for sale was one ell in width. It was thus a measurement that would have been very familiar to the cricketing folk of the sheep-rearing Weald.
The ell's subdivision into 16 nails of 2 and 13/16 inches each probably accounts for the size of the early wicket. According to the "Code of 1744" "Ye Stumps must be 22 inches long, and ye Bail 6 inches". P.F. Thomas (who wrote under the pseudonymous H.P.-T.) convincingly argues that these figures are a rounding off by the gentlemen of London of the earlier rustic measurement of 8 nails by 2 nails, which would give a wicket of 22 and 1/2 by 5 and 5/8 inches. The addition of the third stump c. 1775 did not change the dimensions of the wicket but since 1798 a series of alterations has brought them to the present 28 by 9 inches. The addition of the third stump did not immediately bring about the division of the single bail into two bails (first mentioned in the Maidstone edition of the Laws c. 1786 but not in a reputable edition until the early nineteenth century. It is InterestIng that even in the 1950s bails were often sold as a single piece to be cut at the discretion of the purchaser).
There were no legal limits on the size of the bat until Shock White appeared in a match with a weapon the width of the wicket, unsporting behaviour that led two days later to his opponents, the Hambledon Club, writing the following minute: "In view of the performance of one White of Ryegate on September 23rd that ffour (sic) and quarter inches shall be the breadth forthwith. - this 25th day of September 1771". It is signed by its scribe Richard Nyren and by T. Brett and J. Small and was speedily accepted elsewhere, occuring already in the "Code of 1774". The Hambledonians promptly made an iron gauge to check the implements of future opponents, but unfortunately it has been lost since it was purloined by "a gentleman who took a fancy to it". Other similar gauges were, however, manufactured, the one at Sheffield Park once catching out W.G. Grace. Approximately 4 and 1/4 inches is the standard width of all earlier known bats, the oldest being that owned by John Chitty of Knaphill now in the pavilion at Kennington Oval that is dated to 1729. There is tenuous evidence for an earlier period. The Roman Catholic College of Stonyhurst removed to France and later Belgium during the religious persecution of the sixteenth century and kept up a form of cricket that it brought back to England when forced to move by the French revolution. A teacher who left the school in 1871 remembers its bats as being blocks of probably alder wood about 3 feet long, "roughly oval in shape, about 4 and 1/2 in. wide and 2 in. thick". This distinctive Stonyhurst cricket had remarkable wickets, stones about 17 in. high, 13 in. wide and 8 in. thick at the bottom. There has never been any limitation on the weight of the bat, one of 1771 weighing a monstrous 5 Ib.
The "Code of 1744" prescribes that 'Ye Ball must weigh between 5 and 6 Ounces". Its circumference was not specified until May lOth 1838 when it was put as between 9 and 9 and 1/4 inches. This lack of precision corroborates what one might suspect, that a ball was the weight and size found convenient and that the difficulties of manufacture have precluded even today any precise specification. The size of the wicket and other laws have been frequently changed in attempts to be fair to both batsman and bowler. Is it not time for further revisions of measurements? The principal problems today are the ease with which even mis-hits go to the boundary and the sharply rising bouncers from tall fast bowlers. It is impossible to push back the boundaries at most grounds (though Kennington Oval and Grace Road, Leicester, for instance, do not use all the available playing area for any one match), but a restriction on the weight of the bat would not only revive more refined batsmanship but also once more enable slow bowlers to tempt batsmen to their doom with catches in the deep. The length of the pitch was chosen by cricketers who bowled, that is propelled the ball under arm, and were on average shorter than their modern counterparts who can hurl their missile from far above their heads. Is it not time that the pitch should be lengthened, that the old Saxon strip-acre should at last be left fallow ?

The world's richest board

In an interview with Mint, a finanicial daily, Lalit Modi, the Indian board vice-president, discusses the revenue generated by the BCCI, telecast rights, the Indian Premier League and much more.

Modi says:

In a typical ODI, we make close to $8.5 million broadcasting revenue, and our rate is Rs45 [to the dollar], not Rs40. Contracts are based on exchange rate on that date. Then there is Sahara [which is the team sponsor] revenue, Nike [apparel sponsor] revenue... comes to a million dollars per day per match. Ground sponsorship revenue is between $1.6 million and $1.7 million per day.

History OF Cricket

Cricket has been an organized adult game since the seventeenth century when it first took the fancy of English gentlemen lying low in their country estates at the time of the Civil War. It became fashionable after the restoration under the sponsorship of powerful aristocratic patrons. By the later eighteenth century control of this fashionable and profitable new leisure activity was in the hands of a number of gentlemen’s clubs. By the nineteenth century these had evolved into county organisations which, led by Marylebone Criket Club, subsequently dominated English cricket. Their influence spread throughout the British Empire and survived the transition to the Commonwealth.In England, the emerging public schools, believing that cricket fostered qualities of manliness and leadership, proclaimed it to be more than a game, in fact an institution. Poets and parsons praised its ethical qualities. By the turn of the century cricket had come to assume profound political significance, especially for imperialists. An Indian prince declared it to be the finest flower of Empire, and in Australia cricket captains played a leading part in welding together the separate colonies into a nation.After the First World War, the dream-world began to crumble. At home the golden age gave way to unromantic but remarkably effective professionalism. The Test matches survived bodyline and grew in importance. The Second World War was no more than a temporary interruption of play. After the War was over, despite the world's having changed for worse again, the spiritual significance of cricket was reasserted with undiminished enthusiasm. A well-loved Australian Prime Minister described it as a fine art as well as a game. A great British Prime Minister, and a socialist told of his childhood indoctrination with the belief that cricket was a religion and W.G. next to the Almighty.
For a few summers the public, starved of entertainment during the war years, showed their appreciation of cricket's return by crowding through the turnstiles. But it was not to last, and soon perceptive critics were solemnly linking the Welfare State and slow play as cause and effect. The county pattern had lost much of its meaning, and the games had become largely inaccessible to those who had to work during the week. So the authorities turned for support to commercial sponsors who introduced a growing range of mini-cricket matches with gimmicky rules. Televised cricket matches publicised the wares of cigarette manufacturers who were barred from conventional advertising. The counties had also imported a growing number of overseas stars who made the turnstiles click.Then in 1977 a new patron arose, an Australian magnate who decided to stage his own brand of super-cricket. In a matter of months, following his failure to secure exclusive television rights for a test series, Mr. Kerry Packer had set up an organisation which lured some fifty of the world's best cricketers away from their traditional allegiances to play for fat salaries and spectacular prizes as a rival attraction to the official Tests between Australia and India. The WestIndians turned out - initially, at least - to be the best Super Cricketers.What began as a concept to attract crowds to the English county cricket grounds, became a revolution. The Test and County cricket Board introduced the Gillete Cup (65 overs a side, later curtailed to 60) and the Sunday League (40 overs a side) for enthusiasts who wanted both drama and excitement packed in a day’s game. In the early 60s and 70s, England was the only country where competitive limited overs cricket was being played. Not surprising that England hosted the inaugural World Cup. The inaugural World Cup was a financial hit. Crowds flocked to see the matches, 1,20,000 for the 12 preliminary contests and a further 28,000 packing the final. Limited overs match has come a long way since then. It is more sophisticated now and given rise to a new thinking on tactics to the extent that countries now have specialist one-day players.