Sunday, 22 November 2020

Unlikely Heroes of IPL 2020


Unlikely Heroes of IPL 2020 Review

IPL is a great platform for some of the uncapped players to showcase their talent, and thereby grab a chance to play for the national side. In every edition of IPL we can see the emergence of some young players quite unexpectedly. Team predictors discuss about some of such talents who emerged quite unexpectedly, some of them even outshining the seasoned international players in their franchise team.


1. Ishan Kishan : Mumbai Indians

Ishan Kishan was phenomenal with the bat in this edition of IPL held at UAE. The left handed Jharkand batsman seems to be at ease while facing the raw pace of Rabada, Nortje or the spin of Chahal, Ashwin or Jadeja. Kishan surprised everyone with his six hitting ability. The pocket dynamo thrashed 30 sixes from 14 matches, which was surpassed by none in the tournament. He amassed 516 runs from the same number of matches and became the leading run scorer for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020. The left hander maintained consistency in his run scoring process and Mumbai Indians never felt the absence of an injured Rohit Sharma at top order. Ishan if technically fine and its not just about his big hitting capabilities alone.

 2. Natarajan : Sunrisers Hyderabad

The injury to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar opened the door to IPL 2020 for Natarajan. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The lefthander was particularly impressive with his bowling skills in death overs. He could strangle even the best of batsmen with his yorkers. The consistency he displayed in bowling those yorkers were too great. T Natrajan took 16 wickets from as many matches.


3. Rituraj Gaekwad: Chennai Super Kings

Rituraj Gaekwad failed to impress in the first two innings for CSK this year. It was an odd year for CSK and had nothing much to cheer about. The failure of top players once again handed Rituraj with an opportunity. Rituraj failed to feature in the CSK playing XI in the initial stages of the tournament. He got to play only 6 matches in IPL 2020. In 6 matches he scored 204 runs. In the last three matches of CSK, he scored consecutive half centuries and was awarded the man of match award in all three games. He scored 65,72 and 62 against RCB, KKR and KXIP. The young talent from Maharashtra guarantees to reach heights and needs to be nurtured well.


4. Rahul Tewatia : Rajasthan Royals

Rahul Tewatia, became an indispensable part of Rajasthan Royals line up in this year's IPL. He contributed with both bat and ball for the team's success. His 5 sixes in an over off Sheldon Cotrell was a mind blowing performance. The Haryana all rounder took his team to victory against Kings XI Punjab, when all hopes were gone, with 51 needed off last 3 overs. Tewatia made 255 runs and scalped 10 wickets from 14 matches.


5. Varun Chakrvarthy : Kolkata Knight Riders

The Tamil Nadu leg spinner who was born in Karnataka, was bought by Kings XI Punjab in 2019. But Varun couldn't perform as expected. His first over went for 25 runs and later Kings XI released him from the squad after 2019 season. But this year's IPL with KKR turned to be blessing for Varun. The leg spinner picked  17 wickets from 13 matches, including a five wicket haul against Delhi capitals. His figures of 5/20 has been the best bowling figures in IPL 2020. The scintillating performance took him to the Indian T20 squad for Australian tour. But unfortunately he is likely to miss the tour due to a shoulder injury.


6. Devdutt Padikkal : Royal Challengers Banglore

The Karnataka batsman was the most prolific run scorer for RCB in 2020, surpassing even the likes of Kohli and AB De Villers. He scored 473 runs in 15 matches, with an highest score of 74. The consistent performance gave the much needed stability at the top order for RCB, especially since Aaron Finch was not in great form.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Umar Gul Retirement from International cricket

 Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Annouces Retirement from Cricket

The pakistani pacer bids goodbye to his cricketing career after representing his country in 47 tests, 130 ODIs and 60 T20I. Umar Gul represented Pakistan in the Under 19 World Cup in 2002.The very next year in 2003 he was selected for the national ODI and test teams. Umar Gul has picked up 163 wickets in 47 tests and 179 wickets from 130 ODIs.
Umar Gul was particularly more lethal in the T20 format. He has scalped 85 wickets in 60 T20I at an average of 16.97. He was one of the mainstay behind Pakistan's success in 2007 and 2009, T20I world cup held in South Africa and England resprctively. In 2007, Pakistan reached the finals, but lost to arch rivals India in the final hurdle. Umar Gul was the highest wicket taker in the tournament with a tally of 13 wickets. In the second T20I World Cup, 2009 Pakistan became the champions, and this time too Umar Gul was the highest wicket taker with 13 wickets. In the list of highest wicket takers in T20I, Umar Gul is placed 5th. The list is headed by Lasith Malinga of Srilanka with 107 wickets from 84 matches. The best figures of the Pakistani pacer reads 5/6. The whooping performance came against New Zealand in 2009 ICC T20 World Cup. His figures of 4 wickets for 8 runs against Australia at Dubai was another performance which fetched accolades from the cricketing community. The toe crushing yorkers and reverse swing were the main weapons for Umar Gul.

In test he was often prone to injuries and at times it halted his progress. His best performance in test of 6/135 came against Srilanka at Gaddafi Stadium in 2009. In his first test match he could pick only 2 wickets. In the second and third match he picked up 5 and 8 wickets respectively against the same opponents. In ODIs his best bowling figures read 6/42. The performance came against England at Kennington Oval in 2010.

The Fastest Bowler in IPL 2020

 Anrich Nortje : The fastest bowler in IPL 2020

IPL 2020 has been not that bad for the fast bowlers. The shifting of venue from India to the UAE has provided them a better chance to showcase their art. In India the pitches are found to be more in favour of batsmen and spinners. Jofra Archer, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Anrich Nortje, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumbrah all have found a smooth sailing in this year's IPL. The venues other than Sharjah haven't witnessed giant scores. The pitches in Abudhabi and Dubai have something for the bowlers. The 4 among top 5 wicket takers till now have been fast bowlers. Rabada with 19 wickets for Delhi capitals has been in the top spot. Jasprit Bumrah is in the second spot with 15 wickets. Mohammed Shami with 14 wickets is in the third spot and Jofra Archer of Rajasthan Royals with 12 wickets is in the 5th spot. Yuzvendra Chahal is the lone spinner in top 7. Delhi capitals and Mumbai Indians are in the top spot in the points table. These two teams have some fiery fast bowlers and that have helped them to reach the top spot. Mumbai Indians have the likes of Jasprit Bumbrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson. Bumrah and Boult can be found in the list of top 10 wicket takers in this year IPL. Delhi Capitals have the services of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Rabada with 19 wickets is in the top spot among wicket takers , and Nortje is placed 6th with 12 wickets. T Natarajan of Surisers Hyderabad has been another find of the tournament. He has been excellent with the yorkers and has been a consistent performer for Hyderabad franchise. Till now he has taken 11 wickets from 9 matches.

Nortje has been a revelation this year's IPL. Last year he was a part of Kolkata Knightriders , but couldn't play because of a shoulder injury. This year when Chris Woakes of England pulled out of this year's IPL, Delhi Capitals signed a contract with the South African. In international level Norte has played 6 tests and 7 ODIs for South Africa. He has a tally of 19 wickets in tests and 14 of them in ODI. He is known for his raw pace in domestic circuits, and his team mate, Rabada was not at all surprised when Nortje bowled the fastest delivery in IPL 2020 in the match against Rajasthan Royals. The delivery clocked 156.22 km/hr. Jos Butler scooped the delivery for a boundary using the pace of the delivery. After two consecutive scoop Butler was bowled by an swinging delivery.In fact the top 5 fastest deliveries of this year's IPL has been bowled by Anrich Nortje. The slowest of the 5 deliveries is 153.72 km/hr. When most of the bowlers strive to reach the 150 km/hr mark, the South African pacer seems to go beyond the mark with ease at multiple times.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Valiant Heroes of 1999 World Cup



1999 World Cup held in England and Wales was a good one for African nation of Zimbabwe. Despite having some good quality players they were not able to showcase a notable performance in world Cups. But in 1999 edition they were able to have some sort of success, as they were able to advance to the second stage of super six. To a great extent, all-rounder Neil Johnson was instrumental in the success of Zimbabwe. 1999 world cup witnessed some great heroics of the likes of Lance Klusener, Wasim Akram and Shane Warne. Neil Johnson's heroics with the bat and ball often went unnoticed amongst them. Neil Johnson opened for Zimbabwe both, with the bat as well as the ball. Neil Johnson played only 13 tests and 48 ODIs for Zimbabwe . He retired from cricket in 2000 due to payment issues with his cricket board. In 13 test he scored 532 runs at an average of 24.18 with a top score of 107. He also picked up 15 wickets. In ODIs he scored 1,679 runs at an average of 36.50. He has scalped 35 wickets in ODIs.

1999 World cup was a great arena for the all-rounder. Their first match was against Kenya. Riding on a half century by Alpesh Vadher, Kenya made 229/7 in 50 overs. Neil Johnson picked up 4 Kenyan wickets for 42 runs in 10 overs. The second innings of match too belonged to Neil Johnson, as he top scored with 59 and took Zimbabwe to an easy win in just 41 overs. Zimbabwe then shocked India when they defeated the Asian giants by 3 runs. But Zimbabwe failed to repeat their success against England and Srilanka. They lost their matches against them. But Zimbabwe once again put up a great performance against South Africa. Batting first Zimbabwe managed to get 233/ 6 in 50 overs , once again Neil Johnson leading with a 76 off 117 balls. In South African innings, Neil Johnson dismissed Kirsten off the first ball. Again he dismissed Kallis for a duck. In total he picked up 3 South African wickets for 27 runs in 8 overs, including Hansie Cronje. The South African resistance ended up in 185 runs and Zimbabwe once again made history in World Cup. Neil Jonson was adjudged as the man of match for his glittering performance with both bat and ball. 

In Zimbabwe's match against Australia they had to chase a mammoth total of 304. Neil Johnson had picked up 2/43  in the Australian innings. With the bat, he scored a breezy 132 from 144 balls. Unfortunately Zimbabwe's innings ended up in 259. But Neil Johnson was once again awarded the man of match, for his great performance. Zimbabwe chasing a total of 271 against Pakistan could only muster up 123 despite a half century from Neil Johnson. The all-rounder made 54 runs, but never got any valuable support from the opposite end. Guy Whittall and Heath Streak were the only other Zimbabwean batsmen to get into the double figures. They had scored 16 runs before perishing. 


The memories of 1999 World Cup brings into mind the tragic run out of Allan Donald in the semi finals and the exit of South Africa from the World Cup. Lance Klusener made a valiant effort for the single, but Allan Donald didn't heard the call, and it was curtains for South Africa. South Africa as usual had begun the tournament in style, when they defeated India by 4 wickets. Lance Klusener was instrumental in the win, picking up 3 wickets and scoring 12 runs off 4 balls. In their next match against Srilanka, South Africa were in a non enviable position of 122/8. From such a position they reached 199/9 , thanks to 52 runs scored by Lance Klusener. In the Srilankan innings he took 3 wickets for 21 runs and the Lankan chase ended up in 110 runs. Lance Klusener was awarded the man of match for his contributions. In their next outing against England , South Africa made 225/7 and folded up English innings for 103 runs! Once again Lance Klusener contributed 48 runs with the bat and took 1 wicket. Again Klusener was the man of match. Klusener was having a dream run in the tournament.

Kenya was their next opponent in the tournament and chasing a target of 153, South African reached there in style with 7 wickets in hand and 9 overs to spare. Lance Klusener picked 5/21 to earn another man of match award. Lance Klusener was known for his swing bowling and the big hitting. Presence of Klusener and Pollock genuinely provided the batting depth for South Africa. South Africa's next game was against Zimbabwe and everyone expected South Africa to crush their opponent. But Zimbabwe and Neil Johnson had other ideas and chasing a target of 234, South Africa could only make 185. Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock made 52 runs each, but that wasn't enough to take South Africa home. South Africa in their next match against Pakistan, while chasing 221 were in danger at 176/7. Once again Klusener smashed valuable 46 runs with the bat and gifted South Africa with another victory. Lance Klusener was once again the man of  match. South Africa had won 4 out of last 5 games and in all the matches won by them, Lance Klusener had won the man of match award. In the next match against New Zealand, South Africa made 287 runs, and restricted Kiwis to 213. This time Klusener didn't contributed much with bat, but took 2/46 in the NewZealand innings. Australia was their next opponent in the super six stage. Australia registered a narrow victory with 2 balls to spare. Lance Klusener made 36 with the bat and took 1/53 with the ball. This failure cost them dear. South Africa once again faced Australia, and this time in the semi finals. Batting first, Australia could only make 213. Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock created havoc as they picked up 4/32 and 5/36 respectively. South Africa chasing the modest total, was in dire straits in 45th over as they were 175/6. It was then, Klusener came to bat and he took South Africa almost to the target with some big hitting. Klusener scored a quick fire 31 off 16 balls. 9 runs were required in the final over. Klusener scored 2 boundaries off the first two deliveries. Third delivery was a dot ball and the fatal run out came in the 4th ball. The cricket lovers all over the world, saw in despair the exit of South Africa from the world cup. Klusener won 4 man of match awards in the tournament. Jacques Kallis was the only other South African who had won the award in 1999 World Cup.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

CSK in IPL 2020 : Review

Chennai Super Kings is one among the IPL teams who can boast of a large fan base. The team has done fairly well in all editions of IPL. But this year it has not been great so far, for the Chennai outfits. MS Dhoni has been a great leader for the team and the wicket keeper batsman has to find some ways to take his team to the path of recovery after the initial setbacks in the current tournament. To the sheer delight of their fans, Chennai Super Kings managed to defeat the strong Mumbai Indians in the opening match of IPL 2020. But since then the team has managed only one win in the next 5 outings and are placed 6th in the table.

In the opening match CSK chased down the target of 163 set by Mumbai Indians with 5 wickets in hand, thanks to a 44 ball 58 from Faf Duplesi and 48 ball 71 by Ambati Rayudu.

The absence of Suresh Raina in the middle order has affected the balance of batting line up. The injury of Ambati Rayudu after the first game further dented the chances of CSK. Faf Duplesi has been a great form, but rarely he got any support from the other end. He  scored 37 ball 72 against Rajasthan and 35 ball 43 against Delhi. Unfortunately both innings went in vain. Rituraj Gaekwad who came in for an injured Ambati Rayudu failed miserably. So was Murali Vijay who struggled to get going. Fortunately for CSK, Ambati Rayudu has made a comeback to the team.

Faf Duplesi

Shane Watson seems to be back in touch, and that can be a great relief for the CSK camp. Sam Curran has been impressive with ball and with the bat. His small cameos has helped CSK raise their run rates in the last overs. Dhoni has been impressive in parts with the bat. He needs to reduce the dot balls in the middle overs. The dot balls in middle overs are further increasing the pressure in last overs. Everything is left for last 2 overs in their chase as we could see in their match against Rajasthan. Dhoni played quietly until the last over in that match. CSK required an impossible 37 runs in their last over after Jadeja gleefully left the last ball of the penultimate over. It was in the last over Dhoni tried for some hits and managed to hit a couple of huge sixes. But that could have been done a couple of overs before and the result would be different. Kedar Jadav needs to make some adjustments to his game as well. His slow run rate is mounting the pressure on the team in the last overs. Jhadav is playing as a specialist batsman in the team, as he hasn't bowled  in the tournament so far.

Sam Curran

 CSK may be thinking of finding a replacement for him in the upcoming matches. CSK bowlers have done reasonably well in the matches, but needs to take wickets at more regular intervals. Interestingly Sam Curran is their top wicket taker with 7 wickets from 6 matches. Dwayne Bravo was impressive in the match against Kolkata, especially in the last over. Kolkata batsmen failed to read his slow balls and perished. He gave away just 5 runs and picked two wickets in the last over. CSK hasn't made use of his service with the bat so far. The spinner Karan Sharma who replaced Piyush Chawla in the game against Kolkata was impressive.

CSK has the services of some great players, and leadership of an impressive captain. The cricketing fans can expect then to bounce back in the upcoming matches. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

india olympics quiz questions


1. In which edition of Olympics did India participated for the first time ever?

    1900, Paris Olympic

2. Name the athlete who won medals for India for the first time in Paris Olympics.

    Norman Pritchard

3. When did India sent a team to the Olympics for the first time?

    1920, Antwerp Olympics

4. When was Indian Olympics Association formed?


5.Which country has won the most number of gold medals in Olympics hockey?


6. When did India won their first ever Olympics gold in hockey?

     1928, Amsterdam Olympics

7. What is the medal tally of India in Olympics hockey?

     8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze

8. Who has won the first individual medal for post Independent India?

      K D Jadav

9. Which Indian Olympian is known as pocket dynamo?

     K D Jadav

10. In which Olympics did India won their last Olympic gold in hockey?

      Moscow Olympics, 1980

11. In which Olympics did K D Jadav won the Olympic Bronze medal for India?

      1952, Helinski Olympics

12. Who has represented India in most number of Olympics?

        Leander Paes

13. Who won the first individual silver for India in Olympics?

       Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

14. In which Olympics did India won the most number of medals?

       2012, London Olympics (2 silver and 4 bronze)

15. Who won the first individual gold for India in Olympics?

       Abhinav Bindra , 2008 Beijing Olympics

16.  Who was the first woman to win a medal for India?

        Karnam Malleshwary

17. In which Olympics did Karnam Malleshwary won a bronze medal in weight lifting?

       Sydney Olympics, 2000

18. Who is the only Indian to win medals in consecutive Olympic games?

       Sushil Kumar

19.  Who won the medals for India in 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016?

        P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik

20. Who is the first woman to win Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award?

       Karanam Malleshwary

21. Which colour in Olympic ring represent Asia and Australia?

       Asia- Yellow,. Australia- Green

22. Who is known as 'Flying Sikh' ?

       Milkha Singh

23. Who is the first keralite woman to win Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award?

       K M Beenamol

24. Who is the first Indian woman to reach the finals of athletic event in Olympics?

       P T Usha

25. In which Olympics Leander Paes won a bronze medal for India in tennis?

      1996 Atlanta Olympics

26. Who is the father-son duo who won Olympic medals for India?

       Dr. Vece Paes (hockey) and Leander Paes ( Tennis)

27. First Indian male of independent India to reach the finals of a running event in Olympics.

       Milkha Singh

28. Name the Indian who scored most number of goals in Olympics Hockey.

      Dhyan Chand

29. The Race of My Life - is the autobiography of which famous sportsperson.

        Milkha Singh

30. Name the autobiography of Dhyan Chand.


31. Which Indian athlete is known as The Golden Girl. ?

        P T Usha

32. Who was the hockey team captain when India won their first gold medal in hockey Olympics?

       Jaipal Singh Munda

33. In which edition of Olympics did Indian hockey team won a silver medal?

       1960, Rome Olympics

34. In which event did Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver medal in 2004 Athens Olympics?

       Shooting (double trap)

35. Mary Kom won a bronze medal in boxing in which Olympic edition?

      2012 London Olympics.


Thursday, 20 August 2020

Cricketers Who Made Late Debut

Time flies like nothing else. Some cricketers feels it very much when they wait for the selectors call. At times cricketers may find it tough to break into the international arena despite continuous success in domestic level. Here Team Predictors discuss about some of such cricketers who arrived late in international cricket.

1. Dirk Nannes

Dirk Nannes is a rare species of cricketers who have played for two different countries in international level. He made a late entry into cricket. The Australian made his first class debut for Victoria in 2006 at the age of 29. He was past his age of 32 when he made International debut for Netherlands. Nannes represented Netherland in 2009 ICC World T20, and the very next year he played for Australia. Nannes was a very effective bowler in the  T20 format. Nannes played one ODI for Australia against Scotland. The pacer played for Australia in 2010 T20 World Cup and ended up as the highest wicket taker of the tournament.Overall he has taken 28 wickets from 17 T20I.

In addition he has played in T20 leagues across different nations including India, Australia, Bangladesh, England and South Africa. He is also a former skiing champion.

2. Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers was quite unlucky to have waited until age of 30, before making an international debut. It was quite difficult for any batsman of his time to get into a star studded Australian team. Chris Rogers averaged close to 50 in his domestic career. He was given a chance in 2008, when Mathew Hayden got himself injured. Later he was recalled it 2013 for Ashes series in England. 

Chris Rogers showed his mettle, when he played the swinging deliveries with great application. Chris Rogers played only 25 tests, before he retired in 2015. In 25 tests he scored 5 centuries and 14 half centuries and averaged 42.87. Chris Rogers has a record of most consecutive half centuries in tests.

3. Michael Hussey

Even an enviable average of 52 in first class cricket was not enough to grant Michael Hussey a timely entrance into International cricket. 'Mr. Cricket' made his ODI debut at age of 28 and test debut at an age of 30. Hussey played only in 79 tests, scoring 19 centuries and 29 half centuries at an average of 51.52.

 In ODI he made 5442 runs in 185 matches at an average of 48.15. In ODI he made 3 centuries and 39 half centuries. Hussey was also an exceptional fielder.

4 .Dilip Doshi

Dilip Doshi was well past the age of 31, when he made his debut for India in 1979. The presence of Bishan Singh Bedi in the team made it difficult for any spinner to getting into the Indian team. Dilip Doshi played in 33 tests, picking up 114 wickets.

 He picked up 8 wickets in his debut tests against Australia. He was a poor batsman and always batted at number 11.

5.Saeed Ajmal

The Pakistani off spinner made his ODI debut at the age of 30 in 2008. He was included in the test side a year later. Saeed Ajmal reached the 100 test wicket mark in just 20 matches. He has taken 178 wickets from 35 tests and 184 wickets in 113 ODIs. 

In 2009 he was reported for his action. But later his deliveries were found to be legal. Later again in 2014 he was reported for suspect action, and his bowling action was banned by ICC.

6.Ryan Harris

Ryan Harris got a chance to represent Australian ODI team in 2009, when he was almost 30 years of age. Harris could only pick a single wicket in his debut game and was not picked for one year. He made his comeback in 2010 and claimed 5 wickets in back to back matches. That opened his gates to the test team also later that year. Harris' cricket life was marred with injury woes.

 Knee and hip injuries kept him out of action many a times. Harris has picked 113 wickets from 27 tests. In ODIs he has picked 44 wickets from 21 matches at an average of 18.90.

7. Clarie Grimmet

Claire Grimmet was born in New Zealand, but played for Australia in test matches. He was one of the best leg spinners of his era and is often credited as the one who introduced the 'flipper'. He made his debut in 1925 . At that time he was past the age of 30. He played only in 37 tests, but took  216 wickets. In first class matches , he has taken a whooping 1,424 wickets from 248 matches. He was the first bowler to take 200 wickets in test matches. 

He took 200 wickets in 36th match. He held the record of fastest 200 wickets until 2018, when Yasir Shah of Pakistan broke the record after 82 long years. Clarrie Grimmet, Dilip Doshi, Ryan Harris and Saeed Ajmal are the only 4 bowlers who managed to take 100 or more wickets despite making a test debut after the age of 30.


Tuesday, 28 July 2020

History of Cricket in Olympics

Modern day cricket lovers may find it surprising that cricket was introduced in Olympics way back in 1900. The only cricket match in history of Olympics was played between France and Great Britain in 1900 at the Paris Olympics. Cricket was not much popular among the Europeans and there was not much interest among the participating nations for the sport. Eventually cricket was later avoided totally in the games due to less number of participants at that time. But now the situations have changed, and many countries are advocating the inclusion of cricket in Olympics. In 1900 Paris Olympics , there were two participants for the cricketing event, Great Britain and France. Britain managed a 158 run victory over France. The match began on 19th August, 1900. It was mutually accepted by the two captains to include 12 players in each team. Due to the inclusion of 12 players the match later failed to gain first class status. Batting first Britain made 117. Fredrick Cumming with 38, was the top scorer for Britain in first innings. William Anderson picked up 4 wickets for France in the first innings. In reply French batsmen could only make 78 in the first innings. The 12th batsman J Braid scored 25 for France and was the top scorer. In the second Innings Britain declared their innings at 145/5. France was given a target of 185. In the second innings Beachcroft (54) and Bowerman(59) made half centuries for Britain. 


However the French batsmen wilted under the tight English bowling. They lost ten wickets for just eleven runs. Then the last batting pairs of France tried to drop anchor and play out the deliveries. They tried to play out the day and end the match in a draw. But unfortunately for them, the last wicket fell with just 5 minutes left for the close of game. The French innings ended at 26, and handed the British a 158 run victory. None of the French batsmen touched double digits in the second innings. In the first innings Fredrick Christian picked up 7 French wickets for Britain. And in second innings the British bowler Montagu Toller picked up 7 wickets.
So Great Britain is the only team to win a cricket match in Olympic history. The British team members were selected from Devon and Somerset Wanderers. The French team included members from Union  Club and Standard Athletic Club. English players, Montegu Toller and Alfred Bowerman were the only players who had played first class cricket .None of the French players had played first class cricket.

Return of Cricket to Olympics

Recently there has been talks going on, for the re-introduction of cricket in Olympics. There are certain problems associated with such a move. Teams like West Indies and England may face problems in representations. West Indies comprises a number of Caribbean Islands and many of them have individual Olympic associations. But in case of cricket they are represented by the same team. In case of England, they take part in Olympics as Great Britain, which consists of athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But when it comes to cricket, England, Scotland and Ireland have individual teams. Also many cash rich cricket associations had little interest in Olympic participation. Many feared of losing their autonomy over cricket competitions. BCCI from India was not a great supporter of the case in initial stages. But many cricket associations have decided to make a move and introduce cricket in Olympics. It is expected that cricket will be included in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Most probably it is the T20 format , which is going to find a place in Olympics. Many cricketing pundits are even suggesting a 10 over game. Let's wait and hope for the introduction of cricket in Olympics.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Formation of Cricket Team in Germany

For most of the cricket lovers , the name 'Germany' won't ring a bell. Football has been the popular game among Germans for decades. But surely, cricket is slowly growing in the European nation. Cricket is not altogether new to Germany. History tells that cricket was played in Germany from 1850s. The popularity of cricket in Germany declined drastically with the coming of Nazis. The first German cricket club was formed in Berlin way back in 1858. The cricket team from Worcestershire had toured Germany in 1937. The visiting team won all the three games against the host. Nazis were not particularly amused by the game of cricket and they found it less violent. Germany began to forget the game of cricket. As most of the Europeans, they too adopted Soccer as their favourite sport. German Cricket Federation was formed in 1988. They became an affiliate member of ICC in 1991, and later in 1999 they became an associate member. Germany made their international debut in 1989, when they played as West Germany against Denmark. In 2001, they played in the World Cup qualifier for the first time. In 1998 Germany made their debut in the European Championship. In 2010 they reached third position in World Cricket League.

Ahmed Wardak

Germany received full International T20 status in 2018, thanks to the new rule of ICC. Germany played their first T20I in 2019 against Belgium. The German government has been warm hearted towards the world refugees. They had addressed the issues of refugees and has been ready to accommodate them into their land. As a result immigrant population has been growing in Germany in recent years. Refugees from Asian countries like Afghanistan have in turn lead to the rise of popularity of cricket in Germany. Cricket is not much popular among the current German population. But the immigrants have cricket in their blood. Particularly, the soaring Afghan population is creating ripples in the cricketing set up of the country. But the life of cricketers are not particularly smooth in the current scenario. There is a lack of funding for the sport. Infrastructure needs to be developed further. Most of the cricketers have to find some other jobs to support their family. Remuneration from cricket is far too less when compared to other regular cricket playing nations. This may reduce the professionalism among the cricketers. Less popularity of sport among local people hinders its growth to some extent. More than 90% of active cricketers in Germany are Asian population. In 2017 ICC ruled that a person needs to reside in the country for only 3 years to be eligible to play international cricket for that country. Earlier the player had to be a resident for 7 years. So the change of rule, made the path of immigrant players to the national team further easy. The number of cricket clubs in the country has gone from about 60 to 370 within a span of about 10 years. But cricket needs to develop further, especially among local residents, to take Germany further in the international arena . There is some sort of dismay among locals, that cricket is attracting more refugees to their country.

Vijayshankar Chikkannaiah

So far Germany has played 12 International T20, out of which they have won 8. Their first T20 International was against Belgium in May, 2019. Germany won the match by 9 runs.
They followed it with a 62 runs victory against the same opponent. But Germany has lost all the three games against Italy in 2019.Their fourth defeat came against Spain in March 2020. But managed to defeat Spain by 58 runs in the very next game. In T20I, the highest team total for Germany is 180/3 , which came against Spain in 2020. In case of individual scores, Vijayashankar Chikkannaiah's 70* vs Belgium is the highest. Ahmed Wardak's 4/20 against Guernsey is the  best bowling figures of a German bowler. Also he has the most number of wickets for his country. He has taken 14 wickets at an average of 14.00 in T20I.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

6 unlucky Indian cricket players who lost chances national cricket team

India has been blessed with many quality cricketers. But some of them failed to break into the national team. In this article 'Team Predictors' discuss about some of such players who missed out their opportunities to don the national cap. Some of them failed just because of presence of some big names in the Indian line up and others missed out because of offensive nature of selectors. Any way, we can have a look at some of those talented, but unfortunate cricketers.

1. Hari Gidwani

The right hand middle order batsman started off his career with Delhi. After six years he shifted to Bihar team. Hari Gidwani, who was a  gallant stroke player, performed consistently in domestic seasons and at times was too close for selection. But fate never allowed him to play for India. Gidwani made 6,805 runs from 119 first-class matches at an average of 42.53 with 15 centuries. Gidwani had scored centuries in 5 successive Ranji trophy matches during 1986-87 and 1988-89 season. 

His highest score of 229* was scored against Karnataka in 1989-90 Ranji trophy quarter finals.He was close to national selection when he scored a century against visiting Srilankan team in 1975. He even got a note from Salim Durrani stating that he hoped to see Gidwani in the Indian team very soon. But the selection call never came his way.

2. K P Bhaskar

 Bhaskar Pillai was born in Trivandrum, Kerala. The stylish middle order batsman played for Delhi from 1982 to 1994. He played 95 first class matches, scoring  5443 runs at an average of 52.84 including 18 centuries and 21 half centuries. His highest score is 222. The malayalee who migrated to Delhi was a dashing player of very high standards. His century for North Zone in 1992 playing against South Zone was a real example of his talent. He was hit by a toe crushing yorker and had a broken toe nail. When he came to bat at five down position, North Zone was really in need of some miracles. Bhasker went on to score a century and set South Zone a target of around 200. 

South Zone failed to achieve the target and North Zone won the match. KP, as he was affectionately called by his colleagues, averaged about 70 in the Ranji season, between 1983 and 1989. The presence of talents like G Vishwanath, Amarnath prevented KP from getting into the team. In his later part of cricketing life the presence of Tendulkar, further minimized his chance of getting selected.

3. Rajinder Goel

Rajinder Goel is the highest wicket taker in Ranji trophy with 640 wickets from 123 matches, that too at an impressive rate of 17.15. Born in Punjab, the left arm spinner represented South Punjab, Delhi and Haryana in Ranji Trophy. Rajinder Goel played for India in a lone unofficial test against Ceylon in 1964. He took 4/33 in the second innings of the match. The presence of Bishan Singh Bedi halted his progress to the Indian team. In the absence of Bedi, he was called for a test against West Indies at Bangalore in 1974. But unfortunately he was not selected in the playing XI. 

When Australia came to India in 1979, Goel managed to pick 9 wickets in a practice match, including 6/103 in the first innings. But this time too, the national selectors let him down. He retired from cricket in 1984. Even in his last season, he had picked 39 wickets from 6 matches. In an interesting event, a dacoit , Bukha Singh Yadav once wrote to the left arm spinner, from Gwalior jail, congratulating him on picking 600 wickets in Ranji tournament !

4. Padmakar Shivalkar

Padmakar Shivalkar was a left arm spinner who had taken 589 wickets from 124 first class matches at an enviable average of 19.69. But unfortunately, he came into the cricketing scene at the wrong time. The towering presence of Bishan Singh Bedi confirmed that there was no place for another left arm spinner in the Indian team. Shivalkar bowled with a cricket ball for the first time, when he went for trials in Mumbai.He is the highest wicket taker for Bombay

hivalkar's best figures of 8/16 came against Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy final in 1972-73. In his book, the batting legend Sunil Gavaskar mentions about 31 idols of cricket. Interestingly two non test players too found their place in the list and they were none other than Padmakar Shivalkar and Rajinder Goel.

5. Amol Mazumdar

Among modern day cricketers, Amol Mazumdar has been the most unluckiest. Despite averaging close to 50 in first class cricket and scoring 30 centuries and 60 half centuries Amol Muzumdar, unfortunately never got a chance to don the Indian jersey. Along with Sachin Tendulkar, he was an inmate of Sharadashram Vidyamandir School. When Sachin and Kambli together plundered a record partnership of 664 runs in Harris Shield match, Muzumdar was padded up next. Unfortunately the great talented player remained padded up in the latter part of life too, as he never got a chance to play for India while Sachin and Kambli went on to play for India. Muzumdar was a middle order batsman. 

During that time India had a well settled middle order in Dravid, Ganguly, Azharuddin and Laxman. Muzumdar made 260 on his first class debut against Haryana in Ranji Trophy quarter finals in 1993-94. He held the record for most runs in Ranji trophy, which was later overtaken by Wasim Jaffer. Muzumdar had scored 11,167 runs from 171 first class matches. But despite all those heroics, Muzumdar failed to attract the attention of selectors. Muzumdar played primarily for Mumbai in domestic level. In the latter stages he shifted to Assam.

6. Amarjeet Kaypee

The right handed batsman held the record for most runs in Ranji trophy until 2009, when Amol Muzumdar overtook him. Amarjeet Kaypee was a familiar name for Indian cricket followers of 80s and 90s. He had scored 7,894 runs from 117 first class matches at an average of 52.27 with the help of 27 centuries and 34 half centuries. The consistency he  displayed was amazing, and his highest score of 210* came against Delhi. Amarjeet played at domestic level for Haryana and Punjab.

So that's all for this article. We have tried to include the top 6 players. The list may go on forever. The players like Hyder Ali,Vinay Lamba, Venkat Sundaram, Rizwan Shamsad, Dilip Doshi also may be included in the list of players who missed out a chance to play for India. They also deserved to be treated by the selectors in a better way.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Leslie Hylton Cricketer

Many of you might not be familiar with the name Lesley Hilton. He was a West Indies fast bowler who was unfortunately, the first cricketer to be hanged to death. Lesley Hilton's life was not a bed of roses. He had to overcome many difficulties in his life to achieve the status of a cricketer. He never saw his father and mother died at the age of three. He was brought up by his sister. But he lost her too, when he was young. He was deprived of education and good living conditions. Poverty was the  main issue. In addition, the  Jamaican had to face many apartheid issues also due to his colour. But he fought against all these odds and obstacles, and managed to reach the West Indies cricket team. In early days he tried his luck in a tailoring shop, but failed. He switched to cricket. He couldn't afford a coaching circle, so he sticked to the bowling department. He had good pace and it was recognised by the cricket team authorities. He was selected to the West Indies team, just days before his 30th birthday. His debut match was against England in 1935 at Barbados. He had a great debut as he picked three English wickets in first innings conceding just 8 runs. He was the top scorer in West Indies' second innings. Hilton played 6 tests in total picking up 16 wickets and scoring 70 runs.

After getting into the West Indies cricket team, life changed for Hylton. He got a job in Civil Service. He married, Lerline Rose, who was the daughter of a Police Officer. They had fell in love with each other and married, despite the objections from Lerline's family. They married in 1942. They were blessed with a baby boy after 5 years of marriage. Rose became a fashion designer and spent many years in New York.

In 1954 Hylton received an anonymous letter from New York, which informed him about his wife's extramarital affairs with Roy Francis. An enraged Hylton summoned his wife at once. Once, Rose handed over a letter to her helper to be despatched at post office. Hylton reached the post office to read the letter but he had to return dismayed. He couldn't read the letter, but lied to his wife that he had seen the contents and that he was now well aware of her affairs with Roy Francis. At first Rose tried to deny the accusations , but later she admitted that she was in an affair with Roy. Hylton, in the rage, killed his wife, shot by a revolver. It was later claimed that Rose had said that Hylton was not fit for her standards.

Later in the courtroom Hylton said that Rose fired at him using the revolver and he snatched the revolver from her and fired back. It was argued that the killing was result of a sudden tension and provocation. But it was found that seven bullets had been fired on Rose using a revolver having six bullets. That meant that, Hylton had fired on Rose after reloading the revolver after one complete round. On October 20, 1954, the court order came to hang Hylton. On May 17,1955 the former West Indies pace bowler was hanged to death.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Top five Srilankan batsman of all time

 Top 5 Srilankan Batsmen Ever

Srilanka was not a cricketing power to reckon until 1996 world cup. Before 1996 they have won only 4 world cup games. Under the coach Dav Watmore and captain Arjuna Ranatunga, Srilanka did the unexpected in 1996. They lifted the world cup defeating Australia in the final. From then on Srilanka has been one among the best teams in the world. They had the services of many great batsmen like Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda De Silva, Mahela Jayawardene,Kumara Sangakkara, Hashan Tilakaratne , Roshan Mahanama and many others. The spin wizard Muttiah Muralutharan was a great influence in the team success. Other than Muralitharan, bowlers like Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga,Nuwan Kulashekhara all provided their best efforts for Srilankan Cricket. Here 'Team Predictors' discuss about the top 5 batsmen in the Srilankan history.

1. Kumara Sangakkara

Kumara Sangakkara is the best batsman that Srilanka has ever produced. The wicket keeper batsman has scored tons of runs for his team. The former Srilankan captain is the second highest ODI run aggregator with 14,234 runs in 404 matches at an average of 41.98. Sangakkara is known for his class and cricketing acumen. The consistency he displayed was alarming for most of his opponents. In 2015 World Cup he scored 4 consecutive centuries. The 4 consecutive centuries were 105* against Bangladesh, 117* against England, 104 against Australia and 124 against Scotland. He was quite used to scoring centuries in a trot. He has achieved a similar fete in tests too, when he became the first batsman to score 150+ runs in 4 consecutive tests. In tests he has scored 12,400 runs from 134 matches at a whopping average of 57.40. 

Sangakkara has scored 11 double centuries in his career. Only Donald Bradman with 12 double centuries has more double centuries in tests than the former Srilankan captain. Sangakkara has also scored 38 centuries in his test career. The Srilankan wicket keeper batsman is the quickest to reach 12,000 runs in tests. Sangakkara helped Srilanka to reach many milestones and sometimes he was there to fight it alone. Sangakkara guided Srilanka to their maiden T20 world cup title in 2014 and earned the Man of match award in the final against India. In 2007 world cup final against Australia he scored a valiant century, but could not guide the team to victory. In short, Sangakkara is regarded as one of the best batsmen who has ever played for Srilanka.

2. Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene has been an act of class for Srilanka for many years. The batsman with silky touch was always a treat to watch. Mahela is the only batsman to score a century in both semifinal and final of a world cup. He achieved this fete while scoring centuries against New Zealand in 2007 World cup semifinal and against India in 2011 World cup final. Mahela Jayawardene has scored 11,814 runs in 149 tests at an average of 49.84 with 34 centuries. In ODIs he scored 12,650 runs from 448 matches at an average of 33.37 with 19 centuries and 77 half centuries. His average in ODI was not as charismatic as in test matches. Mahela never reached 150+ score in ODIs. 

His highest score was 144.  His knock of 103* against India in 2011 World cup finals was one the greatest quality innings. The Srilankan's highest score in tests is 374 against South Africa. It is the highest individual score in test for Srilanka. Mahela Jayawardene was an exceptional captain and a great close in fielder too. He is the only non wicket keeper player to take 200+ catches in both tests and ODIs. Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardane formed a great bowler and fielder combination. Batsmen getting out caught by Mahela, bowled by Muralitharan was a regular event. Mahela's excellence was not limited to ODI and Tests. He found himself comfortable in T20 format also. He is the first Srilankan to score centuries in all three formats of the game. Currently he is the highest run getter in T20 World Cup history.

3. Aravinda De Silva

The name of Aravinda De Silva brings into the mind of cricket lovers, the Srilankan heroics of 1996 Cricket World Cup. De Silva played a major role in helping Srilanka to win their first World title. The Srilankan was known for his attacking batting. Aravinda De Silva scored century against Kenya, and half centuries against Zimbabwe and India in the tournament. The major innings came in the final against Australia, where he scored a match winning 103*. The innings earned him the Man of Match award in the final. Aravinda De Silva has scored 6361 runs from 93 tests at an average of 42.97 with an highest score of 267. In ODIs he has scored 9284 runs in 308 matches at an average of 34.90. In ODIs his highest score is 145. He has scored 20 centuries in tests and 11 of them in ODI.

Aravinda De Silva was one of those key players who helped the Srilankan team to raise from underdog status to world champions. He was awarded the Man of Match award in 1996 World Cup Final for scoring the century and picking up 3 Australian wickets. Aravinda is the first batsman to score unbeaten centuries in both innings of a test match. He scored 138* and 105* against Pakistan in 1997. He scored a double century in his final test innings, which was against Bangladesh in 2002. He also picked up a wicket in the last ball of his test career.

4. Sanath Jayasuriya

Interestingly Sanath Jayasuriya came to the Srilankan team, as a bowler who could bat. But things turned up nicely for the left hander as his batting skills were exploited by the team management and he was promoted up the order. Jayasuriya was one of the best attacking batsman in late 90s. Such fierce was his onslaught that there were rumours about a spring in his bat ! Sanath Jayasuriya along with Ramesh Kaluwitharna exploited the initial fielding restrictions in 1996 world cup matches. It was a new idea for the cricketing world, where everyone used to start the innings slowly and then had a go at it. But the 'Matara Marauder' used to attack from the very first ball and tried to destroy the morale of the bowler. Jayasuriya smashed a 17 ball 50 and 48 ball century against Pakistan. At that time it was the fastest 50 and century.

Currently the records are held by AB de Villers of South Africa. Jayasuriya has scored 13,430 runs from 445 ODI at an average of 32.36 with the help of 28 centuries. He has also taken 323 wickets in one day format of the game. In tests, Jayasuriya has compiled 6,973 runs from 110 matches at an average of 40.07. Jayasuriya was one of the main architect of Srilankan victory in 1996 World Cup. He was adjudged as Man of Series of the tournament for his contributions. His top score in ODI is 189 and in tests he has scored 340. Sanath Jayasurya has second most number of Man of Match awards behind Sachin Tendulkar.

5. Tilakaratne Dilshan

Tilakaratne Dilshan played most of his career as a middle order batsman. There he got limited opportunities to express his skills. But later in 2007 he was promoted to the role of an opener and since then there was a drastic change in his approach towards the game. Dilsha proved to be an innovative and explosive opener with an improved consistency. ODI and T20 format was more suited for the Silankan. He  has scored the most runs by any batsman since the age of 35. Dilshan was the second Srilankan to score century in all three formats of the game. In tests he has scored 5,492 runs from 87 matches at a decent average of 40.98 .

 He has scored 16 centuries in longest format of cricket with an highest score of 193. In ODIs he has scored 10,290 runs from 330 matches at an average of 39.27 with an highest score of 161*. In ODI , Dilshan has scored 22 centuries and 21 of them came after he was promoted as an opener. He was the highest run scorer in 2009 T20 World Cup and 2011 50 over World Cup. Dilshan is known for his famous 'dilscoop' shot, which is played over the wicket keeper's head. Dilshan was also a great fielder.