Brendon McCullum Interview

Posted on/at 1:45 PM by The Cricket Corollary

When did you come to know that Daniel Vettori will not be able to play the all important final?
After we came to the ground, Daniel said that he won't be able to play.
Which means you did not get ample time for preparation to lead in the final?
 It was a bolt from the blue that our captain will not be able to take the field. It was really a huge blow for the whole team.
Did you miss him as a bowler?  More than anything else, we missed him for captaincy. He has a great knack for inspiration. How will you explain the opening spell of Bond and Mills?
 Excellent. We wanted to create pressure on them. We wanted to reach to their middle order quickly. If we could have five wickets for 100 runs the game could have gone to for different directions. But our total of 200 runs was not enough. We should have scored at least 250.
How will you analyse the Australia's performance?  Incredible, they have got a good mixture of youth and experience. One of the Australia's plus point is their pretty good batting depth and they also know how to play under pressure.
But your team also fought?  Yes we did. Especially, when we had only 200 runs on the board. The way the whole team fought, I am proud for our team.  
Could you tell us something about Shane Watson?
 He took the game away from us. He has improved like anything. I dropped a crucial catch. If I would have held that catch at that time, certainly it would have been a different story. I am responsible for that miss. I started running back but was short by a couple of meters.

Shane Watson Interview

Posted on/at 1:39 PM by The Cricket Corollary

What makes you a special player during the ICC Champions trophy?  I did not do exactly well in 2007 as I was overawed with the atmosphere. This time, I was determined to do well.  Did you remember Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist while opening the innings for Australia?
 Both of them are big match players. It is difficult to maintain their consistency. Yet, I am trying my level best to win matches for Australia. I really love batting with new ball. I have enjoyed that thoroughly in this tournament.
You came into reckoning during the first IPL for Rajasthan Royals?
 I can not deny that. IPL has helped me a lot. It is a massive turning point for my life.
What is your biggest strength?  I only know to get maximum whenever you are in the best of form. So I am trying to make most of it. How do you rate the man-of-the-match award during the Final of the ICC Champions Trophy?  It is very–very special, indeed .I am lucky that I got the opportunity to open the innings for Australia.

Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 1:27 PM by The Cricket Corollary

The writing was on the wall for New Zealand the moment that Daniel Vettori was forced to withdraw from the final. Then again, most of us thought that the writing was on the wall when Jacob Oram was injured, and then Darrel Tuffey, and Jesse Ryder…!

It won’t be any sort of consolation but, when they reflect on their achievement in reaching the final, the Black Caps should – and hopefully will – feel very proud of themselves.

Even during the final when things once again looked bleak and their backs were to the wall, they carried on fighting and refused to give up. We’ve all been in situations which seem hopeless – and we all have some experience of escaping from them and winning games which had surely seemed lost. Every run might be vital and that’s the way you have to play, either batting or fielding. Treat every run you score, or save, as though the match depends on it.

Australia, on the other hand, oozed confidence from the first day of the tournament until the last. Ricky Ponting’s men might not be able to repeat the feats of Gilchrist, Hayden and McGrath on the field but they can copy the body language of their great predecessors and learn to play like winners.

Personally I really enjoyed watching the top orders battle against the new ball on a pitch which offered the fast bowlers seam movement. It may have been said a hundred times already but that’s no reason not to say it again: Cricket is a contest between bat and ball and when conditions are loaded unduly in favour of one above the other then it is no longer a contest. At least, not a fair one.

Opening batsmen should have to work hard in the early stages of any game before conditions become a little easier. That’s why I batted in the middle order!

No doubt the debate and discussion will continue about the future of the 50-over format but, in my opinion, this tournament has done more than enough to remind people that there is still a place for all three formats of the game. I would happily entertain the idea of reducing ODIs to 40 overs and using up all power-plays by the 35th over but it doesn’t have to happen as a matter of urgency, if at all.

It may not have been a ‘classic’ tournament or one which will stick in our memories for years to come but it was still a fine tournament, well organised and well supported. You cannot hope for a classic race every time, even when the best teams in the world are involved.

As a batsmen I have to say that watching a man score an unbeaten hundred to win a match is one of the most satisfying things you can hope to see. Goodness only knows how satisfied Shane Watson must feel after doing it twice in consecutive matches!

Yuvraj Singh Interview

Posted on/at 5:32 AM by The Cricket Corollary

How are you coping with the finger injury?
 I feel better now. The doctor in South Africa told me that recovery would take at least 5-6 weeks. There is no pain now. I will have to go NCA (National Cricket Academy) for a check-up.

In 2006, a knee injury ruled you out of the ICC Champions Trophy. This time around, it's the finger.
 Injuries are part and parcel of any sportsperson's life but for me the bad luck is that it came at the wrong times. It is a bit unfortunate.

How are you planning to use the much-needed break?
 Actually, I didn't require it. After the tour to West Indies, we were given a two-month break. So this has become like a prolonged break for me. I would start batting again, once I recover from this injury. At the moment, I am just oncentrating on the India-Australia series.

The injury has cast a shadow over your participation in the series against Australia.
Nothing can be done. The doctor has told me to just rest and let the recovery happen. It also depends on me on how fast I recover. I want to work on my fitness and get fitter. I want to be in a great frame of mind before returning to the field.

What do you make of India's early exit in the ICC Champions Trophy?
 It was one bad match against Pakistan that led to the exit. It's sad. It doesn't depend on one person. We can think of a hypothetical situation where one person guides a team to victory. It's a collective responsibility and everybody has to work for victory.

Celebration Pics

Posted on/at 5:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary


JP Duminy Interview

Posted on/at 11:26 AM by The Cricket Corollary

How do you view the chance to playing in the Champions League? 
It is a big tournament for me, especially considering that the third edition of IPL is going to be held in India. So I hope to build a sound platform for IPL by getting to know the sub-continent conditions through the Champions League. 

How different is playing in the CL from playing for the Mumbai Indians? 
It will be a new experience for me in terms of playing in India as we will be playing in front of a different sort of crowd. While playing for the Mumbai team I had a chance to interact with players from different parts of the world. But here I will be playing with the guys I have known for years. Whether it is for South Africa or Mumbai or for Cobras my aim is to help my team win.

You are a key player for Cobras. Does that put any pressure on you? 
Not really. I am not worried about expectations that people have from me. Obviously, it will be big challenge for me to play and excel in a tournament like the CLT20, but that is something I am eagerly waiting for. Here I have to adapt quickly to the sub-continent conditions as they differ from what we get in South Africa.  I really feel confident about the tournament and our chances in the Champions League.

Have you assessed your first opponents, the Royal Challengers Bangalore? 
Well, they definitely are a good side. That they were runners-up in the IPL shows their strength. They have some exceptional players in their ranks like Dravid and Kumble But Cobras are right up for the challenge.

Does the absence of Graeme Smith affect your chances? 
It will be tough to replace a guy like Graeme. But I feel we have enough depth in our ranks to seriously challenge our opponents. I think we have a very good skipper in Andrew Puckett who has good experience of the intricacies of T20 format. We just need to focus on our strengths and a good start will go a long way in boosting our chances in the CL. 

There is a lot of talk about T20 affecting the future of Tests and one-dayers. Your take? 
I feel Test cricket is going to stay no matter what. We have seen huge crowds in the Australia vs South Africa series in both the countries and the Ashes too draw a lot of viewers. So there will be crowd for good and tight contests. It (T20) might affect the one-dayers, unless the authorities come up with some modifications to the existing format. I guess it will need a special effort to keep the one-dayers going. 

Do you think playing in tournaments like CL will help South African domestic cricket? 
Oh yes. It will be a good experience for many guys in the team, especially the young ones who will get a hang of different conditions. But the process will take some time to come into full effect.

Boeta Dippenaar Interview

Posted on/at 11:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary

Coming into the Airtel Champions League tournament, are you happy with the team's preparations?
Yes, we are really well prepared going into the tournament. We feel that we stand a good chance. We have come here early so that we can get the maximum number of warm-up matches and can adapt to the conditions and pitches faster and better.

Diamond Eagles are generally up against the domestic teams of South Africa. How difficult would it be to compete with the domestic teams of other cricketing nations in a tournament of international stature?
It is obviously going to be challenging for us but we have tried to collect as much of information as possible about the other teams and have come well prepared to deal with it. Out main focus, though, would be on our own game. We have done very well as a team and we are fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We will play accordingly and try to give our best on the field.

Your team doesn't have too many big stars as compared to the other teams in the tournament. Do you think that is going to be a disadvantage?
No, I don't think so. Since we are a young side, the other teams wouldn't know much about us. That will be an advantage for us as we can spring some real good surprises. However, we are one of the two top teams in South Africa and I think we are a strong unit. Moreover, we always seem to have exceeded people's expectations and this time also we hope and plan do the same. Most importantly, we will have to play well as a unit and we look forward to doing just that.

Which team do you rate as the most difficult to beat in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 2009?
There are so many good teams that it is very difficult to pin-point just one of them. Most teams are very strong, so I don't think I can single out any particular side that can pose a bigger threat to us than the others. We would have to be on guard against each one of them.

What do you think about the concept of top domestic cricketing teams contesting in a tournament?
I think it is a great concept. With so much cricket being played these days all year round, the supporters are actually looking forward to something different. And this particular concept offers something very new to cricket-lovers. Obviously, people support their respective national teams but here they will get to make a choice about which team they would want to go with. It's unique and interesting.

Do you think with no national interest at stake, this concept is going to work here in India?
Yes, absolutely. Indians are very passionate about their sports, especially cricket, and I have no doubt that they would appreciate watching some quality cricket and support the team of their choice in this Airtel Champions League Twenty20 competition.

How will your own experience of playing international cricket help the team consisting of all youngsters, who do not have much experience of playing outside South Africa?
It is not just me who will help the youngsters to get used to the conditions. In fact, we had a fruitful session with Allan Donald and now Sourav Ganguly will also join us in a couple of days to share his valuable experiences with us. That is something all of us are looking forward to. The boys are going to benefit a lot in the long run from these quality sessions with such great players.

On a personal note, do you miss playing international cricket?
Yes, of course I do. There is no better place to be other than international cricket for sure.

Do you think the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 will give you similar opportunities as international cricket used to? How much are you looking forward to it?
I am very excited. In fact, not just I - the whole team is very excited and upbeat about playing in India. They are all looking forward to get out there.

Although you could never cement your Test place in the South African squad, you always managed to find a place for yourself in the ODI team for most of your international career. Would you say that your style of play is more suited to the shorter version of the games?
Although, the international records suggest that, I don't think so. I have always enjoyed the longer version of the game more and according to me, scoring runs in a Test match or a four-day game is always more satisfying as a batsman than hitting runs in one-dayers or T20s. No doubt Twenty20 cricket is very good, but Test cricket is obviously the best format of the game.

SuperSport Series

Posted on/at 11:06 AM by Bella

I've been keeping an eye on the Domestic Series. News is that starting October 28 our MTN ODI series will include the new trial changes. Overs will be reduced to 40 overs each, allowing 12 players a side and allowing the batting side to pick Powerplays. However while the teams can pick 12 players, only 11 can bat and field. The first Powerplay will extend up to 10 overs and the second for five and both must be taken before the 35th over. For one, four fielders will be allowed outside the ring, and for the other three. Also for rain delays overs will be deducted immediately, and matches will be played over a set period regardless of the weather. There will be substantial prize money and bonuses for players and franchises.

"CSA believes the new format will be a dynamic alternative to the dull periods that have crept into the 45-over version by providing added excitement and playing intensity. This change is part of CSA's vision of giving fans the excitement and action they want without losing any of the basic skills that are an integral part of the game. At the same time, we will also be preparing our players for the 50-over international version if that does not change. And if it does become shorter, then we will have a head start."- Gerald Majola, CSA chief executive.

The SuperSport series has already started. The Proteas returned to their domestic teams after SA's early exit from the CT. Lets take a look how they are doing:

Lions vs Warriors -Match Drawn
Prince       34(92)
Botha        88(184)         19-3-61-0-3.21
Parnell      33(99)            23-1-122-4-5.3
Tsotsobe    7(18)            19-5-60-1-1.35
Ntini            0(6)               21-4-57-1-2.71

Dolphins vs Titans -Match Drawn
Amla         27(101)
Hall           48(122)          12-5-21-1-1.75
Abdulla       1(11)            15.4-3-62-5-3.95
M Morkel    1(11)            25-4-71-1-2.84
A Morkel     8(13)           19.1-5-70-4-3.65
Harris          0(18)           11-2-23-2-2.09
Rudolph    39(95)


Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 6:00 PM by The Cricket Corollary

There is an old saying in cricket – and probably in all team games – that the best players don’t necessarily make the best team. In fact, I’d say it was almost a rarity for the best team to have all the best players, especially at international level.

And I feel absolutely confident that I would not offend New Zealand’s players or their supporters by suggesting that it is primarily their team work and commitment as a unit which has got them into the Champions Trophy semi final.

I wonder how many of the Black Caps would make a current World XI? Certainly a few more now than would have been the case at the beginning of the tournament but even right now I suspect most people wouldn’t look too far beyond Daniel Vettori although mentions would be made of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Shane Bond. And two of their best players, Jesse Ryder and Jacob Oram, are injured! It has been a fantastic achievement.

On the one hand it is hard to qualify – and certainly quantify – the term ‘team spirit’. Often it just happens naturally but, on the other hand, a captain or a coach can try enhance it by telling his players to support each other, physically and emotionally. When somebody takes a great catch, run to him quickly from wherever you have been fuilding and make sure he knows how much you appreciate it.

When a bowler is tired and hurting, tell him that you understand, and look in his eyes when you do it so he believes you. Tell him that you’d happily share the pain if you weren’t so useless.
Remember, at all times, that nobody drops a catch on purpose, nobody deliberately bowls a half volley, run outs happen even to the most experienced partnerships and everybody plays a bad shot from time to time. Empathy and encouragement with team mates goes a lot further towards improvement than criticism.

And then, of course, there is appreciating what skills you and your colleagues do have rather than regretting what you don’t have. Grant Elliott is a classic example of a player performing to the very maximum of the parameters he has set himself. He knows exactly what he is capable of and concentrates on doing that rather than becoming distracted by something he can’t do.
Take a close look at the New Zealand players during the final, if you are lucky enough to be able to watch it. See how the fielders support and encourage each other, how the bowlers are made to feel special and nobody allows either their own head or a team mate’s head to drop.

New Zealand’s cricket teams, of course, have always felt like a special ‘band of brothers’ because there are so few of them in the first place and maybe the team spirit they have at the moment has just happened naturally. It doesn’t matter either way but it is what has got them to the final. And if they win I can’t think of anyone who would begrudge them the title.


Posted on/at 3:29 PM by The Cricket Corollary

Who will lift the trophy?

The lists

Posted on/at 9:14 AM by Anonymous

There are 2 lists on this site. The TTC's top players, which is for players who "wowed" me (Brandon). The other one is a list of players that I am not very fond of. Please remember that these are my own personal lists.

This is the first time that I removed all Saffers. Honestly, they did not preform well and they're not playing at the moment so I took them off. If they preform well again I might add them.

Have you ever noticed that I took Jacques Kallis of the list. The reason being that he has lost a lot of weight and I am very proud of him. The other reason is that he has his own charity trying to make children's lifes better. How can I hate him?
I took Graeme Smith of the list once, thinking I should give him the benefit of the doubt. Well, he has earned his place back on.

If you disapprove of the list then you are welcome to try and switch my mind, but come well armed. I am open to anyone who can convince me to add or remove a player.

They did it

Posted on/at 8:51 AM by Anonymous

Finally, a team I've been rooting for has secured their place in the final. I better not jinx them.

Eliminating the bad fish

Posted on/at 8:34 AM by Anonymous

I am getting desperate here. How the hell will we get rid of Smith? He is such an embarrassment. I don't care anymore who'll replace him as captain.

As much as I want it to be Botha, it's not going to happen, he is not in the Test squad. Parnell? He is only 20. I doubt Kallis or Bouch will take over. I'm sorry to all you baby AB lovers but I can't see him as captain. So who is left? Gibbs, well, that's never going to happen. Duminy? Maybe. I'd prefer Petersen, but he is always on the bench.

Mike Procter, that bloke who left Morne out of the squad, thinks that the  South African one-day cricket side needs more specialists.

We probably placed too much emphasis on all-rounders and did not have enough specialists. Perhaps we should return to a side that is almost like a Test line-up, with six specialist batsmen, four bowlers and a wicketkeeper. In the bowling department, in particular, we were short of another specialist. Another batsmen in the middle order could have held things together when the wickets were falling. Mark Boucher can get 30 or 40 runs at No 6 in the order, but we needed another specialist there.”

He also thinks that ROFL and Albie should bat at #3. But Graeme Smith disagreed: “You have world class batsmen in Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers batting at No 3 and 4. They have all the shots in their repertoire to benefit from such a situation and I don’t believe a big hitter would have fared any better."

What is your plan with baby AB? He is in the squad as a batsman. Do you want to move him up the order to #1? Then I agree. Both Mickey Arthur and Procter believes Cape Cobras swing bowler Charl Langeveldt should come into the equation when he is fit.

We will keep a close watch on the SuperSport games over the next few weeks to ensure we pick the right squad to take on England,” said Procter.

We know what this means. They will start from scratch. 

Luke is a little sh*t

Posted on/at 8:09 AM by Anonymous

Yes, I've said it. After praising his hobbit ass and calling him the player to watch, the little shit didn't preform in the ICC CT. That is until yesterday. But it's still not good enough. I'll be watching you in the Champions League, buddy.

England had faith in him. I thought they would have replaced him already. But I will give the man a second chance. He hates Smith and that makes it okay.

Dilshan on the Dil-scoop

Posted on/at 7:01 AM by Anonymous

Why are you trying to take this scoop shot regularly?
(Laughs) To score runs at faster pace. Why should I give dot ball to the bowlers?
 When did you start taking this stroke regularly?
 During the ICC World Twenty20.
Because I was asked to open the innings during the ICC World Twenty20.
How did you master the stroke?
I used to take this stroke sometimes back home but I spoke to myself and decided to go for it. Accordingly, I started practising in front of bowling machine which gave me lot of confidence. Firstly, I did practice with less speed. Gradually I prepared myself for regular stroke.
Lot of ex-cricketers are of the opinion that you might lose your teeth if you miss any of the scoop shot. Are you aware of this?
Yes, some amount of risk is there. I am trying to reduce the risk by practicing it regularly. Risk is everywhere in life, yet man has to go ahead.
 People have named it the Dil-scoop.
Yes I know this. I think the media used this name during ICC World Twenty20.
 How do you manage the scoop from a Yorker delivery?
Again, I would say by practicing only. Yorker delivery can fetch wicket for bowler and  I decided to counter it by the Dil-scoop.
 Will you be able to scoop against a bouncer?
I will go for hook for the bouncers.


Posted on/at 4:01 PM by Anonymous



Follow Tim Bresnan on twitter.

AB out of Champions League

Posted on/at 3:47 PM by Anonymous

Another one bites the dust... AB de Villiers is out of the Champions League. Cricket South Africa has withdrawn him because he complained about his lower back pain. Bad luck for his domestic team, the Nashua Titans.

"AB de Villiers developed left lumbar pain four weeks ago, during preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy tournament," Despite extensive physiotherapy combined with anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication, his symptoms persisted and an MRI scan was done. He has severe left lumbar spasm and without medication was unable to move freely during the ICC Champions Trophy tournament. We have thus decided to withdraw AB from all cricketing activities for the next four to six weeks in order to allow for proper management of his condition and prevent further injury." -Shuaib Manjra, chairman of CSA's medical committee.

"I am obviously disappointed to miss the Champions League," he said "and I wish the Daredevils all the best for the tournament."-AB de Villiers

Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 3:34 PM by Anonymous

Who would have thought that India, Sri Lanka and South Africa would all fail to make the semi finals? In many ways, the unpredictability of the tournament makes it work. If the Champions Trophy continues to develop a reputation for being unpredictable and throwing up surprises (there has been a different winner in every tournament so far) then it will go from strength to strength.

It still bemuses me that some people say there is no room in the calendar for a two-week gathering of the eight best teams in the world and high-paced scrap for a trophy that is, to all intents and purposes, a ‘mini World Cup.’

It has been a delight watching New Zealand and England cruise to semi-final places against seemingly impossible odds. The Black Caps lost no less than three key players to injuries in the group stage but still managed to reach the last four. Daniel Vettori has been a delight to watch, as a bowler, a captain and a person. His recalling of Paul Collingwood after the second run out fiasco of the tournament was certainly the right thing to do but still deserves enormous credit for cool thinking under pressure. It’s all too easy to let things slip. You only have about 60 seconds to make a decision and time flies when the eyes of the world are focussed on you.

England, too, have defied the odds. It’s hard to believe they lost six in a row to Australia and arrived in South Africa with even Andrew Strauss admitting that there were “serious concerns” about their one-day cricket.

It’s hard to know what to say about Pakistan…! Habitually written off because of their inconsistency and volatile temperament, they still rise to the big occasion more often than not. Nobody ever seems to know what makes them tick. I wonder if they know. Nonetheless, they are brilliant individuals and when they ‘click’ as a unit then they are a match for anybody, though the shorter forms of the game seem to suit them better.

I’m not surprised to see Australia in the semis and I won’t be surprised to see them in the final, either. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see them win it. They must be regarded as the favourites now and, after the disappointment of losing the Ashes, they aren’t lacking in motivation to give their supporters every form of consolation they can. A win here would go a long way to appeasing the hurt of their supporters. Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Brett Lee have the experience and determination to make that happen.

Every team goes through highs and lows and sometimes there are very good reasons – or bad reasons – for their loss of form. But there are also times when practical and unavoidable factors play their part, like injuries, lack of match practise and plain luck!

If a team loses 12 out of 15 one-dayers then there is clearly a long term problem, but when teams as good as Sri Lanka, India and South Africa are castigated and threatened with sacking the coach and captain after losing two out of three games then I can’t help feeling that there is a bit of an over-reaction taking place.

There are winners and losers in sport. That’s how it works now and that’s how it has always worked. And sometimes the underdogs win, which makes it even better.

KP Desperate For SA Tour

Posted on/at 4:59 PM by Anonymous

"I am trying to get as fit as possible as quick as I can. I have had a few setbacks and I am really frustrated. It will be a couple of weeks before it totally heals over - the next 10 to 14 days - then I can start working really hard. The timescale is difficult but I will definitely be doing everything I can to get on that first plane to South Africa, which is at the end of October. I might be a few days off that but I will certainly be in the Test squad. The One-dayers I am really pushing for but the Twenty20s might be a rush. For obvious reasons, it is a very important trip for me. For the team as well after the Ashes to take the momentum forwards. We want to have our best team out there," -Kevin Pietersen

Majola Fed Up With Proteas

Posted on/at 3:24 PM by Anonymous

Gerald Majola is fed up. The Cricket South Africa chief executive and Mickey Arthur issued a statement on the Proteas being knocked out of yet another ICC tournament.

"There will be a brutally honest analysis of the Proteas' early demise in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy and other failures of this nature in knock-out competitions to ensure that it does not happen again...If mistakes have been made, then they must be acknowledged and remedied before the next World Cup. All credit must go to the Proteas for being ranked as the world's top Test and ODI team. However, this must not overshadow the urgent need to bridge the gap between these ratings and the failure of the Proteas to reach the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy on home soil as well as other major knock-out tournaments elsewhere.

The best systems available have been put in place, such as:
* A broad base of outstanding players which is the envy of the cricketing world
* Variety and balance in key playing positions
* Full-time support specialists in all relevant fields
* An efficient high performance programme
* Loyal and committed sponsors
* A large and enthusiastic supporters' base

With these basics on hand, a way must surely be found to get the Proteas to take their winning ways into knock-out tournaments. The analysis and remedial process is to begin immediately and a report on the way forward will be presented to the Board of Directors of Cricket South Africa by the National Coach at its next Board meeting on the October 30."

Smith out of Champions League

Posted on/at 9:33 PM by Anonymous

What is really going on here? ...Graeme Smith has been withdrawn from the Nashua Cape Cobras squad for the Champions' League tournament starting in India next week... Are you saying that Biff wasn't fit for the CT? We could have had Captain Botha?

Cricket South Africa announced the decision on Tuesday on the advice of CSA's medical committee.

"After much discussion and deliberation, the Proteas' management together with the medical committee of Cricket South Africa headed by Dr Shuaib Manjra have made a decision to withdraw Graeme from the upcoming Champions League in India," commented national team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee.

"This decision is based on Graeme's current upper limb dysfunction," he added.
Team physiotherapist Brandon Jackson said that it was important for Smith to be withdrawn from playing cricket for the next four to six weeks to get him through what was going to be a very long season.

"We need to work on strengthening his muscles around the shoulder area and continue his post-operation rehab," commented Jackson.

"The elbow operation was 100 percent successful and I am confident that he will be ready for action by the start of the England series in November."
Smith said he was very disappointed not to be leading the Cobras in India.

"It is very important for South African cricket that the two franchises representing us in India should do well," he commented, "and, like all the national players, I enjoy playing franchise cricket whenever national circumstances permit."
"I would like to wish the Cobras all the best and I am confident they will represent our country with pride."

More Rain Forecasted

Posted on/at 7:58 AM by Anonymous

Johannesburg 53% rain for the ENG vs NZ match


Daryl Tuffey has been ruled out of the match because of a broken hand. Jacob Oram is still out, Jesse Ryder is out after he suffered a groin injury.

Team manager Dave Currie told Radio Live here from South Africa that Tuffey suffered his injury while fielding."He broke a bone in the back of his hand. He needs to get back to New Zealand now to have surgery,"

Tuffey will be replaced by Ian Butler who is available for selection again after being down with a stomach illness.Meanwhile, batsman Aaron Redmond who was rushed to South Africa to replace Ryder is unlikely to be considered for the match as flight delays mean he will only arrive a few hours before the game begins. New Zealand need to win this match to qualify for semi's.

Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 7:46 AM by Anonymous

Another disappointment for South Africa in an ICC world event but what unexpected joy and delight for the England players and their supporters who have had precious little to cheer in one-day cricket for some time.
It’s natural to talk about where the game was ‘won’ and where it was ‘lost’ depending on your allegiance but, as poorly as South Africa bowled, the third wicket partnership of 163 between Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood was superb and deserved to be the match-winning contribution.
The difference between the England team of ten days ago and the one which played Sri Lanka and South Africa in the Champions Trophy is hard to believe let alone explain. I didn’t watch much of the one-day series against Australia but every time I did tune in all I saw was players who appeared to lack conviction, belief and intensity. Perhaps they were just tired. Or tired of playing Australia!
I have no idea what the catalyst was for the change but it has worked wonders. The tentativeness which characterised their six successive losses to Australia had disappeared by the time they arrived in South Africa and they were positive – even aggressive – against Sri Lanka.
Sometimes it can be a blessing when you are genuine underdogs in a two-horse race because it allows you to relax without the weight of expectation of victory and that seems to be what happened with Andrew Strauss and his team. It’s like when a batsman losses form – he can either try to graft his way back to form or, if that fails, smash his way back to form.
There comes a point when you just get fed up with losing and throw caution to the wind in a desperate bid to turn things around. Perhaps there has been an element of that in England’s change of fortunes.
Andrew Strauss’s refusal to allow Graeme Smith a runner will no doubt come in for some scrutiny but, obviously, he was within his rights to do that because Graeme had cramp rather than an injury and the playing conditions are quite clear.
The England captain could have agreed to the request and probably would have done in many other circumstances – it’s not uncommon for a batsman with cramp to be granted a runner in a first-class match or even a Test match but with so much at stake, including a guaranteed place in the semi finals and the little matter of $2 million for the winners, he decided to play by the rules. Perhaps he thought he used up his quota of good sportsmanship by recalling Angelo Matthews after the run out mix-up against Sri Lanka!
The tournament rolls on, however, and England – incredibly given their pre-tournament odds – must now be regarded amongst the favourites having qualified for the semis with a game to spare. Who would have thought it 10 days ago.

Graeme Smith's blog

Posted on/at 7:44 AM by Anonymous

SA's final ICC Match

Graeme Smith

It’s not pleasant having to explain and deal with another early exit from an ICC event just three months after the T20 disappointment in England but we have to deal with whatever life throws at us and move forward in a positive frame of mind.

There are reasons for our failure to reach the semi finals of the Champions Trophy but there are no excuses. We weren’t good enough over three games and we accept that. It hurts – it hurts a lot – but it’s happened and we have to do everything in our power to improve and make sure we are contenders in the next T20 World Championship in the West Indies next year and also at the 2011 World Cup on the subcontinent.

We always knew that our schedule might be a problem coming into this tournament because we had not played any hard, international cricket for over two months but we did everything we could to prepare and overcome that. We had two hard training camps and played warm-up matches but there simply is no substitute for the real thing.

Bowlers take longer than batsmen to shake off the rust and get back into the rhythm and we conceded over 300 in two of the games as a result. I’m proud of the way we chased a huge score against England but would have been a lot prouder if we had managed to get over the line.

I was a bit surprised and disappointed that Andrew Strauss refused to let me have a runner for the final five overs when I was suffering from cramp but that is something he will live with. The world is round which means things come back to you.

The inconsistency of the runner situation is a problem. Sometimes the runner is allowed and sometimes not. Most captains agree to a runner in that situation but Andrew decided to stick to the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. Once again, it is not an excuse and I am not saying it would have made the difference.

As much as we have ourselves to blame and can look at the things we did wrong, or poorly, we have to pay due credit to Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood for the way they laid the platform for Eion Morgan who played some audacious shots which probably took the game away from us. England played superbly and deserve credit far more than we deserve criticism.

Sri Lanka are also one of the best one-day sides in the world and they, too, have been eliminated before the semi finals. Anything can happen in a sprint format like this involving the best teams in the world. India are also under pressure to qualify which means that the three ‘favourite’ teams could all miss the semis.

We have a lot of domestic cricket to play before England come back in November and I expect us all to be battle-hardened and ready to do justice to our status in both forms of the game. We had high expectations for the Champions Trophy but we have not lived up to them. The challenge now is to use the pain of defeat and disappointment as a tool to inspire an even more determined drive to win and consolidate our position at the top of world cricket.

I am deeply sorry for all those supporters who hoped and believed we would do it this time, but please don’t think for a moment that we won’t get the job done. We still strongly believe in our ability as individuals and our ability to win as a team. We will get the job done.

Worth Every Penny

Posted on/at 7:08 PM by Anonymous

England has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its 22-run victory over South Africa.

Match Referee Roshan Mahanama imposed the fines after Andrew Strauss's side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.
As such, Strauss was fined 10 per cent of his match fee while each of his players received a five per cent fine.

In other news the CSA chief executive, Gerald Majola said on Monday that South Africa's loss to England in their final Champions Trophy group match in Centurion on Sunday was "deeply disappointing".

"There are some hard questions to be answered. At no stage did the team look anything like a team that is the world No 1 in both Tests and one-day internationals.They certainly were way off where they should be at this stage, and I will be speaking to Mickey and the team management to find out what went wrong."

But Majola said there were no plans at this stage to fire either the captain or the coach.
"That's not going to happen, but we definitely want answers. The team's performance in this tournament was just not good enough. I don't want to pick out individuals, but there were problems with the bowling and the batting, and the team's body language was not that of the world's best team." -We just can't get rid of them, can we?

Former Pakistan Test Captain, Javed Miandad is very unhappy calling the pitches being used at the Champions Trophy in South Africa "dangerous".

"(With) the sort of scary pitches they have prepared for such a big event it is not going to help the International Cricket Council (ICC) or its members keep interest in one-day internationals alive," Miandad told Reuters.

"Some of the pitches they have played on can be ranked as dangerous. The bounce is inconsistent. Balls are kicking up from a good length. All this is not good for the survival of ODIs."

"The pitches at Centurion have made matches one-sided with the side winning the toss having the advantage. The ICC is quick to monitor the pitches in member countries but they also need to talk to their curators about the pitches in the Champions Trophy," he said.
The ICC moved the Champions Trophy to South Africa due to security concerns after it was postponed from its original date in Pakistan last year.

Dinesh Karthik Interview

Posted on/at 11:03 AM by Anonymous

I found this recently at cricinfo, Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi

Are you tired of carrying drinks yet?
A little bit, but I prefer carrying drinks for the Indian team than being anywhere else. 
Any funny experiences as a drinks carrier?
The first time I carried drinks was during the 2004 Champions Trophy. It was a wet outfield and I was running with the drinks and I couldn't stop myself and just went sliding into Sourav Ganguly, who was giving a team chat in the huddle. 
We've heard Daniel Vettori gifted you a motorbike during this year's IPL?
He won the Man of the Match in our first game. He doesn't like motorbikes and he probably thought I was a good guy. I've kept it back home in Chennai and ride it sometimes. 
Name an interesting thing you own.
I have a St Bernard dog. They are very tough to take care of in the tropical wetather in Chennai. They usually are found in mountains and the snow. 

If you were a coach how would you keep Sreesanth quiet?
Send him to dance class every day. 
Are you talkative?
Hmm, yes, I am. 
Are you punctual?
I've overslept a couple of times. 
Do you swear in Hindi or English on the field?
Hindi - the other teams don't understand it. 
If you could change one thing in cricket, what would it be?
I would change 50-overs cricket into two innings each of 20-overs. 
Are you a walker?
Not really. 
You seemed to have finally settled on a name after changing it a few times. How many have you had?
My mom asked me to change it the first time. I had an extra "a" in my last name , and it then became an extra "c" as well, and then the extra "a" without the "c", and I don't know how many times I had to change it. But now it's back to normal: Karthik. 

Did you have to change your signature, too?
Name one disadvantage of having your wife on tour.
It's very tough to have a boys' day out. 
Tell us about a cricketing souvenir you treasure.
The 2007 Twenty20 World Cup shirt, signed by the whole team.

Who was your favourite Tamil movie hero as a kid?
It was Rajnikant, and it will be Rajnikant. I also like Surya, the present-day superstar, who is a good guy. 
What is your favorite Rajni line of dialogue?
"Naan oru thadava sonna nooru thadava sonna mathiri" [If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times]. 
What would you do if you're stuck at a airport?
I don't Twitter, and I'm done with Sudoku, so probably read a book or chat with someone.

Have you ever given MS Dhoni a wicketkeeping tip?
I don't remember giving him any tips, but I gave him my pads during the finals of the tri-series in Sri Lanka recently. He tried to stop a ball that was going down and he tried to slide, but the straps of his pads came off and he had to use mine. We won the game! 
Was there ever a cricket role you wanted to enact when you growing up?
I heard a lot about Ian Botham's Ashes, in 1981. Everybody still talks about his performance. I always wanted to do be an allrounder. I don't know why I picked keeping. I really wish I could contribute with both bat and ball, just like he did.

Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 6:04 AM by Anonymous

Miss a game at your peril

Jonty Rhodes

Just about every game is a knockout from here onwards which is a fantastic endorsement of the format of the tournament because there's no cruising for the players and no blinking for the supporters. Miss a game at your peril - you might not see your favourite team again.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the tournament so far although I have the feeling that we've only seen the support act so far and the real thing is about to burst onto stage. It only takes a couple of brilliant individual performances or a really close game, a classic contest and suddenly everyone is talking cricket.

It looks very obvious to me that the tournament is being played in a great spirit and there are plenty of smiles on the players' faces. I wonder whether that might become a feature of the ICC Champions Trophy. With $2 million at stake for the winners I'm not suggesting for a moment that the players won't be taking it seriously but it's not the ICC World Cup and, perhaps, this tournament can provide an opportunity for players to remember the spirit of cricket.

Andrew Strauss set a great example in that regard when he called the batsman back when he was run out after colliding with the bowler. That sort of gesture sets an example that thousands of kids might, one day, decided to copy. Just as kids can swear and spit and do other nasty things if they see their heroes doing them, so they can mimic the good stuff.

England were very good indeed against Sri Lanka and if they pitch up in the same frame of mind against South Africa on Sunday then they could well ruin the hosts' party. Supersport Park in Centurion is very different to the Wanderers, however, and a dry surface has favoured the spinners more than the seamers. Up until now the ball hasn't really swung at Centurion - if anyone can make it happen I guess James Anderson would be a contender.

Herschelle Gibbs is available for the Proteas once again although it was interesting to hear Graeme Smith speculating about the possibility of Hashim Amla retaining his place at the top of the order. Hashim is playing well and is probably a more ‘reliable' option than Herschelle but it would take a brave man to leave Hersch out. He's unique – capable of playing more audacious innings than just about anyone else. And he's still got the X factor in the field, even at the ago of 35.

It is still possible that at least one semi-final place could be decided on net run-rate. In my opinion the players shouldn't even consider that until well into the game. Get yourself into a winning position and take it from there. If you take anything for granted, if you assume victory, you will lose. Then run-rates are irrelevant anyway!

Ricky Ponting's blog

Posted on/at 6:01 AM by Anonymous

I am looking forward to playing India

Ricky Ponting

It's been a challenge for Australia to come straight into this tournament with no acclimatization or practise. True, we were in the heat of battle during the recently-concluded one-dayers against England, but conditions here are vastly different from the ones we had gotten used to in England.

Our opening game was played in really difficult conditions, and the pitch at the Wanderers was borderline dangerous when we started our innings. Paine got a few sharp raps on his knuckles as the ball was moving and rising dangerously. Mitchell Johnson help us get to a very good total on that track, which helped us win quite comfortably in the end. The devils in the wicket had been laid when the sun dried out the wicket, and we had to defend our total in much more batsman-friendly conditions.

The tournament has been a little bit of a lottery especially in the day games. Sri Lanka got a rough one when they batted against England in very difficult conditions. It's early summer in South Africa and early starts, particularly at the Wanderers should have been avoided.

The Indians have been hit hard by the absence of Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag. These guys are really good in conditions like those at Centurion, and MS Dhoni felt their absence during India’s game against Pakistan. That said, it was a close game and India were in with a chance till the last 10 overs.

The loss to Pakistan makes tomorrow’s game a must-win for India. We are pretty confident going into this game primarily because all our players are fit and we have a full squad to pick from.

Michael Clarke, who was struggling with his back, has a good chance of being match-fit tomorrow, and that will be a big boost for us. It also helps that this is a day-night game, which means the match will be better balanced. However, there was a bit of dew in the evening, which was a bit hard for the spinners.

It's been a long time since we have played a one-dayer against the Indians, and I am looking forward to playing them. This tournament is a lot more open than many of the earlier editions. There are quite a few teams that fancy their chances of winning and India is certainly one of them. However, with the injuries list including some key players, there is a lot of pressure on their others at the moment, and we need to capitalize on this.

Smith vs Strauss

Posted on/at 5:49 AM by Anonymous

"I was cramping quite badly and I requested a runner...Andrew spoke with the umpires and turned it down. He felt that if you score a hundred, you're going to be tired. From my perspective, it felt a touch inconsistent. Guys have got runners for cramps in the past, so there needs to be a degree of consistency there. This is the frustration that we have. I'm not going to sit here and slag Andrew and say that he should have done this or that. The decision rests with the umpires as well. From my perspective, it's just about putting it behind me now. The thing I've learned from this game is that the world's round. It's going to come back somewhere in the game, at some period of time in his captaincy. It'll be interesting to see how he handles it again." -Graeme Smith

"He asked me for a runner because he was cramping. The umpires were not particularly keen to give him one. I felt that at the end of a long game, after a long innings, you're going to be tired. Cramping to a certain extent is a preparation thing. To a certain extent, it's a conditioning thing. I didn't feel that he merited having a runner at that stage. You just go with each situation as it comes. I think the umpires were very uncomfortable with it as well. My personal view is that you shouldn't get a runner for cramps, full stop. That's something for the ICC to look at. I didn't feel he was cramping that badly either. He was still able to run. That was my view." -Andrew Strauss

That's the wrong finger.

Same sh*t, different day

Posted on/at 12:00 AM by Anonymous

South Africa got knocked out of another major ICC tournament... Blah-blah-blah, what else is new?
Biff is back, leaner and meaner and he is coming to get Strauss.

 Now that SA is out who will we support? I'll feel like a traitor if I support England. So it will be either Sri Lanka or New Zealand then. Who ever will make it to the semi's will gain some Saffer support.

From Hero To Zero

Posted on/at 11:52 PM by Anonymous

You've guessed it. I'm talking Strauss. This is coming from someone who doesn't even like Graeme Smith and who has nothing against the England team. Let me say one thing, if their roles were reversed I would be posting the exact same thing on Biff...I am very dissapointed.

It wasn't a very smart thing to do either. You are still in the country, staying at the Sandton Hotel, right? If I were you, I'd think twice about eating the breakfast that the proudly South African waiter will bring you.

Shoaib Malik Interviews

Posted on/at 8:44 AM by Anonymous

Will you accept the fact that Pakistan could have lost the match, if Suresh Raina and Rahul Dravid would have played a bit longer?  
There was little threat. But we knew they would get caught. They tried very hard but we knew our bowlers could have broken the partnership. Actually it is our partnership which made the difference between the two teams. 
Is it your best hundred? 
It would be a memorable one. The team won and I have played a small role which is really very very satisfying. 
What would be your target for this tournament?
I want to carry on the current form in the remaining matches of ICC Champions trophy.
Why did you start slowly?
I wanted to consolidate the situation by being cautious, not losing any wicket. Actually that is my game. After I settle down I normally try to accelerate later. 
That’s what it had happened on Friday against India. You took 70 balls to score 36 runs. But the next 70 run came in 40 balls? 
Team needed that blocking. We did not want to invite any pressure by losing wickets early. 
Were you surprised when Virat Kohli came into bowl? 
Yes, I was. I think Harbhajan would have been brought then. Dhoni then wanted to finish the quota of the fifth bowler by bringing Kohli and Yousuf.  
You got maximum runs by putting the ball in the backward point area? 
Initially the Indian bowlers were bowling straight. Gradually they attacked the off stump line. Naturally I had to play in that area and collect solid runs.

Daniel Vettori Interview

Posted on/at 8:03 AM by Anonymous

Do you think the loss in the first match would create a major problem in the ICC CT?
It doesn't make a lot of difference to us. We know we still have to turn up and play pretty well to beat a strong South Africa side. Sri Lanka played exceptionally well in the first match. We're under no illusions about how hard it is going to be.
What would be your impression about the wicket here in SA?
The wicket is a lot better than we expected it to be. Not sure we're going to play on the same one or we've got a new block. It was a slow deck and suited the Sri Lanka more than the South Africans and it brings the question whether we play two spinners and what's the best tactic on a wicket like that.
Will you support of keeping 2 spinners in the side?
In the past if you look at how balanced South Africa line-up, is that they play two spinners. I think they will adapt pretty quickly to the conditions and they know them pretty well. It won't hurt us coming out of Sri Lanka for last six weeks. We've played on wickets like this and hopefully we're ready for that. But it'll be a tough ask.
What is your impression about the ODI cricket?
I think it's great. The format of the ICC Champions Trophy is also nice. It feels like every game is relevant. In the past ICC Champions Trophy there's probably been a few almost warm-up like games you've been able to get yourself into the tournament. You have to turn up here ready to play and ready to win, otherwise you can get knocked out quickly. For me personally, the relevance of the ODI game, the easiest solution is to play less games. I don't think we need to tinker around with the format. I think we've played so much people get a bit sick of seeing it so if you reduce the amount of games that is a quick fix solution.
Lot of talk about tinkering...
So much talk about tinkering and there has been in the past, for me personally, it is a good format and it has produced an array of good cricketers and different styles as well. With the ODI format you can still get a number of different cricketers who can succeed. If we take that away and keep tinkering with it we'll lose those styles of cricketers. We're lucky in cricket that we have three formats and people can enjoy all three. If we keep changing we might lose some of the fanbase. As long as we don't overload the public we can get a nice balance between the three.
Tell us something about the preparation for the ICC CT.
We know coming here that we have to beat quality teams. England has come off a tough series against Australia. But all teams in the group will be wary of each other. We had mixed results in the warm-ups. We lost to a first-class team and then played really well against India. Hopefully we can take the confidence of the India game into our first game. Particularly it's our batting department where we've struggled a lot. But a couple of guys stepped up. To make 300 against an Indian side is always something that makes me happy as captain and pleases the team as well. Challenge is to put a score on that board and defend it as a bowling unit.

The Must Win Scenario

Posted on/at 7:55 AM by Anonymous

South Africa will have to beat England today at Centurion to make it through to the semi-finals.

Don't shit on my parade.

"The most important thing for us tomorrow is to win, to focus on our basics and to carry out our game plan well...We can't be worrying about run-rates. The important thing for us is to win and to get to four points on the log. If we get to 40 overs and we are close to winning the game, then we will definitely up the tempo a bit. It is a massive game for us. We normally come off when the pressure is there and we need to win. The same thing happened at the 2007 World Cup when we had a 'must win' game against England and we managed to do it then and pull through.The Wanderers wicket suited them (England). In addition they have just come out of a tough series at home and managed to win the last one there where they had similar conditions. But they (England) played extremely well against a very strong Sri Lankan side and deserved their win. It is going to be a tough group for us and I think it is going to come down to net run-rate.  " -AB de Villiers

We're buddies :D

The Black Caps will have to beat England on Tuesday.

Bouch is preparing Baz

Graeme Swann is sporting a new hairstyle:



Calling on the Black Caps

Posted on/at 7:36 AM by Anonymous

I went prowling in Purna's mind and just realised that England winning has caused South Africa to fall to 3rd place on their Group B log. This means that the Proteas & the Black Caps will need to murder England. Oh shit! Come on Dan, Baz & Taylor, don't let us down.

TCC would like to thank Luke Wright for playing like shit.

Smith will never change

Posted on/at 7:21 AM by Anonymous

Who would resist?


Posted on/at 10:18 PM by Anonymous