5 of the Best Cricket Players in History

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In the history of cricket, there were quite a few players who left their mark in the history of this sport. Let’s take a look at those who were worthy of the Top 5 list…

Sir Don Bradman – Australia

Australian Sir Don Bradman, aka ‘The Don’, is considered the best cricket player ever having achieved an average of 99.94 runs in Test cricket. Anyone who’s played cricket will know how challenging it can be to get near 50 runs let alone 100.

Another giant of the game – Sachin Tendulkar – had a lot of respect for Sir Don, saying on the 110th anniversary of his birthday: “It’s been 20 years since I met the inspirational Sir Don Bradman but that special memory is so vivid. I still recall his amazing wit, warmth, and wisdom.”

Sachin Tendulkar – India

The Indian, who was full of admiration for Sir Don, is probably his strongest competition for the title of most-skilled batsman ever. He can’t compete with Bradman’s average but he has more career runs than anyone, with 18,426 in one day internationals (ODIs) and 15,921 in Test matches. Tendulkar played 200 Test matches and 463 ODIs in his 24-year senior career.

He once said: “I am not the god of cricket. I make mistakes, God doesn’t.”

Brian Lara – West Indies

Lara was so good they made a computer game for him. He’s even got the record for most runs in a first class cricket game, with 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994.

Lara also broke the record for the highest Test match score, with 400 not out, for the Windies against England in Antigua, also in 1994.

He had problems in England. He initially found it difficult to settle and admitted as he was set to fly home to Trinidad, “It’s all happening so fast. This is scary, it’s very scary.”

His style will never be forgotten though and he’ll be remembered as one of the best ever batsmen. Lara’s brilliance even earned him honorary citizenship in Australia!

Muttiah Muralitharan – Sri Lanka

With a name like his, he was always going to be hard to forget, but it was his wicket-taking prowess that won him the respect of peers and fans alike.

‘Murali’ notched 800 Test wickets and 534 wickets in ODIs, with 1337 wickets in international cricket.

He took a record 67 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket and he even has the record for 10-wicket hauls in Tests, with 22.

Shane Warne – Australia

Former spin king Warne is one of the most recognisable names in cricket. The Australians are known for their confidence and sledging and Warne was no different, coming on to the scene with all the belief in the world and the talent to back it up.

In June 1993, Australia played England in the Ashes, with the first Test at Old Trafford and Warne, sporting big blonde hair and a gold necklace, bowled Mike Gatting with a genius first ball, which was dubbed the ‘Ball of the Century’. Australia went on to win the Ashes.

Warne has impressive personal records of 37 five-wicket hauls and ten 10-wicket hauls in his glittering career.

Cricket is one of the most intriguing sports – every batsman has their personal favourite shots, and every bowler has quirks in their action. Games can be fast and intense or tactical and slow. And the weather always affects play.

Why not give cricket a chance the next time you bet?

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Wasim Akram: Swing Bowler Extraordinaire

The sporting world is often full of fleWasim Hakrameting legends, often based on singularly fantastic feats in an important game or seemingly magical mastery during a given tournament. However, truly remarkable players are far rarer but are clearly identifiable by their ability to repeatedly perform and prove their unique abilities.

In the Cricketing world, Wasim Akram was one of those rare talents. Born in 1966 in Lahore, Pakistan, Akram’s big break came in the 1980’s when after taking part in trials at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore his talent was recognized by one of the senior Pakistan player, Javed Miandad.

Miandad’s recommendation ensured Akram’s future as he went from spectator to being a member of the national team. Whilst Akram has openly admitted that he did not even know how to swing a ball when he first started playing professionally, he clearly learned his craft quickly.

Under the tutelage of great players such as Imran Kahn, then Pakistan’s top fast bowler, Akram developed his style and skills at a phenomenal pace earning him a revered reputation across the cricketing world.

Playing his first International game was made at the tender age of 18 in 1984 against New Zealand on his home turf. His first Test was also against New Zealand, though this time in taking place in Auckland.

In both these games his performance was outstanding and throughout the remainder of the 1980’s, he was a regular member of the national team. He had rewarded the faith that Miandad and Kahn had invested in him and proved his worth as a top-class player.

Dramas & Controversy

Toward the end of the decade, Akram suffered injuries to his groin that saw him pull out of competition for some significant time. Following a number of successful surgeries, he was able to return to the field as a swing bowler. His new focus on swing bowling earned him a crucial role in Pakistan’s success at the 1992 World Cup.

It was at this time that AkramWasim-Akram-1 and his teammate Wagar Younis were accused of ball tampering by the English Media. Whilst nothing was proved, it is likely that a large reason for the air of suspicion was their spectacular use of reverse swing in their attack. This type of swing bowling technique was relatively unknown in England at the time and managed to produce a prodigious amount of movement from the ball.

Dedication to mastering the art of swing bowling led to Akram being the bowler that batsmen dreaded. His ability to surmount defences through his deft control of the ball through the air and off the pitch troubled batsmen for years.

However, the controversy of alleged ball tampering was followed a few years later by the more grave accusations of match-fixing.

The first indication that something was amiss surface following Pakistan’s unexpected and arguably unwarranted loss against Australia in 1994. This was performance was repeated in the Pakistan-New Zealand game in Christchurch in the same year. The evidence was sufficient for the Judge to ban Akram from captaining the Pakistan side again.

Retirement from the Game

Akram announced his retirement from the ODIs in 2003. He was 35 and had already quit Test cricket a year earlier. He was a regular and key figure on the English domestic circuit playing first for Lancashire and later for Hampshire.

Subsequently, Akram moved into the commentating business offering his insight on players and teams becoming a regular voice on many television and radio shows.

For a number of years, he has led the Kolkata Knight Riders to victory in the Indian Premier league in both 2012 and 2014 showing that his love for the game and keen attention to skill development have not lost their edge.

Despite the controversies, Akram’s performance over his career has firmly established him as perhaps the best swing bowler of all time, and will long be remembered for his far greater number of highs rather than his unfortunate lows.

 

Latest in Cricket

Saturday was a busy sporting day across all sports with England dismissing Australia in cricket.

Jason Roy scored a brilliant 120 to help England beat Australia by 38 runs and take a 2-0 lead after the second one-day international (ODI), on the 16th of June in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

Captain Eoin Morgan suffered back spasms and was ruled out 20 minutes before kick-off, but that did not hamper the team’s ability as the put in excellent batting performance.

England posted 342-8 as Jos Buttler who captained the team in Morgans’ absence, made an unbeaten 91 from 70 balls.

This was a significant improvement for the team after struggling in the first ODI against the same opponents three days earlier at The Oval when they left it late to win by three wickets.

The back to back defeat spells doom to Australia that plummeted to the sixth position on the International Cricket Council (ICC) one-day international rankings for the first time since 1984, with a total of 3474 points and rating of 102 placing it a fraction of a point behind Pakistani.

The two sides will next meet on Tuesday, June 19th at 14:00 BST for their third match, out of the five-match series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

The ODI teams ranking table

As at 18th June 2018

Team |position |Matches played | points |Rating

  • England 1 45 5599 124
  • India 2 45 5492 122
  • South Africa 3 34 3842 113
  • New Zealand 4 41 4602 112
  • Pakistan 5 32 3229 102
  • Australia 6 34 3474 102
  • Bangladesh 7 24 2220 93
  • Sri Lanka 8 43 3302 77
  • West Indies 9 29 1989 69
  • Afghanistan 10 28 1758 63
  • Zimbabwe 11 37 2021 55
  • Ireland 12 20 766 38
  • Scotland 13 16 535 33
  • United Arab
  • Emirates 14 13 236 18

Gearing up for Cricket World Cup in 2019

Cricket is a sport that attracts millions of fans around the globe. The first ever Cricket World Cup took place in 1975 at a time when cricket was enjoying a huge surge in popularity. Since then, this tournament has been regularly held, attracting the active participation of teams from all over the world.

In 2019, the Cricket World Cup fans have something to look forward to. It will be the twelfth time that the competition will be taking place. England and Wales will be hosting the games between 30 May and 14 July next year. In 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 they also hosted other World Cup tournaments.

The World Cup Qualifier 2018

Any Sports World Cup brings with it exciting times and so does the World Cup qualifier that precedes it. This year was no exception as 2018 saw the cricket fans focused on the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifier that took place in Zimbabwe in March.

The two top-notch teams that stood out during the World Cup qualifier were Afghanistan and the West Indies. 10 teams participated in a total of 34 games. Zimbabwe, as hosts of the tournament and for the first time ever since 1983, failed to reach the final and will, as a result, not be participating in the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

In the meantime, cricket fans are keeping an eye out for Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad and other rising stars.

See you at the Cricket World Cup in 2019!

Cricket betting tips for helping you pick the right team to bet on

Making the right plans is very important if you want to become profitable betting on cricket. Although, things at times do not go according to plan in cricket matches, trying to make an educated guess on the outcomes will always help in the end. Many can and will try to predict the games themselves. A normal cricket fan would know all the facts related to any match, but beginners might need to carry out some research. Betting on these matches will be a good practice for the bettor to keep good bankroll management and do their due diligence when it comes to analyzing games.

You should understand that you will not become an expert on cricket simply doing a couple of game analysis. However, looking at different statistics will help you create a clearer picture while making bets. Bookmakers normally carry out details analysis of each match and team so that they are never in the dark. You need not carry out such extensive analysis since there is so much data already available pertaining to every team and player. Study the team that you fancy for a short amount of time so that you can learn its strength and weaknesses. For example, you can study two teams that are going to play a bilateral series in a couple of month’s time. This will give you enough time to prepare for making the right bets.

Cricket commentary sites such as cricinfo can give you a lot of insight since major cricket writers give an opinion on it. Detailed statistics are also found on it as it is one of the most widely used sites by cricket lovers all around the world. Study the predictions made by former players of the game and you will have an idea how a particular series might pan out. Watch out for the current form of the main players that are expected to make a mark in the series.

After you scope out the players in both the teams, it is time to look at the match conditions. You may find that a team may get battered while playing in the home of the opponent but play exceedingly well in their own home. A home series can certainly add to the fortunes of a team as they would know the conditions very well thanks to playing a lot of domestic cricket in the country. So, this factor should not be overlooked when you want to pick a team to bet on.

When you have done all of this analysis, you want to check whether your analysis is sound or not, and one way to do this is to compare your predictions to cricket betting tips provided by other punters that are analyzing these cricket matches. This can be a good practice and a great way to learn without having to put too much money at risk before you know you are a winner. Also, the cricket betting tips can be bet yourself, so a win-win!

Better Chance of Making Profits with Live Cricket Betting

Cricket betting has been around for a long time and live betting has been booming the later years thanks to various online betting sites. As the name suggests, live cricket betting allows bettors to place bets while the cricket match is going on. Running bets offer a better chance for the bettors to make profits as you have a chance to assess the innings of a team before placing a bet. This is a very good option since someone with a deep understanding of cricket would be able to beat the statistical models employed by various sites. Cricket is an unpredictable game and sometimes the computers that are analyzing the games on the spot are not able to fully gauge the little nuances. This is where you can get huge returns on the bets you place.

Live cricket betting is more commonly known as In-Play betting on online betting sites. There are a lot of things that you can bet on such as the score of current batsmen, team score, score after a specific number of overs and mode of dismissal. In-Play betting can be considered as the most beneficial for cricket aficionados since you are able to take a calculated choice after finding out how the pitch is behaving and how the team is playing. Another advantage is that you also get more markets to bet on as compared to before the match. This means you will be able to place a bet on something that you are more comfortable with.

The bookmaker normally tends to change the odds as the match progresses, so the odds may go lower or higher as the match continues. Now, you may think that this gives you an advantage with respect to match betting before the start of the match. The thing is that you would be able to better predict the final outcome or player performance better than any statistical model. Let us say you have a favorite to win the match, but the odds are lower at the start of the match. Let the match begin and wait for the odds go up during the match which is often the case in almost every match. Hence, you can still earn more by placing the same bet that you would have placed before the match.

It is important to do your homework well on the teams that are playing. You should know the ability of the players so that you can make positive expected value bets on the live cricket betting markets. Let us say there is a top batsman but it is not in form currently, then it is probably better to see how he is doing in the match. If he is still struggling then you can place a bet on him to score less.

The good part about live betting (and betting in general) is that you do not have to bet if you are not sure if it will be a good bet or not. You can always sit on the fence and wait for the next opportunity, there will always be a cricket match to bet on.

Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2012 – Alastair Cook & Kumar Sangakkara Honoured

Wisden-2012-3d-212x300Gosh, is it really a year since the last one? The new cricket season waits before us, to borrow radio genius Danny Baker’s delicious aphorism, like a great big shoe with its lights on. It’s quite probably my age, but the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack is surely coming round quicker every year. At least that’s how it feels.

It’s the first under the editorship of Lawrence Booth, the youngest editor of the Wisden Almanack for 72 years. I’m pleased to report its very much business as usual. No boats have been rocked, it still looks, feels and reads very much like a Wisden should. He tackles the weighty issues affecting (the future of) the game – Twenty20, India and the IPL, the jailing of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, the World Cup and Test cricket. However, he has also introduced two competitions (see page 25), one of which offers a lucky reader/writer the chance to have his or her work published in next year’s Almanack, which will be the 150th.

The big news is always the Five Cricketers of the Year. Yes, the selection of Alastair Cook was a no-brainer, but what had he done, or not done, to escape the accolade thus far, a full six years since his debut ton in India? Likewise, Kumar Sangakkara, a run-glutton for Sri Lanka for the past dozen years, who was also named The Leading Cricketer in the World, 2011.  Tim Bresnan, a cricketer who is showing every promise of rising above the rank of doughty yeoman into something approaching the new Flinto… Let’s just say he’s turning into a pretty useful Test all-rounder. Completing the quintet are County Champions Lancashire and Worcestershire stalwarts respectively Glen Chapple and Alan Richardson.

A mighty two hundred plus pages are devoted to absorbing essays, reviews and comment before we get on to the nuts and bolts of stats covering every game of note from the past year with records being broken or updated from across the game’s rich history.

It’s not for me to tell you what to read in a Wisden Almanack, it’s for you to delve in as your whim takes you. What gives greatest delight, for me, is that nothing escapes its attention, however obscure or arcane. I chanced across a category titled ‘I might as well not have bothered’, subtitled ‘Players in English first-class cricket who top-scored in both innings, took ten wickets and lost.’ Take a bow, Warwickshire’s C.R.Woakes, the tenth player to do so, the first being W.G. Grace back in 1869, whose 64 and 23* plus 7-20 and 3-103 could not prevent Hampshire defeating him, and his obviously hapless team mates, by 209 runs in August.

Finally, I wouldn’t normally scour the stats of the Aussie domestic game but my Wisden fell open, like a wizard’s book of spells, at just the right page. May I draw English and Australian eyes to page 884 – Australia First-Class Batting Averages, 2010-11. Places 1 to 3 are occupied by Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, all of whom play for the England XI. An Aussie (Queensland’s James Hopes) sneaks in at 4, before Andrew Strauss, also of the England XI stands at number 5. Yes, Sir Donald Bradman, Mark Taylor, Dennis Lillee, Steve Waugh, Alan Border, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting, we haven’t forgotten, your boys took one hell of a beating.

Well done, Lawrence Booth and all his merrie contributors.

Pietersen joins India tour and bemoans local gambling laws

So, Kevin Pietersen is back in the squad; no doubt the England selection committee believe that we can’t do without him, but is that the right decision? After all that he did in the summer, sending texts to members of the South African team criticising England captain Andrew Strauss – and suggesting to them ways in which they could bowl him out – was a despicable act. Surely England should expect loyalty in the face of the enemy; in war he would have been shot for carrying out such a treasonable act.

Are they certain that, given the right circumstances, he wouldn’t do the same thing again? He has shown that he is not a team player, and you can’t win consistently unless you are pulling together as a team. No man is an island – that is unless you are Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff – but that is another story; he wasn’t just a great player, he was a great team player and a great motivator and mentor.

Andrew Strauss was one of the best captains that England has ever had. His form might have suffered of late, but he knew what it took to put a team together and how to keep it motivated. Under his leadership England became the number one team in the world; now that he has gone, and Pietersen certainly played a part in his going, there is a strong possibility that England will go down.

The problem with touring India is that gambling at a real or online casino is against the law across most of the country and it is punishable by up to three months in an Indian prison; not a pleasant prospect, and we know how much our cricketers enjoy a little gambling and are quite adept at casino games. Despite this ban it is estimated that 40% of people who use the internet in India visit gambling sites of one kind or another and they can use for example Canadian online casino sites instead. Their primary form of gambling is sports betting on cricket and horseracing, though Indians also enjoy lottery games, which is good, as many Canadian online casinos offer them.

Gambling is allowed in Goa and Sikkim which have 12 and 1 casinos respectively. Sikkim has applied for a number of licences for online casinos, but so far its applications have been rejected.

Improve Your Game With Wisden… Guaranteed!

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The good people at Wisden have published two brand-new ‘How-to’ guides aimed at all cricket coaches, teachers and players looking for ways to improve performance in the forthcoming season (which is meant to be starting today – Sir Geoffrey Boycott has just said on TMS that the report from Headingley is snow and ice).

Both guides are produced by Mark Davis, who played for Somerset in the eighties alongside Beefy, Vivi and Big Bird, and Sam Collins, cricket journalist and former captain of Eton. Mark Davis’ pedigree is enhanced with 16 years coaching at Millfield School. The authors set out logical coaching advice in clear, easily understood language, with photographs and diagrams to add further explanation.

Each guide includes:

  • The basics – Grip, stance, trigger movement for bats. Grip, run up and delivery stride for bowlers.
  • The shots that every batsman needs, plus the shots better left only to the supremely talented or the most brainless of batsmen (yes, not only the reverse sweep, but the slog sweep, switch hit and Dilscoop are all included). That said, for all of the 21st century innovations, the authors still place the greatest importance on the ability to master the forward defensive.
  • Detailed explanations of seam, swing and spin bowling.
  • Practice drills – always sound like fun to me, but in twenty-plus years of village cricket my team have never once attempted anything approaching a ‘drill’.
  • Analysis of potential problems and easy fixes for batsman and bowler.
  • Technical and match advice, including mental preparation, that caters for players of beginner, intermediate and advanced level. Although less so for grizzled, dyed-in-the-wool village veterans.
  • Clear pictures and illustrations demonstrating correct technique and how to put it into play.

Published at £14.99 each, both are currently discounted by 10% at the Wisden Bookshop.

The only obvious critique is that neither book comes with a guarantee of improved performance – I was pulling your leg with the headline. Like they say, there is no substitute for hard work and ‘Practice, Practice, Practice‘.

Good luck for the season to all cricketers everywhere (unless you’re playing my village team). Let the sun shine and play commence.

 

Michael Vaughan = The New Fred Trueman

Cricket fans of a certain age grew up in the age of regular cricket on BBC tv, but will still have tuned in to TMS to listen whilst watching with the sound turned down. With the advent of Sky in the early 1990’s TMS gradually became the sole diet for some of the species.

A fixture of TMS’s golden age post-Arlott was the super gruff, Yorkshire grunts from the bluntest of blunt speakers from the capital of Bluntshire – Frederick Sewards Trueman, a man who spoke with the experience of 307 test wickets, all taken at lightening pace whilst puffing on a briar of St Bruno. And boy, did he speak… A man whose observations (“Botham can’t bowl“) eventually grated too much on a generation who had never seen him play and, though we knew he had been a legend on the field, off it he had become a bore. His expert analysis invariably began and ended with ‘I don’t know what’s going on out there.’ It almost became a catchphrase.

However, I was always a fan. The more outspoken the better, for in an age when, Atherton-excepted, the England team were rubbish, hearing how high the Fred-o-meter would go was one of the few compensations. He was ousted from the airwaves before his death six years ago. One hopes he is playing rather than talking up in heaven (if you believe in that sort of thing).

It is mistakenly thought by some that Sir Geoffrey Boycott took over his mantle of the ‘it were better in my day’ grizzled old pro. Wrong. Yes, there is no-one straighter than Geoffrey who tells it straighter than his straightest of straight bats, but he is always fair. Geoffrey can be a little cruel, he can be heard chuckling at hapless run outs (pot, kettle, black) and moronic shot selection with groans at poor bowling (‘that was shoddy creekit’). He can often be heard saying that something or someone is roobish. But he only says it when it is.

If you doubt me, you have not been listening carefully enough to Fiery (a nickname also bestowed on Trueman). He has immense enthusiasm for the game. He absolutely loves cricket. It is his very lifeblood. I think he has been leant on, by various producers and editors. He has listened to advice. He has been careful not to fall into the traps that would have turned him into a latter-day Trueman. Of course, he thinks it were better in his day, but listen to him talk about Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting, Pollock, Donald, Warne and McGrath. He rates them as highly as any players he played with and against. He claims to love KP, despite all his unorthodoxy, and even cricket’s surly young nephew, Twenty20.

Yet, there is a successor to Trueman’s ‘I-don’t-know-what’s-going-on-out-there’ crown. Though Manchester-born, he is as Yorkie as Fred, illy, Boycs, Closey, Clegg, Compo and Foggy. He is, of course, Michael Vaughan, the grumpiest 37-year-old-man in cricket.

Have you been listening to the latest four days of embarrassment for the current team? “Absolutely no excuse”, “Why did Stuart Broad play?”, “Did not attack enough”, “Really disappointing”, “You just can’t do that”, “You have to say that’s a poor shot”, “Oh NO!” (after KP’s dismissal this morning) , “The top six have failed again”, “This is ridiculous. We get brought up on this kind of bowling.” “Miles below par”, “embarrassing.”

During England’s pathetic response to the Sri Lankan first innings on Tuesday, Michael Vaughan just kept repeating ‘there are no magic balls’ implying that their poor display a few weeks ago against Pakistan could be explained by the mysteries of their spinners and pitch conditions. Here, there were no excuses and a clearly exasperated Vaughan gave a masterclass in chuntering.

If you think I’m being unfair, let me say that I am not complaining. I’m merely telling it like it is! I’ve rated Vaughan’s commentary, insights and observations since his first day in the box, and I’ve had the pleasure of following his playing career, being there at Trent Bridge when he scored 197 in a day against India (the same test in which he clean bowled some chap called Tendulkar). The memories of his performances in the 2002-03 Ashes and his captaincy in the magical 2005 series will live with me forever.

But… wind forward 20 years and there will be a whole new set of listeners who may find themselves thinking ‘who does this grumpy old Yorkshireman think he is…?’