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  • Fast bowling at its best

    Posted on July 5, 2016 by Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Betting at Lords

    Posted on June 14, 2016 by Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Sri Lanka frustrated by umpiring calls in third Test at Lord's

    Posted on June 14, 2016 by Selby


    For the first time in eight matches, a Test in England went into a fifth day.

    Each of the five Ashes Tests in 2015 were done and dusted long before that, while Alastair Cook's side took just three and four days respectively to defeat Sri Lanka at Headingley and in Durham.

    However, a combination of Sri Lankan grit and wet weather ensured we had five days' play at Lord's - but what five things did we glean from the action at The Home of Cricket?

    Nick Compton howls after nicking off for 19
    Nick Compton howls after nicking off for 19

    Curtains for Compton?
    It's probably safe to say that England are hunting for a new No 3, with Nick Compton's demise for 19 second time around at Lord's leaving him with just 117 runs from his past 10 Test innings. What made Compton's dismissal particularly galling was that he looked in decent nick while deputising for Cook as opener with the skipper having bruised his knee, the batsman smoking a boundary through point and pulling for four through square leg before snicking behind.

    The chances of him adding further Test runs to his tally 775 from 16 matches now appears slim, with Durham's Scott Borthwick - 574 runs and three hundreds in 2016 at an average of 82, over 1,000 runs in each of the past three seasons - an obvious candidate to slot in behind Cook and Alex Hales against Pakistan. Other options are Essex's Tom Westley, Middlesex's Sam Robson or promoting Joe Root or James Vince from their respective No 4 and No 5 berths.

    Scott Borthwick has three Championship tons this season
    Scott Borthwick has three Championship tons this season

    England's selection quandaries
    England have a few other dilemmas, too. Jonny Bairstow is, to quote Lawrence Booth from the latest episode of Cricket Writers on TV, "batting like a god" with two tons in the series, including a Test best 167 at Lord's, but he has made a couple of fumbles behind the stumps, with a catch off the bowling of Chris Woakes grassed in north London. So, should the selectors consider recalling the destructive Jos Buttler and allow Bairstow to play as a specialist batsman?

    Plus, with Ben Stokes set to be fit for the majority of the Pakistan series following knee surgery, will he return in place of the man that has impressed in his absence, Woakes, or Steve Finn? Woakes is in top form, bowling quicker and at far superior batsman, though England may be reluctant to omit a man of Finn's pedigree - he has 120 Test wickets, height and bounce that can frighten any batsman, and destroyed Australia on his Ashes comeback last summer.

    Jonny Bairstow - will he keep the gloves?
    Jonny Bairstow - will he keep the gloves?

    DRS and a harsh no-ball
    Sri Lanka were on the receiving end of some unfortunate decisions at the Home of Cricket. Their review to have Bairstow trapped lbw on 56 was scuppered when the decision stayed with umpire's call despite ball-tracking showing a large portion of leg stump would have been clattered. Then, Nuwan Pradeep was wrongly adjudged to have overstepped by umpire Rod Tucker when he bowled Hales in England's second innings.

    The solutions? Well, Mahela Jayawardena has confirmed that the ICC are considering a change to the DRS rules, whereby only 25 per cent of the ball and not the current 50 would need to be striking the wicket for a decision to be overturned, while Sky Sports expert Bob Willis feels the fourth umpire could stop "putting sugar lumps in tea" and call front-foot no-balls so that the on-field umpires can focus on the goings-on at the batsman's end.

    Nuwan Pradeep glares at the line after being wrongly adjudged to have overstepped
    Nuwan Pradeep glares at the line after being wrongly adjudged to have overstepped

    Rain doesn't have to be a pain
    Sure, wet weather in the capital affected day four and then dented both England's hopes of earning a series whitewash - it would have been just their fourth in Test cricket since 1978 - and Sri Lanka's chances of pulling off an unlikely run chase of 362 by returning on day five, but the precipitation outside meant two cricketing legends - Shane Warne and Jayawardena - could deliver masterclasses inside the Sky Sports Zone.

    First, Warne discussed the art of leg spin, going into depth about how best to turn the ball, what pace to bowl at, when to send down your variations and which field settings best aid a young tweaker. Jayawardena thenexplained how players should bat against spin, why Warne was so tough to negotiate, and how pick length, sweep and use your feet. The demos are a must-watch for any budding cricketer and you can catch them in full On Demand.


    Shane Warne delivers a leg-spin masterclass in The Zone, explaining how to spin the ball and generate drift to batsmen
    Shane Warne delivers a leg-spin masterclass in The Zone, explaining how to spin the ball and generate drift to batsmen


    Exciting ODIs in store
    Much of Sri Lanka's brittleness from the early part of the Test series has gone - although they did suffer a disappointing batting collapse at Lord's - meaning the impending five-match ODI series, which begins at Trent Bridge on June 21, should be a belter. Hales will enter the contests as a man in form, with three fifties in five Test innings, while the tourists probably won't relish facing Bairstow again after his electric batting earned him a white-ball recall.

    If we get anything like the sides' meeting at the ICC World T20 earlier this year, when Buttler smoked 37 from 66 balls and a hobbling Angelo Mathews walloped some ginormous sixes to give England more than a few jitters during the run chase, we're in for a treat. Plus, Sri Lanka will be looking for another ODI series triumph on these shores, having prevailed 3-2 two years ago, despite being skittled for just 67 in defeat at Old Trafford!


    Will Alex Hales take his Test form into the one-day arena?
    Will Alex Hales take his Test form into the one-day arena?


    Watch England and Sri Lanka's five-match ODI series live on Sky Sports, starting with the opening match, at Trent Bridge, from 1.30pm, on Tuesday, June 21.



    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • New Zealand v Pakistan ODI Series Betting: Pace aces could spring a surprise

    Posted on January 23, 2016 by Selby

    New Zealand and Pakistan meet in the first of three ODI on Sunday night and following the topsy-turvy nature of the recent T20 series, the live on Sky showings should make for entertaining late-night viewing.

    The first game takes place in Wellington with the hosts expected to carry on from where they left off - a 2-1 win in the shortest format. They are 1.50 with Pakistan 2.60. The series market is iature but expect the Kiwis to be a couple of points shorter.

    So the tourists have been largely written off. Could that prove to be folly? With bat and ball they should be competitive. Ordinarily there is a concern about Asian sides in conditions which assist bowlers, but Pakistan surely have an attack which can beat the hosts at their own game.

    Indeed, Pakistan could field a terrifying and torturous pace trio. Wahab Riaz is set to take the new ball with Mohammad Amir, returned to internationals following his ban for corruption, while the giant Mohammad Irfan has the potential to unsettle the Kiwi batsman in the middle overs.

    Wahab is one of the quickest in the world and so long as his energy and commitment levels are right, then he will be a threat. Only Trent Boult, with 39 wickets, has taken more than Wahab's 32 in the last 12 months. His average of 27 and strike rate of 31 should not be sniffed at.

    Amir's fall from grace was well documented and his appearance in the T20s were his first since being carpeted. He managed only one wicket in the three games and was expensive but they were crucial outings as he re-emerges and he should be close to finding some rhythm.

    Irfan provides a safety net if Amir is not at it. He has a reputation as a shock bowler but stock may be a more appropriate word were it not for the steepling bounce he can generate. He has a better economy rate than Wahab in the last year although his 24 wickets in 19 games have cost 31 each.

    Those three will have to be at their best if they are to trouble a New Zealand batting line-up which is formidable in the last year. Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are Nos 1,2 and 3 respectively on the runscoring charts. They have played more games than most yet their averages are monstrous - 58, 55 and 67 respectively.

    Can Pakistan match that batting prowess? Nope. They have experience and nous in the shape ofShoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, who are, would you believe, ninth and tenth on the Pakistan all-ti,e run lists. Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shahzed, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed are solid but this is not a line-up which is going to bust more than 300 regularly.

    Only once against a top eight side have they breached 300 in the last year. Compare that to New Zealand who have done it seven times.

    The problem for Pakistan is power hitting. They lack a No 5 or No 6 who is going to come in and change the tempo of an innings. Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi are capable of that for the home side.

    Still, strengths and weaknesses can cancel each other out. And Pakistan may feel that they can match a bowling attack which is without Tim Southee due to a back injury. There is no Brendon McCullum, either and with a series against Australia looming, don't be surprised if the Kiwis rest key men.

    New Zealand have won five of their last six home series. They beat Pakistan 2-0 in January last year. But Pakistan won 3-2 on their previous visit in 2011.

    It would be pushing it to claim that Pakistan will therefore be able to cope comfortably in conditions which are alien to a team which plays most of its games in Asia. Their record on the road outside of the sub-continent is surprisingly good. They have won four of their last six against top eight sides.

    There is, however, an element of the unknown in this series and that puts the focus back on Amir. In time (probably after he has returned this summer to England, scene of the crime) he will be just another player. For now he has tainted. And so Pakistan have a challenge which no side has faced before: how to welcome back a corrupted player?

    Pakistan are no strangers to schisms and friction and are probably better equipped than any other international team to cope with dressing room unrest. They invented the term.

    Amir's performance in the T20s could have been a result of that disharmony and skipper Azhar has made no secret of his desire for the young paceman to be kept out of the game. He tried to resign over the issue.
    But as we always say, it is hard to predict a team's performance. Harder still to predict what is going on in between its ears.

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Ball goes through the stumps cricket miracle!!!

    Posted on December 28, 2015 by Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Shades of Lord Hawke

    Posted on December 5, 2015 by Selby

    Alex Lees has become Yorkshire's youngest captain since Lord Hawke, the most formidable figure in the county's history, upon being appointed to lead the side in one-day and Twenty20 cricket.


    22, Lees will become Yorkshire's youngest-ever official limited-overs captain since the format was introduced in 1963. He is also the youngest-ever professional captain, Lord Hawke having no truck with anything as soiled as remuneration.

    Although Yorkshire have won the Championship twice in succession under Andrew Gale, and have supplied a steady stream of cricketers to England's Test side in the process, their limited-overs cricket remains largely unproductive.

    There is even a suggestion - most regularly heard in the south - that the good folk of Yorkshire remain a little too sober-minded for the high-risk shenanigans of T20 cricket.

    At least he can be confident he takes over one of the most professional sides in English cricket. When Lord Hawke assumed control of Yorkshire, as their first amateur captain, it was said that he had taken over "a band of rogues and vagabonds".

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Betting synopsis Pakistan v England T20

    Posted on November 26, 2015 by Selby

    "There is no toss bias to assist us in finding a winner. The split in day-nighters is by the odd game in 12 in favour of the side batting first"

    Recommended Bet
    Back-to-lay Pakistan 2.20 to 1.70

    Pakistan v England
    Start time: 15.30
    TV: live on Sky Sports
    PakistanUmar Akmal has been restored to Pakistan's squad after being cleared of "immoral activity' - whatever that means. With 173 runs at a strike rate of 138 in the last 12 months, it's a good decision.

    Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez add batting power while Ahmed Shehzad is their Mr Reliable in this format. Mind you, he was in ODI and didn't get a look-in. He is their top runscorer in the last 12 months.

    Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and the tricky Sohail Tanvir form a potent pace partnership. The loss of all-rounder Imad Wasim to a hand injury is a blow.

    Fresh from their surprise victory in the ODI series, England can call on pretty much the same squad.

    James Vince, the Hampshire batsman, and Stephen Parry, the Lancashire spinner, are additions but whether they get a game remains to be seen.

    Eoin Morgan will lead an exciting line-up which showed why they are one of the fastest emerging forces in limited-overs cricket. Jason Roy and Alex Hales enjoyed a spectacular series while Joe Root provides class in the middle order.

    David Willey and Reece Topley, left-armers both, also performed well.
    Series odds

    England are 1.80 favourites to win the three-match T20 series with Pakistan 2.16. Pakistan have won one of their last six series against Big Eight nations. England have won three straight.
    First-innings runs

    The last 10 first-innings scores at Dubai read: 144-135-96-211-145-150-98-168-151-89. That is an average of 139. With such an up-and-down collection of numbers it would be tricky to bet with confidence on this market.
    Match odds

    Unsurprisingly given they are favourites for the series, England are expected to win game one. They are 1.80 with Pakistan 2.20.

    It is always arguable whether England should be favourites to win any game in Asia against thethree major forces but it is tough to say that they have not proven themselves to be the more reliable team since the shorter stuff began.

    There is no toss bias to assist us in finding a winner. The split in day-nighters is by the odd game in 12 in favour of the side batting first.

    One factor that could be important is England's inexperience compared to Pakistan's. England have played only twice in the last 12 months while the hosts have turned out eight times.

    With that in mind it would be fair to expect Pakistan to give England a game. And in T20 where we expect the odds to flip-flop, it is reasonable to reckon they are at least capable of that.
    Top Pakistan runscorer

    Umar Akmal has scored more runs at the gorund than anyone. But his 245 runs have come in 16 games which give him a less than impressive average of 18. Afridi and Hafeez average 20 and 13 respectively so they're not exactly pulling up trees. Akmal is 5.50. Hafeez will probably go off sub4.50 while Afridi should be around 6.00.
    Top England runscorer

    Roy and Hales are 4.50 and 4.00 respectively. But Root is favourite at 3.50. Morgan is 4.50. Hales should be favourite considering he is one of the best in the world in this format. He had struggled in ODI before this tour but he has never looked out of sorts in T20.
    Recommended Bet

    Back-to-lay Pakistan 2.20 to 1.70

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • "Cricket" signed by by over four hundred and sixty players in ink from the time of publication, 1891 to 1930

    Posted on November 16, 2015 by Selby

    Lot 450

    'Cricket'. W.G. Grace. Bristol 1891. Limited de luxe edition of 652 numbered copies, signed by the author Grace. This being 113/652. Subscriber number 113 was 'S.M.J. Woods, Jesus College, Cambridge'. (Samuel Moses James Woods, Somerset, England & Australia 1886-1910). The book has been profusely signed by by over four hundred and sixty players in ink from the time of publication, 1891 to 1930, the year before the death of Woods.

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Back South Africa at 3.00 Great Odds

    Posted on November 9, 2015 by Selby

    "It looks as though it absolutely has to turn big for India. If it doesn’t, their seam attack looks weak."

    Recommended Bet

    Back South Africa at 3.00

    Start time: 04:00
    TV: Live on Sky SportsIndiaIndia could well keep us guessing as to their make-up of their XI for the series opener. They have a plethora of options in the top order, for example.Specifically, they have to trim four possible opening batsmen into two. Shikhar Dhawan, Chet Pujara, Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul are vying for the slots.

    Anyone who misses out could, of course, bat at No 3 or further down. Pujara, who hit a big ton last time out against Sri Lanka, looks most certain to play while Vijay was the man in possession before he suffered an injury.

    India will need that strength up top if they are going to bat Stuart Binny at No 6 as they did in Colombo. Another option is Ravi Jadeja there instead.

    Jadeja could play as one of three spinners. Ishant Sharma, the lead paceman, is banned for one match so two from Bhuv Kumar, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav must step up.
    South Africa

    South Africa haven't lost a series away from home for nine years. That includes two visits to India and one to Sri Lanka. This lot are made of stern stuff.

    Hashim Amla, the skipper, AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis represent their batting strengths. Importantly, each are good players of spin and the latter two know India inside out from various IPL stints.

    Their probable openers, Dean Elgar and Stiaan Van Zyl, still have something to prove. The tourists will also fret about to how find room for two spinners.

    They could rely on Elgar and JP Duminy supporting Imran Tahir but that might leave them short, particular as Duminy has struggled with knee problems.

    Simon Harmer, who has played three Tests, is a specialist and could play with Vernon Philander most likely to make way.
    Series odds

    From the last 50 Test series only 15 have been won by the away team. But South Africa buck the trend and rate good value for the win at 2.60 with India 2.00 and The Draw 3.60. They will have to buck another trend to win it too, India have lost only one series at home since 2004 - to England in 2012. A good omen for the Proteas.
    Match odds

    India haven't played a home Test for exactly two years. So they could be forgiven for being a little under cooked.

    They are rated as 2.56 chances with South Africa 3.00 and The Draw out at 3.85. The pitch is key. South Africa are worried it is too dry, will turn on day one and, presumably, crumble in the fourth-innings.

    That would make the toss important but there is no bias in favour of the side batting first in Mohali. In fact, it is the fielding side who have won most often, four games to two. There have been five draws in the 11 Tests there.

    Still, the wicket history clearly shows that there are runs there first up. That means that it could take a while for the side who have to bowl first to get their odds down.

    Obviously, the draw price is going to come in as well so anyone betting pre-toss should not panic if things appear to be going against them on days one and two.
    South Africa won't panic. This is their style. And that is attractive for bettors. They are strong and hold firm in adversity. They should give an India side which is in a rebuilding phase an extremely tough game.

    It looks as though it absolutely has to turn big for India. If it doesn't, their seam attack looks weak.
    First-innings runs

    Here are the last five first-innings scores (since 2006) at the Punjab CA Stadium: 408-428-453-469-300. That is consistent run-making as one would expect in India. It would be a surprise if 400 was not breached again first up although we are a little wary about the reports of turn on day one. That could negate strokeplay and it might be like wading through treacle for some.
    Top India runscorer

    Virat Kohli, 4.00, and Vivay, 4.50, are India's powerhouses over the last 12 months. They both average in the 60s. But Kohli had a better series against South Africa than Vijay in 2013, outscoring him by almost double. Pujara top scored in that series by eight runs from Kohli. He is5.00.
    Top South Africa runscorer

    Amla, who is 4.00, averaged just 14 in that series at home versus India. It was Du Plessis and De Villiers who shone, averaging in the 60s. They are 3.60 and 4.50 respectively.

    Recommended Bet

    Back South Africa at 3.00

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Warne offers some advice

    Posted on October 9, 2015 by Selby

    Spin legend Shane Warne could be the latest Aussie influence on England's Adil Rashid

    The Australian influence on the development of England’s premier wrist spinner Adil Rashid appears likely to increase with Test legend Shane Warne the latest to flag an interest in mentoring the 27-year-old.

    Having thrived under Yorkshire’s Australian-born coach Jason Gillespie in recent county seasons and backed by England’s new supremo (and former New South Wales Blues and Sydney Sixers coach) Trevor Bayliss, Rashid is tipped to make his Test debut in the current series against Pakistan in the UAE.

    Quick single: Finn makes case for Test selection

    And with Bayliss already showing a willingness to incorporate specialist coaches from around the cricket world – former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene is helping the England team adapt to foreign conditions in the Emirates – Warne’s willingness to get involved will doubtless be explored.

    "I’d love to work with Rashid if the opportunity arose - 100 per cent," Warne said yesterday while spruiking his upcoming Cricket All-Stars series of former greats that will be played in the United States next month.

    "There’s been a lot of spinners I’ve helped over the years and I’m more than happy to talk to anyone.

    "I think in my last year of county cricket (with Hampshire in 2007) Michael Vaughan, when he was captain of Yorkshire, asked if I could do him a favour and have a chat with Rashid.

    "He (Rashid) was pretty young then but I had a good chat.

    "He’s a pretty impressive kid, he’s been on the scene a while now.

    "England have done pretty well with Rashid - they haven’t rushed him."

    Rashid Adil is expected to play a big role for England in the UAE with fellow spinner Moeen Ali // Getty Images

    Rashid was part of England’s Test squads for their tour of the Caribbean in April this year and throughout their successful home Ashes campaign against Australia in July and August, but has yet to receive his Test cap.

    It was only conditions unfavourable to spin bowling and the Australian batsmen’s glaring vulnerabilities against seamers that counted against his selection in the Ashes, with Bayliss indicating after England’s defeat at Lord’s in July that he was looking to play two spinners if pitches and weather remained dry.

    Quick single: Familiar faces dominate domestic scene

    But even though he has been forced to wait to add Test selection to the 16 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 appearances he has made for England, Rashid has already benefited greatly from the input of Australian expertise imparted by Gillespie and Bayliss.

    When Yorkshire won their first England division one county title in more than a decade under former Australia fast bowler Gillespie in 2014, Rashid was his team’s equal second-highest wicket-taker for the season with 49 at 24.81.

    In a recent interview with, Rashid heaped praise on both ex-Test quick Gillespie and former Blues batsman Bayliss and the uncomplicated, positive approach they have brought to their respective roles in England.

    "He’s brought a lot to my game," Rashid said of Gillespie, who was appointed Yorkshire’s coach when the famous county was in dire trouble on and off the field in 2011.

    "When he first came (to Headingley) he said 'keep it simple, just spin the ball'.

    "Simple as that – 'spin it either way, you’re going to have your good days and you’re going to have your bad days, it doesn’t matter so long as you continue to have that same mindset all the time of spinning it and not looking to do other things'.

    "That’s when I bowl my best and that’s when Dizzy (Gillespie) knows I bowl my best.

    "He brings a lot to any team that he goes into, he lets people play how they want to play, express themselves and enjoy their cricket."

    Rashid has been mentored by Gillespie at Yorkshire // Getty Images

    Rashid said that Bayliss, who also enjoyed success with Sri Lanka and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League before taking on the England job on the cusp of this year’s Ashes series, brought a similarly straightforward approach to the game.

    It echoes the mantra long preached by Warne, Australia’s most successful Test bowler and widely regarded as cricket’s greatest leg spinner, that cricketers produce their best when they are not over-burdened with instructions and strategies and can simply enjoy their craft.

    "The (England) set-up now is a different environment with Trevor (Bayliss) coming in," Rashid told after the Australian had succeeded Peter Moores as national coach.

    "The mental side is completely different, it’s a real enjoyable place to be.

    "I find him (Bayliss) very easy to talk to, very simple and clear in his plans.

    "He’s very positive, it’s not overlooking things and it’s not over-complicating things."

    Warne worked with the Australia team, and in particular incumbent Test spinner Nathan Lyon and budding leg spinner James Muirhead, in South Africa last year in the build-up to the ICC World T20 tournament in Bangladesh.

    Quick single: SOK looks long-term for Baggy Green goals

    Cricket Australia then enlisted the input of Test cricket’s foremost wicket-taker, Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralidaran, leading into the two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE in which the tourists were heavily defeated.

    Since then, Lyon’s long-time mentor and former Canada captain John Davison has filled the role of consultant spin bowling coach to work alongside national coach Darren Lehmann and Warne has indicated his schedule of commentary and charity work often precludes further involvement.

    But he appears interested in making an exception in the case of Yorkshire-born Rashid.

    "He (Rashid) seems to be bowling pretty well, it’ll be great to see how (England Test captain) Alastair Cook handles a leg spinner," Warne said.

    "It’s exciting. Let’s hope he grabs his opportunity because it’ll be great to see England have a leg spinner."

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

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