The Cricket Tier

 

Pakistan in the West Indies

With no International cricket over the last ten days, we are now ready to get going again as we head towards the northern hemisphere's action packed summer. For now though we still have the rest of April and May to get through before the summer is officially here, but there is enough going on out there to once again keep us entertained.            

The biggest series over the next few weeks then is of course Pakistan continuing their tour of the West Indies with a three match Test Series. The Frist Test actually started two days ago in Kingston with the captains Jason Holder and Misbah-ul-Haq doing the toss. After Kingston it's then onto Bridgetown and Roseau where I can see 'The Green Shirts' possibly doing a clean sweep and winning all three.

Away from the International scene you have the Indian Premier League going on and that is well and truly under way, with some cracking games so far and plenty more to come. In England the County Championship in three games in as all the players there start what is going to be a busy six months of various forms of cricket.

APRIL 2017

21 FRI West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston, 1st Test - day 1

22 SAT West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston, 1st Test - day 2

23 SUN West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston, 1st Test - day 3

24 MON West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston, 1st Test - day 4

25 TUE West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston, 1st Test - day 5

30 SUN West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, 2nd Test - day 1

MAY 2017

1 MON West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, 2nd Test - day 2

2 TUE West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, 2nd Test - day 3

3 WED West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, 2nd Test - day 4

4 THU West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, 2nd Test - day 5

5 FRI England v Ireland at Bristol, 1st ODI

7 SUN England v Ireland at Lord's, 2nd ODI

10 WED West Indies v Pakistan at Roseau, 3rd Test - day 1

11 THU West Indies v Pakistan at Roseau, 3rd Test - day 2

12 FRI West Indies v Pakistan at Roseau, 3rd Test - day 3
Ireland v Bangladesh at Dublin (Malahide), 1st Match

13 SAT West Indies v Pakistan at Roseau, 3rd Test - day 4

14 SUN West Indies v Pakistan at Roseau, 3rd Test - day 5
Ireland v New Zealand at Dublin (Malahide), 2nd Match

17 WED Bangladesh v New Zealand at Dublin, 3rd Match

19 FRI Ireland v Bangladesh at Dublin (Malahide), 4th Match

21 SUN Ireland v New Zealand at Dublin (Malahide), 5th Match

 

NZ vs SA continues but not much more...

It is a quiet time compared to normal on the international front, but there is still games happening to tick your viewing addiction over. There is just not as many matches as in recent months as we come to a small break around the globe as we hit spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the south. Here is what is coming up next then.     

With New Zealand's third and final home Test Match coming up against South Africa with them needing a win. After a draw and a loss so far they need to perform to finish the series all level. After that there is just a few T20 and ODI's between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, plus Pakistan in the West Indies.

MARCH 2017

24 FRI Afghanistan v Ireland at Greater Noida, 5th ODI

25 SAT New Zealand v South Africa at Hamilton, 3rd Test - day 1
India v Australia at Dharamsala, 4th Test - day 1
Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Dambulla, 1st ODI (day/night)

26 SUN New Zealand v South Africa at Hamilton, 3rd Test - day 2
India v Australia at Dharamsala, 4th Test - day 2
West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, 1st T20I

27 MON New Zealand v South Africa at Hamilton, 3rd Test - day 3
India v Australia at Dharamsala, 4th Test - day 3

28 TUE New Zealand v South Africa at Hamilton, 3rd Test - day 4
India v Australia at Dharamsala, 4th Test - day 4
Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Dambulla, 2nd ODI (day/night)

29 WED New Zealand v South Africa at Hamilton, 3rd Test - day 5
India v Australia at Dharamsala, 4th Test - day 5

30 THU West Indies v Pakistan at Port of Spain, 2nd T20I

APRIL 2017

1 SAT Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Colombo (SSC), 3rd ODI
West Indies v Pakistan at Port of Spain, 3rd T20I

2 SUN West Indies v Pakistan at Port of Spain, 4th T20I

4 TUE Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Colombo (RPS), 1st T20I (night)

6 THU Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Colombo (RPS), 2nd T20I (night)

7 FRI West Indies v Pakistan at Providence, 1st ODI

9 SUN West Indies v Pakistan at Providence, 2nd ODI

11 TUE West Indies v Pakistan at Providence, 3rd ODI

Then there is no International Cricket Fixtures around the globe until Friday 21st April when Pakistan head to the West Indies for their three Test Series.

Australia in India Test Series plus much more

I hope you're all still doing good and enjoying as much cricket as you can. As mentioned last month, as well as our 6th of each month regular article, we'll be publishing all the upcoming international fixtures. That way we have something different to add to our ever growing site and you yourselves have a quick reference to see the fixtures.     

This months feature was a review of England's pretty awful tour of India along with all the goings on, off the field. In January it was good to see Afghanistan continue their ever growing reputation with a win in the inaugural Desert T20 2017 Challenge in the UAE. They beat Ireland easily in the final in the end but throughout the tournament there was some really good games and I think it was a success.

Onto the remainder of this month and the start of March then. With the stand out fixture of course being the Australians travelling to India for what should be a fantastic Test Series. That actually started today in Pune and will continue on into March. Not to be missed either if you can catch some of the games is the ODI series between New Zealand and South Africa, I'm hoping for some big hitting and big scoring is those games.

FEBRUARY 2017

23 THU India v Australia at Pune, 1st Test - day 1

24 FRI India v Australia at Pune, 1st Test - day 2
Afghanistan in Zimbabwe ODI Series, 2016/17
Zimbabwe v Afghanistan at Harare, 4th ODI

25 SAT India v Australia at Pune, 1st Test - day 3
South Africa in New Zealand ODI Series, 2016/17
New Zealand v South Africa at Wellington, 3rd ODI (day/night)

26 SUN India v Australia at Pune, 1st Test - day 4
Afghanistan in Zimbabwe ODI Series, 2016/17
Zimbabwe v Afghanistan at Harare, 5th ODI

27 MON India v Australia at Pune, 1st Test - day 5

MARCH 2017

1 WED New Zealand v South Africa at Hamilton, 4th ODI (day/night)

2 THU United Arab Emirates v Ireland at , 1st ODI

3 FRI West Indies v England at North Sound, 1st ODI

4 SAT New Zealand v South Africa at Auckland, 5th ODI (day/night)
India v Australia at Bangalore, 2nd Test - day 1
United Arab Emirates v Ireland at , 2nd ODI

5 SUN India v Australia at Bangalore, 2nd Test - day 2
West Indies v England at North Sound, 2nd ODI

6 MON India v Australia at Bangalore, 2nd Test - day 3

7 TUE India v Australia at Bangalore, 2nd Test - day 4
Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Galle, 1st Test - day 1

8 WED India v Australia at Bangalore, 2nd Test - day 5
Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Galle, 1st Test - day 2
New Zealand v South Africa at Dunedin, 1st Test - day 1
Afghanistan v Ireland at Greater Noida, 1st T20I

9 THU Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Galle, 1st Test - day 3
New Zealand v South Africa at Dunedin, 1st Test - day 2
West Indies v England at Bridgetown, 3rd ODI

10 FRI Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Galle, 1st Test - day 4
New Zealand v South Africa at Dunedin, 1st Test - day 3
Afghanistan v Ireland at Greater Noida, 2nd T20I

11 SAT Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Galle, 1st Test - day 5
New Zealand v South Africa at Dunedin, 1st Test - day 4

12 SUN New Zealand v South Africa at Dunedin, 1st Test - day 5
Afghanistan v Ireland at Greater Noida, 3rd T20I
 

A New Year of Cricket

I hope you're all well out there in the cricket world, we'd just like to let you know we'll now be publishing all the international fixtures each month that are happening. We thought it would be something different to add to our site and then you yourselves also have a quick reference to see what fixtures are happening month by month.     

We'll still be doing our regular 6th of the month blog about something random in the world of cricket, that we've experienced/seen or have noitced in. Here goes then, below is the remaining fixtures for January 2017. South Africa vs Sri Lanka is well under way then you have the ODI series between India and England to come as well.

Not forgetting the Desert T20 2017 Challenge in the UAE which is going to involve Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates themselves.

2017 Desert T20 Challenge

Saturday, 14th January
South Africa VS Sri Lanka
3rd Test, Day 3, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, 08:00 GMT

Scotland VS Hong Kong
Match 1, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 10:00 GMT

Afghanistan VS Ireland
Match 2, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 15:00 GMT

New Zealand VS Bangladesh
1st Test, Day 4, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Basin Reserve, Wellington, 22:00 GMT

Sunday, 15th January
Australia VS Pakistan
2nd ODI, Australia v Pakistan 2016
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, 03:20 GMT

South Africa VS Sri Lanka
3rd Test, Day 4, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, 08:00 GMT

India VS England
1st ODI, India v England 2016
Maharashtra Cricket Association's International Stadium, Pune, 08:00 GMT

Netherlands VS Oman
Match 3, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 10:00 GMT

UAE VS Namibia
Match 4, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 15:00 GMT

New Zealand VS Bangladesh
1st Test, Day 5, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Basin Reserve, Wellington, 22:00 GMT

Monday, 16th January
South Africa VS Sri Lanka
3rd Test, Day 5, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, 08:00 GMT

Oman VS Hong Kong
Match 5, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 10:00 GMT

Afghanistan VS UAE
Match 6, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 15:00 GMT

Tuesday, 17th January
Ireland VS Namibia
Match 7, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 10:00 GMT

Netherlands VS Scotland
Match 8, Desert T20 2017
Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 15:00 GMT

Thursday, 19th January
India VS England
2nd ODI, India v England 2016
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack, 08:00 GMT

Afghanistan VS Namibia
Match 11, Desert T20 2017
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, 10:00 GMT

Scotland VS Oman
Match 12, Desert T20 2017
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, 15:00 GMT

New Zealand VS Bangladesh
2nd Test, Day 1, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 22:00 GMT

Friday, 20th January
TBD VS TBD
Semi-Final 1, Desert T20 2017
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, 06:00 GMT

TBD VS TBD
Semi-Final 2, Desert T20 2017
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, 10:30 GMT

TBD VS TBD
Final, Desert T20 2017
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, 15:30 GMT

South Africa VS Sri Lanka
1st T20I, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
Supersport Park, Centurion, 16:00 GMT

New Zealand VS Bangladesh
2nd Test, Day 2, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 22:00 GMT

Saturday, 21st January
New Zealand VS Bangladesh
2nd Test, Day 3, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 22:00 GMT

Sunday, 22nd January
Australia VS Pakistan
4th ODI, Australia v Pakistan 2016
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, 03:20 GMT

India VS England
3rd ODI, India v England 2016
Eden Gardens, Kolkata, 08:00 GMT

South Africa VS Sri Lanka
2nd T20I, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, 12:30 GMT

New Zealand VS Bangladesh
2nd Test, Day 4, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 22:00 GMT

Monday, 23rd January
New Zealand VS Bangladesh
2nd Test, Day 5, New Zealand v Bangladesh 2016
Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 22:00 GMT

Wednesday, 25th January
South Africa VS Sri Lanka
3rd T20I, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
Newlands, Cape Town, 16:00 GMT

Thursday, 26th January
Australia VS Pakistan
5th ODI, Australia v Pakistan 2016
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 03:20 GMT

India VS England
1st T20I, India v England 2016
Green Park, Kanpur, 11:00 GMT

Saturday, 28th January
South AfricaVSSri Lanka
1st ODI, South Africa v Sri Lanka 2016
St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, 08:00 GMT

Sunday, 29th January
India VS England
2nd T20I, India v England 2016
Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur, 13:30 GMT

Monday, 30th January1 Fixture
New Zealand VS Australia
1st ODI, New Zealand v Australia 2017
Eden Park, Auckland, 01:00 GMT

 

Cricket Will Never Become Popular in US

Cricket originated 500 years ago, somewhere in the period of the dark ages. Since then, the game has grown to become the second most popular sport in the world, attracting close to 2.5 billion loyal followers and it is only poised to continue spreading its roots even deeper. Yet, in certain countries, cricket has just oddly never caught on.    

The United States is one such nation, where continuous efforts to grow the game have been to no avail. The US national cricket team became an associate member of the International Cricket Council back in 1965. In over 50 years, the best result the players have achieved is a 6th place finish at the 2001 World Cup Qualifier. This is a good time to say that I am an Indian born in the United States…and after witnessing American culture and the stagnancy of cricket here for the past 20 years, these are the three major reasons as to why I can confidently say the sport will never take off around the US (unless, of course, some changes are made).

1. The duration of a full 50-over cricket match is simply too long. Americans, on average, work the most hours per week compared to any other country. As a result, they can only afford to go to a sporting event for a couple of hours in the evenings on weekdays. It is impossible to fit a cricket match into that short of a timespan, unless the match is maybe limited to 20 overs per innings (T20 style). Of course, scheduling cricket matches on weekends would be ideal, but most Americans would rather not spend an entire day of their precious weekend at a cricket match either.

Ultimately, Americans go to sporting events because they like to relax for a couple of hours and drink a beer or two. Unless a cricket match can be shortened down to around three hours in total, there is no way the sport will garner widespread interest. Perhaps 20-over matches or even less can be specially adopted in the United States to shorten the duration of matches.

2. The amount of action compared to the total duration of a cricket match is too little. American culture is extremely fast paced, and Americans like to see both entertainment and excitement. As a result, many of them are turned off by the fact that cricket is often played at a leisurely pace.

The average action to duration ratio of cricket is .052, while American football’s is .059, baseball’s is double at .101, tennis’s is .160, basketball’s is .367, hockey’s is .429, and soccer’s is .554. While the action to duration ratio of cricket would be difficult to change, perhaps other adjustments could be made. For instance, the cricket ball could be made a bit lighter so that more fours and sixes would be hit. Thus, even though the action to duration ratio stays the same, the amount of excitement and entertainment is maximized. FIFA made its soccer ball a bit lighter during the last FIFA World Cup to increase the speed of matches and also attract more fans to the sport. Why can’t cricket the same model be implemented in cricket?

3. Money. There isn’t much to be said here, but this aspect of course will always continue to be an issue until the US domestic fanbase in cricket grows. Just as a comparision, the average salary for each baseball player in the United States is $4mn, while the total salaries paid out to all American cricketers by the United States of America Cricket Association in 2013 was roughly $250,000.

Nihar Suthar is a narrative non-fiction writer, covering inspirational stories around the world. Recently, he completed a book, titled “The Corridor of Uncertainty,” on the miraculous rise of the Afghan cricket team. Purchase your copy at www.thecorridorofuncertainty.com.

Who is Haseeb Hameed?

As Haseeb Hameed became the youngest debutant to open for England in a Test match last month, we here at The Cricket Tier decided to take a quick look at the background of this young 19 year old from Bolton.

He's back home in England through injury having made his historic test debut for England against India at the Saurashtra Stadium in Rajkot. However that's not the only thing he made, he made an impression as well and we're sure he'll be back in the England fold as soon as possible. We here have no doubt about that.

He'd play well in his first two Test Matches and had kept his place for the Third Test, but unfortunately he was struck on the hand by India fast bowler Umesh Yadav and was unable to then field in the rest of the Test, which England went on to lose by eight wickets.

Hameed had said "It's quite surreal to think how quickly things have happened." after his actual debut.

For most people, Hameed's rise to fame has been a surprise. But for those on the inside at his home county Lancashire and England’s International Pathway, Hameed’s talent and progress has led to excitement for almost a decade. "I remember watching Hass as a 16-year-old facing Tom Helm, David Willey and Tymal Mills rocking up trying to take his head off. Again, he coped - he seemed to relish it" said Mo Bobat, England's player identification lead.

Former long-time Lancashire coach and academy director John Stanworth was full of praise for him too, saying: "He's as good a player as I've worked with. He's going to have a career, isn't he? Who knows how good he'll be." Stanworth was the one who also help develop the likes of Andrew Flintoff, Jimmy Anderson, Sajid Mahmood and Simon Kerrigan.

We also managed to find some quotes from Haseeb Hameed on his early Lancashire memories:

“I trialled at the age of eight with Lancashire and got told I was too skinny, too small,” said Hameed, who played his early cricket for Bolton League clubs Tonge and Farnworth Social Circle. They said 'come back next year'.

“I got selected at the age of nine, but looking back I'm pretty sure I was selected more as a leg-spin bowler who batted a little bit. I played predominantly as a bowler who batted eight or nine.

“Then, the turning point came against Warwickshire Under 11s where I got 48 not out and won us the game with nine wickets down.

“Both of us were nine, and we knocked them off. I got one off the last ball to win us the game. They were a good side, Warwickshire. They'd gone unbeaten for two years."

Crickets Biggest Characters

For those not in the know Cricket is to them a dull drawn out game that is mostly played by dull entitled people. While there might be some truth in that (no offence Alistair Cook), for the fans who enjoy the ultimate tests in sport, we understand that to excel at this game you must be slightly nuts. That could be the insane concentration required for a test century or maddening process of working a batsman down ball after ball. Like most other sports there are plenty of examples of some of the most extrovert players out there who fans love to retell stories of.

Freddie Flintoff

Our very own Freddie Flintoff is likely to top most of the fan’s favourite polls, especially with the barmy army. He broke the mould of an increasingly professional England outfit and brought the fans closer to the team because of how relatable he was. This in part, helped the team win the famed 2005 Ashes and cemented him as an England Legend. He was not without his quirks though and of course at times he rubbed the establishment up the wrong way. He will be known by many for his excessive alcohol consumption, which got him in trouble more than once. After the 2005 Ashes win he was seen leaving Downing Street looking worse for wear and will likely never remember the open top bus tour of London. He landed in hot water when during the 2007 Caribbean World Cup he was involved in an incident, almost drowning when he fell off a pedalo he was operating heavily inebriated. Despite the flaws, Freddie will mostly be remembered for his incredible ability as an all-rounder and his passion during intense bowling spells.

Merv Hughes

If you were lucky enough to watch Cricket in the 80’s and 90’s then you will know that the big character at the time was Merv Hughes. The man with the moustache was a terror on the pitch. Sometimes he didn’t even need to bowl, as his sledging and intimidation tactics were dangerous enough. It earned him the nickname the Australian National Pest. Some players noted that his sledging went too far sometimes, but it certainly destroyed the concept of a gentleman’s game whenever Merv was playing. His moustache was a legendary part of his aura and reportedly worth £200,000 in insurance. He, like Flintoff, fancied a tipple but it was his overeating that eventually caught up with him. His extra weight put unnecessary strain and the big man succumbed to injury.

Curtly Ambrose

Ambrose had a very different type of character to the other two on this list. Very much an introvert, he let his bowling do the talking. He was known for his silence and shying away from any media attention. This created a mysterious element to his game and that carried on to the pitch where he was known to make his way through entire teams single handedly.  Luke Michaels of Bookmakers TV told us “The West Indies have been sorely missing a bowler of Ambrose’s calibre ever since he retired. They have had batsmen like Lara and Gayle, but never a world class bowler”. His physical nature standing well over 6ft and dreadlocks bouncing as he charged up to the wicket became one of the most iconic images in the 1990’s, and cemented his place in a list crickets most colourful characters. He is now a bass player in a reggae band. Go figure.

Bangladesh beat the Three Lions

Bangladesh produced one of their finest ever comebacks to win the second Rocket Test Match and level the two match series at 1-1. This was their one and only Test victory against the Three Lions from England and they fully deserved it. It rounded off yet another all round hard thought Test Match.                              

Youngster Mehedi Hasan stood out for the hosts, incredibly taking two six-wicket hauls in the match. Whilst the tourists seemed to lose the plot and collapse like England team have in the past. They lost all 10 wickets for only 64 runs as Hasan did his thing with the ball to finish with 6-77 in the second innings.

England got off to a decent start in their second innings as they went looking for the win. Ben Duckett and Alastair Cook combined together with England on 100-0 at one point, needing just 172 runs to win the series. Those hopes of another Test Match victory were suddenly shattered though, as Bangladesh produced one of their finest ever bowling displays to leave the Three Lions all out for 164, what a performance. A great home win and another superb contest just like the first Test Match in Chittagong.

Trevor Bayliss told it like it was when he spoke to the press after his team's defeat by saying  “I don’t think from a batting or bowling point of view we were quite consistent enough.". Before adding “It’s good in one way that from the pluses and minuses we’ll be able to sit back and hopefully learn from the good things we did but also how we things we can do better."

Next up for England will be five Tests in India, starting in a few days in Rajkot, as they hope to emulate their last win back in 2012. The young up and coming Lancashire batsman Haseeb Hameed has been brought into the squad for the tour as well. However, his club team- mate James Anderson has been left out again as he is still recovering from his shoulder injury.

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