Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31, 1956: The day Jim Laker got all 10 in a Test innings against Australia

Fifty six years ago in Manchester, Jim Laker singlehandedly routed the Australians, taking 10 wickets in the second innings, making it 19 for the match. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the day that can be bettered by no bowler however hard he tries.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2002: Woof! Woof! Another case of ball tampering

Teams of the past have often come a cropper when faced with a sticky dog of a wicket. However, 10 years ago, the Yorkshire cricket team was done in by some bizarre canine-work outside the ground. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the curious case of the dog around tea time.

Brothers-in-arms 4: Cairns & Flintoff - brushes with greatness & authority

This is Part 4 of a series in which two different cricketers are paired who could easily be mistaken for siblings in the way they went about their game. Read on for more on the soul-siblings of the gentleman's game! In this episode, Arunabha Sengupta writes about Chris Cairns and Andrew Flintoff - the two men related by exploits of willow, leather, promise, injury and indiscipline.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pataudi, Milburn, Rowe, Downton... victims of eye problems before Boucher

Mark Boucher’s tragic injury thankfully struck him in the late evening of his career. Arunabha Sengupta looks at some cricketing careers that have been affected by problems with the eye at the peak of their powers – and in one curious case, long after retirement.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Unique oxymoron: The only time when the scoreboard read - 'not out dead'

On July 23, 1942, multifaceted cricketer Andy Ducat played a ball down to mid on and collapsed to his death. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the only time the scoreboard read: Not Out Dead.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Down Memory Lane - A dozen classic England-South Africa Tests

With the two best teams in the world about to lock horns in the battle for the Test crown,  Arunabha Sengupta looks back at twelve fascinating England-South Africa encounters across the years.

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 20, 1900: The day the googly claimed its first victim

112 years ago, a ball delivered with the standard action of a leg-spinner broke the other way and left the batsman stranded and stumped in the middle of the pitch. Arunabha Sengupta recalls how BJT Bosanquet created a new delivery, which went on to be known as the googly.

Strauss, Pietersen, Trott & Prior... ammunition of enemy to fight the enemy

As the Proteans gear up to take on England in what promises to be a fascinating series, they find themselves locking horns with four of their erstwhile countrymen. Arunabha Sengupta lists all the South Africans who have played Test cricket for England, with some curious facts about some others who travelled the other way

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18, 1972: Century and hat-trick for Mike Procter

On this day 40 years ago, Mike Procter managed the fantastic feat of scoring a century and following it up with a hat-trick. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the astonishing achievement and dwells on the other South Africans of that era for whom county cricket was the only stage to play alongside reputed international cricketers.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 1947: Denis Compton, Bill Edrich and the crown of the golden summer

65 years ago, Denis Compton and Bill Edrich reached the apex of their dream summer, in a lavish spread of run making that saw 633 scored in a day. Arunabha Sengupta relives the rollicking run feast at Leicester the like of which has seldom been witnessed ever since.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Humour: MRF academy set to become McDonald's Pace Foundation

By Arunabha Sengupta

The MRF academy for budding pacemen is all set to be rebranded as the McDonald’s Pace Foundation. An unprecedented multi-million dollar deal will soon be signed between the American fast food giant and the Chennai based Indian firm.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Commentators in cricket history - 7: Robert Hudson - the art of being prepared

Robert Hudson is perhaps the most unsung of the Test Match Special commentators. Nevertheless, he played the most important role in the conception of the programme. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of this most meticulous of commentators.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Commentators in cricket history - 6: EW "Jim" Swanton - The old reliable

A man who got the 1939 Wisden stamped as “Not Subversive” by the Japanese at a Prisoner of War camp, EW Swanton was one of the pioneering commentators and a regular member of the Test Match Special team.

In the sixth episode of this series, Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of this often liked, often disliked but always admired man.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Humour: Pakistan team in utter chaos after PCB's decision to terminate play

By Arunabha Sengupta

After issuing termination notices to 18 employees, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has dropped a new bombshell by announcing the decision to end the contracts of six current cricketers.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 7, 1930: Death of a curious cricketer - Arthur Conan Doyle

Today, July 7, marks the 82nd death anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Arunabha Sengupta sketches the many cricketing connections of the man who created Sherlock Holmes.

Informed Analyst vs Prejudiced Fan - 42 fallacies of cricket discussions

Michael LaBossiere, Professor of Philosophy at the Florida A&M University, listed of 42 categories of erroneous arguments which frequently occur in conversations to propel them to deadlocks or wrong conclusions. Arunabha Sengupta opines these fallacies are nowhere more singularly showcased than in cricket discussions between the analyst and the hardcore fan.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wesley Hall - A gentleman fast bowler, now a preacher and knight

A legendary fast bowler and noted for his genial spirit, Wes Hall later played the roles of a selector, manager and even Board President, while also becoming a minister in both the political and religious senses of the word. Arunabha Sengupta pays tribute to the big man with a great heart who recently became only the second genuine bowler to be knighted for his services to cricket.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Depleting fast bowling resources suffers another blow with the exit of Bret Lee

Brett Lee’s retirement deals another cruel blow to the already diminishing treasury of fast bowlers. While casting an uneasy eye at the future, Arunabha Sengupta discusses the many fast men who have retired in the past decade and a bit, while evaluating where Lee stood amidst the great names.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4, 1922: Birth of Ghulam Ahmed - the first great Indian off-spinner

90 years ago, the first great off-spinner of India came into the world. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and legacy of Ghulam Ahmed who played 22 Tests for India between 1948-49 and 1958-59.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar remains Page 1 while cricket has become Page 3!

With the rich and famous, icons and movie stars, blaring music and dancing girls hogging the scene, the IPL demonstrates the current and historical focus of cricket administrators of India. Arunabha Sengupta discusses how in such an environment favouring shorter and shorter versions of the game, Sachin Tendulkar’s monumental achievements in Test cricket appear even more colossal.

Does batting well in T20 Internationals mean excelling in ODIs?

T20 is a close cousin of One-Day Internationals. Though debates rage on whether it is a poor or an impure one! But, does excelling in one form of the game mean doing well in the other as well? Arunabha Sengupta looks at the last five years of the two formats and tries to deduce how figures in one format tells us how batsmen fare in another.