Archive for 6/1/14 - 7/1/14

The Ashes 2015 Schedule: England vs Australia Test Series

The Ashes 2015 scheduled to take place from June 23, 2015 to Aug 14, 2015 in England. The Five-match test series will be played between England and Australia.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced the complete fixtures for the Ashes 2015, with the first test to be played in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff while the last test (fifth match) to be played in The Oval, London.

Here is a full Ashes Series 2015 fixtures, provided by Cricket Australia's official website.

1st Test: July 8-12 at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

2nd Test: July 16-20 at Lord's, London

3rd Test: July 29- 2 Aug at Edgbaston, Birmingham

4th Test: Aug. 6-10 at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire

5th Test: Aug. 20-24 at The Oval, London

5 Spin Candidates to replace Graeme Swann

England’s cricketers have fought out a thrilling test series with Sri Lanka and will consider themselves unlucky to lose at Headingley after the tourists took the final English wicket with just one ball to spare.

In reality, the lack of a specialist spinner has cost Alastair Cook’s men and most pundits agree that the hosts would have taken that second test had the balance of the side been better. The retirement of Graeme Swann has given the selectors a real headache but they have to find a replacement quickly.

Here are five candidates vying to fill Swann’s shoes.

1.Monty Panesar

Essex’s Panesar would be the logical choice but for a string of disciplinary issues that saw the left armer described by national coach Peter Moores as ‘very difficult to select’. After a much publicised incident in a Sussex nightclub last year, Monty left Sussex and joined up with his new team mates at Chelmsford but at the start of June he was dropped after turning up late for a team meeting.

Clearly there are issues with the player but with 167 test wickets to his name, England would do well to help him resolve them.

2.Scott Borthwick

When Swann announced his retirement towards the end of the winter Ashes Series, he nominated Scott Borthwick as his successor and in a recent interview, the former Notts man claimed that he still expects great things from the 24 year old.

Durham’s Borthwick was duly brought in for the final game in Sydney where he took respectable match figures of 4-82 but there were problems with control – a typical issue for a leg spinner.

Injuries at the start of the county season prevented England from considering the leggie but there is a feeling that they have already moved on from Borthwick. That would be a shame because he has huge potential and having scored his maiden double century this season, the all rounder proved that he can certainly offer something with the bat at international level.

3.Adam Riley

An orthodox right arm spinner, Adam Riley’s performances for Kent this season have meant that senior man James Tredwell has been loaned to Sussex to get some additional game time. Riley is just 22 so it’s more likely that he will be taken on tour this winter as a second spinner but it’s felt that he wouldn’t let England down if thrust into the upcoming India series.

As June drew to a close, Riley had taken a healthy 31 first class wickets at an average of 26.65.

4.James Tredwell

If Riley is keeping his county colleague out of the Kent side then you may be forgiven for thinking that England will pass on James Tredwell and look elsewhere. However, the national selectors like ‘tried and tested’ players and after a typically reliable set of performances in the ODIs against Sri Lanka, don’t rule the older man out of the running.

He’s 32, has a test cap and would give Alastair Cook plenty of control in the middle overs.

5.Tom Craddock

Essex man Craddock is another leg spinner but unlike Scott Borthwick, he has a better idea of where his deliveries will land. In a warm up game against England ahead of last summer’s Ashes series, the player impressed but while he has better control than some of his rivals, he offers less turn.

Craddock is seen as another man for the future but at 25, his career really needs to move on right now.

Despite losing against Sri Lanka, England are favourites to win the first test against India which starts on July the 9th. Their chances may be greatly enhanced however if they can only deploy a specialist spinner.

Virat Kohli excited about England tour challenge

India vice-captain Virat Kohli has expressed his excitement on the five match Test series in England, starting next month.

He wrote on his Twitter account that how excited and feeling proud he was ahead of the English tour.
The reason behind his excitement is the 25-year-old middle-order batsman will be playing Test Cricket for the very first time in England. He would definitely want to make an impact with his bat and help India to win this series after they suffered in 2011.

Kohli has scored 1721 runs in 24 Tests at 46.51 average, his highest score is 119 against South Africa at Johannesburg in December 2013.

English County: Tillakaratne Dilshan joins Surrey

Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has joined English county Surrey as their overseas player.
The 37-year-old, who is retired from Test cricket last year, will replace South Africa skipper Hashim Amla and will be available against Hampshire on June 27 in the Twenty20 Blast tournament.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for me. They are one of the most historic clubs in the world and I very much hope to make a big impact whilst there," Dilshan told the club website.

It will be Dilshan's first time appearance in English county, he averages 28.74 at a strike-rate of 119.57 in T20Is.

BBL: Kiwi batsman Jesse Ryder joins Melbourne Renegades

New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has joined the Big Bash League after signing with the Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming Australian summer.

 Ryder, 29, has been granted leave from Otago cricket board, to play with Aussie Renegades.

“Respect and appreciation to Otago cricket for their flexibility,” Ryder said.

“I’m stoked and grateful to be taking part in one of the best T20 competitions in the world.

“The Renegades have some class players so I’m looking forward to contributing.”

The left-hander averages 27.40 at a strike-rate of 145.90 in T20 format, he is currently playing for Essex in the English County Cricket and likely to be joining the Melbourne Renegades in mid-January for four matches and the finals.

Top Three Indian Test Opening Batsman of all time

Since Indian national cricket team made its debut as a Test playing country in 1932, it has produced some of the greatest opening batsmen in cricket history.
Top Three Indian Test Opening Batsman of all time
In these 82 years, we bring you the top 3 Indian test opening batsman of all time.

1) Virender Sehwag

Sehwag made his test debut in late 2001 against South Africa as a middle order batsman. He has established himself as one of the most devastating opening batsman for India. His brilliant knocks were 195 against Australia on Boxing Day 2003 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 35-year-old is the only Indian, who scored a triple century twice in his Test career (300 or more runs in an innings). He made 309 against Pakistan at Multan in 2004 and 319 against South Africa at Chennai in 2008.

The right-handed batsman has scored 8586 runs in 104 Tests at 49.34 avg.

2) Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar made his Test debut in 1971 against West Indies. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest batsman of his time.

The 64-year-old was the first Test cricket player to make over 10,000 runs and 30 centuries. A right-hand batter has scored 10122 runs in 125 Tests at 51.12 avg.

3) Vijay Merchant

Merchant made his test debut in 1933 against England. His batting average of 71.64 is the 2nd best first class average in cricket history, behind the Australian legend Don Bradman.

The right-handed batsman has scored 859 runs in his 10 Tests career at 47.72 avg. His highest score was 154 runs against England.

India: Murali Kartik retires from all formats

Indian left-arm spinner Murali Kartik has retired from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

However, he confirmed his availability to play for Kings XI Punjab for the Champions League Twenty20 this year.
The 37-year-old has made his Test debut against South Africa at Mumbai in 2000 and has represented India in 8 Tests, 37 one-dayers and one Twenty20 international.

"I have decided to hang up my boots from all forms of competitive cricket but will honour my commitments for Kings XI Punjab during this year's Champions League T20," said Kartik.

In his English county career, he had also represented Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey and Lancashire. Although, he was a regular in the Indian Premier League, represented Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors and Kings XI Punjab.

Kartik claimed 24 Test wickets at an average of 34.16 and 37 ODI wickets at an average of 43.56.

BBL: Jacques Kallis joins Sydney Thunder

Legendary South African allrounder Jacques Kallis has joined the Big Bash League after signing a two-year deal with the Sydney Thunder.
The 38-year-old veteran, who retired from Tests cricket in December last year, has played 143 T20 internationals for his country, scoring 3673 runs and taken 95 wickets.
“I’ve never played with Mike before and I’m looking forward to sharing a dressing with him,” Kallis said.

After a stellar stint with IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Kallis will be looking to use the Big Bash League as a stepping stone for his 2015 World Cup selection.

BBL: England batsman Alex Hales joins Hobart Hurricanes

England Twenty20 opener Alex Hales has signed for Hobart Hurricanes in the 2014-15 Big Bash League season.
The 25-year-old has experience in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Renegades in 2012-13 and the Adelaide Strikers last summer. He becomes the Hurricanes’ ninth signing of BBL season four.

The Nottinghamshire batsman Hales has played 32 Twenty20 internationals for England, scoring 1022 runs at 37.85.

Hales confirmed the signature on his Twitter.
The Big Bash season four will start from late December 2014.

Ian Bell wins England's cricketer of the year

The Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has been named England's men Cricketer of the Year 2013-2014 for his outstanding performances in the Ashes series victory over Australia last summer.
Bell, 32, became the first briton in 27 years to achieve a landmark of making three consecutive centuries and two fifties during England's 3-0 home Ashes win.

“It means a lot (to win the award),” Bell told “Over the years I’ve seen some really good England players win this award and some friends as well so it is nice to finally get up there and win one myself.”

England middle-order batsman Ian Bell has scored 6722 runs in 98 Tests at 45.41 avg and scored 4832 runs in 146 ODI's at 37.16 avg.

Elsewhere, England women's captain Charlotte Edwards won the women’s cricketer of the year. While England U-19s skipper Will Rhodes (Development Programme cricketer) and Stephen George (disability cricketer of the year) also win awards for excellence.

Australian Usman Khawaja joins Lancashire

The Pakistani-born Australia Test batsman Usman Khawaja has joined Lancashire as their overseas player until the end of the season, Lancs confirmed on their official website.

Khawaja, 27, likely to arrive at Old Trafford next week and will be available for all three forms of the game.

The left-hander previously played for Derbyshire in county cricket between 2011 and 2012.

"This is a great opportunity for me and a challenge I am really looking forward to getting stuck into," said the Aussie, who is expected to make his debut against Leicestershire on June 13.

Khawaja has scored 4979 runs at an 41.14 average in 78 first-class matches including 12 centuries.

South Africa: Hashim Amla appointed as Test captain

South African opener Hashim Amla has been appointed as the new Test captain after Graeme Smith's retirement from the international game, Cricket South Africa confirmed on Twitter.
The 31-year-old batsman is the first Indian-origin South African and the fifth permanent captain of the Proteas to lead the national side.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be given this responsibility,” Amla said. “I would like to pay tribute to the leadership Graeme Smith has provided throughout my international career."

The World #4 Test batsman, Amla made his Test debut in November 28, 2004 against India. Since then he has played 76 Tests, scoring 6214 runs at an average of 51.35.
Amla's first assignment will be to lead the team to Sri Lanka next month for a two-match series followed by a five-day game in Zimbabwe and a home series against West Indies later this year.

Former skipper Graeme Smith gave his best wishes to the new South Africa skipper, He wrote on Twitter:
South Africa Test squad: Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Hashim Amla (captain), JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Stiaan van Zyl, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, Dane Piedt.

South Africa ODI squad: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), AB de Villiers (captain), JP Duminy, Jacques Kallis, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren, Faf du Plessis, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir, Vernon Philander, Beuran Hendricks.

IPL 7 Awards | IPL 2014 Awards | List of Awards in IPL 2014

Image Source: BCCI

IPL 7 Winner - Kolkata Knight Riders (Prize: Rs. 15 Crores)

IPL 7 Runner up - Kings XI Punjab (Prize: Rs. 10 Crores)

IPL Final Man of the Match - Manish Pandey from KKR (94 off 50 balls)

IPL Final Maximum Sixes Award - Wriddhiman Saha from KXIP (Prize: Rs 1 Lakhs + Trophy)

IPL Final Kanna Keep Calm Award - Akshar Patel from KXIP

Fair Play Award - Chennai Super Kings

Orange Cap Award - Robin Uthappa from KKR (600 Runs) (Prize: Rs 10 Lakhs)

Purple Cap Award - Mohit Sharma from CSK (23 Wickets in 16 Matches) (Prize: Rs 10 Lakhs)

Pepsi Atom MVP Most Valuable Player - Glenn Maxwell from KXIP (286 Pts) (Prize: Rs 10 Lakhs)

Emerging Player of The Tournament – Akshar Patel from KXIP (17 Wickets at an average of 23.32)

Best Catch of the Season Award - Kieron Pollard from MI (Prize: Rs 10 Lakhs + Trophy)

IPL Maximum Sixes Award - Glenn Maxwell from KXIP (36 Sixes)

Highest Individual Score - Virender Sehwag from KXIP (122 Runs)

Fastest Ball Delivered - Dale Steyn from Sunrisers Hyderabad (152.44 Kmh)

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