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Sunday, 1 July 2012

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Yuvraj Singh, winner T20 batting
Yuvraj Singh, winner T20 batting

Lasith Malinga, winner ODI bowling
Lasith Malinga, winner ODI bowling

Kumar Sangakkara, winner Test batting
Kumar Sangakkara, winner Test batting











Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan

Team India after their historic Test win
Team India after their historic Test win

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh











Andrew Symonds
Andrew Symonds

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene

MG Vandort
MG Vandort











Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers

Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis











Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman

Wallpaper

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag

Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla











Victorious England team with the Trophy
Victorious England team with the Trophy

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming











Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss

Indian Team with the CB series trophy
Indian Team with the CB series trophy

Ajitesh Argal and Virat Kohli
Ajitesh Argal and Virat Kohli











Victorious Indian Under-19 Team
Victorious Indian Under-19 Team

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara

Shaun Pollock retires from international cricket
Shaun Pollock retires from international cricket











RP Singh, winner T20 bowling
RP Singh, winner T20 bowling

Adam Gilchrist, winner ODI batting
Adam Gilchrist, winner ODI batting

Zaheer Khan, winner Test bowling
Zaheer Khan, winner Test bowling

Wallpaper

 
Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly











Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen











Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

Ajantha Mendis
Ajantha Mendis

Sir Don Bradman
Sir Don Bradman











Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi

Shaun Marsh
Shaun Marsh

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina











Sohail Tanvir
Sohail Tanvir

Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara

History

Early cricket was at some time or another described as "a club striking a ball (like) the ancient games of club-ball, stool-ball, trap-ball, stob-ball". Cricket can definitely be traced back to Tudor times in early 16th-century England. Written evidence exists of a game known as creag being played by Prince Edward, the son of Edward I (Longshanks), at Newenden, Kent in 1301 and there has been speculation, but no evidence, that this was a form of cricket.
A number of other words have been suggested as sources for the term "cricket". In the earliest definite reference to the sport in 1598, it is called creckett. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch krick(-e), meaning a stick (crook); or the Old English cricc or cryce meaning a crutch or staff. In Old French, the word criquet seems to have meant a kind of club or stick. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word krickstoel, meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de (krik ket)sen (i.e., "with the stick chase"). Dr Gillmeister believes that not only the name but the sport itself is of Flemish origin.
The first English touring team on board ship at Liverpool in 1859
The earliest definite reference to cricket being played in England (and hence anywhere) is in evidence given at a 1598 court case which mentions that "creckett" was played on common land in Guildford, Surrey, around 1550. The court in Guildford heard on Monday, 17 January 1597 (Julian date, equating to the year 1598 in the Gregorian calendar) from a 59 year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that when he was a scholar at the "Free School at Guildford", fifty years earlier, "hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play [on the common land] at creckett and other plaies." It is believed that it was originally a children's game but references around 1610 indicate that adults had started playing it and the earliest reference to inter-parish or village cricket occurs soon afterwards. In 1624, a player called Jasper Vinall was killed when he was struck on the head during a match between two parish teams in Sussex.
During the 17th century, numerous references indicate the growth of cricket in the south-east of England. By the end of the century, it had become an organised activity being played for high stakes and it is believed that the first professionals appeared in the years following the Restoration in 1660. A newspaper report survives of "a great cricket match" with eleven players a side that was played for high stakes in Sussex in 1697 and this is the earliest known reference to a cricket match of such importance.
The game underwent major development in the 18th century and became the national sport of England. Betting played a major part in that development with rich patrons forming their own "select XIs". Cricket was prominent in London as early as 1707 and large crowds flocked to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. The single wicket form of the sport attracted huge crowds and wagers to match. Bowling evolved around 1760 when bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of rolling or skimming it towards the batsman. This caused a revolution in bat design because, to deal with the bouncing ball, it was necessary to introduce the modern straight bat in place of the old "hockey stick" shape. The Hambledon Club was founded in the 1760s and, for the next 20 years until the formation of MCC and the opening of Lord's Old Ground in 1787, Hambledon was both the game's greatest club and its focal point. MCC quickly became the sport's premier club and the custodian of the Laws of Cricket. New Laws introduced in the latter part of the 18th century included the three stump wicket and leg before wicket (lbw).
Don Bradman had a Test average of 99.94 and an overall first-class average of 95.14, records unmatched by any other player.
The 19th century saw underarm bowling replaced by first roundarm and then overarm bowling. Both developments were controversial. Organisation of the game at county level led to the creation of the county clubs, starting with Sussex CCC in 1839, which ultimately formed the official County Championship in 1890. Meanwhile, the British Empire had been instrumental in spreading the game overseas and by the middle of the 19th century it had become well established in India, North America, the Caribbean, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In 1844, the first international cricket match took place between the United States and Canada (although neither has ever been ranked as a Test-playing nation).
In 1859, a team of England players went on the first overseas tour (to North America). The first Australian team to tour overseas was a team of Aboriginal stockmen who travelled to England in 1868 to play matches against county teams. In 1862, an English team made the first tour of Australia and in 1876–77, an England team took part in the first-ever Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia.
W.G. Grace started his long career in 1865; his career is often said to have revolutionised the sport. The rivalry between England and Australia gave birth to The Ashes in 1882 and this has remained Test cricket's most famous contest. Test cricket began to expand in 1888–89 when South Africa played England. The last two decades before the First World War have been called the "Golden Age of cricket". It is a nostalgic name prompted by the collective sense of loss resulting from the war, but the period did produce some great players and memorable matches, especially as organised competition at county and Test level developed.
The inter-war years were dominated by one player: Australia's Don Bradman, statistically the greatest batsman of all time. It was the determination of the England team to overcome his skill that brought about the infamous Bodyline series in 1932–33, particularly from the accurate short-pitched bowling of Harold Larwood. Test cricket continued to expand during the 20th century with the addition of the West Indies, India, and New Zealand before the Second World War and then Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in the post-war period. However, South Africa was banned from international cricket from 1970 to 1992 because of its government's apartheid policy.
Cricket entered a new era in 1963 when English counties introduced the limited overs variant. As it was sure to produce a result, limited overs cricket was lucrative and the number of matches increased. The first Limited Overs International was played in 1971. The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) saw its potential and staged the first limited overs Cricket World Cup in 1975. In the 21st century, a new limited overs form, Twenty20, has made an immediate impact.

India's all-time low

At Lord's in 1974, India were bowled out in a little over an hour for 42, in a series which started full of promise but soon fell apart


When England and India start their four-match series next week, the clash between two of the leading sides in Test cricket is eagerly anticipated. A genuinely appealing contest is ahead of us, and not one artificially pumped up by media hype, which surrounds even the most mundane of tours there days.
Back in 1974, the English media adopted a low-key, almost comatose, approach to anything other than Ashes summers, but despite that India were an intriguing proposition and many predicted a close series.
India arrived in a bitterly cold England in April as the leading side in the world. In the previous three years they had won series in the Caribbean and England, and then defeated England at home. Their superb quartet of spinners (Bishan Bedi, Chandrasekhar, Prasanna and Venkat) backed by some top batsmen (Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar, Gundappa Viswanath) made them a formidable team, albeit one lacking any real seam prowess. West Indies and Australia were rebuilding, while England, on the back of a drawn series in the West Indies the previous winter, were considered by many to be running India a close second.
Ten of India's 12 three-day warm-up matches were drawn, largely because of what Wisden described as "outrageously unkind" cold, wet weather, which was a hallmark of the summer. Only in the last two games, against Essex and Surrey, did the tourists win, and unexpectedly it was seam bowler Abid Ali who did much of the damage on both occasions.
In the first Test, at a damp and chilly Old Trafford, India lost by 113 runs. The total attendance of 19,700 over the five days was the lowest recorded in England for a five-day Test. India's performance was lacklustre, and their spinners failed to cope with alien conditions.
They won the two tour matches ahead of the second Test at Lord's, although Imran Khan caused them more than a few problems by making 160 for Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

Geoff Arnold and Chris Old celebrate India's rout, England v India, 2nd Test, Lord's, June 24, 1974
Geoff Arnold and Chris Old celebrate India's rout © Getty Images
All the talk in the build-up to the game centred on the England selectors' decision to drop an out-of-form Geoff Boycott in favour of David Lloyd. It was the start of three years of largely self-imposed international exile for Boycott.
At Lord's, finally the sun came out, but on the plumbest of pitches England made hay after winning the toss and piled up 629 with hundreds from Dennis Amiss, Tony Greig and captain Mike Denness. It could have been worse for India - at one stage on the second afternoon England had been 571 for 4.
India's three-pronged spin attack - Venkat was the one to miss out - was mauled. Bedi became only the third bowler to concede 200 runs in an innings in a Test in England, finishing with 6 for 226, while the overall figures for the trio were 8 for 425. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar only bowled 10 overs after damaging a finger. Wadekar was questioned in the press for his reluctance to use Abid Ali, and for almost blanking Eknath Solkar, who bowled six overs with the new ball on the first morning and was not called upon again.
When India replied, they cruised to 131 for 0 - Gavaskar and Farokh Engineer batting without a care in the world in front of a sun-drenched crowd on the Saturday morning. The small Ladbrokes tent at the Nursery End offered 6-4 for the draw, and few believed there would be any other result.
Although Gavaskar fell shortly before lunch, there was no cause for alarm in the Indian camp. And yet, from then on wickets fell regularly, largely because of poor shot selection and a strategy of playing shots rather than settling down to play for the draw. "There was something reckless about the way several got out," wrote John Woodcock in the Cricketer. "I am all for adventure by that has to be tempered by judgement." India were bowled out minutes before the close for 302 - a deficit of 327 - and asked to follow on, ended on 2 for 0.
With the pitch remaining true, the fourth day, which was after a rest day on Sunday, was expected to be another one that favoured the batsmen. However, the Monday morning was overcast and humid, offering markedly different conditions to those on the first three days, and in front of a small crowd England's seam pairing of Chris Old and Geoff Arnold wreaked havoc, skittling India for 42.

Indian fans take over the temporarily roofless Mound Stand, England v India, 2nd Test, Lord's, June 22, 1974
Indian fans take over the temporarily roofless Mound Stand on the hot Saturday afternoon of the Lord's Test © PA Photos
"The ball didn't do as much in the air as everybody thought, but it certainly went off the pitch," said Arnold, who started the rout with 4 for 8 in his first four overs. "Obviously what happened was that it had sweated under the covers overnight and greened up just enough to give the ball the sort of purchase I needed. It was amazing really. Just one of those days." He was not even in the original starting XI, only coming in when Bob Willis pulled out on the eve of the game with a strained back.
In the second over Engineer, who had top-scored with 86 in the first innings, perished leg-before to a straight one from Arnold, who had put doubt in his mind with an awayswinger followed by an inswinger before the ball that held its line.
An over later India were 5 for 2 when Wadekar was completely cleaned up by Old, and soon after, Arnold dismissed Viswanath courtesy of a low catch in front of first slip by Alan Knott.
While several batsmen perished to poor strokes, Brijesh Patel, in superb form in the county matches but cruelly exposed against the moving ball in the Tests, was undone by a snorter from Arnold that moved away and lifted; Knott took his second catch to leave India 14 for 4.
While Gavaskar remained, the previously noisy Indian contingent in the Mound Stand had hope, but he was trapped back in his crease by an Arnold inswinger to leave India 25 for 5, and after that it was a procession.
Old, operating from the Nursery End with a slight breeze behind him, polished off the innings by bowling Prasanna and Bedi with successive deliveries, but was deprived of a hat-trick opportunity when Chandrasekhar, still nursing an injured thumb, opted not to bat. In 65 minutes and 15 overs, India had lost nine wickets for 40. Old, who finished with a Test-best 5 for 21, ended with a burst of 4 for 6 in 17 balls.
Solkar was left marooned on 18 not out, his innings including a bouncer on the head from Old and then a hooked six the next delivery, when the bowler dug in another one.
As Arnold and Old posed on the pavilion balcony for press photos, Wadekar did not even allow his players time to sit down and change, forcing them back to the Nursery End for a long net session. When he finally faced the journalists, he admitted, "we have fallen a long way today before some fine seam bowling".
"On Sunday I thought we were only halfway through this fight," admitted Denness. "I certainly never expected anything like this."

Brijesh Patel is caught by Alan Knott off Geoff Arnold for 1, England v India, 2nd Test, Lord's, June 24, 1974
Brijesh Patel is caught by Alan Knott off Arnold for 1 as India's innings falls apart © PA Photos
Gavaskar said it was simply that "Arnold and Old bowled five good balls which got our five top batsman out... after that there was no resistance from the tailenders."
Jack Bailey, the MCC secretary, was left facing angry spectators, who had paid for a full day. "We are always sorry when a match finishes early," he told the Daily Express, but he dismissed suggestions the teams should have played a beer match. "We tried it some years ago and it was found the cricket was so anti-climactic that neither the crowd or spectators found it entertaining."
"To Indians in India this might seem like the end of the golden age," Woodcock wrote in the Times. "Having become accustomed to success, they will not have cared to hear India had been bowled out for the lowest score they had ever made and the lowest ever to be made in a Lord's Test."
In the Cricketer, former England captain Tony Lewis said India's problems "might have been technical in conditions which favoured movement off the pitch, but the psychological test of replying to a total of 629 surely underlay their difficulties. In that case everything must go right. All the clich├ęs of a dressing room must be realised - or else the trough is deep and pitch dark. India fell headlong down the familiar slope of despondency."
But Wisden pulled few punches. "Basically, [India's] batting was not much weaker than in 1971… but collectively [it] was too weak and brittle to be able to hold its own at international level. As captain, Wadekar had obviously used up all his luck in building up his hitherto unbeaten record."
What happened next?
  • England routed India in the final Test, at Edgbaston, scoring 459 for 2 and bowling India for 165 and 216 to win the match by an innings and 67 runs, and in so doing completing a 3-0 series whitewash
  • England, buoyed by this and a hard-fought drawn series against Pakistan, headed to Australia with media expectations they would be able to defend the Ashes. They were crushed 4-1 and blown away by the pace of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson
  • Wadekar was sacked as captain and retired soon after, while Denness was fired after losing the first Test of the following summer to Australia
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