Friday, December 2, 2016

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - Lehmann pours cold water on Maxwell's Test cricket recall hopes

Australian coach Darren Lehmann has sent a blunt message to the dissatisfied Glenn Maxwell: make some runs.

Maxwell whipped up a storm on Thursday when he criticised Australian one-day teammate and Victorian captain Matthew Wade for his decision to bat above him in the Bushrangers’ batting order.
The explosive allrounder, who was controversially dropped for Victoria’s Sheffield Shield opener, said it was painful after being asked to bat at No6 in matches below Wade against NSW and Queensland last month.

His comments have gone down like a lead balloon with his Victorian teammates, after he said it affected his chance to break into the Australian Test side.

However Lehmann said Maxwell was never in the running for the recent Adelaide Test against South Africa because he simply wasn’t making enough runs.

“No. Because he hasn’t made 100 for the last two years. You need to make 100,” Lehmann said.

“Are you going to pick a bloke that hasn’t made 100 for two years?”

Lehmann said while it was not ideal to have teammates trading barbs before Australia’s three-match one-day series against New Zealand begins at the SCG on Sunday, it wasn’t proving a distraction.

“We’re obviously disappointed but we’ll work through those issues,” Lehmann said.
“We’re confident they can work together.”

Meanwhile Maxwell’s Victorian teammate Rob Quiney has told the allrounder to pull his head in and make some runs.

Bushrangers veteran Quiney, who is yet to play in the Shield this summer, said Maxwell was in no position to have a go at his teammates.

“I think he just needs to lip it and just make some runs,” Quiney told EON Sports radio on Friday.

“Victoria are flying at the moment, but he’s not setting the world on fire himself. He’s actually only batted at six twice so I don’t know where this has come from.

“It’s good that he’s honest, unfortunately it’s probably not the greatest attitude to have I reckon.”
Victoria opener Marcus Harris backed Wade, saying the side’s unbeaten Shield record this summer showed he was making the right choices.

Victorian cricket great Darren Berry suggested Wade may have placed himself higher in the order to boost his own Test selection chances.

But that didn’t excuse Maxwell’s comments, particularly considering the depth of Victoria’s batting lineup.

“That’s me, me, me stuff isn’t it?,” Berry told SEN Breakfast.

“Cameron White’s been batting behind him at seven. (He) didn’t come out and criticise Matthew Wade. You just don’t do it.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - Cricket Wallpaper Reflects Cricket Mania


Cricket is a very popular and hugely viewed game. People are crazy and frenzy about it. Cricket fans never afford to miss the game. Cricket is a game that warms up entire atmosphere. There develops cricket fever all around and fan love talking and discussing cricket everywhere no matter where they are. They try every effort to have access of viewing cricket matches. The event of any important series or tournaments makes cricket fans crazy. This is cricket mania all over world. People hold huge posters and photos of their favorite player and team to show their support. This is the scene of cricket fans all over the world.

Cricket wallpaper is very popular among cricket fans. Wallpaper is picture that a cricket fan can put on background of his computer screen, mobile phone or laptop. Each and every cricket lover wants to have cricket wallpaper. Grabbing the best pose of their favorite player is not an easy task for fans. Cricket wallpaper demonstrates fans fancies and enthusiasm. Fans search through several sources to get most admired movement of cricket player. Wallpaper gives a feeling of attachment to cricket fan. Cricket wallpaper shows not only preference, liking of cricket fans but gives boost cricket spirit among cricket fans.

That helps keeping up cricket mania in cricket loving places. Cricket wallpaper symbolizes role model for cricket fans.

Cricket fan makes use of the internet to download best cricket wallpaper to adorn their computer, laptop and cell phone. There are many websites that can help in this regard. This is the best and the easiest option for getting desired cricket wallpaper. There fans can get varieties of cricket wallpaper of their favorite cricket players. Now the world cup is going on, so a lot more good pictures can come up for cricket lovers. The design of cricket wallpaper differs from site to site. Some fans happen to favor certain cricketer or an entire team of a particular country. Cricket fans love using cricket wallpaper on their computer screen, laptop and mobile phones.

Cricket wallpaper promotes competition among cricket followers to put best wallpaper on accessories they have. There seems great demand of cricket wallpapers as world cup 2007 is on. Cricket fans keep players' spirit, hope and morale up through putting cricket wallpaper on posters they show off during match. The fever of having cricket wallpaper rises high among cricket fans during big tournaments. No matters what the cricket fan's age is, cricket wallpaper keeps reminding memorable of the moments of cricket players. Cricket fan put not only action packed cricket wallpaper on computer desktop, laptop or cell but also they also put up the pictures in their rooms and cupboards. Cricket wallpaper can be said to be as a medium of solidarity of cricket lovers to their favorite player or team. It binds fan in on chain of similar likings and hobbies

Ella Wilson is a cricket fanatic. She simply loves the game and tries to catch live action no matter where she is.At Stickiewicket she works on Online cricket wallpaper,live cricket score,cricket world cup and cricket records among other things.You can see her works at []

Friday, February 5, 2016

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - Cricket: Beyond the Boundary

Blog Published by Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill

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Cricket is a game that had its origins in England. As the British Empire extended its suzerainty over territories across the world, cricket began to be played in the colonies of England too. Today, cricket is an international game that is played in some 16 nations across the globe. Cricket is commonly nicknamed a 'gentleman's game' though initially, before cricket became popular, it was a game that was played predominantly by women and children in the country where it originated.

Gentleman's Game?

Many feel that the term 'gentleman's game' is a misnomer for cricket. What with the Aussies getting racial and sledging non-white players and players, in general, hurling abuses at umpires, cricket is fast falling from its exalted pedestal of being a game only for polite and civilized gentlemen. But still, the label 'gentleman's game' suits cricket better than it suits football, which, according to many, is the world's most beloved 'ruffians' game'. (Football, of course, has never ever been called a 'gentleman's game'.) Besides, with more and more women choosing cricket as their career, it would be positively sexist to say that cricket is a 'gentleman's game'.

A Game that Unites

Cricket is more than a game. It is a great unifying force. When Indian and Pakistani players shake hands or slap each other's backs during or just after a cricket match, the gestures are capable of bringing tears to the eyes of the hardest of hardliners and fundamentalists. When different nations started playing cricket with South Africa after South Africa publicly proclaimed its repudiation of the contemptible apartheid, a legalized practice of racial discrimination and ostracism carried out by the whites of South Africa against the blacks of the nation, it was a red-letter day in the history of cricket that bowled everyone over.

With the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), cricket has acquired altogether new dimensions. A single IPL team is a melting pot of cultures and mores with Indian, Australian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, English, South African, West Indian players playing in it along with players from other cricketing nations. Players who always played against each other and who were considered to be archrivals and opponents now play together for the same team, leaving behind their prejudices and dislikes. As barriers of language, race and culture vanish with camaraderie between newfound teammates, cricket gains a new and interesting face with every passing day.

It's Not Cricket. Or is It?

It is still the same old cricket but it has definitely gone beyond cricket. The game has undergone a major facelift in the last few decades. Though five-day test matches are still revered, they are out of vogue, because they last for five days and tend to be boring. Most cricket maniacs look forward to One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in order to enjoy the highs and lows of the game in just one day. But ODIs too have lost their charm in the face of stiff competition from the Twenty20s (T20s). Cricket, it seems, is adapting itself to the times to cater to the needs of impatient, frenzied fans. Yes, you might be run out in the race to grab tickets, but modern-day cricket will certainly give you a run for your money, even if you watch the match on television.

Investing in Cricket

Cricket, currently, is thought to be a greenfield opportunity for businesspeople, a great investing ground that can yield great returns. Many genuine sports aficionados feel that cricket has become too commercial to remain a hearty game anymore. But many others feel that the 'business' of cricket is actually doing a lot of good to the game. Putting real money into cricket is actually helping to propagate cricket, they say. True.
Look at some of the other games like hockey, polo, badminton, athletics, etc. of the Indian subcontinent.
They are in a sorry state and are stagnating due to the dearth of finances.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has turned the cricket field into a gold mine. Celebrities, actors, and business magnates are all queuing up to buy and sell players like curios at an auction, to sponsor teams and matches and to make big bucks. Tycoons are fighting desperately for the most big-ticket players, making their bids shockingly high, before the hammer comes banging down. The stakes are very high in cricket today. While winners are eulogized by their owners, losers are disowned and sold off quickly. Just like what happens in the commodities market!

Can a Brand Ambassador be Called a Cricketer?

Almost all top-rated cricket players have done endorsements for products at some point or the other of their lives. Cricket is not a very paying game. At least, it is not very paying for the best cricketers of the world, who have lavish lifestyles. Doing endorsements is the only way for them to maintain their opulent ways of living. Some of these advertisements can really get you stumped out. This is precisely the reason why marketers use cricketers. When you see your favorite cricketer on a different pitch, displaying or patronizing a fast-moving-consumer-good (FMCG), you might actually be prompted to use the same product, yourself. So, cricketers are a good medium for companies to get their messages across as they make excellent brand ambassadors.

Advertisements have their flip side also. Several players have been accused of making too much money through advertisements only...and too little through cricket. They have slipped on the pitch, while their sales pitch has been great. They have often been run out on the field while the commercials they have featured in have given viewers and ad agencies a run for their money. As their bank balances have grown fatter and fatter through brand endorsements, they have been dubbed as wicked and greedy people who are only interested in money and not in the game or its spirit.

Match Fixing

Wickedness in cricket was at its pinnacle during the match-fixing years. Talking about it in the past tense indicates that the writer sincerely hopes that match fixing really belongs to the past. During this tragic period, cricketers sold their game, themselves and their countries to bookies and others in order to make some quick bucks. It was a shame! The sheer numbers of players who got caught out for this sordid affair proved that cricket was indeed bitten by the devil himself. Wicked players would deliberately place their legs before the wicket in order to be out. Sides and teams would lose matches and tournaments purposely because a single loss was much more profitable to them than the prize money from a single victory. Cricket, countries and loyalties were traded freely for hard cash. Cricket has never paid as badly as you might think it has from the episodes of match fixing. It was not the lack of money that drove cricketers to fix matches. It was avarice that drove them. Greed to mint and hoard money by hook or by crook. While they got out for ducks in the morning and broke the hearts of devoted fans, they were probably congratulating themselves on the number of roast ducks they would have at the best hotels with their friends that very evening.

This is Really Not Cricket

Gossip columns in newspapers and magazines have sizzled with salacious tidbits from the personal lives of cricketers. While some cricketers like the unwavering Sachin Tendulkar are dedicated to the game, other cricketers have other dedications besides cricket. It would require a whole book to document all their interests, which are sometimes pretty immoral and unpalatable to talk about. Still, you get the meaning...? Late night parties at hotels, drinks, involvement with the opposite sex.....So, who wins at the toss the next morning? Not cricket. Cricket goes for a toss while the excesses of life supplant it. The player goes back to the pavilion, not with his head down as it should be, but with his arrogant head held high. He heads straight for the bar and the arms of the most despicable member of the opposite sex. But such players have never been able to make or break records. It is only conscientious, earnest, and committed players like Sachin Tendulkar who have created records and broken records.

Cricket Plays a Great Innings and Remains 'Not Out'

Nevertheless, cricket continues to hold sway over present and past cricketers as well as over thousands of spectators with its inherent magic. One four and the stadium, whether it is Centurion, Lord's or Eden, comes crashing with applause. One six and a terminally ill patient watching the match from his or her home, breaks into a smile. A century and an entire nation cheers and shouts forgetting all distinctions of caste, creed, race, gender. He may not raise a finger to help play the game but as soon as he raises his index finger into the air, the umpire causes a country to burst with joy. Though thunder and lightning can stop the game and force people to thrash out Duckworth Lewis, thunderous clapping is sure to be heard, once the game resumes.
Cricket is a sport, a game that enchants hearts. Cricket matches can get very exciting and put people on tenterhooks. One Day Internationals and Twenty20s can really give you a heart attack if your ticker isn't too strong to withstand the scares and exhilarations of the game. Cricket is often used to build ties between nations, to patch-up hostilities, for forging new bilateral and multilateral relations. Cricket binds and joins; it brings solidarity, and breaks the ice. Cricket is capable of changing relations between countries and international equations. Cricket transcends all boundaries. Howzat for a game that had its origins in a grammar school of an obscure English village?

Damien Ghosh is a prolific writer of articles that focus on technology, places and people. Damien has worked in different industries such as the information technology industry, the travel and tourism industry and the retail industry. He has worked in several projects for blue-chip companies, that are part of the IT, travel and tourism and retail industries. His work and his passion for traveling has made him journey throughout the world. He has led large work-teams to accomplish business goals successfully. His rich experience undoubtedly helps him to write extensively. Damien writes for magazines, the web and for newspapers. His articles have received lots of accolades from critics and readers. Damien Ghosh's website is and his email is

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - Greatest Cricketers Of All Time


Cricket history is full of extremely talented cricketers and many of them have been exceptional. Let us try and figure out the greatest cricketers of all time that have graced the field of cricket. It does not reflect on their personal greatness. It is just about how great cricketers they were. A greater cricketer does not necessarily mean a greater human being than a lesser cricketer in the list or vise versa. The list is purely on cricketing skills.

1. Gary Sobers: Arguably the greatest cricketer of all time that has ever played the game of cricket as claimed by many related to the game of cricket and that was what the intuition suggests if you look at his abilities and statistic. Ability to play as long as to score 365 runs in test cricket, hit six times over the rope in a single over, end up with a test average of more than many of the great batsmen in the history of the game, be a fielder of class, and then being able to contribute with bowling, and you left wondering if there is anything in cricket that he could not do and that is what makes him the greatest all round cricketer and the greatest cricketer of them all. He could have earned a place in any great team only for his batting. He was skillful and versatile as a bowler. He is documented to have bowled pace as well slow bowling. He chipped in many times with his bowling and fielding. The thing with all rounders is that it is like having the privilege of playing an additional player in the team. Just look as to how many cricketers have scored a triple hundred in test match cricket. There are only three instances of six sixes being hit in a single over in the history of first class and International cricket. There have been barely a dozen of cricketers throughout the history of the game who could be hailed as all rounder of class and substance, and Gary is considered the best of them all. You keep on counting. The list goes on.

2. Don Bradman: Probably as strong a contender as Gary Sobers to be called as the greatest cricketer of all time. Don Bradman's exceptional test average of almost 100 runs makes him a standout cricketer. If you consider the rarity of that feat of having an average of almost 100 runs, Don Bradman should be the greatest cricketer of all time. Where Gary scores over him is probably being able to contribute significantly in every department of the game. Otherwise I do not see any gap between Gary Sobers and Don Bradman as the two greatest cricketers of all time. But again you wonder he must be exceptional to be able to average 100 runs per innings. All those great batsmen throughout the history of the game who have played considerable number of tests has not gone beyond an average of in 60s, and most of these so called greats have averaged between 50s and 60s. So to outshine the next best in your category by 40% is quite unimaginable in any sport. In that sense Don Bradman can be considered not only the greatest cricketer of all time, but also the greatest sportsman of all time. To top it off he scored those almost 100 runs per innings in those days of hostile pitches and raw equipments. Everyone knows how bats and other cricket equipments have evolved over the years. The difference between the bats of today and the bats of say about 20 years ago is quite noticeable. What kind of bats Don Bradman must have played with. Some people say Don played on few grounds, and thus have such record. But even the worse of the pitches today among the many grounds on which cricket is played must be better than the pitches on which Don played. If that was the criteria, why none of the players of even his era could manage an average of even into 70s. All those modern greats of 90s and 00s could manage an average in 50s with all those well developed bat and other cricketing equipment on benign and batting friendly pitches. The pitches one used to see even during the 70s and 80s were much difficult to bat on compared to the pitches prepared today. If that is an indication what kind of pitches Don must have batted on. He still remains the only player to have scored a 300 runs in a single day of a test match.

3. Imran Khan: If Gary Sobers could do everything in the game of cricket then Imran could do even more as a captain. Imran Khan could have earned a place in any leading side just as a bowler, and is one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. In addition he was as good as any good International batsman. He was a good fielder as well. He could win matches with his bowling, contribute significantly as a batsman, and could make significant contribution as the leader of the pack. He is considered the best among the greatest all rounders of his time who themselves are among some of the greatest cricketers of all time. There have not been too many bowlers who were better than him, and among the bowlers who might have been slightly better than him, not many are known for their batting capabilities. Wasim Akram was better bowler than Imran, but Imran was more dependable batsman than Akram, and may be Richard Hadlee was a better bowler than Imran, but Imran surely excelled him as a batsman, and excelled everyone in that all rounders category as a captain. Many people will disagree with me on putting Imran Khan ahead of Vivian Richards. My logic is if Gary Sobers could be greater than Don Bradman, logic says Imran Khan has to be greater than Vivian Richards as a cricketer. But it is so difficult to accurately measure the talent of the players and their value to the team. It is like you can put Don Bradman ahead of Gary Sobers without much fuss. You can as well put Vivian Richards ahead of Imran Khan in the list. But because of Imran Khan's immense contribution in every department of the game, I opted for Imran Khan at #3 in the list of greatest cricketers of all time.

4. Vivian Richards: Most destructive batsman of all time, and in a time when attacking style of batting was not common. In the modern times, we had the pleasure of watching the likes of Gilchrist, Sehwag, Jaysurya, and occasionally Shahid Afridi destroying the bowling attacks, but none of them are known to be as intimidating as Vivian Richards. To have the fastest test hundred of all time with an average of more than 50, and in one dayers, an average of 47 runs at a strike rate of more than 90 speaks volume about the caliber of the man. None of the above mentioned destructive batsmen have an average of more than 40 compared to 47 by Vivian Richards. In fact many other great batsmen have less average than Viv's 47 and far lower strike rate compared to Viv's strike rate of 90. He never changed his batting style irrespective of the state of the match. Without an iota of doubt there has not been a greater batsman than Vivian Richards in one day format of the game. In tests too, he averaged 50 runs scoring those runs at a blistering pace. He was also an exceptional fielder and bowled occasionally. One of the greatest fast bowler of his time Imran Khan has said that Vivian Richards is the only batsman who has frightened him. Nobody else in the history of the game could play like Vivian and hence is probably the greatest batsman of all time save Don Bradman and thus he deserved fourth place in the list of the greatest cricketers of all time.

5. Adam Gilchrist: As a batsman, Adam Gilchrist was almost a Vivian Richards. In addition he would double up as a wicketkeeper. In that sense I was tempted to put Gilchrist ahead of Vivian Richards, but Viv being such an intimidating batsman and in those times when attacking style of play was not so common, I went with Viv at #4. Nonetheless, Adam Gilchrist is one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Adam Gilchrist has one of the highest strike rates in both forms of the game and has an average to match the greats of the game. Adam Gilchrist was one of the main reasons for the domination of the Australian cricket for the last decade and half. Adam Gilchrist was one of the three key players in the talent-laden Australian team. As a wicket-keeper batsman if someone can bat like Adam Gilchrist, he is definitely going to add substantially to the strength of the team. He played some of the breathtaking innings in his career. His blistering hundred against Sri Lanka in the 2007 World cup, which Australia eventually won, the innings he played in the semi-final of the IPL edition that his team eventually won, the innings at Mumbai in the first edition of the IPL, and his fastest test hundred off 57 balls, which is the second fastest hundred in the history of the game behind the ultimate Vivian Richard's 56 ball hundred, and many such innings make you wonder if the Gilchrist was the greatest cricketer of all time.

6. Wasim Akram: Wasim Akram is one of those dream cricketers that even the great cricketers would like to reborn as a cricketer. Wasim is considered as the most naturally talented bowler by many former greats like Allan Donald and Mohammad Azharuddin. It is said that he could bowl six different types of balls in one over. With the bat he was capable of turning the game with his explosive batting. Those two wickets on successive deliveries in the 1992 world cup final against England at a very important stage of the game pushed England totally out of the game. What an occasion to produce probably the best two deliveries of his entire career. You can expect the greatest cricketers to rise to the occasion at the greatest stage. You see a player like Adam Gilchrist playing those extraordinary knocks on big stages like the World cup 2007 against Sri Lanka and sealing the win for his team. Wasim Akram is also the only bowler in the history of the game to have captured hat-tricks as many as four times in his International career. Wasim Akram has often won games for Pakistan singlehandedly. He formed a threatening bowling combination with Waqar Younis, and they together tormented many a batting line-ups. He was probably the greatest bowler of his time with the other one being McGrath. McGrath himself described Wasim Akram as a greater bowler than himself. If he was as great a bowler as McGrath and if you consider what he could do with the bat, and you know the value of Wasim Akram as a cricketer. In the 1992 World cup final before turning the match with his two magic balls, he was instrumental in setting a challenging total with his timely and explosive batting when he scored 33 runs off just 19 balls coming towards the close of innings. What a grand occasion for man of Wasim's caliber to rise for his team and his country. Many people might not know Wasim also hit a timely six to win the Nehru cup for Pakistan. Many people knew about Miandad hitting a six off the last ball to win when four runs were required off the last ball of the innings. In the Nehru cup final, Pakistan required six runs to win from the last two balls, and Wasim Akram hit a six off the first of those two balls and won the cup for Pakistan.

7. Richard Hadlee: Inarguably the greatest of all New Zealand cricketers till date. One of the greats of all time who could make the grade to any great XI only for his bowling. New Zeeland had a very few match winners in their ranks when Richard Hadlee was around, and it was more often than not that Hadlee was their match winner. Richard Hadlee brought as many laurels to New Zeeland cricket as any of the other greatest cricketers of all time have brought to their own country. One of the ten greatest bowlers of all time. Plus, he was also more than handy with the bat, and perhaps one of the better batsmen in that New Zeeland team. One of the four great all rounders of 70s and 80s. Richard Hadlee was considered by many as the best bowler among the four great all-rounders of his time. Richard Hadlee was capable of creating havoc with his bowling. He also won and saved matches for New Zeeland with his batting. Overall, a very capable match winner.

8. Jacques Kallis: Some consider him to be the greatest cricketer of all time ahead of Gary Sobers, and there are others who rate him as the greatest cricketer from South Africa. Kallis is like a Rahul Dravid and Srinath combined into one unit. Besides being a technically sound, dependable batsman and a useful bowler, Kallis is an excellent fielder. Kallis gives South Africa an additional fast bowler besides being the lynchpin in the batting line up. Kallis has carried the South African team quietly and steadily for around decade-and-half and looks good enough to continue for at least another two to three years. By the time he retires his statistics could be monumental. To give a more significant picture one statistic that could more vital is that he has a higher average in both test and one day cricket than Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar. Given that Sachin bats as an opener in one dayers and Kallis bats in the middle order, and for Kallis to have a greater average than Sachin Tendulkar is quite remarkable. Kallis though lacks on the flair aspect one day game, but has played crucial role in success of their one day unit. Jacques Kallis is also an outstanding fielder. He is a regular slip fielder for South African and I still remember his catch in Sharjah playing against Pakistan running from somewhere near extracover to almost near the boundary and then actually having to jump at the last minute to cover the distance with the ball and hold onto it. A Gary Sobers of different type.

9. Kapil Dev: Kapil Dev was the greatest cricketer that India has ever produced. He was equally good with both bat and ball. He was probably the best batsman among the great all rounders of his time. In fact it was his batting that carried India through most part of the 1983 world cup. Kapil was also first genuine fast bowler of Independent India considering Mohammad Nissar's test career ended before independence, although he continued playing first class cricket for sometime after independence. Kapil Dev was very impressive as a hard hitting batsman and was the leader of India bowling attack for almost a decade-and-half.

10. Walter Hammond: Walter Hammond was an attacking batsman with rare ability to play long innings consistently. He is among those batsmen who consistently scored big and at an impressive strike rate. He almost had every shot in the book. To add to his batting skills, he was also a handy bowler who could make breakthroughs when required the most. A test average of 58.45, 167 first class hundreds, and two five wickets hauls in test cricket prove that he was one of the greatest cricketers of all time.

11. Brian Lara: Brian Lara is easily one of the five greatest batsmen of all time. Scores of 500, 400, and 300 are no ordinary feats. Not many cricketers compiled such huge scores as Brian did. That itself proves his outstanding abilities as a batsman. Probably Brian underachieved because he was part of a weaker West Indian team. Team's strength and performance often has a bearing on an individual batsman's performance. I can prove that. Look at Ponting's performace when the Australian team was the strongest team, and now look at Ponting's performance with a declining Australian team. Similarly with overall improvement in the Indian team and with the likes of Viru at the top, Sachin's performance has improved remarkably this year. Being the only player to have scored 500 runs in first class cricket, and to be the only player in the history of the game to score 400 runs in a single innings of test, and to be one of those players to have scored most number of double hundreds makes Brian Lara one of the most outstanding batsmen of all time, and easily the greatest batsman of his time. Brian Lara also to his credit has a couple of entries at around the top of the list for the most number of runs scored in an over. No other batsmen in the history of the game has as many big scores as Brian has to his credit.If you compare his big scores to his contemporaneous rival Sachin Tendulkar, you will find that Sachin despite playing much more cricket has never scored a 400, which Lara did twice, once in test, and his 500 in first class. Brian Lara has significantly more number of double hundreds than Sachin Tendulkar despite playing lesser number of games. Sachin Tendulkar has a better record in one day International because he opened the innings and every time had the opportunity to play all 50 overs.

Shane Warne: The greatest slow bowler of all time. The best exponent of leg spin bowling. Shane Warne most often did magical things with the ball. His famous ball to Mike Gatting that came in sharply from out of the leg side to turn in sharply and dislodge the bail is regarded as the ball of the century. He has often provided the crucial breakthroughs for Australia when they needed the most. The Semi-final game against South Africa in 1999 was one such instance. Chasing Australia's total, South Africa was one course with The South African openers off to a flying start, and particularly Gibbs was going strong. Shane Warne was brought into the attack, and he immediately got Gibbs with a peach of a delivery that bamboozled Gibbs and dislodged his stumps. From there on, South Africa was on a downslide. Shane Warne was one of the top three cricketers in that Australian invincible team of his time with Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath being other two of the three.

13. Sanath Jaysurya: It was Sanath Jaysurya's promotion to the opening slot during the 1996 World cup that transformed the Sri Lankan cricket team from a mediocre side to one of the best sides in the world. Even though Jaysurya failed in the semi-finals and finals of the 1996 world cup, it was his exploits during the earlier part of the 1996 World cup that provided Sri Lankan team the momentum and confidence that they could win the World cup. Since then Sri Lanka has remained one of the strongest teams in the world. Jaysurya was an attacking and productive batsman, besides being a potent spin bowler, and an exceptional fielder.

14. Muthiah Muralitharan: The best off-spinner the game has ever seen and the greatest slow bowlers of all time with Shane Warne. Muthia Muralitharn can bamboozle most of the batsmen with his wily deliveries. Murali has most number of wickets by any bowler in both forms of the game. He is one of the three greatest Sri Lankan cricketers that actually defined Sri Lankan cricket.

15. Virender Sehwag: The main reason why India is #1 in ICC rankings. He should be able to climb up this list by the time he is finished as an International cricketer. He has left Sachin Tendulkar behind as a batsman and as the second greatest cricketer of all time behind Kapil Dev. By the time he finishes his career he may end up in the top 10 greatest cricketers of all time. He can hit the ball so consistently that very few could do even on the docile pitch and against a mediocre bowling. He is rated as the best off spin bowler in the current Indian team by Bishen Singh Bedi.

16. Glenn McGrath: Watching Glenn McGrath bowl, I often got the impression that Glenn McGrath was more difficult to play than Wasim Akram. That itself speaks volumes about the abilities of the man. Glenn McGrath was all about line and length. One of the three key players of the dominant Australian team of the late 90s and most part of the 2000s. McGrath was a difficult bowler to bat against, and he completely destroyed the lesser oppositions. One of the main reasons why Australia won three world cups on trot.

17. Sachin Tendulkar: If Sunil Gavaskar was the first Indian batsman who could look into the eyes of fastest bowlers in the world, Sachin Tendulkar is probably the first Indian batsman who could consistently dominate the the fast bowlers. Sachin Tendulkar is arguably one of the best batsmen that the world has ever seen. Sachin Tendulkar was a child prodigy who captured the imagination of the cricketing world when he burst on the International scene at the tender age of 16. He owns many batting records in both forms of the game. Some people may say that Tendulkar was a better player than some of the above in this list, but I think the people above Tendulkar are either more talented than him or more effective than him. Sachin Tendulkar for all his talent has failed when it mattered the most. He is one the greatest batting talent, but cannot handle the pressure according to his ability as a cricketer. For all his batting talent, get struck in 90s whenever approaching a 100 most of the time. I witnessed the entire series between Sri Lanka and India when Tendulkar was around 100 runs short of Brian Lara and the entire focus was on Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin Tendulkar failed the in the entire series. Sachin Tendulkar played exceptionally well throughout the 2003 world cup, but failed in the final when everyone expected him to rise to the occasion. He owns many batting records in cricket, which is a tribute to his batting talent and longevity, but if you look at his average in winning matches he is far behind the likes Bradman, Inzimam, Steve Waugh, Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting, and Jacques Kallis to name a few. Moreover if we do not consider the minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe Sachin Tendulkar's average down even further when compared to other great batsmen of his time. He has fared best in the first innings of a test match, but has not lived up to the expectation in the third or fourth innings and his average in the third and fourth innings does not compare favorably with other modern batting greats.

18. Malcolm Marshall: He is considered by the likes of Wasim Akram as the greatest fast bowlers of all time, but McGrath came ahead of him in this list because of pin-point accuracy with which McGrath bowled. Unlike the other West Indian fast bowlers, he was short, but was the quickest of them all. He was almost unplayable when he bowled on the stumps. He ran through the opposition batting line up many times, and might have ended up with more wickets if he did not have to share the wickets with as many as three other great fast bowlers in that great West Indian team of 1980s.

19. Javed Miandad: Javed Miandad was the toughest player on the cricket field. His never-to-say die attitude makes him an standout cricketer. Javed Miandad has an excellent technique as a batsman and could play long innings. He is among those players to have scored most number of double hundreds. Javed Miandad is perhaps the only player throughout the history of test cricket to have maintained a test average of more than 50 runs throughout his career. Javed Miandad also has an average of more than 41 runs in one day format of the game batting in the middle. He played a key role in many of Pakistan victories. He made significant contribution in Pakistan winning the 1992 World cup. Javed will be always remembered for his last ball six to win the game against India when four runs were required to win off one ball. Any all time list or a World XI without Javed Miandad is incomplete.

20. Ian Botham: Ian Botham is one of the four great all rounders of 1970s and 1980s. He is arguably one of the three greatest England cricketers of all time. Ian Botham is still the leading wicket taker for England in test cricket. At his best, he has produced some of the greatest performances of all time, both with the bat and the ball. Botham's career can be divided into two halves. In the first half of his career he matched the performances of the three other great all rounders of his time or might have even excelled them, but in the later half of his career he ended up at the bottom of the four great all rounders of his time. Nevertheless he was very capable with both bat and the ball.

21. Jack Hobbs: One of the greatest batsman of all time, and probably the greatest that England has produced alongside Walter Hammond. He has a test average of 56.94 and has amassed mountains of runs in first class cricket. He just fell short of a double hundred of 100s in first class cricket. One of the most prolific batsmen of all time. He was voted among the Top Five Cricketers of All Time by leading cricket magazine Wisden.

22. Keith Miller: Keith Miller is the greatest and the only all-rounder that Australia has ever produced. Keith Miller was the only one or one of the few all rounders who has almost the same skills in both batting and bowling. He was equally effective with both bat and ball. He was very good bowler and a very good batsman making him a great all round cricketer.

23. Dennis Lillee: Dennis Lille was furiously fast and one of the fastest bowlers of all time. He formed one of the most lethal bowling attacks of all time with Jeff Thompson. He also shares a world-record partnership with wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh for affecting most number of dismissals through bowler-wicketkeeper dismissals for caught by a keeper and bowled by a bowler. He was included in Bradman's all-time XI and ESPN cricinfo's all time World XI. But I would have rather preferred a Richard Hadlee or an Imran Khan instead of Dennis Lillee in all time XI.

24. Greg Chappell: Greg Chappell was one of the greatest batsmen of all time. As a batsman, I would rate Greg Chappell just slightly behind Vivian Richards and Brian Lara and on par with Sachin Tendulkar. Greg Chappell mastered at playing pace as well as spin bowling on both sides of the wicket. He produced some of the finest performances against possibly the finest attack in World Series Cricket. If that is any indication he is second to none. Greg Chappell was also a useful medium pace bowler who could contribute with the ball.

25. Sunil Gavaskar: Probably the first megastar of Indian cricket. He must have been the inspiration for many Indian batting superstars that emerged during 80s and 90s. He is Dilip Kumar of Indian cricket. He was the first Indian batsman who could look into the eyes of the fast bowlers. His best innings came against the best fast bowlers of his time. He has an impressive record against West Indies, Australia, and Pakistan, the three teams that had the best fast bowlers in the world at that time. His feats against the West Indian team are legendary. His test debut was against West Indies on bouncy tracks of West Indies, and he emerged as find of the tournament. To face Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding as opener and score back to back hundreds speaks volume about caliber of Sunil Gavaskar as a batsman. He is rated quite highly by the other greats like Gary Sobers, Vivian Richards, and Imran Khan. If that is an indication he should be higher in the list. A technician rather than a stroke player, he would not have been able to meet the requirement of modern day one dayers and would not have suited for T20. And that is exactly the reason why he is at 25 and not at 10 in this list.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - Turn Back the Clock on Pakistani Cricket

Lekin ek baat hai bhai, if Pakistan somehow come to face New Zealand in the quarterfinal or semifinal na, mazaa aa jayega. Idhar ki logon ko toh already f*t rahi hai!” Zahid, an Auckland cabbie, originally hailing from Lahore, laughs outrageously as he talks about how his colleagues and friends still fear a repeat of the ‘92 semi-final. Zahid says he was there at the semifinal of ‘92 at the stadium. “When Inzy had started to hit those fours, my friends and I would just turn back and look at the faces of these New Zealanders. Kya mazedaar din tha (what a fun day)!” (Full Coverage| Points table| Fixtures) And so I decide to check it by asking seven New Zealanders I see next and decide to come at a conclusion. Surprise surprise. For Pakistan. Zahid’s expression was perfect. Now please don’t rant that it’s not a scientific poll as if you didn’t take the Indian election polls in good humour. Close contest in Dilli between BJP and AAP it seems, bah! But can this Pakistan team somehow manage to come through knockouts and then depend only on ‘on their day’ stuff? Thus far, they have been eerily dull, soul-less and lacking chutzpah. A wonderful question was put across to Waqar Younis in Napier on Wednesday night. “Waqar bhai, our batting seems to be so behind the times. You see batsmen like AB de Villiers and others play the paddle-scoop, lap shot, this and that, and our batsmen still seem to play like the old ways”. Strictly speaking, it’s incorrect as not only was the birth of IPL due to one such silly shot by Misbah-ul-Haq in Johannesburg but also because the old Pakistan was full of dare and innovation. No one who has seen cricket in ’80s can forget their batsmen, led by Salim Malik, leave the stumps and have a slash like there was no tomorrow. IPL platform But you get the sense of what he was asking. And Waqar nodded sagely and said “yeah AB and co do it, perhaps it’s because we don’t play in T20 competitions like IPL and they have learnt and perfected all this shots under pressure there”. Interesting point, but it triggered an Indian journalist to jump into this follow-up question. “Do you think not playing IPL is proving detrimental to Pakistan cricket”? Nice try but Waqar was quick on the act this time and played kill joy. “No, Pakistan cricket is set back by lack of cricket in Pakistan and not because of IPL”. Ah! But let’s return to the soul-sapping cricket of the Pakistan team. The bowling is actually pretty decent. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - (((Sniff))) Pakistan stay alive...for now

Pakistan, the 1992 Cricket World Cup winner, won for the first time in the 2015 tournament, staving off Zimbabwe in Brisbane, Australia.
Pakistan rallied for the win behind, as the BBC put it, “skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s stubborn 73 and a fiery half-century from pace bowler Wahab Riaz” that helped Pakistan “recover from 4-2 to reach 235-7.”
Pakistan had its highest score of the tournament, just days after chief selector Moin Khan was ordered to return home by the Pakistan Cricket Board because he had visited a casino.
“I went to the casino to have dinner with some friends but in hindsight it was an inappropriate judgement on my part given the disappointment in the team’s performance at the World Cup,” Khan said last week.
Brendan Taylor’s 50 looked to have put Zimbabwe on course for a famous win.
But Mohammad Irfan, with career-best one-day international figures of 4-30, and Riaz (4-45) won it for Pakistan.
Riaz became the first Pakistani to score a fifty and take four wickets in the same World Cup match – and only the eighth cricketer to achieve the feat.
And victory was important for Misbah’s men, who, after heavy defeats by India and the West Indies, would have faced an uphill battle to progress to the quarter-finals had they lost again.
“It was really tough because it was a make or break game for us,” said the Pakistan captain. “You can’t believe how happy we are because we were out of the tournament if we’d lost this game.”
Zimbabwe lost its captain, Elton Chigumbura, to what appeared to be a quadriceps tear.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zahid Suleman Sadiq Gill - The Ultimate Let-Down

India made the perfect start to its defense of cricket's World Cup with an emphatic 76-run victory over arch-rival Pakistan in a Pool B opener in Adelaide Sunday.
Inspired by a century from man-of-the-match Virat Kohli, India piled up 300 for seven wickets in its 50 overs, with Pakistan dismissed for 224 in 47 overs.
The match was played before a sell-out crowd of over 40,000 at the Adelaide Oval, the vast majority supporters of the two powerhouses of Asian cricket.
Pakistan's pursuit of a formidable total on a slow wicket was hampered by indifferent batting against a persistent Indian bowling attack, led by paceman Mohammed Shami, who took four wickets for 35 runs.
    Misbah-ul-Haq top-scored for Pakistan with 76 before giving Shami his fourth wicket, but he could find little support from its middle and lower order batsman and the result had an air of inevitably about it as wickets tumbled.
    Earlier, Kohli, given two chances when dropped on three and 76, became the first Indian player to score a century against Pakistan in a World Cup match.
    He shared century stands with opener Shikhar Dhawan (73) and Suresh Raina, who smashed 74 off 56 balls against a wilting Pakistan bowling attack, with 83 runs coming off the final 10 overs.
    Sohail Khan led the Pakistan attack with five wickets for 55 runs, but was expensive in his closing overs.
    "It's one of the biggest wins of my career. It's amazing to start like this," said Kohli, who was scoring his 22nd one-day international century.
    "Expectations of me will rise but I just look to stand up to it.
    "I hate losing. I love to win and play for my country. My role is to play a long innings so that the power hitters can play with freedom," he added.
    Pakistan captain Misbah acknowledged his team had lost to the better side on the day.
    "They played well, posted a good total and bowled well. When we lost wickets in the middle it made it hard," he said.
    The opening weekend of the six-week long tournament has seen victories for joint hosts Australia and New Zealand against England and Sri Lanka respectively, while earlier Sunday South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 62 runs.
    The 14 teams in the World Cup, which is held over four years, are divided into two pools of seven teams each with the top four from each group qualifying for the quarterfinal knockout stage.

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