Thursday, 29 June 2006

Shane Bond's back

Shane Bond has made yet another all-time list. Not a good one this time. He has made Cricinfo's list of players whose injuries have over-shadowed their on-field performances.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about his inclusion on this list is this particular quote:

Last August, he returned to the New Zealand Test team after an absence of two years, complete with a remodelled action. But having lost a yard of pace it is claimed that he was persuaded to revert to his former style, and though he grabbed ten wickets to rout Zimbabwe at Bulawayo, he was soon being ushered back to the doctor's waiting-room.

I wonder how much truth there is to that.

Wednesday, 28 June 2006


Good grief, it is hard to keep up with all the New Zealanders now on the county circuit. Luckily the Black Caps website is doing all the hard work for us. Today they are reporting on the latest round of Twenty20 games and the eight New Zealanders who played in them. Good performances came from Brendon McCullum (who hit 63 off 26 balls for Glamorgan), Scott Styris and Andre Adams.

Monday, 26 June 2006

In the runs

The Black Caps website reports that Lou Vincent had a particularly good introduction to the county circuit - he hit 83 as his Worcestershire club beat Yorkshire. Nathan Astle and Brendon McCullum didn't make quite the same mark, scoring 0 and 8 respectively. Meanwhile Stephen Fleming struck a century against Northamptonshire.

Saturday, 24 June 2006

Herbie Pearson

Herbie Pearson, who died this week, was a stubborn opening batsmen who never made it at international level, but almost broke one very odd (and probably unwanted) batting record. In 1946 Pearson came close to being "the most completely bowled batsman of all time" as a ball from Australian fast-bowler Ray Lindwall hit off stump and sent the off bail flying 70 yards (64m) before it came to rest.

A great day for Scottie

Scott Styris' very poor season with Middlesex appears to have been completely revived thanks to one day of his side's terrible thrashing at the hands of Lancashire. Styris took 6-71 in Lancashire's first innings of 505 (his first wickets of the season) and then scored 19 as his side crumbled to 161 all out. Things improved as Middlesex followed on though, with Styris blasting 133 off 129 balls to take his team to a respectable 426 all out. Lancashire will only need 77 more runs to win the match when the game resumes tonight (New Zealand time), but Scott can't be too disappointed in his first first-class match as Middlesex's temporary captain.

Meanwhile Stephen Fleming completed a good double for Nottinghamshire, scoring 63 not out in the second innings to go with his 51 in the first dig and Craig Spearman knocked up 35 and 36 for Gloucestershire.

Thursday, 22 June 2006

2006/7 season schedule announced

New Zealand Cricket has announced the schedule for the 2006/7 season. Don't blink this summer, or you might miss the entire season.

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

Thu 30 November - Sun 03 December: Sri Lanka v Otago at University Oval, Dunedin

Thu 07 - Mon 11: 1st Test, Jade Stadium, Christchurch (10.30am)

Fri 15 - Tue 19: 2nd Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington (10.30am)

Friday 22: Twenty20, Westpac Stadium, Wellington (7.00pm)

Tuesday 26: Twenty20, Eden Park, Auckland (2.00pm)

Thursday 28: 1st ODI at McLean Park, Napier (11.00am)

Sunday 31: 2nd ODI, Queenstown Events Centre (11.00am) *

Tuesday 02 January 2007: 3rd ODI, Jade Stadium, Christchurch (11.00am)

Saturday 06: 4th ODI, Eden Park, Auckland (2.00pm)

Tuesday 09: 5th ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton (2.00pm)

* Provisional allocation

New Zealand vs Australia - Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

Friday 16 February: 1st ODI, Westpac Stadium, Wellington 2.00pm

Sunday 18: 2nd ODI, Eden Park, Auckland (TBC)

Tuesday 20: 3rd ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton (2.00pm)

Hamish Marshall injured

I looked at the scorecards this morning and wondered why Hamish Marshall didn't bat in Gloucestershire's first innings against Leicestershire. It turns out that he chipped a bone in his thumb while fielding. Let's hope it doesn't keep him off the park for too long, after a dry run for New Zealand he finally seems to have found some form - scoring 197 runs at 49.25 for the county.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Nepalese cricket

You might remember that Nepal managed to beat both New Zealand and South Africa during the youth World Cup earlier this year. Well, those results might not have been such a fluke. The BBC has interviewed a young Nepalese player who is training with county side Surrey. Aamir Akhtar states that in Nepal crowds of 25-30,000 turn up just to watch sides like Malaysia, Singapore and the UAE and that junior cricket is booming in the country.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

It's all about the money

It looks like I am not the only one concerned about the lack of test cricket being played by New Zealand. Cricingfo is seeking feedback on the subject and so far the consensus is that this is a bad thing.

Friday, 16 June 2006

Another New Zealander in county cricket

He has arrived too late to be in my poll, but Brendon McCullum has just signed up for a five week stint with James Franklin's Glamorgan.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

Mathew Sinclair signs on the dotted line

Good news! Skippy Sinclair might have left it to the last possible second, but TV3 has just reported that he has actually signed on the dotted line and has committed himself to New Zealand Cricket for the season.

One more test down

New Zealand Cricket has just announced that the three test series against Sri Lanka later this year will now be a two test series. The third test is being replaced with two Twenty20 matches. While I understand Martin Snedden's concern that a November test is unlikely to go the distance due to the weather, this makes New Zealand's calender even more of a joke than it is currently. We have no other test matches until November 2007. As Cricinfo reports, "New Zealand are now virtually out of the test circuit".

If this is what the future tours programme is about then perhaps we should just shoot test cricket in New Zealand in the head and put an end to it. I certainly think that would be preferable to the slow death we are enduring now.

The county circuit

The Black Caps website is carrying great little daily summaries on how New Zealanders are performing on the county circuit. Today's report makes particularly good reading with Fleming and Hamish Marshall scoring 50s and James Franklin taking 4-49 against Northamptonshire.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Larsen's line

Gavin Larsen's latest piece looks at two players who failed to gain contracts, Craig McMillan and Chris Harris. Larsen also makes an interesting prediction - that Mathew Sinclair will turn his contract down and that New Zealand Cricket will turn to McMillan to replace him...

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Skippy and McMillan keep us waiting

According to the Dominion-Post Mathew Sinclair hasn't signed his contract with New Zealand Cricket yet and Craig McMillan has implied that he might retire and "look for a job". The pool of talent in New Zealand cricket is too shallow for us to lose such talented cricketers. Lets hope team manager Lindsay Crocker can do some sweet-talking.

Sunday, 11 June 2006

Poll results and a new poll

My last poll asked you what John Bracewell's future should be. Seven of you thought Braces should continue his reign as coach of the New Zealand national side. Thirty-one of you thought he should start looking for a new job. A fairly comprehensive result then.

My new poll asks you to who will be the most successful New Zealand cricketer on the county circuit.

Friday, 9 June 2006

Nice one Warnie

Watch out internet! Shane Warne has got himself a blog.

Sigh, when you think of what it could be telling us, Shane's blog (great name by the way) is a big disappointment. We could have stories of sex, drugs and stealing cameras from small children, and an insight into the complex world of wickedly spinning leg-breaks. Instead we get a very dull explanation of the hands he played to win some money playing poker with a bunch of English has-beens.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Odd man in - Chats

Gideon Haigh is one of the reasons Australian cricket journalism makes those of us who have to put up with Richard Boock weep. Luckily for us Gideon's gaze sometimes drifts across the Tasman, and today he takes a look over one of New Zealand cricket's most beloved players - Ewen Chatfield. Take a gander at the piece, it is a wonderful piece of cricket writing.

New Zealand slip even further down the ratings

The latest ICC ratings put Sri Lanka ahead of New Zealand, meaning only the Windies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh sit behind us.

Sunday, 4 June 2006

A good day for New Zealanders in Bristol

Overnight Hamish Marshall (102) and Craig Spearman (160 not out) both scored centuries for Gloucestershire as their team reached 290/2 against Worcestershire.

A good day for New Zealanders in Bristol

Overnight Hamish Marshall (102) and Craig Spearman (160 not out) both scored centuries for Gloucestershire as their team reached 290/2 against Worcestershire.

How good was Paddles

Sir Richard Hadlee was clearly the best New Zealand bowler of his generation, but how good was he? This Cricinfo analysis demonstrates that during his playing days Sir Paddles bowled 25% of the balls bowled by New Zealand and took 36% of the wickets (a balls/wicket difference of 11). Compare that rate to another modern team which seems to rely almost entirely on one bowler, Sri Lanka - Muttiah Muralitharan bowled 33% of his teams deliveries and took 40% (a difference of 7) of its wickets. In fact, as a single spearhead Sir Richard stands out head and shoulders above all other bowlers.

Friday, 2 June 2006

List of contracted players announced

New Zealand Cricket has announced its list of contracted players for the 2006/7 season. Of most interest to fans is the news that Matthew Sinclair has got a contract, as have Andre Adams, Jeetan Patel, Jamie How, Peter Fulton, Michael Papps, Lou Vincent and Ross Taylor. Among those to miss out are Craig McMillan, Craig Cumming, Chris Harris, James Marshall, Darryl Tuffey and Paul Wiseman.

Even if Sinclair is only on the minimum pay scale ($45,000 retainer plus match fees) I suspect this will be enough to keep him in New Zealand. I can't see an Australian or South African province topping that kind of money for less than three months' work.

Ben on...announcement of contracted players

New Zealand Cricket has announced the contracted players for 2006/7.

They are

Andre Adams
Nathan Astle
Shane Bond
Stephen Fleming
James Franklin
Peter Fulton
Jamie How
Hamish Marshall
Chris Martin
Michael Mason
Brendon McCullum
Kyle Mills
Jacob Oram
Michael Papps
Jeetan Patel
Mathew Sinclair
Scott Styris
Ross Taylor
Daniel Vettori
Lou Vincent

The six new players are

Andre Adams (back on after two years off the list)
Mathew Sinclair (back after one year off)
Jamie How
Peter Fulton
Ross Taylor
Michael Mason

The players that did not make it back on the list are

Chris Cairns
Chris Harris
James Marshall
Daryl Tuffey
Craig McMillan
Paul Wiseman

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Dan Vettori's back

This report in the Guardian sounds ominous. Dan is currently at Birmingham Hospital waiting to see a specialist after breaking down playing for Warwickshire.

Astle joins Lancashire

Yet another New Zealander has signed to play in the English county season. Nathan Astle has just signed a short-term deal with Lancashire.