It's almost as terrifying as the prospect of a Bros comeback tour, but here, back after an eleven-and-a-half year absence and for one night only, I give you The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Cricket in 2009.
An intermittently annual tradition for me since about 1996, has been my list of what I regard as the top ten news stories about cricket for the calendar year. I now present my 2009 edition. There's a little bit of overlap among some stories, and some are not single events but rather a collection of events over time. Sadly and tragically, Number One on this year's list picks itself, but some of the others required a bit of thought. If you can think of anything major that has happened since 1 January 2009 that I have missed, please leave a comment.
The following is a compilation of a monthly column that I wrote which originally appeared in Cricinfo in 1996, 1997, 1998. It was done as a not-too-serious companion piece to a Player of the Month selection that I was also doing for Cricinfo over the same period of time. I have modified some of the links in this version for clarity. Note also that these awards pre-date another certain Google.
Oh run ye, oh run ye, to the striker's end.
The Frank Worrell Trophy is settled for 2009. Australia 2, West Indies 0, with one draw. Sounds decisive on the surface of it, but the truth is that, for the two latter Tests at least, the Windies surpassed expectations. Australia played like a team hovering between third and fourth-best in the world.
On Thursday, day two of the WACA Test against the West Indies, Dennis Lillee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Chris Gayle celebrated by smashing the ball onto the roof of his grandstand.
Michael Clarke, co-star with Tiger Woods in many an Aussie version of the Gillette ads, made less runs than Woods has paramours, but with the West Indian eleven lacking Chanderpaul and Barath, it is going to be hard to see them matching the eventual Australian score.
It's been a mixed week for Australian science. On one hand, Professor Ian Plimer attempted to out-debate George Monbiot on the topic of climate change on live television.