Peter Roebuck, cricketer, coach, writer, broadcaster and advocate, died tragically on Saturday night in Cape Town at the age of 55. Much has already been written about his acclaimed legacy. Much more will be written about his complexities. I just want to share one anecdote.
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Some critics have described Day Two at Newlands as one of Australia's worst ever days of Test cricket. It's not even close. We bowled out the opposition for 96, after the captain played a classic leader's knock of 151. And have we forgotten those long long long days in the field bowling to the Poms less than a year ago?
But nor is it every day that an Australian Test team is bowled out for 47. Especially not after losing their first nine wickets for 21 runs. Eighteen overs worthy of the Pantheon of the Hideous utterly ruined what was otherwise a top day for Australia.
On 4 April 2011 the ICC Executive Board talked glowingly about the World Cup that had concluded in Mumbai two days earlier. Among their remarks:
"This ICC Cricket World Cup has been very successful and memorable....
"...the event was the most successful in history.
"The tournament reinforced the attraction of 50 over cricket and showed the enthusiasm and excitement generated by nation v nation cricket.
It's always a mug's game trying to predict winners in an event such as the ICC Cricket World Cup. One prediction I feel reasonably confident about is that Australia will not win its fourth consecutive title.
I'm neither Robinson Crusoe nor Robertson-Glasgow when I rate India as the favourites, with most of their matches played on home soil. Their opponents in the final will be South Africa - that's if, of course, the Proteas can make it that far for the first time.
The tenth World Cup of men's cricket is officially open, and the first game, between Bangladesh and India at Mirpur, happens later today. Though it won't (slightly) be the longest Cricket World Cup of all, it's the first one to span three calendar months. The final will be staged on April 2 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai - subject, as I write this, to the venue's fire safety clearance.
The Ashes for 2010-11 have been won comprehensively by England. The one-sidedness of the contest is reflected in the final leaderboard for the Midwinter-Midwinter.
It's the fourth time that I have made this award, and for the first time, it's a tie. The joint winners of the 2010-11 Midwinter-Midwinter are Alastair Cook and Jimmy Anderson.
(This article is incomplete, but the likelihood that I won't finish off the details, I've decided to post it as is. - Rick, 16.2.11)
Second Test: We lost. Badly.
Third Test: We won. Well.
Fourth Test: We lost. Badly. And lost the Ashes.
I've said it all on Twitter.
Energy to blog? What's that?
In the immortal words of D.Bumble Lloyd, England flippin murdered Australia at The Gabba this week. And what a crushing demoralising draw it was.
Whatever else happened over the five days, the scoreline "517 for 1" at the end of the England second innings is all you need to know to understand how horrible an experience this has been for Australia.