In the tradition of the Midwinter-Midwinter I today launch the rickeyre.com BoG (Best On Ground) award for the 2008-09 Australia v South Africa Test Series and its reciprocal follow-up in 2009.
How it works? On each day of each Test I award points on a 3-2-1 basis to the BoGs (Best Players on Ground). At the end of the series, the player with the most points is the winner.
The award has been named by me in honour of one Australian batsman who has distinguished himself in Test cricket, and one South African batsman who has distinguished himself in Test cricket. But why drag two players into this when you only need one?
With this in mind, I give you: The Kepler-Wessels.
The inaugural 2008-09 Kepler-Wessels (and please note, it's not a Cup, Trophy, Shield, Medal or anything really, its full title is "The Kepler-Wessels") will be determined from the daily BoG points over the six Tests in the reciprocal Australia-South Africa series, concluding with the Cape Town Test which commences on 19 March 2009.
Where a day's play is shortened for any reason (weather, early finish) a full set of 3-2-1 votes will not awarded, but instead will be either 2-1 or merely 1.
(By way of background, the Midwinter-Midwinter was instituted for the 2005 Ashes and was won by Shane Warne. The second Midwinter-Midwinter, for the 2006-07 Ashes series, was again won by Shane Warne. I'll make a bold prediction and say that Warne will come out of retirement to claim a hat-trick of Midwinter-Midwinters in 2009.)
At stumps on Day One of the WACA Test, Australia is 341 for 9. My Kepler-Wessels BoG points for the first day of the series are:
3 pts - Simon Katich (Australia);
2 pts - Makhaya Ntini (South Africa);
1 pt - Michael Clarke (Australia).