2011-12 season

The Big Bash, And Juggling Cricket’s Three Formats

The 2011-12 season saw the transformation of Australia's state-based "Big Bash" competition into the franchise-based Big Bash League. Here are a few points which I think can be taken away following the inaugural Big Bash League:

My second column for iSportConnect can be read in full at http://www.isportconnect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11342&catid=74&Itemid=193

Dan Christian's Hat-Trick

For all the arguments for and against the use of the DRS in the 2011-12 Commonwealth Bank Series, the fact is that it wasn't part of the playing conditions of the tournament, period. So whatever you may think of the lbw decisions that contributed to Dan Christian's hat-trick at the MCG on 2 March 2012, the fact remains that they were legitimate umpire's decisions, such as which we have played the game of cricket under for well over a hundred years.

Christian's hat-trick for Australia in the one-dayer against Sri Lanka, including Perera, Senanayake and Kulasekara is the first by an indigenous cricketer in international play for this country.

People:: 

Melbourne Day Two: Sachin fails by 27

"Tendulkar’s 100th 100 a certainty and what a place to do it. 1st Test played at MCG as well as 1st ODI"
- Tony Greig, Twitter, 5.42pm 27.12.11

"Did I jinx him...if so sorry"
- Tony Greig, Twitter, 6.01pm 27.12.11, five minutes after Tendulkar was dismissed for 73.

The continuing expectation of Sachin Tendulkar's "100th international hundred" and a delightful partnership with his rejuvenated team-mate Rahul Dravid. The highlights of the second day of the Melbourne Test between India and Australia, 27 December 2011.

Tendulkar fell for 73, and that faux statistical milestone remains unconquered for now. But it was still a joyous innings to watch, encapsulated in these highlights, from the official Cricket Australia Youtube channel, of the post-tea session of play:

Arthur, Clarke, but no space odyssey

Australia's sensational seven-run loss to New Zealand at Bellerive Oval on Monday was the first Test defeat for new chairman of selectors John Inverarity and new team coach Mickey Arthur. Signs are that there will be more losses against India. Change is coming, but it is neither quick nor easy.

Two-off Tests

We've seen two great Test matches between South Africa and Australia in the past fortnight.

At Newlands, Cape Town, a dramatic South African collapse was followed by an utterly historic Australian one, after which the home side's batsmen stormed back to claim a stunning win by eight wickets within two and a half days.

South Africa out for 96. Oh and...

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.