Dean Jones:  A Celebration of LIfe

Dean Jones: A Celebration of LIfe

The sudden death of Dean Jones shocked the cricketing community at the age of 59 on September 24th last week in Mumbai.

Deano, as he was commonly known as, was a larger than life personality, even controversial at times. He was known for his analysis and left-field ideas as well as his aggressive gameplay.

We will take this moment to celebrate his illustrious life and career—as a world-cup winning batsman, broadcaster, commentator, and even a coach.

The Highlights:

Dean Jones was one of the pillars of Australia’s World Cup win in 1987 and the 1989 Ashes victory in England. He is generally considered to be a part of “Australia’s Greatest ODI Teams” due to his style of playing. Apart from his ODI batting, he is also remembered for his double century in the tied match against India at Chennai. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Teams: Australia, Victoria, Derbyshire, Durham
  • 1987 Cricket World Cup (314 runs at average of 44)
  • 1989-1992: Top Ranked ODI Batsman
  • 1991: 5th Highest ICC Batting Ranking of all time (918)
  • 2019: Australian Cricket Hall of Fame

Stats:

ODI: 164 matches, 6068 runs, 44.61 average, best of 145, 7-100s/46-50s
Tests: 52 matches, 3631 runs, 46.55 average, best of 216, 11-100s/ 14- 50s

Coached:

  • Islamabad United – Head Coach (2016-2018) – won in 2016
  • Karachi Kings – Head Coach (2019)
  • Afghanistan national cricket team – Interim Head Coach (2017)

Broadcaster/ Commentator:

  • Columnist at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald
  • Indian Premier League – Dugout at Star Sports (India)
  • Shpageeza Cricket League (Afghanistan)
  • Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Premier Leagues (India)

Dean Jones – The Legacy:

With Dean Jones, we have lost a gem. Gone too soon, but a life well-lived.

It did not matter the format or level of cricket. If it was cricket, Dean Jones was there-whether that was international cricket like the Ashes or as a T20 globetrotter at the PSL, in Afghanistan as a coach or commentator, or even the state premier leagues in India.

He may be analyzing a game pre-match, commentating during the game, or even be in a dugout as a coach. As a batsman, he changed ODI cricket for the better and was one of the transformational figures of cricket broadcasting.

Deep condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace, Deano.

Tributes:

Here are some of the tributes on social media after the news of his passing away broke out.

“Champion player, coach, and commentator” – Waqar Younis

“Such a kind and generous soul who inspired millions of people around the world” – Shane Watson

“Loved playing alongside Deano – his enthusiasm and energy was infectious while his confidence and boy language always lifted his team mates. He was a pioneer and innovator in many aspects, his intimidating running between the wickets, his cavalier stroke play, being first to wear sunglasses on the field while he also paved the way for players to be compensated well for their bat contracts. He owned the one day game…” – Steve Waugh

“He revolutionised the game and I loved him. When he scored his 200 in Madras he was so dehydrated but he kept going on…”Allan Border

Videos:

  1. ICC Tribute:

2. The Best of Dean Jones (Batting/Fielding videos)

3. Highlights of several of Jones’ innings

Sources: ESPNCricinfo: Story, Profile, Tributes ; ICC, cricket.com.au
Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

Reflections of Passion by Yanni, what a beautiful composition. One of my all-time favorite pieces.

It evokes a variety of emotions, all at the same time. The music is playful, yet somber. Soothing, yet powerful. Beneath the passion and the joy, lies a subtle dose of grief and tension.

What is passion in the first place? According to Dictionary.com, passion is a

Strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.

Passion comes in all shapes and forms—it could be romantic, could be ambition to be the best and break barriers, or just a willingness to improve and prove to yourself that you are worth it.

Wait, wait, wait. You would be thinking, where or why is the cricket gone? Why am I talking about music and philosophy all of a sudden? Isn’t this IPL season?

Great question!

Well, lately I have been reflecting about the relationship between a fan and the professional. Cricket is a game filled with passion – the fans, the players, and the administrators alike. The vision of a fan differs vastly from how the sportsperson plays his or her game.

Reflections of Passion – Broken Dreams

Recently, we did several articles on the theme of Broken Cricket Dreams. We learned about Avinash living his cricket dreams in our first cricket interview, exemplified how Ellyse Perry was inspiring a new generation, heard about the #BrokenDreams and #DreamsLived of numerous cricket fans on Twitter, and finally culminated with an article about the unluckiest cricketer in recent memory.

Now, the idea of my own last article perturbed me a bit.

According to a fan’s point of view, we would like to have seen the journey of a few cricketers longer than they lasted, but do they see themselves as unlucky? I am not so sure.

We all want to be part of something greater than we are. Hence, we invest ourselves in the sport. Although the fans are part of the crowd, we want to be in the game, and we live our dreams through the players themselves. If our own favorite player does not play well, we feel bad ourselves deep down inside, as if we had failed.

So are we not being harsh on the player when calling them unlucky or criticizing them?

Anyway, the philosophy can wait for a little while. Stay tuned for the What Can We Learn? from these so-called unlucky cricketers section at the end of the article below.

Audience Poll Results – Top 3 Unluckiest

Before we jump into the moral of the story, here are the actual results of the poll we did on who our viewers thought were the unluckiest cricketers of the last few decades.

*Note, the description of the these players before and why their career stalled is here.

1. ODI: Faded XI

  1. Robin Uthappa
  2. Brad Hodge
  3. Neil Johnson
  • Honorable Mentions : Mohammad Ashraful, Shane Bond, Brad Hogg
  • Others: Alex Hales, Lendl Simmons, James Taylor, Hansie Cronje, Sreesanth

2. Test: Washed Out XI

  1. Mohammad Kaif
  2. Simon Jones
  3. Mohammad Amir
  • Honorable Mention: Adam Voges
  • Others: Marcus Trescothick, Mark Ramprakash, Fawad Alam, Prasanna Jayawardene, Simon Harmer, Duanne Olivier, Stuart MacGill, Lasith Malinga

3. Twitter Poll

Where Are They Now?

While Fawad Alam finally made a hard fought comeback and players like Alex Hales, Mohammad Amir, and Lendl Simmons are still fighting for a spot in their national squads, we look back at how some of the former international cricketers are inspiring the next generation.

I. Marcus Trescothick and James Taylor

Marcus Trescothick was on track to be one of the all-time greatest openers and the best English batsman ever produced before he had to stop playing international cricket due to mental illness during the prime of his career.

What he did after his international career is itself awe-inspiring. He continued playing first class cricket for Somerset till the age of 43 and has been open in talking about his struggles, most prominently with his autobiography, Coming Back to Me. Lately, several cricketers like Jonathan Trott and Glenn Maxwell have come out in public with mental struggle of an international career, but it may not have been possible had Trescothick not paved the way.

James Tayor has also had a similar story. Talented young English cricketer but had to retire at the age of 26 because of a serious heart condition.

Did this stop Taylor from doing what he loves most? No, instead he carried on and stayed close to the game with the goal of giving back to English cricket. He is now a full-time selector and is frequently seen in the stands supporting the England cricket team. He also wrote an inspirational auto-biography, Cut Short.

II. Shane Bond, Mohammad Kaif, and Prasanna Jayawardene

Although Shane Bond’s career halted because of recurring injuries, he is having as much impact as a bowling coach now as he did when he was a fast-bowler for New Zealand. Most prominently, he was the bowling coach of NZ between 2012-2015, the period that saw the growth of this team especially mentoring Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Has also coached Mumbai Indians and Sydney Thunder.

Mohammad Kaif joined the Gujarat Lions assistant coach staff in 2017 (under coach Brad Hodge, another name on our list) and is now the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals under coach Ricky Ponting (they are doing quite well if you have not noticed). As one of the best fielders India produced, one of his areas of focus is to actively promote fitness.

Finally Prasanna Jayawardene, regarded as the best wicketkeeper of Sri Lanka, was recently hired by England as a wicket-keeping coach apart from coaching in Sri Lanka.

III. Brad Hogg and Robin Uthappa

Both Brad Hogg and Robin Uthappa have invested there post-cricketing careers in media and broadcasting like several other players. Although Uthappa is currently representing Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, he has already done a few shows at Cricbuzz. Another way Robin Uthappa has been contributing is mentoring and supporting school-age cricketers.

Brad Hogg is one of the more familiar faces in commentary recently with stints in the IPL, Big Bash, and all over the place. Just look at his Linkedin.

So, What Can We Learn?

This was just a small list we picked from. There are numerous such unsung heroes in our sport.

So looking back, were these cricketers really unlucky? Did they really disappoint? On the contrary, their journey has been just as valuable as someone who has played a 100 Tests.

They may be regarded as “unlucky” in their own cricketing careers for one reason or another, but they may become the source of inspiration, the hand of the support, the “lucky” person someone else needs.

We know the scientific axiom that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. Similarly, passion never dies. The love of the game just transforms.

You can take a cricketer out of cricket, but can never take out cricket from a cricketer. Even if Kaif can inspire one person to live a more fit lifestyle or if Bond discovers the next fast bowler, they have still contributed to the game immensely.

Ups and Downs, success and failure will occur. That is just natural.

The important thing is to remain not-out and go to the next part of the journey.

So you should never give up and keep whatever you are doing. Just stay in the game.

The journey is more important than the destination. Regardless of what happens out there in the middle, the fact that they have given their all is what matters. I hope all these players keep on contributing to world of cricket in one form or the other and continue their journey.

They have all inspired me. Even if you inspire one person, it has been a journey worth living. After all is said and done, with all your shattered and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world out there.

Image Courtesy: Mark Ramprakash – Onewhohelps at English Wikipedia / via CC 3.0; Mohammad Ashraful – Nurunnaby Chowdhury (Hasive) / CC BY-SA 4.0; Stuart MacGill – paddynapper / CC BY-SA 2.0; Yanni / CC BY-SA 2.0; Alex Hales – Amal316 / CC BY-SA 4.0; Shane Bond – Benchill / CC BY-SA 3.0; Marcus Trescothick – SGGH at English Wikipedia / Public domain;

Twitter Special: IPL 2020 Predictions

Twitter Special: IPL 2020 Predictions

IPL 2020 predictions time. The biggest festivity in T20 cricket has begun and every team has loads of supporters.

Who will it be? Will RCB finally get the crown? Can MI win in an even year? Can CSK’s Dads Army , KKR’s jammed middle order, or RR’s World Cup winners take them to the IPL trophy? Or will the lesser fancied SRH, KXIP, and the highly rated DC ?

Now that every team has played at least one game, we are releasing the #IPLPredictions by our Twitter followers.

We asked our viewers to respond to who they think will be IPL 2020’s:

  • #Champions
  • #OrangeCap
  • #PurpleCap
  • #FairPlay
  • #EmergingPlayer
  • #SurprisePackage

Forgot to send in your responses? Do not worry!

COMMENT Below with these # and we will post it on this page as well. We also have an ongoing poll throughout the IPL which IPL team will win.

*VOTE in the poll below the article (if mobile) or on the side bar (desktop).

It has only been 5 days, but boy, were we missing this. Three close games to start #IPL2020, a controversial run/not-run, and Dhoni at #7 and DK at the top debate once again. At the end of the one game, KXIP, KKR, and SRH are yet to trouble the points table, while MI have finally won their first game at the UAE.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the twitter predictions. We will see who was the closest at the end of the IPL!

My IPL 2020 Predictions

The Tweets

  1. Aviral Rai (@cric_fan23)
  • #Champions: CSK
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Yuzi Chahal
  • #FairPlay: SRH
  • #EmergingPlayer: Devdutt Padikkal
  • #SurprisePackage: Balwant Rai/Shahbaz Ahmad (RCB)

2. Pratyush (@ps26_11)

  • #Champions: SRH
  • #OrangeCap: Warner
  • #PurpleCap: Rashid Khan
  • #FairPlay: CSK
  • #EmergingPlayer: Abdul Samad
  • #SurprisePackage: Isuru Udana

3. JustCricket(@justcricketblog)

  • #Champions: Delhi Capitals
  • #OrangeCap: Virat Kohli
  • #PurpleCap: Kagiso Rabada
  • #FairPlay: CSK
  • #EmergingPlayer: Devdutt Padikkal
  • #SurprisePackage: Josh Philippe

4. Ansh Sharma(@Im_anshsharma)

  • #Champions: Delhi Capitals
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Ravi Ashwin
  • #FairPlay: Chennai Super Kings
  • #EmergingPlayer: Yashashwi Jaiswal
  • #SurprisePackage: Daniel Sams

5. Rahul Kumar (@rahulk_1019)

  • #Champions: KXIP
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Rashid Khan
  • #FairPlay: CSK
  • #EmergingPlayer: Ravi Bishnoi
  • #SurprisePackage: Dan Sams

6. Sourabh Sanyal (@sourabhsanyal)

  • #Champions: MI
  • #OrangeCap: KOHLI/KL
  • #PurpleCap: Chahal/Narine/Rashid
  • #FairPlay: SRH/CSK
  • #EmergingPlayer: Yashasvi
  • #SurprisePackage: Nagarkoti

7. Crazy Anand (@AnandHR_Odia)

  • #Champions: SRH
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Rashid Khan
  • #FairPlay: DC
  • #EmergingPlayer: Abdul Samad
  • #SurprisePackage: Sam Curran

8. Ganesh giri srt (@GaneshGiriSRT)

  • #Champions: SRH
  • #OrangeCap: Warner
  • #PurpleCap: Rashid
  • #FairPlay: SRH
  • #EmergingPlayer: Yashasvi
  • #SurprisePackage: Rutherford

9. CricIndeed (@CricIndeed)

  • #Champions: KXIP
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Imran Tahir
  • #FairPlay: DC
  • #EmergingPlayer: Shubman Gill
  • #SurprisePackage: Hardus Viljoen

10. Mohd Shamir Ansari (@ShamirMohd)

  • #Champions: DC
  • #OrangeCap: Virat Kohli
  • #PurpleCap: Rashid Khan
  • #FairPlay: RR
  • #EmergingPlayer: Yashasvi Jaiswal
  • #SurprisePackage: Alex Carey

11. The Hundred Report (@HundredReport)

  • #Champions: SRH
  • #OrangeCap: Kane Williamson
  • #PurpleCap: Adam Zampa
  • #FairPlay: KXIP
  • #EmergingPlayer: Riyan Parag
  • #SurprisePackage: Moeen(I believe!)

12. Sourav (@im_sourav146)

  • #Champions: KKR
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Y Chahal
  • #FairPlay: SRH
  • #EmergingPlayer: Shubman Gill
  • #SurprisePackage: Kamlesh Nagarkoti

13. Vandit

  • #Champions: MI
  • #OrangeCap: KL Rahul
  • #PurpleCap: Mohammad Shami
  • #FairPlay: CSK
  • #EmergingPlayer: Devdutt Padikkal
  • #SurprisePackage: Sam Curran

14. The Cricket Scholar (@lue_balo)

“The only thing I know is RCB won’t [be] in it”

15. Dan Cricket (@DanCricket93) Replying to The Cricket Scholar

“I’m supporting the Delhi Daredevils”

In that final conversation, there were mentions of the Deccan Chargers and Gujarat Lions as well. Kochi Tuskers Kerela anybody?

What Can We Learn?

It seems that DC and SRH are popular predictions for the winner. KL Rahul is the #OrangeCap favorite, while legspinners like Rashid Khan seems to be the popular #PurpleCap choice. Finally, Abdul Samad, Devdutt Padikkal (as he rightly showed on debut), and Yashasvi Jaiswal are the youngsters to watch out.

My favorite was the #SurprisePackage. Daniel Sams, Isuru Udana, and Moeen are among the picks for this category. Will any of them even get a game?

For me personally, in the KXIP vs DC game, my orange cap Mayank Agarwal was hitting my surprise package candidate Anrich Nortje, while Ravi Bishnoi had a decent game himself.

Who do you think will be the winner, orange cap and purple cap winners? Comment below, subscribe to this blog, and share ahead!

Let the games begin!

Sources: Twitter, IPLT20, ESPNCricinfo

Image Courtesy: Kagiso Rabada: NAPARAZZI / CC BY-SA 2.0

MI All-Time XI – An Odd Champion…

MI All-Time XI – An Odd Champion…

MI All-Time XI—we are finally to the end of the road.

They have won 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 so definitely odd champions so far. Post 2010, Mumbai Indians have put faith in their stars like Pollard and Malinga while giving space for youngsters like Bumrah, Pandyas, and Ishan Kishan/Suryakumar Yadav.

This balance has reaped them rewards. Their consistency will probably make this All-Time XI a little predictable, but let us wait and watch.

ALSO VOTE BELOW WITH YOUR MI ALL-TIME XI!

The Catch

  • One of the biggest headaches for MI has been Rohit Sharma’s position. Opener or #4?
  • Both Rohit and Sachin saw several opening partners from Jayasuriya to Lendl Simmons even to Ricky Ponting briefly and now, Quinton De Kock. Do any of these make your list?
  • How low do you bat Pollard? Remind you of 2010?
  • The battle of the Mitches – Mitchell Johnson vs Mitch McClenaghan.

The Highlights

  • 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 (Champions), 2011 (3rd), 2012, 2014 (4th)

MY MI All-Time XI

  1. Rohit Sharma (2011-2019) – Captain
  2. Sachin Tendulkar (2008-2013)
  3. Dinesh Karthik (2012-2013) – WK
  4. Ambati Rayudu (2010-2017)
  5. Kieron Pollard (2010-2019)
  6. Hardik Pandya (2015-2019)
  7. Krunal Pandya (2015-2019)
  8. Harbhajan Singh (2008-2017)
  9. Lasith Malinga (2009-2019)
  10. Jasprit Bumrah (2013-2019)
  11. Mitch McClenaghan (2015-2019)

Honorable Mentions: Lendl Simmons (2014-2017), Dwayne Smith (2008-2013), Quinton de Kock (2019), Suryakumar Yadav (2012-2019)

SURPRISE! Only 3 foreign players in my 11. Now your turn.

Audience Poll – MI All-Time XI

  • Pick 11 players from the list – with 4 foreign players maximum.
  • You need to have a wicketkeeper and at least 5 bowling options.
[yop_poll id=”5″]

For more such articles, view the other All-Time XIs: CSK, RCB, SRH, KXIP/DC, RR/KKR.

Sources: Cricinfo StatsCricinfo IPL All-Time XI

Image Courtesy: Lasith Malinga – Gershon Jonish / CC BY-SA 4.0; Dee03 / CC BY-SA 3.0; Harrias / CC BY-SA 3.0; Sachin Tendulkar (cropped) – XFLRG6174 / CC BY-SA 4.0; Quinton de KockNAPARAZZI / CC BY-SA 2.0

CSK All-Time XI: Dad’s Army Most Consistent

CSK All-Time XI: Dad’s Army Most Consistent

CSK All-Time XI, let us start with the obvious. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina – the twin retirements that shook the world. Now that international cricket is off their mind, who knows they might play even better!

In the All-Time CSK XI, Thala and chinna thala are the two pillars of CSK, but who else is a guarantee?

Even after the two year exodus, CSK has come back with the ‘Dad’s Army’ and won it in style. How long can do they with these old stars? Only time will tell.

CSK has ALWAYS made it to the playoffs—they are just that good. When the odds are in their favor, they win. When the odds are not in their favor, they definitely win.

Anyway, VOTE BELOW AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

Meanwhile, here is our All-Time CSK XI.

*Note: CSK were banned between 2016-2017, so these players played for other teams then.

The Catch

  • In slow turning Chennai pitches, Ashwin, Jadeja, Jakati, and Harbhajan have all played monumental roles – can you fit all four of them in?
  • At the top of the order, it seems CSK have a revolving door of Australians – Matthew Hayden made way for Mike Hussey, who was eventually replaced by Shane Watson (there is a Faf in the mix too). Who do you pick?

The Highlights

  • 2010, 2011, 2018 – (Champions), 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019 (Runners Up), 2009, 2014 (3rd)

MY CSK All-Time XI

  1. Mike Hussey (2008-2015)
  2. Murali Vijay (2009-2013, 2019)
  3. Suresh Raina (2008-2019)
  4. Ambati Rayudu (2018-2019)
  5. MS Dhoni (2008-2019) – Captain/WK
  6. Subramaniam Badrinath (2008-2013)
  7. Ravindra Jadeja (2012-2019)
  8. Albie Morkel (2008-2013)
  9. Dwayne Bravo (2011-2019)
  10. Ravichandran Ashwin (2009-2015)
  11. Imran Tahir (2018-2019)

Honorable Mention: Shane Watson (2018-2019), Deepak Chahar (2018-2019), Shadab Jakati (2009-2012), Faf du Plessis (2012-2019)

Audience Poll – CSK All-Time XI

  • Pick 11 players from the list – with 4 foreign players maximum.
  • You need to have a wicketkeeper and at least 5 bowling options.
[yop_poll id=”4″]

Thank y’all for voting! Share with your friends, comment below on your XI, and subscribe to the blog/ follow our social media pages!

For other IPL All-Time XIs, check this page out.

Sources: Cricinfo StatsCricinfo IPL All-Time XI

Image Courtesy: Ravindra Jadeja – Amrapahal Pahanswan / CC BY-SA 4.0; MS Dhoni – Pulkitsinha / CC BY-SA 2.0; Albie Morkel – YellowMonkey/Blnguyen / CC BY-SA 4.0; Matthew Hayden – Eva Rinaldi / CC BY-SA 2.0; Suresh RainaNAPARAZZI / CC BY-SA 2.0