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since 1997 Feb 16

2018 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

Previous Page :  ICC Awards for 2017
Happy New Year to Everyone!

With Apologies to (W)BBL|03

Firstly my apologies for (you must think) ignoring (W)BBB|03. Personal circumstances have made it difficult to keep track of events so far. However, browsing Twitter brings some rewards (as well as a load of junk) and I came across this...

I thought I took stats reasonably seriously - see this page - but I hadn't more than a glimpse at the surface until I started following this individual on Twitter. If you use that service, then follow them @_hypocaust - and don't miss out the underscore.
I don't think this increasing predominance of batsmen over bowlers is anything in particular to do with T20 cricket. More likely it's part of the general trend in all forms of the game and very well illustrated here. Am I going to try to emulate theses stats - for the recent World Cup perhaps - well the answer is 'no'. I simply wouldn't have the patience - and probably the skill either.
Everyone seems to greet this trend as an improvement in the game, except, I would suggest, some of the bowling fraternity, and so far as it goes, I'd be inclined to agree. I wouldn't wish to see all pitches tailored to the needs just of the batsman though. They have enough help from modern bats. Nor do I like Mickey Mouse boundaries which mean no batsman ever gets a 3 without some huge fumbling mix-up, and always makes the new spectator think "women can't hit a cricket ball" which we all know is far from the truth. Fitness is said to be a great feature of the modern game at the top level. In that case running 3s shouldn't be a problem! I am part way through re-watching the India v Australia semi-final 2nd innings for about the 3rd time. I was interested to note that to this point I can't recall a 4 that wouldn't have made the men's boundary. In fact, since the boundary rope for the men had been left in place I could be certain when they managed that. Did I miss one? I'll keep watching.
<Jan 26>

A Retirement and a New Job

Pakistan have just announced a new coach and selection Board for their women's team. One name caught my eye immediately and that, not surprisingly, was Asmavia Iqbal, especially as she had only just announced her retirement from cricket.

[Asmavia Iqbal]  Don Miles

Asmavia Iqbal in action, taker of perhaps the oddest hat-trick in cricket history

Perhaps the first thing to say is that her experience in the middle will be missed by the team; she has huge experience having played 82 ODIs for her country and 68 T20s. However, could that experience be put to good use in her new role as part of the triumvirate selecting the squad in the future?  I would suggest it would indeed be very valuable. In fact, it strikes me that selection is often done by people who have, to paraphrase a familiar saying "Never been there, and Never done that!" Now I not saying that male coaches and other support staff can give valuable input into squad selection, but there seems, in many countries a notable lack of inclusion for those who have "been there and done that". It's my feeling that should be remedied. New Zealand's White Ferns perhaps led the way when giving Haidee Tiffen the job of coach for the women's team, but in recent eras other examples are thin on the ground. Thus, as far as I'm concerned, hats off to Pakistan and Asmavia Iqbal. If I was the Chairman of that group I'd be paying great attention to everything she has to say!

[Haidee Tiffen]  Don Miles[Haidee Tiffen]  Don Miles

Current NZ Coach Haidee Tiffen in 2004 and celebrating
having beaten England in the NatWest Series in 2007

<Feb 3>

Anya Shrubsole Features on the Cover of Wisden 2018

While Sushma Verma and Shikha Pandey
Grace the Cover of Wisden India

I wonder how many thought a couple of decades ago that they'd live to see this. I know I didn't. Women feature on the cover of the two most valued publications in the cricket world - and both appear for the first time in the same year! Perhaps the least surprising is the appearance of Anya Shrubsole. Her 6-46 deprived India of a World Cup Final they looked, for a major part of the day, like winning. It also set a new ground record (man or woman) for Lord's, snatching that from her team mate Katherine Brunt who took 5-25 against South Africa back in 2008. Brunt's record has stood for some time and had not been overtaken by man or women until Anya's amazing performance.

[Katherine Brunt]  Don Miles

[Katherine Brunt]  Don Miles

Sadly I was unable to get to Lord's to the Final  due to poor health or the scoreboard would have been in my camera sights again!
Less likely was the inclusion of women on the cover of Wisden India. India after all lost that match when they should probably have won it, but it has been hugely encouraging to see the reception that the public and press have given their team back home. You could almost have come to the false impression they'd walked away with the Cup. I think this shows a huge leap forward for the sport around the world. India is, of course, the largest nation that follows cricket and they do with a fervour that is probably only matched by an Ashes series. In a country where gender equality (currently a hot topic in the west) is not well developed, it's great to see things improving and if sport can help that process then it can only benefit the India women's team and indeed half the population of that teeming country. So I say "hat's off" to the Indian team - well played!!

Is the Standard of T20 Improving?

That would seem to depend on your view point. Here's the one held by most... and one I am forced to agree with. However...

I'm not sure the bowlers would feel quite so favourably as the batsmen or the public about this. However, T20 is probably supposed to be all about runs I guess, so everything is obviously proceeding in the right direction. And as you'll be bored with me typing, heavy bats, tiny boundaries, and a few other factors have ensured it could really go only one way.
But could you put all the recent increase in batting rates down to those factors? I think I would contend that improved batting has certainly made a difference but you can't (or shouldn't) ignore the others. Let's not give batsmen all the credit - the authorities have ensured they have the downhill slope while the bowlers have... well the opposite.
I'm not necessarily saying it's a 'bad thing' - simply that it's important to understand why things are happening, not just that they are.
If I have a particular 'beef' about T20 cricket it is that it has encouraged the powers that be to feel they need Mickey Mouse boundaries for the proper game which is, of course, 50-over or Test cricket. Just don't look at Jan Brittin's stats and any of the current international players and make comparisons. She didn't have access to heavy bats, and certainly not, in the main, to small (I'm being polite here) boundaries. I would loved to have seen her play with today's kit, on today's grounds. Now that would have terrified every international bowler out there.

21 Years and still Going

Back in my day - oh, dear - now that's put most of you off to start with - you needed to be 21 before a key to the door traditionally arrived on your key ring. That was the age at which you had finally matured. Now more recent research has shown, contrary to public custom and opinion, that it is actually later than that!
Anyway to stay with the conditions of my age (i.e. the attitudes in the years of my teens) this site is now mature. Actually I'm not sure about that. I've picked up the modern habit of making it a little too much about me, but then I pay my 3/week to keep it going so I feel I'm entitled. I watched my first women's match, as possibly a number of you will know, in 1993 and started this site only 4 years later. It's been fun to do most of the time, although a struggle once or twice.
I've also seen, as you might imagine, a lot of changes on the 'Net in that time. Web sites have become flashier and advertising has tended to take over, especially from those telling us we should 'bet responsibly' - when perhaps they just mean 'bet'! Cricket Archive, for many years one of the finest resources on the scene, has disappeared behind a paywall, a sad loss to much of the cricketing community, and even sites like Cricinfo have reduced their coverage and made the navigation around their site a nightmare in recent times.
So - to make a 'management statement' - this site will carry only adverts to suppliers I have used myself and who have gone well beyond the call of duty in their service to me. They will be free and tucked away on one page only - have you found them yet? I find advertising and false news (or misleading news) everywhere on the 'Net and it irks me. Only today I fell upon an article on earthquakes in the UK (yes - we've just had a very minor one) when it said that the site, which was in South Wales, was close to a previous more violent one on the Dogger Bank. It's a simple matter to check if you're not sure but the two places, east to west, could hardly be further apart. North to south they could, but east to west... This sort of journalism is sloppy rather than deliberate fake news. If you think I am ever guilty of that PLEASE email me
I will also continue to make this site primarily about images. Sites like CRICKETher and others do a far better reporting job than I could do having two excellent journalists at their disposal, and a very knowledgeable historian.
Comment is a different 'kettle of fish' however. Having played and/or watched cricket at all levels (well watched at all levels anyway) for over 60 years I think I have learned a lot but am still aware of how much I don't know about this most subtle of games.
In response to the 21st anniversary of this site, one of my visitors to this site has urged me to 'keep going'. I fully intend to.

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