Monday, 27 May 2013

A West Indian IPL?

Unfortunately I missed the IPL final last night (on 26 May 2013). However I watched the highlights this morning. After Chennai beat Mumbai in their playoff to go straight into the final, Mumbai defeated Rajasthan in another playoff and then went all the way and overcame Chennai in the final. Mumbai won the final by 23 runs, their first IPL tournament win.

The West Indian cricketers have proved in this IPL that they are a powerful force in T20 cricket. Chris Gayle made the highest T20 score for a batsman (175*) and Dwayne Bravo took the most wickets in an IPL season (32). Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Darren Sammy and Sunil Narine also had a great tournament. For me Kieron Pollard was the best player in the tournament as he made big knocks in the playoffs as well as the final. I can see now that West Indians are fantastic in this format and the WI teams will be a great threat in the Champions League T20 later this year.

IPL 2013 final: CSK 125/9 (20) MI 148/9 (20). Kieron Pollard (centre) hit 60* and got man of the match. Image taken from

Cricket in England

I really enjoy watching cricket played in England. The picture on the TV screen is always clear and green, the commentary is really nice and the England test team is a good unit. The England team always seems to back each other. They believe in each other, and take on the best teams in the world; especially when they play in England. Their fans are also very supportive, chant and sometimes dress up for matches. The fans are also impolite at times - which makes it more entertaining.

The conditions in England will favour seamers and batsmen. So next month's ICC Champions Trophy will be exciting for me. I love watching seamers in action. Fast bowlers are far more interesting than spinners. England will probably play well. They are dominating New Zealand right now; and having their fans behind them and playing on their own conditions in the tournament will also help. England will be a team to watch out for, and certainly Australia and Pakistan. Of course I am hoping SA can do well.

Coming from a great IPL, I hope this Champions Trophy will be just as exciting.

Stuart Broad (26) of England. He will probably be the best English pace bowler for a while, and he can bat a bit. Image taken from
Broad's stats are as follows: (Taken from on 27 May 2013)
Batting and fielding averages
List A113571846245*11.8464271.9600286220
Bowling averages
List A113567949301775/235/2327.855.2032.0910

Sunday, 05 May 2013

What is the ICC Champions trophy?

This June we will get to watch the International Cricket Council 's second biggest event. The Champions Trophy runs roughly every two years and currently involves the 8 highest ranked ODI teams. It is an ODI tournament a bit like the World Cup but with less teams. It could be seen as a more elite tournament. 

There are two groups in this year's competition. Group A features Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Group B has India, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies. It began in 1998, which South Africa won, believe it or not. 

The late Hansie Cronje captained SA to their
first ICC event win in the 1998 ICC CT. Image taken from

In their only ICC event win, SA beat West Indies in the final by 4 wickets with 18 balls to spare. Jacques Kallis was the man of the match in the final and was awarded player of the tournament. You can read about that final here

I expect the tournament to be very exciting this year. The top four ICC ranked ODI teams are all within 4 points. As of 05 May 2013 the rankings are:

India      119 points
England  117 points
Australia 116 points

South Africa (4th) are on 113 points and Sri Lanka (5th) are on 108 points.

It has been a while since South Africa have entered an ODI tournament not being one of the top 3 ranked teams.

The history of the tournament:

1998      - SA
2000/01 - NZ
2002/03 - IND/SRI 
(Rain prevented a game being finished in 2 days, so the trophy was shared)
2004      - WI
2006      - AUS
2009      - AUS

This Champions Trophy starts on 6 June.

JP Duminy.jpg
JP Duminy makes a return to international cricket. Image taken from

The biggest news for South African fans is that Jacques Kallis has asked not to play in the Champions League, and in his place JP Duminy has made a comeback to the squad, following a 6 month injury. The Proteas squad for the Champions League looks good. Here it is:

AB de Villiers (capt) 
Hashim Amla 
Farhaan Behardien 
JP Duminy 
Faf du Plessis 
Colin Ingram 
Rory Kleinveldt 
Ryan McLaren 
David Miller 
Morne Morkel 
Robin Peterson 
Aaron Phangiso 
Graeme Smith 
Dale Steyn 
Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

My only qualm about the squad is that I think Roelof van der Merwe has done very well recently and I think he should have been included ahead of Aaron Phangiso.

IPL6 is currently ongoing. It is in the second half of its progression. The final is on 26 May. Image take from

I said recently that the Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad are the only teams capable of winning the IPL. It seems once again I have to eat my words. The Sunrisers Hyderabad are not looking as good as they were in the first third of the tournament. However the Rajastan Royals and Mumbai Indians look more like they are up for the challenge.

I don't want to make any sweeping statements and then be proven wrong. Let me just say that at this point the Pune Warriors India and the Delhi Daredevils have been unimpressive and are the only teams I seriously expect to not get near making the final.

If you would like to find out more about the ICC Champions Trophy go to or