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Posts Tagged ‘cricket south africa’

Andre Nel (and, presumably, Gunt(h)er) has retired from international cricket. Cricinfo describes him as “a rambunctious and wholehearted cricketer“. The BBC have in the past given him the accolade of “cricket’s craziest man“. I would describe him, after careful consideration, as ‘properly mental‘.

Nel’s last Test appearance was Kevin Pietersen’s debut as England captain in August 2008, but the latter stages of his Test career were also associated with the controversial quota system operated by Cricket South Africa.

The good news for Nel-lovers in the UK is that Andre will be featuring for Surrey as a Kolpak player (I suppose Gunter has a German passport).

He will also be featuring for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, where his lack of international commitments in the future (and undoubted box-office value as bonus entertainment) will surely make him a prized asset.

With luck, his retirement from the international game will leave plenty of time for honing his ‘Frustration’ skills.

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Cricket’s authorities continue to be perplexed by the weather, with South Africa the main beneficiary. After Sri Lankan cricket authorities lost out on the chance to host the Champions’ Trophy after unacceptably failing to guarantee no rain for a fortnight, allowing the (presumably weather-controlling) South Africans to step in, a similar situation has arisen with regard to the IPL’s search for a temporary home.

Now that the IPL bureaucrats have realised that ‘April showers‘ isn’t just a phrase used during a B&Q sale on Tritons during the spring, the shocking fact that it sometimes rains in Britain has allowed Cricket South Africa to step in and profit again.

Of course, it couldn’t be anything to do with money

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Following Cricket South Africa’s suspension of bilateral agreements with Zimbabwe yesterday, the ECB (in response to government pressure, with the matter even being discussed in today’s Prime Minister’s Questions) has followed suit, which has increased the pressure on the ICC to take strong action when they meet to discuss the issue next week.

Hopefully, the crisis will soon be resolved for the long term good of the country. I know that some people reading this will be sick of me writing about things other than those directly relating to cricket, and I’ll be glad when I can write about Zimbabwean cricket without immediately calling to mind stories like this.

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Following the recent political developments in Zimbabwe, it has been made painfully clear that the cricketing authorities would have to take some sort of action.

Today, Cricket South Africa (possibly reacting to player unrest and media pressure) severed its bilateral agreements with the Zimbabwean cricketing authorities. This, along with the general tone of recent developments, will, with any luck, force the ICC to do something.

I’m hopeful that cricket will do what it can to bring about the necessary change in Zimbabwe, and I’m relieved that the previous attitude of those in charge has seemingly ben replaced by a more positive approach.

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Following the launch of the IPL, the BCCI (in collaboration with Cricket South Africa, the PCB, Cricket Australia and the ECB) is planning a Twenty20 Champions League for October this year (possibly to be held in England).

On the face of it, given what some people (including a large part of myself) think about the footballing equivalent, this may not necessarily be A Good Thing, and may mean the Death of Domestic Cricket.

The parallels with football, though, may not be very useful. To start with, the footballers involved in UEFA’s competition are only associated with one team. This is clearly not the case for, say, Dimitri Mascarenhas, who is contracted both to Hampshire and to the Rajasthan Royals, or David Hussey of Victoria, Nottinghamshire and the Kolkatta Knight Riders.

Most likely, the ‘Champions League’ will be more interesting than the Champions Trophy, but it will probably not supercede the domestic game (or at least, not domestic 20-over circket) to quite the same degree that its footballing namesake has.

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