World Twenty20 Cup Groups and Fixtures

Format: There are four groups with 3 teams in each group for the Pro20 World Cup. The top two teams go through to a super 8 group either Group E or F. The ICC has devised a fairly strange method in working out which team joins each Super 8 group. The ICC have worked out a seeding for each side, and it is irrelevant whether you finish first or second in your group, as you will keep your original seeding and go into the pre-planned group. If however there is a surprise and the unranked side qualifies, they will take the seeding of the team that hasn’t made the Super 8.  Assuming there are no surprises then Group E of the Super 8 will be: South Africa, England, New Zealand and India. Group F will be: West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan!!! Seems confusing but it’s supposed to sort out some logistical arrangements.

Group A 
(A1) South Africa
(A2) West Indies
Bangladesh 

Group B 
(B1) Australia
(B2) England
Zimbabwe
 
Group C 
(C1) New Zealand
(C2) Sri Lanka
Kenya
 
Group D 
(D1) Pakistan
(D2) India
Scotland

SUPER EIGHT – GROUPS
Group E:    A1, B2, C1, D2
Group F:    A2, B1, C2, D1

The fixtures are shown below, The tournament strts on the 11th of September and ends on the 24th of September

11  South Africa  v  West Indies  Wanderers Stadium   18:00
12  New Zealand  v  Kenya   Kingsmead   10:00
12  Pakistan   v  Scotland   Kingsmead   14:00
12  Australia   v  Zimbabwe  Newlands   18:00
13  West Indies  v  Bangladesh  Wanderers Stadium   10:00
13  Zimbabwe  v  England   Newlands   14:00
13  India   v  Scotland   Kingsmead   18:00
14  Sri Lanka   v  Kenya   Wanderers Stadium   10:00
14  Australia   v  England   Newlands   14:00
14  India   v  Pakistan   Kingsmead   18:00
15  Sri Lanka   v  New Zealand  Wanderers Stadium   14:00
15  South Africa  v  Bangladesh  Newlands   18:00
16   C1  v  D2   Wanderers Stadium   10:00
16   B1  v  A2   Newlands   14:00
16   A1  v  B2   Newlands   18:00
17   D1  v  C2   Wanderers Stadium   18:00
18   C1  v  B2   Kingsmead   10:00
18   B1  v  D1   Wanderers Stadium   14:00
18   A2  v  C2   Wanderers Stadium   18:00
19   A1  v  C1   Kingsmead   14:00
19   B2  v  D2   Kingsmead   18:00
20   B1  v  C2   Newlands    10:00
20   A2  v  D1   Newlands   14:00
20   A1  v  D2   Kingsmead   18:00
22   E2  v  F1   Newlands (SF 1)   13:00
22   E1  v  F2   Kingsmead (SF 2)   18:00
24   Final  v  Final   Wanderers Stadium (Final)  14:00

SA Cricketers drinking too much?

Adrian Le Roux has made some statements that will be considered pretty controversial in a confidential report submitted to CSA that has been leaked. “I felt confident (before the tournament) that, apart from Roger Telemachus, all players in the squad were physically ready for the challenge of a two-month tournament,” wrote Le Roux in the report. “In my opinion the use of alcohol within the national team is a problem. This does not include all the players, but it does include players who play a vital role within the team.”

It comes as no surprise to many supporters that such allegations have been made. especially after there were several players out drinking late into the night after the match against New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup. Those with a good memory will remember Graeme Smith being interviewed about the incident and instead of lambasting the players he defended their actions indicating that they needed to unwind.

The current squad needs to be shaken up and it seems unlikely this will happen before the Pro twenty world cup, I suspect the fans will see some changes after “cricket on speed” has been completed.

On a side issue, one can sit and wonder why a player was taken to the world cup who was not in the appropriate condition!!!

Khan I get a Blue Jelly Bean?

There are various forms of putting the batsman off, the most common is sledging. England it seems to be fairly competent in that department, however in the Second test against India at Trent Bridge they took the mind games to a new level. Zaheer Khan, who hasn’t even cracked the top 100 for test batting and averages 12 after 65 innings, certainly didn’t need any more odds against him.

Yet the English cricketers decided to raise their mind games to the extent that there is no other way to describe it other than disgusting against the spirit and tradition of the game . It is quite clear a batsman of his calibre is tested in a game of village cricket and certainly doesn’t need to be put off by jelly beans thrown on the pitch.  There is no doubt in my mind that jelly beans were thrown onto the pitch, on the third day. This opinion has been reinforced by Paul Collingwood jokingly telling the papers that “perhaps he prefers the blue ones to the pink ones.”

It will be absolute disgrace to the game if such a tactic remains unpunished. The Inernational Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that England won’t be punished unless one of the batsman complains to the match umpires. The ICC has indicated that the English haven’t broken any rules by this act. This is understandable, in fact quite commendable that the law makers of cricket never envisioned this sort of shenanigans happening. In fact there must be few sane and sober people in the world who could have predicted such an antic to be carried out.

This is some of the worst form of gamesmanship in recent times. There are far worse actions carried out by players in every test played, often with sides deliberately scuffling the pitch. However this was so blatant and deliberate the ICC needs to react to this tomfoolery. If this is let slip now what is there to stop another side from this behaviour?

County Championship Stats for SA players

English County Cricket has been flooded by South Africans looking to make money and gain experience. In the County Championship, the 4 day competition, there have been some great performances. The players mentioned below are in the top 50 for most runs scored and wickets taken in the County Championship Division one.

On the Batting side it’s unsurprising that Dale Benkenstein has scored the second most runs in the season after Mark Ramprekash who has scored 1156 at an average of 89. Dale has made 836 runs with two hundreds and five fifties at an average of 60. Jacques Rudolph is in 8th spot scoring 713 runs with two hundreds and two fifties at n average of 51. Martin van Jaarsveld has 599 runs, averaging 43. Nic Pothas who must be one of the unluckiest keepers around has shown he is no monkey with the bat getting 476 runs so far and averaging 53!!!

On the Bowling side Ryan Mclaren is 8th on the list picking up 31 wickets at average of 25. Dale Steyn has got 23 scalps at an average of 26 as well, but has played 3 games less than Mclaren. Further down the list is Andrew Hall who has got 15 wickets at an average of 41. Interestingly he is just below Chris Tremlett who has been picked for England to face India. Tremlett has picked up 15 wickets at an average of 37 which makes him look on paper as a fairly innocuous player. He is 6ft 7 so that definitely has worked in his favour. Otis Gibson at 38 years old is third on the list behind Mushtaq Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan with an average of 26!!! He should have been used to bolster West Indies when they faced England last month!!!

Included in the County Championship Division two Top 50 most runs scored are: Lance Klusener with 687 runs at an average of 49 with two hundreds and three fifties. HD Ackerman has 632 runs an average of 40 and 3 hundreds and 1 fifty to his name. Johan van der Wath sneaked into the top 50 with 321 runs averaging 27 with 3 fifties.

On the bowling side Charl Willoughby is 4th on the list having picked up 40 wickets averaging 27. Ant Botha has got 30 wickets averaging 34 followed by Johan van der Wath on 27 averaging 28. Lance Klusener has 13 wickets averaging 51 Andre Nel has 10 wickets with an average of 39.

There have been some solid performances by the South Africans and many supporters will be wishing that Benkenstein could represent SA and try bring some consistency to their middle order in the test match format. Surprisingly Claude Henderson has not appeared on the list not has Garnet Kruger or Charl Langeveldt all of whom play for Leicestershire.

England vs India 2nd Test Day 3 Preview

India are 259/3 going into the start of day 3.  Tendulkar and Ganguly are at the wicket with Laxman and Dhoni still to come before the tail starts. England have been chasing leather and need to get some control in the first session today, if they cant pick up a wicket,  expect to see India at 350 plus at lunch.

The positive side for England is that India has a monster tail. As said previously, England has great bowlers for a county side and they could clean up the less talented tail with innocuous deliveries that the top order would smirk at. However if England can make an early breakthrough before lunch and try restrict the Indians scoring, India could be out for 370 which is a score England will be more that happy with.

I predict Tendulkar posting a big hundred with support from Ganguly and Laxman. Dhoni will behave like he is part of the tail swinging at everything however today he will not be as lucky as previously and will be out for less than twenty, whilst the rest of the tail is cleaned up for under thirty. Essentially England need to get three wickets cheaply and things will fall apart for the Indians. I don’t see it happening and I see Tendulkar walking into lunch with a hundred to his name.

The only thing I am not sure of is what the weather will be like as there was plenty of rain about England last night so if Trent Bridge has been graced with more rain the English will be smiling. More than likely it will be an overcast day and hopefully Sidebottom who I rte highly can the ball in the right place. He can be a very good bowler if he gets his line and length right but seems to be a “form” bowler and can either delight or disgust the supporters.