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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cricket: The basics of the game

Cricket is one of the most popular and amazing sports in the world. Very few athletic competitions can charge up the atmosphere like a game of cricket. This enticing pastime inspires millions of fans worldwide. The rules of the game seem complicated at first, but once you get around to knowing the basics, you will see that’s actually one of the most fun sports you can watch or play.

The game is played on a cricket field with a pitch in the middle. The pitch is in the shape of rectangle and is exactly 22 yards in length. The entire playing area goes way beyond it, but the pitch is where most of the action is happening. The pitch is sometimes referred to as a wicket. Wicket is a term you need to remember – it not only refers to the pitch sometimes, but it is also the name of a construction of three stumps and two bails near the ends of the pitch. Finally, wicket is also one of the ways a batsman is being dismissed. There is no other sport where the sentence, “A wicket occurs when the batsman loses a wicket near the end of the wicket” would make sense. One more thing we need to explain about the field are the creases – lines signifying the borders where the batsmen and the bowlers have to stay.

The game is played with 22 people –2 teams of 11 players each. There are two halves of the game, called innings. One team is batting while the other team is fielding in the first inning, and then they switch roles in the second one. The batting team has two batsmen on the field at all times – their job is to guard the stumps (or the wickets) using the bat to hit the ball, as well as to score a run. Once the batsman hits the ball, he has to reach the other end of the pitch, thus scoring a run. Both batsmen stand at the ends of the pitch facing each other so they can score runs. If a batsman hits the ball so hard that it reaches the boundary of the field, his team is automatically rewarded 4 runs and if it leaves the boundaries without touching the ground – they’re rewarded 6 runs. All the runs the batsmen make during the inning is recorded and summed up. The opposition has to make more runs during the second inning if they want to win.

The fielding team has to prevent runs and dismiss batsmen. This can be done by hitting the wickets, catching the ball before it touches the ground or returning the ball to the end of the pitch before the batsman has finished their run. The inning is over once all batsmen have been dismissed.

This is a brief overview of the rules – the game is actually way more complicated and this is what makes it so interesting. It’s amazing that something that looks so simple from the side can hold so much complexity into its core. When you begin to understand the game, you will find that it’s one of the most amazing sports you can watch.

You can watch cricket anywhere on the Internet or on TV, but the best venue for betting cricket ultimately remains the Winner. The site is fitting for this exhilarating game and if you register with JohnnyBet , and use coupon code: JOHNNYBET, you can get a €/£/$25 free bet. It’s an amazing offer worthy of an amazing sport. JohnnyBet is an extremely helpful sites that gives you access to tons of tips and connects you with an active community. Some of the members are among the biggest names in the industry, so you can’t go wrong in registering. Claim nice bonuses, get useful tips and watch one of the most interesting sports in the world!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Wolf of cricket takes charge of ICC

John Oliver on his HBO show recently ripped apart FIFA to shreds for being a big corrupt, bully whose actions are not always for the betterment of the game of football. ICC have long been accused of the same. Now that N Srinivasan - the former President of the BCCI and owner of the IPL franchisee, CSK - has taken over the reigns and the power structure of the entire organization resting with the cricket boards of India, Australia and England, the question now arises if ICC has become a huge monster like FIFA. The odds of that is one scary thought and with Srinivasan's appointment one can bet with certainty on this!

This is what Emperor Palpatine would look like in real life.
To understand just how bad Srinivasan's appointment to the ICC is, one must first understand who really is Srinivasan. Who is this wolf of cricket?

Srinivasan is an industrialist from a rich family with many connections. His younger brother Ramachandran is the head of the Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association, president of the Indian Olympic Association and the chief of World Squash Federation. Srinivasan has been the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association for over a decade and he had the constitution of the board changed so that there was no limit to the tenure of presidency. Srinivasan joined the BCCI under the tutelage of then BCCI president, AC Muthiah (who he eventually pushed out of office in a power struggle that saw Jagmohan Dalmiya into power).

Since then he has gained prominence in the BCCI and during the formation of the IPL, despite being the then treasurer of BCCI, he gained an ownership stake in Chennai Super Kings. This was a direct contradiction of the BCCI clause (no administrator of BCCI could have had, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the cricket board), and hence Srinivasan had the BCCI amend that rule. Despite the evident conflict of interest,Srinivasan went onto become the president of the BCCI and under him BCCI bullied and coerced ICC to make decisions in it's favor and often threatening to pull out of a tour or even ICC. During his reign as president he shuffled around the members of the BCCI and anyone who opposed him was quietly shown the door.

Even after Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK team principal - Gurunath Meiyappan got arrested for his involvement in illegal betting and providing inside information to bookies, Srinivasan remained defiant and only after the supreme court of India stepped in and forced Srinivasan to resign, commenting that it was 'nauseating' to see him in office, did he leave loudly protesting. Srinivasan also heads the Tamil Nadu Golf Federation and the All India Chess Federation.

Great sport. Great spirit. And now great corruption. 
Even in his private life, Srinivasan is just as ruthless and his homosexual son on numerous occasions accused his father of physically and mentally abusing him and his partner. In 2012, Srinivasan even had the Mumbai police physically beat his son in a restaurant.

Now that is the man who now heads the body that is in charge of the game called cricket! He makes Sepp Blatter look like a cute puppy next to him! Srinivasan is the devil. Scratch that. The devil works for Srinivasan.

So is the ICC the same as FIFA? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain. If FIFA and ICC join hands, they can form one large corrupt syndicate and rule the world.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Indian Premier League

One area of serious interest for cricket punters is the Indian Premier League, or IPL as it is better known. This Twenty20 cricket tournament began life in 2008 and has grown to become one of the biggest commercial successes that the world of cricket has ever seen. IPL is watched by fans from around the globe and has a brand value estimated to be worth over $3 billion. Pepsi are the official sponsor of the Indian Premier League and this tournament became the first sporting event to be broadcast live on YouTube back in 2010. There are a total of eight teams within the league and there have been eleven different sides compete since its inception in 2008. Five different teams have won the title and the Chennai Super Kings are the only side to have two tournament wins to their credit.

Betting markets on the IPL are growing all the time and for England Cricket or IPL Odds visit here. All the major bookmakers have outright odds for the championship as well as prices on the outcome of each individual Indian Premier League match. The Chennai Super Kings are currently challenging Kings XI Punjab for favouritism at the head of the IPL outright market and it would be no surprise to see them add a third title to their impressive record in 2014. Betting odds are also available on top batsman and top bowler as well as a top four finish and there are even price on offer for teams to reach the final with some betting firms. When it comes to the Premier League matches, there are even more betting opportunities available. Some of the most popular markets include highest opening partnership, first ball and fifty in match.

DLF paid a  $50 million fee for a five year sponsorship deal with the Indian Premier League which gave them exclusive rights from 2008 to 2012. Pepsi then increased the stakes by paying a total of $72 for the next five years from 2013. When the league began, Sony paid a massive fee of $1 billion for the broadcasting rights to the IPL for the next ten years. While Brand Finance valued the IPL at $4.13 billion in 2010, this figure has been subject to some debate. That being said, there is no doubt that the IPL is very a profitable business and one that continues to grow in stature year on year.

During the Indian Premier League season, all eight teams play each other home and away, with the top four teams in the tournament progressing to a semi final stage. Two points are awarded for a win, one point for a no result and zero is the return for a defeated side. Any teams on equal points in the league are separated by various criteria including number of wins, net run rate, bowling strike rate, and finally their head to head results. This format appears to work very well and allows for a very exciting and extremely watchable cricket tournament which looks set to be around for many years to come.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Scotland cricket team inspire at the grassroots level

Inspiring the Next Generation: Scottish Cricket Team Visit Aberdeen Schoolchildren
If you love the game and you have children of your own, then you’ll know that most cricket-mad parents hope and pray that one of their brood will one day share their passion. One sure fire way to guarantee a new generation of fans is to recruit members of your country’s national team, just two days before an international with their most infamous historic rivals, so Aberdeenshire parents must be over the moon following a recent ‘come and try’ session.
A Hero’s Welcome
Cricket Scotland’s development manager Neil Cameron managed to pull off the impossible; just one day before their international against England on Friday, he persuaded five members of Scotland’s cricket team to take part in a ‘come and try’ session.
As the team’s minibus pulled up at Harlaw Playing Fields in Aberdeen, the heavy rain stopped. The clouds parted to reveal a sun-bathed pitch with over one hundred excited children rushing towards their heroes, Scottish stars Moneeb Iqbal, Gordon Goudie, Michael Leask, Richie Berrington and Craig Wallace. 
The eight and nine year olds from Ashley Road and St Joseph’s Primary Schools threw themselves into the session with unbridled enthusiasm and a healthy dose of gusto, happily lapping up lessons in throwing and catching, batting routines and even executing the perfect celebratory cartwheel.
A New Legion of Fans
Neil Cameron said: “We invited schools to come here and try some cricket-related skills, have a bit of fun, and introduce them to a game that they’re not familiar with. The whole point of today is a preamble to the big event on Friday – Scotland v England. We just want to generate as much enthusiasm, as much knowledge [as we can], and raise the profile of the game in Aberdeen. The fact that we’ve got guys playing on Friday who are involved today is fantastic.”   
The event certainly seemed to have the desired impact on the children involved. Eight-year-old Kirsty Hogg said “I’ve enjoyed today because I never knew about cricket, but now I really enjoy it.”
Ambitious nine-year-old Joe Millar added: “I do feel like I just want to play cricket again, and I want to play for Scotland or England or any of the major teams.”
Looking to the Future
Michael Leask, who played in Scotland’s successful 2015 Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament and was one of the players who helped out, said: “It’s something I’ve done from a very young age and to see these guys have such enthusiasm for it gives you a little bit more encouragement to carry on. To know you’re inspiring kids to do it as well is a bonus for me.”
Richie Berrington, who was also present, believes that Scotland’s involvement in next year’s World Cup, and Grant Bradburn’s appointment as national coach, mean that it’s the perfect time to invest in the future of the sport by attracting a new generation of fans and players. “We’ve got a big 12 months leading up to that [World Cup]. We’ve also just got a new coach, and I think the game is definitely starting to grow in Scotland. There’s a lot more kids getting involved. Obviously the more exposure we can have at the highest level is going to help bring more people into the game.”

Aberdeenshire has a history of high-levels of participation in the sport, and events like this will undoubtedly help those trends to continue. The city has yielded an impressive crop of international cricketers over the years, and perhaps its future stars were among those attending this week’s ‘come and try session. At the very least, the squad found themselves 100 new fans. Arm them with the right equipment, and we’re sure that they’ll one day take the cricketing world by storm. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Star-studded Sides Promise Cracking Opener

By: Shrinivas Uppili
Edited By: Ajay Suresh

With the inclusion of new stars, the Defending champions will be looking
 to strike early this tournament and regain their momentum

With the defending champions Mumbai Indians, taking on the glamorous Kolkata Knight Riders in the Sheik Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, the IPL 2014 is expected to begin with a cracker.  Given the track record, it does seem like the advantage is with Mumbai, but with both teams having an equal set of strong players in their squad, the match looks at balance.

Although there have been relatively significant losses for both sides this auction, their owners have managed to grab some brilliant picks which might make up for the losses. Kolkata would certainly feel the heat due to the loss of McCullum, a star who is in ripe form since the Indian tour this February. He’s repetitively proved that he has been a vital asset for any team. The absence of Brett Lee’s stealth would hurt KKR dearly. Mumbai would also face some trouble due to the absence of their legendary icon, Tendulkar. He has been a source of inspiration and motivation for Mumbai. Johnson is another ‘one that went away’. His mercurial rise in the past few months have made him look rough and deadly. But with all said, the teams have acquired a couple of valuable additions who can turn games around. The format of T20 also provides the balance to any match since in this format, absolutely nothing is predictable!

 Ø  Rohit Sharma vs. Sunil Narine: Rohit’s recent show at the World T20 has shown that he is quite mastering the way he
handles spin. His exploits against Narine in the group stage match would’ve certainly fuelled Narine up. However, many still find it difficult to read Narine. The UAE tracks are known to help spin bowlers, and we’ve seen it happening it with Saeed Ajmal. Will Narine be able to make the most out of the pitch or will Rohit get the better of him?

Ø Corey Anderson vs. Jacques Kallis: Two mighty all-rounders. The former yet to forge a mark, while the latter’s retired a hero! Who will emerge victorious in this clash of the titans?
Ø Gautam Gambhir vs. Lasith Malinga: The KKR skipper’s got no better opportunity to redeem himself than this. His composed yet aggressive batting on top of the order will be tested by the suave and offensive bowling of Malinga, another name which every opponent would be wary about.
Ø KKR’s bowling vs. the Mumbai Batting: With a strong bowling line-up that’s second only to SRH, KKR could cause some woes to any batting line-up. But with big names such as Narine and Morkel, can Mumbai still have the last laugh?
Ø Kieron Pollard vsYusuf Pathan: Two great strikers of the ball who can hit any ball out of the park. Both their contributions will be key to their respective teams.
The key lies in Kolkata making the most out of their bowling, especially Narine, who could extract maximum turn from the pitch. Morkel is another key player who would like to bounce the ball as much as possible, and create problems for the opening batsmen. Skipper Gambhir even quoted yesterday that he firmly believes that it’s the bowlers who’ll win them matches. Vinay Kumar, who guided Karnataka to a Ranji win this season, is in prime form, and he could also add to the misery of the batsmen. Piyush Chawla is another good leggie, who could provide some assistance to Narine. Gambhir should make the best out of the occasion, and he should bear in mind the fact that UAE tracks are friendly for batting and spin. Mumbai, on the other hand, have an explosive looking line-up. Big match winners like Mr. Cricket, Pollard, Malinga, Anderson and Rohit; they do pose a grave threat. Rohit Sharma must make use of the two excellent spinners in his team, who are equally good. Ojha and Harbhajan had performed well last season, and Rohit must make sure that they step in bowl at the right time, so as to pick crucial wickets or slow down the run rate. Lasith Malinga is another deadly bowler at the death, and his recent performance as the skipper of the Lankan team this World T20 has certainly earned him laurels. For now, this match certainly seems as a clash of two good bowling units.

Mumbai however, would believe otherwise. They have a tremendous track record against KKR through all seasons of the IPL. Having an
80 % success rate against KKR, they would be holding this as a psychological advantage today. However, given the fact that both the teams have a fairly new bunch of players, this does seem like an even contest. Both Mumbai and KKR must make use of the local pool of talent, such as Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav, to make their team strong and balanced. Jasprit had created problems for the batsmen in the initial stages of the previous season. He has an astounding average of 22.61 in all domestic T20s he’s played, and he would be waiting for an opportunity to get into the limelight. The leadership and manhandling skills would be tested. KKR has been seen as a side with a lot of potential, yet they've failed to utilize it completely. Mumbai on the other hand, is a team that rises to the occasion. However, after the auctions, one could certainly say that their Team Balance has taken a beating. Kolkata has players, but now it’s all in Gambhir’s hands. He must make good use of the players he’s got to swing the chances in his favour.

Looking at team balance and fitness woes, it looks as if KKR has the upper hand in today’s match. KKR does seem to be a stronger side. However, given their poor record against Mumbai, they still need to work a lot and change their tactics.  KKR does have the upper hand in today’s game if one doesn’t look at their past. But hold on, you never know what’s going to happen, because this is T20 cricket, and unpredictability is in the DNA of this format.

Mumbai Indians Expected 11: Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Mike Hussey, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Ambati Rayudu, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Aditya Tare (WK) and Jalaj Saxena. 

Kolkata Knight Riders Expected 11: Gautam Gambhir (Capt.), Jacques Kallis, Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel, Yusuf Pathan, Manvinder Bisla (WK), Umesh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar and Piyush Chawla.


Ø Lasith Malinga
Ø Kieron Pollard
Ø Jacques Kallis
Ø Pragyan Ojha
Ø Corey Anderson
Ø Vinay Kumar 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Big Names win big games!

By: Ajay Suresh

The Kings XI Punjab haven’t really done what the title says over the past IPL Seasons although they've had the big names.They will be looking for a massive turnaround this tournament as they progress towards their first match against the Chennai Super Kings against whom, the Kings XI would want a strong start. The previous years have been unlucky for the Kings XI as they weren't able to make the semis often even though they performed brilliantly especially during IPL 6 where they stormed past positions when they were almost about to lose. They also clearly swept past teams like RCB who had a stronger say in the tournament. But somehow, they lost their momentum during the crunch games and hence lost hold of their position at the points table.

This year though, things are expected to be different. The Kings XI look like one of the strongest teams on paper as they march into the tournament with their newly acquired squad. Players like Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson are match winners by themselves, and they will be key during the crunch games where the Kings XI have usually failed. Another couple of key players for the Kings XI will be David Miller and George Bailey around whom the batting revolves. Miller who acquired his title of ‘Miller the Killer’ in the previous IPL season won as he won games almost single-handedly against the oppositions. His ability to contain himself when the ball is seaming around or when the team’s under pressure is a key element the Kings XI will look to. His ability to go berserk as all IPL fans know, is threatening to any team. His Australian counterpart though, hasn’t really had much of an IPL experience. George Bailey has spent most of his time on the bench for CSK and hasn’t really had any IPL Experience. Since Adam Gilchrist has retired, and left a large whole in the KXIP side, all the pressure will be on George Bailey to fit in his shoes! Although he’s a match winner and a strong captain, he’s looked in no comfort during the T20 World Cup where his country steamed out early. But as he said in one of his interviews, T20 isn’t the format where players are “in” or “out” of form. All it takes is a couple of good hits to get going. With all said and done, will Bailey be able to show the big match temperament and win games for his side? We’ll have to wait and watch.

Virender Sehwag. Two words which can make bowlers run off the field. When it’s Sehwag’s day, he can tear an opposition apart with well-timed and powerful shots. He can demolish and demoralize absolutely any attack. Currently, he’s been in a lean patch, but he will be looking to make a big comeback not only for KXIP, but also for a place in the Indian Side. His temperament and persistence will be important as he will look to score a boundary off every ball he faces. The mere presence of a Sehwag can demoralize oppositions as we’ve witnessed in the past. Having a huge reputation of making big scores, Sehwag is an element which puts KXIP as one of the favorites to win this IPL.

You can’t talk about KXIP’s magnificent IPL Auctions without talking about their big buy, Mitchell Johnson. Johnson has been at the top of his game in the past few months and was one of the key player any team would have wanted during the auctions. But KXIP snatched Johnson from the hands of Mumbai to make their side as strong as ever. Johnson’s buy will not only add to the team’s assets, but will also be a boost of morale in the team as they’ll feel safe in the hands of a game changing bowler. Although the UAE pitches aren’t really fast bowler friendly, Mitch is expected to rip the surface with his heavy bouncers which will give batsmen nightmares.

One of the concerns for KXIP this time around though, will be their lack of spinners. On spinner friendly pitches in the UAE, spinners can be a real asset to any team. But KXIP doesn’t seem to have any spinner to rely on except Murali Kartik. Although Murali is a match winner on his day, once he has a bad day, KXIP will have no spinners to look to. This is a major concern which has to be addressed by the team management as they’ll look to balance their side. 

Summing it up, KXIP has one of the best squads in IPL 2014 and will be looking to seal the proceedings on April 18th against CSK. They look strong as a unit and will look forward to race for the cup! It will be a competitive IPL this year as all the teams are well balanced. But KXIP can never be kept out of the race as they will be fancying their chances with the backing of their explosive batting and threatening bowling attack.