ICC investigators have been in New Zealand for four months looking into possible match-fixing and spot-fixing by former New Zealand cricketers, according to a report in The New Zealand Herald.
- Read more: 'NZ's biggest sporting scandal: NZ stars targeted in cricket cheating probe' -- The New Zealand Herald
The International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) was established in 2000 after revelations of match-fixing by a number of international players, most notably then-captain of South Africa Hansie Cronje. It pursues allegations of corrupt conduct with a view to establishing long-term deterrents to corruption, such as by issuing bans and referring appropriate matters to police.
The ACSU also offers an education programme for all players and officials that play cricket at international level.
Unfortunately, the emerging New Zealand story is another reminder that corruption is still a huge problem in world cricket. You can learn more about the Hansie Cronje story and fixing in cricket in our two-part series:New Zealand cricket team.
Keep your sledging in check when you're bowling in the nets: you don't want to put batters off before the toss.
Does that make sense? No? Well, we've got three new additions to the Cricket Glossary this month that might help:
Also, did you know that Wisden Cricket Almanack named its All-Time Test Cricket World XI recently? You can read more about the chosen few here. Among them is W.G. Grace, the first big star of the game; you can learn more about him at W.G. Grace In Quotes.
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Australia hammered England by 381 runs in the 1st Ashes Test at Brisbane. It was England's sixth-worst defeat (by runs) in England's history, and a shock turnaround after they built a strong advantage on the first day but went on to lose inside four days.
Here's a rundown of some of the positives and negatives each team will take from the match.
Gareth Copley / Getty Images
Day one saw England's bowlers dominate. Australia's top order failed and it was left to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and all-rounder Mitchell Johnson to restore some respectability to the innings. Having been expected to score at least 400 in their first innings on a good pitch, Australia finished the day on 273/8.
Day two spun the advantage around, and spun heads across the cricket world. After folding for 295, Australia ripped through England's batting and dismissed them for a paltry 136, with fast bowlers Ryan Harris and Johnson leading the charge in this remarkable reversal of fortune. Australia's second innings was at 65/0 at the end of the day.
Day three was all about Australia putting themselves in an unbeatable position and driving England's morale into the dust. It was the Australia of ten years ago: brilliant, controlled, unforgiving. David Warner and captain Michael Clarke racked up excellent hundreds and Clarke eventually declared Australia's innings on 401/7, giving them a massive lead of 560. To make matters even worse for the English, they lost two wickets in just 15 overs before the close of play, finishing on 24/2.
- Read more: David Warner the Matraville lip hits as hard verbally as with the bat (The Guardian)
- Read more: The battle Clarke can win (ESPNcricinfo)
- Read more: Jonathan Trott must admit he has a problem with left-arm quick bowlers - and fast (The Telegraph)
From here, England need a miracle to survive the Test. That miracle can only realistically come in two forms: a match-saving two-day innings from captain Alistair Cook, who remained unbeaten at the close of day three, or enough rain to prevent much play on days four and five. There has been extremely heavy rain overnight but the latest weather forecast indicates possible storms today and dry conditions tomorrow, so it appears a Cook epic is England's only hope.
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Sachin Tendulkar's retirement was an important landmark for Test cricket, but it did not arrive with a memorable contest to mark the occasion. India crushed the West Indies, winning both Tests by an innings. Have a look at the scorecards for the series here -- they do not make for pleasant reading if you're a West Indies fan!
India and West Indies now go into a three-match one day international series, which will hopefully be more competitive. For a genuine contest, though, a better option starts today in Brisbane: the second of two back-to-back Ashes series between Australia and England.
England achieved a relatively comfortable victory on home soil earlier this year without ever looking their best. They have brought largely the same line-up to Australia, with the only obvious change in selecting Michael Carberry to open and dropping Joe Root down to number six.
The biggest talking point for Australia, meanwhile, has been the return of scatter-gun left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson. The outstanding but injury-prone Ryan Harris will once again lead the Australian attack on his home pitch, backed up by Peter Siddle, but a lot of the focus will be on Johnson, who can be a match-winner one day and all over the place the next.
On paper, England appear to have the better and more settled team, but Australia has enough quality to fight them hard -- particularly captain Michael Clarke, whose home batting form in the past two years has been extraordinary. Meanwhile, England captain Alistair Cook will look to rekindle the astonishing form that brought him 766 runs in the last Ashes series in Australia. Whichever team wins the toss and gains the early advantage, expect a pile of runs in the coming five days on the hard pitch at The Gabba.
Now that Sachin Tendulkar has retired from all cricket, we can start to get a sense of his massive impact on the international game.
In 664 international matches (200 Tests, 463 ODIs, and one Twenty20 international), Tendulkar racked up a scarcely believable 34367 runs. This makes him easily the most prolific batsman in international cricket history -- Australia's Ricky Ponting, second on the list, scored 27483 runs -- and suggests that his numbers may never be beaten.
To mark the occasion of Tendulkar's departure from the playing arena, travel planning website HolidayIQ has launched the Sachin Darshan tour. The whimsical itinerary takes full of advantage of the Tendulkar legend, referring to him as 'The God' (a reference to a quote by former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden) and styling the tour as a religious pilgrimage.
You can read more about the HolidayIQ Sachin Darshan and its featured locations at the About.com India Travel blog.
In most cricket matches, you see a duck -- not the aquatic bird, but a score by a batter of zero runs. You might also see a golden duck, a royal duck, or even a diamond duck. Pity the poor fellow who trudges back to the pavilion with a big 0 beside their name on the scoreboard!
But ducks are animals, too. And as the About.com Guide to Birding / Wild Birds has found, ducks also feature in several other contexts around the world. Check out some duck urban legends, figure skating manoeuvres, feng shui principles, and more at More Fun With Ducks.
The tidal wave of words on the end of Sachin Tendulkar's international career is overwhelming, even to the most ardent Sachin fan. Apart from the great Indian cricketer's own words, a few articles stood out. Here are excerpts from three of the best Sachin Tendulkar farewells.
"Tendulkar instructed me, through his behaviour when both of us were young, that the great athlete need not flourish this conceit beyond the arena. He knew he was Tendulkar and he knew that you--bowler and spectator--knew. It was enough. He wore greatness, in the arena and beyond, respectfully. In our meetings over the years, in different lands, he was not once rude, distracted, arrogant or late. I left a note for him after his father died during the 1999 World Cup and when he returned to England after the funeral he sought me out to say thank you."
"It is difficult to imagine what Tendulkar would have been going through. This was turning out to be a perfect end for him. He had had a good innings while he batted - not a hundred, but still fluent, delightful even. Now there was no pressure as West Indies never really challenged India with the bat. The innings win looked certain, and Tendulkar could now just savour his last day in Test cricket. He would also have wanted wickets, but with every wicket that final moment would come closer. That final moment that you know is inevitable, but still want to avoid as much as possible."
Dileep Premachandran in The Observer: 'Sachin Tendulkar's emotional farewell to the 22 yards the most telling'
"The final numbers offer enough evidence of quality and longevity - 200 Tests, 329 innings, 15,921 runs, 51 centuries, 68 fifties. What they will not tell you is the impact he had on a nation with no great history of sporting achievement. Or the influence he had on his peers. MS Dhoni, captain of the current side, was eight when Tendulkar made his debut, at Karachi in 1989. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, who took the new ball in this Test, were not even born. Without exception, they all grew up wanting to be like him. There is no rating system or statistical index to measure that."
What was your favourite article about the end of Sachin Tendulkar's international career?
A politician-heavy presentation ceremony threatened to overshadow the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell from international cricket, but then the man himself took the microphone and -- as he did so often for the Indian cricket team during the 1990s -- turned it all around.
Tendulkar looked to be struggling for composure as he stepped up, and as the crowd roared louder and louder, he said, "All my friends. Settle down let me talk, I will get more and more emotional." But then he did talk, and the crowd listened in rapt attention.
- Video: Sachin Tendulkar's farewell speech
- Full text of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell speech at ESPNcricinfo
Tendulkar's speech was humble, graceful, and insightful. Most remarkably, he spoke candidly and clearly for more than twenty minutes with only a list of names to aid him. In an era of near-constant international cricket, which is becoming a circus split between haves and have-nots, Tendulkar spoke inclusively of the coaches, colleagues, family, friends, and fans who have sustained him throughout his 24-year career.
It was the most inspiring thing I've seen on a cricket field in years.
On the first day of Sachin Tendulkar's last Test match -- his 200th, a world record -- the great Indian batsman was not expected to bat after India's captain MS Dhoni sent the West Indies in to bat first. But then WI were bundled out for another disappointing score, and then India's free-scoring openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay fell in the same over, bringing Tendulkar to the crease with an hour to play.
Wankhede Stadium -- Tendulkar's home ground -- erupted at the sight of the Little Master striding out to bat. He was given a guard of honour by the West Indies players, umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Kettleborough, and batting partner Cheteshwar Pujara. Everyone was on their feet.
Then came the nerves of his first ball, and his second, and they passed without event. From there, Tendulkar proceeded to craft his way to 38 not out at stumps, offering several reminders of his enduring talent: an off-drive against the spin, a back foot punch through point, and -- perhaps his signature stroke -- a glorious straight drive. A couple of years ago, he named it as his favourite shot; you can see why, with all the elegant power on show in this compilation video.
However long Tendulkar lasts on day two, he has already made an assured final statement of his genius. Here's hoping it becomes more emphatic as the day wears on.