Hello Readers. Exactly one year ago, today, I started this blog. Here I am today, writing my 132nd post. Frankly I didn’t think I had so much of writer in me, I mean I had written a few articles on Cricket here and there, but wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep the blog running for one full year. Of course there have been periods of ups-n-downs, some months where I wrote 25 articles and some where only one was penned down. It has partly to do with Cricket activity in the world but also to do with how busy I am with my professional and personal life. I offer my sincere gratitude, to all my readers, for dedicating your time to read my articles.
A lot has evolved around the world of Cricket in the past one year. The Spot-fixing scandal broke out, the talk of split-innings ODI is now slowly dying thanks to a thrilling WC 2011, We have a new ODI World champion after 12 years, Australia is no longer the team to beat in any form of Cricket, MS Dhoni has really turned out to be captain cool, God of cricket has broken a few more batting records, Yuvraj turned around a night-mare of an year in to man of the tournament at the WC 2011, Murali retired from International cricket while Warne bid adieu to all forms of the game. Pakistan tried their hands at many captains the latest try-out being Misbah, West-Indies is trying to over-haul their cricketing machinery, wow that’s a lot!!!
In the midst of all these a few things still remain unchanged. God continued to be the most important factor and the highest run getter to take India to yet another Final. Ponting, even though a shadow of himself, continued to be the best batsman for Australia in the WC 2011. Cook and Trott continued their run getting habit of tests, albeit putting the spectators to sleep en-route. CSK are still the IPL champions. Pakistan lost to India for the sixth occasion in a WC game. South Africa chocked in yet another crucial knock out encounter and maintained their record of “zero wins” in the world cup knock out games. Bangladesh surprised with a few upsets but still failed to make it to the knock out stages in their 5th world cup participation.
The year also left us with one of the most memorable ODI World Cups since 1992. I mean even the 1996 edition was super dominated by the Lankans, especially their openers, and the three sub-sequent ones by the Aussies. Thus after 19 years we got a tournament which was closely contested and until the South Africa –New Zealand Quarter final was played, there were at least four legitimate contenders for the trophy. Even the final was hard to call until it went into the final 10 overs. It was heartening to finally see a change in the name of the “ODI World Champion”.
The year ahead brings us some more exciting contests. One such being India -England test series and personally I think it should have been a five match one. I mean come-on, these sides can dish out excitement parallel to ashes, if not better, when pitted against each other in the longer version. South Africa is hosting Australia and must be favorites to win, but the visitors are still capable of a good fight. Sri-Lanka’s tours to England and South Africa would be a great experience for the side in their re-building phase, especially for their new leader Dilshan.
Of course the entire world of cricket is awaiting the God to get his 100th international century and it’s only a matter of time that he would reach that land-mark. He gets another crack at Lord’s, a venue where his best score has been 31 and I am certain he wants his name on that honor’s board. It will be pleasant sight to witness him making history at the mecca of cricket!!!
-Nikhil Sharad Jadhav