Injuries and Cricket have a long history. Many careers have been altered due to injuries and even some lives lost. The recent one being the Phil Hughes story. It was really sad end to his career. Head injuries however are very rare due to the modern protective gear. The top injuries which alter careers are:
- Hamstring Strain – Cricket is a sport which puts a lot of pressure on the lower half of the leg, especially the hamstring. Bowlers and batsmen both are affected. Bowlers more as their part of the game is more demanding on the body. It accounts for around 15% of all cricket injuries. Bowlers should take special care as they are the most affected by this injury.
- Lower Back pain – This is the injury which forced Michael Clarke to take an early retirement from Cricket. It mostly happens due to bending for long periods and the most common injury among Test Batsmen who bat for long periods. It accounts for around 10% of all injuries.Muscle strengthening can help but once this injury comes up it invariably shortens the career.
- Side Strain – It is the tearing of internal oblique muscle. It mostly happens to bowlers and takes 3 to 4 weeks to come back to the game. It is not career threatening but is the most common injury. Accounts for over 40% of cricket injuries.
Yes the English came on top in Ashes. They really played well? I think the Australians were a little bit erratic and that cost them. England has found Joe Root. He is the backbone of their batting, and he was the one who won it for them. BUt let alone the 3-2 victory, it also was the occasion of Michael Clarke retiring from all forms of cricket. Clarke had already retired from One-Day after winning the World Cup, but the final retirement was not that sweet. He did not score runs, was under lots of pressure and finally buckled. All retirements are not fairy tales like Sachin Tendulkar. Lots of luck Pup on a new innings in life.
On the other side in Sri Lanka another great man was retiring. Kumar Sangakkara had it all planned. He was due to retire last year but continued to help his team. Here too the retirement was not in a win. In fact India thumped Sri Lanka in the test in which Sangakkara retired to level 1-1. They went on to win the next test and the series. However the retirement of Sangakkara was a great celebrated affair. In spite of the defeat so many stalwarts of cricket were present to felicitate him. The moving speech was given by Sunil Gavaskar who spoke about how much Sanga had given to World cricket. Sanga also gave a speech and it was the first time I saw him being emotional on TV. Thanks Sanga for entertaining us.
With the recent showing against the upcoming Kiwis England cricket team has done some preparation for Australia coming home. They drew the series against the Kiwis but their batting is the main worry. The major bright spot of both one day and tests against the series was Ben Stokes.
Ben Stokes always had the talent but he showed the maturity of becoming the replacement for Andrew Flintoff England were so long looking for. Another player to emerge as the future player was Johnny Bairstow. The way he won the deciding one day for England when all seemed lost was exemplary. The long time poster boy of England cricket Joe Root also has finally come good. He showed class and finesse in each of his innings. Alistair Cook also looked in good form in the tests. He has solved his off stump issues for now, it seems.
The bowling department also looks good with Steve Finn making a great come back. The speed and bounce are back and also the fitness. James Anderson is the usual stuff, great swing bowler. Stuart Broad is still not bowling to his potential but is doing fairly well. So the bowling looks good for English conditions if not ominous.
Jos Butler has also come of age. He looks to destroy the opposition with his bat and also has improved his keeping. He is a good replacement for Matt Prior. So, be prepared for a good series coming up. Australia will under-estimate this young English team at their peril. Yes they are the better team but England will not prove to be pushover this time round, and they are playing in home conditions.
The shortest format of the beautiful game is here to stay.But the question is, Is it really cricket? I have been watching cricket since I was a kid but think that 20-20 is too much of commercialization.
The Indian Premier League is the most famous of the local 20-20 leagues.There is hard hitting sixes and fours and it is loved by fans across the globe. It is perfect way to advertise cricket. But does it have enough to showcase the skills.
The colorful logos and payments attract players from around the world. Every evening is filled with excitement. Large TV viewership,full stadiums and betting galore.That is 20 20 cricket for you.Mind it, it was never introduced by India. The first experiment was by England, but they did not promote it. I cannot understand the reason for not starting their own league. Caribbean league,big bash in Australia all are money spinners.They indeed produce new talents like the dynamic David Warner form big bash or skillful Murali Vijay from IPL.
My thoughts are different in this respect.Test cricket still is the best form of cricket. Sixes and fours may be cheered, but there is no beautiful site than a batsman grinding a century against a fiery pace bowler or a skillful spinner. That happens only in test cricket.20-20 cricket can be used to recognize talent but Test cricket can only help hone the talent. So what is going to be the future. ICC is tweaking with idea of test cricket in the evening. Believe me it will ruin the beautiful game. Let it be as it is.