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 on: November 20, 2015, 07:13:46 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
i felt he was the Ruud Gullit of Rugby.... very similar approach

 on: November 19, 2015, 06:30:42 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by vincent
I still remember seeing him play in 1995 world cup games. That was the first time I saw Rugby for more than a minute. I watched the whole game and enjoyed to see how he was running like Eusain Bolt today and nobody could stop him. It is a pity that his carrier was cut short soon later.

 on: November 18, 2015, 05:06:39 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Jonah Lomu, All Blacks legend, dies aged 40

Former All Blacks doctor confirms news on Wednesday morning
‘We’re all shocked and deeply saddened’, says New Zealand Rugby CEO

One of the finest rugby union players to have graced the game and a favourite son of New Zealand, Jonah Lomu, died unexpectedly overnight at the age of 40.

He had arrived back in Auckland from overseas on Tuesday.

The former All Blacks winger, whose imposing physique and often brutal running game provoked in opponents equal amounts of admiration and fear, had suffered from health problems since calling time on his playing career in 2002 due to a rare kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2004 and had been on dialysis treatment for the past 10 years.

Details of the exact cause of his death remain unclear.

“The family are obviously devastated, as are friends and acquaintances,” John Mayhew, the former All Blacks doctor, said. “The family have requested privacy at this stage, they are obviously going through a terrible time. It was totally unexpected.”

Lomu had been at the recent Rugby World Cup in the UK where he had undertaken some promotional work for a tournament sponsor. He and his family holidayed in Dubai on their way back to New Zealand.

“We’re all shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Jonah Lomu,” New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said. “Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world. We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”

Lomu, who was born in Auckland but spent his early years in Tonga, was not just one of the best sportsmen New Zealand has produced. The gentle giant’s tough upbringing in South Auckland nearly led him down a different path, but his determination to eschew a life of street violence made him a role model and inspiration to many young boys and girls of Pacific Island heritage who faced similar challenges at an early age.

In 2011 he travelled back to Tonga to promote the game before the Rugby World Cup. Tonga’s sports minister Fe’ao Vakata said of his impact there: “Certainly if other countries were proud of Jonah Lomu, then firstly Tonga would be much prouder.”

He had also been an ambassador for Unicef New Zealand since 2011, and a patron of the charity Kidney Kids NZ.

Reaction to his sudden death was overwhelming. New Zealand’s prime minister John Key was among those to express his condolences. “Deeply saddened to hear of Jonah Lomu’s unexpected passing this morning. The thoughts of the entire country are with his family,” he said.

Sir Graham Henry, who guided the All Blacks to World Cup success in 2011, said: “It’s just so sad, I saw him at the World Cup and he looked so well. It’s just a hell of a shock.”

Lomu played in 63 Tests for New Zealand after making his debut in 1994. He scored 37 tries, including one that arguably defined his career – a bullocking rampage through, not past, several England players at the 1995 World Cup. His effort was this year voted the greatest in World Cup history.

That edition of the World Cup propelled him into the international spotlight and his match-winning performances on the pitch in South Africa and humility off it were widely credited with bringing about the advent of the game’s professionalism a year later.

Lomu made his All Blacks debut at the age of 19 years and 45 days, against France in Christchurch in 1994, breaking a record that had stood for 90 years to become New Zealand’s youngest Test player.

He was taken to the World Cup a year later as something of a wildcard pick by coach Laurie Mains, a decision he would not regret.

Lomu scored seven tries in total – four during that semi-final win over England – as the All Blacks reached the final, where they eventually succumbed to the host nation.

Lomu’s rise to international prominence in South Africa not only made him a star of the game, but also helped take rugby union to a global audience it had previously been unable to reach.

“What it meant for rugby, that World Cup changed everything,” Lomu told the Guardian in August. “When I look at it now I understand my impact more. When they show clips of me on the TV, my sons turn and look at me.”

Jonah Lomu: the All Black who made rugby a star attraction – in pictures
 View gallery
“They have grown up as the sons of Jonah and it’s a daunting task trying to explain to them what I achieved.

“I don’t have any regrets. Everything that I achieved in rugby I cherished. I was in a World Cup final in South Africa against South Africa when a country became one. As Francois Pienaar [the Springboks captain] said: ‘It was not 80,000 in the stadium, it was 44 million.’”

In total, Lomu scored 15 World Cup tries – a benchmark equalled by South Africa’s Bryan Habana at this year’s tournament – although 1995 was the closest he came to lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

 on: November 13, 2015, 06:22:54 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by vincent
Great article. Yes, nobody could beat this West Indies Team of the 80ies, except by miracle India in WC final. But they were at that time really a Test Cricket class bowling and batting team. And they proved it when they came right after that to India to play 5 Test series...oh,what a massacre.

 on: November 13, 2015, 03:15:35 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
He'll get you one-handed
At Headingley in 1984, Malcolm Marshall summed up the fierce and terrible beauty of one of the greatest teams of them all


The most terrible thing I ever saw on a cricket field took place during the interval between innings. It involved a series of physical jerks. It was the perfect vignette of one of the greatest teams of all time. Just the sight of a player warming up was more than the England team could take. The place was Headingley, the year 1984, the opponents West Indies. England were doing okay. Certainly they were in the match despite being 2-0 down in the series. They made 270, and West Indies were making heavy weather against an inspired Paul Allott, who took 6 for 61. But even that wasn't the best news for England. Malcom Marshall was injured. He broke his thumb in two places while fielding in the gully, going after a shot from Chris Broad, and was told not to think about cricket for ten days. Thus at one stroke, the great terror of the world had been taken out of England's way. Lord, how they must have toasted Broad in the dressing room.
The West Indian reply was kept on track thanks to the calmness of Larry Gomes, who was on 96 when the ninth wicket fell. Tough luck, that's cricket, old boy. But lo, who was this coming down to bat? It was Marshall with his arm in plaster, unable to grip a bat with his left hand. He batted one-handed, gave Gomes the support he needed to make his hundred, and hit a four himself with an inside-out forehand down the line. And that was all very diverting, but this was serious cricket and England were preparing to bat against a four-man pace attack reduced to three. And best of all, the missing man was the most frightening of the lot. England prepared to bat with hearts measurably lighter than they had been all summer. Then they looked out of the window.
Marshall was the finest exploiter of fear that cricket has ever known, but he was also a cricketer who used his head and a wide range of skills
This was a West Indies team that prided itself on professionalism and preparation. They were outstandingly fit, all of them. But they didn't normally make a parade of it. They just got on with the job. On this occasion, they adopted a different policy. They came onto the field to do their physical jerks right in front of the England dressing room. And among them - conspicuous because of the white cast on his non-bowling arm - was Marshall. The England batsmen were certainly prepared to face Marshall under normal circumstances. True, Marshall had ended the international career of poor Andy Lloyd in the first Test, when Lloyd ducked into a non-bouncer. But facing Marshall was a challenge they were all - with different degrees of eagerness - ready to take on. So to be let off was a very wonderful thing. But to be let off and then to have the reprieve cancelled - that was an experience not a million miles from horror. I was there on that Saturday evening. There was just a short time to bowl and then a rest day - remember them? - to follow, so Marshall rather slipped himself. There were objections from the batsmen. They said he shouldn't bowl because the white cast of that flashing left arm was unfairly distracting. So Marshall covered it with Elastoplast and bowled on. He wrecked the England batting that night, taking three wickets with his speed and with the terror of his name. On Monday he came back, adapted to changed conditions and throttled back to exploit the swing. He finished with 7 for 53; England were bowled out for 159 and West Indies easily knocked off the deficit.

Three on day three: Marshall gets Allan Lamb lbw Three on day three: Marshall gets Allan Lamb lbw © PA Photos

And all this was dramatic enough, but it was really about that incomparable West Indies team of the 1980s, and the greatness of the finest bowler of them all. He was the finest exploiter of fear that cricket has ever known, but as he showed on that Monday, he was also a cricketer who used his head and a wide range of skills. Intelligence and skill weren't adjectives much used by the old-school cricket writers of the time, not when applied to West Indies. If you admired them they were a force of nature, if you had reservations they were the dark destroyers of the game we love - i.e. they didn't let white teams win. That moment at Headingley summed up the fierce and terrible beauty of that West Indian team, and the way they had the best batsmen in the world running scared.

There were a thousand ramifications of all this, to do with politics and race and Empire, and all of them profoundly relevant. But as I look back on that day, I remember also a sense of mischief. A delight in messing with the heads of their opponents. And was conscious of a sense of profound privilege. Here was genuine sporting excellence. If I was picking a cricket team and had a choice of everyone who ever played, Marshall would be the first name on my list. Not least because I wouldn't want my boys to have to face him. Even with one arm.

 Simon Barnes is a former chief sportswriter of the Times and the author of more than 20 books© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


 on: November 09, 2015, 10:22:13 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Manohar keeps his word

Mumbai: Shashank Manohar, the Board president, honoured the word he'd given to Sundar Raman, who has resigned as the IPL's long-serving COO.

The Board made Raman's resignation public on November 3, but he'd actually resigned on October 5, the day after hardliner Manohar returned as the president.

But Manohar didn't allow that development to become public, doing Raman a huge favour.


By keeping it to himself, Manohar allowed Raman the opportunity to find a "suitable job." He acted most generously.

According to sources, a mega industrial house, which has invested in sport, has recruited Raman.

That said, Raman is still being investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice (retd) Rajendra Mal Lodha committee.

On Sunday, a top source told The Telegraph: "As a COO, that too from the time the IPL began (in 2008), Raman did a fairly good job...

"Manohar gave Raman his word, when he'd tendered his resignation that he wouldn't ruin his chances of getting another employment...

"Had word leaked, Raman would have found it tough to get a job. In any case, he's being probed by the Justice (retd) Lodha committee...

"Raman had to serve a month's notice and, on completion of that, the Board made his decision public. Of course, by then, he's supposed to have got employment."

Well, Raman has to be grateful to Manohar on two counts: For not sacking him after Lalit Kumar Modi's ouster, in 2010, and for keeping his resignation to himself till he'd got another job.


 on: November 09, 2015, 10:21:09 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Yes.... hope he can fight his way back though. He has good support in TN

 on: November 09, 2015, 10:01:14 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by vincent
Well done. One more step in cleaning up Cricket.

 on: November 09, 2015, 06:58:24 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
N. Srinivasan removed as International Cricket Council chairman: Reports

BCCI on Monday appointed Shashank Manohar to replace N. Srinivasan as India's representative at the ICC

IndiaToday.in   |   New Delhi, November 9, 2015 | UPDATED 11:52 IST

Manohar will now fill in for the remainder of Srinivasan's term which runs till next June. (PTI Photo)
In a move that effectively ends the N. Srinivasan era, BCCI appointed Shashank Manohar to replace the Tamil Nadu cricket strongman as International Cricket Council chairman in its Annual General Meeting in Mumbai.
Manohar will now fill in for the remainder of Srinivasan's term which runs till next June.
Also read: BCCI AGM to discuss image makeover, N Srinivasan's future as ICC Chief
The AGM, which was postponed by more than a month from its normal late September date, is expected to put in place strict compliance protocols to the conflict of interest regulations in the wake of the Supreme Court's cracking of the whip on this matter.
But Manohar will need all his negotiating skills as a practising lawyer to get it passed without diluting the reach and scope of the conflict of interest clause.


 on: November 05, 2015, 07:47:25 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Jimmy Cook's short spell


He faced South Africa's first ball in international cricket on readmission and their first ball in a home Test soon after. Unfortunately, it didn't go much further...

Cook and Hudson walk out in Kolkata, in South Africa's first game back: "I looked at him, and he was shaking like a leaf"   © PA Photos

Perhaps nobody has faced two more historic balls in international cricket than Jimmy Cook. This naturalised opening batsman broke almost every domestic record when playing for Transvaal, and also scored 28 first-class centuries in three summers for Somerset. He played against rebel sides in the 1980s, but Cook's career was almost over by the time South Africa gave up apartheid, which allowed its sporting teams back on the international stage.

Cook was 38 when this happened. Just in time to play the first ball of South Africa's international cricket since readmission and also the first international delivery bowled in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Thirty years of isolation for the nation, close to 20 years of waiting for a premier batsman, and international cricket was coming back to South Africa. What heady times they must have been.

A day after this Mohali Test it will be exactly 24 years since South Africa played their first international match in their rebirth. The relations between the two cricket boards have soured a little now, but it was India who welcomed South Africa back at the time. Their first international was in India, and the first Test they played was against India. Cook remembers the 1991 visit vividly.

"We basically were told, 'Look, you guys are going to India', the team got picked, and boom, within a week we were gone. It was amazing," says Cook. "It happened so fast. It was like, 'Okay, here's the team that is going.' We left on Wednesday and the game was, like, Sunday. I actually don't recall us practising before we left. We hastily went to get the South African kit, and we had to do this and that.

"The flight over, we were all excited getting there. The bus ride from the airport to the hotel will stay in my mind forever. The throngs of people, the screaming and the cheers. And Kepler Wessels sleeping in the corner. And all of us like [eyebrows raised], 'Check this guy out. He's seen all of this before.' Fast asleep in the bus. Amazing. Special memories."

Time slowed down once they lost the toss and were asked to bat first at Eden Gardens. "I walked out with Andrew Hudson," Cook says. "That time I will never forget. My first international match. Andrew and I sat in the change room and I said to him, 'If you don't mind, I want to face the first ball.' I always took the first ball. I liked to get in there and get started. He said to me, 'Yeah, yeah. That's fine. I haven't got a problem with that.'

"And as we walked out - we must have been halfway out to the middle - I looked at him, and he was shaking like a leaf. And I said to him, 'Are you okay?' And he said, 'Yeah, yeah.' I said, 'Do you want to face and get it done with?' He said, 'No, no, no. You face.' And I thought, '*, this guy has got no chance.'

What became of Hudson then? "He got nought."

Just as well that Cook didn't expose Hudson to Kapil Dev first ball. This is how he recollects it: "Kapil Dev ran in to bowl, and I thought this was fine, and the crowd's going to settle down. But as he got closer, they kept getting louder and louder. And I was used to a bit of buzz in the crowd, but as the bowler charged in, everybody sat quiet. This was a 'Wooooooooooaahhhhhh...' And the time he let the ball go, I was like, 'Jeeeez... I have played the first ball.'

"I think I managed to get a single off the third or fourth ball. Andrew was out in that first over. Third ball he faced, he was out lbw or caught behind. He was a nervous wreck. I will never forget to this day, walking out with him. He was shaking."

Hudson is still often reminded of the game by Cook. "[When I met him recently] I said to him, 'Do you remember?' He said, '*, I never felt like that [before or since].'

After that short trip to India, during which they were amazed at how good a 16-year-old - Sachin Tendulkar - could be, Cook had reason to give up hope that he would play any more international cricket. He was not taken to the World Cup because he was not all that fit and fielding was important. When he wasn't picked for the one-off Test in the West Indies the following year, Cook feared that could be it. That his dream of playing Test cricket, which he had nurtured for close to 20 years, might not come to fruition.

He remembers being bitter about not being picked for the tours of Australia and the West Indies. "I should have gone to Barbados," he says. "I don't say it in a big-headed way. They were starting to bring in younger guys, and I appreciate that. I never minded if a guy said, 'Look, we are not taking you on the tour because we have a younger guy. We want to blood him.' I would have had no problem with that.

"They went to Sri Lanka, and I went on the tour. Then, about two or three weeks later, the guys were going to Australia. I didn't get many chances in Sri Lanka, but I helped a lot of young guys with their games, in terms of coaching. I was 40 at the time. So I had a lot of coaching inside me. They all said, 'Thank you very much.'

"The day after we got back, Dr [Ali] Bacher called me and said, 'I have got lots of reports from the guys. Thank you for everything you did. The guys said you were absolutely fantastic on the tour, and I know you didn't play that much. Go out and get some runs between now and the tour to Australia, and you will go to Australia as well.' I said, 'No problem, doc.' First game here at the Wanderers, 105. Missed the tour to Australia."

Cook was more miffed at the reasons given to him. "They said the Australian wickets wouldn't suit me," he says. "That they were fast and bouncy. I have played on fast and bouncy wickets all my life. Don't give me that excuse. Say I am too old or you want to try a young guy, but don't tell me the pitches won't suit me. They would have been right down my alley.

"World Cup, I was surprised, from an experience point of view. That [West Indies] tour, I never understand. Even though I was 40 at the time, and I understand if it was a young player going. They should have said that."

Cook continued playing first-class cricket, and he tried coaching Transvaal at the same time but gave up because it proved too much to handle.

"Missing the World Cup was probably my most disappointing thing in cricket," he says. "I was so determined, and I went out and broke the record in one or two of the competitions and got picked for the home series. I wanted to tell them, 'This is not age, boy. This is about you wanting to go and try some youngsters.' To be fair, Jonty Rhodes and Hansie Cronje and the guys came through and played [well]. Maybe they were justified, but I was disappointed."

It was Kapil again when South Africa lost the toss in Durban on November 13, 1992 and were asked to go face the first ball of international cricket in the country in 30 years. So Cook walked out again with Hudson for another historic event, and decided to face the first ball once again. Tendulkar had by now become an even bigger phenomenon, having made centuries in Sydney and Perth. He fielded at second slip as Kapil ran in, this time in front of a lukewarm crowd - fewer than 30,000 came in to watch over the course of the Test, according to Wisden.

This time the memories weren't pleasant for Cook. "I don't think that was ever out, but I got out first ball of the Test match. It was caught second slip. Caught Tendulkar. He didn't know, to be fair. I am not saying he cheated me. That would be unfair. But he went forward, and I was convinced that it had bounced this far in front of him. So I stood there.

"Steve Bucknor was at the bowler's end, and he didn't know. He walked forward and said, 'Gentlemen, I don't know.' So he looked at the guy at square leg, who was a South African umpire [Cyril Mitchley]. And he said it's out. And I thought, 'How can you say from there that it carried?' Anyway, I walked off. In the change room, everyone to the man was like, 'Jeez, we cannot believe that. That ball clearly bounced.'"

The cruelty of that is heightened when you consider that this was the first match with a third umpire. Until recently that meant that the call on any doubtful catch would always go in favour of the batsman. "That was the first match with the third umpire. Otherwise I would have had to ask them, 'Did you catch it?'" says Cook. "But because you had replays, I stood there and said, 'Let the replay show me, because I was convinced that I was not out.' On a normal day if there was no TV I would have turned to Tendulkar and asked, 'Did you catch it?' And he might have said, 'I'm not sure' or 'I definitely did.' The other guys might have said it was 100% out, and I would have walked off. That's the way I played the game."

You wait 20 years, you put every sinew of the body into trying to play Test cricket, and then first ball you are gone. Only now Cook can shrug and say, "Ah. That's life."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


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