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t20

Who Will Take The 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup?

Beginning back in 2007, ICC World Twenty20 matches have kept both worldwide and local cricket club audiences captivated around the world. This short and action-packed version has held a worldwide audience due to its almost flamboyant nature, compared to the other formats in which the game is played. So let’s dig into the who’s who of potential T20 contenders for this year, and which team is most likely to take the top prize. Below are the most likely contenders for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup with a few thoughts on the best picks to take the win.

Australia

Be it in ODIs or Tests, Australia has long been a powerhouse in international cricket, producing legends since day dot, and T20 has not dwindled that reputation. They have yet to secure a World Cup title, though they did get close when coming in second to England in the 2010 edition in the West Indies. Does Australia have what it takes to win it this time around? Only time will tell, but with the likes of batsman David Warner and superstar Steve Smith, and being headed by confirmed T20 captain Aaron Finch, they are definitely strong contenders.

India

These world class players have always been among the best of the best and the T20 game has further solidified that, with the Indian team winning the first T20 World Cup in 2007. Though the location for the 2021 T20 tournament was recently changed – for the second time – from India to the UAE, India’s odds of $3.50 to win suggest they are still the team to beat. With superstars of the game like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma at their disposal, there is no reason not to think that India isn’t a forerunner for the main prize.

England

Winning the World Cup by seven wickets over Australia in Bridgetown in 2010 certainly inspired the English team, but since then they have yet to secure another title. After losing the championship to the West Indies in 2016, you know they are hungry for another T20 win. The English team that has qualified for the 2021 Cup are likely to be as formidable as ever. Though they have suffered some injuries throughout the course of the season, it still looks like this side will push on with a quality T20 World Cup showing this year.

West Indies

The current ICC T20 World Champions have two titles under their belt and are well placed to contend once again this year. The West Indies were once a top-tier team with legendary players in all forms of the game, and though they are a long way from the force they once were, T20 cricket is a clear strength. Veteran Kieron Pollard heads a formidable team including the likes of legendary all-rounder Chris Gayle and top T20 bowler Sunil Narine. They might not boast the talent of the likes of India or Australia, but teams who take the Men in Maroon lightly do so at their own peril.

Pakistan

Runners up in 2007 and World Champions in 2009, the Pakistanis are no strangers to success on the ICC T20 World Cup stage. They lost just two wickets during the 2009 T20 World Cup final en route to beating Sri Lanka soundly by eight wickets, a dominant win which was indicative of their talent. The Pakistanis have not had as much luck in their last two outings, however after being eliminated in the Super 10 round in 2014 and 2016 they are ready to fight back in 2021 with T20 veteran Babar Azam leading the squad.

Sri Lanka

With reappointed captain Dasun Shanaka, who captained the T20 squad when they won the Cup back in 2014, you can tell that this is the year the Sri Lankans are pushing to get back to winning ways. Sri Lanka has spent time introducing new players who are more suited to the shorter format of the game according to their captain, and they have been collecting wins in the T20 arena with the new lineup. They have their work cut out to match it with the best teams in the world, but the new blood in the team may just give the Sri Lankans the winning edge they have been lacking. 

Commencing the delayed tournament in 2021
Originally, the T20 tournament for 2020 was set to be hosted in Australia before the location was changed to India, but that has again changed and it will now take place in the UAE. The long-awaited ICC Twenty20 World Cup is finally set to commence on October 17, 2021, with the final scheduled for November 14. Will the West Indies continue their winning streak and take out the 2021 World Cup? Or will the talented Indians still prove to be the best team in the world, despite the change of location? Elsewhere, the Aussies will no doubt be a threat and England is more than capable of winning, and with so many teams in the hunt, it shapes up as a compelling edition of the T20 World Cup.

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Cricket Opinion

The Potential Of Steve Smith: The Next Australian Cricket Superstar in the Making?

Every sports discipline in history has produced their own specific sets of iconic figures.

These names that become renowned in households across the planet have achieved this status as they are the ones that redefine what it means to excel.

We understand what Tiger Woods means to the game of golf, just as we are aware of what Usain Bolt represents in the world of athletics. But in the history of Australian Cricket, much of the story remains unwritten.

With his individual idiosyncrasies and his sublime strokeplay, could Steve Smith carve his way into the summer game’s pantheon by the time the sun sets on his career?

The peerless contender

You could compare Smith’s performance to the likes of Virat Kohli, but when one considers Smith’s skills in comparison to his peers, the New South Welshman remains unmatched.

Of course, it’s impossible to give it context to ‘Smudge’s’ greatness without also mentioning Don Bradman, the undisputed legend of Australian cricket. One could very well say that Steve Smith is second only to him. And let’s be honest, that is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Smith’s performance

Smith is one of the finest Test batsmen to have ever graced Australian cricket. He averages an impressive 64.56 from 68 Tests – which is the second most by any cricketer that has played 20 tests or more.

The only other name that currently comes close is Kohli, with an average of 53.14.

But what is it that is keeping Smith from soaring in the stratosphere with some of the game’s past stars?

For starters, he has shown to have trouble maintaining his form. On top of that, a whole year of his career was eliminated due to suspension.

However, keep in mind that Smith is still relatively young – the former captain only turned 32 this June – meaning he has a lengthy portion of his career still ahead of him. Therefore, there is a view that his full potential is yet to be seen.

The work of a batsman is never easy.

Source: Pixabay.com

The next Ricky Ponting?

With a Test average of 51.85 over the course of his international career, Ricky Ponting is without doubt one of the greatest cricketers to ever pull on a baggy green cap.

However, since Ponting spends his days commentating or quaffing fine wines these days, his achievements are simpler to assess.

On the other hand, Smith’s career is still well and truly alive and kicking. For this reason, it is impossible to give an accurate assessment of where he’ll stand before stumps are called on his career.

One thing is for sure, if Smith keeps up his current pace, then chances are he will surpass Ponting’s overall statistics.

A big black mark on Smith’s reputation

With that being said, Smith’s reputation is not without stains either.

Remember the ball tampering events taking place in South Africa in March 2018? This resulted in receiving a year long ban from competing. Although he is not the first to have done so, he did cheat. And as the old adage goes, cheaters never prosper.

Not only did Smith let down the fans, he dragged Cricket’s good name down with him (or at least a sizable portion of it). Whether this alone is enough to put the game in a state of crisis, is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for sure – love him or hate him, he has made a name for himself and everyone recognizes him to be one of the greatest.

He can reach the lowest of lows and always finds a way to rise back from the ashes – or as proven 2019, ‘for the ashes’ as well.

Other batsmen can only fantasize about achieving half of what he already has under his belt, and when we remember that we haven’t seen the last of him, his peers and opponents are set to be daydreaming for many summers to come.

Conclusion

Steve Smith stands tall as one of the greatest Test batsmen of all time, second only to Don Bradman – that much remains undisputed.

A much better question, on the other hand, is this – who deserves to claim the title of the third best?

I guess we will see in due time.

As always, keep your eyes peeled on the bbl live score 2021 to keep yourself up-to-date on everything cricket-related. And don’t forget to stay in tune with more content on Australian cricket as we publish it.

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IPL t20

Reasons why T20 cricket is the best

T20 cricket has come a long way since its first official match was played in June 2003 between the English counties. T20 World Cup helped to popularize the format while its fame also received a big boost due to T20 leagues like the Indian Premier League, the Big Bash League and the Pakistan Super League etc. 

Now teams spend a lot of money and energy in the planning and strategy of T20 matches, which were initially derided as pyjama cricket. Franchises work meticulously and use numbers to improve different aspects of the game. Particularly in tournaments like the IPL, data analysis is revolutionizing the game. It is now employed by teams for recruitment, selection and tactics. 

Mumbai Indians have the distinction of being the most successful team in the history of IPL. Their successes are largely due to the smart use of data, according to famous journalist Tim Wigmore.   

Mumbai Indians’ success has been rooted in out-thinking their opponents,” says Wigmore. “They are excellent at doing it before they even get to the auction table.

“They’ve got a very good idea of how to assemble a team because they’ve used data to establish the best strategy. Then they have a really strong scouting system that allows them to chase all of the most undervalued domestic talent.

1- Time 

Time has become very precious in the modern world where people have plenty of work engagements. Therefore, they can only afford to spend a little time on fun and leisure activities. 

Test matches continue for five days, making the format less suited to the needs of cricket fans. While T20 matches last for only about 3.5 hours and that makes it convenient for people to watch an entire match. Since the format is highly suitable to the entertainment needs of cricket enthusiasts, it is little wonder that the popularity of T20 is also increasing. 

For first-timers, it seems a very attractive option as the games are short and the spectacle is great. 

2- Spectacle 

In Test and ODI matches, batsmen play very cautiously with keeping wickets in hand their main concern. Therefore, spectators only get to watch an occasional six or four. 

Things are vastly different in T20 cricket where it’s all about explosive hitting. Batsmen throw all the caution to the wind and try to smash boundaries and sixers on every few deliveries. This makes for a great sporting spectacle, and people in the stadium as well as those watching on television immensely enjoy it. 

These T20 games are often played in conditions more favourable to the batsmen, and so the batters make full use of that advantage to provide a good display for the fans. Teams also prefer power hitters who can swing the momentum to their side in a few overs through their destructive batting. Bowlers often resort to Yorkers or slow deliveries, but that can also backfire, allowing batsmen to hit 4s and 6s.      

3- Fast-paced nature 

The defensive and slow nature of Test cricket doesn’t make a great spectacle to the television audience. Fans have to endure long, dull periods where nothing happens, with batsmen only thwarting the bowlers’ moves and not attempting something new and interesting by themselves. 

The matches become very uninteresting sometimes in ODIs as well, especially when one team loses a couple of early wickets and they become very defensive. However, T20 games rarely become dull and mostly provide a great sporting spectacle. Batsmen always look to hit boundaries and sixers, without worrying a lot about losing their wickets. Consequently, spectators either get to see explosive hitting or the fall of wickets and so they get a good display in both cases. 

Due to the fast-paced nature of T20, the momentum of the matches can turn very quickly. Just a single good over can bring the losing team back in the game, while a bad over can cause irreversible damage to the prospects of the winning team. Spectators in the stadium and the TV audience always get good value for their time and effort in T20 matches.   

 One cannot get such excitement and thrill from any other sporting event. Even viewing football matches and Premier League goal leaders in action cannot give one the same thrill. 

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Cricket News Cricket Opinion

Could Major League Cricket boost the sport’s popularity in the US?

Sport is a huge part of American culture, whether it’s playing, competing or spectating, people in the United States spend a good chunk of their time enjoying sports games and competitions in some way. While sports such as football, baseball, basketball night receive the most airtime on live TV channels and news shows, cricket is one other sport that is once again finding its heading toward the media spotlight.

Cricket first became popular in the United States in the 1700s, where it was regularly played for fun and competition in locations such as Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, and Boston. By the middle of the next century, over 1,000 cricket clubs had been set up across the country.

However, around the time of the Civil War, baseball had overtaken cricket in terms of popularity due to it being a favourite game amongst soldiers at the time. The trend continued over the years and by the early 1900s cricket was pretty much non-existent across the states.

Popularity of Cricket across the world

Cricket players and spectator figures have improved somewhat since this time but still lags behind many other sports. It is now far more popular in other countries like India, the United Kingdom, Australia and Sri Lanka.

Worldwide, cricket is actually the second most popular sport and has a following of up to 2.5 billion people. However, in the United States people continue to pay more attention to big league games and competition, including the National Football League and Major League Soccer.

Fans of these sports often enjoy placing sports bets on league competitions. As more and more states continue to legalise sports betting and online sports betting, the choice of betting options and operators continues to grow in the country.

Development of the MLC

It is likely that soon fans of cricket will be placing wagers on their favourite teams thanks to the development of the new Major League Cricket, which has been modelled on other domestic cricket competitions like the Indian Premier League. Major League Cricket was founded in 2019 and is preparing to be launched some time in 2022.

Within the MLC, there will be six franchise teams. One team has been confirmed as being located in Dallas, and other teams are likely to be based in New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco, as there is already a small market for the sport in these places.

The launch of Major League Cricket all forms part of the USA Cricket’s foundational plan which aims to increase the popularity of cricket amongst American citizens and improve the playing standard of its national team.

Before the Major League kicks off next year the Minor League Cricket will act as a developmental league and will play their competition this year. The Minor League consists of 24 teams that are all privately owned franchises.

The overall target of this process is for USA Cricket to achieve full membership status by the International Cricket Council on or before the year 2030. As part of these ambitious plans, the AirHogs Stadium in Texas is set to receive a $10 million dollar facelift to prefer it to become a venue solely hosting cricket matches.

But who is behind these plans to revolutionise the cricket industry in the United States?

There are some very well-known faces in the business world that are backing the expansion of cricket in the country, one such business leader is Microsoft’s Satya Nadella. Nadella is behind Microsoft’s plans to extend its campus in Washington to include a professional quality cricket pitch.

Other supporters from big name technology brands include Sundar Pichai from Google and Indra Nooyi from Pepsi. Even famous individuals within the entertainment industry are encouraging the development of cricket in the United States, with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan investing in the Major League Cricket’s Los Angeles Knight Riders.

Even with all of the public support, there is still no guarantee that cricket is about to take off in America. There are still a number of obstacles that the MLC must work through in the medium and long term to ensure their success.

One main focus for the new MLC teams will be to secure the right talent to play at such a high level. It is also important that this talent is fairly evenly distributed so that all six teams have the ability to compete well.

One huge benefit of the development of Major League Cricket is the increased investment and development opportunities that will make its way to youth cricket clubs in the country. New talent programmes will be put in place to harness and grow the skills and abilities of younger players, helping to ensure the longevity of the sport.

While there is already a good fan base for cricket in the United States, the development of Major League Cricket is a huge opportunity for the sport and will hopefully increase the amount of attention and investment that cricket receives exponentially over the next few years.

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Cricket News

India tipped for 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Victory

Overlapping the months of October and November this year, the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is a tournament that promises to have cricket fans on the edge of their seats. In March this year, two of the favourites met when England toured India, although the visiting side was quite literally bowled over by their hosts.

Despite a positive start for England winning the first match by 8 wickets, India rallied to win the second by 7 wickets. After another solid performance earned victory for England by 8 wickets in the third encounter, India once again levelled the series winning the fourth match by 8 runs.

Then came the moment when everything fell apart for the England T20 side. In the fifth and final match of the series, India put on a display of absolute superiority, crushing the visitors by 36 runs. Indeed, such was the margin of victory, the 224/2 score achieved by India was their fourth highest T20 score of all time.

Given that superb match victory and the overall series win, bookmakers are now tipping India as 9/4 cricket betting favourites to win the T20 World Cup. After licking their wounds and pondering what they must do to improve, England have now been handed 4/1 odds to win the tournament, although they will need to raise their game significantly.

England selectors will need to ponder their team selections very carefully, even if certain players are guaranteed to form part of the T20 World Cup squad. Dawid Malan remains top of the ICC T20I Batting Rankings, following the latest ratings updates at the start of April. However, only one other player features inside the top ten of any other categories.

Adil Rashid has climbed up to fourth position in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings, based on the consistency of his performances. Meanwhile, the ICC T20I All-Rounder Rankings feature Ben Stokes way down in eleventh position. England still remains top of the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, with a rating of 277 from 22 matches.

By comparison and with the recent series for India factored into the calculations, India has moved up to second position in the latest ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, earning a rating of 272 from 25 matches. Insofar as individual players, several Indian players have made significant leaps up the ICC rankings.

Virat Kohli holds fifth spot in the ICC T20I Batting Rankings, while Lokesh Rahul features in seventh position. That said, breaking the resolve of rival batsmen is clearly an area which needs improving for the India T20 team. Washington Sundar is their highest ranked player, 13th in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings, mostly based on his performance against England.

Rather than outstanding individual contributions, even with a quality pool of talented players to choose from, the key for India against England was overall team performance. Able to produce consistently solid results whoever takes to the field, this is why India will undoubtedly be the team to beat at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

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Cricket News Players

What does Ben Stokes’ injury mean for the Rajasthan Royals?

One game into the 2021 season and things are already looking bleak for the Rajasthan Royals. Not only are they without first-choice fast bowler Jofra Archer for at least the first four games of the season, but they are also now going to be without one of the world’s best T20 players in the form of Ben Stokes.

2021 was already looking like a tough season for the Royals. Betway already had the Royals as the favourites for the wooden spoon at 21.00, and now this injury to Ben Stokes suffered during the opening game of the season against the Punjab Kings, puts further pressure on the Royals.

No luck for the Royals

After finishing the 2020 season at the bottom of the table, the Royals must have come into the 2021 season with renewed hope, with Archer and Stokes two of the leading lights in international T20 cricket.

With Archer already out for the opening four games, recuperating from an old injury, a lot of hope was placed on the shoulders of Stokes. 

After starting the game well, Stokes had bowled the eighth over of the Kings’ innings and was expected to come back to bowl at the death, however, an injury sustained in the tenth over meant he was not seen again with the ball as the Kings amassed 221 for 6 in their 20 overs.

He did come out to open the batting for the Royals, however, he only lasted three balls before top-edging a pull back to bowler Mohanned Shami to be out for a duck. It was unclear whether the injury was providing significant hindrance to Stokes, however, his early dismissal meant that it would not be put to the test.

The injury to Stokes, a broken finger on his left hand, was inflicted whilst taking a superb catch, running in from the boundary to catch Kings’ talisman Chris Gayle – a crucial wicket for the Royals with Gayle making 40 runs off just 28 deliveries.

The Kings went on to win the game by four runs.

Talisman Stokes to stay on

It’s no secret that Stokes loves to play in the IPL and he has been one of the shining stars since its inception. It is perhaps no surprise then, that he has elected to stay on with the Royals for the rest of the season to provide “support and inputs off the field’ as he looks to stay involved in the IPL 2021 season.

In the same week as Stokes suffered his injury, he was also named Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world for the second year in a row. He scored more Test runs than any other batsman in 2020, with 641 in seven matches, while also taking 19 wickets.

Whilst his presence in the changing room has been welcomed by the Royals and their owners, there is no doubt they would much rather see the world’s best cricketer out on the field as they try to avoid the wooden spoon for the second consecutive year.

What now for the Royals?

Without either Stokes or Archer, the overseas options for the Royals are limited. Both Jos Buttler and Chris Morris are first-choice picks, and for the other two slots, they have to choose from among Liam Livingstone, David Miller, Mustafizur Rahman and Andrew Tye. Rahman played in the first match and Livingstone – who can bat in the top order and turn his arm over for part-time off-spin – could be the most likely to fill in for Stokes.

Will Stokes be fit for England?

This summer is a huge one for England. They are scheduled to play a two-Test series against New Zealand, starting at Lord’s on June 2, just four days after the IPL final. Following the two-Test series with New Zealand, England is then due to face India in a five-Test series before heading to the T20 World Cup in India. They then head down under to Australia for the Ashes at the end of 2021.

It is understood that the ECB is working with the Royals to monitor Stokes’ fitness between now and the opening Test against New Zealand, however, it is unclear at this stage whether he will be fit to line up in that series or whether he will have to wait until the Test series against India before he will be able to represent the Three Lions in 2021.

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Cricket News Players

Should England Select James Anderson for the 2021/22 Ashes Series?

Ahead of the 2021/22 Ashes series, every cricket fan has their own predictions on who will be included. One popular possibility is, of course, James Anderson. Based on his record alone, his inclusion should be something of a no-brainer. However, with an action-packed schedule awaiting the 32-time Ashes winners over the coming months, form and fitness will likely determine who’s lining up for England in Australia on November 22nd. But will the selectors opt for Anderson?​

Anderson’s Record Raises Questions 

​While nobody can deny the Englishman’s ability, Anderson’s overseas form is perhaps the only weakness to his game. On home soil, the Burnley-born right-hander is undoubtedly one of the finest seamers in cricket. Outside of England, however, he’s struggled to replicate his success at home venues. 

​According to figures from HowStat, in 842 matches in England, the 38-year-old has taken 384 wickets. Away, on the other hand, his record sits at 222 in 592 games. While still impressive, there are drastic differences in his average and bowling strike rate. The same data platform states that, at home, Anderson’s average is 23.84, and his strike rate is 50.23. Overseas, meanwhile, those figures rise to 31.40 and 65.96, respectively.  ​

​Regarding Australia specifically, Anderson has often performed well Down Under. As per ESPN Cricinfo, the 38-year-old averages 29.3 against Australia, which is below his total overseas average. Not only that, but as of 2017, Anderson performed best when facing Justin Langer’s team. At that time, he’d taken 87 wickets against the Baggy Greens, which was five more than against the second-highest team, India.​

Good to Leave Behind? 

​Regarded as an all-time great, Anderson cemented his legacy as an icon of the modern game after becoming England’s leading wicket-taker. Along with proudly holding that status, he’s also the first fast bowler in the sport’s history to reach 600 Test wickets. Given his record, it’s somewhat baffling that his inclusion for the 2021/22 Ashes series is in question. Anderson himself has stated his desire to play in the tournament, but Peter Siddle believes that Stuart Broad should get the nod ahead of the 38-year-old.  ​

​Currently, England’s pace bowling attack is formidable, with Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, and Mark Wood also available for selection. Siddle states that his preference to select Broad over Anderson relates to the pitch conditions, with the Burnley-born right-hander historically struggling to get the ball swinging

Talking about his progression, Anderson declared that he’s better now than he was eight years ago. That, combined with his experience, makes him a valuable asset to England, and he could be the key to success at the highly-anticipated competition. As of February 2nd, England are 11/4 in cricket betting to win the 2021/22 Ashes series, but only time will tell if Anderson plays a leading role in their pursuit of glory.​

If Selected, Anderson Can Hurt Australia  

Recently, Australia lost to a second-string Indian side on home soil. As such, their confidence won’t be at an all-time high. Should their dip in form continue into the Ashes, Anderson has the ability to punish them further. The Baggy Greens’ top order has struggled for consistency of late, and if the 38-year-old is selected and can ask questions of them in the opening overs, then England may reap the reward of his inclusion.

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History

International Cricket Results that Shocked the World

Cricket brings up a myriad of feelings for the viewer. From pure love for the game to sheer happiness and hope their chosen team will win. But that’s not all. There are also events every so often in cricket’s sports events history that surprise the world and turn the league table on its head.

Numerous games reign supreme in people’s memories for their shock value throughout cricket history. Where in one moment, the fate of a particular cricket match appears concrete. And the next, the underdog steps up to take the spotlight.

Anything, from a spirited pep talk from the coach, a weakness that’s been spotted in the opposition, or a surge in willpower can all work in favour of changing the course of cricket tournaments and subsequently the outcome of cricket bets on those matches. To relive some incredible cricket events in history, see below.

Kenya VS West Indies: 1996 World Cup

Score: Kenya 166 beat West Indies 93 by 73 runs

On 29th February 1996, Kenya reigned victorious against two-time world cup winners, the West indies. The novice Kenyan cricket team unexpectedly knocked the world champions out of the park, with an impressive 73 runs throughout the league, leaving the West Indies bewildered.

The West Indies’ were expected to secure a victory against Kenya based on their renowned bowling attack. But, the batting, despite the team having world champions cricketers on their side, left much to be desired.

In turn, the team lost any hope of winning the game, and Kenya’s cricket team succeeded.

Kenya VS Sri-Lanka: 2003 ICC World Cup

Score: Kenya 210 for 9 in 50 overs beat Sri Lanka 157 in 45 overs by 53 runs.

In 1996, Kenya’s VS West Indies wasn’t the only time in history; Kenya had shown they were a wildcard to keep watch over.

In 2003, New Zealand was supposed to visit Nairobi to play Kenya. However, the team decided to forfeit the points due to security concerns. Instead, Sri Lanka journeyed to Kenya’s cricket ground at the Gymkhana Club Ground.

As with the West Indies batting, Sri Lanka’s line-up also failed to combat Kenya’s bowlers, especially Collins Obuya.

During the game, Kenya took full advantage of playing on home territory, as they succeeded against Sri Lanka. This was Kenya’s most significant victory since their match against the West Indies in 1996.

Ireland VS England: 2011 Cricket World Cup

Score: Ireland 329-7 beat England 327-8 by three wickets

In Bangalore in 2011, Ireland had a brilliant triumph over England.

The event featured one of Bangalore’s Stadium’s thrilling encounters in cricket history. Ireland had the fastest run chase witnessed at the World Cup from Kevin O’ Brien.

Player of the match Kevin managed fifty in nine and turned the game around with a perfect batting display, which resulted in 13 fours and six sixes. Plus, a partnership with Alex Cusack of 162, hitting 113 off 63 balls.

England captain Andrew Strauss dropped on 91, and O’Brien succeeded the fastest century off 50 balls. Reportedly 16 less than the record set by Matthew Hayden, Australia’s opener, in the previous tournament.

Ireland winning against England was a shock for all and displayed a joyful match that Cricket players and fans alike would never forget.

Canada VS Bangladesh: Cricket World Cup 2003

Score: Bangladesh lost with 120 to Canada, which had 180 by 60 runs.

On 10th February 2003, Canadian Cricket supporters were bowled over by Canada’s unexpected triumph over Bangladesh. The Occasion marked Canada’s first ODI since 79 and first-ever World Cup Win.

To begin with, anyone watching the game would have ultimately expected Bangladesh to win against the newcomers. As Bangladesh bowled out the Canadians for 180 off 49.1 overs and Ian Billcliff achieved a top batting score of 42.

However, Austin Codrington, the Canadian Spinner, had other ideas for the match as he finished by taking 5 for 27. In turn, Canada annihilated the test playing nation. In total, 120 runs bowled Bangladesh out, and Canada won.

Sri Lanka VS India: 1979 World Cup

Score: Sri Lanka 238 for 6 in 60 overs beat India 191 in 54.1 overs by 47 runs.

India was one of the biggest cricketing nations. Sri Lanka at the time were only associate members of ICC, and this was their second world cup.

Despite Sri Lanka’s limited appearances in the international arena, the team always distinguished themselves with their spirited and determined performance on the field.

The team won against India as they merged an excellent batting line up with quick, strategic bowling. Subsequently, India fell to Group B’s bottom after also losing against New Zealand and the West Indies in previous matches.

By surveying the history of cricket, it’s easy to see anything can happen. And so, we shouldn’t always be so quick to put our eggs in the basket or our bets on teams that everyone assumes will win.

The examples above show impressive victories from cricket teams across the world. And that no expert cricket team should ever be so complacent to expect that minnows and underdogs can’t change the ranks.

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Players

Player Profile: Brett Lee

Former cricket player Brett Lee is an Australian cricketing icon known as one of the game’s quickest ever bowlers and a nightmare for opposition batsmen.

In what was the golden-age of Australian cricket, Lee stood as a tall pillar in what was the county’s greatest ever bowling lineup. Lee joined Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath as an Australian attacking onslaught during the early 2000’s.

Making his Test debut in 1999 vs India, Lee’s international career was off to a flyer, taking his maiden wicket in his first over for Australia, dismissing Sadagoppan Ramesh. Lee also managed to take the scalp of Indian great Rahul Dravid and ended his first innings with a five-wicket haul of 5/47 from 17 overs.

Lee quickly became a resounding fan favourite in rapid time, taking 13 wickets in his opening two test matches for an absurd average of 14.15.

The paceman went on to win the Donald Bradman Young Layer of the Year Award for Australia, capping off a brilliant beginning to a long, illustrious career.

The boy from Wollongong had soon become a world-renowned bowler, both with the new and old ball, and quickly made a name for middle as the most feared attacker in the game.

Lee transitioned fittingly into the One Day format and won Player of the Series in back to back years between 2003 and 2005, a period where he won A World Cup and was a member of the ICC’s ODI Team of the Year.

Lee was one of Cricket’s star to benefit the biggest from the introduction of the T20 format, with his menacing attack with the ball and ability to quickly add runs to the tail making him one of the game’s best.

It seemed each time Lee was able to adjust to a new format or tactic, it would soon compliment his ability elsewhere, with a stunning individual display in Edgbaston during the 2005 Ashes Test almost taking his country to what would have been an astonishing victory.

Lee won his first and only Allan Border Medal in 2008, a year that saw him collect 57 wickets and six five-wicket hauls across 117 innings in Test matches alone. He also added another 24 wickets across the One Day and T20 formats.

Lee’s resilience was unparalleled with in the game. The paceman struggled to find his place in Australia’s Ashes Test side of 2009 as part of the English Summer tour after coming back from injury.

After missing out on the series, Lee was selected in Australia’s ODI side and was soon back to his ruthless best, taking the most wickets for his country with 12 and added a five-wicket haul – becoming the first player to take two 5WI at Lords in ODI’s.

Unfortunately, patterns persisted with Lee being sidelined due to injury and eventually making miraculous returns to the ODI and T20 squads and thriving in the One-Day formats as his place in the Test side faded.

Lee’s focus on the newer formats prolonged his successful career in the game, becoming the second fastest Australian to tale 100 ODI wickets and was the first ever player to take a hat-trick in a Twenty20 International match.

Domestically, Lee was a prominent figure across the globe, starting his career as a young starlet for New South Wales before stints with Kings XI Punjab, Wellington, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sydney Sizers and Otago.

Lee announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2010, ending his career with 310 wickets across 76 tests, sitting fourth highest for Australian wicket takers behind Warne, McGrath and Dennis Lillee.

After 221 ODIs and 25 T20Is, Lee called time on his International career as tied McGrath on 380 ODI wickets, the highest by any Australian.

Lee continued his career shortly with a number of domestic clubs and soon moved into a media role as an analyst and game caller.

The spiky-haired youngster from the ‘Gong will forever be known as one of the greatest cricketers Australia has ever seen and one of the world’s best bowlers in the history of cricket.

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The emerging talent that can be crucial as England look to make 2021 a year to remember

English cricket is in a very healthy position right now and there will be a real hope that they can make 2021 a memorable year.​

They kick things off with a challenging tour to India in the next few months. That’s followed by a T20 World Cup, as well as a trip down under to take on Australia as they look to win the Ashes back, so it really should be exciting.​

A quick look at the latest cricket betting odds shows they are 11/4 to win the little urn and among the favourites for the T20 World Cup. So, it’s possible that it could be a period that is remembered forever in English cricket, if they can be successful on both fronts.​

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with dreaming, the reality is that it’s going to be a huge test for the players. Even though most of the squad for those fixtures already picks itself, there is still time for those on the fringes to force their way in. Plus, injuries and form can play a part over the coming months.

One man who is sure to have a significant role, though, both next year and for potentially the next decade or so, is Sam Curran.​

Of course, the 22-year-old has already made a name for himself in the game and he was the most expensive English player to play in the IPL, which highlights how high his reputation is across the globe. However, it’s important to remember that he is still a young player but even that’s exciting as he has the potential to improve.​

Ben Stokes has carried England somewhat over the years and there would always be a concern that, if he dropped out of the team, there’s no genuine alternative.​

And, whilst we don’t want to put extra pressure on Curran, he certainly has the qualities to become a talisman for the country if Stokes is absent. Pleasingly, that appears to be a role the Surrey man is relishing as he has already revealed that he sees the World Cup winner as an inspiration.​

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>With Ben Stokes rested for the South Africa ODI series, the all-rounder&#39;s wait for his first 50-over appearance since he won the World Cup looks set to continue through to 2021… <a href=”https://t.co/QrcApw4mrf”>pic.twitter.com/QrcApw4mrf</a></p>&mdash; Wisden (@WisdenCricket) <a href=”https://twitter.com/WisdenCricket/status/1323626430970974208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 3, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>​

For the fans, the most exciting option would be getting the two all-rounders in the team together and that will be a prospect that frightens the opposition. Curran has proven with both bat and ball that he can deliver on the biggest stage and the upcoming events are a great setting to showcase his talents further.​

With the ferocious pace of Joffra Archer leading the bowling attack, backed up by the reliable Stuart Broad, England are always dangerous. Then, they boast accomplished batsmen and captains in Joe Root and Eoin Morgan in both formats of the game, with further quality in all positions. ​

But, the likes of Stokes and Curran just bring that something special to the team, as they’re capable of pulling off that match-winning shot or taking a crucial wicket.​

The world already knows about Stokes’ talents and in truth they already know what Curran can do. However, he may be able to elevate himself to the next level by helping England to victories in what is a massive 2021.