T10 My Way!

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T10 is a format of the game that has recently come to the fore, with even internationals such as Liam Plunkett participating in a T10 league in Sharjah.

T10 is cricket as we know it. It’s half a T20 (No really, it’s that simple!). What’s next? Five5? Anything that might get in the Olympics. Five5Beach, T10 on Ice, Rooftop KwikCricket!

But how about applying some completely different rules to T10? Take the following possibilities for example:

10 overs per side.

Each over is one batsman against one bowler.

The team that wins the toss chooses to bat or bowl first and…

… chooses which batsman or bowler will face the batsman or bowler from the opposition of their choice and in their order of preference.

At amateur level, one player v another per over could be good. At the highest level, maybe bowlers (And batsmen) could have two overs.

There are six deliveries regardless of whether or not the batsman is dismissed. For example: Over one could be Alex Hales against Dale Steyn and the score finishes 9-2. The next over could be Jason Roy against Imran Tahir and finishes 6-3 (Well bowled Imran!) and so England are 15-5 after two overs. They might finish 101-19 after 10 overs. South Africa would have to score 102 of course but how do we provide value to wickets? Are they just irrelevant, simply a dot ball or could it be that South Africa must reach 102 having lost no more than 19 wickets?

This is an idea in the early thought process of its evolution. There’s a few different ways you could go with it. Why not experiment and see what works best?

Is Ben Stokes the Best Cricketer in the World?

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Australian captain Steven Smith averages 59.76 with the bat in Test cricket.

South African paceman Dale Steyn averages 22.31 with the ball in Test cricket.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes averages 35.72 with the bat and 33.93 with the ball in Test cricket. Those numbers wouldn’t be considered good enough for either a specialist batsman or bowler.

So how could anyone possibly entertain the idea that Stokes could be the best cricketer?

The clue is rather obviously in the word ‘cricketer’. Smith may be the best batsman but he only bowls a bit. Steyn may be the best bowler but he only bats a bit. Surely to be considered the best cricketer you must contribute significantly with both bat and ball. Regarding Stokes, let’s not forget his fielding prowess either.

If Stokes were a specialist batsman who rarely bowled would he average 45 with the bat or if he were a bowler who batted at eleven would he average 25 with the ball?

If Stokes was the recipient of the award ‘World’s Best Cricketer’, surely Smith would look at Stokes’ batting stats and take umbrage. Surely Steyn would look at the England all-rounder’s bowling stats and go “Eh?”.

Taking a step backwards for a moment: Who is the greatest cricketer of all-time?

Many many people would answer by saying the name Sir Donald Bradman. The New South Wales native averaged an unparallelled 99.94 with the bat but claimed a mere two Test wickets. Bradman is so far ahead (There aren’t many between him and Smith) that he can possibly claim to go from being not just the the best batsman but the best cricketer. However George Lohmann averaged 10.76 with the ball but only totalled 213 Test runs. He might be the best bowler but surely not the best cricketer.

So does the world’s best cricketer have to be an all-rounder and are any of the following the best cricketer of all-time? Are the names listed below better than Bradman because they offer something in both disciplines or is Bradman so far ahead that his lack of bowling contribution is insignificant?

Kapil Dev (India) 31.05/29.64

Richard Hadlee (New Zealand) 27.16/22.29

Ian Botham (England) 33.54/28.40

Imran Khan (Pakistan) 37.69/22.81

Wow, okay. I selected those names off the top of my head but just look at those statistics! Clearly Ben Stokes has some way to go and I think that I’d take Khan over Bradman. Sorry Don!

Ultimately I think that to compare all-rounders with specialists is futile. (Well that was a waste of my time then!) Each player is only one man in the team. Maybe there is no such thing as ‘the best cricketer’ but only ‘the best cricketers’. Rather apt in a team sport.

P’Tang Yang Kipperbang!

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I struck the ball in the dark, off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

I hit the ball over the rope, evading the dive of Shai Hope.

I deflected the ball with an edge so fine, off the bowling of Dale Steyn.

I glanced the ball for four, evading the gloves of PJ Moor.

I played a shot that was just stellar, out of the reach of Niroshan Dickwella.

I stole a run like a thief, off the bowling of Steve O’Keefe.

I belted the ball out of the ground, off the bowling of Toby Roland-Jones, such a sweet shot oh what a sound, all the way to The Road of Bones.

I searched the internet for batting tips, so looked at the faq, flicked the ball off my hips, past the outstretched Misbah-ul-Haq.

I defended the ball then ran a single, straight past my partner no time to mingle.

I ran three at Adelaide, off the bowling of Tony Dodemaide.

I avoided a bouncer from Brett Lee, on a sunday morning at the SCG.

I pulverised the bowling at the WACA, off the ball came the lacquer.

I scored a double century at Perth, took me a week or two to come back to Earth.

My stumps were shattered, oh what a pain, clean bowled all that mattered, bloody Mark Alleyne!

Used to watch Serie A on Channel 4, lots of goals by Beppe Signori, went to New Zealand on tour, got clean bowled by Daniel Vettori.

I punched the ball with lots of power, off the bowling of Grant Flower.

I swatted the ball with a bang, off the bowling of Bryan Strang.

I bowled the ball, it was a ripper, did for the off-stump of Trevor Gripper.

Running in week after week, ever so dependable was Heath Streak.

A crocodile under the bed, it wasn’t so little, eight foot long they said, guest of Guy Whittall.

The batsman was far too ponderous, nicked one behind at The Wanderers.

Batting at Scarborough, put the ball in the sea, Ian Salisbury’s leg-spin, no mystery to me.

Woke from my slumber, when I received a beamer from Carl Mumba.

You need a wicket, if you want to play cricket!