New Zealand

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Martin Crowe—an obituary


I never watched Martin Crowe bat.

At least, I don’t think I did. If I did, I can’t recall much anymore. Perhaps, clips of his batting are available on YouTube to refresh my memory.

Remember these were the days before satellite television and the matches telecast were mostly India games or the World Cup.

Russell and Martin Crowe

Russell and Martin Crowe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martin Crowe, however, will go down as New Zealand’s greatest batsman accompanied by Sir Richard Hadlee as their greatest all-rounder.

It was an era that saw a small cricketing nation punch much above its weight.

Besides his stellar batsmanship, Crowe is also remembered for his innovative ODI captaincy during the 1992 World Cup.

This was the Cup that saw a prodigal South Africa return to the fold. Jonty Rhodes’ fielding exploits and a heart-breaking exit in the semi-finals against England defined their World Cup campaign.

The Cup was Pakistan’s though; from almost being eliminated to clinching five games in a row to secure Imran Khan’s dream of a cancer hospital named for his mother.

New Zealand were co-hosts—much like last year’s World Cup where they went one better and made the final under Brendon McCullum’s stewardship.

Crowe made some dynamic changes to the game—opening the batting with a pinch-hitter, Mark Greatbatch. This set the stage for Sanath Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharna’s pairing in the 1996 World Cup co-hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

But it was his utilization of off-spinner Dipak Patel at the top of the bowling that paid rich dividends and had their opponents in a tizzy.

Martin Crowe continued to love his cricket, writing for CricInfo while battling his terminal disease. He also returned to the first-class game temporarily but his cancer relapsed.

The Kiwi great is no more. His funeral was held yesterday.

May his soul rest in peace.

God bless.

Kane Williamson: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Kane Williamson is mighty quiet when batting with Brendon McCullum.

What he said:

“It kind of felt like I was the library in a theme park.”

Kane Williamson played second fiddle to his skipper Brendon McCullum at Christchurch where the latter ratcheted up 195 off 134 balls to set up a victory over tourists Sri Lanka.

Williamson said:

“After lunch on that first day, I was struggling in Christchurch and Brendon was whacking it to all parts. It kind of felt like I was the library in a theme park. He was doing everything and I was watching. It’s fantastic the way he’s going – it’s something most of us have never seen before.”

He added:

“When you’re playing with him you can’t compete with what Brendon’s doing. You just stick to your game. Sometimes it highlights the fact that you need to stick around so he can keep playing with that freedom. When he is playing like that and doing what he’s doing, he develops the game and pushes it forward in our favour. It’s slightly dangerous at the other end – you have to watch it, but it’s something special to watch.

When Brendon’s in that mode he looks very relaxed. You can get excited when he’s doing that, and think ‘jeepers’, but I’m sure everyone has been thinking that. At the same time he’s been very calculating. Sometimes it doesn’t look like it, but from ball one, he’s been measured with his approach. In the last match it was tough to drive so he wanted to hit through the line. He did that and it went a long way.”

What he really meant:

I felt like I was a studious student watching an explosive expert at work.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Boom Boom Brendon! Silent Knight Kane!”

Gavin Larsen: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Gavin Larsen

What he said:

“What we did was in the first game of the tournament, we were playing the Yellow Team. We just called them the Yellow Team. We played Zimbabwe at Napier, we called them the Red Team. Pakistan was the Green Team. That made us focus on what we needed to do as a team to beat that Yellow Team. That took away some of the emotion.”

Former New Zealand seam-up bowler, Gavin Larsen, reveals the psychological mindset behind the extraordinary performance of the Kiwis team at the ’92 World Cup.

He said:

“We had some good experience in the team. A lot of guys had played a lot of cricket domestically and for New Zealand. It wasn’t a young, raw, immature team. First and foremost, there was some mental strength across the individuals in the team. The other thing that I do remember is how Martin Crowe insisted that we depersonalised each of the teams. New Zealand has played Australia in the past and you can get caught in the Trans-Tasman hype – playing the old enemy from across the ditch.”

Russell and Martin Crowe

Russell and Martin Crowe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he really meant:

 “We, of course, were the All-Blacks. It wasn’t that hard a stretch to color code our opponents. And we certainly made them eat Crowe.”

What he definitely didn’t:

 “How’s that for Emotional Intelligence?”

Martin Crowe : Batting six hours in a Test is better than sex


Martin Crowe preparing to bat during a charity...

Martin Crowe preparing to bat during a charity cricket match (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Matthew Hoggard: What he said


Matthew Hoggard bowling in the nets at Adelaid...

What he said:

“The best way I can explain how I felt in New Zealand is to liken it to when you are a small child and you cannot get your own way. You burst into tears, and that is what I wanted to do – on the field, during a Test match.”

Matthew Hoggard—in an article in The Independent—describes his struggles with depression in an attempt to make the general public aware of the disease and its effect on the person affected.

Jacob Oram rams home the ‘C’ word: SA choke as NZ play spoilers once more


Smith Not Teary

A woman knows she’s wearing the right dress, when her man wants to take it off.

Robert Paul

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Ross Taylor destroys Pakistan’s bowling attack: New Zealand top group


Taylor

If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button.

Sam Levenson

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