England have called up Surrey's Rikki Clarke and Michael Powell of Glamorgan to their NatWest Series squad as cover for the injured Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff.
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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:09 AM
Viv Richards had plenty of time for England's latest pace-ace, Steven Harmison. "The last time I spoke to Beefy [Ian Botham] before the Test series in the Caribbean, his parting words were along the lines of, 'Watch out for Harmison, he's going to make the difference' - and sadly for West Indies cricket, he was correct." Richards may not be a selector anymore, but he certainly thinks he knows someone who would make a good selector. "I knew Beefy had always championed Harmison's cause, but it just goes to show that he would make a good selector."
After a couple of words of praise for his old Somerset teammate, Richards trained his sights squarely on Harmison. "There can be no doubt that England have unearthed a diamond," he said. "From what I saw in the West Indies a few months back, this particular guy is the real deal. Some of the English guys were calling him Baby Amby because his action has similarities with the way Curtly Ambrose used to bowl for us."
Richards thinks Harmison has made great strides in the recent past. "Having seen him earlier in his career, I would say he was not bowling in the right channels on a regular basis. But if England need a wicket now, the captain can throw the ball to Harmison as his No. 1 strike bowler. It's no good being 6ft 5ins and bowling at a good pace if you cannot land the ball consistently in the right zone, but that is what Harmison did in the Caribbean and he got his just rewards."
Gracious in defeat, Richards saluted Harmison's effort. "Although it was painful for us to be on the receiving end, you can only admire the way this individual bowled and the marvellous results he achieved. Yes, he did surprise a lot of people outside his own camp. But hats off to him for the way he has worked at his game."
"When you think of all the fast bowlers around the world, Harmison's performance against us was up there with the very best. He is England's main man, he's made a huge difference to the attack." Now that is fulsome praise, coming from a man who led a series of pace batteries that were right up there with the best.
Posted 26 June 2004 - 02:59 PM
Posted 28 June 2004 - 02:18 AM
For the good of the series, however, West Indies' victory is the best thing that could have happened. With New Zealand revitalised after their Test traumas, and Brian Lara at the helm of a youthful unit of matchwinners, it is suddenly England who will have to fight for the right to attend their own party.
Posted 03 July 2004 - 12:01 AM
Posted 03 July 2004 - 07:01 AM
Posted 03 July 2004 - 12:59 PM
The news that China was one of three countries granted affiliate membership of the ICC - the Isle of Man and Mexico were the others - will hardly grab the headlines in the cricket world. But with a population of 1.26 billion, China has the potential to be a massive force in any sport it cares to adopt, even if only a small percentage of the people are involved.
Posted 05 July 2004 - 02:49 AM
Kalpesh Patel's fervour is religious and his homework impressive. He is convinced he can open the American mind to cricket and secure a spot for the game in the world's most lucrative sports market. He says he has a solid business plan, extensive market research and new poll data to back his dream of bringing cricket to a land that rocks to the rhythms of baseball and bows to the brawn of football. He has pre-emptively named himself Cricket Commissioner to get 'with the lingo' and match the status of the "baseball commissioner," a post that Condoleezza Rice, who reigns in the White House, once said was her dream job.
Posted 07 July 2004 - 12:28 AM
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