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Fly Slip-Looking for lost balls...: August 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

CricketAnyTime XI- Vote for the Best No3 in ODI History

So the search for cricketanytime XI continues.
We got the openers sorted out.

Sanath Jayasuriya and Gilchrist came out on top after leading the polls from start to finish.
We had a good turn out for the poll too !

Now its time to pick the best no3 in the world.
Here is your chance to let your voice be heard.

Get voting !

The CricketAnyTime XI
  1. Sanath Jayasuriya
  2. Adam Gilchrist
  3. ??
  4. ??
  5. ??
  6. ??
  7. ??
  8. ??
  9. ??
  10. ??
  11. ??
Opener Voting results


Aint no other...

At least in my book.

Unless you live under a rock, you'd know what day it is today.
August 27th 2008.

100 years on from August 27th 1908. For anyone non-wise to this date- it is when The Don was born. So today we celebrate the 100th Birth day of the greatest player of all time and the greatest player ever to step on to a patch of green to play cricket to wield a willow.

We all know the stats.
Missed the 100 average by 4 runs in his last match.

The legend of the great man has touched every single cricket fan alive.

It would be unthinkable for me to not pay tribute to the man.
However, being Sri Lankan, I thought I'd add a little spice with a Sri Lankan flavor to it.

This post is the fruit of endless bits of research over the last few weeks and a lot of help from some friends over in Australia. So here goes. But be warned this will be a long rant!

Some of you may know that Bradman toured, well toured is a slightly inaccurate, Sri Lanka on a "whistle stop" basis on their way to England. In fact he visited Sri Lanka, or Ceylon at the time, on 4 occasions. In 1930, 1934, 1938 and 1948 to be precise.

Cricinfo articles the 1930 visit;

The Australians played in Colombo against the All Ceylon team on 2nd April 1930, Bradman was out hit wicket for the first ball bowled by N.S.Joseph, in his debut match. This is supposed to be the first and the only occasion that Bradman got out hit wicket.Australians were all out for 233, All Ceylon 52 for 1 at close, the match was interrupted by rain and ended in a draw.
Here is where it starts to get interesting. I was able to track down a entry in Bradmans personal diary detailing this very match. Below is the full entry in the diary
This excerpt from Bradmans diary is Copyrighted Republishing this image without prior consent from SLSA is strictly prohibited.

"Standard of cricket quite high"- There you have it folks, from the man himself. This was an assessment that caused my heart to flutter. To have such high praised heaped upon our countrymen even in those days says. Words fail me.

The 1934 and 1938 visits were less eventful. There do not appear to be too many records of the tour at all.

Cricinfo provided a brief snippet.
Don Bradman did not play in the Australian team's tours in 1934, and in 1938 Bradman had a 'cold', the Sri Lankan spectators were very disappointed.

This goes to prove that the legend of Bradman was not contained to England and Australia or even India. Bradman was a hugely popular figure in Ceylon. There are many stories of the crowds flocking to see Bradman when the touring ships called into port in Colombo.

An example of this can he highlighted in the 1948 visit by the Australians.

This particular match, played over just a day, as was the tradition of all the matches played by the touring Australian team, was littered with quite a few colorful events, not least was a 20 yard pitch which confounded the Australian batsmen until they discovered the error !

Jack Fingleton writes an account of the match in his 1949 book, Brightly fades The Don.

Click on images for a larger view

Fingleton fondly recalls his memories of the then Colombo, the now infamous 20 yard pitch and the curious, curatoress! Bradman coming out in a toppee is priceless. Him and Barnes fighting for the strike and needling each other in the middle is both intriguing and enjoyable to read. This was the human and rather mischievous side of the great man.

Bradman himself made it a point to mention the 1948 game in his own book-Farewell to Cricket

Click on images for a larger view

He makes mention of the notorious Colombo heat and the enchanting scoreboard at the Colombo oval. It seems no surprise that he was affected by the intense heat in Colombo. Many have suffered its wrath. Further proof that the man was human after all (which somehow makes his records seem even more incredible).

The love for Bradman in Sri Lanka is evident in an excerpt from "Bradman" by Charles Williams. Sri Lankan fans would ride out in tiny boats when the ship from Australia neared the harbour hoping for a sighting of the Don.

Click on image for a larger view

Cricinfo provides a brief summation of the 1948 game.
On 27th March 1948 there was a crowd of about 20,000 at the Colombo Oval, to see Bradman play for the last time in Sri Lanka, Don Bradman was able to score only 20 runs as he was caught by R.L. de Krester bowled B. Russell Heyn. Australia declared at 184 for 4 an hour before close of play, All-Ceylon were 46 for 2 when rain stopped play. This match was memorable for another reason as the length of the pitch was 20 yards and not 22. Australian batsman found it hard to get the ball away, they bowled from two yards behind the bowling crease.

1948 Match Scorecard- Aus in Ceylon

Sir Donald would have been a 100 years old today. Mortals such as us will never have the privilege to see this man in action. He played cricket test cricket in 4 countries. But Sri Lanka has the honor of being the 5th and only other country (correct me if I am wrong) where the Don pulled on his white flannels to play cricket. From all accounts, even his personal diaries, it seems he held our cricket in high regard, and our country in even a higher plane.

There can be no greater honor for Sri Lankan cricket.

Many Happy returns of the day Sir Donald, where ever you may be.


Brightly Fades the Don, by Jack Fingleton, Sydney, 1949.
Farewell to Cricket, by Don Bradman, London, 1950
The Invincibles, by Peter Allen, Sydney, ABC, 2001.
Sir Donald Bradman: a Biography, by Irving Rosenwater, London, 1978.
Bradman, by Charles Williams, London, 1996.

Special Thanks to;
Chris Read
Anthony Duffield

Note: I have a few more excerpts from some books on the 1948 game. If interested let me know in the comments section

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Ambul Thiyal-Anga plays for the A team....

My name is Ambul Thiyal-Anga. As you would have guessed by now I'm a cricketer. More specifically an opener, by name, at times even by trade.

I have an extensive repertoire of strokes but only play few, that is how good I am. Lately though I have been handed the task of opening the batting for the A team. The selectors needed an experienced man to lead the charges and it was only natural the buck fell on the great Ambul.

Yes I was ready.

I briefly look at my reflection in the mirror prior to entering the field. The crowd outside I know are expectant. The self belief and confidence staring back at me through the mirror astounds even me. An echo of applause can be heard outside, gathering momentum.

I tell my self- I'm stronger, faster, well drilled like a finely tuned machine. All clock work like a fresh off the mill Swiss chronometer. Ambul Thiyal-Anga is about to grace this match.

I walk to the crease, assured, not a hair, a inner glove out of place. The opposition players seem to marvel at the elegance I exhume even in the mere act of walking to the crease. I take guard and signals to the bowler that I am ready.

The carnage that followed is, as they say, history. I breezed past the 50..then the 100 and then 150 I and everybody else knew I would. Here I was again I thought to my self. Every ounce of me working coherently to produce the perfection that was beyond any ones belief.

With effortless ease I caressed the ball to the fence.. needled it around corners for two and threes. The bowlers were tired and I was just getting started.

The medium pacer ran was wide the outside off stump, I could tell the bowler knew this was going to be divinely sent to the boundary before he was through with his run up. My feet found the path of the ball, the bat followed through , it was almost in slow motion, I closed by eyes to feel the full satisfaction of the ball hitting the middle of the bat yet again.

But then the ball landed, a puff of dust. It moved away ever so slightly, I had miscalculated. The bowler could not believe I had edged it, neither could the keeper. Bewildered, they stood there in silence for a minute, before a polite enquiry from the umpire. The finger slowly came up.

I am out.

I look directly at the umpire, who seems almost apologetic. I stare him down, then the bowler. I cast my bat under my arm and walk towards the umpire with the same assuredness I had when I walked in. “Are you sure you want to do this ?” I ask. The umpire cannot hold my gaze.

I stand there, bat in hand. Pin drop silence all around. I move back into my stance. Practice the perfect sensual shot that was meant to have been played.

But that I did not.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Flintoff v Kallis

Freddie Flintoff launches a brutal assault on what happens !

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sri Lankan cricket in the orient....

The 1st week of April in 1996 holds a memorable place in all Sri Lankans hearts(or at least it should!) It was indeed an unforgettable week.

As Sri Lankans we were all still basking in the glory of being tagged “World Champions”, and for any Australians reading this, you’d probably have been cursing and wondering how the tiny island nation that you’d bullied just a few months earlier in your backyard dared to dream and toppled the might of the best team in the world.

So if you were a Sri Lankan, life was good.

It was about to get better.

The now world renowned Sanath Jayasuriya stepped on to the field at the Padang in Singapore to launch an attack on Pakistan that is still the reason for a few Pakistani bowlers to wake up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat.

While the pundits were still trying to decompose whether what Jayasuriya did that week was even mathematically possible, a few unknown records in it self passed un noticed. Well at least until now.

Singapore, became the 12th country to host an ODI. They remain as the only country to host an ODI but never participated in an ODI. The Padang ground, incidentally is 110th ground, while Singapore is the 101st city to host an ODI.

The Padang ground it self holds special significance to us Sri Lankans.

When the first few adventurous Ceylonese left the island for the orient around the 1860s one of their destinations was Malaya, of which Singapore was a part of at the time. Singapore, which was founded by Sir Stanford Raffles in 1819, offered a vast array of opportunities for these immigrants from all over asia.

T. M. Turnbull records in his book, 'History of Singapore, 1819 - 1975', "Singapore's rapidly expanding economy attracted ever-increasing immigrants. At the end of the 19th Century, there were 185,000 people. Three-quarters were Chinese, while the rest comprised Malays, Sumatrans, Javanese, Bugis, Ceylonese, Arabs, Eurasians and Europeans".

If you are wondering what the cricketing relation to all this is- be patient.

These early Ceylonese held esteemed position in Singapore, as doctors, teaches and various other posts and would often get together to discuss the Sri Lankan way of life.

Cricket was usually a topic of great importance.

According to a foreword to the Early History of Sport Among Ceylonese Residents in Singapore, "Up to 1915, sport among Ceylonese youth seems to have been confined to students in the College of Medicine. In that year a more organised team began to take shape under the leadership of Dr. K. Kiramathypathy (Dr. K. K. Pathy). Soccer and cricket were the chief games indulged in, although there seems to have been a greater bias for cricket."

The need for an official union was identified by many prominent Ceylonese and around the early 1920s the first Lanka Union was born. This is when the Padang and the Singapore Cricket Club played a pivotal role.

It offered its facilities for practice and matches for the Sri Lankans who did not at the time have their own ground. Ceylonese cricket thrived.

Dr. Pathy wrote

'In the early stages games had to be played on outside grounds as we did not have a ground of our own, until late 1922..."
'In this connection we should be failing in our duty if we did not record the great assistance given to us by the Padang Clubs of Singapore, the Singapore Recreation Club, and the Singapore Cricket Club in granting its facilities for practice and for matches, and for the great hospitality they showed us at all times. "

The Padang ground it self brings to mind a game of cricket played on a green on a lazy Sunday afternoon in England. Its surrounded by historic British monuments. It seems to have been plucked out of village green in the British Isles and placed in the center of one of the most modern metropolis’s in the world.

When you pass by the ground it reminds me of a time when cricket was simpler.

More laid back.

The way cricket should be.

An indulgence played with your mates, more for the love of the game rather than the accolades and money and the stardom. The pictures attached here do not do justice to this history patch of green that has undoubtedly shaped the lore of Sri Lankan cricket in the orient.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Greatest ODI XI (as voted by you )

Back at headquarters we had a debate on who would make up the greatest ODI XI. Since we couldn't come to a conclusion we decided the best way would be to drop everything and go for a vote.
So we are tying to pick the greatest ODI team based on the fans out there.
Here is your chance to participate and get your views in. Simply vote on the poll on the left !

The idea being we will pick the two best openers based on your comments and then the No3 batsmen , No4 and so forth ending up with the bowlers.

Each poll will be run for a week.

So stop that boring thing you're doing. Tell your wives and kids to bugger off and get voting !!

Ps- If you wish to vote for any player outside this poll. Too bad.
Actually just leave it in the comments section and we will take it into account when picking the team :)


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ambul Thiyal-Anga makes his comeback....

My name is Ambul Thiyal-Anga. As you would have guessed by now I'm a cricketer. More specifically an opener, by name, at times even by trade.

I have an extensive repertoire of strokes but only play few, that is how good I am. Or how good I was. You see, I hit a rough patch a while ago.

My confidence had eluded me. But no more.
My timing was amiss. But No more
Nay, no more.

Ambul Thiyal-Anga was called into action, as he so often is, against the might of the Indians recently. It was my chance to prove to the world the legend of Ambul was not faded but spreading wider. To prove that to the ones that gave up on me that I'm stronger, faster, well drilled like a finely tuned machine. All clock work like a fresh off the mill Swiss chronometer.

Yes I was ready.
I walked to the middle to face the new ball, fearless as I had done before. But this time It would be different. This time, it would be all my way. The daunting chase ahead of me did not make me nervous. Rather it made me acutely aware that this was where Ambul Thiyal-Anga was meant to be at this moment. This is the moment that Ambul would re capture his lost throne.

A brisk few boundaries boosted my already brimming confidence. I was set. Today would be my day. I reach a half century. The crowd goes wild in the stands. I acknowledge them briefly. Knowing that I would soon be gaining more adulation's when I reach the milestone I am destined for today. Even the opposition sense it. They are not dealing with a mere mortal. I can see it in their eyes. The fear. The loathing. The hint of jealousy. I'm not perturbed.

The bowler runs in. I already know his plan. I'm two steps ahead of him. He is unaware. My foot moves into position with a serenity that amazes even me. The bat flows through. My muscles searching , aching, for the perfect moment to make contact, but at that most glorious moment I'm distracted, by someone in the crowd perhaps.
It is over. I have edged it and the brutish keeper has snuffled up the chance. For a moment , disbelief. From bowler, keeper and even umpire.

I am out.

I stand there, bat in hand. Pin drop silence all around. I move back into my stance. Practice the perfect sensual shot that was meant to have been played.

But that I did not.


The Coconut Smash- an introduction

Keeping in line with Suave's hulk smash phenomenon , flyslips come up with its own brand of Island rage... Introducing

The Coconut Smash.

The coconut smash will be used on the dire , nit wit, absolutely moronic Sri Lankan performers. It will executed, clinically, by smashing a ripe King Coconut over the offending baboon.

Why a Coconut?
Ahh.. the inevitable question..but what you really want to be asking is..why not a coconut ?
(But I think it has to do with us coming from an Island or something..)

Id think this is self explanatory. When ever one of you fuck up. Ima fuck you up.

Let the coconut smashing Begin.

Can you spot Upul Tharanga under the pile of coco's ?

Any Ideas on who will cop the first coco smash ?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Whats my team again ?

In a new episode of the ridiculous selection blunders of late,and previous, it is learnt that the Sri Lankan selectors have once again taken the headlines by changing the team that the captain and commitee had agreed to behind Jayawardene's back.

Thats not what Im thinking, its what MJ is. At least its what he must have been thinking when the press were asking about players he dint know were in his team.

"I need to get some clarification of the team from the selectors," Jayawardene said at a media conference to launch the five-match Idea Cup limited overs series shortly after the Indian team arrived at the beachfront hotel.

Jayawardene expressed his surprise at the naming of the squad when asked a couple of questions about the batting order. The normally cool, calm captain raised his eyebrows that suggested some names are in the 15-man squad that were not initially
Raised an eye brow? How can anyone assume that that is how he expresses surprise. Isnt that how he looks anyway? >>

Back on topic.
This is a new low for the even the SL selectors.

All this means is that it looks like there is a serious fuck up in the communication one way or the other.

How strangely Sri Lankan for the captain to find out about team changes from the newspapers.
Good thing we will probably still whipe out India 5-0.

Back on topic.
Fuck off you bastard selectors. Just fuck off!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stumped by PJ

A recent poll conducted online revealed that most cricket fans out there reckon that our boy PJ is the best man behind the sticks going around.

Which I would say is a fairly accurate analysis when you consider his keeping ability. When the Indians, including their much loathed 'Fab 4' , went cross-eyed trying to read Mendis and Murali, who will from here on be referred as MnM, (not the mint, but the bowlers), PJ seemed to pick up what the two 'freaks' were doing with constant ease.

Which leaves me dumbfounded as to his complete ineptness ,it seems, in hitting the ball off the square. The man's managed to earn himself a spot in the team solely on his keeping ability, which says a lot about his keeping but unfortunately for Sri Lanka his lack of runs will surely tell sooner rather than later.

PJ usually comes in at number 6 or 7 and by no means can that be considered the tail end of our batting line up. At least not in the modern game. His lack of runs needs to catch the eye of the selectors who must be mindful that he is not indispensable. Sangakkara can be used at any given time to take up the gloves when we need to bring in the additional batsmen/all-rounder or bowler (my personal choice but thats for another day.) The notion of 'off loading' Kumar is a bit dodgy if PJ keeps failing to notch up the runs.

Expecting PJ to to average around 30-35 cannot be asking him too much. Mark Boucher averages 30, Mcullum 31. I believe these are fair comparisons as both Boucher and Mcullum fulfill similar roles for their teams and bat at similar positions.

From what I have seen PJ has the technique to get the runs, its possibly due to a lack of confidence and nerves that get him out.

A day will come when Sri Lanka needs to rely on Jayawardene getting the runs for them and on the evidence of his 21 tests so far that seems highly unlikely to happen. However, I think PJ should be given the opportunity to prove himself while the team it self needs to realise that this is one of the areas that needs to improve going forward if SL are to challenge the big boys in the pegging order overseas.

PJ's stats

Career summary
v Australia 2007-2007 2 38 37 9.50 0 - - - - 2 2 view innings
v Bangladesh 2002-2007 5 139 120* 46.33 1 - - - - 13 5 view innings
v England 2007-2007 3 150 79 37.50 0 - - - - 6 2 view innings
v India 2008-2008 3 107 49 26.75 0 - - - - 3 5 view innings
v New Zealand 2006-2006 2 80 37 20.00 0 - - - - 3 0 view innings
v Pakistan 2000-2000 1 - - - - - - - - - - view innings
v South Africa 2006-2006 2 72 42 36.00 0 - - - - 6 1 view innings
v West Indies 2008-2008 1 26 21 26.00 0 - - - - 4 0 view innings
v Zimbabwe 2004-2004 2 4 4 4.00 0 - - - - 4 0 view innings

If you wish to vote on the poll go here


Captaincy and Olympic Babes ?

With captains dropping like flies these days its becoming one of the most talked about topics in cricket right now.

Gayle returns as captain after pulling back his resignation letter. But the question remains whether he is the right man for the job?

Have your say here

At we are also wondering if Shoaib Malik is the right man to lead Pakistan after a horrendous year as captain.

What do you think ?

On a lighter note the Beijing Olympics kick started a couple of days ago to a spectacular opening ceremony. But what the lads at cricketanytime are really keen on are the pretty little things running about and getting all sweaty
Check it out here

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Own a piece of cricket history

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has produced a DVD to commemorate the historic match between South Africa and Australia in which both teams scored more than 430 runs. The three-DVD set consists of a highlights package of the Pro-20 match between the two teams, as well as all five one-day internationals(ODIs).

The highlights of the world-record breaking fifth ODI include personal reminiscences from Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Herschelle Gibbs and Makhaya Ntini.


Friday, August 8, 2008

KP announced as England captain

SO as expected the new captain of England is Kevin Peitersen.

The king is dead, long live the king. Kevin Pietersen's deck-clearing appointment as England's new captain, across all forms of the game, is a bold and welcome statement of intent from an England selection panel that, only two matches ago, stood accused of gross prevarication. Doubts are sure to remain about the wisdom of appointing a man whose first and only experience of leadership came in the final ODI against New Zealand in June, and who - when it suits the public imagination - is all too easily cast as an interloper. But make no mistake, Pietersen the best candidate for the job, and in fact the only one.

But can he turn England around ? Have your say here

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