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Friday, June 05, 2009

Top Ten Cricket Events of 2008

Cricket world experienced a number of notable events in 2008. Many great players like Sourav Ganguly announced retirement, while many new stars like Ajantha Mendis emerged. Here, I made a list of top ten most notable cricket events of 2008. There were so many interesting events in cricket last year that after making the list, I felt that I did not mention the retirement of Australian great Adam Gilchrist and the much-publicized conflict involving Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh over racism. Now, let us go through the list:

Ajantha Mendis: Emergence of another Spin Threat

The year 2008 was a struggling year for the batsmen whenever they faced Sri Lanka’s next spin hope Ajantha Mendis. The 23-year-old right arm spinner can be classified as an off spinner or leg spinner or even as slow-medium pacer because of his variety of deliveries including googlies, off-breaks top-spinners, flippers and leg-breaks and Carrom Ball. His 6 for 13 in Asia Cup 2008 against India is only one of the proof of his class and talent.

Emergence of Indian Premier League (IPL)

The first season of much-publicized Indian Premier League (IPL) was help in April-May 2008. In participation of 8 city-based teams, comprising of local as well as several foreign star players, IPL 2008 was successful financially and in terms of fan following. Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royal won the inaugural tournament of IPL.

Retirements of Two Indian Greats: Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble

Two Indian greats announced their retirement in 2008. Great batsman and India’s most successful captain, Sourav Ganguly stepped out of international cricket after helping India to win the home series against Australia and that was the last series for Ganguly. India’s most successful spinner, Anil Kumble, said goodbye to international cricket after the end of the third test of the home series against Australia.

Australia’s Dominance in World Cricket Faded away

The year 2008 is perhaps the beginning of the end of Australia’s decade long dominance in world cricket. In March 2008, Australia lost the Commonwealth Bank Series to India, just after wining the home test series against India by a narrow margin 2-1. Australia then lost the Border-Gavaskar trophy to India and lost the home test series against South Africa last week.

Sachin Tendulkar Overtaking Brian Lara as Leading Run Scorer of Test Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar added another record to his credit in 2008, breaking Brian Lara’s record for highest run scorer in test cricket. Tendulkar overtook Lara’s previous record of 11,953 runs on his way to play an 88-run innings during the second test of India-Australia series at Mohali.

14 Bangladeshi Cricketers Joined Rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in a Mass Exodus

In a mass exodus, 14 Bangladeshi cricketers led by former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar joined India’s rebel cricket league ICL to form a new ICL team Dhaka Warriors, just few weeks before the start of the second season of ICL. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) banned all the players from both domestic and international cricket for 10 years. The incident made ICC rethink about ICL recognition.

ICL Second Season with Bigger Success

The second season of Indian Cricket League (ICL) was a bigger success than the previous season as the tournament received higher TV ratings. Many cricket fans from around the world enjoy the tournament. ICL second season also introduced an additional team Dhaka Warriors, consisting of many national team as well as local cricketers of Bangladesh.

Stanford $20 Million Twenty20 Match: An Exaggerated Match with Limited Success

England twenty20 team took on Stanford Superstars in a winners-take-all match for $20 million on November. Funded by an Antigua-based billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, the Twenty20 match featured England national Twenty20 team and Stanford Superstars, consisting of best players from Caribbean region, and Stanford Superstars won the match. However, the much-hyped match failed to attract the attention of cricket world due to lack of good marketing strategy.

South Africa Winning Test Series in England and Australia

South Africa clinched historic test series victories in England and Australia this year. So, the year 2008 can be marked as the start of South Africa’s dominance in test. South Africa won the four-match test series 2-1 in England and then defeated world champion Australia in the year-ending series on Australian soil. Since 1969-70 season, this was South Africa’s first test series win over Australia.

Pakistan Becoming a Forbidden Land for Cricket

One of the cricket powerhouses, Pakistan, is gradually becoming a forbidden land for cricket as a number of cricket playing nations are reluctant to tour Pakistan on security ground. Australia cancelled their tour of Pakistan earlier in the year and then International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the pre-scheduled ICC Champions Trophy which was supposed to take place in Pakistan in September 2008. Towards the end of the year, India also refused to go on a scheduled tour in Pakistan.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Biplob, this top ten list is fantastic. Last year in cricket was very exciting and this year looks like it is headed in that direction too. You can post this to our site http://www.toptentopten.com/ and link back to your site. We are trying to create a directory for top ten lists where people can find your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.