The Guardian: Australia begin new era with low-key win over Sussex at convivial Hove

Australia 277-9; Sussex 220 – Australia win by 57 runs
Marcus Stoinis’s steady hundred sets up victory

There are some sporting spectacles where crowds are attracted more for the occasion than the sport itself. This one-day tour match between Sussex and Australia, innocuous enough when the fixture was first scheduled, was one such occasion. Sometimes they are drawn to the presence of a great player, or one on the precipice of a major landmark. This match, however, was notable not for who was here but who was not.

Continue reading The Guardian: Australia begin new era with low-key win over Sussex at convivial Hove

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The Cricket Paper: Having a Right to Forget One’s Batting Average

 

• A version of this article was originally published in The Cricket Paper on 25 June 2018. To access the original, and to subscribe to my weekly column, please click here.

The Independent: The ECB’s 100-ball propaganda target betrays a worrying mindset

Women are at the heart of driving innovation in cricket – they are not being deterred from it because it is too difficult to understand

I was seven years old when I learnt the cub scout motto: be prepared. It seemed simple enough – a concept which any kid, or mum, might easily embrace. It is worrying therefore that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s most recent proposals, to make “cricket as simple as possible” so that even “mums and kids” might understand it, appears to be lacking in this most basic of areas – preparation.

Continue reading The Independent: The ECB’s 100-ball propaganda target betrays a worrying mindset

The Cricket Paper: This sporting life – How T20 reflects the lure of the private sector

 

• A version of this article was originally published in The Cricket Paper on 16 March 2018. To access the original, and to subscribe to my weekly column, please click here.

The Nightwatchman: Cricket for all colours

The Nightwatchman – The Wisden Cricket Quarterly

Issue 21 – Spring 2018

The Nightwatchman is a quarterly collection of essays and long-form articles and is available in print and e-book formats.

Isabelle Westbury asks whether the game is undergoing a cultural shift.

Nearly 30 years on British Asians have still not been fully accepted into English cricket. However, the next 18 months offer an excellent opportunity for change – a chance to build on the events of last year: Pakistan’s victory over India in the Champions Trophy and India’s bold run in the Women’s World Cup. With the India and Pakistan men’s teams touring the UK this summer, and a World Cup to follow in 2019, more subcontinental cricket is coming to these shores than ever before. What more can be done to ensure that cricket in this country really is a game for everyone who lives here – including the three million South Asians who make up almost five per cent of the population?

The Cricketer: Club scene – Clubbed together or miles apart?

Isabelle Westbury compares the English recreational game with its Australian counterpart, with the help of Daniel Bell-Drummond of Kent and The Grade Cricketer’s Sam Perry

During an ashes series, every aspect of English and Australian life becomes a fevered competition, from how imaginative the crowd chants are, to who serves the best coffee*. as predictably as Nathan Lyon taking Moeen Ali’s wicket, so every level of cricket in each country is scrutinised, often becoming the saviour of, or scapegoat for, a series win or loss. This time county cricket bore the brunt, its bloated 18-team set-up deemed inferior to the She eld Shield, which is played between just six states. inevitably club cricket, the next layer down, is also dissected – and compared. for many young english county players, grade cricket, the highest form of club cricket in each australian state, is a rite of passage. it is an opportunity to play bruising cricket in a warm climate at a standard often compared to some of the second division county teams.

Continue reading The Cricketer: Club scene – Clubbed together or miles apart?

The Cricketer: The Big Bash – Archer and Denly take Australia by storm

Isabelle Westbury reports on how the ‘British’ duo were signed as replacements with great success

There is something about defying expectations that suits the English. Label us favourites and we will self-destruct. Make it clear from the outset that we are very much second best, however, and we thrive.

Continue reading The Cricketer: The Big Bash – Archer and Denly take Australia by storm