Sunday, 28 February 2010

Knocking in a cricket bat

How to choose the right cricket bat

Here are some pointers that you should consider.

How strong are you? If you have good shoulders, biceps and strong forearms, you can go in for heavier bats. Heavy bats are good for big shots and they also last longer than light ones as they do not break easily. A good way to test if your bat is too heavy for you is to hold it with one hand at the top of the handle. Now raise your extended arm above your shoulder height and hold it for about 20 seconds. If you cannot hold it comfortably for even 20 seconds, it is too heavy for you. Remember that you will have to use it for at least an hour if you want to make a good amount of runs, the bats weight should be something that you can manage as you get tired.
How high is your back lift? If you have a back lift like the one Brian Lara had, you better stay away from the heavy bats even if you are strong. Big back lift players rely on bat speed for their shots and you will be best equipped with light or medium heavy bats. If you however have a low back lift like Sachin Tendulkar or Paul Collingwood, you can try heavier bats for more punch in your shots.
Long handle or short handle? Long handles are not very popular these days. If you are however quite tall and play your shots standing upright, a long handle bat is quite good as you will use the middle a lot more than with a short handled one.
Where do you prefer the sweet spot to be? Some players like it low, some like the sweet spot to be in the middle, some like it to be evenly spread. It is all a matter of personal choice. Once you have decided where your sweet spot should be, tap a cricket ball at the store to assure yourself that it is exactly where you want it to be.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Cloverdale Cricket Masterclass fielding tips

Being great at fielding on the cricke field

That catches win matches is a very old saying and this is very rightly said. Many times in a cricket match, the fielding level of teams is the determining factor in the outcome of a match. A team may have the best batting line up, have the world's deadliest fast bowlers and spin bowlers, but if the fielding of the team is not up to the mark, winning can be an impossible task. The whole team could be playing well and a misfield from a fielder could suddenly demoralize the whole team. Cricket is a team game and every member of the team must give his best if the team wants to win a match.

Fielding in a cricket match is all about anticipation. Better the level of your anticipation is, better will be your resulting fielding effort. Remember a good fielder is one who is comfortable in fielding at any position, be it the boundary or the slip cordon. Cricket fielding tips are capable of giving you proper fielding guidance if you follow them seriously.

Fielding in the boundary can be very tricky if you do not have the right amount of concentration. The boundary is the nosiest area in a cricket field and any lapse can prove to be fatal to the team. If you are fielding in that position, never be distracted by the noise and bantering from the crowd. Cricket fielding tips suggest that your sole aim must be to follow the movement of the ball and anticipate in advance where the ball is likely to end up.

The golden rule of taking catches while fielding is not to celebrate too soon. Remember what happened to Herschelle Gibbs, when he started his celebrations a bit too early after taking the catch of Steve Waugh in a crucial world cup encounter. South Africa was knocked out from the tournament and Australia went on to win the trophy, all because of a missed catch. Remember to secure the ball in your hand for enough time before you start celebrating. Never get carried away when you have taken the catch, even if you have caught the world's best batsman for a duck.

Following the cricket fielding tips are crucial while fielding at any position in the cricket field. While fielding at close in positions like slips, gully and short leg, make sure that your stance is proper. Keep a proper distance in between both your feet so that your body weight is divided evenly. Rest lightly on the balls of your feet so that you can easily maneuver yourself to the direction in which the ball is going past you. Remember, that catches should always be taken with soft hands. If you are a close in fielder, never neglect to wear protective gears like helmet and pad. Remember injuries sustained while fielding can turn to be life threatening for a player.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Unforgettable Moments in International Cricket

English Cricket - Pietersen, Flintoff

The previous record was held by Indian captian Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was taken by Chennai in the 2008 auction. His transfer fee amounted to $1.5 million. Flintoff and Pietersen's fees shall be paid as salary but on a pro rata basis as the duo can only play for three weeks and not the six weeks equivalent of a season.

Aside from the two sought after English players whos ability to turn a game around can change the fortunes of the teams they play in and ignite the crowd, the other English cricketers who were taken were Ravi Bopara who went to Kings XI Punjab for $450,000, Owais Shah was taken for $375,000 and Paul Collingwood got $275,000. Both have joned Delhi. All of the English cricketers who were taken in have to pay 10% of their share of their auction price to their counties that they play for in the County Championships for releasing them for the first season.

Bangalore's owner Vijay Mallya said that he was willing to pay more in order to obtain Pietersen's services, calling it a worthwhile investment. He even hinted that since the role of captain is still open in the team, Pietersen is being considered to lead the Royal Challengers. N. Srinavasan, the secretary of the Indian Cricket Board and owns the Chennai Super Kings, was happy with his new recruit, Flintoff, calling him one of the best all rounders in the business.

English players failed to get involved in the auction last year due to international commitments and once again shall be limited to half of t he IPL season due to its home test series versus the West Indies this coming April and May. The IPL starts on the 10 of April to May 29. Next to the English duo, South African all-rounder JP Duminy was taken for $950,000 to the Mumbai Indians, with his price greater than three times the original fee. Fellow South African Tyron Henderson got six times more than his value when the Rajasthan Royals shelled out $650,000 for him.

For Australia, Australian batsman Michael Clarke would have also been earning a high wage as his price tag was at $1 million. But he withdrew from the auction citing the need for rest in preparation for a busy year for the Australian Cricket Team. Included in the team's schedule is a Test series against South Africa, the Ashes series and the Twenty20 World Cup. Australian paceman Saun Tait went to the Rajasthan Royals for $375,000 and shall be reunited with former Australian teammate Shane Warne. George Bailey was the other Australian sold for $50,000 to Chennai.

Contracts that were handed out are all for two seasons, instead of three. Critics rationalized that Flintoff and Pietersen's absence from the IPL auction last year worked in their behalf this year to earn so much more, the reason behind was that the abundance of talent that was up for sale last year.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ton 10 Cricket Dismissals

Cricketing tips for enpiring batsman

There are hundreds of different batting tips in the game of cricket which can all potentially improve your batting and run scoring ability. Here is a selection of cricket batting tips that I've found useful to help improve your batting.

-1st Batting Tip - Keep your eyes level, it's been shown that having your eyes level helps speed up your reaction time. It makes it easier for your brain to process the incoming information if your eyes are level when the ball is delivered.

-2nd Batting Tip - Your first movement should be from the shoulders towards the line of the ball. The rest of your body will follow naturally and will help ensure you get correctly inline with the ball.

-3rd Batting Tip - Play the delivery based on its length, if it's short; even if it's in line with the wickets it should be 'tonked away', Andy Flintoff style, to the boundary. The same principle applies with full deliveries and half volleys.

-4th Batting Tip - One of the most important things is to watch the ball from bowlers hand in run up all the way to the bat. By watching the ball in the bowler's hand you can see what the bowler may be trying to do with the ball. Try to identify which is the shiny side or rough side, so you can determine which way they may be trying to swing the ball. The same applies with spinners; but also make sure you closely watch the wrist movement to determine the type and direction of spin.

-5th Batting Tip - When batting against spinners, try doing an initial 'forward press' by making an initial half-step on to the front foot as the bowler bowls. This will give you a good base to play from and help give you quicker feet.

-6th Batting Tip - It is essential to maintain a solid base when batting and to be in a solid position when you play the ball. If you watch, for example Brain Lara play a cover drive, he has a solid base from which he plays the stroke and he is perfectly balanced.

For more cricket batting tips, cricket tips, news and gossip, head over to and discover the #1 under used cricket secret, that you can use today to explode your cricket results!

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Monday, 22 February 2010

Cricket batting coaching

How to look after your new cricket bat

Ok, so you have bought yourself a nice, brand new cricket bat then, you cant wait to get out into the nets and use it. However, unless you are a professional who gets their bats for free, or you are rich enough to buy a new bat every few weeks, this is the worst thing you can do. Below I will walk you through the technique for knocking in your cricket bat:

Equipment needed: Wooden bat mallet, Linseed or bat oil, a clear protective face for the bat, an old ball, finishing grade sandpaper.

1. The very first step is to get your mallet and to very lightly brush it off the edges of the bat, starting from the top of the edge and working down. You will see some slight denting, but this is normal. What you don't want to do is to hit the edge hard, as this will start to crack it, you should barely be putting any force into this. This should be done for about 10 times on each edge (a time is going from the top to the bottom of the edge) each time gradually putting a little bit more force into each stroke, in the end you should be hitting the edges with a medium force, so you can feel the bat trying to twist in your hand with the stroke, but you can still control exactly where you want to hit. Ideally your bat will not have a protective face on it, as this makes oiling harder. If it does, no worries but you must take the face off after a season.

2. The same process should be repeated for the face of the bat, working your way this time from the toe of the bat to the shoulder. However, do not hit the splice! (This is the bit where the handle is glued in a 'V' to the blade of the bat) Again you should see a little bit of denting on the face of your bat, this is perfectly normal as the wood is very soft, the process of knocking in a bat compresses the fibres of the wood and makes them tougher, and less likely to split.

3. Now, by this time you should have done about an hour or two of knocking in the bat, and are probably thoroughly bored and want to use the thing, sorry, but you still have some work to do! Again, on both the edge and the face of the bat you should work your way 10 times with ever increasing force, by the tenth time, you should be hitting the face of the bat with the same, and sometimes greater force than the bat will normally be used to in a match, however, please do not do this to the shoulder of the bat, it is a weak point and easily split, use the medium force on the shoulder all the time. Also do not neglect the toe of the bat, this is an important bit to knock in and should be done with the same force as is used on the shoulder. N.B When I say the toe, I mean the very base of the face of the bat, do not turn the bat upside down and hit the bottom of it! Later on, another thing you can do is to hold the mallet upside down and the bat in your other hand and to swing the bat towards the mallet as if playing a stroke.

4. Ok, so that is the mallet work out of the way with, and you should have done roughly 3-4 hours of work on the bat. The next stage is the first coat of oil. Get an old rag and soak it in Linseed oil or specialist bat oil. you should then rub this over the whole of the bat, except for the splice and handle. Leave this stored horizontally for 12 hours.

5. When you come back to the bat, you may see little deposits of oil on the surface, no worries, just get the rag and rub these away. The important thing is not to over oil your bat, one more light coat after this will be easily enough for the whole season. Many people put far too much oil onto their bats, causing them to gain quite a bit of weight and in the end deadening them well before they should be.

6. The next step requires you to grab a mate, and an old cricket ball. Get your friend to give you light throw downs on the full (no bounces). Start off by just blocking these back to them and slowly work up to playing strokes, but no full blooded ones yet! This should be done for another hour. Don't worry if you see some seam marks on the bat, again this is natural.

7. You should now attach a clear bat face to the bat, this will help to reduce cracking in it, and if correctly used, will prolong the life of your bat, try to get no air bubbles when applying this. Newbery's Hammeredge bat sheets are in my opinion the best for this as they are thin, yet still protect.

8. Take your bat to your nets and use there for a couple of weeks, after this, your bat is ready to be used in a match.

9. At the end of the season, remove the bat face and oil the bat again. The reason for removing the bat face is that if you leave it on, the face of the bat will start to dry out and crack due to it not having any oil. To remove the face, pull it off from side to side, minimising the amount of wood that lifts in the process. Once this is done, get some finishing grade sandpaper and rub down the face and edges of the bat before oiling.

10. Apply a new bat face and use the bat for the next season!

Do Not's when knocking your bat in:

Use a metal hammer/mallet, for obvious reasons!
Hit the back of the bat with the mallet, this will damage it!
Soak your bat in oil, as it will deaden it.
Use a new ball straight away, these are very hard and will damage the bat, they have to be played in with an old ball first.

Those are the stages for knocking in your bat, personally I have knocked in a lot of bats by hand, usually to generate a little bit of money, so I have come up with this technique for knocking in and caring for the bats. I will add that sometimes a bat will break during knocking in, or soon afterwards. This is generally not your fault, but one of the bat- you do get some hidden faults in bats, or just a bad one! Also how hard the wood is does sometimes affect how quickly/slowly you move through the stages, if it is very soft wood, you need to spend a lot more time on the early stages.

Also knocking in helps increase the length of time a bat will perform for, but will not increase its performance, if anything, it will be slightly the opposite, but not enough to notice. Professionals do not knock their bats in as they have several and will just be given a new one if they break it!

If you want to learn more, or if you wish to send a bat to me to knock in, please contact me at the following address: and put in the title Bat knocking in.

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

The funny side of cricket - quite a chuckle!!!!

Cricket article - change from old to new

Many films about England, which occur in the 1700's and 1800's, often, have a scene which involves the game of Cricket. Although it looks a lot like American baseball, it is different, seeing as cricket is baseball's predecessor by at least 300 years. The game seems to be played by all people in all social status circles, and is enjoyed by all people from the royal family to the lowliest commoner. It was also played by all who knew the rules and had the equipment to play the game. It was recently featured in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and it was because the ball hit and broke a window that the children hid in the wardrobe and ended up in Narnia with a great adventure on their hands.

The history of Cricket is long and complex. In 1598, the first written record of the game of Cricket was recorded as being played. It became solely an adult game in 1611 and was featured in a Shakespeare play, because it was so popular with the masses. After nearly two centuries of being nearly outlawed by the country's puritanical zealots because the game caused people to bet on the games, riot for teams, get arrested for horrible behavior, or skip church on Sundays to play, the London magistrate declared the game was 'respectable' and could be played without fear of reprisal or jail time. Marylebone Cricket Club wrote the 'Laws of Cricket' in 1788, which gave some guidelines to the play of the game and penalties for breaking the laws. The laws were explicit on how long the pitch was meant to be from the pitcher to the hitter. They also detailed how far the pitching crease was to be from the bowling crease. The bowling crease was where the hitter was to stand and wait for the pitch. It addressed the exact size of the wicket, along with the ball and how much it should weigh. The way that the ball was pitched was always underhand until 1864, when and over arm bowling was allowed to be used. This was the pitch that broke the window in the Narnia movie.

The history of Cricket game play began before the Civil War and was helpful in keeping the country's mind off of the troubles brewing within the nation itself. The first international game of Cricket was played in 1844. The teams who played were the United States and Canada.

As far as an Olympic standing went, Cricket's only time in the Games was in 1900. This featured France and Britain in a game which lasted 5 days of play. This was the normal time period for a game until the 1960's when the game was abbreviated to one day of game play. Unfortunately, in 1981, the pitching by underarm bowling was not allowed after a game between Australia and New Zealand. The incident involved the Australian captain ordering the pitcher of his team to utilize the underarm technique in an effort to stop the New Zealand team from scoring any more runs.

Ethan has been an online writer for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in sports, finance, and product reviews, you can also check out his latest website on VX-3000 which reviews and lists the best Microsoft LifeCam VX3000 for your online video chatting.

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Saturday, 20 February 2010

Some Cricket World Cup Highlights

Where and How to pitch that ball in Cricket

Highlights of the good length spot

The batsman is in two minds when the ball is pitched there. He cannot be entirely comfortable going back foot or front foot and as a result usually defends the ball.
Any cricket field is usually set assuming that the bowler will hit the good length spot. As a result, any shots played off this length have a good chance to going to a fielder and not for runs.
Since the batsman is usually undecided about whether to go front foot or back foot, there is a good chance off a shot being played in the air which will result in a wicket. This is especially true when the spinners are bowling.
The area is also prone to wear and tear from the bowlers running up and down the pitch repeatedly. This results in the area becoming rougher and more difficult to bat on as the game goes on. This is particularly true in the longer version of the game.

For aspiring bowlers, it is essential that they ask their coach where the good areas to bowl in are and practice landing the ball there for optimum results.

Nick Stevens

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Friday, 19 February 2010

Anyone fancy a bowl - can do better!!

A Few tips on how to practise cricket

Circle cricket

This develops the cricket skills of batting and fielding. Batsmen must use proper technique and strokes, and learn the right tactics to score more runs - like hitting the ball into gaps and only playing balls that are necessary. They will face the ball when turning, and slide their bat over the line.

The fielders must restrict the number of runs scored by anticipating where the ball will be hit, and attempt run outs by returning the ball quickly to the in-fielders or by going for direct hits. They must also back up the throws. Fielders can surround the batsman, but must keep out of the 5m circle. Batsmen retire after they have scored 5 runs.

Variations include increasing the number of runs, increasing/decreasing the number of fielders or size of circle or running area. Again, the best dimensions are those that make it a close competition between ball and bat.

Pairs cricket

Pairs cricket is a great way to develop all cricket skills. The batsmen work in pairs, and have a set starting score, perhaps 100. They bat for a set number of overs - perhaps four, and every run scored adds to the starting score. If they lose a wicket, 5 runs are deducted and the batsmen change ends. After their four overs, the batsmen retire and the next pair take over.

This can be developed into a full scale match between two sides of 8 players, one batting and one bowling. Each batting pair has 4 overs each, every fielder must bowl at least one over and a maximum of 4 in a 16 over match. Wides and no balls count as two runs for the batting side, but no additional balls are bowled.

The horse's tail game

This is a really fun way to develop close catching skills. One end of the arc of fielders is named as the horse's head, and the other the horse's tail. The coach hits a variety of catches to random fielders, who return the ball to the wicket keeper.

Each catch taken promotes the successful fielder one place in the arc towards the horse's head, and each brilliant catch promotes him/her two places. But, each dropped catch moves the guilty fielder down to the horse's tail.

The object is to avoid being at the horse's tail when the coach decides the game is over - this might be a set number of hits, or a specific time. It's a recipe for competition, chaos and fun, as well as sharpening fielder's reflexes.

The rules of all these games can be varied to suit the situation. But, this is just a start, as there are many more games that are great for developing cricket skills, as well as being fun in their own right.

Anthony Jenkins is a cricket player and coach, and has been involved with the game for over 4 decades. He manages a junior cricket team, and plays in the Shropshire cricket league. He also manages, where you can read more of his work.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

For a laugh some funny moments

Buying Cheap Cricket Equipment on the Internet

Apart from the cricket equipment that is used during a game, there are accessories that the players use when they are not in the game to make their lives easier. Cricket bags, for example, also come in wide range of branded styles, with manufacturers such as Dukes, Adidas, Kookaburra and Puma to choose from. Some retailers also choose to produce their own lines of cricket equipment and accessories, which are also of high quality standards and worth the money.

If you do decide to take up playing cricket as a sport, or have a child that wants to play, be sure to research into the range of cheap cricket equipment you can buy. It is also a good idea to look into cricket protection; baselayers are available which give the player extra warmth and thigh guards, which do as the name implies.

If you buy your cheap cricket equipment from the Internet, make sure the retailer's website is a secure and safe to use. If you need any further information on their products, feel free to give them a call for advice.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

How to Buy a Good Cricket Bat

Choosing the Right Cricket Bat and what to look for

An Excellent cricket bat is made with an English willow called Salix Alba Cearulea which have to contain 12-14% moisture to save the bat from getting brittle
The raw willow collected is pressed mechanically to bring down the size by 5-8mm there by making the bat’s surface like a spring
The perfection of the mechanical pressure applied to the bat can be known when a seam mark appears on the bat when struck with a soft ball a few times
If a crack seems when struck against a soft ball with a bat the easy rectification for the bat is to apply some linseed oil and keep the bat a few days to absorb it
The second manufacturing aspect of a bat is the grain width of a bat.The ideal number of grains is said to be about 6-12 grains across the face of a bat
Balance and feel is the another important thing in which it differs from each person and their taste of the bat
The lighter the bat the more easy to move the bat and also to middle the ball,the weight bat has also got good features when it is well connected with the ball.Sachin Tendulkar is using the heaviest bat (1.51kg) ever.
When the weight is distributed evenly it has got more advantages than the lighter bat since it is easier to move
The bat with a comfortable length for each batsman is the best to opt.A longer bat has a slow bat speed
A sweet spot is the area where most of the bat weight is concentrated.The normal sweet spot is between 4 and 12 inches.The higher sweet spot (5-13inches) from the toe which helps the batsmen to play hooks and pull shots and the lower sweet spot (3-11inches) helps in drive shots

Monday, 15 February 2010

How to Buy a Good Cricket Bat?

A cricket bat is very precious to batsmen. There is nothing more exhilarating in a cricket match than to watch a cover drive or a pull shot race away to the boundary from your bat. The sound of the willow smashing the ball is also very pleasant for the true cricket lover.
This brings us to an important topic which is to decide how to select a bat that is right for you. The selection process of a cricket bat obviously starts with your budget. If you are on a low budget, you can only choose from Kashmir willow bats or low grade English willow bats. If you can however spend more, you can get quality bats that will give you brilliant results for a long time.
Kashmir or English Willow
Most people rule out Kashmir wood as being inferior. While this is mostly true, they do hold some value in certain circumstances. If you play your matches with hard cheap cricket balls with a lot of wax on them, you can use a Kashmir willow bat instead of your English willow bat. The English wood bat is meant to be used on high quality leather balls without wax. A hard, cheap, waxed cricket ball can break your English wood bat in two, especially if it is not seasoned.
English willow bats are however great when you use good quality leather balls. They are especially useful if you are one of those batsmen who times and pushes the ball rather than have a big whack at it. If seasoned well initially, they will last a very long time giving you consistent results.
Nick Stevens
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