Previous Page (Thoughts
on the Fixtures for the world cup)
The 'Plus' Side to 2016...
That there has been so much cricket around the world.
If there is one feature I would pick out that has made 2016 stand out
it is that the ICC Championship has everyone to play everyone (if you
see what I mean). The result is that while much of the play has
conformed to the form book, it has meant the lesser sides not only had
some cricket to play at international level - there were periods in
the past when matches were very few and far between - but have had a
chance to try their mettle against the favourite teams. Women's
cricket has suffered for many years from having just a handful of
competitive international sides, and probably a realistic prospect of
only a couple of them winning any big tournament barring a major
upset. This is no way to encourage or spread any sport!
I cannot resist quoting one newspaper - "But
the boards of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and
Ireland deserve acknowledgement for hosting more
than the minimum matches asked of them." I do hope we'll see
the ECB listed there soon...
The Stats for the first series of the
ICC Championship are here
That some cricket boards at least have begun to grasp
the importance of the Internet in the world of publicity and public
relations. I must first congratulate the
Cricket Australia. Not only have matches been screened
('streamed' is I believe the word) on
the 'Net in high quality but with a couple of commentators who have
played the sport and are thus fully qualified to comment on it. Their
web site (although not always easy to navigate) has carried live
scores for many matches and articles appear at frequent intervals.
Plaudits here must also go to the West Indies who have dipped their
toes in the water and allowed us back in the UK to watch England take
them on. While the video stuttered from time to time including a
strange time warp of which Dr Who might have been proud, it is a start
and few other Boards have been that adventurous.
Perhaps I should quote an example of what can be
achieved. The WBBL seems, judging by the results, to be an example of
how it should be done. Now I know whatever strategy you take is a leap
in the dark, and also that sports' authorities are at the mercy of
others, but the WBBL has shown what TV coverage can do. Hats off then
to the Australian TV channel that took up the challenge and found that
viewing figures exceeded not just the lowest numbers they might have
feared, but possibly their wildest expectations. WBBL_02 kicks off
shortly (as I'm typing this well before Christmas), and all the signs
are positive. They have had one major advantage over England's attempt
to start another tournament, and that is, quite simply, that it is
based on an existing fan base. Is that an odd thing to say about a new
tournament? Not really as the Australian States and the teams already
playing for those areas, were already in existence. How much easier
and more natural to follow a team that bears the name of your State,
even if you've never followed women's cricket before, than one named
after a town or more general area. There, I think, successful as it
was, the KSL missed a trick. But more of the KSL later.
Back home - or at least 'home' for me in England, the
international side took on a team they were always expected to beat.
What was perhaps not quite so expected was the style in which they
beat them, not least due to these three with the bat...
Tammy Beaumont, celebrating a century below, and
breaking records during the summer...
...with opening partner Lauren Winfield who proved
...and Natalie Sciver showing she can hit the ball as
hard as anyone in the game.
I have to say I felt
a little sorry for the visitors being on the wrong end of a team in
such fine form, but they did not help their cause with poor fielding
and the bowlers not quickly learning from their mistakes. Bismah
Maroof does, however, deserve a special mention for her batting,
especially a stubborn 61.
Bismah Maroof who battled gallantly throughout the
The KSL (or Kia Super League) held its
maiden season. I don't think Kia can complain about the result. Some
fine cricket was played, and any notes following are skewed by the
games I watch and my absence from those I didn't! If there was a
player of the Tournament it had again to be a batsman.
at Bristol aided at the finish by fine support from Sophie Luff, must
be my T20 innings of the summer. The situation demanded fast but
calculated scoring and Taylor worked it to a fine art. Nat Sciver came
close in several games but Taylor just pips it for me. Her 289 runs,
57 clear of the second placed Heather Knight tops the table by a
respectable margin. With sometimes only 5 matches to work with and
some players having the advantage of 7 it's hard to make much of some
of the stats but, taking players who played at least 5 it's
interesting that Paige Scholfield of Loughborough (and Sussex!) tops
the 'strike rate' list at 145 around 7 runs ahead of Loughborough team mate Thea
Brookes with Nat Sciver on their heels at third. It's encouraging that
players currently not at international level seem to know what T20 is
all about - getting on with it.
You can sort the bowling
analysis almost any way you like, but whatever you do, Berkshire's
Linsey Smith - a replacement and not an original team member - comes
out on top with 8 wickets and an average of just 11.5. Her economy
rate is second only to Viper's team mate, New Zealand's Morna Nielsen
Taylor played my T20 innings of the summer then I've no
doubt either who played the County 50-over innings, in fact
probably the 50-over innings of the summer as the Surrey side
put on a bowling example that Pakistan could well have
followed, especially that of Natalie Sciver...
Danni Wyatt's 120* from 130 balls, the highest
individual innings in the County Championship in 2016 by any player,
was not made in the easiest of conditions. Not only was the bounce at
Hove unpredictable at times, but she had to see off one of the finest
quick bowling performances of the summer as Nat Sciver, bowling down
the hill, was close to unplayable. How Nat closed out the day without
a wicket is a mystery to me. It was one of those situations, not
uncommon in this sport, where, if you were there to watch, the scorecard seems to lie. While only 28 from Paige Scholfield, 19 from Hannah
Phelps and 17 from Chiara Green provided some extra runs, others with
single figures gritted their teeth, held back the onslaught and
allowed Danni to win the day. Those present had a treat in both flair
and determination by players on both sides.
In a low scoring county season, Evelyn
Jones of Staffs made the only other century (110 off 107) in Division
One, the Surrey bowlers again being the unlucky recipients of someone
So 2016 comes to an end and 2017
beckons. A world cup is in prospect although how many matches fans
will be able to watch is still something of a closely guarded
secret, and the Kia Super League T20 will follow that with the KSL
50-over abandoned for 2017 (and maybe for good?). The season kicks
off with the County Championship matches the fixtures for which are
already on this site, although venues are
thin on the ground at the moment. If anyone has information not
included so far then I'd be VERY grateful.
This amount of typing is a little
unusual for me - I prefer where I can to let the pictures do the
I hope you'll join me on a boundary somewhere in 2017!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!