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since 1997 Feb 16

2018 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

Previous Page : New Zealand's Woes


The 100-ball Solution


Putting the problem of the new 100 ball format to my wife recently, how to make it different, exciting and attract people like her to watch, she said, well it's simple really. What you do is...


  1. Have 10 x 10-ball overs.

  2. During each over one ball is bowled from each end alternately. To avoid time wasting no change in the field positions are allowed and there must be a different bowler at each end. Thus each bowler bowls 5 balls and each only from their respective end. There will need to be 4 umpires to avoid time being wasted as they have to walk a distance to conventional positions. The umpire at the strikers end will stand just behind the keeper.

  3. Changes to field positions are only allowed at the end of each 10-ball over.

  4. At the commencement of each 10 ball over the two bowlers who bowled the previous over cannot bowl the next - two fresh bowlers must be used, although they can return for the following over.

  5. During the course of the innings EVERY fielder must bowl at least 5 balls apart from the wicket keeper (although the keeper is allowed but not obliged to bowl).

  6. In the event of the batting team being all out they continue batting but must bat in the reverse order.

  7. In the course of the second 50 balls of the innings 4s will only count for 2 to encourage the hitting of 6s.

  8. Boundaries can be no bigger than 45 yards

  9. Super overs infuriate many spectators and especially scorers, so in the event of a tie the entire match must be played again.

I am sure there are refinements we could make to this idea and I'd be intrigued if you have any I could proffer. Just email me...



Simply the Best?


Ask (almost) anyone around the boundary in England who is the finest batsman in the world and they will, admittedly grudgingly, conceed it is probably Australian Meg Lanning. Until recently I would have not waited for an instant to give the same reply.


[Meg Lanning]

Meg Lanning representing her Country in 2015


Now, I would have to admit, I would hesitate. Has that anything to do with Lanning's performance recently? I would say not. It's true injury hasn't helped her but I'm sure we'll (England that is) find her just as difficult to master as we've always done.
In fact it's more to do with a new rising star in women's cricket. Before I had seen her this summer the last glimpse (and indeed the first glimpse) I'd had was in 2014 when she toured with India. If I hadn't already told you, you would have guessed by now I am talking of this lady...


[Smriti Mandhana]

Smriti Batting for India at Scarborough in 2014


A number of things immediately impressed me, not least that she always seems to play with a smile on her face as you can see here and in some of the images to follow. Foremost perhaps though was the sheer purity of her stroke play. The first attacking shot I recall was a fine cover drive that David Gower would have been proud of. At the time I thought that a fine talent had just been revealed to those watching in the UK and was a little surprised when some commentators described her pulling and hooking as being her strong points when her drive had been so high class. Perhaps that just revealed that she already had shots all around the wicket. How would she progress I wondered.


Being ill during most of the World Cup in 2017, I saw her again only during the Kia Super League during this season, 2018, although I did follow the Cup via the TV screen. This summer I have been able to appreciate how much that talent has blossomed. Take a look at these numbers...
48 (20) vs Yorkshire Diamonds on 22 July 2018
37 (21) vs Surrey Stars on 26 July 2018
52 (19) vs Loughborough Lightning on 29 July 2018
43 (27) vs Southern Vipers on 31 July 2018
102 (61) vs Lancashire Thunder on 3 August 2018
56 (36) vs Yorkshire Diamonds on 5 August 2018
The Grand Total   338 runs from 6 matches
Not only does she, as I type, lead the run scorers list in this tournament but those runs have come, as befits a T20 show, at quite a lick.


When I have been able to watch some of those innings I have been impressed not just with the tally but with the timing with which she plays. The sound of the bat on ball has been perfection itself.


[Smriti Mandhana][Smriti Mandhana]

Off Side, Leg Side Makes no Difference to Smriti Mandhana - they go for 6 anyway


Should I start thinking of her as the number one in the world? I'm not sure, but it's something I'm seriously mulling over.
Mandhana Interview   :   ICC Article on Mandhana's KSL 2018



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