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  PAGE UPDATED:  01st December 2003.

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l            Murali's  Impact.

l            Game Plans.

l            Weather Fate.


l       AN EYE OPENER !


 Read  Details  Below.





Michael Vaughn feels Murali is doing a bit of "kidology" about his allegedly devilish new delivery.  Englands stand-by wicket-keeper Geraint Jones has been behind the wicket when Murali played for Kent during the last English summer and he is reported saying that its just a ball that goes straighter-on. We will watch the videos of him closely before we make our plans, says Vaughn.  Compared to 02 tests with 21 wickets at 18.71 before, with Duncan Fletcher as the coach now reads Muralitharan 05 Tests with 22 wickets at 32.63.  It was Jayasuriya and Vaas with 16 wickets each at 14.75 and 15.75 respectively that shared the highest number of wickets when England were here last in February 2001.  Muralitharan managed 14 for 421 at 30.07.


l        GAME PLANS.


The England captain feels it is important he makes big personal contributions to get England off to good starts and lead from the front. Before becoming captain, Vaughan had a Test batting average in excess of 50. In the six Tests since then he is averaging 31.6 with just two fifties to his name. They expect the Galle Pitch to deteriorate after 2 days play and hence believe winning the toss on Tuesday morning is the most important first task.  But for a captain who has lost 7 out of 8 tosses in all international cricket since the Test at Trent Bridge last summer, its a tough ask !

Michael Vaughan's thoughts are also towards considering the option of playing three specialist spinners, which means quite a U-turn in strategy after the dominance of England's seamers in Bangladesh. Galle is a unique place to play cricket where spin comes into the game from the first morning of the first day itself. We have to consider all options at a venue like this," explained England captain.


The danger man Graham Thorpe is concentrating on the game now and had the last say last time against the vicious turn of Murali, but then the straight one was not invented at that time.


l        WEATHER FATE.


The inclement weather we're getting is good for the temperature for the Englishmen but not for the cricket.  It seems that with the weather as it is at the moment in this part of Sri Lanka over the past seven days, it is unlikely we can get any cricket beyond very much of tea on any day. Usually in the mornings we encounter no rain at all but at about 3pm the clouds start building and the rain comes down. It's not blanket rain from morning till night, but heavy showers in short spell from late afternoon. So hopefully the Test matches will not be too badly affected. Tests are obviously spread over five days. It is a long period of time and you cannot allow for weather constantly interfering. You just have to get on with your cricket and if you get interruptions you just have to deal with them.





The ICC should be concerned about the damage a rain-ruined Test series can do to the credibility of the current World Test Cricket Championship of which this three-match series is a part. When non can even predict Sri Lankas tomorrows weather forecast from Colombo, I wonder how sensible it is for the ICC to be setting dates for international matches here somewhat 5 years in advance.  Sri Lanka can ill-afford gaining a reputation of being a country too wet for cricket!








l     World's Best Cricket Training

Facilities,  now......,  in England !


The National Cricket Academy of England, based at Loughborough University, was officially opened last week by Her Majesty the Queen.  With this England now possess the most advanced and the best Cricket Centre in the World. It is expected to play a major role in the development of England Cricketers who will benefit from its excellent all-round facilities.


The academy building provides six net lanes able to replicate conditions to suit fast, medium and spin bowling, while bowling machines will be able to produce everything from 100mph deliveries to subtle spin. It's a wonderful place for the players to come in and work on their shortcomings and game plans on a regular basis.  No more the players from the academy need to travel to Adelaide to make use of facilities there.


The academy director is Rodney Marsh, the former Australian wicket-keeper. He sees the centre as an integral part of the ECB's quest to become the world's leading Cricket Nation by 2007.  When the time comes to replace the existing world class players with new well-groomed talent, never an easy task, planning wisely for the future is a must and an academy of such quality becomes an invaluable asset.




l                 505 Not Out !!


"Silly Point" reporting.......



The celebration following Matthew Hayden's record innings of 380 against Zimbabwe has reminded me of an occasion in 1949 when batting against a Smith Street XI in my mother's backyard I scored a remarkable 505 Not Out. I have never sought to capitalise on this achievement as I feel that the scores of Don Bradman and Mark Taylor were obtained against a far more skilful opposition. However, I now believe that my performance should be officially recognised - particularly as the concrete wicket on which we played had several large cracks near the rubbish bin, which made many deliveries almost unplayable.


Ref:  'The Age' 14th October 2003 :

         John Kilkenny, Mount Eliza.