Daily News Online
Ad Space Available HERE  

DateLine Friday, 26 December 2008

News Bar »

News: No food shortage in Vanni ...        Business: Dankotuwa eyes Indian market ...        Sports: Pakistan hope Sri Lanka tour will go ahead ...






Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

South Africa step up as Stanford stuns cricket

South Africa had every reason to look back fondly on 2008, a year in which Allen Stanford became a name known to all cricket fans and the once all-conquering Australia came back to the pack.

Even before the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne started, the Proteas had arguably completed their best year since the end of their apartheid-induced exile in 1991.

Their six-wicket win against Australia in the Perth series opener, where South Africa chased down 414 to record the second-highest fourth innings winning total in Test history, was the latest of several impressive results on the road this year.

They shared the spoils in India and then enjoyed a first series win in England since 1965 as the Proteas, led from the front by batsman Graeme Smith, began to rid themselves of their unwanted tag of ‘chokers’.

With India, inspired by Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, getting 387 to beat England at Chennai, the question, as the year ended with a dearth of truly great bowlers, was what now constituted an unassailable target?

Here perhaps was a sign of the beneficial effect of Twenty20 on Test cricket - teams were chasing totals that would have overawed their predecessors.

How beneficial the Stanford Twenty20 was to anyone but the Caribbean Superstars who thrashed England by 10 wickets to claim the million dollars-a-man winner-takes-all prize, was a much-debated point.

In a year which saw the launch of the Indian Premier League, it was hard to think cricket could engage in a more nakedly commercial enterprise.

Yet from the moment Stanford arrived at Lord’s in June with a box full of millions of dollars and proclaiming his Twenty20 ‘Super Series’ could crack the US television market, the Texan billionaire’s intentions were clear.

Stanford - who freely admitted he found Tests ‘boring’ - was slammed for bouncing the wife of one of the England players on his knee during the Antigua matches and by the end of the year he was reviewing his cricket commitments.

In the Test arena, Australia looked what they were: a team without two of the best bowlers cricket had known in the now retired duo of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
ANCL TENDER for CT Machines with Online Processors
srilankans.com - news & information
Ceylinco Banyan Villas
Donate Now | defence.lk
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sport | World | Letters | Obituaries |

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2008 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor