C365’s Alternate Awards
As we wave farewell to 2014, it is important to look back at what cricket has given us, and shower praise on those that have made this such a memorable year. Here are the Cricket365 Alternative Awards.
* While they didn't win any gongs this year, the awards panel would like to highly commend the ECB and Kevin Pietersen. You guys have been great.
Chucker of the Year
In the year that the ICC launched the Chucking Inquisition, this award is as competitive as it has ever been. While Saeed Ajmal may have been the highest profile and Sunil Narine was the highest paid thanks to his IPL riches, the award has to go to Zimbabwe's Prosper Utseya. He has been cleared to bowl 'slow medium deliveries'. Where a slow medium bowler fits in international cricket is up for debate, but there are quite a few village teams that make good use of them on the weekend.
Stuart Broad Comedy Moment
While this award is named after Stuart Broad following his continued brilliance in the 'comedy cricket' arena, he is not the winner in 2014. This year’s winner is Nuwan Pradeep’s dismissal at Lord’s. A Chris Jordan bouncer hit him on the shoulder as he attempted what could loosely be described as a hook shot. He spun on the spot like an Eastern European shot-putter and toppled over into his stumps. The noise he made as his bat careered into middle stump was a brilliant Chewbacca impression. 2015 will have to work hard to top this.
DRS Review of the Year
While Vernon Philander, Stuart Broad, and Brad Haddin have been doing their best to waste as many reviews as possible, this year’s winner is Hawkeye. In the Dubai Test in the recent series against New Zealand, Pakistan batsman Shan Masood was given out LBW by Paul Reiffel. The delivery from Trent Boult hit Masood on the left heel. He reviewed. Hawkeye decided that the ball would have cut back in to hit his leg stump. It appeared that Hawkeye had decided to alter the laws of physics. At a meeting with the ICC later that month the company that run the Hawkeye projections admitted they had stuffed up. By that stage it was too late to call Masood back to the crease.
Mountain out of a Shove in the Corridor Award
While India lost another series away from home the 'real quiz' was a shove in a Trent Bridge corridor. The India side had got fed up with what they described as constant abuse from James Anderson and decided something needed to be done. The most exciting part in all of this nonsense that went on for weeks was that you could decide everyone was in the wrong. Anderson shouldn't be swearing at people, and he certainly shouldn't be shoving people in corridors. MS Dhoni should never have let it go this far. The ECB had offered to suspend Anderson for one Test but the Indian captain and BCCI officials decided it wasn't enough. In the end a judicial review (yes, really) told them all to stop being silly little boys and to grow the f**k up.
Rob Quiney innings of the Year
Ever since Rob Quiney scored his debut nine runs, his name has been synonymous with innings that are brief yet remarkable. In the second Test versus Pakistan Glenn Maxwell gave us just that. He came out to bat with his side chasing 603 to win. The score was 19-1. He then proceeded to play one of the most bizarre Test innings that you will ever see. Unsure of whether he should attack of defend he tried to do both, sometimes at the same time. He was out LBW to a ball where he neither came forward went back. It had one remarkable shot in it, but that is covered by the next award.
Shahid Afridi Shot Selection Award
While it would have been possible to give this award to the cricketer for whom it is named, this year the winner is Glenn Maxwell. In the aforementioned innings, Maxwell attempted to reverse sweep a leg stump yorker from Mohammed Hafeez. He missed. It missed the stumps. No one who saw it can quite work out how.
Michael Clarke Funky Captaincy Award
This award goes to Michael Clarke. In fact, if he does retire from cricket the award will be put out to pasture as well. He had many great moments, but he claims the award for the first Test against Pakistan where he seemed to decide it was impossible to take wickets in any normal way. There were slip cordons at mid-wicket, bowling change after bowling change, and a complete disregard for trying to do the basics. It was full funk, it was super funk, it was funkier than a mosquito’s tweeter. If his back does mean he is lost to cricket, the game will have lost its only post-modern captain. He may turn his hand to Dadaist art.
Moeen of the year
A new award for 2014. England finally came to their senses this year and picked Moeen Ali. He started in February after he made the squad for the World T20. By the end of the year he was an automatic pick in every format. Many say that the definition of a true all-rounder is that they could be picked for either discipline. Moeen is now England’s first choice spinner and in their top six batsmen. The best thing about Moeen is not his cricket, but that he makes us think. Whether it is intentional all not, Moeen has caused a stir. He has discussed his religion, he has worn wristbands supporting Palestine, his very appearance is a representation of multi-cultural Britain. Moeen may not want to have that baggage, but he handles it well. He is our Moeen of the Year.
Tantric Cricket Moment of the Year
As Sting will tell you, waiting for something is often the best part. This year Pankaj Singh showed us that. He bowled 69 overs before he claimed his first Test wicket. He had some horrible luck, he bowled pretty badly quite a lot of the time, his batting was hilariously inept. But he became a hero as only those that struggle can. It starts off in a mocking way, in the end it becomes genuine affection. When he finally picked up a wicket, Joe Root caught by Dhoni gloving the ball down the leg side, he gave us a smile and we all cheered. He claimed a second wicket, dismissing Jos Buttler this time. It was not enough, true to the #UnluckyPankaj hashtag that spread over Twitter, even after these two moments of success Pankaj has not played for India since.
Cricket Administrator of the Year
The most competitive award of 2014. There has been the Big Three carve up, the IPL High Court Drama, players not being paid, and Kevin Pietersen’s sacking. There is a clear winner though. Whycliffe "Dave" Cameron of the West Indies Cricket Board shone through. As the announcement was made that the West Indies players were leaving India early, a move that could bankrupt West Indies cricket, Cameron was happily retweeting inspirational quotes on Twitter. True leadership.
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer return to spearhead England’s tour of India
Jos Buttler will return home after the first Test as England seek to keep players fresh, while Ollie Pope will return when fit.
World Test Championship: Which countries are in the running for Lord’s final
The ICC World Test Championship final is set to be held at Lord’s in June, completing a two-year cycle of the inaugural tournament.
Klaasen named skipper of Proteas T20 squad for Pakistan series
South Africa named a much-changed squad for the T20I series that follows the two Tests in Pakistan.
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer return to spearhead England’s tour of India
The star all-rounder and key pace bowler were both rested from the current tour of Sri Lanka.
James Anderson replaces Stuart Broad as England shuffle seam attack in Sri Lanka
The most prolific seamer in history will swap places with Broad for the second Test.
Joe Root backs Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley to adjust to Asian conditions
Sibley and Crawley contributed four single-figure scores in the opening Test for a total of 25 runs.
England fast bowler Olly Stone ready to resume Test ambitions in Sri Lanka
The Warwickshire quick is ready to prove himself again after 18 hard months since his debut.
Angelo Mathews: Sri Lanka batsmen ‘can learn a lot’ from Joe Root
Mathews hailed Root’s ‘magnificent innings’ in the first Test.
Dawid Malan happy to stay put after Trent Rockets’ show of faith
The England batsman has earned an improved deal in The Hundred.
England coach Chris Silverwood grateful for gift of the Gabba
India’s famous win over Australia grabbed the England squad’s attention in Galle.