CricMASH — A corner of the cricket world where tinted glasses are removed, brutally scraped and returned free from the rosy effects of retrospection, recency, biases and illusions.
CricMASH — A place where history is documented with rigour and honesty. With no time or space for myths, legends and polishing halos.
Yet CricMASH maintains the charm of the great game through extensive accounts of cricketers, matches, evolution and anecdotes.
Cecil Parkin, born February 18, 1886, was a bowler with an unlimited bag of tricks who could send down every kind of delivery. Arunabha Sengupta remembers the conjurer whose career was tragically cut short due to some ill-advised column in the press.
Don Tallon, born February 17, 1916, was considered by Don Bradman to be the greatest wicketkeeper he had ever seen. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of the stumper who kept to the pace of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller and the spin of Colin McCool and Bill O’Reilly with equal aplomb.
Bill Lawry, one of the most courageous opening batsmen ever, was born February 11, 1937. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the career of a man who played cricket the hard way — both as batsman and captain — whose career ended rather sadly as a punishment for being outspoken.
Mohammad Azharuddin, born February 8, 1963, was one of the most delightful batsmen to watch and a superb fielder to boot, whose career ended under a cloud of allegations. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the ecstatic highs and the ugly lows of his career.
Ian Redpath, born May 11, 1941, was one of the mainstays of the string Australian side of the early seventies and one of the most difficult batsmen to dismiss. Arunabha Senguptalooks back at the Victorian opener who, according to Greg Chappell, could kill to play for Australia.
Brian Luckhurst, born February 5, 1939, was one of the gutsiest batsmen to have played the game. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the England opener who was endorsed by Derek Underwood as the best batsman in the country between 1969 and 1971.
Danny Morrison, born February 3, 1966, is an effervescent former player and commentator. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at one of New Zealand’s finest fast bowlers.
Bobby Simpson, undoubtedly one of the most versatile men linked to cricket, was born February 3, 1936. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at a figure who had served Australian cricket for four decades in every possible way.
Jahangir Khan, ace all-rounder in the nascent stages of India in Test cricket, was born February 1, 1910. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a man who once killed a sparrow during a cricket match.
Hugh Tayfield, the greatest South African spinner, was born January 30, 1929. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the legend who was instrumental in defining South African cricket in the 1950s.
Andy Roberts, born January 29, 1951, was the leader of the supreme pace battery of the West Indies. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who was equally known for his express pace and expressionless face.
Monty Noble, born January 28, 1873, was one of the best all-rounders produced by Australia and one of the greatest ever captains of the game. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who was known for his skills in every department and the plenty of innovations he introduced into the game.
Kim Hughes, born January 26, 1954, was one of the most attractive strokeplayers produced by Australia, but one who never managed to reach the heights he promised. Arunabha Sengupta revisits the tumultuous career of the man who would jump down the wicket to the fastest of bowlers to bring a smile on the face of the spectator.
Born January 24, 1912 in Boston, “Bam Bam” Weekes went on to become the first USA-born Test cricketer. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a career of one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball.
Lawrence Rowe, the only batsman to score a double-hundred and a hundred on Test debut, was born on January 8, 1949. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the saga of this classical, stylish underachiever from Jamaica who was later shunned by his own countrymen.
Mayukh Ghosh on Alan Townsend
Lindsay Hassett, born August 28, 1913, was one of the greatest Australian batsmen. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the career of the man who defied the concept of the archetypical Australian.
Anil Kumble, born October 17, 1970, was without doubt the greatest match-winning bowler produced by India and one of the most gallant cricketers to have played the game. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of this supreme leg-spinner.
Bill Ponsford, born October 19, 1900, was one of the run machines of Australian cricket of the 1920s and 1930s whose partnerships with Don Bradman have gone down in record books as immortal feats of run-making. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who is the only cricketer to break his own record for the highest score in First-Class cricket.
Ian Bishop, born October 24, 1967, was the last of the great fast bowlers produced by the Caribbean pace bowling assembly line, who combined into one of the greatest opening bowling attacks with Curtly Ambrose. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of the six-foot five inch bowler whose playing days were repeatedly and severely cut short by multiple injuries.
CK Nayudu, born October 31, 1895, was the first world class cricketer to represent India in Test cricket. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who was instrumental in getting India the Test status and played First-Class cricket till he was 61.
On November 20, 1997, Fiji cricketer Petero Kubunavanua passed away. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the short cricketing career of the fierce looking man from Ovalau who fielded barefoot in a traditional ‘sulu’ skirt, and featured on the stamp issued to commemorate the centenary of cricket in Fiji in 1974.
Reg Simpson, who passed away at the age of 93 on November 22, was a fearless player of fast bowling and an excellent stroke-maker. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who produced his best performances against the frightening bowling of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller.
Trevor Bailey, born December 3, 1923, is remembered as a dour, stonewalling batsman with the fitting nickname Barnacle. However, there was much more to his cricket — including an array of strokes seldom unveiled, incisive fast-medium bowling and superb close to the wicket catching .Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who was one of the greatest all-rounders to play for England.
Ian Johnson, born December 8, 1917, was an off-spinning all-rounder who played for Australia in the 1940s and 1950s and led the country in 17 Tests. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who was preferred over Keith Miller as captain of Australia.
Khan Mohammad, born January 1, 1928, formed the first lethal Pakistan pace attack by paring up with Fazal Mahmood. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who bowled Pakistan’s first ball in Test cricket, took the country’s first wicket and dismissed Len Hutton with the first ball he bowled to the legendary opening batsman.
Ian Meckiff, born January 6, 1935, was a left-arm fast bowler with a graceful run up followed by a suspect delivery. Arunabha Sengupta writes about the Victorian paceman whose career came to an abrupt end after being called for throwing in a Test match.
Bruce Mitchell, born January 8, 1909, was a pillar of South African batting from 1929 to 1949. Like a true pillar, he was often sedentary and immovable, with glacial rate of scoring and incredibly difficult to dismiss. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who held the record for the highest South African aggregate runs for half a century.
Richie Richardson, born January 12, 1962, was one of the most stylish batsmen in world cricket. And in spite of never quite emerging from the enormous shadow of his Antiguan senior Viv Richards, he was the most successful West Indian batsman during the late eighties and the early nineties and, for a while, the best in the world. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man who walked to the crease for most of his career under the famous maroon sun hat.
Omar Henry, born on January 23, 1952, became the first non-white cricketer to represent South Africa in a Test match. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life of this pioneering left-arm spinner who broke into the South African team even during the apartheid days.
Michael Slater, one of the most successful Australian opening batsmen, was born on Feb 21, 1970
Born Feb 19, 1937, Norman O’Neill was a spectacular batsman whose career remained under the shadow of constant comparisons with Don Bradman
Fazal Mahmood, the trendsetting pace bowler of Pakistan, was born on Feb 18, 1927
The 360 degree man was born on February 17, 1984
Ellis Achong, born Feb 16, 1904, was one of the early exponents of left-arm wrist spin
Desmond Haynes, one half of the great West Indian opening partnership, was born on February 15, 1956
Michael Holding, the Rolls-Royce of fast bowlers, was born on February 16, 1954.
Ted Pooley, born Feb 13, 1842, the first man to be suspended in First-Class cricket for selling a match and one who missed the first ever Test match because of a betting related jail sentence.
Bobby Peel, the left-arm spinner with unusual bathroom habits, was born on February 12, 1857
Gundappa Viswanath, the littlest master of batsmanship, was born on February 12, 1949
The Corpse in Pads was born on February 11, 1937
A.N. ‘Monkey’ Hornby, the Lancashire great, was born on February 10, 1847
Glenn McGrath, born Feb 9, 1970, was not only the spearhead of a champion Australian side. He was the force that became the difference between a very good team and a champion one.
Jim Laker, born Feb 9, 1922, was perhaps the greatest off-spinner ever to play the game
Mohammad Azharuddin, born Feb 8, 1963. A lot of magic. Perhaps some black magic.
Albert Trott, born Feb 6, 1873, remains the only man to have cleared the Lord’s Pavilion with a six.
Fred Trueman was born on February 6, 1931. He would describe himself as “t’Finest Bloody Fast Bowler that Ever Drew Breath’"
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, born 5 Feb, 1990, is still a vital cog in the Indian scheme of things.
Patsy Hendren, born Feb 5, 1889, remained a mischievous schoolboy … even when he was scoring an Ashes hundred at the age of 45.
Lord Harris, the supremo of cricket in England, was born on February 3, 1851. Strangely for someone who made it difficult for cricketers born elsewhere to represent counties and England, he himself saw the light of the day in Trinidad.
Bobby Simpson was born on Feb 3, 1936. Much more than just a great opener.
Shoaib Malik is more than just the husband of Sania Mirza. He is a phenomenon in his own right.
Graeme Smith was a tower of strength. In more ways than one.
Frank Foster, born Jan 31, 1889, was a superb left-arm medium pacer, an explosive batsman, an astute captain … and later a syphilitic.
Mitchell Starc: The spiritual, physical and literal successor of Mitchell Johnson
Kissed the badge of his cap, stubbed his toe on the ground, picked up wickets but did not give away runs.
The slouching gait, the expressionless eyes, the inscrutable menace as he walked back to his mark, before turning and starting his run, accelerating with each subsequent step, transforming into the deadpan and deadly weapon of detached destruction.
The top-spinner was his potent weapon.
Monty Noble was a dentist, who became one of the greatest cricketers produced by Australia
Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas - the weight of the cricketer matched the name
A bank robbery trial was stopped by the judge at the Jamaica High Court on February 21, 1974, much to the surprise of those present. Abhishek Mukherjee retells an unusual stoppage in court proceedings.
Feb 16, 1980, saw the dismissal Lamb c Kourie b Rice
Feb 16, 2002. As England and New Zealand engaged in a rather insipid ODI, Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, got the spectators to make the noises later used in battle scenes.
Calamari stopping a First-Class cricket match is not the commonest of incidents, but Paarl Cricket Ground witnessed exactly the same on February 6, 1995 in a Castle Cup match. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at a greasy seafood interruption.
Saleem Malik and Andy Flower had to toss twice on January 31, 1995. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the incident that triggered Zimbabwe’s first Test victory.
On January 31, 2010, Shahid Afridi added a new dimension to the dark art of ball-tampering by sinking his teeth into the white Kookaburra. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the bizarre day that saw the acting captain of Pakistan banned for two Twenty20 Internationals.
Mayukh Ghosh looks back at the unsung hero whose name should more often be a part of all those discussions about the best left-handed opening batsmen in the history of the game.
Arthur Mailey - the googly bowling artist
During an Ashes tour match, after a rain delay, pressmen found the Australian captain probing the pitch dubiously with his thumb.
Even the acrimonious Adelaide Test of the Bodyline series was not without its lighter moments. Arunabha Sengupta relates the tale of the teetotaller Hedley Verity’s dalliance with the pleasures of South Australian beer.
June 15, 1933. Fratricide took place on the cricket field. Batting for Middlesex against Somerset, Harry Lee was caught by his brother Frank Lee bowled by his other brother Jack Lee. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the landmark event.
On the World Toilet Day, Arunabha Sengupta recounts the tale of Richie Benaud’s Loo…
Teams of the past have often come a cropper when faced with a sticky dog of a wicket. However, in July 2012, the Yorkshire cricket team was done in by some bizarre canine-work outside the ground. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the curious case of the dog around tea time.
On June 17, 1921, the doyen of cricket writers, Neville Cardus, started the longest partnership of his life. Arunabha Sengupta relives the occasion, reflecting on the enchanting Cardus anecdote about the county match that was not really played that day – and some more tales of the legend.
December 8, 1959, a day of the drabbest cricketing action in Karachi, Dwight Eisenhower became the first American President to watch Test cricket. Arunabha Sengupta revisits the historical event that took place exactly 53 years ago
In ‘Murder Must Advertise’, the eighth novel involving the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L Sayers devotes an entire chapter to cricket. The game also plays a pivotal part in the plot of the mystery novel. Arunabha Sengupta writes about the book and the cricketing associations of Sayers.
Khushwant Singh, born February 2, 1915, lived life to his fullest before passing away in his hundredth year. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the cricket ties of the celebrated author.
Virginia Woolf was born January 25, 1882. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at a pioneer of modernism who — among many things — played cricket.
Cricket is mentioned in Northanger Abbey, but not very flatteringly and only twice. But Jane Austen is startlingly linked to the evolution of the game. Arunabha Sengupta talks about the way about her letters, her words, her relations and the round-arm bowling revolution.
August 23, 2009. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy watched a day’s cricket at The Oval, even spending some time on the Test Match Special. Arunabha Sengupta takes a look at the cricketing connections of Daniel Radcliffe.
Agatha Christie, born September 15, 1890, was one of the most popular crime fiction writers of all time – almost certainly the most prolific. Arunabha Sengupta writes about the cricketing connections of the creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
Born October 16, 1854, Oscar Wilde never exchanged his pen for the willow. However, Arunabha Sengupta traces some connections of the great writer with cricket, not all of them very flattering for either the man or the game.
CP Snow, born October 15, 1907, was a renowned novelist best known for his ‘Strangers and Brothers’ series of novels. Arunabha Sengupta recounts the many close and touching ways that cricket played a role in his life and works.
It is not very well known that John Fowles, the British novelist who passed away on November 5, 2005, was a fine cricketer in his youth and a devoted fan of the game. Arunabha Sengupta relates one bizarre cricket viewing experience during the final years of his life.
Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke are collaborating on their book on innovative concepts to win in India. The publication is set to hit the stands under the name “2013: A Pace Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke. Arunabha Sengupta reports.
Arunabha Sengupta sketches the many cricketing connections of the man who created Sherlock Holmes.
PG Wodehouse, the greatest humorist in English language, wrote quite a bit about cricket and was a useful cricketer himself. Arunabha Sengupta explores the cricketing connections of the great writer on his 131st birthday.
Samuel Beckett, born April 13, 1906, is the only Nobel Prize winning author to have played First-class cricket.Arunabha Sengupta looks at his short cricketing career with a new theory about Beckett’s seminal work ‘Waiting for Godot’. To him, the play is nothing but a metaphor of cricket.