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.
Dennis Lillee, born July 18, 1949, was one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time who is considered the patron saint of skilful intimidation by the modern speedsters. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of this immensely colourful man, who battled through pain and debilitating injuries to end his career as a legend.
Eric Freeman was born on July 13, 1944
Richard Hadlee, born July 3, 1951, was one of the greatest fast bowlers the world has ever seen, one of the best all-rounders of his era and the cricketer who single-handedly converted New Zealand from a bunch of faceless amateurs to a world class fighting unit. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of this immortal legend who was the first to take 400 wickets in Test cricket.
Frank Chester, born January 20, 1895, was a promising cricketer when his career was derailed by the loss of an arm. However, he became the most respected of umpires. Pradip Dhole looks back at the life and career of this extraordinary character.
Dai Davies. It all started for him on June 2, 1923.
Wasim Akram, born June 3, 1966, was — to put it simply — a magician with the ball. Pakistan’s most successful bowler in both Tests and One-Day Internationals, he is perhaps the greatest left-handed paceman of all time, and one of the best among all fast bowlers. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the craft and career of the legend.
Robert Maxwell Crockett umpired 32 Test matches. And after retiring at the age of 63, he took to manufacturing cricket bats and left a lasting impression in that domain as well. Pradip Dhole sketches the life and career of this versatile cricket person.
Frank Woolley, one of the finest all-rounders ever, was born May 27, 1887. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the man who took cricket in the County Championship to astonishing heights.
Alan Melville, born May 19, 1910, had one of the most curious careers. He led in all but one of the Tests he played in, overcame incredible injuries, and scored four Test hundreds in consecutive innings with an eight-year interlude in between. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the most graceful batsman of his generation.
Herbie Taylor, the first great South African cricketer since Aubrey Faulkner, was born May 5, 1889. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at a champion of his era who could be compared with any of his contemporaries in terms of stature, led South Africa on either side of World War I, and mastered turf on England and Australia as well as matting wickets in South Africa.
Born May 5, 1911, “Buddy” Oldfield had an excellent Test debut. Abhishek Mukherjeelooks at the man whose Test career was sadly truncated by World War II.
Collie Smith, born May 5, 1933, was an exciting all-round talent who was killed in a car accident at the tender age of 26. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of the man whose brilliance, according to some, had the glitter and sparkle to match Garfield Sobers.
Civil Servant and Cricketer Sir George Abell had a more distinguished career as the former, but he was a splendid all-round sportsman as well. Pradip Dhole recollects the life and career of the man who was the first to score a double hundred on his Ranji Trophy debut.
Sadiq Mohammad, born May 3, 1945, is the youngest of the famous Mohammad brothers of Junagadh. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at an opening batsman who carried the burden of the Pakistan line-up on his shoulders during their ascent to the top.
David Hookes, born May 3, 1955, was an explosive batsman whose talent never quite lived up to the expectations. Like his career, the life of the man also ended rather needlessly with plenty of promises unfulfilled. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career and the tragic death of the South Australian cricketer.
Brian Lara, born May 2, 1969, was a genius with the willow, a left-handed legend the likes of whom grace the world once in a generation. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of the man who thrilled the spectators around the world while piling runs in amounts seldom seen before.
Sonny Ramadhin, born May 1, 1929, was the first player of Indian origin to play Test cricket for West Indies. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at one half of the spin duo that had once taken the cricket world by storm.
Gordon Greenidge, born May 1, 1951, was one of the most destructive opening batsmen ever. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of the man who combined English defence with Caribbean flair.
Phil Tufnell, born April 29, 1966, was an eccentric yet efficient left-arm spinner. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at one of the real characters of the game.
Dudley Rippon and Sydney Rippon, born April 29, 1892, were identical twins who often opened the batting for Somerset on either side of the First World War. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the lives and careers of the two men who enjoyed reasonably successful First-Class careers and served with distinction in the Great War.
Alf Valentine, the first West Indian to take a hundred Test wickets, was born April 28, 1930. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at one-half of the spin duo that had once taken the cricket world by storm.
Hugh Bromley-Davenport, born August 18, 1870, was the first man to perform a hat-trick in First-Class cricket in the West Indies. Pradip Dhole sketches the life and career of the left-arm fast bowler who shares the longest surnames among Test cricketers with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan.
Ranjan Madugalle, the stylish Sri Lankan middle-order batsman of the 1980s, was born on April 22, 1959. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at a former Sri Lankan captain whose second innings as a match-referee won the hearts of the cricket world.
The spectacularly named Naoomal Jaoomal was born April 17, 1904. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the career of the man who had opened batting for India in their inaugural Test.
Muttiah Muralitharan, born April 17, 1972, is without doubt the greatest cricketer produced by Sri Lanka. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the career of the man who picked up wickets in amounts and rates that were almost preposterous.
Reg ‘Tip’ Foster, born April 16, 1878, still holds the record for the highest score on Test debut. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the only man to have led England in both cricket and football.
The Worcestershire champion Fred Root was born April 16, 1890. He was one of the earliest to gauge the ill-treatment (especially financial) dished out to the professional cricketer. A supreme strategist, Root was also one of the earliest exponents of leg-theory bowling. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the career of a man whose honest efforts on the field and radical thoughts off it made him one of the most intriguing characters of between-wars cricket.
The valiant John Thayer passed away on April 15, 1912. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the only First-Class cricketer who sunk with the RMS Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.
Murray Bisset, born April 14, 1876, led South Africa at 22, fought the Boer War, led the first post-War South African team to England, had an outstanding legal career that culminated as the Chief Justice of Southern Rhodesia, acted as interim Governor of Southern Rhodesia twice, and was knighted. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at a man who donned many a hat, cricket being just one of them.
Dennis Lillee was born on July 18, 1949
Wally Hammond was born on June 19, 1903
Sachin Tendulkar, the most complete of batsmen, was born on Apr 24, 1973
Danielle Wyatt, the petite powerhouse, was born on Apr 22, 1991
Malcolm Marshall was born on Apr 18, 1958
Dilip Vengsarkar, India’s best batsman of the 1980s, was born on Apr 6, 1956
Neville Cardus was born on Apr 3, 1888. The scoreboard was an ass to him for a number of reasons.
‘Chuck’ Fleetwood-Smith was born on Mar 30, 1908
Meg Lanning, the megastar of Women’s Cricket, was born on March 25, 1992
The one and only Yabba was born on March 19, 1878
Clem Hill, one of the greatest batsmen ever, was born on Mar 18, 1877, the first Test cricketer to be born after the commencement of Test cricket.
Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi was born on March 16, 1910
Ivo Bligh, the protagonist of cricket’s most epic love story, was born on Mar 13, 1859
Harmanpreet Kaur was born on March 8, 1989
Phil Edmonds, left-arm spinner and multi-millionaire businessman, was born on March 8, 1951
Neil Adcock, the first South African bowler to get to 100 Test wickets, was born on March 8, 1931.
Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor r was born on March 8, 1984
Willie Watson, England’s most successful double international, was born on Mar 7, 1920
Viv Richards, the West Indian great, was born on March 7, 1952
Mar 4, 1967. Birth of Daryll Cullinan
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the gentle giant, was born on March 3, 1970
Ted Peate, the clown cricketer who turned one of the great Yorkshire left-arm spinners, was born on March 2, 1855
Graeme Pollock, the majestic South African southpaw, was born on February 27, 1944
Everton Weekes, probably the classiest of Ws, was born on February 26, 1925
Farokh Engineer, the stalwart Indian keeper-batsman, was born on February 25, 1938
George Bonnor, the great Australian hitter, was born on February 25, 1855
February 25, 1914. Birth of John Arlott, the Voice of Cricket
February 24, 1931. The birth of the inimitable Brian Close.
Derek Randall, the sparkling livewire, was born on February 24, 1951
James Lillywhite, the first Test captain of England, was born on February 23, 1842
During the first ever tour undertaken by WG Grace, to Canada and North America in 1872, he fell to a curious dismissal in his first major innings on August 22. Arunabha Sengupta relates the incident.
WG Grace, born July 18, 1848, was the father of cricket, and has more anecdotes concocted around him than perhaps any other personality in the game. Many are apocryphal; some still have pretensions of truth. Arunabha Sengupta lists 30 of the most colourful.
One of the strangest cricket matches took place at Paddington on July 17, 1888, involving all sorts of non-cricket props — from theatre to broomsticks and beyond. Abhishek Mukherjee describes the curious contest.
Complex, stubborn, short-tempered but often brilliant as a cricketer and analyst, Jack Fingleton was born on April 28, 1908.
Roy Marshall was born on April 25, 1930.
Allan Watkins was born on April 21, 1922.
Alan Oakman, born Apr 20, 1930, played just two Tests, but had a very eventful career … writes Mayukh Ghosh.
Mayukh Ghosh remembers Arthur Wellard
David Frith: Who can resist a man who pens a love letter detailing Jim Laker’s 19 for 90?
David Sheppard, man of God and cricket, was born on March 6, 1929
Ross Grgeory was probably born on February 27, 1916. However, most cricket websites list his birth-date as February 28. The only Australian Test cricketer to die in action in World War 2.
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
Kurt Vonnegut (born November 11, 1922), who passed away on April 11, 2007, did not write about cricket and precious little about any other sport. Yet, in his writings, Arunabha Sengupta finds eerie, striking and painful description of the lot of the cricket writer.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, born March 6, 1806, was one of the most famed poets of the Victorian era. But, there is enough evidence to suggest that she also played a bit of cricket at Colwall Green. Arunabha Sengupta recounts three references to cricket that she jotted down in her diary.
William Wordsworth, born April 7, 1770, the romantic poet extraordinaire, also found solace in watching cricket. Arunabha Sengupta writes about the cricketing connections of the man instrumental in launching the Romantic Age of English literature.
he first tour of English cricketers to Australia, in 1861-62, took place as a replacement show because Charles Dickens had refused to travel that far to give his celebrated readings. But the great writer was connected to the game in many more ways. Arunabha Sengupta sketches the various links between the noble game and the most popular novelist in English language.
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.