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2010: A year no one will miss


The New Zealand tour of Bangladesh

Everyone predicted a whitewash and a mismatch and that is exactly what happened, except that someone else was at the receiving end.  For those 4 matches, it looked like we were living in bizarro world where Bangladesh outplayed New Zealand in every facet of the game, with Bangladesh batsmen no longer afflicted by the compulsion to play a shot every 3rd ball, and the Bangladeshi spinners constricting batsmen like a python on steroids.

The Afghanistan cricket team

Everyone loves an underdog (we were later surprised to find Australia in that category) and the story of the Afghanistan cricket team looks like it was lifted straight from 80’s movie with multiple training montages. Defeating favoured teams at every step of their progression to the T20 world cup, Afghanistan did not stop there. That they won more matches than lost this year was a footnote to the fact that they won the Intercontinental Cup this year and also reached the finals of the Asian Games.

Chris Martin’s 5/63 vs India

Following their thrashing by Bangladesh, few expected New Zealand to doing anything substantial against India and their much vaunted batting line-up. A brutal assault by Sehwag seemed par for the course and New Zealand outdid themselves when they got a small deficit. Then Christ Martin, more renowned for his awesomely atrocious batting, made a mockery of India’s top order by dismissing Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Raina and Dhoni in 11 overs of breathtaking bowling. A pity that the only head he did not scalp went on to save the match.

Any shot played by Eoin Morgan

In 2010, there was no shortage of innovative stroke play- scoops, reverse sweeps, upper cuts were displayed prominently. But one player outdid everyone in innovation and pure audacity. Eoin Morgan surprised one in every delivery he played, since no one could predict what shot he will play, where he will hit it and where it will land. A true 360 degree player, Morgan at his best could launch any cricket ball to absolutely any part of the ground, and for much of 2010, he did just that.

The Downfall of Lalit Modi

Somewhere in the middle of the IPL, Lalit Modi was invincible and ubiquitous. Lord of all he surveyed, present at nearly every match with his blackberry, Lalit Modi was the face of the IPL. With a knack of making grandiose statements about the expansion of the IPL, when the Kochi and Pune IPL franchises were sold for over 300 million dollars each, it looked like the Modi saga was just beginning. But then the empire struck back and struck back hard. Modi’s downfall was as quick as it was unprecedented and with a scandal that caused heads to roll in the Indian Government, Modi was stripped of his posts and before long he had to fight rumours that he was seeking asylum in Iceland. That was how surreal the situation had become.

ICC Undercover Agents & Lie Detectors

The ICC sometimes has hilarious ideas, however some ideas are more hilarious than others. The Use of Undercover Agents and Lie Detectors to root out corruption in Cricket is one such idea. The whole thing seems like a deliberate attempt to turn International Cricket into a Hollywood espionage movie where cricketers are chased by undercover agents through the rooftops of Europe culminating into a dramatic car chase. On second thought, that does not seem like a particularly bad idea.

Cricket in the USA

Despite the popularity of Netherland, cricket and USA are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, and the ICC’s plans for expanding cricket there were coming to nought . So it was a bit of a surprise when 2 T20I’s between New Zealand and Sri Lanka were scheduled in sunny Florida. Even more surprising was that the poorly attended low scoring encounters were meant to increase the popularity of cricket in the USA. Well at least Vettori and Oram got to throw the first pitch at a Florida Marlins’ game.


The surprising events involving Pakistan could fill up this entire article but we need to give the other events some space too. In 2010, the most surprising part was that despite the fact that events in Pakistan should not surprise us anymore, we were still surprised by events in Pakistan. Captaincy intrigues, Political machinations, Bans, retirements, missing wicketkeeper, asylums, comebacks, call-backs, home-matches in England and UAE, spot fixing allegations, sting operations, international conspiracy theories and much much more. Somewhere in between this, cricket was played, and Pakistan veered between horribly dreadful and incredibly brilliant, sometimes in the same over. And when Younis Khan silently played 3 T20I’s in December after having retired from the format in June 2009, no one batted an eyelid.   

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