Who says Test cricket is dead ?  If you have watched the final day of the Newzeland and Pakistan’s Test began on Boxing day at the picturesque ground at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, Newzealand, you would have emphatically said ‘No’.  Such was the intensity of the game.

 “It was a brilliant game,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “Both teams put their best foot forward and Pakistan were incredibly resilient in that second innings, but the boys kept coming.

“A huge effort by the bowlers to get us across the line.” 

The above statement by the ever smiling Kiwi’s captain succinctly explained the euphoria among his team players .

Courtesy: Sportstar –  Mitchel Satner and other NZ players celebrate the fall of the Last wicket of Pakistan as Newzeland wins the Test.

When Mitchell Santner leaped to his left and held a catch one handed of his own bowling offered by Naseem, , it was hell broke for the Kiwis as all players rushed to Santner.  As the last wicket pair of Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi and  Naseem Shah dodged 8 overs and just 4.3 overs were only left in the match. And the Kiwi players were on the moon for the celebration.  Chasing a target of 373 runs Pakistan were dismissed for 271 runs.  The Kiwis  romped home with 101 runs in the first of the two test series and kept their hopes alive of reaching the World Test championship Final to be played at Lord’s next June.

There were tense moments during the last day as the 5th wicket partnership between the Stand-in Captain Mohamed Rizwan and Fawad Alam were holding up nearly 4 hours of 60 overs in the middle.  And Newzeland’s  bowlers produced a late final session surge to guide their side to a tense 101 runs victory. 

It was the new sensation speedster, the tall and lanky Jamieson who broke the partnership trapped Rizwan for a well made 60 runs and was the turning point.  And then it was the turn of the vociferous Neil Wagner, who was nursing a broken toe bowled his heart out and had the centurion Fawad Alam for 102 runs caught well by the wicket keeper.  Suddenly there was despair by the Pakistani tailenders and were quickly consumed by the kiwi bowlers until the last wicket pair showed grit and determination and panic set in the Newzelanders.  They were at their wits end.  And Santner’s sensational return catch ended Pakistan’s  last wicket pair’s resilience .



India produced a sensational victory at MCG after a debacle at Adelaide when they were dismissed for it’s lowest test innings score of 36 runs. It is their 4th win at MCG, a record for any visiting team.

It was the brilliant captainship of the cool and composed A. Rahane, who marshalled his resources  ensured astounding success.  He led from the front with a well defined century ably supported by the doughty all rounder Jadeja (57 runs) in a century partnership and Rishab Pant and Vihari after restricting the Aussies with 195 runs and took a lead of 131 runs.  And after dismissing them with 200 runs in their second outing, India romped home with 8 wickets in hand. And the test ended within 4 days.


The Proteas won the first test at Supersport Park, Centurion (SA) won by a whopping Innings & 45 runs after posting a mammoth 621 runs with the former captain Faf du plesis hatting 199 runs and useful contributions from Dean Elgar (95), Bavuma (71) & Keshav Maharaj (78).  Srilankans elected to bat first posted 396 runs and in the second innings they were dismissed for a paltry 180 runs. 

MCG TEST review

MCG TEST  REVIEW (india’s win at MCG Video)

INDIA STRIKES BACK AT MCG  – all the newspaper headlines carried Indian team’s success story.  Even the local Australian press hailed India’s victory at MCG.

An Indian captain did it at MCG in the boxing day test. Ajinkya Rahane led from the front with a well crafted century.

And the leader delivers it.   With the team morale at its low ebb after the Adelaide  debacle  and With odds heavy against the team, A. Rahane has done it.  As in my preview itself I mentioned that India will bounce back at MCG. 

As India romped home with 8 wickets on the fourth day at “G ” ( MCG) there were muted celebrations from the Indian team dug out.   It may be preposterous to eulogize the leadership of A. Rahane, but he proved a point that playing cool pays off.  Now the stakes are high as the World Test Championship coveted title is on the line.

With Kohli returning to India for the birth of his child, Shami not available owing to injury, Umesh Yadav couldn’t bowl in the second innings after a brief spell, Rahane carried the mantle of leadership with  calm and composure.   His marshalling of the troupe is also well orchestrated,  effecting changes in bowling and field placements. And the four changes in the team from Adelaide proved to be his masterstroke as all the four players including the two debutants proved their mettle. 

A.Rahane did a Vishwanathsque act.  Gundappa Viswanath may be proud of Rahane as he emulated Vishwanath’s century in 1981 which also resulted in India’s win at MCG.  This is Rahane’s second century at MCG.  His first century six seasons back ensured India to draw the test.  And he will cherish this century like the one at Lord’s in 2014  ( a name at Lord’s Honours board, which every player likes to relish) which also brought victory for India.

 After bowling out the Aussies on the first day for 195 thanks to Bumrah, Ashwin & debutant speedster Mohammed Siraj, the cool captain stitched 2 half century partnerships and a century partnership  with the doughty half century by the all rounder Jaddu and helped himself his 12th  test century put up a lead of 131 runs in the first innings.  

The debutants, the tall opener Shubman Gill from Punjab who came in place of P. Shaw, scored 45 & unbeaten  35 runs and the speedster Mohammed Siraj with 5 scalps in the match proved that their selection is right and are bright future prospects to the team.  In fact Siraj’s figures are the best for a debutant away from home. 

As his wont, the diminutive stout wicket keeper, Rishab Pant, who replaced W. Saha, played a cameo knock of 29 runs in the first innings and added a half century partnership with the skipper.  Though his wicket keeping credentials are still suspect, his age is on his side to improvise.

And now MCG became India’s favourite hunting away ground as it has won 4 times here as no other visiting teams could win more than 3 here at MCG.  India won at MCG in 1978, 1981, 2018 & 2020 and  India is the second team after the west indies to come back after 0-1 in the last 50 years in Australia.

It’s also a dubious record for Aussies  as no player  from their team has scored a half century in this test in the last 3 decades.

Incidentally, he has led the team 3 times and won as many which is praiseworthy.    Even Shane Warne, now TV Commentator  and once his captain at Rajasthan Royals (IPL team)  heaped eloquent praises on Rahane’s cool headedness and his leadership traits in adverse conditions. We all Wish him to repeat this in the rest of this series.


Snickometer and Hotspot use imbroglio

The controversial dismissal of T.M.Paine, Australia’s captain the second innings in the ongoing Test at MCG ( 28th Dec.2020) having been adjudged OUT – caught by wicket keeper off Jadeja after review by India using DRS, has stirred a  hornet’s nest.  

A fuming captain was cursing the technology while walking towards the pavilion. In fact he was benefited in the first innings in this Test  when he was adjudged Not out in a run out case in spite of a dubious line call when his bat was inches  short of the crease.  Now at this time Paine was at the receiving end.

 The Aussies have  been using this Snicko technology to effectively over-rule Hotspot since 2013-14. 

“If there’s a mark on Hot Spot he’ll go straight out. That’s his conclusive evidence straight away,” Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s head of cricket operations, had said at the time. “The only time Snicko will be used is if there’s no mark on Hot Spot.” 

In Time Paine’s case the use of Snickometer was used as there was no mark on Hotspot and the Snickometer did detect a sound after the ball passed on his bat’s backside.  The Indian captain immediately reviewed the decision of the straight umpire when he declared Not out as he was standing in first slip and he could hear the noise distinctly.  In fact more than the diminutive wicket keeper’s assertion, it was Rahane who was more confident to go for the DRS. 

There was also an earlier dismissal of Joe Burns, caught behind in this same innings, when he reviewed it, the Hotspot clearly showed there was a spike and so Snickometer was not used.

 Explaining the rationale behind giving out by the 3rd Umpire, Simon Taufel  for ICC Umpire said “If the ball is next to the bat while there is a spike, as the ball goes past the bat, or up to one frame past the bat, that is deemed to be conclusive evidence that the ball has hit the bat.”

Let’s see the working of Snicko and Hotspot.


The Snickometer (known as ‘snicko’ for short) was invented by English Computer Scientist, Allan Plaskett, in the mid-1990s. Snickometer technology was first used in 1999 by Channel 4 in the UK, before being used in India and Australia.

A very sensitive microphone embedded in one of the stumps and connected to an oscilloscope that displays sound waves which can pick up the sound when the ball nicks the bat.  This technology is only used to give TV audiences more information and to show if the ball did or did not actually hit the bat.  From the shape and timing of the sound wave, the viewer can determine whether the sound came from the bat hitting the ball or some other object like leg pad.  A short sharp sound is associated with the bat on the ball, while a bat hitting the pad or the ground produces a flatter sound wave. Unfortunately, at this stage the umpires do not get the benefit of having ‘ snick-o-’ through a RTS (real time strategy).A Snickometer works on a simple principle. Filter the ambient noise, and amplify the relevant signal. The ball hitting the bat produces a sound of a particular frequency. The stump microphone will pick up the sound of the ball hitting the bat. It first filters this sound which is of a particular frequency from all the ambient noise.


This technology was initially developed for military purposes founded by a French scientist Nicholas Bion for tracking tanks and jet fighter planes.  However, the technology has been adopted in sports,  notably in  cricket. It forms part of DRS authorised by ICC.  

The basic principle is the thermal wave remote sensing. When the ball or bat makes contact with the bat, pad, or the batsman, friction is generated. This friction causes heat, the temperature change is detected by the infrared imaging camera system. And that is how the contact zone is detected.  Any suspected snick or bat/pad event can be verified by examining the infrared image. This technology was first used in 2006 during the Ashes in Australia.



John Edrich in action for England against Pakistan during the second Test match at Lord’s in 1974.

John Edrich in action for England against Pakistan during the second Test match at Lord’s in 1974. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

John Edrich, the stylish left hander of England,  who died aged 83 on 23rd Dec.2020 , after  a prolonged illness  of  leukaemia, was one of the best English top order batsmen of the 20th century.  

He made debut for Surrey county in 1958. When he arrived back at the Oval in 1958, he made his debut in the last game of the season, aged 21. His second match came at the beginning of the 1959 campaign, when he scored centuries in each innings against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, and in quick order he notched up four centuries in his first seven innings.  In  county cricket, Edrich was a leading figure for Surrey and he captained Surrey in his later days and from 1958 to 1978, for Surrey  he accumulated most of his 39,790 career runs, one of the highest tallies in history and at an impressive average of 45.47. By the end of his career, he had also become one of the celebrated cricketers to have scored 100 hundreds (103 in all), putting him in the company of greats such as WG Grace, Jack Hobbs and Wally Hammond.

In spite of his good performances in the county circuit, it took 4 years for the national call as the selectors were skeptical about his unorthodox batting style.  He made 20 & 38 runs in his debut test against the likes of Wes Hall, Griffith of the Windies team.  His greatest attribute was his gritty concentration and discipline coupled with the skill of playing each ball on its merit and at the same time he was ruthless against bad deliveries.  He was gusty against facing the world’s fastest bowlers ,  and took blows of nasty deliveries on his body and had bruises but didn’t sacrifice his wicket.  He was most admired  for his gusty character  and became England’s Mr. Reliable. 

He relishes batting against Australians.  His centuries speaks volume about his penchant for run making against the traditional rivals as 7 of his 12 test hundreds and 2,644 runs at 48.96 in 32 tests and enviable average in Down Under at 55.78.

He played for England between 1963 and 1976 . Short and gusty batsman of his time, he played 77  tests for his country between 1963 and 1976, and had an unenviable  record against the two best sides of his era – Australia and West Indies. In 1970-71, his outstanding batting performances was pivotal in  England’s win the Ashes in Australia for the first time since 1956, and with Geoffrey Boycott in the late 1960s and early 70s he created a formidable opening partnership that provided many good platforms in Test matches. Boycott, right-handed, and Edrich, a left-hander, admired and respected each other, partly because they shared the same hatred of losing. “John had one of the greatest temperaments I’ve ever seen,” said Boycott. “I would rather open an innings with him than anyone.”

It had been a turbulent Test career as he was in and out of theTest  team in the initial stages.  With renewed vigour, Edrich celebrated his selection for the third home Test against New Zealand in 1965 with his 310 not out – but in the following match against South Africa at Lord’s was knocked out and hospitalised by the opening bowler, Peter Pollock, keeping him away from the rest of the series. It was a  quirk of fate  that he had to endure injuries. Forever in the firing line, Edrich broke his fingers very  often that he had to have a piece of leg bone grafted into his hand.

He returned on England’s 1965-66 tour to Australia,  with a blistering style scoring two successive Test centuries at No 3 in Australia . In 1966 he was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year, and in 1968 he was voted best player in the drawn home Ashes series, in which he averaged 61.55 and scored 50s in five consecutive innings. He made two centuries against West Indies at home and a further pair against New Zealand in the summer of 1969. He remained the mainstay of the England for the next 5 years and also captained one test in 1974-75 series tour of Australia. England lost that game, but he played a courageous knock in the second innings after two of his ribs were broken by the first ball he faced from Dennis Lillee. Dashed off  to hospital, he eventually returned to score 33 not out.  He demonstrated his gusto performance in his  swansong Test, at the age of 39 in 1976, when he opened the innings with Brian Close against West Indies at Old Trafford – and the pair withstood a horribly intimidating barrage of fast bowling to put on 54 for the first wicket out of England’s second innings total of 152. He ended his Test career with 5,138 runs .

His career  best score, 310 not out against New Zealand at Headingly in 1965, which included  52 fours and 5 sixes which is still a world record. 

In 1977, the year he was appointed MBE, Edrich scored his 100th hundred, at the Oval.

He played in the first ever One day international in 1971 against Australia and hit the first four in ODI  with a fine half century ( 82 runs) at MCG and was awarded MOM.  

In 2015, a gate was named after him as “John Edrich” at the Oval ground .

Courtesy : –  John Edrich(right) opening Gate named after him at The Oval in 2015 

“With John’s passing, we’ve lost a prolific and fearless batsman – one of the select few who have scored more than 5,000 runs for England,” ECB CEO Tom Harrison said in a statement. “His duels with some of the world’s best fast bowlers were legendary, and it’s a testament to his ability that his 310 not out against New Zealand in 1965 remains the fifth highest Test score by an English batsman. He will be sadly missed, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”




Sir Alastair Nathan Cook CBE born on this day celebrating his 36th birthday  (born 25 December 1984) is an English cricketer who played for Essex and former England captain.

England’s most favourite son made his  dream test debut against India at Nagpur on 1st March, 2006 and scored 60 runs & 104.   It also turned out to be a phenomenal batting year with 1,013 runs in the debut year with 4 centuries at the age of just 22 .  Incidentally his career best test innings also came against India when he made 294 in 2011 at Edgbaston, Birmingham and he batted through the 2nd day of the test. His swansong at The Oval came in 2018 against India when he made a farewell half century &  century in the Test.   So, India turned out to be his favourite opponent. 

Cook is the only batsman who made half centuries and centuries in both innings of his debut test as well as in the final test ( in 2006 & 2018 both against India)

 He joined the other cricketers who have made centuries on debut as well as in their final Test. Bill Ponsford, Reggie Duff, Greg Chappell and Mohammad Azharuddin are the other four to do so. 

Cook’s score of 147 runs  in his final innings is the highest by any batsman in the second innings of his final test.

Cook’s 15 centuries  in his team’s second innings in Tests, is the most for a cricketer. It was Cook’s 13th century in the third innings of the Test, which is also a record.

His finest moment came in The Ashes of 2010-11 when he amassed 766 runs in the series which also saw England win the Ashes after 24 years in Australia. And in the process he became the second youngest batsman to reach the landmark of 5000 test runs next only to Sachin Tendulkar and it got him the ICC’s Test batsman of the year.

Again against India he made his 23rd Test Century at Kolkata and became England’s highest test century maker and passed 7000 Test runs.

 His best moment as Captain came against India when he won the test series win 2012-13 after 28 years.  

And two Ashes Wins in 2013 & 2015 were the pinnacle of his career.

There were disappointments  during his captaincy notably when his team was Whitewashed in the 2013-14 series in Australia.

His ODI performance was  not so good as he could get only 3204 runs in 92 matches .  He was never part of any  World Cup match.

But there were significant disappointments, too. He led the side that was whitewashed in the 2013-14 Ashes

His obduracy was sometimes to his detriment. His unquenchable self-belief that helped turn a relatively limited player into England’s record Test run-scorer, also convinced him that he was the man to revive England’s ODI fortunes. As a result he lingered too long as captain of an outmoded side and was stung by the consequent criticism. While he led the team within an ace of that elusive global ODI title at the Champions Trophy of 2013, he was omitted from the 2015 World Cup squad, ending his limited-overs career around his 30th birthday.

His Unviable records ( for England) :-

Highest Test runs – 12,472 runs

Centuries  – 33

Half centuries – 57

Catches  – 175  ( in the slips –  a record for a non- wicket keeper)

Most appearances  – 161

Most consecutive  appearances – 159

Wns as captain – 24 tests ( next only to M. Vaughan’s 26)

First batsman to score 10,000 Test  runs for England  



As the D-day draws closer to the Boxing Day Test at MCG, we can take a look at the impending scenario.

India played 13 tests here and won 3 times.  All the three wins have special connotations. 

The first win came in the 1977-78 season when Bhagwat Chandrasekar ran through a second string team of the Aussies as the core team of players were lured away by the Media Mogul, Kerry Packer. And India by 222 runs and their first win Down Under. 

 And the second win came in the 1980-81 series when Kapil’s Devils sprang a surprise victory by 59 runs as the Aussies were bundled out for just 83 runs. . And with this win India squared the series with the scoreline reading 1-1.

And the last outing in 2018-19, India won by 137 runs thanks to the Man of the Match, J. Bumrah’s incisive bowling with a scalp of 9 wickets in the match and C. Pujara’s century helped India to win the Test series by 2-1 for the first time in Australia.

Now, after a drubbing at Adelaide with the indian team folding up it’s ever lowest test innings score, it’s going to be a tough task  to come back.  Deep anguish in the minds of our players are palpable. You can’t run them down completely as Aussies are best in Pink ball games. It will be a different ball game at MCG as it will be a Day game played with red balls. 

Kohli’s absence will be felt not only as a Captain but also as a batsman. His aggression on the field is one of the key factors for success.  He is a run machine in Tests. So, it’s imperative that the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane take the initiative to lead from the front sans aggression.  And K.L. Rahul is likely to play to fill the void created by Kohli and though wicket keeping in Tests may not be his forte, it’s an additional factor for his selection. 

 And we are yet to find a suitable player of the  likes of Viru, the flamboyant opener.  It emerges from the insiders that Prithivi Shaw,  who lacks the basic tenets of foot work as was pointed by both Gavaskar and Ricky Ponting, and vulnerable in the bouncy tracks, may make way for Shubman Gill. 

 It is learnt that the team think tank  wants the Young Rishab Pant to don the gloves as Saha’s poor batting and keeping is not helping the team’s cause.  As wicket keepers can’t just restrict their flamboyance to those acrobatic takes and chirpy words; dash and panache should ripple their bats too.   It’s a thankless job and snide remarks bound to arise when they grease the catches. And Pant scored centuries both in England and Australia recently and even in this tour’s warm up match, he hit a century.  

The team will also be missing the services of the experienced bowler of Mohamed Shami, who took 31 wickets in the previous two tours Down Under, who is out of the reckoning as he has fractured his arm .  The youngsters Siraj or Saini may make the cut in the final XI.  And it’s also believed that the energetic all rounder  Ravindra Jadeja will play in the XI and the axe may fall on  Vihari.

So, in the final analysis the team composition may be :

 Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Pujara, K.L. Rahul, A. Rahane,R. Pant,  Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin,  Umesh Yadav, J. Bumrah, Siraj or Saini.

And now all the eyes are on A. Rahane, who already captained in the absence of Kohli . He’s a calm, cool headed guy unperturbed by the sledging remarks and he doesn’t also indulge in that art.  He’s already led India in tests in the absence of Kohli first  in 2017 at Dharamshala in the series decider  and brought victory for India against Aussies and the series win by  2-1 . 

Speaking about  Rahane, Rahul Dravid said, “ that having successfully completed a cycle of touring the world, Rahane must be experiencing the beautiful feeling that he belongs at the top level. ‘Boss, I belong here.’ He [Rahane] has developed his attacking game. He now knows it deep down that, ‘Boss, if I work hard, if I practice, I can succeed at this level.’ It is a very good feeling to have that gut feeling. 

Rahane in an interview a few years back said : “I think as a leader, as a captain, it’s important to back your instincts, whatever you feel. Yes, it is important to take advice from your colleagues, but in the end what your instincts tell you, you should back that. Whenever I am on the field, I always try and think: If I am the captain, what should be my field? What will I do in certain situations, certain conditions? I always think that way, so that whenever opportunity comes I am ready for that. I make it tough on myself at practice so i am comfortable during the game.”  “if there are positive things in your mind, they will happen,” Rahane says. He really meant it when he attacked Mitchell Johnson 6  seasons ago here at MCG and scored a century to save the test for India. All of us are keeping fingers crossed as we want Rahane to repeat this performance and make India flying high in the test arena.



The Oval, London

The Oval currently known as Kia Oval ( for sponsorship) is an international cricket ground located in Kennington in the Borough of Lambeth, South London.  The oval is the homeground of Surrey county cricket club from 1845.   The club is celebrating its 175th year in 2020.

The oval was built on the former Kennington Common.  Cricket matches were played on the Common throughout the early 18th century.  However, as the common was also used regularly for public executions for convicts, cricket matches had moved away to Artillery grounds  1740s.  

In 1844, the site of Kennington oval was a market garden owned by Duchy of Cornwall.  The Duchy was willing to lease the land for the purpose of a cricket ground and on 10th March 1845, the first lease was made. 

 Prince Charles, Duchy of Cornwall, owner of the ground gets a slice of ticket prices , every drink, pie and programme sold.  Duchy of Cornwall, who is still the owner of the ground, the property Estate which generates profits 14 Million pounds last year, provided Prince Charles personal income.  Prince Charles, the 24th Duke of Cornwall became entitled to the full income from Duchy’s profit on his 21st birthday in 1969.

History at The Oval

The oval hosted the First FA Cup Final in 1872..  Football Association cup is an annual knockout football competition in Men’s domestic English football.

England’s First international Rugby match was also held in 1872

England hosted Australia at The Oval in 1880 it’s First ever test match

In 1882, Australia defeated England at The oval for the first time on British soil, leading the “Sporting Times” newspaper to declare the death of English cricket and beginning what would become known as “The Ashes” test matches between these two countries

In 1884, the First double century in a test was scored by Australia’s captain Billy Murdoch.

England’s dramatic 1 wicket win in 1902 inspired by it’s batsman Gilbert  Joseph’s sensational century against Australia

Australia’s 701 in 1930 as Don Bradman ( 244) and Bill Ponsford (266) put on 451 runs for the 2nd wicket and win for Australia by an Innings & 39 runs

England’s 903/7 their highest in tests till date and they beat Australia by an Innings & 579 runs in 1938 and it was Australia’s heaviest defeat in Tests , when Len Hutton scored a  monumental triple century ( 364 ) 

Don Bradman’s farewell duck in 1948

Michael Holding’s 14 wickets & Vivian Richards blitzkrieg 291 ensured Windies win

England’s speedster Devon Malcolm’s 9/57 against S.A. in 1994 set up win for England

In 100th Test at The Oval, England’s win by 239 runs over South Africa  in 2017 inspired by a brilliant century by Ben Stokes , debutant Toby Roland Jones’s 5/57  and Moeen Ali’s (England’s off spinner) Hat trick, first time at The Oval

Unique Featrues

The Gasholders outside the ground belong to the Victorian age, which means they were properly constructed.  Since they have not developed a crack, let alone a leak from the supply that is still in everyday use.

Courtesy :


The vauxhall pleasure gardens are located near to the Oval ground. The first and most important of these gardens, Vauxhall, was established in 1729 by the entrepreneur Jonathan Tyers. While the site had been a place for Londoners to gather and buy refreshments since the 1660s, Tyers realised that there was a market for paid entertainment. He also knew that charging an admission fee (of one shilling) would discourage pickpockets and prostitutes.


The connection between Music hall and cricket was strong in the 19th century and 20th century.  Matches pitting teams of county players against comedy stars of the day were regularly played and raised large sums of the money went to charity.  In 1873, the Oval hosted a game that raised an amount of 70 pounds for the Music hall Sick Fund.  In late 1890s, Dam Leno, a comedy star of the day formed a group called the “Dainties” drawing many of the stars to play in such fixtures.  In 1898, Dan Leno’s team attracted wide publicity when they took on the employees of Dulwich’s Grove Hotel, it was well received by spectators.    


The oval overhauled their drainage and irrigation system at a cost of 7,50,000 pounds.  The project aimed at draining 30 mm of rain water per hour in order to resume cricket match as early as possible.

4 permanent flood lights masts have been installed at The Oval. these new lights have been developed combining latest technologies to ensure that the lights will remain focussed in the ground and not neighbouring areas.  These new lights were installed in 2008.

In 2002 started the redeveloping of Vauxhall end which included demolishing outdated Surride, Fender, Jardeine & Peter May North ends and creating in their place a single four-tier ground stand, currently known as 1845 Stand.

In 2007, the Lock & Laker & Peter May South stands were replaced.

In 2013, a new project was started called “wings” to either side of the 1845 stand at the vauxhall end of the ground. The development helped to increase the total capacity to 24,500.

In 2015, the Peter May & Tony lock stands were demolished and replaced by a single new and much larger stand named as Peter May.



World’s Largest Cricket stadium, Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad


As in other spheres of activities, in the digital age, sports stadiums are no longer restricted to the game. They have become a spectacle themselves. The stadiums no longer serve the purpose of showcasing a sport alone and also  have become a stage for people to turn to for a good time, to be entertained, to be seen on giant screens, and to be able to document their experience on social media. 

Be it in Optus stadium at Perth,  Camp Nou, the home ground of FC Barcelona or the largest stadium in Europe, Old Trafford or Wembley Stadium, sports stadiums are  no longer confined to the sports  of football or cricket,  they moved beyond the game and are an attraction unto themselves. 


 With the above theme in mind, the reconstruction of the Sardar Patel stadium, Motera , Ahmedabad ( popularly known as “Motera stadium”) started in Jan. 2017, completed in  Feb. 2020  and was inaugurated in Feb.2020  . The World’s two largest Democracy leaders viz., U.S. President Donald Trump &  Hon’ble P.M. of India Narendra Modiji attended a grand reception of 1,10,000 given in honour of the U.S. President on Feb.24, 2020.  The reconstruction was done at a cost of Rs. 7 billion in a bowl shape. The new Motera stadium is spread over 63 acres and has 3 entry points . The stadium with 1,10,000 capacity   is the World’s largest cricket stadium  and second largest Sports stadium in the world. And now India can boast that they have largest cricket stadium in the world.

See the below link on the stadium.


A world renowned Designer M/s. Populous,  An Australian architect  firm with their Corporate signature slogan  “ We design the places where people love to be together “  true to their slogan designed this spectacular stadium in Ahmedabad built to last a century boasts of several unique aspects. The   ground is home to the Gujarat Cricket Association and was built in collaboration with India’s top contractor Larsen & Toubro.

The two tier bowl design consists of large seating tiers, each with approximately 50,000 general admission seats, designed to fill the lower levels for smaller events and still bring that sense of occasion, the sight and the sound to make every experience a special one. The structure also eliminates the need for pillars for giving the spectators an unobstructed view of the entire field from any place in the stadium.


Another international firm M/s. Signify, with headquarters at The Netherlands has been assigned the task of illuminating the stadium. Signify has equipped the Motera Stadium, one of India’s premier cricket stadiums, with 580 luminaries of Philips Arena LED Floodlighting  system  ( instead of traditional flood lights) for day-and-night games and it  complies with the ICC (International Cricket Council) Broadcasting standards for sports illumination.  Clusters of LED Lights carefully positioned on the roof to avoid multiple shadows of players on the pitch and an efficient drainage system.  It is also a water & energy efficient green construction. 


  • A  club house  with 55 ROOMS
  • A  Gymnasium 
  • Olympic size Swimming Pool
  • Party Hall
  • 3D Projector theatre
  • 76 Corporate Boxes with a seating capacity of 25 each
  • 4 Team Dressing rooms
  • Food court and hospitality area in each stand
  • Stadium also houses a Cricket Academy and Indoor practice facilities
  • LED lights are installed on the roof, which is a first in India
  • Parking area has space for 3000 cars & 10,000 bikes
  • Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy system placed inside the stadium which can provide treatment to injured players on the field itself
  • The stadium also has a huge ramp designed to facilitate movement of around 60,000 people simultaneously
  • It is the FIRST GREEN STADIUM of India with 100% LED lights
  • Rainwater Harvesting capacity of 32 lakh litres and 11 acres area planted with rich bio-diversity
  • The stadium exists in Tiers to accommodate smaller events and maintain the atmosphere for spectators even when the bowl is not full
  • Separate facilities for Disabled persons is available
  • As Ahmedabad city is prone to earthquakes, rings float between the bowl and roof via radical spokes to allow for movement in time of seismic activity (earthquake).
  • 11 acres of vegetation to enhance bio-diversity


  • 11 pitches with both red & black soil are laid which will be bouncy , spin friendly or mix of both
  • The ground will be ready in 30 minutes after the rain. This stadium also has used sub surface drainage system which will enable the ground to get ready in quick time to start the match


This spectacular stadium is going to host England its first international match, (after renovation), in Feb.2021  two Test matches and 5 T20Is. 



A few weeks back ,  there was a raging controversy on playing  Y. Chahal, an Indian leggie, as a”  like for like” Concussion substitute for injured all rounder , R. Jadeja  in a T20I match ( on 3rd Dec.2020) against Australia. And it turned out that Chahal won the MOM award in that match and India won this game. And Australians were furious about Chahal playing.  In fact their Coach Justin Langer had an argument with ICC Match referee David Boon over this.

Let’s see what’s all about concussion.

Concussions in Sport

Concussions, a type of mild traumatic brain injury, are a frequent concern for those playing sports, from children and teenagers to professional athletes.. In the context of sports-related concussions (SRC), an SRC is currently defined as a “complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces”.Because concussions cannot be seen on X-rays or CT scans, attempts to prevent concussions have been difficult.

As of 2012, the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada included policies for managing concussion risk.Sports-related concussions are generally analyzed by athletic training or medical staff on the sidelines using an evaluation tool for cognitive function known as the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT), a symptom severity checklist, and a balance test.


Concussion symptoms can last for an undetermined amount of time depending on the player and the severity of the concussion. Concussion symptoms can be described as immediate and delayed. The immediate symptoms experienced immediately after concussions include the following: memory loss, disorientation, and poor balance. Delayed symptoms are experienced in the later stages and include sleeping disorders and behavioral changes. Both immediate and delayed symptoms can continue for long periods of time and have a negative impact on recovery.

Prevention efforts and technologies

There have been numerous attempts at preventing concussions, such as the establishment of the PACE (Protecting Athletes Through Concussion Education) program, which works with the imPACT system, which is currently used by every NFL and some NHL teams.  In 2008, the Arena Football League tested an impact monitor created by Schutt Sports called the “Shockometer”, which is a triangular device attached to the back of football helmets that has a light on the device that turns red when a concussion occurs.

Concussion substitute in CRICKET 

In the mid-2010s there were calls for concussion substitutes who could bat or bowl to be introduced, with increased awareness of the risks of continuing to play following a concussion. New Zealand introduced such a rule for their domestic limited-overs competitions, having had two concussion-related substitutions in 2016. The England and Wales Cricket Board introduced concussion replacements to English domestic competitions at the start of the 2018 season. The replacements can bat and bowl in place of a player with concussion or suspected concussion; match officials have to determine that the new player is a “like for like” replacement.

In July 2019, the International Cricket Council (ICC) agreed to allow the use of concussion replacements in all international cricket matches from 1 August 2019, with substitute having to be a “like-for-like replacement” and approved by the Match Referee.

ICC Playing Conditions

  • In assessing whether the nominated Concussion Replacement should be considered a like-for-like player, the ICC Match Referee should consider the likely role the concussed player would have played during the remainder of the match, and the normal role that would be performed by the nominated Concussion Replacement.
  • If the ICC Match Referee believes that the inclusion of the nominated Concussion Replacement, when performing their normal role, would excessively advantage their team, the Match Referee may impose such conditions upon the identity and involvement of the Concussion Replacement as he/she sees fit, in line with the overriding objective of facilitating a like-for-like replacement for the concussed player.

The rules were implemented for saving a team from having a disadvantage if one of their players suffers a concussion and is out of the match. The rules also restrict a player from taking unnecessary risks by putting his health on the line in a bid to help his team in a match.

Every circumstance is going to be different depending on when the player is requested to be replaced. If a bowler’s injured and they’ve only got a batting innings left then the decision might be different to if the same player was injured and there was a bowling innings left. It’s very much around the circumstances around the game and the referees will be given guidelines as will the teams how to interpret those, But it’s very much around what is the likely role of the injured player for rest of the match and who is most like-for-like with the role that player will play. The match referee could put conditions on a player being involved. So, if there’s an allrounder replacing a batter then he might put a condition that player is unavailable to bowl during the match. The referee has some flexibility to best accommodate a like-for-like replacement.

Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager explained before the 2019 Ashes series.

First usage

The first use of such a substitute was during the Second Test at Lord’s in the 2019 Ashes series between England and Australia, when Steve Smith was hit on the neck by a bouncer by Jofra Archer in the first innings. He was later diagnosed as having suffered concussion and was ruled out of the remainder of the Test. Marnus Labuschagne was named as the official replacement for Smith and came to bat on the final day of the Test. And it was a blessing in disguise for Aussies as Manus is going great guns in Tests and in fact he was leading run scorer for Aussies in 2019.

On November 1, 2019, Shabika Gajnabi became the first concussion substitute in women’s cricket when she replaced Chinelle Henry, who was concussed after hitting the advertising boards while fielding in an ODI game against India.

COVID-19 substitute

In June 2020, ICC approved this rule.  It stated that if a player was found COVID-19 positive in the middle of a series, he would be isolated on an immediate basis and would be put into quarantine. The player, who tested positive would further get disallowed from taking part in the remainder of the series.

In October 2020, in the opening round of the 2020–21 Plunket Shield season, Benjamin Lister became the first COVID-19 replacement in a cricket match.[26] Lister replaced Mark Chapman, who reported feeling unwell, inline with the updated International Cricket Council (ICC) playing conditions for a substitute due to COVID.

(Source :  Wikipedia)

Now, in the ongoing BBL 2020 in Australia there are instances of using CONCUSSIONS SUBSTITUTE. .So, this has come to stay in international  sports.  The governing authorities should see that Concussions substitute is used to the benefit of the sports and not detrimental to the sports world over. 



As the battle lines are drawn today (17th DEC.2020) for one upmanship in the BORDER GAVASKAR (BG)Trophy in the match underway at Lord’s in a few hours, stakes are high  also in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) title .  The ICC floated the idea of WTC to stem the rot for the dwindling public patronage for Test matches.

As a result of the pandemic, standings are now being calculated on points percentage rather than points total. Australia tops the table on 82.2%. New Zealand are on 62.5%, but will hit 70% if they beat Pakistan 2-0 in the series that starts on 26 December. That pecks the order to qualify for the Lord’s final in June India (currently on 75%) would need five wins from their remaining eight Tests, or four wins and three draws.  

In the BG trophy, the Australians will have an upper hand as they play in their home turf with full strength ( of course Warner will be missed in Adelaide).  In the first outing itself at Adelaide and with spectators participation,  Aussies will be in  full cry.  Australia’s frontline bowlers have great numbers in day-night Test cricket too. You get a relentless attack that has taken quickly to pink-ball cricket. Australia are both pioneers as well as the most dominant team in this format .They have played seven of the 14 day-night Test matches that have been held since November 2015, and have never lost.

And the remaining tests will also be played in their familiar home conditions and King Kohli will be missed in the remaining 3 tests.  

And so to the Test series and the resumption of a rivalry that in terms of quality, entertainment value and wider resonance has a fair claim to be the most compelling in the sport today.

The allurement is the sense of competing cultures, competing systems, competing visions of the game. For all the talk of reinvention and elite mateship, Australian cricket is more bound up in tradition than it often likes to admit. Its basic DNA – a familiar formula of hard pitches, hard cricket, bone-breaking pace and six batsmen with ticker – has remained largely unchanged for decades.  But we have exceptions on both sides as Smith plays like Indians and Kohli like Australians.  Greg Chappel  remarked “Kohli is the most Australian non-Australian cricketer of all time”. And Kohli  refusing  to accept the praises heaped on him says, “ he wants  to identify himself as a representative of a “new India”, which “stands up” to all challenges.

So that leaves the question to India that they have to win two games to have a cushion as India is going to host England  4 tests at home turf in Feb.2021  where they  have to win  all the 4 matches to set up a summit clash of WTC  in Final at Lord’s in June 2021. Either way it is a tough call for India. Let’s keep fingers crossed for some miracle to happen at Down Under.