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Author Archive for Andy Bull

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World Cup final is England’s moment – but has the ECB dropped the ball?

Organisers have done a fine job engaging existing cricket fans but outside the bubble, most are still oblivious to the sportYorkmead, in Hall Green, south Birmingham, is a state school much like any other. It’s a mixed, medium-sized, red-brick, with ju…

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Australia’s Australianism makes it hard to predict an England win | Andy Bull

Excellence and resilience over the years led to John Arlott coining a term in Australia’s honour which tilts the World Cup semi-final in their favourMy youngest is three weeks old now, just enough already to know the best and worst of English cricket. …

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Cricket World Cup’s efforts to ‘engage’ doomed by terrestrial TV void | Andy Bull

TikTok, Helo, YouTube and the rest – like highlights after midnight – cannot make up for a widespread inability to watch the games unfoldRepeat a word often enough and it seems to lose all meaning. It’s called semantic satiation, and it’s a phenomenon …

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England are hosts but this Cricket World Cup belongs to everyone | Andy Bull

English administrators have failed to win over domestic cricket fans who follow the country of their parents’ birth rather than Eoin Morgan’s teamFrom the top tier of the terrace at Trent Bridge you could just make out the two flags flying from the hou…

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Sodden World Cup opening ceremony puts anticipation in deep freeze

The curtain-raiser to this summer’s cricket showpiece took place in miserable conditions in front of a sparse crowdOf course it rained. A cold, steady, dispiriting drizzle immediately familiar to anyone who has ever weathered an English summer. It made…

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The making of Eoin Morgan: ‘You got a sense he was something special’

England’s captain is taking them to the World Cup. Those who know him describe a single-minded, inspirational leader“Here’s a story,” says Paul Farbrace. It is from a one-day game at Trent Bridge in 2015, when he was England’s stand-in head coach. “New…

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England’s Cricket World Cup squad is reassuring despite late changes

Willey and Denly were unlucky to miss out but it is a long way from the troubled build-ups to previous tournamentsThe workmen were at Lord’s on Tuesday, putting a fresh coat of glossy black paint on the North Gate and fixing up the whitewash around the…

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ECB back on defensive over the Hundred after rap concert photo gaffe

• Website used crowd photo from a gig in Miami• Tournament to make its bow in summer 2020After months of bad PR for the Hundred, the ECB tried to get back on the front foot at Wednesday’s launch of the competition.The chief executive, Tom Harrison, adm…

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Good news for England’s Ashes bowlers as ECB sticks with 2018 Dukes ball

• New county ball will not be used in this summer’s Tests• More pronounced seam made batting difficult in 2018The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that this year’s Tests will be played using a more bowler-friendly ball, one different to th…

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Moeen Ali injury could see Joe Denly bowl for England against Pakistan

• England coach Trevor Bayliss says Moeen rested as a precaution• Bayliss says Jofra Archer is ‘very skilful … he’s fitted in well’Three weeks out from the start of a World Cup England have spent four years planning for, there are still a couple of ope…

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Cas tried to provide a clear verdict on Caster Semenya but left a tangled mess | Andy Bull

The court of arbitration for sport may have come down on one side of the debate over the athlete but its ruling contained enough holes and caveats to mean the dispute will continueThe crux of the Caster Semenya ruling, the line that cuts a path through…

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Leadership failure at ECB leaves Alex Hales and England in a mess | Andy Bull

English cricket’s governing body is under immense pressure to host a successful World Cup and is wobbling under the loadHere is a line to keep in mind as we consider the whos, whats, whys and whens of the Alex Hales case. It is from Nathan Leamon’s rec…

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Like Bradman, Hobbs and Lara, Robert Percival’s record may never be broken

Wisden states the all-rounder once threw a cricket ball 140 yards and two feet, a distance that several tried to reach and none have been confirmed as betteringSome numbers are records fixed in the minds of every cricket fan. Bradman’s 99.94, Hobbs’s 1…

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A cricket coaching revolution is under way in Sussex – just press play | Andy Bull

Sussex academy director’s overhaul of the club’s youth cricket could change the way the game is taught in EnglandIn the indoor school at Hove a young Zimbabwean called Tawanda Muyeye is batting against three of Sussex’s best young spinners, Jack Carson…

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The life of a loser: what fuels our fascination with the defeated? | Andy Bull

They say that you find the best stories in the loser’s dressing room but discovering what defeat does to a champion is not easy topic to tackleThere are all different sorts of pauses, and in this business the worst is the one that starts every loser’s …

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Rebagliati’s free the weed campaign aims to show Wada ban is all to pot | Andy Bull

Moral and medical arguments for banning cannabis use in sport have fallen away and former Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati wants the authorities to take noteIn the years after he gave up snowboarding, Ross Rebagliati tried selling real estate, runni…

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Keeping the Six Nations on free-to-air TV should not be up for debate | Andy Bull

If the unions need an insight into how important mainstream accessibility is, they’d do well to arrange a visit to Lord’sLate last week, back when the Irish still thought it might be a bright idea to irritate the Welsh by insisting they keep the roof o…

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Warren Gatland ready to ride Wales’ emotional wave for grand slam finale | Andy Bull

Welsh prepare to give everything for everyone as they look to sign off the Six Nations against Ireland with another grand slamIn the end it was the money-men who made Richard Burton give up rugby. The film company put a clause in his contract banning h…

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Georgia’s Rugby World Cup dream partly sown by a Llanelli punch-up | Andy Bull

In Moscow in 1957 Llanelli players were in a match marred by ‘hideous violence’. They could not have known their more silky skills would leave a lasting legacyOf course rugby has an old law about what goes on tour. Which is why, 62 years later, we can’…

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Ireland ring changes in bid to recapture their champion formula

• Joe Schmidt replaces six forwards in team to face France• 2018 champions have lost to England and toiled in RomeFive weeks into the Six Nations it seems Ireland are still looking for whatever it was they lost in that opening round defeat to England. …