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Author Archive for Vic Marks

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Last post: dry eyes and an empty page, but after 31 years it is a fond farewell | Vic Marks

From a Jamaican debut to an empty Lord’s in 2020 the job has changed so much but I always did struggle for an introJust one more intro, that’s all that’s needed … “It was 31 years ago that I joined the Observer …” No, no, that’s not so snappy; it’s anc…

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Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes rested for England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka

Pair will return for series against India in FebruaryNational selectors schedule rest periods for playersEngland will head for Sri Lanka in the new year without two of their most charismatic cricketers. Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have both been rested…

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Trouble on tour? Cricket is in better shape now if the players are being listened to

‘Player anxiety’ was central to curtailment of England’s South Africa tour whereas in bygone days any welfare concerns would have been swept under the carpetA long, long winter awaits for the England team currently twiddling their thumbs, adjusting the…

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The Spin | From Bob Willis to Barnard Castle, cricket books to lift our spirits

In the absence of anything to watch we have needed cricket literature more than ever this year, and publishers have obliged We won’t forget 2020 in a hurry and we won’t celebrate it either. Yet the absence of our traditional summer distraction has remi…

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Burdened by genius: Maradona reminds us how peaking young brings its problems | Vic Marks

Following a Mexico 86 or Headingley 81 can weigh hard on superstars, which might be why many top coaches come from a lower rungThe death of Diego Maradona provided another reminder that life is seldom simple for the sporting superstar. Maradona was obv…

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Burdened by genius: Maradona reminds us how peaking young brings its problems | Vic Marks

Following a Mexico 86 or Headingley 81 can weigh hard on superstars, which might be why many top coaches come from a lower rungThe death of Diego Maradona provided another reminder that life is seldom simple for the sporting superstar. Maradona was obv…

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Burdened by genius: Maradona reminds us how peaking young brings its problems | Vic Marks

Following a Mexico 86 or Headingley 81 can weigh hard on superstars, which might be why many top coaches come from a lower rungThe death of Diego Maradona provided another reminder that life is seldom simple for the sporting superstar. Maradona was obv…

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England’s T20 top-order batting strength is ‘frightening’, says Jason Roy

• Opener believes England well set for next year’s T20 World Cup• Joe Root among those not included in T20 squad in South AfricaJason Roy was looking and sounding fresh. He has had a break from the bubble since he did not play in the Indian Premier Lea…

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Chris Silverwood says Jos Buttler will be England’s T20 opener in South Africa

Buttler lost his opening spot to Ben Stokes in IPL‘We’re pretty certain about which way we want to go’It is just as well Chris Silverwood has already proved himself to be a popular and skilful conciliator within the England setup. With the T20 series a…

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Ian Botham at 65: ‘I was happy to play the buffoon. But I listened more than I let on’

The great all-rounder and crossbench peer chats with his former Somerset and England teammate Vic Marks about Covid-19, Headingley ‘81, Viv Richards, Ben Stokes … and just a little bit of Brexit We almost met 50 years ago. I was in Liverpool about to o…

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England’s team spirit is unlikely to be harmed by MVP award for Jofra Archer | Vic Marks

Eoin Morgan’s squad seem to enjoy each other’s company and a repeat of incidents such as the 1986 Richard Hadlee Alfa Romeo furore appear unlikelyThe English players suddenly disappeared in the final stages of the Indian Premier League. So it was quite…

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Graham Cowdrey, Kent cricket stalwart, dies aged 56

Former captain pays tribute to ‘brilliant, generous’ friendCowdrey played 179 first-class matches for KentGraham Cowdrey, a stalwart of Kent cricket for more than a decade in the 1980s and 90s, has died after a short illness at the age of 56. Matthew F…

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I savoured one last round of golf before our sporting life was put on hold | Vic Marks

Enforced absence during lockdown serves as a reminder how much playing sport – however badly – enhances our livesFor my last shot on a golf course for at least a month I was confronted with a “Dennis Wise”. This is a mischievous description, albeit a l…

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It is still a golden age to play cricket despite England stars’ financial hit | Vic Marks

The best male players’ earning power has exploded in recent years; it’s those on fringes that must worry most about Covid-19The gravy train has slipped into reverse for the first time in 20 years. Old cricketers are often asked when has been the best t…

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England ready to return a favour and play in Pakistan after 15 years away | Vic Marks

Not since 2005 has the ECB sent a touring team to the country but it is hard to see how they can decline this invitationThe likelihood of England’s cricketers participating in a tour of Pakistan for the first time in more than 15 years is now strong. W…

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The Spin | Devon Malcolm’s Oval heroics a worthy focus for Black History Month

Charity’s Black History Month schools pack is welcome, though it flags up the decline in the number of black England playersWe are in the middle of Black History Month and the cricketing charity Chance to Shine has provided schools around the country w…

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The Spin | Somerset v Essex was a final that evoked their glory days of the 80s

In the era of Richards, Botham, Fletcher and Gooch, football had yet to swamp cricket and humour pervaded the rivalry The two best teams in county cricket battled for the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s. Despite the absence of spectators it was an earnest,…

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Dean Jones, brilliant attacking batsman and punchy character | Vic Marks

The Australian, who has died at 59, averaged over 46 in Tests and revolutionised one-day cricket, as well as being a no-nonsense coach and punditDean Jones, who died suddenly in Mumbai where he had been doing media work on the IPL, was never one of tho…

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Bob Willis final given extra validity by presence of Essex and Somerset | Vic Marks

The country’s top teams will contest the one-off final, starting at Lord’s on Wednesday, to decide the Championship winnersThe Bob Willis Trophy final, to be contested at Lord’s starting on Wednesday, has been given extra validity by the presence of Es…

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‘Cricket has won’: Chris Silverwood upbeat despite England’s ODI defeat

Coach thanks all involved with staging cricket in lockdownPlayer burnout is potentially an issue with IPL starting soonSo the World Cup winners were humbled with two balls to spare and they lost a home series of one-day internationals for the first tim…