I’m a small time cricket writer and statistics are a big part of being one. I use the cricketarchive.co.uk as my first port of call to get domestic stats, averages and records, especially on Northants, and the official ECB site and then cricinfo.com for the more international based articles and stats and stuff. The ECB site is good for the business, fans and participant side of cricket where as cricinfo is more subjective and more interested in holding cricket to account like a broadsheet would. It’s a different style of writing to the printed press and breaks more interesting stories on the game. I really struggle with the old style of cricket writing of teacakes and long summer’s days and prefer a younger tone and edge. Cricinfo certainly does that, writers like George Dobell edgy, opinionated and interesting.
I chat online with Dobell and other people like Nick Hoult from The Daily Telegraph and we often coordinate our gossip on Northants when there is a story there. Northants recently moved to a LTD company from a ‘members based’ county and I worked on that story. Members held a vote at the EGM and 85% of those members voted to become a LTD company to secure new funding streams and so the members voted away all of their rights in a plebiscite in pursuit of new money to buy new players. We were digging deeper and knew the new money was anything but and simply property developers and building companies wanting to be on the club board for a future move or liquidation.
Cricinfo is internationally owned so diverse and covers all international cricket stories and stats. Indian cricket is world cricket’s revenue driver and so they feature heavily, as do Australia. But they also keep people informed with stories from tear two nations like Ireland and Afghanistan. Ireland are pushing hard for test status and I for one would love a Test match in Dublin. That would be one big piss up! If they win the qualifier for test status next year that’s what will happen.
England cricket are big on the site of course and playing some good one-day stuff right now. Bangladesh haven’t lost a home ODI series for while and England’s win in the heat and dust this week may signal a team ready to win the Champions Trophy, to be held in Great Britain next year, if you didn’t know. The Bangladeshi’s were conveniently allowed to see the return of two chuckers and two guys involved in domestic match fixing for the series and so near full strength but didn’t quite have the big batting and lost the series 2-1. Butler, Stokes and young Duckett will be the backbone of that team from now on. Ben Duckett is a Northants player that came through the youth team and turned the chance to move for more money when he was confirmed in the England tour. I have watched him through the age groups and see him as a big player for England and the hybrid player that will do well in 4-day tests that scores quickly and around the park to entertain, if and when the shorter tests come in. Ben’s forthright mom played hockey for England and has coached some of those style into Bens play. He sweeps both sides of the wicket and hard to know if he is left or right -handed
As I say the stats and records sections are strong on the Cricinfo site for international teams and the first place to go to check records. Did you know all of the 400 plus scores in ODI cricket have happened in the last 10-years? You need detailed records listings to keep up with crickets changing face these days as white ball begins to dominate. That changing face will include a pink ball day/night test match at Edgebaston next year, the idea being more people will turn up after work and school to watch test cricket. It worked in Australia because of those warm nights but it just won’t work here.
The site has good video sections of current cricket goings on and one of the better blog sections. It also has all the fixtures, scores and news from around the cricket world. A current topic is the hearing into the sad death of Phillip Hughes in Australia. Fellow pacer Doug Bollinger alongside Kyle Abbot who delivered the fatal ball is accused of telling Hughes with an atypical Aussie sledge that he ‘was going to effing kill him’ during the match. For me there need not be a hearing as we saw exactly what happened. It doesn’t well how well designed the helmets are. Players will bend the bars to see the ball better and move other protective stuff around so it fits snug.
On the whole Cricinfo is the best site for subjective comment and a younger audience. It’s funded by a huge US sports conglomerate and so has the legal power to be more combative with its writing. My style of article writing is very much theirs. Say it as it as it is, sport or not. They say sports writers are the most interesting writers as they have the harder job to do to bring their work to life.
Cricinfo 365 is a great companion to the cricinfo website, although the only problem is that people rarely have the time to read the full bulletin. Whilst it leaves things like scorecards to the website, it offers full reports from majoy matches, be they domestic championships or International matches, and there is usually a wealth of extra features on the game. Not only does it keep you abreast of what is happening around the cricketing world, it also acts as a companion to the website, and the two interact well. It usually arrives around 9:00AM GMT and is invariably very accurate and well written. With the contents at the top, it is possible to read only the bits you want and it is a service that I find exceedingly useful.
Cricinfo 365 is the brother of the world famous Cricinfo site. An electronic mail is sent to your inbox every day (or close to every day,) relating all of the day's cricket news. When you sign up for the Cricinfo 365 service, you are given the option of selecting one country that you are particularly interested in. Cricinfo365 will then send you all of the cricketing information in that country- both international news and domestic news. For a free service, Cricinfo 365 is excellent. For those who love cricket, its an unmissable service.