I held two joint World Records in the year of 1992. The first was being in the largest ever marathon field, 1990 in London, 32,987 on the start line, and the second was being part of worlds biggest ever cricket crowd, the 1992 World Cup Final between England and Pakistan, 87,142 jammed into the MCG. The marathon record fell quickly to Chicago but the second one was broken only last month in the rather lack luster final of crickets biggest tournament, 92, 234 packed into the new improved MCG as Australia slaughtered NZ. The India v Australia semi final produced a record cricket TV audience of 645 million. Just over 1 billion attended the 49 matches Down Under.
I had bet on England to lose all of their games. As a cricket writer of little repute I had heard enough on the grapevine that the England camp was a mess and senior players would not be too bothered if they bombed out early and coach Peter Moore’s, fired. England failed for their third time in five World Cups to get past the groups stages. They are not interested in 50 over cricket.
The incoming ECB Chief Colin Graves is playing similar games and his ambiguous comments over KP coming back appear to be the first moves to unseat the contracted England hierarchy on mass, how they do it in the retail world, Graves the ex chief of the Costcutter supermarket chain. I find it rather ironic that the players who wanted to get rid of KP by welcoming Moores are now the very ones who want to see Moores go. Francis Urquhart would be proud of these Machiavellian antics.
As far as the World Cup being enjoyable you would have to say yes, if you love 6s and 4s. There were a record 41 centuries, double that of 2011, Sangakarra scoring four straight. The occasional cricket and sports fans that pack the stadiums love three things at cricket - sun, beer and big runs.
The nuance of the game that regular county fans enjoy is not really the occasional mass supporter’s thing - as the tinsel, flame throwers and dancing girls are not the elderly county cricket fans thing. I find swing bowling far more exciting than a slogged six over long on. I think it’s fair to say this World Cup delivered all three in abundance. Luckily no one was killed trying to catch the ball one handed in that crazy million dollar T-Shirt promotion! The fans also love plucky underdogs, Ireland pushing the case for the emerging nations with 3 group wins although the ICC still defiant on Irish Test status and intending a smaller World Cup in 2019 to dump 4 minnows
The arrival of T20 has really changed the one-day game and fans expect crazy runs now. The first 400 innings in an international arrived in 2006. Since then 400 has been broken 14 times. In fact all of the prestigious 50 over batting and innings records have fallen in that period. The four biggest individual batsmen scores have happened in the last four years alone. From the inaugural WC in 1974 there were around four 300 plus scores in the whole tournament. But since the new millennium it shot up from 9 in 2003 to 28 in 2015. We also saw some thrilling individual hitting, a violent double ton by Chris Gayle the highlight.
===Highest WC totals===
417-6: Australia v Afghanistan at Perth (March 2015)
413-5: India v Bermuda at Port of Spain (March 2007)
411-4: South Africa v Ireland at Canberra (March 2015)
408-5: South Africa v West Indies at Sydney (February 2015)
===Fastest WC hundreds===
50 balls - Kevin O'Brien Ireland v England, Bangalore March 2011
51 balls - Glenn Maxwell Australia v Sri Lanka, Sydney, March 2015
52 balls - AB de Villiers South Africa v West Indies, Sydney, February 2015
66 balls - Matthew Hayden Australia v South Africa, St Kitts, March 2007
67 balls - John Davidson Canada v West Indies, Centurion, February 2003
===WR ODI knocks===
264 - Rohit Sharma Vs Sri Lanka, Kolkata, 2014
237* -Martin Guptill Vs West Indies, Wellington 2015
219 - Virender Sehwag Vs West Indies, Indore, 2011
215 - Chris Gayle VS Zimbabwe, Canberra, 2015
For the bowlers it’s been a tough few years, the administrators of the game making their life tougher with smaller boundaries, more fielding restrictions and calling out the chukkas. Since South Africa’s Dave Richardson took over the ICC he has empowered his umpires to name and shame the bent arm cheats with no fear of racism calls. Saed Ajmaal managed to go four months in an English county season without being called for throwing by cowered umpires yet in international cricket the bent-armers are being obliterated. The previous Asian led ICC turned a blind eye and actually encouraged it by introducing the 15% bend law to help keep Muttiah Muralitharan on the field, an unfair advantage, the way the West Indian barrage was in the 1980s. But now they all get smashed around the park without their ‘mystery ball’ and only Southee of NZ managed anything of note to trouble the bowling records in ODI cricket with 7- 33 against Eng with his delicious swing.
===Best ODI Bowlers===
(350)Muttiah Muralitharan --- 534 wickets
(356)Wasim Akram ---502 wickets
(262)Waqar Younis ---416 wickets
(322)Chaminda Vaas ---400 wickets
(398)Shahid Afridi --- 395 wickets
For all the runs the top four teams in the world meet in the semi finals and it was Australia’s roar pace that won the trophy. They have seven of the ten fastest bowlers in the world and batsmen that don’t face that much lick couldn’t cope, especially NZ. Mitchell Johnson single-handedly won The Ashes last year and Mitchell Starc was the man here with 22 wickets. With Cummins in the trio there was no escape. It would not be bent arm spin this time around that would win the World Cup but Dave Richardson’s courage handing Australia the trophy.
As I write this review there are currently 3 Sky Sports HD channels plus as part of the HD package you get Eurosport HD even if you don't get Eurosport.
The Sky channels are Sky Sports 1, 2 & 3. They show a variety of both domestic & international sports. These include things like Football, Rugby (League & Union), Cricket, American Football & Darts.
If you have a HD TV set & have connected your Sky HD box with a HDMI cable, you will see a difference in picture quality. The difference is hard to describe but I would compare it to the difference between DVD & VHS. At first I wondered what the fuss was about. But after getting used to DVD, watching a VHS felt terrible & like watching something 30 years old.
One thing I feel that I have to mention. Just because something is on Sky Sports HD does not actually mean that it is in High Definition. American Football is a good example. Last season, most of the regular season games were on the HD channels but were not in High Definition. Only the post season games were shown in HD. The way to tell if your programme is actually in HD is to bring up the info & look in the top right where you can see the Subtitle or Dolby surround details. If it says HD your programme is being broadcast in High Definition. If it doesn't, even though the programme is on a HD channel, the programme is actually being broadcast & shown in Standard Definition. Another thing to mention, because sport is fast paced, it is NEVER broadcast in Full High Definition (1080P) it is normally broadcast in 720. This means you will probably get a better picture when watching Sky Movies or a Blu-Ray.
Over all it isn't a bad service. Plus Sky Sports is one of only 2 ways you can watch the Premier League live & in HD (the other being ESPN). This picture & sound quality is very good. The range of sport you get is really large. Just remember that half of it will be in Standard Definition.
Sky Sports HD offers three high defintion sports channels which are a simulcast of Sky Sports 1,2 & 3. Occassionally the 3rd sports channel may show Sky Sports Xtra in high definition rather than 3 when there is a relevent sporting event being shown. Currently the HD versions of Sky's service is only currently available on their own satellite platform & not on cable.
The picture quality of these channels when showing events in native High Defintion is superb & I would say they are probably the best channels at present from which to get the maximum high definition experience. I watch alot of football from the Barclays Premiership to the Champions League and can say the picture quality is very crisp & detailed. I have also been watching alot of the Cricket this summer on Sky Sports HD & can say the picture is fantastic and almost like being there.
As well as the superb picture quality, a number of events are also broadcast in Dolby Digital adding great sound quality to the superb picture. These channels don't broadcast everything in high definition and some programmes may be upscaled which still improve on the picture quality provided by the standard defintion equivalents.
If you're a sports fan & want to experience it like it was supposed to be, Sky Sports HD won't disappoint!
SKY Sports HD is actually now made up of 3 separate sports channels that are basically SKY Sports 1, 2 & 3 but in high definition. This means now that if the program you really want to watch on SKY Sports is available in high definition then it will definitely be on in high definition because no programs are cut anymore to merge 3 normal definition channels into 1 high definition channel. This is great for me because I love WWE wrestling and that always seemed to miss the cut when programs had to be selected for the single HD channel.
Now, as with all SKY HD channels, not everything is broadcast in high definition, which was a little disappointing for me when I first got it, but then again. The vast majority of sporting events now are and every single football match, barring Spanish La Liga, is in high definition, so that, along with the glorious and vibrant WWE wrestling shows, means that I pretty much have all of my sporting needs delivered in high definition. To check whether the program you are wanting to watch is broadcasted in HD could not be easier. You simply need to press the information button on the remote and look for the HD letters in the top right. This is where W (widescreen) and PG (parental guardian) kind of keys are placed.
The picture quality will naturally depend upon the standard of your TV rather than the HD Box itself, but needless to say, you will struggle to not be impressed by any sport in HD regardless of your exact resolution and I am certainly delighted with how it looks on mine, even though it is not the best HD resolution currently on the market.
SKY is re-nound for the bright colours and impactful graphics it uses on its sports channels and this is brought to life brilliantly on these HD channels. The screen almost seems to be pooping out at you at times and the animation effects work well too.
All in all, Sky Sports HD channels are worth the purchase of a HD Box and a HD TV alone. A must buy for any sports fan.
Sky Sports HD has been implemented into 3 channels, Skysports HD 1, Skysports HD2, and Skysports HD 3, each showing regular programming of each skysports channel in high definition picture. HD television is best watched doing three things, watching sport, watching action movies, and watching the discovery channel. The skysports HD channels have provided a great picture for needed sports such as golf, football, cricket and now even WWE wrestling is shown in High Def. Not all programming on the HD channel is HD. This is because not all programs can be broadcasted with the right equipment. However, most of the programs are HD.
High definition television is just an increase in picture quality. This is because more colours can be viewed through the new technology making the picture more crisp and bold. Without HD when watching football, the players have a blurry outline. On HD, each player looks clear. You can see the state of the football pitches for what they are. The crowd even looks crystal clear.
In all honesty, I cant watch sport nowadays unless it is in HD. However it is definitely something I could live without. It is not needed in all entirety. However, it is great to have. I cant stress enough how much better watching sports is in high definition quality.
If your entertaining guests in your home for a football game, the only way you can impress them more is by having the game in High Definition. Its the next best thing to being there in the flesh.
To watch Sky Sports HD you must subscribe to Sky HD, and buy a high definition box. HD channels although they appear on the listings of Sky and Sky+ boxes, will not work unless you have subscribed to a Sky HD package. To do this follow the instructions you recieve on your tv, or just visit sky.com for more details on the types of packages you can acquire.
On sky the Skysports channels are:
1) SkySports HD1 - Channel no. 408
2) Skysports HD2 - Ch no. 409
3) Skysports HD3 - Ch no. 450
Remember though, skysports HD does not provide any new programming that the original skysports channel show, unlike BBC HD. The only upgrade is the picture quality. However, sports gets so much better when you watch HD, and live in the future.