Pakistan's tour of England is set to stagger across the line to complete everyone's contractual obligations this week. Though it is, inside a further realm of contractual fantasy, actually England's tour of Pakistan being staged in England.
The tour has been damaged by allegations of spot-fixing in the form of deliberate front-foot no-balls intended to defraud bookmakers engaging in the astonishingly greedy practice of spot-betting. For the first time ever, the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit has laid charges against a number of Pakistani international players.
For a variety of reasons I didn't do a normal cricket blog after Boxing Day 2009. I continued to pass comment on Twitter over the past month, however, and over the past few days I have been summarising, with annotations, my cricket-related tweets between December 27 and the present. Some tweets have been omitted for reasons of clarity or sanity, none have been internally edited.
For no obvious reason I haven't done a blog entry about cricket since my end-of-year piece on December 30 (apart from a item spruiking my book "Today In Cricket" and why haven't you bought it yet?). Worse still, my daily Test match entries conked out after the opening day of the Australia v Pakistan First Test.
And so it was on Friday that for about two hours we had the exhilaration of simultaneously following: Day Three, India v Sri Lanka at Mumbai; Day Two, New Zealand v Pakistan at Wellington; Day One, Australia v West Indies at Adelaide. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Just exhausting. Three games of wildly varying textures, each one with that joyous "Let's See You Do That In The IPL" feel about them.
We're hours away from the opening of the 2009 Not-So-IPL. Australia has, shock horror, won an ODI against South Africa, and will choof off to the Home Of World Cricket which will host its first official one-day international next Wednesday.
A thirty-year phase of cricketing history came to an end at the Gabba tonight. The triangular one-day international series had long past its use-by date, and was finally being put out of its misery. But instead of ending with a whimper, it went out with an unexpected bang. India completed a 2-0 clean-sweep of the best-of-three finals series against Australia to win the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series.
It was during the one-day tri-series of 1981-82. Australia versus Pakistan, from memory I think it was the Adelaide Oval game. Javed Miandad, a few weeks after his legendary contretemps with Dennis Lillee, was in hot water for apparently being overhead shouting the F-word to Greg Chappell as the Australian captain was leaving the field after being dismissed.
In the days well before codes of conduct and match referees, Javed explained that he was actually greeting the successful wicket-taker, off-spinning all-rounder Ijaz Faqih.
Javed's words to Ijaz in Urdu translate into English as, "Faqih, you got him third ball!"