Saturday, April 20, 2013

The longest journey starts with a single step, or four

Call me a philistine, but until a week ago I was unaware that our international women’s cricketers played almost solely for the love of the game. I assumed there would be a sizeable gap in remuneration between the men’s and women’s squads but for a country that prides itself on gender equality, I didn’t expect New Zealand would be languishing so far behind many of the game’s other nations, given we were the first country to offer a professional contract to a female cricketer more than 15 years ago.

Among a myriad of public relations bungles and the on-going, and developing, John Parker saga, New Zealand Cricket finally caught my attention for a win off the field. The announcement of ground-breaking contracts for four of our women’s cricketers should be celebrated – captain Suzie Bates, Sian Ruck, Sophie Devine and Sara McGlashan the first recipients.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The fabled five to celebrate 150?

“…there are the Five Cricketers of the Year, the selection of whom has been the sole prerogative of the editor since 1889, give or take the occasional break for a world war”.
        Lawrence Booth, Mail Online, 11 April 2012

Since the diminutive John Wisden put pen to paper for the first Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack in 1864, Wisden has been a fixture for every cricket tragic. Since 1889*, the editor’s choice of his Cricketers of the Year sparks debate that often approaches physical confrontation, so impassioned are many readers in support of their choices.

Wisden’s five is the oldest individual award in cricket, one of the most prestigious honours in our great game. To grace the pages of the 150th edition is to secure one’s place in cricketing history, a chance to live in the collective memory of all who read cricket’s bible.