On the Front Foot: Middlesex are caught in the middle of a right muddle

There is something faintly ridiculous about the Twenty20 Champions League.

It is silly, for instance, that England have only one representative – Middlesex, for whom the worst can be feared when the tournament starts in Bangalore next month. Sooner or later it is to be expected that the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the England and Wales Cricket Board – the former having utterly outflanked the latter in the league's formation – will kiss and make up. They need each other. But there are other unsatisfactory aspects to the competition that reflect the worryingly unstructured nature of the T20 competitions being formed hither and thither. Take, for instance, Albie Morkel, a player any T20 side would want – and whom indeed many have had. In theChampions League, Morkel will represent his home side, Nashua Titans, based near Johannesburg. But Morkel has also played for Chennai Super Kings of the Indian Premier League. So on 7 December, Morkel will play for Titans against the team for whom he scored 241 runs and took 16 wickets, and will again represent in the IPL next year.Mike Hussey has decided against playing for his home team, Western Australia Warriors, and will instead play for Chennai on the grounds that he has never played a T20 match for the Warriors. But he will still have to play his hometown colleagues should both teams reach the semi-finals. Dirk Nannes, however, has electedto play for Victoria Bushrangers despite playing an instrumental role in Middlesex's triumph in England. And they said T20 was the simplest form of the game.

On-song Singh breaks records

England will play their 500th one-day international tomorrow. This cannot be worse, presumably, than their 499th on Friday, which they lost by 158 runs, the fourth heaviest of their 105 defeats when batting second. The resplendent innings of Yuvraj Singh (pictured) was the most effective ever played against England in terms of its sustained assault. Of the 77 hundreds against them it was the most rapid – 138 not out off 78 balls at a strike rate of 176.92. This beat two innings in 2006 – 159 by Sanath Jayasuriya off 99 balls, a strike rate of 153.54, and pushed a knock of 103 from 76 balls from a certain Yuvraj Singh at Margao earlier that year into third place. And never before had three England bowlers conceded more than 70 runs in the same match, Stuart Broad and Stephen Harmison both doing so for the fourth time. Oh! Happy Rajkot days.

Time to be clean as a whistle

Splendid to note that Martin Bodenham has been elevated to the list of first-class umpires next season. At 58, and not having played at the top level of the game, he has broken two taboos: the ideas that you have to be young and also to have played professionally. It also makes him the first (and probably the last) of the sporting official all-rounders: he used to be a Football League referee, and took charge of one League Cup final and two FA Cup semi-finals. While it is feared that misbehaviour on the cricket field is growing, players would be well advised to avoid crossing Bodenham. He once sent off both Vinnie Jones and, while he was being carried off on a stretcher for the tackle which had preceded it, the now Sunderland manager Roy Keane.

At last, a double-edged sword

Not before time, a double-sided bat has been developed in Australia by one Stuart Kranzbuhler. It is still in its prototype stages, which leaves plenty of time for both the MCC and the ICC to ban it. You will not be surprised to hear that its designers expect it to have a big future in T20.


Life and Style
Divers at Bouldnor Cliff underwater site in the Solent off the Isle of Wight, where the silt sample containing the einkorn DNA was found
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower