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.



s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there