Bangladesh  V New Zealand: Third Test Called Off Following Shooting

Bangladesh  V New Zealand: Third Test Called Off Following Shooting

The third Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been called off after the Bangladesh cricketers had a narrow escape following New Zealand mosque shooting. 

Bangladesh team is in New Zealand currently to play three-match ODI series and three-match test series. New Zealand are already leading the series 2-0 with the third test match scheduled to be held from 16th March, Saturday.

The Backstory

 The players went to the mosque to offer their prayer at Christchurch Mosque near the venue of the third test match, Hagley Oval. They were in the bus when they heard gunshots. The players decided to leave the bus and went directly to the cricket ground to eventually lock themselves inside the dressing room.

New Zealand cricket board addressed the issue on their social media account post the New Zealand mosque shooting,

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe.”

According to the local media between nine and 27 people were killed. But the exact numbers were not confirmed.

Bangladesh Cricketers To Return Home

After a few hours of the incident, the Bangladesh cricket board tweeted,

“All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city. The Bangladesh Cricket Board is in constant contact with the players and team management.”

Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus confirmed the team is safe but “mentally shocked”.  The Bangladesh players are not in a condition to play the next test match and want to return home as soon as possible.

New Zealand cricket board after discussion with the Bangladesh cricket board disclosed that they had to cancel the test match due to the New Zealand mosque shooting. NZC Chief Executive David White told TVNZ.,

“I spoke to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we agree its inappropriate to play cricket at this time .”

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Shannon Gabriel suspended for sledging Joe Root

Shannon Gabriel suspended for sledging Joe Root

West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel has been suspended for the first four One-Day Internationals after sledging England captain Joe Root during the third Test in St Lucia. 

On the third day of the third Test between England and West Indies, stump mics caught an interaction between Shannon Gabriel and two England batsmen, Root and Joe Denly; where Root ended by saying that being gay is nothing wrong and requested not to use it as an insult.

“Don’t use it as an insult. There is nothing wrong with being gay.”

For this comment, Gabriel was found guilty under article 2.13 of the ICC’s Code of Conduct; which is related to “personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an international match”. 

For this offense, Shannon Gabriel has been fined 75% of his match fee and three demerit points. His action led him to eight demerit points within 24 months which equals to the ban from either two Tests or four ODIs or T20Is, which series he plays first. Earlier, he received five demerit points for two incidents which involved physical contact with opposing players.

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He had received three demerit points when he barged Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Jamaica Test against Pakistan in April 2017 and later received two demerit points in the Chittagong Test against Bangladesh last November due to a similar incident where Imrul Kayes was involved. Because of this offense, he was suspended for the next Test in Mirpur.

Gabriel has accepted his offense as well as the charge so there was no formal hearing of this incident with the match referee, Jeff Crowe. However, Gabriel was not a part in the squad for the first two ODIs against England, he was a replacement for Keemo Paul who got injured.

While talking about Gabriel’s ban, England coach Trevor Bayliss expressed that stump mics should be off between the deliveries.

“I’ve said it once before, no I’m not in favour of it and I’m not going to change my mind,” he expressed. “If stump mics were around a few years ago there would be some blokes seen as ‘holier than thou’ who would have been in trouble as well.”

“I think [stump mics] should be down. I know there are people who think the opposite and think it is good for the game but sometimes in the heat of battle things are said, when guys given a bit of time to sit down and think about it would give themselves a bit of a kick up the backside,” he further added.

However, Root handled the situation very gracefully in the post-match press conference.

“Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field,” Root said.

“It’s Test cricket and he’s an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match. He’s a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is. The battle was a good contest, he’s had a wonderful series and he should be proud.”

Though West Indies lost the Test, won the three-match series by 2-1. They will play five ODIs, which will start next Wednesday in Barbados.

Shashank Manohar – Test cricket is dying

Shashank Manohar - Test cricket is dying

International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar said on Thursday that the longest format of the game is dying as the people nowadays don’t have time to watch the five days game that is why the Test Cricket is dying. 

Currently, on an invitational visit to Bangladesh, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar shared that the World Test championship will set to begin after the ICC World Cup this year. It is expected that this initiative has been taken to save the longest format of the game.

The Test matches in Australia and England still see a lot of crowds but it has become a challenge for years to draw people in the rest of the cricket world.

“We are trying to see whether Test championship can generate interest. Because Test cricket is actually dying to be honest,” Manohar said. “So to improve the situation, we are trying ways and means. The (ICC) board directors came to a conclusion that if we start a Test championship, it would keep Test cricket alive and generate more interest in the game,” he further added.

While talking about the TRPs, Manohar, who is currently in Dhaka to watch the final of the Bangladesh Premier League T20 Tournament, shared that the shortest format of the game draw more people than any other version as well as provides most ratings for the broadcasters.

“If you look at the TRPs of the broadcasters, T20 has the maximum TRP. It is because of being the shorter version of the game. Nowadays, people don’t have five days time to watch a Test match.”

“Nowadays, people don’t have five days… to watch a Test match. From 10 to 5, everybody has their own job to do so it is very difficult for them to watch (Tests),” he said. T20s are “over in 3.5 hours, like watching a movie. Therefore, it is picking up very fast.”

Although Manohar also added that there are some problems which are posing a major hurdle to their plans of including cricket in the Olympics. Moreover, the Olympics take 15 days only and to finish a world event of cricket within this small time would be difficult.

“We are trying to take it to Olympics but there are certain hurdles. The bigger issue is the Olympics is held over 15 days. How do you finish a world event of cricket in fifteen days?” he said. “For that, you need cricket stadiums also. Olympics are not held only in cricket-playing countries. They are played elsewhere, so to finish the tournament you will need a minimum of four stadiums.”

However, the competition for Test cricket will be played over two-year cycles and the first edition of the championship will start after the 2019 ICC World Cup which will continue till April 2021. Top nine teams will play six series each during that period in a home and away format. The top two teams of the point table will lock horns with each other in the championship final.

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Holder suspended for the third Test, Brathwaite leads the team

Holder suspended for the third Test, Brathwaite leads the team

Jason Holder, the captain of West Indies, has been suspended for the third Test due to slow over rate offence. Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the team. 

West Indies is all set to play the third and final Test against England in St. Lucia from February 9. Before that, they got a big blow with the exclusion of their captain Holder. They were two overs short of their target during the Test against England in Antigua.

Because of this, the captain of West Indies, Jason Holder has been suspended for one Test match and he has been fined 40 per cent of his match fee; while the other players have been fined 20 per cent of their match fees, due to a slow over-rate during the second Test in Antigua which ended on Saturday.

Jeff Crowe of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees has decided to suspend Holder after the Windies were two overs short of their target after time allowances were taken into consideration. According to the Article 2.22.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Players Support Personnel; which relates to the minor over-rate misdeed, players will be fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every slow over and the captain will be fined double the amount.

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This is not the first time that Holder has been suspended for a slow over-rate. The slow over rate offence forced him to miss the second Test against New Zealand in December 2017. Not only that, he has been suspended for the same reason during the Barbados Test against Sri Lanka in June 2018. This was his second minor over-rate offence in a Test match within a 12-month period.

Holder has played an important role in his side’s first ever series win in 10 years against England. In the first Test match in Barbados, he scored his career-best unbeaten 202 in the second innings and also picked up two wickets to help his team’s ravishing 381-run victory. In Antigua, he bagged a four-wicket haul to register West Indies’ 10-wicket victory and guided them to a series win against England for the first time since 2009.

As Holder accepted his offence and the proposed sanction, there was no need for a formal hearing for that. On-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Chris Gaffaney, third umpire Rod Tucker, all from the Emirate Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, and fourth official Joel Wilson were there in charge of that.

However, due to the absence of Holder in the team, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have announced his replacement. Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the team while fast bowler Keemo Paul has been named into the squad for the Test. Brathwaite has the experience of captaining the team. Earlier he had led West Indies in the team’s away Test series against India and Bangladesh in October-November 2018; where they lost by 2-0.

Paul has played two Tests so far and has three wickets to his name. He has performed brilliantly for Guyana, bagging 20 wickets in the last three first-class matches. He has also scored 142 runs there and proved to be a handy batsman as well.

“With Jason Holder missing out on the last Test, Kraigg Brathwaite will take the reins of captaincy,” said the Windies Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne on Monday (February 4). “We also welcome Keemo Paul back to the squad. He is having a good showing in the West Indies first-class championship at the moment,” Browne further added. “The panel also takes this opportunity to congratulate the team and the support staff for the series victory and wish them all the best for the third and final match of the series.”

Angelo Perera achieves rare feat; scores two double tons in a single match

Angelo Perera achieves rare feat; scores two double tons in a single match

Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Perera has become the only second player in history to score two double-centuries in a single first-class match. 

Angelo Perera, the captain of Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC), has achieved a rare feat. He smashed 201 off 203 balls, almost a run a ball in the first innings and then scored further 231 off 268 balls in the second innings in the Tournament Tier A match against Sinhalese Sports Club at the P Sara Oval, Colombo.

This rare incident has happened only for the second time in cricket history so far. Before Perera’s innings, it had happened in the year 1938. Kent batsman Arthur Fagg at the age of 23, scored 244, and 202* runs for Kent County Cricket Club against Essex in Colchester. Now, after 81 years long gap, Angelo Perera achieved the same feat in Colombo in Srilanka.

The right-hand batter made his One Day debut for Sri Lanka in July 2013 and played four ODIs; where he scored mere 8 runs. Perera was featured in two T20I matches as well and scored only 4 runs. He was not able to impress with the ball as well. His inconsistent performance caused his exclusion from the national team. However, he has been impressive in the first-class matches; where he has scored 6,941 runs in 97 first-class matches with an average of 47.54. He has 18 centuries too in the First-Class cricket.

After having reduced to 3/44 in their second innings, Nondescripts Cricket Club started struggling. A 267-run partnership between Perera and Pathum Nissanka (167) before Perera went on to a double century to inscribe his name in the record books, became their saviour.

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The ground pitch of SSC was too flat; where the lowest total was 444. The pitch is well known as a batting paradise. In 2006 Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara added 624 for the third wicket against South Africa; which remains the record stand for any wicket in first-class cricket till date. Perera’s score came against a decent bowling attack featuring former Sri Lanka bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Sachithra Senanayake.

The game was a high-scoring one where three other batsmen across both sides scored tons, and just 26 wickets fell across both the sides during the four days. As a result, the match went to a draw. Nondescripts Cricket Club remained winless in the tournament so far and currently placed second from the bottom.

He is now the fifth highest run-getter in the tournament this year. He has 882 runs in six matches including two double centuries. Chilaw Marians Cricket Club’s Oshada Fernando is placed at the top of the chart with 1181 runs in nine matches. 14 double-tons have been scored so far where Kaushal Silva scored the highest (274). Angelo Perera is the only batsman to hit two double tons in a single game so far.

Pat Cummins masterclass guide Australia to a comfortable win


Pat Cummins claimed a 10-wicket haul and guided Australia to clinch a 40-run victory over Sri Lanka at the Gabba. 

Sri Lanka’s batting failed miserably once again in the second innings, managed to score only 139 and crashed within two-and-a-half days. This victory helped Australia to get back their confidence after the series defeat to India earlier this month. Cummins’ 6 for 23 in the second innings are his best innings figures, and his 10 for 62 too is his career-best.

Cummins, who dismissed Dimuth Karunratne in the last ball of the second day, started with a bang by sending Dinesh Chandimal back in the dugout. Chandimal tried to hit it towards the off-side but Patterson jumped perfectly at gully and took a wonderful catch. Later it was Kusal Mendis, who fell for mere 1. It was a big outside edge which Burns took at second slip. Sri Lanka were reduced to 23/3 in quick succession.

Roshen Silva and Thirimanne tried to steady the ship but Pat Cummins took Silva for 3. By the end of his first spell, Cummins ended up with the figures of 4 for 11 from eight overs. After that, Nathan Lyon and Jhye Richardson took the charge. Richardson bowled Dhananjaya de Silva for only 14.

After the tea break, Pat Cummins struck again. He took the set Thirimanne for 32. With this wicket, he bagged his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests. Later Niroshan Dickwella got dismissed in Richardson’s delivery and became his second victim. Pat Cummins scalped his 10th wicket of the match by picking Dilruwan Perera up, with Kurtis Patterson taking a brilliant catch at gully region.

Also Read: Pat Cummins masterclass guide Australia to a comfortable win

Sri Lanka got another big blow as Lahiru Kumara ruled out of the rest of the series because of his hamstring injury; which left the visitors with only one wicket in hand. Suranga Lakmal, who bagged 5 wickets in the things, starred hitting boundaries but that didn’t last long. Paine’s quick glove-work in Lyon’s delivery sent him in which helped Australia won by an innings and 40 runs.

Earlier, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne added 166 runs through a steady association for the fifth wicket in the first innings for Australia. Along with Pat Cummins 10-for 62, this 166-run stand ensured Australia’s thumping victory over Sri Lanka.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka 144 (Niroshan Dickwella 64; Pat Cummins 4-39, Jhye Richardson 3-26) and 139 (Lahiru Thirimanne 32; Pat Cummins 6-23) lost to Australia 323 (Travis Head 84, Marnus Labuschagne 81; Suranga Lakmal 5-75) by an innings and 40 runs.

Jason Holder is a legend, says West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase


West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase commented his captain Jason Holder is a legend, after a convincing victory over England in the first Test. 

Chase, who claimed his career-best eight-wicket haul and helped West Indies to a comfortable win, said that there was “no greater feeling” than seeing his captain Jason Holder score a double-century on the third day of the first Test.

Holder named the ‘Man of the Match’ for his all-round performance. He became the third batsman, batting at No. 8 or lower than that to score a double-century in the longest format of the game. Along with his double-ton, Shane Dowrich too scored an unbeaten ton to put up a target of 628. Holder also bagged two wickets and three catches.

“Jason is a legend in my eyes, a long-time friend, I believe in him and he believes in himself on the field,” Chase expressed. “Could have been no greater feeling than to see him do that double-hundred yesterday. I thought he was going to give it away for a bit but he really showed the true character that he is, so I’m really happy for him and for my friend Shane Dowrich, who came through for the team.”

While England started their innings with a great flow with an opening 85-run partnership between Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns, Chase stopped their run chase by picking up Burns for 84 and later dismissed Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali in quick succession.

“Looking at the wicket, I always thought I would come into play in the second innings,” he told. “The quicks set it up for us in the first innings and Mushy [bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed] told me I’m going to have to bowl 25 overs in the second innings, to get my mind ready for it, so I was always prepared to do some work, to give the pacers a rest. I started to pick up some wickets and it went from there.”

“I just tried to be consistent and land it my areas, despite what the batsmen were doing, put some revs on the ball and vary my pace a bit.”

“It gives us big confidence for the series because England are a higher-ranked team than ourselves,” he further added. “For us to carry on from here, don’t get too big headed, continue to do what we do well, the basics and focus on our processes, we should be all right.”

While talking about the win, Holder said that they have to go a long way and shared that he has worked very hard on his fitness.

We still have a long way to go. I think we ticked a few boxes in this Test match,” Holder said in the post-match presentation. “It’s about turning up in Antigua and doing the same. One Test match doesn’t make a summer. We’ve got two Test matches to go and have to make sure we close out the series.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve been playing Test cricket and it’s really good to come back in the game like this. I put a lot of hard work in just to get back to full fitness,” Holder further said. “It’s difficult to explain. A bit of emotion getting out. I’ve had a lot bottle up for a long time and I had the moment there to express myself a little bit. It’s really pleasing to know I can bat a whole session.”

The Test Specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara

The Test Specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara turns 31 today. Since his debut in 2010 Pujara has proved his worth as a test specialist. 

Chesteshwar Pujara solid technique is perfectly suited for the longer format of the game. By now it has been evident that Pujara is not a ‘good’ limited over batsman but his ability to deliver longer innings in test is often compared to ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid.

Pujara (Image- Reuters)

Cheteshwar Pujara plays for Saurashtra in Ranji. In February 2017 he scored 1605 runs in first class to set a new record for the most runs by an Indian in a first-class season. He surpassed Chandu Borde’s 1604 in 1964-65. In the same year, he also broke the record for the most first-class double hundreds by an Indian when he crossed Vijay Merchant’s 11 double centuries and scored one more. He scored 48 centuries and 50 half centuries in his 185 first-class matches. His impressive average of 54.50 and the total of 14552 showed his class and stamina as a batsman.

What Makes Cheteshwar Pujara Dependable?

In recent times whenever the team yielded the right-handed batter came to rescue. The number 3 position is test cricket is arguably kept for the most dependable bat of the team. Cheteshwar Pujara is proving every bit of the theory correct. But it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, his inclusion in the team has been often questioned and Pujara rose to every occasion to shut his critics.

His last few test performances have made him a regular member of men in blue. Numbers show why Virat Kohli depends on him at Number 3 position.  Virat Kohli became the first Asian captain to win tests in Australia, South Africa, and England and he always needed one Cheteshwar Pujara to craft the wins.

It was during the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka Pujara came back to the squad after 8 months and scored 145.  He helped India to put a total of 312 and eventually win the match. On an extremely tough pitch in Johannesburg, South Africa when the Indian team was all out for 187 runs, Pujara contributed a half-century. In England when the skipper played the role of an anchor, Pujara gave the support team required. In the third test at Nottingham, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 72 in the second innings that helped India set a mammoth target of 521 runs. India went on to win the match comfortably.

Last but certainly not the least, Cheteshwar Pujara was the main man in the batting line up that India could win their first test series on Australian soil. Player of the tournament Chesteswar Pujara scored 521 runs in the four-Test series. While scoring these runs he surpassed Rahul Dravid in terms of facing the most number of balls by an Indian in a test series in Australia. Pujara faced 1258 balls and crossed Dravid’s 1203 balls in 2003-04 series, Virat Kohli’s 1,093 balls in 2014-15 and Sunil Gavaskar’s 1,032 balls in 1977-78. He also surpassed England legend Herbert Sutcliffe who faced 1237 balls in the 1928-29 Ashes. This stat in recently concluded series in Australia truly shows why you can look up to Pujara whenever the team needs someone.

Following the footsteps of Rahul Dravid is not easy. But with a total of 5426 runs at an average of 51.18 in just 68 test matches Pujara is showing why he is the right successor of Dravid’s genre. The aura Rahul Dravid created with his calmness and patience, Pujara is doing the same to the current Indian cricket fans. Whenever India lost quick wickets and Dravid walked in, the sense of dependency made his fans faithful. Fans knew Dravid was there, and now fans believe Cheteshwar Pujara will be there.

Billy Bates – First English Test Hat-Trick

Billy Bates - First English Test Hat-Trick

The story of Billy Bates is a tragic cricket story from yesteryears. He was an Ashes hero whose life turned upside down post a freak accident. 

While bowling in nets in Australia a straight drive hit him on his face and damaged his eyesight so much that he had to retire from all first-class cricket. The year was 1887 and Bates was just 32. This brought severe depression for him and he died even before reaching 45 at the turn of the century.

But during his playing days, he was a classy off-spinner with multiple bowling feats during the early days of Test cricket. The most famous of those came on this day, 20th January, 136 years ago.

Billy Bates (Image – Wikipedia)

The great Australian fast bowler Fred ‘Demon’ Spofforth became the first player to take a Test hat-trick during England’s 1878/79 tour in the great Melbourne Cricket Ground. So fittingly during England’s next tour, the great MCG became the venue for Test cricket’s first hat-trick by an Englishman and the Englishman was Billy Bates. With a wonderful display of round-arm off-spin bowling, Bates got the Australian batsmen Percy McDonnell, George Giffen, and George Bonnor on three consecutive deliveries to complete his hat-trick. In fact, Bates’ final analysis was 7 wickets for 28 runs in 26.2, four-ball overs as was the norm those days. Bates did not stop there and once Australians were asked to follow on by English captain Honourable Ivo Bligh, he promptly took 7 more wickets in the second innings to get them all out for 153. With this England won the Test match by an innings and that was the first such instances in the short history of the game and Bates’ match figure of 14 for 102 was pivotal.

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Interestingly Billy Bates’ all 15 Test matches were played in Australia as he was part of 4 different touring parties and took 50 wickets with a bowling average of 16.42. His batting average was 27.33 which was quite respectable for that period and he even opened the batting in Test matches for England.

Bates’ hat-trick was the first of the 14 Test hat-tricks taken by English bowlers. Stuart Broad has two and the latest person to add his name in the list of Test hat-trick owners is English off-spinner Moeen Ali, who achieved this feat against South Africa in the Oval in 2017.

Overall, there are 43 Test hat-tricks till now with England leading the way, followed by Australia (11). No other country has more than four hat-tricks in their credit.

Along with Broad, three more players have two hat-tricks in Test cricket. One of them is Pakistan legend, Wasim Akram. Other two are Hugh Trumble and Jimmy Matthews, two Australian bowlers in the bygone era. Also, there are interesting instances like Peter Siddle taking a hat-trick on his birthday or Irfan Pathan taking a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match. There were no Test hat-tricks in 2018 and with 2019 having very few Test matches, let us wait to see who will take the next Test hat-trick.

Centurion Test 2000 : When Hansie Fooled Cricket World

Centurion Test 2000 : When Hansie Fooled Cricket World

January 18, 2000. The day witnessed one of the most thrilling test match endings in the history of cricket. For the first time, a team declared on 0/0 and that too for the sake of the game. 

A test match that was considered to be the epitome of sporting spirit later turned out to be something unusual and a shameful act.

Hansie Cronje (Image- AP)

It was the final day of the final test match between South Africa and England at Centurion. When the test match began the hosts were already 2-0 up in the series. England won the toss and elected to field first. The weather was gloomy.  South Africa were struggling on 155 for 6 when rains stopped play. Only 45 overs could be played on day one. Rains didn’t stop for the next three days and play could be resumed again only on day 5, January 18, 2000.

Just before the day’s play began, Hansie Cronje, South African captain went to the visitors’ dressing room with an offer; an offer that was much applauded later by the whole cricket fraternity. On his way to the England dressing room he found Alec Stewart on the stairs and asked Whether Nasser Hussain, England skipper would consider an offer and like to go for 270 in 73 overs. It was a complete shocker for the England captain. They were confused but not tempted. According to Hussain, “Fletch and I, both being conservative types, decided to see how things went in the first session”.

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Wicket turned friendly on day five.  Klusener scored 50 and went past 1000 test runs. The partnership between Klusener and Pollock sort of made Nasser Hussain respond to Hansie’s offer.  Forty minutes into the game and Nasser sent a message to the South African dressing room to check whether the offer was still on. But he wanted to chase 250 only.  He deliberately aimed low with a thought that Hansie would ask for higher. But Hansie Cronje once again surprised the opponent captain.

“I deliberately aimed low at first and said, ‘How about us chasing 250?’,” Hussain revealed later. “Hansie just said, ‘Fine’. I couldn’t believe it. No haggling. No banter. No bartering, No mention of how many overs we would face. It was like that scene from Life of Brian when the salesman is all indignant because the guy has simply paid his first asking price without any argument.”

The final proposal was 245 in 76 overs, which was lower than what was offered earlier and that too in three more overs. Hansie’s idea was to declare South Africa’s first innings and forfeit in the second. Then England had to declare their first innings on 0/0 and chase in the second innings.  Cronje then met with Barry Jarman, the ICC match referee, to discuss the legality of forfeiting the innings. Although there was some ambiguity as but in the end, Jarman agreed because “the spirit of the game” was given the utmost importance.

Image Source –

South African team also agreed to the proposal of their captain. But they were short of bowling resources when they came to defend the game. At one point England were 102 for 4 and were probably having a second thought about the proposal. But Stewart played brilliantly and scored 73 to ensure the victory for England.  England won the match for the loss of 8 wickets with 5 balls to spare.

Although few criticized the pact between the cricket team captains, most of them proclaimed the purpose of Cronje to provide a good game of cricket. In the post-match interviews, he said,

“As Test cricketers, we have a duty to entertain and get full houses and this was far better than seeing spectators sitting there with long faces.”

Later when the match-fixing scandal broke, it was revealed that the Centurion deal was also a result of match-fixing. Cronje was contacted by a bookmaker to make the deal with Nasser Hussain. Due to the weather, the match was set to finish in a draw and that would be a loss for the bookmaker. Hansie confessed, “He said if we declared he’d give $150,000 to charity.” Getting a nod from the England captain, Hansie texted the bookmaker on the match day saying, “the game is on”.  The price of the first fixed test match supposedly was 50,000 Rand and a leather jacket. The deal was for another 500,000 Rand to be given to a charity which according to Hansie Cronje was never materialized.