The Ashes – England Standing Embarrassed

The forecast has been made that when Australia is meeting England in this year’s Ashes five-game series, it is two very much mediocre test cricket teams competing against each other. It was expected that England’s glorious moments after winning the World Cup, only two weeks before the start of the Ashes, might come crashing down and so it did.

England’s Ashes History

There have been 27 Ashes series over the last 50 years. During this period England has only lost the first test twice before then going on to winning the series. This happened in 1981 and 2005, and both of these are referred to as miracle series. History also teaches us that during these 50 years of Ashes, Australia has either won or drawn the first test in 17 of the series and then they have won the series. Will this year be a repeat of past events or are there other factors to keep in mind?

England’s Poor Luck

This year England’s loss of the first test can’t simply be summed up as a poor play on the English side. They were struck with a bit of bad luck. Not only did England end up without their best bowler only one hour in of play, but they are also competing against stronger players. The best spinner of the series is indeed in the Australian team. The same goes for the best batsman. Australia is also holding the best pace attack on the two sides.

In comparison, the English team is riddled with weaknesses. They have six players who are injured or unproven and only have five players to show who is in good form and possibly placed in the correct spot. This led to their humiliation in the first test — a loss which only added to the mental scars gained from previous Ashes results. For England to get back into the game, they would need to fight not only a physical battle on the field, but also overcome the mental demons which they are struggling with now.

The Australian Performance

Winning the first test in the series was a significant boost of confidence on the Aussie side. This became their first win at Edgbaston in any form, since 2001. The Australians came to England without any fear factor accompanying them. They were fully aware that they have four consecutive losses of the Ashes series on English soil, but taking the first test gave them back their power, according to Shane Warne.

He also mentioned that it seemed that the English weren’t worried about the Australians ability pre-series, but the Aussies’ performance has given them a reason for concern. Even previous captain of the 2005 English Ashes team, Michael Vaughan mentioned on social media that the Australians came prepared and in good shape. He also said that the local team is not showing the much-needed movement. What the next few weeks will deliver is still to be seen. It seems possible that the Ashes will turn out to be a much more exciting event than expected initially.

The World’s Highest-Paid Cricket Players

Great players attract large sums of money, and over the years, an increase in sponsorships just kept on adding to the lucrative remuneration that some players receive. Ever wondered how much they do get paid? Let’s have a look at the top five highest-paid players in the game.

Number Five Brings us, David Warner.

The Australian left-hander is noted as one of the controversial players of the decade. His skills have, however, managed to overshadowed his behaviour mostly. Due to the ball-tampering saga which he was involved in, Cricket Australia did suspend him for one year from the game. He was still one of the highest-paid cricketers of Aussie country. The number bringing him into the fifth-place is $5.5 million.

The Charming Number Four – AB de Villiers

Charming and sweet, this South African legend has the crowd at his feet when he steps onto the field. His 360-degree game is legendary, and he is the driving force behind many of the Protea wins. He retired from international competitions in 2018, but the fans can still find him in T20. Coming in at the $6.4 million marks, the South African superstar is at number four on the list.

Number Three, Jamaican Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle is considered to be a great ambassador to the world of cricket. His career is stretching over two decades, and at the age of 39, he is still as potent as always. His ability to hit sixes is unparalleled, and he is also known for pioneering slam-bang cricket. Lately, he was playing less for the Caribbean, while being kept busy with T20 leagues internationally. $7.5 million places him in bronze position.

Number Two – the Favourite Son of India

Taking a significant leap to $21.7 million places MS Dhoni in the second position. His career stretches over fifteen years, and it brought him great success and recognition. Three ICC trophies and ranking on the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes during 2014. He is a great inspiration in the Indian cricket community with many youngsters looking at him in admiration. His value has decreased over time, but he still has a list of names which he endorses including some giants in the likings of Reebok, Sonata and TVs.

Number One – A Global Icon

His career took off in 2008, and since then he grew in greatness. Today Virat Kohli is seen as an icon with international acclaim. Nineteen thousand international runs to his name at the age of 30 testifies about the game he plays. In no time, he managed to gain a tremendous amount of popularity both locally as well as globally. During 2019 he was the only cricketer making it to the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes with $24 million assigned to him. Brands like Audi, Tissot and Uber signed him on for endorsement and from all the approvals alone, he secured $20 million into his pocket.

Mohammad Amir’s Shocking Retirement Announcement

This week the cricket world was shocked by the announcement from Mohammad Amir, the Pakistani fast bowler. It was announced that he is retiring from Test cricket with immediate effect.

Mohammad Amir

The now 27-year-old Amir made it clear that he is only retiring from test cricket. The world will still see this left-arm fast bowler in action during Twenty20 internationals and one-day games. Amir made his debut at the age of 17 in 2009 during a match against Sri Lanka. During his career, he played 36 Tests for Pakistan. During these he took 119 wickets, giving him a 30.47 average. His record was against the Windies with six for 44 in April 2017. His stronghold in cricket has always been limited-overs cricket. This help the Pakistan team a great deal towards winning in 2017, the Champions Trophy title. Amir was also part of the group of bowlers picked for the recent 50-overs World Cup held in England, during which he took 17 wickets. The team just missed a spot in the semi-finals while ending fifth in the group. He made his announcement through the Pakistan Cricket Board. His focus will now be on white-ball cricket only. He also mentioned that he is focusing on getting into the best physical shape he can. Although the years playing for Pakistan formed him into a great cricket player and much stronger human being, it came with some adversity as well.

Jailed for Game Fixing

Shortly after making his debut in 2009, Amir was one of three players involved in a conspiracy and was sent to jail. They were the then 28-year-old Mohammad Asif sent to prison for one year, then Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt, sent to prison for 30 months and Amir, only 19 years old, sent to prison for six months. They were found guilty of the conspiracy of bowling no-balls during a test match against England. Each of the three players also received a fine to pay. Their arrest was made in August 2010 just after the fourth Test between England and Pakistan. To manipulate the timing of no-balls is a significant role player with spot-fixing in the sports betting market. According to resources, Amir was paid £2,500 for his contribution in the conspiracy. His fine amounted to £8,120. In the end, he served three months in jail and had a five-year ban from cricket. He only returned to the Pakistan cricket scene again in 2016.

The Future for Mohammad Amir

Ideally, he wants to be in the best shape he can be to contribute to his team’s success. One of the challenges which he is looking forward to is the ICC T20 World Cup. Even the adversity which he had to suffer in his youth couldn’t stop him from achieving greatness in the cricket world. He made mistakes in his youth and paid the price. His teammates will miss his personality and skill on the field and in the dressing room.