Saturday 2 September 2017

Old Dogs, New Tricks, Mobile Phones

Work continues on the rewrite and redesign of the Indoor Cricket World website. Concentrating more on the redesign at the moment, with some editing of content as we go, but the priority is to make the whole site "responsive" . . . geek talk for "being able to adjust its size so it can be easily read and easily navigated when viewed on a tablet or, apparently more importantly, on a mobile phone".

Talk about learning curves . . . the old myth about Old Dogs/New Tricks has been well and truly shattered (again).

Although I'm testing every page and every link and every drop-down menu etc., I'm sure to miss some. If you do notice something I appear to have missed, don't be shy about letting me know. Or just drop in to say hi.

Once the site's "responsiveness" is under control and I start rewriting the actual content, especially the very popular Indoor Cricket Rules section and the Playing Strategies sections, I'm sure I'll attract a lot of comments from the vastly experienced Indoor Cricket World audience.

Until then, thank you for you visits, and please do keep dropping in and checking our progress . . . we'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday 8 August 2017

Vale Greg (Snake) Mathews

It's been a while . . . and I wish I didn't have reason for this post, but . . .

. . . shattered to hear of the sudden passing of Greg Mathews, known to a whole generation of indoor cricketers around Australia as "Snake".

An absolute gentleman on and off the court . . . and a nickname based on his speed and agility.

Greg was, and will forever be, one of the true legends of the sport.

And he will be missed as much for his on-court grace as his off-court generosity and humility.

A great bloke, and in my honest opinion, the best indoor cricketer I have ever played alongside (unfortunately only twice) or umpired (hundreds of times).

RIP mate, forever missed.
Sheldon. August, 2017
Indoor Cricket World

Greg (Snake) Mathews
Greg (Snake) Mathews (Right) sharing a drink with old mates Hully (Left) and Scoie (Centre)

Sunday 20 November 2011

How "administrators" are killing Test Cricket.

How much do cricket administrators get paid nowdays?

The current Test "series" in South Africa is symptomatic of how the very people paid to foster Test Cricket are actually killing it . . . okay, that's a big assumption (that they're paid to foster Test Cricket), and I think the IPL experience in India, and Cricket Australia's obscene rush to try to cash-in on similar, do put lie to the concept of fostering anything other than short-term profit, but you know what I mean.

In South Africa, two Test Matches only, so they could fit in two bloody T20 games. Does anyone remember what happened in the T20 matches? Bloody idiots. Once again, the Test matches leave the contrived T20 games in their wake. Yes yes, there are those who like T20 because it's short and non-stop and has dancing girls and music . . . . just like World Wrestling Federation in fact. And Tom and Jerry cartoons (sans the girls and the music). And the Three Stooges . . . . do I really have to say more?.

Back to South Africa: every day, they have to stop the game early due to bad light. Now, I don't know much about the state of meteorology in South Africa, but in most places in the world I've visited, they can tell what time the sun is going down on any given day of the year. And that information can help to determine what time to start a day's play, to increase the chances of getting a full day's play. But what do the South African administrators do? They don't consult their meteoroligists on what time of day the games should start, they consult a much more knowledgeable body . . . the tv broadcasters.

And don't worry, Cricket Australia consults that most knowledgeable body for all sorts of advice on how to run the game in Australia too . . . .

EDIT: the Australia v New Zealand "series", also just two Tests, has also ended in a totally unsatisfactory 1-all stalemate. Can you imagine the drama of a deciding Test in both these cases? I can, I'm sure you can, bloody Blind Freddy's dog can . . . . .like I said, how much do cricket administrators get paid nowdays?


Saturday 22 October 2011

Next Indoor Cricket World Cup in New Zealand

New Zealand has won the right to host the 2014 Indoor Cricket World Cup.
© 2001 Sheldon Levis
Indoor Cricket New Zealand chief executive Mark Cini is reported to be pitching for Christchurch to be the host city, although a final decision has yet to be made.

For those who've not experienced an international indoor cricket tournament in New Zealand under Mark's direction, you are in for a major treat!!!

Mark is an old friend of mine (and of Indoor Cricket World), and I'll be speaking to him very soon to get his thoughts first-hand, but in the meantime, a fond look back at two magnificent past tournaments in New Zealand, the 2002 Indoor Cricket World Cup in Wellington, and the 2003 Indoor Cricket World Masters and International 19 & Under tournament in Christchurch.

Sunday 31 July 2011

. . . Over, and Game.

Phew. The Australian National Indoor Cricket Championships are over for another year. Officially known simply as the 2011 Australian Open Championships (SEO anyone?), this was the 27th holding of the event . . . although no one seems to know if that includes the nationals held under the auspices of the ICA back in the early 1980s. No matter.
As we reported earlier, we were there photographing the event, and as you should know by now, the photos are available for viewing/purchase HERE.
Back to the tournament. First, the results:

Lord's Taverners Shield.

© 2011 Sheldon Levis

Queensland dominated in the Lord's Taverners Shield competition, and continued that dominance right up to the end. Undefeated throughout, they outplayed South Australia in the Final and were worthy winners over a plucky South Australia. To their credit, South Australia never stopped trying, and maintained their customary enthusiasm and great humour right up to the last ball.
Without taking anything away from the awesome, undefeated Queensland side, the South Ausralian LT story is an admirable one: despite finishing just fourth behind Qld, WA and Vic, South Australia gained their place in the Grand Final at both Western Australia and Victoria's expense: after losing twice to WA in the qualifying rounds (once by 8 runs, once by 54 runs), South Australia lifted enormously to inflict a 73 run victory over WA in the Semi-Final, then followed up with a 31 run victory over Victoria in the Preliminary Final to gain their Grand Final berth. A fantastic effort.

All the LT Shield teams deserve the highest praise and respect for their efforts over the tournament: games were played in the best possible spirit, there was genuine respect amongst players, officials and supporters of all sides, and the camaraderie between players of all States was particularly noticeable--and if I had a dollar for every friendly conversation an LT player struck up with me during the tournament I'd probably not have to rock up to work for a week or so. Great stuff guys, hope to see you all again.

21 and Under Men.

© 2011 Sheldon Levis

Victoria took out the 21 and Under Men competition, relatively easily despatching Western Autralia in the final.

Queensland, undefeated in the qualifying rounds, were handed their first defeat by Western Australia, losing by 5 runs in an intense Semi-Final. Fronting up later against Victoria, Queensland suffered their second loss, coming up against a Victorian side oozing confidence and self-belief after thrashing South Australia in an earlier Semi-Final. Victoria won by 37 runs, and despite finishing third after the qualifying rounds behind Qld and WA, Victoria were in the Grand Final.

The confidence and self-belief did not desert Victoria come the Grand Final, and they were never seriously threatened by Western Australia, winning by a comfortable 46 runs.

Some breathtaking talent on display from the younger Men, and the stocks from which future Australian National sides will be chosen looks as strong as ever.

Open Women.

© 2011 Sheldon Levis

Queensland Women were the ultimate winners of this absorbing competition, defeating Victoria by just 28 runs. Victoria were always there or thereabouts in the final, but just couldn't quite catch up to the Queenslanders.

Queensland Women were undefeated in the qualifying rounds, losing an average of just one skin per game. However, as with a few other teams, when the finals arrived things changed: playing an amazing game, Victoria shook Queensland with a 6 run victory in a dramatic Semi-Final. Victoria straight through to the Grand Final, but Queensland then had to play a sudden-death Preliminary Final against an increasingly confident New South Wales, against whom they had two close games in qualifying (22 run margin, then an 11 run margin). Queensland steadied, shrugged of their earlier loss and recorded a comprehensive 58 point win over NSW, and moved to the Grand Final (see above).

The winning margins of the Grand Finals was decreasing each game: LT Shield was won by 178 runs, Under 21 Men by 46 runs, and Open Women by 28 runs. The Open Men kept that trend going . . . and how!

Open Men.

The Open Men's Grand Final was as exciting a game as I've ever seen (I have seen a few). The finish could not have been scripted better.

But first, the road to the Grand Final . ..

Despite winning one less game than Western Australia, Queensland finished on top of the table after the qualifying rounds (winning more than enough Skins to make up for the one less win). Included in that qualifying round were some outstanding games: North Queensland defeating Victoria by 1 run; North Queensland defeating NSW by 2 runs; South Australia bowling and fielding out of their skins to restrict WA to just 69 runs, then hanging on for a 7 run win; WA defeating Qld by 7 runs; Qld defeating ACT by just 12, and SA defeating Nth Qld by 2 runs.

In the Semi-Finals, Queensland booked their Grand Final berth with a comfortable 40 run victory over WA, and SA despatched Vic by 47 runs. South Australia lost to WA by that exact same amount in the Preliminary Final, leaving us with a Queensland versus Western Australia Grand Final.

I could take a dozen or more paragraphs to talk about what happened during the Grand Final, but suffice it to say this:

. . . with one ball remaining, Western Australia were 4 runs ahead . . . and the batsmen were on "third ball". For the uninitiated, "third ball" means the batsmen must score, otherwise they will lose 5 runs. So if WA don't score off the last ball of the game, they lose 5 runs and they also lose the National Championship.

They scored a single, surviving a very close attempted run-out !!!!!!

© 2011 Sheldon Levis

Needless to say, bedlam broke loose.

More soon, I need a cuppa after all that. Please feel free to leave a Comment, always nice getting feedback.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Australian Open Indoor Cricket Championships

Okay, I had announced this in a previous post, but now it's official: Indoor Cricket World/Dusty Dingo Photography is the nominated official photographer for the upcoming Australian Indoor Cricket Open Championships.


The pinnacle of Indoor Cricket competition in Australia, this event will be held from Sunday 24th July to Saturday 30th July 2011, at the Ballajura Indoor Sports Stadium, Cnr Oxleigh Dve and Townsend St, Malaga, Perth.

Competition is divided into Open Men, Open Women, Under 21 (boys), and the Lords Taverners Shield, for players with an intellectual disabilty.

Now, I know what to expect at an Australian Open as far as non-stop action, noise and atmosphere. I've umpired in many of them, so I should. And I've played in more Australian National Masters competitions than I care to remember. But not everyone is in this same boat:

I was talking to a couple of my workmates last week, just a general chat about the inclusion or otherwise of people with an intellectual disability in mainstream sport (I have a post on this exact subject nearly ready for publishing--coming soon).

During our conversation, I mentioned the Lords Taverners Shield, and how fantastic it was that that competition was held as part of the Australian Open Championships. But when I explained that it was indoor CRICKET, both women (my workmates) glazed over and began mumbling randomly . . . "rather hammer nails into my eyes" . . . "the only sport where old fat blokes can get a game" . . . "individual synchronised swimming more exciting" . . .

"But but but" I spluttered, "this is INDOOR cricket". "No" they replied, "it's indoor CRICKET" as they reached for the bag of nails.

As readers may have noticed in an earlier post somewhere, I am not a timid soul. I have taken risks with life and limb on many occasions, for a wide variety of reasons. However, as I began to try to convince my two wormkates of the merits of indoor cricket, I felt the sisyphean boulder (google it) pressing into my face. So I did what any mere mortal should do in the face of such a challenge . . I changed the subject.

But it did get me thinking . . . through the Indoor Cricket World website, I have for years banged on about the seriously weak marketing of indoor cricket. And you know what? . . . you're with me, right? . . . .

Okay, maybe I've missed the tv ads promoting this championship--after all, I refuse to watch channels 7, 9 or 10 unless absolutely essential (Test Cricket, occasionally an AFL game, both with the volume turned down and the radio blasting out the ABC's commentary ....except of course when the "live" games we in the West receive are on a 2 or 3 hour delay). Any readers who can put me straight on the number and frequency of tv advertising, please, drop me a line so I can grovel an apology . . .

And maybe I've missed the ads in the local rag (I haven't read the West Australian advertising-and-populist-opinion-manipulator-disguised-as-a-newspaper for a few years now). Again, readers/line/grovel/apology.

And I've missed the interviews on local radio . . . unless they were on 6PR . . . but then, if they were, no one else would have heard them either. . . . readers/grovel/etc . . .

And please tell me I'm just not aware of the promotion of the sport through invites to, or at least through, local schools to attend for a game or two (especially older high school kids).

And lastly, I've obviously missed any promotion on Cricket Australia web site's NEWS page. To be fair . . . there is mention of the Opens if you click on Getting Involved, then click on Indoor Cricket, then scroll down. No headlines. No banners. And nothing on the front page. You have to go looking specifically for Indoor Cricket . . . . now that's what I call preaching to the choir . . . .

Here's hoping Cricket Australia put a little more thought and effort into promoting this event beyond just preaching to the choir.

I'd love to save my workmates from wasting their nails . . .

Saturday 25 June 2011

Australian National Indoor Cricket Championships, Perth 2011

(this post first appeared on the Dusty Dingo Photography Blog)

I love Cricket (please note, for the purposes of this post, the definition of Cricket does NOT include that Twenty20 advertising-dressed-up-as-sport rubbish. Come to think of it, for ANY purpose, the definition of Cricket should never include Twenty20).

So I'll say it again . . . I LOVE Cricket.

Test Cricket in particular.

If there is a sport with more variety, nuance, excitement, grace, personality, power and intrigue than Test Cricket, I'll eat my one piece of that indispensable equipment affectionately known as "the box". Non-cricketing folk probably should not seek explanation. Trust me.

Of course, not all of us can play Test Cricket. After all, even some who are selected for Test Cricket can't play it. So we play our own version, usually demanding not five full days (like Test Cricket), but one or two, sometimes taking the whole weekend, sometimes spread over two weekends.

As we move through the years, sports that demand a whole weekend (like Cricket), or even just a whole day of the weekend (like Cricket) are pushed aside for other pursuits that demand at least some of our weekends (like Life). So we either give up playing our beloved sport, or we find alternatives. In Australia and New Zealand (and to a lesser degree South Africa and the UK, and to an even lesser degree India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), that alternative is often Indoor Cricket.

New Zealand Under 19 girls celebrate a wicket against tournament  favourites Australia. New Zealand eventually eliminated Australia from  the finals and played the Grand Final against ultimate Under 19 Girl  champions, South Africa.
2003 Indoor Cricket World Under 19 Championships, Christchurch, New Zealand

Now, I'm not going to explain Indoor Cricket here, when I've already done that comprehensively here at Indoor Cricket World

And I'm not going to discuss the finer points of photographing this sport--that is a future project I'm working on.
What I am doing is letting those interested know that Indoor Cricket World contains the largest collection of original Indoor Cricket Photography on the web. For newcomers to the sport, I also have a small selection of International Indoor Cricket tournament photographs here

But mainly, I'm letting readers know that Dusty Dingo Photography is covering the upcoming Australian National Indoor Cricket Championships, and will feature the photographs of the whole tournament on its pages.

Stay tuned.