Guptill Not Disappointed Over IPL Snub

Martin Guptill wasn’t the only surprise to come out of the IPL Auction in 2016, he and other big names have all missed the cut.

Despite a double-century in ODI cricket and a century in T20 cricket, Guptill wasn’t brought by any franchise for this seasons Indian Premier League.

A low reserve of just $111,000 and a sublime last 12-months with the bat wasn’t enough to buy Guptill a ticket to his first IPL, and it makes Guptill the highest T20 run scorer to not have picked up a contract.

The Blackcaps have said they are baffled by Guptill’s omission but insist that he will forget about it quickly.

Guptill didn’t find out his IPL fate until after the Blackcaps loss to Australia in Wellington last night, but team members have said that Guptill showed no signs of disappointment.

Colin Munro was brought for $67,000 by Kolkata and Tim Southee went for $556,000 to Mumbai, double his original reserve.

Knights send Mumbai packing as amazing run continues

The Knights, dubbed the “Pink Panthers” by Indian media, have made the final stage of the Champions League, and are clearly the form side of the competition so far.

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Some of the cricket Daniel Flynn and his men have played so far in the CLT20 has been nothing short of outstanding. The fielding has been sublime, with shades of the Blackcaps who are already known as one of the best fielding units in the world.

In their final qualifying match, the Knights managed to put up a tally of over 50 dot balls in their bowling effort against Mumbai, with Scott Styris and Tim Southee bowling brilliantly to take a handful of wickets between them.

Key Mumbai Indians players like Mike Hussey,Lendl Simmons, and Kieron Pollard were all shut down by the bowlers.

The run chase was a dominant affair short of a late handful of wickets. Kane Williamson once again the stand out for the Knights, scoring 53 off 36 with another high strike rate, along with Anton Devcich as the pair worked together to get the Knights off to a flyer. Williamson’s credibility as a Twenty20 cricketer is getting closer and closer to not being able to be questioned.

It has been a tournament dominated by talk of the Knights so far.

Tim Southee’s brilliant fielding which led to a catch against the Lahore Lions made headlines on ESPN’s SportsCentre.

Let’s not forget one thing.

All three teams that the Knights have played have been dominated, and it has been against sides which the pundits would agree are much stronger than the Knights in many aspects. There is no arguing with any of the results, each of the three wins have been clinical, and the Knights have been the best side in this tournament so far and appear to have a real plan and structure to their play, especially in the field.

The Mumbai Indians are the defending champions of this tournament, and former IPL champions also.

This could well be one of the most memorable moments in the history of the Northern Knights and their amazing results so far must be put on the platform it deserves.

My Thoughts On Cricket’s Big Story

I’ve been relatively silent in expressing my opinions on the big cricket fixing issue that is floating around the news so far, but after reading a particular column by Chris Rattue of the NZ Herald this morning, it  has really gotten my blood boiling about the whole issue.

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I am torn, for many reasons actually. I want to say Lou Vincent is a cheat, but I also want to say that I feel sorry for him, because I know from personal experience that depression is indeed a real thing, and it is bloody tough to deal with as well.

So, for most of this piece I am going to chop and change my mind about things. But here are my views.

I believe that all three cheated. Chris Cairns, Daryl Tuffey, and Lou Vincent. I actually believe in my  heart of hearts that something isn’t quite right there. I am more suspicious of Vincent though, in fact I am almost sold on the fact that he is a cheat.

What makes this so difficult to digest is the fact that those three players were amongst the ones I followed most passionately when I was a kid.

Cairns was the big slogger, Tuffey took the early wickets, and Vincent was that unpredictable entity and you never really knew if he was going to have a good day at the crease or a terrible one.But I do believe that in some way shape or form, all of those men have cheated at some point. Vincent is a certain for me, but I am not so sure about the others, but I predict that they were involved in some sort of match fixing without doubt.

Bear in mind this is all my opinion, and in all honesty I don’t know all the facts, I am just going off on what I have read in the media.

There is no excuse for cheating in professional sport. I don’t care what code you play, where you come from, or how talented, or untalented you are. If you take money to perform badly while representing either your country, state, or even club side, you don’t deserve to play whichever game you are performing in.

But, at the end of the day, no one, not even Chris Rattue of the NZ Herald can question that Lou Vincent is a human being, and one for all accounts who has gone through a real shit ass time throughout his life battling depression. I have been there, when you are depressed there is no color to life, even those awesome things that you love and are passionate about don’t seem to take that darkness away, nothing does, only time can and it is a long, painful process full of restarts, fall downs, and light being taken away just before the end of the tunnel. Vincent has been on a long journey from what I can gather, and I wonder if Chris Rattue stopped to think about what his words would do to the already damaged mental state of Vincent, a man who above all else, wants to be liked and accepted, and somebody who has already lost countless amounts of people in his life due to his battles with depression.

I mean seriously, who the hell names a column which ends with “this cheat deserves jail”.

But, and this is where I agree with the NZ Herald columnist, even something as serious as depression is not an excuse for cheating. If Vincent did indeed cheat, he does deserve all the hate he will get.

And then, if it wasn’t bad enough, now the Brendon McCullum story has hit the media today. McCullum, the captain of the Blackcaps, says he was approached by a “cricket legend” and offered $200,000 to fix a match, or a series of matches. McCullum was approached during the 2008 English tour, when he says some of “international crickets big boys” made the offer. The batting superstar was also approached during the IPL. McCullum denies taking up on the offer, and I don’t for one second believe that he did, but it just seems weird to me that the last line of the Herald article this afternoon reads “I found it really difficult to say no”, a direct quote from McCullum himself.

This will be a story that will no doubt frustrate me immensely. But for now, I have a ton of homework to do.

Regards,

Mike

All Out For 60: A Stronger Resolve

Getting up this morning, checking the NZ Herald app on my iPhone, and reading that the Blackcaps had been bowled out for 60 runs was amongst one of the most deflating feelings I’ve had in a long time. In my life actually, not just in my passion for sport.

As Graham Henry said to waiting media in 2007 following the All Blacks RWC Quarter Final exit, “that’s sport I guess”.

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“That’s sport I guess”.

This is about all I can think of right now to shed any sort of positive light on what was a shocking result. But despite this, I am a more determined and loyal Blackcaps supporter than ever before.

Simply put, because I have to. I just want to give a congratulations to the Blackcaps for what they’ve achieved this summer. The feeling in the camp must be extremely sad, disappointing, perhaps even a little angry at the moment, but the Blackcaps are a champion side, summer 2014 proved that, and I guess that’s what you must hold on to at times like this. Bad days will come and go in sport, today that type of day arrived and arrived in the worst way, tomorrow the resolve and belief begins again.

On a more positive note, I get to play cricket on Thursday! Yes that is right, Don Bradman Cricket 14, arguably the best looking and feature packed cricket game ever made, arrives on PS3 and Xbox 360. I’ll have an unboxing on Youtube.

Regards,

Mike