Caution must be taken with Michael Clarke returning in test

Michael Clarke could return to the crease today after taking painkiller injections overnight for his back injury which is said to be a disc issue.

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Clarke left the field yesterday with back spasms and was at a local hospital receiving treatment for much of the afternoon.

Word out of Australia prior to play today is that Michael Clarke has been batting in the nets and is desperate to get back to the crease at some point either this morning or this afternoon.

But to be honest, while the Australian skipper is obviously showing some terrific guts in his bid to get back on the field today, caution needs to be taken with a return to the crease today and the decision must be weighed heavily.

The injuries are becoming more and more frequent which is what is most concerning.

Clarke was originally ruled out of opening test against India but passed a late test to make the side.

It is clear that Clarke’s determination to play is largely in part to the passing of Phil Hughes. Clarke wants to get a century and he wants to get it in this match especially.

With the Cricket World Cup just over 60 days away, what is the risk of Clarke suffering another and potentially more damaging injury between now and then if he forces his body to play on with just a temporary fix?

You’d have to say there is a high chance.

It remains to be seen if Clarke will take the field in Adelaide today, but word out of the Australian camp is that he is desperate.

Cricket! Keep the bouncer in the game

The bouncer is an integral part of cricket, and nothing should change that.

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The cricketing world is in a deep state of mourning, and this afternoon the world will pause for one final farewell to the late Phillip Hughes.

Players from all over the world are expected to be in Macksville, including the entire Australian Test team as well as legends of the game including Brian Lara and Glenn McGrath.

There is simply no denying that the sudden death of Phil Hughes is the most tragic story in the history of cricket.

But through all the sadness, the fundamentals of cricket should not be changed. Talks of banning the short pitched ball commonly referred to as a bouncer are utterly idiotic.

Yes, even with the death of Hughes, talk of banning the bouncer as a result of all this is completely and utterly idiotic.

Getting rid of short pitched bowling would further favor the game of cricket towards the batsmen, and undoubtably the impact of this would result in a game that would slowly over time become less and less exciting.

Stuff columnist Mark Reason wrote a column this morning titled “Phillip Hughes death highlights cricket hypocrisy” discusses this very issue, and is one of the most silly things to be written in the wake of the Hughes tragedy.

In one particular line in Reason’s column, he writes that “the circumstances that led to the tragedy have been fostered by Clarke and others”. This is not only untrue and unfounded, but quite a disgusting comment to make in light of the current heartbreak Clarke and his Australian teammates are going through at the moment.

Excuse me Mr. Reason.

Calling cricket players hypocritical because they are so sad at the moment and your implying that because bowlers in recent games prior to Hughes death bowlers have implemented the bouncer as a tactic to get batsmen out is somehow reason for them to not be allowed to grieve is one of the most disgusting things anyone has written on this situation in the last week.

Sometimes you wonder why the NZ media has the faith to hire such writers.

The battle between Mitchell Johnson and the English batsmen last summer, although brutal, was one of the most exciting and edgy things cricket has seen in a long time.

Let’s not forget it was the Ashes.

For god sake ICC, please don’t change the fundamentals of cricket. Change nothing, the death of Phillip Hughes which honestly was just a freak accident and the game shouldn’t suffer because of it.

Blackcaps break record as tears for Phil Hughes continue to flow

The Blackcaps have broken the record books by scoring their highest ever test total of 690 this evening.

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Much has been made about the death of Phil Hughes, and Blackcaps have shown the ultimate almost careless show of respect to the Australian batsmen by putting on a clinic of attacking cricket rarely seen in the test game.

And the thing is, none of the achievements seen in this test match have been met with a single cheer by any player.

Such is the grief in world cricket at this moment in time.

Blackcaps captain Brendon McCullum along with vice captain Kane Williamson formed a partnership with has given the Blackcaps a tremendous lead over Pakistan, and breaking a record along the way as well.

McCullum scored a double century, ending on 202 and became only the fourth batsmen in world cricket to score three double-test centuries in a calendar year.

Kane Williamson came close to a double century also, but was dismissed just shy of the feat on 192.

The total of 690 is the highest ever scored by New Zealand in an international cricket test.

In a statement to the Hughes family, Brendon McCullum said the focus in the Blackcaps camp throughout this test hasn’t been the performance, instead the thoughts and emotions towards Phil Hughes who tragically lost his life on Thursday.