Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's That Time of Year

Brian Lara Needs a Hug Would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and other various holidays too numerous to mention here, and a happy and safe New Year, and we'd like to send out our wishes with a little video tribute

Friday, December 19, 2008

Okay okay, so it took a couple of days (and a campy coming of age movie, and an ongoing snowstorm) but I'm back on my feet, so we're ready to dive back into this.

Last Weekend New Zealand and the West Indies got washed out enough that they ended in a tie. This week is whole different story, as apparently Chanderpaul has lit his bat on fire and is simply dominiating the competition and going for 400 RUNS He's sitting off the stumps on 100, as WI is currently 258/6 after 91 overs. To top it off, they are still in their first innings, so it looks like the rout is on, and New Zealand learned nothing from the beat down they took at the hands of Austrailia three weeks ago..

In India, India is on their 1st innings as well, after 72 overs and the end of day one they're going at 179/1, but it is an incredibly slow 179, as the batsmen have combined to see 400 bowls between them, which I'm sure is making for miserable spectating.

Austrailia is picking up right where it left off three weeks ago with New Zealand, only this weekend's whipping boy is South Africa. Austrailia currently has a 322 run lead, and has 3 wickets in hand still in the Second innings, so it's probably all over but the crying for that one.

All of these matches will carry on into the weekend, and after that, it will pretty much wrap things up for the year (next weekend will see the second Test for Austrailia-South Africa, and the start of a Bangladesh-Sri Lanka series, and if you've gotten bored with your toys, you can spend a few hours on the 26th with New Zealand and the West Indies again as they play a 20/20 to wrap up there year) Hopefully we'll have a year in review (that we weren't in exsistance for most of) up sometime between Christmas and the New Year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm still alive...

...I'm just having a long bad week, I'll have something up by the end of the week.

Monday, December 8, 2008

One more thing...

In case you hadn't noticed, I figured out how to put up a blog roll, so if I missed you from the list and you want to be on there, let me know.

Big Happenings (Way Far Away)

Well, well, we're only two days away from the start of two really big Test matches, but they're both going to be big for far different reasons. We're gonna take a look at this from east to west (since east games are going to start earlier in terms of our time) so off we go to...

...NEW ZEALAND where we find an NZ team that was absolutely brutalized by Austrailia last month and dropped all the way to 8th in the ICC rankings. The beneficiaries of that fall? Their oppoents, my friends and yours THE WEST INDIES who moved up to 7th and can maintain that spot with either a win or a draw lose, and they give a spot back to NZ, the previously mentioned Chanderpaul (seen here hitting a century against england)

will be looking to be the star this coming weekend for the West Indies, while Brendon McCullum will hope to continue to do his best and hope that he can get his side to rally around him much better than they did in that miserable Austrailia performance. From New Zealand we travel northwest to...

...India, where after the attacks in Mumbai, there were many open fears about wether this series would even be played, and whether or not the sides could be guarenteed their safety. After a team meeting the English side decided to go ahead with the tour, and look poised to make an impressive performance as one of the best teams in the world. On the other side, India will be carrying the weight of the emotional underdog, after so much strife and stress, how will the players cope? Will they channel that energy into the performaces of a lifetime? We'll find out soon enough. For those who wish to follow live scoring, WI-NZ starts at 4:30 AM EST on Wednesday, and England-India starts at 9. Good luck to all and enjoy the games.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What to Watch/Read/Ask Me About This Weekend

Well jeaz, this certainly kind of got off the cricket track for a while, so let's see if we can't get things back into gear by telling you what's going on in the circket world this weekend which is: One match. On Sunday (Saturday Evening our time) Tasmania will be playing New South Wales at Hobart in the Ford Ranger cup (the follow up match is a day night match, so I would guess they're playing 20/20) (nope actually looked it up and it turns out it's an ODI Tournament, so there you go) Also if you have a DSL connection or faster that is liked by the site you can go on ESPN360 to watch either this years Asia Cup, or the Stanford 20/20 for $10,000,000 tournament. Other than that, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We're gonna step off to the side for a minute.

I know, I promised this would be a circket blog, and it will continue to be a cricket blog, but honestly, Sean Avery made the world very clear to me. In a certain sense, I do think it's hilarious that he called her sloppy seconds, and the suspension is because that's apparently too offenseive for a newspaper (the Boston Globe edited it to [other girlfriends] which doesn't even really make any sense but I digress).

The question I want to ask of you dear reader (because as far as I can think of I have a mostly female readership) is I wonder how you would feel if you let someone get so close to you, and become such a part of your life, and let them get so close to you as an individual, walked away from you for some glorious moment and left you out in the cold and dark and gave you no answers and no satisfaction because something super-wonderful had come along. Me? I'd quite frankly be as super pissed as Sean Avery.

Monday, December 1, 2008

About (MUCH) Earlier Today

So if like me, you were up way too late last night, you had a chance to catch the second match of the Test Series between Austrailia and New Zealand. Well it sure wasn't much to look at, as Austrailia, led by some insane bowling by Lee ( 9 wickets over 2 innings almost a personal Test best) made short work of them, and McCullum couldn't single-handedly carry New Zealand to force Austraila to bat again (not that it would have mattered, since Austrailia had batted 535 in the first innings) Austrailia won 2 games to 0 and thanks to the attacks in Mumbai, the cricket world will slowly start to come to a halt (the Champions League has been postponed due to the attacks, and no one is quite sure what will happen to other games worldwide, espcially those involving Indian players.

Edit: You know since the second half wasn't really my original idea or thoughts, I figured I should give credit to the story it came from (since I don't write for the New York Times)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This is a PSA..sort of

This is the sad story of the 21st century, large corporations think the internet is taking all their money away, because they don't understand how people use it for an informational tool (yes I'll play devil's advocate and say there are people who are doing legimate damage to legitmate industries, but the sporting industry is not one of them) we live in a world where ESPN is set to take over the BCS, and it takes our freaking president to get us any movement on a college football playoff, and their worried about private photos and accounts of the game. I know I don't have your expressed written consent but your rules say I can't even talk to my friend about the game, are you going to check every conversation I have? It really is becoming a joke, and I hope we get some clear answers soon, keep up the good fight Wrap, you've got a lot of people on your side.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On behalf of everyone (all one of us) here at Brian Lara Needs a Hug, we wish you and yours a very happy American Thanksgiving, and a very happy Thursday to everyone else.

Hope to have something new up by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bats Balls and Wickets

So it's been a few days, sadly, unless you really really love Austrailia and the Indian Subcontinent, you haven't missed much, as they're the only ones who are getting any action in to speak of (as I write this we have Austraila-New Zealand and South Africa-Bangladesh test matches taking place live) so I thought it would be nice to delve into some of the more bells and whistles aspects of the game, mainly, what they play with.

The way I've always described cricket bats is they're a cross between a faternity paddle and a field hockey stick. The batted side is flat, and the opposite side is curved to help get lift under the ball. (

Balls are filled with cork in the middle and wrapped with a hard leather shell (I'm not sure how to convert that into a more recognizable form, so we'll just go with wikipedia) the hardest throwers can throw it 85 to 90 mph ON A HOP. In case I failed to mention the ball has to bounce once before it reaches the batsman, otherwise it's a no ball (the throw doesn't count and the batting team is awarded a run) (

Wickets are esstially the bases for cricket. They look like the wickets you would use to play croquet, only there are three of them lined up together and on top of them rest two bails, which allow you to know when the wickets (or stumps) are balanced. If someone is to cross out of their zone, you can get them out by jarring the wickets and knocking the bails off (the offical name for an out is "the fall of a wicket")

In order to get an advantage on running out a hit, the batsmen will step foward when they swing at the ball, so if they miss and it knocks the wicket over they will be out, because they were definately outside of the box.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The West Indies

Well if you're an American, then I've got news for you. Your circket side sucks. But don't despair yet, because I have some good news for you. If you want to see good cricket, not only do you not have to go that far for it, but you get to take a tropical vacation to do it! Welcome to the only Test Playing Nation that isn't really a Nation at all, The West Indies!

The West Indies have players from every single island you can think of down there, even Cuba. They play hard cricket, they play good cricket (can't be a Test Nation without good cricket) and they have some of the greatest fans anywhere in the world. West Indian Cricket is what got me into the sport in the first place, and I have to say, that if you want to have a good time watching a game, the West Indies are the place to start.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I missed something...

You know, it dawned on me that it would probably help if I explained A) how teams can score, and what a Cricket field looks like beyond "a glorified bocce court". In premise cricket works a lot like baseball (quite frankly, baseball is a cricket rip-off geared towards people with short attention spans) Cricket fields are giant circles with a rectangle in the middle (like this: The bowler runs up from one side reaches the line, and bowls, and it's the batsman's job to try and hit it, the next part is highly based on strategy, as the fielders have to guess where the batsman will try and hit the ball (there are no set positions, in fact there are actually more rules as to where you can't stand than there are to where you can) on the outside of the big circle is a barrier, probably about three inches high. When the batsmen hits the ball he takes off running towards where the ball was just bowled from, he has a team mate who starts from where the batter bowled and starts running the other way, every time they reach the opposite side, that's one run.

They can run back and forth as often as they feel it's safe, there are three exceptions to the rule:
1) If the ball is caught on the fly, then that's a fall of a wicket (an out) and there is no running (cause the batsman is out, so his partner no longer has a partner).
2) If the ball rolls all the way to the barrier, or clears the barrier on the hop, that's a barrier, and it's worth 4 runs. Here are a bunch in a row:

3) If the ball clears the barrier on the fly, it's a six. Shivnarine Chanderpaul shows us how it's done in dramatic fashion.

Essentially, that's it for all the ways you can score, and that was your first introduction to the West Indies team, who I will explain in greater detail next time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Test Cricket and ODI's

Since this site doubles as an explanation to the sport to people who have never even seen it before, it seems as though a proper explanation of the two types of cricket I have failed to mention so far goes in here.

ODI is short for One Day Interational, and is the most common version played on an international level. Unlike 20/20 which is one innings (yes the singular is plural, I've never tried to understand it either) with 20 overs (estinally overs are the baseball equivilent to an inning) ODI's have 2 innings usually 40 or 50 overs depending on the agreement between the two sides. From there, there's a coin filp (as there is in all forms of cricket) and winner decides to bat or bowl first. From there, it's standard cricket (which is complicated enough that it will probably get it's own post at some point).

Test Cricket, is simply put, what's killed any chance at all of cricket being a major sport in the west (with a notable exception I will cover next time). Test Cricket is the top level of Cricket in the world, unforuntately, one Test Cricket match can take up to 5 days to play. They only play during the day (20/20 is the only cricket that's played at night) and they stop in the middle of whatever they are doing once the sun goes down. It's required both teams wear entirely white during a test match, and since it istop level cricket, you actually need to show that you're able to play it, by winning your way up to the right, and being approved as a full member of the International Cricket Council of which there are currently only 10 members: England, Austrailia, New Zealand, The West Indies, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Zimbabwae. (for those who are curious the United States and Canada are associate members, and can only play ODI's if they reach World Cricket League Division 1, but for which Canada has an exception to play until next year).

The major problem with test cricket is it's never ever going to translate for tv, they play for 8 hours at a time, with one 30 minute tea break during the match, and an hour lunch break. How would you take any commerical breaks for a show that almost never stops?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

South Africa V Bangladesh

Well speak of the devil, I pointed out the exsistance of 20/20 Circket and it turns out there was a 20/20 match today between South Africa and Bangladesh (much like during the Olympics the best Cricket sides happen to be in time zones earlier than ours, so most major contests are done before we've even had lunch) and it also gives us the chance to look at one of the quirky aspects of cricket.

Like baseball, Circket has to stop for rain (since it's played on a glorified bocce court in most cases) unlike baseball, they won't make us wait 3 days before we can dertermine the winner, cricket has a method called the Duckworth-Lewis Method (D/L Method for short) in which if the game is interrupted for weather, a mathematical formula is used to determine how the team would have done if played under normal conditions in todays SA-Bangladesh match, the match was hampered by rain, and so the D/L Method was brought in to the final total. South Africa socred 118 runs in 20 overs in which they were assumed runs on three occsions due to the rain. Because of this, despite the 9 run difference, the final score states that South Africa won by 14 runs, because in ideal conditions, they would have scored more.

(final scores are determined by whether the winning team batted or bowled (pitched) first, if you bat first and win, you win by the difference in runs, if you bat second and win, you are said to have won by the number of wickets (outs) you had remaining)

This is all a very long way of saying South Africa 118 Bangladesh 109, and congrats to Abdur Razzak of Bangladesh as player of the match.

Time to get it off the ground

Well it seems like while the iron is still semi-hot ( is the right time to get this off the ground so here we go: Welcome to Brian Lara Needs a Hug, I'll be your master of ceramonies, but you knew that already, I figured I would start this with the first entry in a list of 10 reasons that cross into A) Why an American is writing a blog about a sport Americans don't care about and B) Why you should care.

So the first reason is:

Because the Cricket Community is on the verge of trying to make you care about cricket.

Once we get past the fact that America was just let back into cricket less than 6 months ago, we have to realize that the United States really stands as Crickets last untapped major market, they have the British, they have Austrailia and New Zealand, the have the Indian Subcontinent, put together that's a lot of people. And why not add America to the list, they're supposed to be some of the greatest athletes in the world, why not give them a brand new challenge? Hell they even created a version of the game (20/20: that is supposed to overcome the fact that you think it takes too long to play.

So really the start of this blog asks two things: first, to give this blog a chance to grow into something respectable, and second, to keep open ears when the world cricket community comes knocking at your door.

Oh and so you know how this blog got it's title: