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Kagiso Rabada’s Dream Debut

Following South Africa’s clean sweep on the opening two T20 matches of their Bangladesh tour, the visitors played the first of three ODIs on Friday.  For Kagiso Rabada, the fresh-faced fast bowler, this was a record-breaking coming out party.

South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada celebrates the wicket of Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Mahmudullah during the first One-Day International match between Bangladesh and South Africa at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on July 10, 2015.   AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN        (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo: AFP

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South Africa’s Bangladesh Tour Report: T20 Series

Photo: AFP

The Proteas have been on a bit of a cricketing hiatus since their World Cup ended in that exciting semi-final in New Zealand, but the men in green and gold returned to the field this week, playing and winning both the opening T20 matches of their Bangladesh tour in comfortable fashion.

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New Look Proteas

Not a lineup change, but a wardrobe change for the Proteas.  South Africa released their first kits under their new sponsorship with New Balance on Wednesday. The Boston, Massachusetts-based apparel company will outfit Cricket South Africa for the next five years.  As for the kits themselves, they are a breath of fresh air after a number of years with Adidas.

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Photo Credit: Gallo Images

David Miller, Hashim Amla, and Faf du Plessis were on hand at the launch to show off the three different kits for the various formats.  For the ODI kit, New Balance have picked up where Adidas left off using the darker green that is similar to that of the Springbok kits and equally as striking.  It appears that Castle Lager have moved there logo on the ODI kits to a more prominent placement across the chest similar to that of India’s kit with the Star sponsorship.

Hash showed off the Test whites which are straightforward enough though they incorporate a bit of green on the shoulders to make them stand out relative to other Test nation sides.

The T20 kit is well…a T20 kit.  It isn’t as bad as some (looking at you IPL). The dark green matches that of the ODI kit which is great to see, hopefully spelling the end of that light green that the Proteas have worn for far too long and the high collar is a bit of a neat look.  Interestingly, Castle Lager appears not to be sponsoring this kit, instead that honor goes to Ticketpro.

All in all, a very nice lineup put out by New Balance for their first ever Protea kits.  Here is to hoping the men perform in Bangladesh as good as they will look.

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Curtain Raiser in Lahore: Zimbabwe v. Pakistan, 1st T20

Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Cricket is back in Pakistan.  After six long years of wandering the globe playing “home” matches in the Middle East and England, international cricket has returned to Pakistan beginning with Friday’s T20 in Lahore.

Prior to the match, Zimbabwean captain Elton Chigumbura shared some thoughtful remarks about isolation and the honor to be playing in Pakistan.  Chigumbura noted that Zimbabwe “have also experienced international isolation. Team [sic] would say we won’t visit Zimbabwe due to security concerns. But we won’t let that happen with our brother. You can’t kill the spirit of cricket.”  He went on to add that Zimbabwe “are happy that we are contributing to help the youngsters see their heroes perform for them at home.” A nice gesture to a country filled with pride and rightfully excited to see the return of the sport they love so much.

On a weekend that features England versus New Zealand at Lord’s as well as the playoffs and final of the IPL, it is easy to overlook the Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan, but this is one that deserves publicity and attention. Continue reading

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Guess It Runs In the Family

We’ll have more on the third West Indies v. England Test soon, but in the meantime, it appears that Jermaine isn’t the only Blackwood proficient with the bat. Meet Bruce—Jermaine’s brother—who, of all places, appears to play his cricket in the United States for Sportsmen’s Athletic Club.

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Towser the Wicketkeeper

Sending you off into the weekend with another Pathé video.  This time it is Towser, the Australian wicketkeeping pooch.  Enjoy!

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Richie Benaud: 1930–2015

Yesterday, former Australian Test captain and unparalleled commentator Richie Benaud passed away at the age of 84. There will innumerous words offered on behalf of Benaud in the coming weeks, rightfully celebrating the legend’s life. However, perhaps the greatest eulogy of all has already been delivered by the Benaud himself.

Enjoy—and rest in peace, Richie.

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