I’ll be honest — working immediately post a long vacation is not fun. At all. But writing the weekly Newsletter? Now that, that is an exception. That EXCITES ME!
As you can see, my enthusiasm right now is at an all time high. Sorta, at least. So while the fire is still burning, why don’t we delve right into this week’s CDC Weekly? LET’S GO!
What’s making the headlines?
Oh RCB, y u like dis? 😐
Look, it’s no secret that the RCB Men’s side has been a living meme for a decade and a half now. But after the sort of auction they enjoyed last month, we all expected the WPL franchise to put its IPL counterpart to shame.
Oh well, eight match days later, here we are. RCB Played 4, Lost 4. And they’ve not simply gotten beaten, they’ve been obliterated game in and game out.
Yeah people like to hate on RCB in general but this is just sad, you know? Here’s hoping they end the season strongly, at least.
Usman Khawaja is the G.O.A.T
So, just about 16 months ago it looked like Usman Khawaja might never play a Test again. His career looked destined to go down as another ‘what-if’ case.
THANK HEAVENS things did not unfold like the way we feared it would.
It’s March 2023 and here we are. At 36, Uzzie is in the form of his life and is arguably currently the best Test batter in the world.
As we speak, he’s just played one of the best ever knocks by an opener on Indian soil this century, an innings SO SO GOOD that it’s SHATTERED records and given Australia a realistic chance of going back home with a 2-2 result.
Uzzie is now a GOATed opener and a god against spin who looks certain to finish his Test career with 18+ Test tons and a 50-ish average.
What a beautiful, beautiful timeline!
Temba’s drought…….is over!
Inject this timeline right into my veins. No, really!
As if the Khawaja redemption arc wasn’t enough, we’ve already been provided with the Bavuma redemption arc too!
My god, is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
For years now Bavuma’s been South Africa’s best Test batter but despite being super consistent, people have time and again used his century drought as a stick to beat him with.
And after a fateful pair on Test captaincy debut the trolls emerged from their caves.
But they all have nowhere to hide now. Bavuma has a Test ton after 2,621 days, his first as skipper, AND IT FEELS GLORIOUS!
Hey, hey, hey! He’s not done yet, mind you — 171* and counting!
Let’s go and get that double, Temba! Maybe even a triple. Nobody deserves this more than you do!
There’s beef between Simon Doull and Babar fans, AGAIN!
Remember the time when Simon Doull, on air, sarcastically questioned if Pakistan rolled out roads so that Babar Azam can stat-pad, and Babar’s fans took offense and went after him?
Well, Round 2 of Doull vs Azam fans is here!
And this time, they’ve gotten enraged after Doull on commentary suggested that Babar was hurting his side by prioritizing a milestone (century) over scoring quickly.
For context, Babar got to 80 off 44 balls but then took 16 balls to score the next 20 runs. This is what Doull pointed out.
Fans are free to express their displeasure but unfortunately, several folks (read: morons) have resorted to sending Doull threats and abuses.
Was Doull’s criticism valid? Well, Quetta chased down the 241 set by Peshawar with 10 balls to spare. Go figure!
No Bumrah for the World Cup? 😞
The good news is that Jasprit Bumrah has successfully undergone back surgery in New Zealand. The bad news is that he is expected to be out for at least six months, and is in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup.
As Aakash Chopra said a few months ago, it might just be time for India to think about life without Bumrah.
What’s happening in international cricket (on the field)?
> Having racked up 480 after winning the toss, Australia have a realistic chance of winning the fourth Test in Ahmedabad and salvaging a 2-2 series draw. India will have to bat the best they have all series in order to avoid defeat.
> Not too long ago Sri Lanka were in the driver’s seat against New Zealand but resilient batting from the hosts’ lower-order coupled with excellent bowling from Blair Tickner has put the Lankans in a spot of bother. Indian fans are keen following this game because yep, if India fail to win the fourth Test and if Sri Lanka beat the Kiwis 2-0, we’ll have an Australia vs Sri Lanka WTC final. Imagine the scenes!
> On the back of the Bavuma masterclass, South Africa too look primed to win the second Test and whitewash the Windies.
> A few thousand kilometers away, England were stunned in their first T20I post the T20WC triumph by Bangladesh, who made light work of a modest total.
What’s happening in the Women’s Premier League?
Runs. Lots of runs. Entertainment. Loads and loads of entertainment! Here here, I’ve summed up the first week of the WPL for you!
We’ve already gone through RCB’s misery but on the other side of the table are the Mumbai Indians — played 3, won 3 and they’ve been steamrolling opponents left, right and center.
Both DC (W2 L1) and UP Warriorz (W2 L1) have also had their moments and it’s really Gujarat and RCB who’ve struggled.
There have been some RIDICULOUSLY SPECIAL AND STUNNING individual performances thus far but you’ve got to say that Harmanpreet Kaur’s opening-day 65 takes the cake.
Not quite McCullum-esque, sure, but this was a historic showing of its own — 14 boundaries in total, including seven in a row.
Harman set the tone for the competition with her onslaught and the WPL, really, hasn’t looked back since!
What’s happening in the PSL?
Yeah okay, where do we start? How to even make sense of what’s happening this season so far?
In the last 2 days alone, we’ve had Quetta chase down 241 with 10 balls to spare and Multan chase down 243 with 5 balls to spare. On both occasions, Peshawar were at the receiving end and in those chases, Jason Roy (145* off 63) and Rilee Rossouw (121 off 51) played out of their minds.
Anyway, in the game that happened on Thursday, Lahore racked up 226 and in the 8 games that happened in the past week, we had TEN scores of 200 or more.
ABSURD is probably an understatement!
Long story short, we’ve been witnessing some absolutely maddening hitting; never-seen-before scoring rates at the franchise level.
If you’re wondering about the table, then well, Lahore Qalandars find themselves right at the top while Karachi Kings are bottom with just 2 wins in 9 matches.
If you love run-fests then PLEASE, PLEASE catch the rest of the season — you won’t be let down!
It’s your lucky week: we’ve got plentyyyy of articles lined-up!
To say it in Dil Raju style, ‘WPL newbie feature venuma? WPL newbie feature iruku’
‘Grace Harris feature venuma? Grace Harris feature iruku’
‘India-Australia match specific feature venuma? Adhuvum iruku’
‘Finally, Ross Taylor birthday tribute piece’um iruku’