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Welcome to Sportsworship. We discuss, evaluate and celebrate all things Sports from a New Zealand perspective.

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Cricket World Cup: The Tournament of Two Halves

Cricket -  05 March 2015 - By Andrew Houston

Over the past two weeks the Cricket World Cup has begun to capture the imagination of the sporting public for the first time in many a year.

There have been upsets, feel good stories, fantastic weather and more sixes than you would see at an Iron Maiden concert.

Let’s review what has happened so far and look at the key story lines going forward [...]

​​World Cup Preview: New Zealand

Cricket -  12 February 2015

With 1412 days gone since the last World Cup finished, and a mere two until kick-off at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, we carry on our team previews by looking at the men in Black, the aptly named Blackcaps of New Zealand.

Can this be the Blackcap team that finally breaks through the semi final "glass ceiling" that has held them down in the previous 10 World Cups?

World Cup Preview: South Africa 

Cricket -  09 February 2015 - By Andrew Houston​

The Proteas have played in six World Cups and on six occasions have played in “win-or-go-home matches”. On EVERY occasion they have “gone home”, three times in groin crushingly painful fashion.

Can this be the year that they finally break through?​[...]

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​​World Cup Preview: Sri Lanka

Cricket -  03 February 2015​

Welcome to the team-by-team preview of the big one, the granddaddy of them all, the showcase of the immortals the 2015 Cricket World Cup! 

Over the next 7 days we will be breaking down the chances of the contending teams lifting the trophy on 29th of March. 

We start off our preview by looking at the losing finalists from the 2011 World Cup, the lions of Sri Lanka.​[...]

World Cup Preview: Australia

Cricket -  10 February 2015 

With less than a week until the Cricket World Cup kicks off on 14 February we continue our team by team preview looking at the ‘big bad baggy green bullies’ - Australia.

With their aggressive on field attitude Australia haven't been winning many popularity contests, however with the real contest about to begin they loom as the clear favourite to lift the trophy on March 29. What could stop their march to victory?

Blackcap Player Power Rankings

​Cricket -  04 July 2014 ​

The Blackcaps dramatic 3rd Test win versus the West Indies marks the first time they have won three consecutive Test series against non-creampuff opponents since 1986/87.
Such a feat is significant for a still young team with an average age of less than 26 years old. Who then are the players that have contributed most significantly and who are the ones preventing the team reaching greater heights?

There is only one way to answer that….Power Rankings!​[...]

Kevin Pietersen: Gone too Soon?

Cricket -  10 February 2014 
The careers of international Cricketers most always end badly. For every Sachin Tendulkar, whose final test at age 40 (number 200 for him) was virtually a national holiday in India, there are dozens of players forced out prematurely with injuries, or shuffled out by selectors against their will to facilitate “the rebuilding process”.

Rarely though have things ended as badly or as seemingly prematurely for a great player as they have with the English cricket management’s (ECB) decision to end the international career of Kevin Pietersen [...]

Numbers in Cricket: What do they really mean?

Cricket - 07 October 2013

Numbers are ingrained in sport, all sports. They are how we define and measure them. What is the first question you ask when someone tells you they watched the rugby/league/cricket/anything that you didn’t see earlier?

”What was the score?”

Whilst the score is essential for all sports, there is one sport where numbers mean everything [...]

The Best Defence is a Good Offense

Cricket - 17 October 2013 
For a batsman Twenty20 is a simple game, - ‘See ball, try and hit the boundary; if no boundary then run like hell’. In this type of game, with deliveries as precious (actually more so) as wickets, it is easy to see how a batsman should be playing (hint hint….AGGRESSIVELY), and to judge how effective they are in doing so.

Test matches however just don’t work like that. What mind set or approach should a player take to the crease with them in a game where time is not a factor? [...]

Test Cricket Luck Analysis

Cricket -  04 April 2014​

Frequency of Wicket Opportunities (FOWO) and Fortune Factor (FF) are numbers that are designed to help separate a players level of "luck" (FF) from "skill" (FOWO) in their performance level.

Here are the results of ALL test players so we can see who has been "lucky" and "unlucky" in Test matches from March 2013 - March 2014 [....]

Cricket's Success Equation

Cricket -  04 April 2014 ​

It is often said that the best predictor of future performance is past performance.  

Using a ‘back to the future’ methodology to analyse Cricket (or indeed any endeavour) is nearly useless without looking at the factors that contributed to those results.  

Achieving success or failure in Cricket is essentially determined by the sum of two contributing factors:  

Success = “Skill” +/- “Luck”

Deja Vu all over again?

Americas Cup - 23 September 2013

Watching the America’s Cup racing today it struck me, I knew i had seen this ‘script’ before.

“A pressure packed series, years in the making between a big-budget Yankee team, and a plucky underdog team wearing Red Socks. One team gets out to a historically insurmountable lead, reaching the precipice of victory in a clinical and dominating style. Everyone assumes it over, EVERYONE….only it wasn’t" [...]

Arise Sir Timmy? 

Cricket  - 16 July 2014

In the history of New Zealand fast bowling there is only one name, Hadlee.

New Zealand cricket fans have been waiting for the next Hadlee for the last 24 years. Unfortunately you are more likely to see the next Jesus before you see the next Hadlee.

But are we in the midst of seeing the best thing since sliced Hadlee?

HRV Cup Preview: Northern Districts Knights

Cricket -  08 November 2013
This weekend will see the defending champion Otago Volts host the Canterbury Wizards under (hopefully rain free) spring skies at the picturesque University Oval on Friday night.    ​ Saturday will see Otago match up (hopefully) with the only side to beat them last season, and the team who we are previewing today…The Northern Districts Knights  [....]

10 Questions: The Otago Volts "Streak"

Cricket - 11 October 2013 
Whilst New Zealand’s best players (and Grant Elliot) are currently in Bangladesh preparing for the upcoming test and ODI series vs the Bengali Tigers, the rest of New Zealand’s cricket community is preparing for the start of the domestic season on the 27th of October. 
I will be previewing the upcoming season later this month, but wanted to first look back and recognise the most significant story from last season.

Namely the Otago Volts amazing 15 match Twenty20 winning streak [...]

HRV Cup Preview: Central Districts Stags

Cricket -  30 October 2013 
A mere three years ago the Stags were clearly the strongest domestic limited overs team in New Zealand. Both in 2007/8 and 2009/10 they dominated the competition in the round robin stages and hoisted the trophy after convincing wins in the final.

But the times….they are a changing!

Gone from those halcyon days are names like Oram, Mason, Taylor, Ingram and Sinclair all having retired or moved on from the Stags. The Central Districts (CD) team of last year was [....]

The 2013/14 HRV Cup Awards: The "Ventis"

Cricket -  16 January 2014 

The regular season of the HRV Cup is now complete, and the finals are mere days away. It is time therefore to celebrate the best (and worst) of Twenty20 Cricket in New Zealand in 2013/14 by handing out the annual “Venti” - lation Awards. 

There are six prestigious “Venti” awards to be handed out today, which are: Best Foreign Player, Best Single Game Performance, “Dampy” Award for Worst Player, Best Player in a Bowling Role, Best Player in a Batting Role and the big one……Best Team [....]

Who is the ODI G.O.A.T.?

Cricket - 28 January 2014 
Few people in the world of sports are ever universally recognized as “The Greatest of All Time” (G.O.A.T.). 

When it comes to Cricket batting there is one name you will hear as “the greatest”, Sir Donald George Bradman. “The Don’s” record in test cricket is likely never to be equalled or approached. However since he retired in 1948 he never even had the opportunity to play in a One Day International (ODI) match. One Day International Cricket is now 43 years old and it is time to ask who is the Greatest ODI batsman Of All Time (GOAT)? [...]

​​Mitchell Johnson: An Inconvenient Truth?

Cricket -  23 November 2013

Three tests. Three Australian wins. 23 Johnson wickets. 14 English batsmen with physical and emotional scars deep enough to make them cringe next time they see ‘Zoolander’ re-run on tv.

The Australian team has comprehensively outplayed England in all departments to this point (batting, bowling, fielding and even sledging), however it is really Johnson who has stood out.

What has changed for Johnson to see him go from out of the team, to top of the world? [....]