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Articles that Peter Roebuck wrote for ESPN Cricinfo (ESPN Sports Media Ltd).

Sanath Jayasuriya

There’s Life in the ODI Yet

10 September 2009. No version of the game that has produced so many outstanding feats ought lightly to be tossed away in favour of a format that does not offer the possibility of greatness. For an endangered species 50-over cricket appears to be in remarkably good health. Cast as the saviour of a supposedly moribund […]

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Flintoff bowling in the 2009 Ashes

No Time for Back-slapping

26 August 2009. England have displayed fortitude, pride, skill and unity, but they need to confront some hard truths still. Andrew Strauss’s team deserved to win the Ashes. Only a churl could argue otherwise. Five matches lasting five days give every player and both sides an opportunity to prove their worth. Thanks to three stupendous […]

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Freddie Flintoff

The Flintoff Factor

12 August 2009. This article first appeared on the eve of Flintoff’s final match, against Australia at The Oval in 2009. England’s totemic allrounder has been more about competence, stout-hearted service and some irresistible performances, rather than out-and-out greatness. Somewhat to the amusement of observers, England seems to dwell upon and to equate The Battle […]

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Brad Haddin 2010

Johnson, Hughes and the Ordeal of Cricket

29 July 2009. Often the game becomes a curse, as two Australians struggling in the Ashes can testify. Every cricketer knows the feeling. The game has become impossible, a curse, a blight, a torment, a tease, a provocation, a creation of the devil; goodness only knows why it was ever invented, or why poets write […]

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The original Ashes urn

Ashes Ahoy

1st July 2009. The characters may lack in stature as compared to some of their predecessors, but the script promises to be tight. Suddenly hearts are thumping. After an eternity of speculation and enough opinions to impress an army of lawyers, the cricketing outfits representing England and Australia are busy putting the finishing touches to […]

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Uganda twenty20 cricket

The Short Format’s Big Role

17 June 2009. The purists may sneer at it, but Twenty20’s most vital role will be in making cricket popular in places where it isn’t. Twenty-over cricket is working wonders for the game. Forget about the greasy palms displayed by a handful of top players (the world is full of such types, and some of […]

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Twenty20 cricket

Why Twenty20 Deserves its Success

4th June 2009. The 20-over version has caught the popular imagination, and the quality of the game hasn’t been bad either. It reminds us that cricket is meant to be fun – and that that is an important quality for a sport. Englishmen have been playing 20-over cricket for yonks. As a youth, a hundred […]

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Andrew Symonds

Australia Pick Pragmatically

21 May 2009. Symonds’ omission apart, the selectors have merely named their best players and left the rest to be sorted out on tour. Australia have chosen a pragmatic party for their defence of the Ashes. Disdaining clear-cut choices between the stuttering team fielded in India and retained for the home series against South Africa, […]

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Yuvraj Singh

No Auto-pilot in Twenty20

7th May 2009. The difference Warne and Dhoni have made to their sides proves that captains are paramount, even in the shortest format. Captains run cricket teams. It’s an old adage that has not lost any of its force. Cricket is different from other games. Rugby, hockey and soccer players spend most of their time […]

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Anil Kumble

Old and Beautiful

21 April 2009. Men written off, men supposedly past their primes, have proved that the IPL, and the world, belong not to youth or any other category. Not the least delight of the opening rounds of the IPL, and among the most unexpected, was to be found in the performances of the old stagers. As […]

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Makhaya Ntini

South Africa’s Hour

7th April 2009. The offer to host the IPL is an impressive statement of confidence by a nation prepared to accept challenges. By a strange quirk of fate and in the twinkling of an eye, South Africa has become the cricketing venue of choice. Within a fortnight the second season of IPL will start on […]

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Mitchell Johnson

Full speed ahead

24th March 2009. Mitchell Johnson has moved from newbie to pace-bowling spearhead cum hard-hitting No. 8 double quick, and the best part is, he’s not nearly done developing yet. Mitchell Johnson’s buccaneering innings at Newlands enhanced his reputation as an immensely talented cricketer likely to provide outstanding service to his team and rich entertainment to […]

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Kumar-Sangakkara-of-sri-lanka

What Now for Cricket?

13th March 2009. Cricket has been more vulnerable to discord and conflict than many sports, and the latest crisis may be the most serious yet. Cricket is enduring the toughest period of a colourful, contentious history. Of course all cricketers experience bad patches when form deserts them. Indeed it is part of the test provided […]

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South African Cricket team 2008

Time to Put the Boot In

23rd February 2009. The win in Australia was an expression of hope; the potential needs to be taken to the next level now. South Africa start the forthcoming series, played on their own red soil, as red-hot favourites to beat the Australians and thereby replace them at the top of the Test rankings. Of course […]

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Phil Hughes

The Road Out of Hell

12 February 2009. The signs are that Australia may have put the worst behind them. Australia has suffered its worst cricketing summer since the community was rent asunder by rebel tours, retirements and other upheavals in the early 1980s. In those days antipodean cricket was down in the dumps. Defeats piled up at the hands […]

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Hashim Amla

The Unbreakable South African

29 January 2009. Humble, resilient, modest and unflappable, Hashim Amla has overcome plenty and emerged the better for it. Hashim Amla counts amongst the most serene of cricketers. Nothing seems to ruffle him. Along the way both life and cricket have tried to disturb his tranquility, only to be met with a mild smile and […]

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Matthew Hayden

The Man Beneath the Muscle

14 January 2009. Hayden was typecast as a batting bully, but he was subtler than that, and the same divergence showed in his character as well. And so one of the last big guns has fallen silent. Only Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting remained from the team that pounded so many opponents into submission in […]

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Yuvraj Singh cricketer

Win-win Situation

17 December 2008. Every now and then a Test match comes along that transcends the moment and lifts the spirit. Chennai was one such. If ever cricket needed to rise to the occasion it was over the last few days in Chennai. Emotion plays an enormous part in sport. Try as we might with computers […]

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Richard Hadlee bowling

The Enemy Within

3 December 2008. New Zealand cricket has been reduced to its present low state chiefly by a lack of cohesion. New Zealand cricket is at low ebb. Although it may not return to the desperate days of the last century – when individual deeds were celebrated in the absence of any hope of victory, a […]

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting

Dhoni Plays it Straight

12 November 2008. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a forthright, straightforward cricketer unburdened by the baggage that generally accompanies a man onto the field, thereby restricting his outlook. At once he is intelligent and simple, aggressive and canny, tough and respectful. He did not come to cricket as a youthful dreamer but as a young street […]

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Sourav Ganguly

The Many Sides of Sourav

06 November 2008. Gangles was fun. Every now and then a fellow feels like tearing off his shirt and waving it around like Mick Jagger with a microphone. Of all places, Sourav Ganguly responded to the urge at Lord’s, holiest of cricketing holies. So much for decorum. He might as well have burped in St […]

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Glenn McGrath

Twelve Years After

29 October 2008. Memories of Australia’s last Test match at Kotla are hazier than the smog that holds the capital city in its grip. Certain things linger in the mind: the result, a catch, an opening batsman’s fate, two trenchant innings, and a wonderfully innovative and sustained piece of cricket writing, but all else has […]

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