BBC BLOGS - Oliver Brett

Archives for June 2010

Fortified Broad ready for Australia

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Oliver Brett | 06:44 UK time, Friday, 18 June 2010


It will perhaps reassure his fans - and those mildly suspicious about coach Andy Flower's selection of certain players for "strengthening" work - that Stuart Broad has not morphed into Charles Atlas during his absence from the England squad.

The 2-0 Test series win over Bangladesh was achieved without Broad, who was instead booked in for extended gym sessions each morning, before afternoon nets.

Still looking whippet-slim, England's top-ranked bowler in one-day internationals (he is officially 10th in the world) has a slight problem. He is not yet sure what his role will be when the World Cup comes around in the sub-continent next February.

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All Whites ready for World Cup challenge

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Oliver Brett | 08:00 UK time, Saturday, 5 June 2010


When Dr Ceri Evans, clinical director of the Canterbury Regional Forensic Psychiatry Service in New Zealand, sends an e-mail, seven sets of initials marking his various academic and medical qualifications follow his name.

But there is no clue that the 46-year-old father-of-three has had time to squeeze a whole extra life in between studying at medical school and his current job, treating criminals with mental disorders.

A football-mad teenager when New Zealand qualified for the 1982 World Cup, Evans became captain and was a regular central defender in the national side until 1993 while playing five seasons in England for Oxford United. He is currently a part-time youth coach of the Mainland Academy.

As you would expect, he is methodically analytical when discussing the All Whites' hopes for 2010 - he was at Wellington's "Cake-Tin" stadium last November when victory over Bahrain achieved their second World Cup qualification.

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But there is much else to discuss with a man who is still fondly remembered by Oxford fans as a vital component in the side which frequently over-achieved in the post-Robert Maxwell era, marshalling the defence alongside players like Andy Melville and Steve Foster.

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Frustration as Bangladesh flatter to deceive

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Oliver Brett | 06:52 UK time, Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Bangladesh's cricketers head for the second Test against England at Manchester on Friday having, not for the first team, given an excellent account of themselves at various stages at Lord's - before ultimately crashing to defeat with barely a whimper.

There was a time when Jahurul Islam and Junaid Siddique, two of Bangladesh's more patient batsmen, were batting in late afternoon sunshine on day four of the first Test when it looked like an England victory would be very hard to achieve.

At 289-2, Bangladesh led England by 66 runs and had eight further wickets in hand to build that lead and leave a target that would be out of range for Andrew Strauss and his men on the final day.

But Strauss reluctantly turned to Jonathan Trott in extremis as the four proper bowlers in his attack were ineffective and/or tired. Trott promptly removed Jahurul and the match began heading quickly towards England.

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