The TGECF Awards 2012 (Part 2)

A few days ago, we brought you the first part of our awards for the year. However, there’s still a few humdingers to come, so we hope you will enjoy our entirely subjective look at the year past.

Unpleasant noise of the year – Adnan Akmal (award presented by Kamran Akmal)

We’re guessing that, somewhere in the mists of time, the Akmals had an ancestor who was a large-lunged opera singer. Either that or they were the secret love-children of a Stuka and a vuvuzela. In one of our very first posts we wrote about the horrible noise emanating from the latest Akmal’s larynx and the experience has stayed with us for nearly a year. It probably didn’t help that England were getting soundly thrashed at the time by Saeed Ajmal et al but Akmal’s wailing really did get on our nerves. Our greatest wish for 2013 is that someone discovers a TV technology that can filter out the sound of his voice. Failing that, we’re starting up an earplug factory.

Worst cricket pitch of the year – Nagpur, December 2012 (award presented by Charlie Joseph, groundsman of Sabina Park in 1998)

What happens when you try to make a flat pitch into a bunsen burner at the very last minute? Believe it or not, this is not a terrible joke you pulled out of your Christmas cracker last week. The actual answer is the Nagpur pitch for the fourth Test last month. India went into the third Test at 1-1 and promptly lost. With only three days between the third and fourth Test, India suddenly needed a pitch that was going to produce a result. What they had at their disposal was an extremely flat track with an average first innings score of 391 in the previous three Tests played there. With the groundsman presumably tearing his hair out at having to make such a change at the last minute, the best he could come up with in the time available was a turgid sponge of a pitch that was near-impossible to score runs on but only presented risk to batsmen playing aggressive shots. The result? An mildly interesting draw that was only made tense by the series situation but which was the absolute antithesis of the modern game. Usually low run rates are the result of a pitch that is very difficult to bat on. This was not the case here – Trott and Bell played out the last day largely untroubled. What we ended up with was the slowest match run rate of any Test since 1980 in which at least 1000 runs were scored. Special. Really special.

Graeme Smith Captaincy Slayer Award – Graeme Smith (award presented by Steve Waugh)

Yep, he did it again. For the third time in three tours of England, Graeme Smith saw off another England captain. This time Strauss, last time Vaughan, first time Hussain. It’s almost tradition. In Strauss’s case, the series loss to South Africa did not make his resignation a certainty. Anything but. In fact, although we thought he might resign, we thought it much more likely that he would carry on until after the Ashes. But perhaps that’s the strange effect Graeme Smith’s chiselled jaw has on people. They just go weak at the knees and hand in their notice. From England’s point of view though, it seems that flicking the switch on the back of Alastair Cook’s head from ‘Cookbot’ to ‘Captain Cookbot’ has unleashed hitherto unseen levels of reliability and consistency. Let’s hope that continues.

Eye-popping Innings of the Year – Kevin Pietersen 103* (64 balls) v Deccan Chargers – April 2012 (award presented by Chris Gayle)

It’s not like us to big-up the IPL and we’ve featured this knock before but in terms of strokemaking we reckon you’d be hard-pushed to find a better innings in any form of cricket. Just unbelievable. We were going to have one of the sixes over extra cover as ‘shot of the year’ but we decided to just put the whole innings in.

 

The Trevor Chappell Ball of the Year – Ravindra Jadeja (award presented by Scott Boswell)

This award was set up to reward the outstanding pea-roller / daisy-cutter of the year. It goes this time round to Ravindra Jadeja. All we can say is that it’s a good thing that Jonathan Trott has no sense of humour, because any other batsman would probably have fallen about laughing.

 

Steve Harmison Wide of the Year – Morne Morkel (award presented by Scott Boswell, again)

We’ve featured this ball before but it remains unsurpassed in its wideness. It should have required a visa to land where it did.

 

And finally, Sad Sight of the Year – Sachin Tendulkar trying to bat (award presented by Ricky Ponting)

We have no idea who’s advising Sachin Tendulkar (if anyone) but whoever it is clearly doesn’t have big enough cojones to tell the Little Master that it’s probably time to give up for good. We want to mollify our Indian readers by acknowledging that Tendulkar is one of the finest batsmen the game has ever produced but, for goodness’ sake, man, the time has come to call it a day. While we would love for the plucky little chap to prove us all wrong and hit another ten centuries, we fear that ship has long sailed. Come in, Mr Tendulkar, your time is up.

And that concludes the awards for 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed being with us every step of the way over the last eleven months.

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