Superman Stokes and milestones for Stuart Broad and James Anderson – the cricket moments of 2020

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Nasser Hussain says ‘the world listened’ when his Sky Cricket colleagues Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent spoke passionately about systemic racism

Nasser Hussain says ‘the world listened’ when his Sky Cricket colleagues Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent spoke passionately about systemic racism

In a year like no other, cricket still delivered.

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, there was another Ironman display from Ben Stokes in Cape Town as well as over 86,000 fans in attendance at MCG for the Women’s T20 World Cup final.

Then, as cricket was able to resume in the midst of the outbreak, England and their summer opponents – the Caribbean, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia – produced thrilling games after thrilling games across all formats.

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From Ben Stokes’ Cape Town heroics to Zak Crawley’s double century and Pakistan’s sporting spirit, our experts share their cricketing highlights of 2020

From Ben Stokes’ Cape Town heroics to Zak Crawley’s double century and Pakistan’s sporting spirit, our experts share their cricketing highlights of 2020

There were also strong demonstrations after George Floyd’s death – no more than from Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent, who spoke with hurtful honesty about systemic racism.

At the last Cricket Show in 2020, host Rob Key and guests Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and David Lloyd went through the year and watched some critical moments on and off the field …

Michael Holding & Ebony Rainford-Brent’s strong words

Sky Sports commentators spoke of the need for institutional racism to end during their Black Cricketers Matter segment on Day 1 of the first test between England and the Caribbean, before Holding continued the conversation with, as Nasser said, a “surgical dissection of racism”. ..

NASSER HUSSAIN: The week before, our cricket director had asked Ebony to speak to us at a team meeting about what she had been through. Ebony spoke passionately, as she did in the piece that went on the air, for five or ten minutes, and there was silence. You could hear the raw feeling in her voice and we just ended the meeting. There were no comments because we knew something had to be said and done and Ebony and Mikey absolutely nailed it. Mikey’s surgical dissection of racism was phenomenal. We had a rain delay so he could leave on one. He did, and it was excellent. Ian Ward was also excellent. He stood there and let Mikey speak, and when Michael Holding speaks, everyone listens. The world listened that day. It was an incredibly strong statement from Mikey and Ebony.

MICHAEL ATHERTON: I was in the comments section listening. The rain delay was the luckiest break in a way because all that focus was then at the beginning of the day when the piece was originally supposed to go out for lunch. Everyone watched, and like Nasser, I was silent. My answer to this particular question over the summer has been listening. I think it’s important to do that. Listen and take it on board.

BUMBLE: Ultra impressive people with such a great voice. Ebony is the heart and soul of every conversation, and Mikey is Mikey – and it’s passion.

Cricket Show

January 7, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

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December 26, 2020, 07:55

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Superman Stokes and the Cape Town Test

After losing the first Test against South Africa last Christmas, England leveled at 1-1 in January in the Cape Town match, with the Stokes scoring a quickfire 72 in England’s second half and then collecting the last three wickets under a tireless magic in front of a army of English followers …

OTHERS: This win said it all about Ben Stokes as a cricketer. His run in the second half was fast and gave England time, and he then threw a smashing stick at the end of the fifth day with James Anderson out with a broken rib. He takes himself to another level at critical moments in the game. It was a great test match, a great performance from Stokes, a full house, a good ground, sunshine. Test cricket as it should be.

NASSER HUSSAIN: That was a reason Stokes knows and loves, probably his favorite in world cricket. There was no way Joe Root took the ball out of his hand while Ben’s father was in the hospital. He was very emotional. Stuart Broad walked around the field with blood running out of his toes, so he made a monumental effort. Anderson had burst the ribs and came back and tried to toast. England’s catch was magnificent, as was the crowd reaction for each arrow that fell. Root was also under pressure after losing the first test, a couple of people started questioning his captain. But almost every move he made worked. I think the week in a special place was a turning point for England’s test side.

BUMBLE: You think back to Andrew Flintoff, and when he was thrown the ball when the team needed something, the crowd rose to him. Stokes is the same. People who see know that something will happen because he will give it 100 percent from bullet 1.

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Nasser Hussain reflects on his heated debate with Michael Holding earlier this year as the two disagreed on whether Kagiso Rabada had crossed the line with his fiery celebration after dismissing Joe Root

Nasser Hussain reflects on his heated debate with Michael Holding earlier this year as the two disagreed on whether Kagiso Rabada had crossed the line with his fiery celebration after dismissing Joe Root

500. test wicket for Broad, 600 for Anderson

In a milestone summer for England’s long-standing partnership with New Ball, Broad – controversially omitted from the first Test against the Caribbean – and Anderson claimed their 500th and 600th Test grids, respectively …

BUMBLE: They have so much knowledge on how to bowl in given situations and they have really streamlined actions so they can continue. Age is just a number. Everyone at a certain age will say you lose your nip, but these two do not. They are constant and because they are very proud, they are constantly learning and want to get better. Anderson is a real athlete, he takes care of himself. Like Shaun Pollock and Glenn McGrath, Anderson is not fast, but he knows exactly where the ball is going. You never know as a batsman whether to hold or twist. What will murmur together is ‘will Anderson play in the ashes?’ You ask Anderson and he will give you a short message. Of course!

4:56
Stuart Broad says he felt angry and wiped out after being left out by England for the first Test

Stuart Broad says he felt angry and obliterated after being left out by England for the first Test

Australia wins women’s T20 World Championship at the packed MCG

Australia claimed their record-breaking fifth women’s T20 world championship crown after beating India by 85 races in the final – ahead of over 86,000 fans at MCG and with Katy Perry performing …

NASSER HUSSAIN: I was there and it was incredible. Over 86,000 fans on earth. Australia was by far the best team. They started slowly, but once Alyssa Healy found her form, they were absolutely unstoppable. They absolutely beat India that day. Then we had a bit of Katy Perry and the Australian players dancing. It was a very well set tournament – Australia makes women’s sports magnificent. They do not just pay lipstick for it. It was the four or five pages at the back of each newspaper dedicated to women’s sports, not just cricket. They put on a brilliant tournament.

I do not think I went up and said ‘Hi, I’m Nasser Hussain, I messed up the cast in Brisbane a few years ago’ but she was in the same vicinity as me. Isa Guha was over her like a rash, I tell you.

Nasser Hussain

Zak Crawley’s virginity test double century

The young batsman recorded the 10th highest score ever by an England batsman in Tests with an astonishing 267 against Pakistan, leaving his mentor, Sky Cricket commentator Rob Key, happy …

OTHERS: It was a fantastic inning from Crawley. Keysy has been breaking through for years and telling us how good this kid is. We all knew he could play, but I certainly did not think he could play such an inning. The power, the timing, the range of strokes and then the determination to keep going.

3:37
It was a day of dominance for England in the final Test, with Zak Crawley scoring 267 and Jos Buttler 152, combining the two for a fifth-time stand at 359

It was a day of dominance for England in the final Test, with Zak Crawley scoring 267 and Jos Buttler 152, combining the two for a fifth-time stand at 359

NASSER: When Crawley left, every Pakistani player stood up and congratulated him, and every member of the back room stood up and welcomed him. Keysy, in the corner of the comment box, was a bubbly wreck who cried his eyes out and showed all the footage of him feeding balls to Crawley at Maidstone Cricket Ground or Dartford Cricket Ground or anywhere. Telling all this was due to him saying ‘I made Zak Crawley’. It was the moment of summer for me!

The Hussain and Key Cricket Show returns at 18 Thursday, January 7 at Sky Sports Cricket.

Plus, don’t miss live cricket from 6 p.m. 07.05 on Boxing Day as South Africa and Sri Lanka begin their two-Test series.

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