The Test cricket caravan for 2018 finally comes to an end on December 30.
Meanwhile we look at the T20Is of 2018, which had concluded earlier in the month.
Here are the ICC rankings at the end of the year:
And the teams arranged by win/loss ratio:
Here Afghanistan has a clean sweep, including minnows as well as regulars such as Bangladesh. Pakistan has a more valid claim to the top position, as they do in the ICC rankings.
Some statistics for individual performances are given below. As in the above table, the one match involving the ICC XI is not counted.
Most runs: 250 and above:
Shikhar Dhawan is far ahead of the rest.
Highest innings: 90 and above:
AJ Finch is far ahead of the rest.
Most wickets: 10 and above:
The lesser known AJ Tye has the most wickets.
Best innings bowling: includes all cases of 4wi and above:
Most dismissals: 10 and above:
Sarfraz and Finch head the lists for keepers and non-keepers respectively.
All-round match performances: 30 runs and 3 wickets:
GJ Maxwell and Shakib Al Hasan have the best performances here.
From 2019 onwards, all T20I matches will be considered official and there will be no select list of T20I countries as there is for ODIs. So matches including presently unranked teams will figure in these statistics, as it already does with women’s T20I matches.
George HW Bush lived from 12 Jun 1924 to 30 Nov 2018, thus living for 94 years and 171 days. This makes him the longest lived US President, surpassing the record of Gerald Ford (93/165).
However, another predecessor Jimmy Carter was born on 1 Oct 1924 and is still living. He is 94/61 today. If he lives for about 4 months more, he will surpass Bush’s record.
While on this topic, Donald Trump (at 70/220) is the oldest to take office as President for the first time. However, Ronald Reagan was 73+ when he took office for his second term and 77+ plus when he stepped down.
If Trump is re-elected in 2020 and completes his second term, he will hold these records.
Here are some apparently full-fledged and manned stations where no passenger service exists in the timetables. There are various reasons why this could happen.
The examples in this post are certainly not an exhaustive list.
We start with this station in the middle of Jaipur:
This lies south of Jaipur Jn on the way to Sawai Madhopur. It was in the timetables up to the early 90s. Now it is an active station which has the main yard for storing rakes of long distance trains based in Jaipur. But it is not in the timetable.
Near Hyderabad we have:
Pagidapalli looks like a real station. And it is a junction where the line to Nalgonda and Nadikude branches off from the Hyderabad-Kazipet line. But no passenger service has ever existed since it was opened around 1990.
Closer to Hyderabad there is:
Hussain Sagar was a small junction mentioned in the timetables of the 1970s. Now the outlines of the platforms can be seen, but only the cabin still functions.
Dudhsagar was once in the timetable when it the Londa-Vasco section was MG. After conversion to BG a new platform was built as a viewing point. No passenger services are scheduled to stop at either, though unscheduled stops are common. Tourists make good use of these stops, even though leopards and other animals are known to roam the area.
No passenger train has scheduled stops at any point between Kulem and Castle Rock. Other stations on this section include this pair:
However, they have long sidings to cater to crossings of goods trains.
Sonaulim has somehow become Sonalium, which sounds like an exotic metal.
Update (Nov 2019): One pair of passenger trains have halts at Dudhsagar Waterfalls, but not any of the other intermediate stations including the original Dudhsagar.
Then these are well-known signal cabins on the Bhor Ghat between Karjat and Lonavla, where there are no scheduled halts for commercial purposes:
The last picture is that of the lesser-known Nagnath cabin.
Another station which had passenger services up to the 2000s was Singareni Collieries. It still has goods traffic. It is locally known as Yellandu station and is marked thus on Google Maps, although railway documents still mention the former station with code SYI. (These are screenshots from videos of news reports on Telugu channels).
One more is Hubballi South:
As you can see, the sign has recently been repainted as the name was changed from Hubli South. But no passenger train has been scheduled there for years.
A near miss: This oddly-named cabin (Magnesite Jn) serves as an important junction near Salem, where the line to Bengaluru (besides Mettur Dam) takes off from the Coimbatore-Chennai route.
For a short period in 2017-18 one passenger train stopped at Magnesite Jn in one direction. Now that has vanished from the timetable.
The once-thriving Cochin Harbour Terminus (CHTS). It began losing importance once the Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram line was converted to broad gauge in the mid-1970s, enabling long-distance trains to run to southern Kerala from Ernakulam Town/Junction bypassing CHTS.
Presently it has goods services but has not had passenger services since 2004. In July 2018 it was announced that DMU services would be started between Ernakulam Jn and CHTS. They did start running in September, but stopped after a few weeks.
Between Ernakulam Jn and CHTS there is Mattancheri Halt, which did not have passenger trains for years but has now been spruced up for the (short-lived) DEMU services in 2018:
Our next stop is at Kanpur, with a tangled web of stations:
We know Kanpur Central and perhaps Kanpur Anwarganj. But many residents of Kanpur have never seen the original Cawnpore which was built in the 1850s and served as the main station until around 1930, when Kanpur Central was built on the way to Lucknow. A loop line then connected Kanpur Central to the old line. The old Kanpur station (at the bottom of the map) saw no more passenger traffic, although goods trains continued to pass it:
It can be easily visited, but you will have to approach by road.
In Chennai, EMUs used to run between Villivakkam and Anna Nagar with an intermediate stop at Padi. I was fortunate enough to travel on this route in 2005 during its short life. There was not much passenger traffic, which hastened its closure. Today, only departmental trains run here to the ICF furnishings division near Anna Nagar.
Then there are the freight-only lines, like the one between Tornagallu and Ranjithpura which serves the iron ore industry in Karnataka. This is one of the intermediate stations:
And another one near Motumari in Telangana, which serves the cement industry:
On the way from Kalyan to Igatpuri, the semi-stations of Thansit and Oombermali/Umbarmali have existed for decades but never appeared in timetables. Many trains (including EMUs going to Kasara) did stop there for technical purposes. Finally in 2018 they have become full stations:
Here we look at those who scored one or more scores of 50 to 99 on debut.
Some points of note:
Dilawar Hussain and SM Gavaskar scored fifties in each innings on debut.
The Yuvaraj of Patiala (father of current Punjab CM Amarinder Singh) was playing in his only Test.
A few of these players went on to successful careers, notably Amar Singh, Mankad, Phadkar, Nadkarni, Gavaskar, Dravid, Laxman and Pujara.
But here are quite a few who ended their careers with 5 or less Tests and/or are forgotten to most cricket fans. These include the 2-Test players Kanitkar (senior), P Roy (junior), Rajput and Badrinath.
The jury is still out on Pandya. Let us hope that Vihari and MA Agarwal do better.
It is also worthwhile to look at all such Test players since 2014:
Note fifties in both innings by MDKJ Perera and Fakhar Zaman.
The most successful among these include MDK Perera, MDKJ Perera, JO Holder, Dickwella, Buttler, Pandya, Markram, Imam, Fakhar, MA Agarwal and Finch. And there are several others who are unlikely to play Tests again.
Hong Kong won the qualifying tournament, and will join the regular teams India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in cricket’s Asia Cup 2018
The odd thing is that Hong Kong is not a regular ODI team now, as it had lost its status in April 2018. They qualified ahead of Nepal and UAE who do have ODI status. (That is why the Nepal v UAE match was the only official ODI among the qualifying matches). The other matches had only List A status.
It is understood that Hong Kong will get ODI status for the Asia Cup matches. This temporary membership has happened before for various teams in the World Cup and Asia Cup.
In recent years it has been apparent that the standard of the Asian Games is higher than that of the Commonwealth Games, so more attention is focused on the former. However, it is worth having a quick look at the 2018 CWG and India’s performance there and in earlier CWGs.
It can be seen that India’s best performance was when they were hosts in 2010, and that they have slipped somewhat since then.
And finally, the one occasion that cricket featured in the CWG. In this 1998 Games at Kuala Lumpur, India participated with a second-string team. So did several other countries. These 50-over matches had List A status but were not classified as ODIs. India did not win a medal.
This was the first time that South Africa won a major cricket tournament (though this was not taken seriously by cricket followers). They did however win the first ICC Knock-out championship in 1999. This championship became the Champions Trophy in subsequent years. They are still waiting for another major tournament win.
The rankings are firstly by the number of gold medals, secondly by the number of silver medals and thirdly by the number of bronze medals. India finished 8th in the rankings.
Kazakhstan and Thailand are below India in the rankings but have a higher total number of medals.
This was India’s best performance at the Asian Games, as they equaled the previous record of 15 golds which was set back in 1951. And the total number of medals was a record 69, surpassing the previous record of 65 in 2010.
It is sometimes instructive to look at the bottom of the table. The countries which failed to win a single medal are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Maldives, Oman, Palestine, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Yemen. If cricket was there 🙂 Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may have won something there.
Those who got only bronzes and nothing else are Pakistan (4), Afghanistan (2), Myanmar (2) and Yemen (1). Then there is Nepal with 1 silver and nothing else – like India in the 2004 Olympics.
And there were many Olympics where India had a gold in hockey and no other medal.