To celebrate the recent publication of our 100th issue, AOC staffers and contributors put their heads together and came up with list of the hundred things that made our century what it was (starting May 2004). In no particular order, here is the eighth 10 of our ton.
England Women’s 2009
Years of professionalisation following the ECB’s takeover of the women’s game in 1998 led to a magical golden year in 2009. After winning the World Cup in Australia in March, Charlotte Edwards’ team returned that summer to win the World Twenty20, complete an ODI series whitewash over Australia and retain the Ashes; one of the great success stories in modern British sport. Ed Kemp
Why we love it: A landmark for the growth and profile of the women’s game.
The Duckworth Lewis Method
Inspired by everyone’s favourite formula and Neil Hannon’s unlikely love of ‘the English game’, The Duckworth Lewis Method’s eponymous album is as camp as Christmas but undeniably brilliant. From psychedelia to Gilbert and Sullivan silliness, the Divine Comedian – with the help of WG Grace lookalike and Pugwash frontman, Thomas Walsh – delivers a 12-track megamix of cricket weirdness. Sam Stow
Why we love it: Meeting Mr. Miandad: a Beatles-inspired ode to Pakistan’s erstwhile skipper.
Sehwag Emulates His Hero
It took 2,961 ODIs for a batsman to score a double ton but just 20 months after Sachin made history by reaching the milestone, Virender Sehwag trumped his idol’s effort, reaching his double century in the 43rd over against West Indies before eventually falling for 219. Acts of genius like this don’t come along very often; we’ve been blessed to see two in fewer than two years. James Scragg
Why we love it: Swashbuckling batting at its best.
Fire In Babylon
No team before or since the West Indies side of the 80s has bestrode the cricket world with such power, dominance and style. The documentary Fire in Babylon reminded us of the details in glorious gory technicolour and didn’t try to sugar coat it either. They were tough times on and off the field, especially if you were a batsman. As Colin Croft says: “The ball was like a bullet. If you missed it, you could be dead!” Dean Wilson
Why we love it: Explosive action, solid-gold soundtrack.
The Second Coming Of Marlon Samuels
The new King Cool? His Gayleness has some miles in the tank but we don’t have to look far for his heir. Swoonsomely good at 19, nearly a decade had elapsed before the impassive Jamaican grew up and re-erupted in 2012. It was like seeing Graham Gooch reinvent himself in the early 90s, only miles more fun. Rob Steen
Why we love it: Redemption, redemption, redemption. Class, class, class.
Usain Bolt Bowling Chris Gayle
It’s hard to come up with a comparison to demonstrate just how cool it is that Usain Bolt clean bowled Chris Gayle. The idea of Linford Christie going head-to- head with Mike Atherton doesn’t quite compare. The 100m world-record holder has aspirations of pursuing his cricket at a higher level and his chances weren’t harmed at all when he bowled Gayle neck and crop at a charity match in 2009. Henry Cowen
Why we love it: He’s better than Bangladesh’s seamers.
Durham Come Of Age
From newly minted whipping boys in 1992 to mixing it with the big boys and bagging trophies in the 2000s, the county that gave us Harmy, Colly and ‘Our Graham’ Onions are domestic cricket’s great success story. Who doesn’t love cheering for the underdog made (very) good? Ed Davis
Why we love it: A conveyor belt of droll northern fast bowlers and the (former) best media manager in the business (take a bow Lady Yvette) – what’s not to love?
First adopted by Channel Nine in Australia ahead of the 2006/07 Ashes, by 2009 the ICC had made the technology available to the third umpire and now it’s a key component of DRS – when the BCCI lets us use it. It’s had the odd spot of bother – most notably when Michael Vaughan sent Twitter into frenzy by suggesting VVS Laxman was applying Vaseline to his bat so faint edges couldn’t be detected – but it retains the backing of the ICC and, crucially, the vast majority of umpires. Jo Harman
Why we love it: Detecting the previously undetectable.
The Judicious Ranjun Madugalle
Former Sri Lanka batsman Madugalle is known to many of us primarily as the ultimate specialist match referee, notably in every game of the 2005 Ashes, where he would always shout ‘HEADS IS THE CALL’ alarmingly loudly at the toss. It was normally a tail. And even if it was a head then Punter stuck England in on a road anyway. Madugalle, or ‘The Sledgehammer of Cricket Justice’ as he has never been known, also fined the Aussie skipper just under £4,000 for his reaction to being run out by Gary Pratt, which rather endeared him to us at the time, too. Ed Kemp
Why we love it: One of hundreds of details to make up a magical summer.
The Rise And Rise Of Ashley Giles
The heir apparent to Andy Flower must have helium in his veins. Staunchly ignoring the doubters from behind a pair of wraparound shades, Giles has never failed to exceed expectations, and after his latest triumph – a richly deserved Championship win as director of cricket at Warwickshire – he now finds himself in charge of England’s exciting one-day teams. Looks set to be canonised sometime around 2050. Sam Stow
Why we love it: No one ever suspects the King of Spain.
Stay tuned for the rest of the gear, gizmos, gaffes and spine-tingling moments that made our century what it was.