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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005, 09:50 GMT
Cricket predictions
By Martin Gough

After one of the most wildly unpredictable years of cricket ever in 2005, how will 2006 turn out? BBC Sport takes a wild stab in the dark.


Cricket-crazy Pakistan greets India's arrival for their second tour in as many years with waves of boredom, one fan in Lahore saying, "Didn't they play last week?"

Bad-tempered exchanges continue in Australia with Ricky Ponting saying South Africa "can't drink more than five pints a night".

Opposite number Graeme Smith responds angrily, claiming Ponting "smells like boerewors".


Ganguly and Chappell have a discussion
After watching their side's Test series defeat in Pakistan, prosperous India fans buy coach Greg Chappell a round-the-world cruise, stopping in Australia.

Sourav Ganguly is installed as his replacement.

Australia beat South Africa in the one-day VB Series, even though the finals format is extended to best-of-15 to give the tourists a chance.


England's injury crisis continues upon their arrival in England when captain Michael Vaughan trips over during a net session in Nagpur and impales himself on Kevin Pietersen's newly-gelled hair.

However, their search for a new bowling coach and an attacking spinner are solved in one stroke as Darren Gough is brought back into the side to bowl some twirling off-breaks.

They win the series 2-1 after Ganguly objects to the umpiring in Mumbai (Bombay) and orders the team off the field.


Already 2-0 down in the one-day series against India, England pull out of the remaining three matches and go home early, claiming a dog ate their coloured kit.

Nottinghamshire dispute claims they are a "Dad's Army" as they take part in a Horlicks binge before opening their County Championship defence against Yorkshire.


England celebrate victory over Sri Lanka
With West Indies players on strike because of their sponsorship row and Zimbabwe unable to muster a Test XI after a mass desertion of players, the series is run as a six-a-side tournament.

The International Cricket Council says it is powerless to intervene.

Sri Lanka struggle in the alien conditions of early-season England and are bowled out for 154, 78, 34 and six in their first two Tests in England.


The sun comes out for the third Test and Sri Lanka rack up 597 at Trent Bridge to draw the series with England 1-1.

Officials at the Rose Bowl guarantee another Twenty20 international sell-out when they offer free tickets to those who have yet to get out of the car park following last year's match.


Pakistan arrive in England complaining they have not had enough time to recover from their historic series first victory over India since 1987.

After a batting collapse they lose the first Test, at Lord's, by 20 runs.


Shane Warne at the Hampshire helm
With Shane Warne taking five wickets with successive deliveries, Hampshire clinch their first Twenty20 Cup crown on finals day at Trent Bridge.

They reach the C&G Cup final at Lord's later in the month but are bowled out cheaply after forgetting how many overs matches last in this competition.

England win the fourth and final Test to clinch the series against Pakistan, who stay up until the middle of the night on the eve of the match to watch a TV awards ceremony at home.


Newly-promoted Yorkshire win their first County Championship title since 2001 but a committee-room row means no one can agree who should lift the trophy.

It is awarded to Lancashire by default.

Pakistan win the one-day series in England because, despite their injury crisis at the end of a long tour, it's only England they are playing against.


Forced to go through qualifying for the ICC Champions Trophy in India, England send a Phil Tufnell Invitation XI instead, are eliminated by Bangladesh and get the month off.

Australia warm-up for the Ashes by winning the ICC tournament for the first time in their history.


Jeff Thomson in Aussie colours
In the Ashes tour-opener in Canberra, it is Jeff Thomson's turn to be the ageing great brought back for the festival match and he celebrates by bowling England out cheaply.

With Australia's pace attack lacking depth, he stages a full-time comeback and is named in the Test squad.

The rest of the Australia side arrive home complaining they have not had enough time to recover from their historic first ICC Champions Trophy victory.


Immigration officials in Australia are overwhelmed as the entire 59.6m population of the United Kingdom arrives to watch the Ashes series.

Nevertheless, they still confiscate all Barmy Army song sheets on the grounds that everywhere they go people already know who they are and where they come from.

A cliff-hanger of a series is level at 2-2 going into 2007 and England's confidence is also high going into the World Cup in the West Indies ...

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