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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 January, 2004, 07:53 GMT
Cricket's crystal ball: 2004 (July - Dec)
By Martin Gough

Shane Warne to add four stone in new diet? Clive Lloyd to re-take West Indies captaincy? England to undertake development tour to Iraq?

If you thought the first six months of 2004 were unbelievable, the second half of the year - as seen in the BBC Sport crystal ball - will provide no respite.


Following the success of their youth policy in one-day cricket in 2003, England name the St John's Wood Grammar 1st XI as their representatives for the NatWest Series.

In line with ECB policy, the schoolboys are asked to drive between matches but are delayed on the way to a match at Headingley, chatting up serving staff in the Burger King at Watford Gap services.

New Zealand suffer an injury crisis before the final and pull out, awarding the title to West Indies, although the Caribbean side's only remaining fast bowler, the youngster Walsh, suffers a stress fracture to his back while celebrating.

New rules to speed up the Twenty20 Cup - fast bowlers restricted to two-pace run-ups, incoming batsmen only have five seconds to reach the crease - see the competition over before it begins.

Surrey claim the title at Edgbaston in June.


Daan van Bunge
After Sri Lanka secure home-and-away series victories over Australia, second-ranked Test nation South Africa pull out of their tour of the island due to unspecified security fears.

Daan van Bunge hits the winning runs over the Lord's pavilion as Holland down Scotland by six wickets to clinch the C&G Trophy - English county cricket's premier knockout competition.

Despite the injury plague, West Indies unearth four new teenage pace bowlers with slightly unorthodox actions, and recall 69-year-old Lance Gibbs at The Oval, to clinch the series 2-1.


The ICC Champions Trophy descends into farce as the India team bus gets lost trying to find the Rose Bowl.

The entire Pakistan squad lose their way on the London Underground and Shane Warne is found in the Burger King at Watford Gap services.

Hosts England win by default but are arrested trying to purchase cider to celebrate.

Somebody wins the County Championship but nobody can quite remember who.


After winning the toss and opting to bat first against India in Calcutta, Australia take time to choose between the heavy roller and Shane Warne, finally opting for the roller as Warne is busy with his pre-match snack.


Graeme Smith
Smith's umpteenth century: A team effort
Graeme Smith reinforces his reputation as South Africa's pre-eminent batsman by scoring 98% of his side's runs in India, with six centuries, including a treble- and a double-ton.

Asked how he feels, Smith says it was a great team effort and he is "proud of the fight in my boys".


England's one-day squad is held up at Heathrow on the way to South Africa, after one of the players mother's points out he has forgotten his handkerchief.

Rather than get tied up in re-arranging the trip, the England and Wales Cricket Board decides its side has played too much cricket in the last 12 months and cancels the whole thing.

Cricket's crystal ball: 2003 (Jun-Dec)
07 Jan 03  |  Funny Old Game
Cricket's crystal ball: 2003 (Jan - May)
03 Jan 03  |  Funny Old Game
Cricket's crystal ball: 2002
30 Dec 01  |  Funny Old Game

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