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A rewarding month for cricket


Photo: ESPNCricinfo Photo: ESPNCricinfo

The end was picturesque. Brad Evans drives to the cover for a single, and Zimbabwe are off to a historic win, their first-ever win against Australia in Australia. 

The moment was magical for Zimbabwe cricket. They beat Australia's 1st fiddle team without any major contribution from their star Sikandar Raza.

It was indeed a huge result for Zimbabwean cricket. But it's all about the globalisation of cricket. The last 35-36 days of cricket have contributed greatly to the game's globalisation. 

Should this continue, the benefits will be huge.

It started on July 27th. New Zealand started their tour to Scotland on that day. They played 1 ODI and 2 T20Is.

Scotland could not match the Kiwis in the T20s, but they fought bravely in the single ODI, scoring 306. New Zealand eventually won easily, but the Scottish side gained valuable experience.

In the meantime, Bangladesh already started their visit to Zimbabwe for 3 ODIs and T20Is each. People hardly need any reminder about Zimbabwe's brilliance in winning both the series 2-1 and Bangladesh's woes.

This was somewhat the beginning of a great month for Zimbabwe.

The next day Zimbabwe snatched the T20 series from Bangladesh, South Africa started their tour to Ireland for 2 T20Is. Proteas eventually won by 2-0, but Ireland gave them hard times scoring 190 in the first T20, chasing 211.

The day after South Africa started the Ireland series, New Zealand continued their Europe trip, this time to the Netherlands.

It was once again for 2 T20Is. Like others, New Zealand had a hard time in the 1st game where they could register a win by a mere margin of 15 runs. 

Meanwhile, after the series against Proteas, Ireland invited Afghanistan for 5 T20Is. Ireland won the series 3-2 after five thrilling encounters. 

Pakistan visited Netherlands for a 3 ODI series. Pakistan won the 2nd one comfortably. But they had to wait until the last for wins in the other two, where they could only register 16 and 9 run wins, two encounters which could have been anybody's game.

Coming back to Zimbabwe, they faced two big guns. First, India visited them for 3 ODIs. India struggled for a win in the last game registering a 13 runs victory. 

And then came the Australia tour for them. Zimbabwe lost by 2-1 but earned immense respect from everyone.

Also, Hongkong got to face giants India and Pakistan within three days. They, as predicted, lost both but played some good cricket.

Overall, hardly any year sees this many games for the small teams against the top teams. So the summer indeed has shone brighter for them. Cricket fans can only hope this trend continues for the game's greater good.

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