Connect with us

Latest

NASCAR announces new method for setting starting lineups – NBC Sports

Published

on

NASCAR starting lineups

A year into his role as Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief and facing another challenge to make the playoffs, Cliff Daniels has a simple request.

“I’m not even asking for things to exceptionally go our way,” he told NBC Sports. “I’m just asking for them to exceptionally stop going against us. When that happens, we’ll be OK.”

This has been a dizzying season of disappointment for Johnson and his team since the season resumed in May. The result is that the seven-time Cup champion is outside a playoff spot heading into this weekend’s doubleheader at Michigan International Speedway and in danger of missing the playoffs for a second year in a row.

Since May, there have been few highlights for Johnson and the No. 48 team.

# In NASCAR’s return May 17 at Darlington, Johnson was on his way to winning the first stage when he made contact with Chris Buescher and crashed on the final lap of the stage.

# Johnson finished second in the Coca-Cola 600 but his car failed inspection for what Daniels said was a part failure and was disqualified. The penalty cost Johnson 45 points.

# Clint Bowyer gained five spots in the last 11 laps at Atlanta to remain 12th in the owner standings and ahead of Johnson. That was critical because cars 1-12 in owner points are eligible to start in those spots via the random draw. Cars 13-24 in owner points, drew for those spots. Johnson’s luck in the random draw would prove to be terrible in the summer, costing him points in the first stage. Johnson has scored Stage 1 points in three of the 10 races since Atlanta.

Cliff Daniels has completed his first year as Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief. His first race in that role was Aug. 4, 2019. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

# Johnson missed the July 5 race at Indianapolis after testing positive for COVID-19.

# He returned the following week at Kentucky and was third on a late restart when contact with Brad Keselowski spun Johnson. Instead of a chance to win, Johnson finished 18th.

# Johnson started 20th at Texas and finished the opening stage seventh. He hit the wall in the second stage and that ruined his race, finishing 26th.

# While running 13th at Kansas, Johnson was collected in a multi-car crash and finished 32nd, again losing points.

# Last weekend at New Hampshire, contact with Clint Bowyer’s car spun Johnson as they raced for fifth place late in the opening stage. Johnson went on to finish 12th — his best finish in his last eight starts.

All this has put Johnson 25 points behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron for what would be the final playoff spot with six races left in the regular season.

The challenge is that with Johnson only eligible for starting spots 13-24, it is not easy to score points in the first stage of any race. It won’t be easy this weekend at Michigan. The first stage in both races is at Lap 40 — a quarter of the way through the 156-lap race. Last year, the first stage ended about a third of the way into the race. With fewer laps, it makes it more challenging to gain points early. NASCAR will change how the starting lineup is determined beginning next weekend and that could help Johnson.

Johnson will start 17th on Saturday. That also impacts how Daniels will set the car.

“We really have to slide our scale more toward the traffic balance potential, and you’ve got to be aggressive on the restarts, get all we can for positions there, and then make sure we’ve got a car that is able to pass,” Daniels said. “If you look at Kentucky, if you look at Texas, if you look at Kansas, that kind of paid off for us in making sure that we could pass and we did. We were able to pass and get up into the top 10 or better at all three of those tracks pretty quickly. … I do expect us to get our shot out front at some point during the day (at Michigan), at least that’s the plan.

“We’re going to keep marching forward in what we have built into the car in terms of being able to pass, have good pit stops and good restarts and a good strategy. The tough part is when we get up to the front we may not have quite the raw potential built into the car, so we’ll have to duke it out with them and that puts even more emphasis on executing those restarts and pit stops to keep our track position.”

2. Now what does Toyota do?

With the sale of Leavine Family Racing and expectation that the new team will not be aligned with Toyota, it leaves the question of what does Toyota Racing Development do?

If TRD can’t find another organization to align with, that would leave Joe Gibbs Racing’s four-car operation and Gaunt Brothers Racing’s new one-car effort in TRD’s fold.

PODCAST: How Toyota develops its young drivers

With what Toyota invests in driver development, it will need more seats to avoid losing drivers as it will do with Erik Jones not returning to Joe Gibbs Racing after this season.

Erik Jones started the year winning the Busch Clash. He’ll end it headed for another team in 2021. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

The statement from Ed Laukes of Toyota Motor North America seemed clear that Toyota would not have a place for Jones in 2021.

“Unfortunately, the time has come that we have to part ways from a competitive standpoint,” Laukes said in his statement.

With Jones’ departure, it leaves Toyota with Christopher Bell and Daniel Suarez, who came up through its development program. Through the years, Toyota has lost Kyle Larson, William Byron, Noah Gragson and Hailie Deegan to other manufacturers.

Toyota’s pipeline remains stocked with Harrison Burton, Riley Herbst and Brandon Jones in the JGR Xfinity program. Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Truck team runs Chandler Smith, Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard. Other Toyota drivers in the Truck Series include Derek Kraus with McAnally Hilgermann Racing and Austin Hill with Hattori Racing Enterprises.

David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, explained in 2018 the manufacturer’s interest in developing talent:

“If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have said that manufacturer’s don’t have any business developing drivers. You know you look at Kasey Kahne being brought up as a Ford driver and getting poached by Chevy or Jeff Gordon, kind of all of these examples – what we came to realize is one, why shouldn’t manufacturers have a role in driver development? From the competitive perspective you have two options, develop your own or steal them and you know Rick Hendrick and I have had a friendly you know jab about that because he’ll say ‘I’ll just steal them from you.’

“Arguably, he did already, but that’s okay because the second part of it is more altruistic I’d say and that’s that I think as a stakeholder in this sport, we have a responsibility to give back and we recognize – and the troubling part about it is Toyota doesn’t own racing teams. That’s not our role. The tough part about it is we’ll lose as many of these young kids as we’ll be able to keep just because you know the higher you climb the ladder, the fewer seats are available. That’s what keeps me up at night, frankly.”

3. A catwalk unlike any other

Among the many events postponed by the pandemic was the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Catwalk for a Cause.  The charity event held in May has raised more than $600,000 each of the past two years and highlighted pediatric cancer patients and survivors — heroes as they are called — in the fashion show.

Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Last year’s event raised money for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children’s Emergency Department at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center and the Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic at Novant Health Presbyterian Main.

Sherry Pollex, partner of Martin Truex Jr., told NBC Sports that COVID-19 and the economy are forcing foundations to examine how they raise funds.

“I think we’re going to have to come up with some ideas that are outside of the box, that we’ve probably never seen before because we need to honor these commitments to these hospitals and these children that we were going to fight for,” Pollex said.

An example is what the foundation looks to do with Catwalk for a Cause.

“We’re hoping that we can still do something special,” Pollex said. “We’re trying to put all the pieces together right now. We’re not really sure what it’s going to look like. We want to obviously protect the kids and their health and their families and everybody that is going to come in, but we’re hoping it’s going to be kind of like a drive-in movie theater type atmosphere where you drive your car in and are tailgating from the back of it. We’ve got some great ideas for that and we’re hoping that goes off in September so we can get funding from that.”

Fundraising continues for the foundation, which has been selling a variety of T-shirts this summer. Truex said the key is to keep the “word out on what we’re doing. Simple things like selling T-shirts. Our fans and supporters have been excited about little things like that and that keeps the fire burning.”

Truex’s sponsor Auto-Owners Insurance combined with his foundation to sell 500 limited edition mini helmets signed by Truex and Pollex. The helmets sold out this week in less than three hours. Auto-Owners also matched employee donations to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. That and the sale of the helmets raised more than $80,000. To celebrate, the hood of Truex’s car this weekend at Michigan will have the names of 1,900-plus Auto-Owners associates who made donations to the MTJ Foundation.

4. Knows the feeling

Brad Keselowski, who got a one-year contract extension this week, can relate to the despair Bob Leavine felt in selling his Cup team. Keselowski shut down his Truck series team after the 2017 season. Keselowski said previously how his organization lost $1 million a season.

“Racing is tough,” Keselowski said in a media conference Thursday. “It’ll make you bitter. There ain’t no way around it. It’s competition in all forms. It’s competition from the driver level, the owner level, the crew chief level and it’s tough.There’s no way around it.

Bob Leavine, center, at the 2018 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Photo: Dustin Long)

“I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about the ownership model being broken. I’m not so sure I believe that. Sometimes I think it is. Sometimes I think it isn’t. There’s a lot to be said for the very pure and true competitive and capitalist model that NASCAR team ownership has, so it’s got its positives and its negatives.

“I don’t enjoy seeing guys like Bob Leavine or anyone else for that matter leave the sport in ownership. I take no pleasure in their pain, but then on the other side I do recognize that in competition there must always be winners and losers, and maybe some people lose that don’t deserve to lose. That probably happens from time to time, but it’s part of the story of our sport is that there are winners and losers.

“We don’t have to like who the winner is, and we certainly don’t have to wish for someone to lose. We might not like who it is that loses. I think in this case, Bob seemed like a really great gentleman who has brought a lot to this sport in a very short period of time, but it’s a tough sport. It really is, and this is part of that unfortunate cycle of life for our sport as well.”

5. Kyle Larson’s future

Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports, met with the media this week. One of the questions he was asked was if there had been any conversations about whether Kyle Larson could be in a Ford next year.

Larson is interested in returning to NASCAR. Chip Ganassi Racing fired him in April after he uttered a racial slug during an online race. He’s since returned to dirt track racing with tremendous success.

So, could Larson drive for Ford in NASCAR next year?

“We’re in the midst of silly season and what I can say is we’re looking at all of our options,” Rushbrook said. “A lot of our seats have long-term contracts and are solid. You saw the extension announced (Monday) for Brad (Keselowski). We certainly have some seats in play, so looking to see what the best options are.

“We’re here to win races in the right way. We want to be competitive on track. We want to have our innovation and tech transfer, and we want the marketing out of it, so looking to see what we can do with any open seats for next year to fill them with the best driver.”

and on Facebook

Fashion

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Published

on

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

Reading List

Inside our coverage

Mack Weldon’s first CMO, Talia Handler, breaks down her integrated marketing strategy.

Text messages are Rebecca Minkoff’s most successful marketing channel.

Not everyone is embracing “workleisure.”

What we’re reading

Is Richemont dropping Yoox Net-a-Porter?

NFT sales are catching on in fashion.

It’s official: Zendaya’s style is iconic.

Continue Reading

Latest

South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi: Amateur magician; professional tweaker-trickster

Published

on

wwe crown jewel results

Harry Potter fans would know this as the Room of Requirement; muggle cricketers dub it backend operations. Tabraiz Shamsi is an amateur magician. He is also a professional worrier of why some googlies don’t turn as much as he’d want, in cricket.

For the Proteas chinaman bowler, the room of requirement from where he could pull out any game data, used to be the dependable ‘P Dawgg’, former South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram combining his ken and nous and fast processing laptop. Prasanna enviably would be privy to the trial (and error) runs of Magician Shamsi’s classical Tourniquet coin-drops with the cricket ball. Which was the unglamorous, quirk-in-progress of his left-arm leg spin.

At the stroke of 1 a.m, oftener than not, Shamsi would come looking for what he called ‘shit balls’, in what Prasanna reckoned were otherwise impressive, less-than-run-a-ball bowling spells. This was that one specific delivery that went for a six to sully Shamsi’s 4-0-22-3 T20 match figures. It was the bugs, not the features, that the 29-year-old would cussedly fixate on.

“I’d never point out that he’s missing his length or the back foot was collapsing, at 12.30 in the night. Because Shamo, you see, would then take me to the nets at 1 a.m! He’s capable of calling the manager and telling him at that hour that I have to practice NOW. You had to be careful about what you told him at 1 a.m,” Prasanna laughs, underlining ungrudging admiration for the Proteas spinner’s dedication.

A series of self-recriminations in staccato would follow the ‘Bhai, can you please put on the shit-ball that went for a six.’ “He’d curse himself watching replays: ‘no good, not international class, garbage ball.’ If you try telling him it is ‘well-played’ from Jos Butler and not exactly a poor ball, he’d be hard on himself and say, ‘This is nonsense from Shamo’,” Prasanna recalls of his exacting standards.

For, the South African World No 1 spinner – who lends mystery to the Saffer bowling attack if not entirely upstaging their thunderbolt battery of pacers – knows that all sleights of hand, can come with uncontrollable twists of fate. Both in magic, and cricket.

A young boy of 15 at Paarl who tried to bowl quick like Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, had wound up as a left arm leg spin all-sorts, after years of compulsive fine-tuning. And taken failures and omissions into his run-up’s five-strides.

***
Born in Johannesburg, Shamsi wanted to be a super quick in the land of bolting pacers. His progress though didn’t follow the regular route of being identified early for First teams at schools and playing age-groups. Also, he was told he wasn’t quick enough.

Speaking to the podcast ‘Pavilion conversations with C.S’ recently, Shamsi recalls his earliest break at age 15, bowling alone in the school nets, with the cricket coach’s office nearby. The coach would stop by and ask him what he was upto. “I said, ‘Sir, the U15 trials are coming up. I want to make the Paarl team wanna progress’. He told me – you are not gonna make it. But even there I thought he realised the type of character I am. That was just his way to push me even harder. He said ‘Don’t waste your time practicing coz you won’t get selected. And i was even more driven,” he told the host Mr. Chiwanza.

Shamsi would end up with most wickets that tournament, make the B team (“Still not A”), followed by U17 and U19s for the local side. “I didn’t get selected for SA U19s or invited to camps. My past was little different. In fact I got my opportunity at semi-pro cricket because one player got selected for U19s and went to the World Cup. A spot opened up because of him. I just knew that was my chance I had to make it work. And fortunately I performed. When he came back from the World Cup, he couldn’t get into the team,” Shamsi recalled.

It was around 2015-6 after he had zeroed in on Chinaman as his chosen bag of assorted tricks in franchise, provincial cricket, that he first sought out Prasanna, while closely following senior leggie and his ‘bruv’ Imran Tahir. Prasanna promised to compile a list of outstanding T20 spinners of that year for comparison, when Shamsi asked him: ‘Why just T20? I want to play all formats.’

Prasanna promised to revert after two days on Friday, and on Monday, he had a message from the hotel lobby at 10.30 am that Shamsi was waiting. “Normally, cricketers will turn up at 11.30, if the analyst time is 10.30. This guy made me abandon my breakfast and was ready with a list of questions. I’d prepared a presentation earlier on bowlers like Warne, Ajmal and Herath and how they bowled on unhelpful tracks, what lengths to bowl at what stage, and offered to email it to him. He tells me: “No. I’ll write it down in my own words. I don’t want shortcuts.”

Shamsi would sit and plan for every batsman – his notes diary in tow, even on matchdays when he wasn’t in Playing XI. And once he would spill the beans on why brainwaves struck him at 1 a.m – his preferred time to brainstorm with the analyst. “He once told me he eats my brain at that hour, so that he gets dreams of how to get a Kohli or Sharma out, so he can wake up next day he can execute the training plans.”

Once he came angsty about his googlies not spinning as much as Kuldeep Yadav or Brad Hogg. “When he said it’s not spinning, I told him Shamo’ you didn’t bowl any googly. That’s it. He hit the nets and bowled 1000 googlies non-stop and then said, he’s now hitting the groove.”

But nothing had prepared Prasanna for Shamsi’s mic-drop in the pink ball Test against Australia where the Chinaman was fancied as it’s tougher to spot the wrist in the Adelaidian twilight. Shamsi was instructed to block for 20 balls and support Faf as Proteas were hanging on at 210-9. Shamsi would announce he would score a 50 – against Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Finally he was unbeaten on 18. “He came back and blustered ‘If someone had suported me, I’d have hit that 50’.”

***

This constant state of ‘upbeat’ – talking up his own abilities to score a 50 coming at No 11 against Cummins & Starc – might well be the sort of swag and sizzle that the staid South African teams need at ICC tournaments. For a large part of the last 30 years, the Proteas have entered tournaments with burdensome tags of ‘talented’ and ‘favourites’ and come up short. The tasteless mocking glee of choke-jokes has run its course, and being light-weights might well prove liberating.

For all their botched run chases in 50 overs, South Africa can stake claim to the historic highest run-rally to 438. And the innings-interval remark of Jacques Kallis, the most expensive bowler in Australia’s 434, who had quipped “Guys, I think we’ve done a good job. They’re 15 runs short.”

Shamsi likes his boisterous one-liners too. And his showboating and noisy over-the-top pantomime aggression.

After starring in a T20 win against Ireland earlier, he would tell South African journalist Telford Vice, “In my young age, I started as a seamer but was told I’m not quick enough to be a fast bowler so became a spinner. Grew up watching Andre Nel, Dayle Steyn, Allan Donald, that’s where aggression comes from.”

He knows it’s a double-edged sword and a bowler can be packed off, but it can disrupt batters too. “Whatever it takes to win. I’m in charge of making our presence felt on the ground and ensure the team never backs down from opponents,” he added.

Shamsi recently responded to Darren Sammy’s tweet on who would win the T20 World: “Come on skipper, you know the answer to this already…. South Africa of course.” Scroll down the thread, and some mocker mangles his grammar: “are you comedy me”. A good laugh was had by all. Pressure punctured.

“He’ll say things like ‘I’ll single-handedly win this,” Prasanna says, “Whether it happens or not, it gives confidence to people close to you – your team.”

***

Shamsi’s made it to the top of rankings, taking 49 wickets from 42 T20Is, at a strike-rate of 14.8 and averaging 6.6. There’s been a bucketful of wickets in franchise cricket and The Hundred. He’s 31 and has bidden his time to make it to the national team, and another 4 years into the Playing XI. The Wicket then, is an ocassion to celebrate, he reckons.

“I’m a human being and not a robot and want to make long-lasting happy memories that will live with me forever long after my career is done and that is the reason behind my celebrations,” he wrote in a social media post once. “My celebrations mean no disrespect to the opponents. They help me enjoy myself, switch on and off during the game to release some pressure, and put some smiles on people’s faces too.”

There’s the “Shoe” that got going in the West Indies, where within seconds of a wicket, he’d shrug his ankle open from the left shoe and pretend to speak on a landline receiver. Then there’s the bus driver-celebration with Carlos Braithwaite and something about a birdie’s chirp. A flying kiss to the wife and a mock punch to a fielder like a streets hip hopper. Though the untold back-stories raise anticipation of what he’ll whip up next.

Prasanna says there can be new hairdos before every game, sometimes “thrice a week”, and that magic tricks and celebrations are practiced as diligently as the googlies and top-spinners. “Not only will he say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll get Ben Stokes out.’ He’ll also ask you to watch the celebration.”

Amongst his most famous on-field triumph-trumpetings after snaring a batter is pulling a wand out of a hankey – a magician’s staple. But never in cricket, where magic’s glossary is slathered on the slow bowlers and their guiles.

T20 commentators love his name, lending it a South American football match caller’s vroom: “Shaaa-mzzziii”. But it’s the celebrations that can befuddle the most trained of raconteurs. When Shamsi got Wihan Lubbe in the Mzansi Super League, the commentator would build up to the expected celebration. “Is the shoe coming off? No. Look at that…it’s magic,” he would chortle. Cricket was momentarily put to the side, before he resumed confused: “That was a legspinner…… Beg your pardon… Offspinner… That did the trick..” Shamsi’s delivery had jagged away from the leftie and the post-celebration left the commentator’s mind in knots.

Appearing on the Dan Nicholl Show in SA, Shamsi had pulled one of those ‘I can guess the card pulled out of the deck after being shuffled’ tricks. It was ace of spades.

Magic had been his fallback option till age 16, he’d say. “So if cricket doesn’t work out… I ll practice magic for 10 years… But naa… It’s gonna work out.. I’ll bamboozle you all,” he would say, charming the audience.

At the start of the magic gig, Shamsi had handed a sealed envelope to the host. “Sealed with Proteas saliva” Nicholl had joked with whispered reverence. The distracting envelope had briefly become the centrepiece, and Shamsi would explain later:
“You satisfied you made me stop shuffling when u wanted me to? Funny thing is…You thought you were in charge of the trick… Telling me when to stop. Even though it’s your show, I’m running this party… I was controlling you and I actually made you stop at a specific point. …And to prove that I had written down something in this envelope before starting the trick..” It read Ace of Spades.

Shamsi’s assortment of Chinaman, is a bit like that: planned spontaneity. Allan Donald in a video while introducing him to RCB few seasons ago, said: “Left arm, tweaks it this way, tweaks it that way, then tweaks it the other way.” Offering attacking options in the middle overs, with his ability to turn ball both ways, and variations of top spinner, the side spinner and googly, makes him effective against both lefties and righties. The constant explosion of activity – before, right after when appealing (he once did a spot of bhangra jumps, then sat down altogether while pleading a decision) and when celebrating, is in fact the sealed envelope distraction.

Yet, bad days are not unfamiliar to Shamsi, and his role can be flexible like the magician’s wand, like in the West Indies, to keep things quiet, contain against the big power hitters. “There’s two ways to skin a cat… Not really fussed about not getting wickets in WI. That was a different role,” he told the media later.

Sometimes the magic is in not believing the flimflam and sleight. Like rankings. “I don’t lose sleep over being No 1. Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be on top. But I’ve said it before and I truly mean it. I don’t even think I’m the best bowler in our team. We have some great bowlers in the unit. Rankings don’t mean anything if a batsman gets hold of you. I don’t even know how those rankings work honestly.”

Continue Reading

Latest

Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets

Published

on

Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets



















Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets | SuperSport – Africa’s source of sports video, fixtures, results and news






{“slug”:”cricket”,”name”:”Cricket”,”menu”:[{“name”:”Current & Future Tours”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/current-and-future-tours”},{“name”:”Completed Tours”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/completed-tours”},{“name”:”Rankings”,”uri”:”http://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/team-rankings/test”},{“name”:”Future Tours Programme”,”uri”:”//images.supersport.com/content/ICC-Future-Tours-Programme-Latest-2020.pdf”},{“name”:”Major Tournaments”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/major-cricket-tournaments”},{“name”:”ICC Umpires”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/elite-panel-icc-umpires-referees”},{“name”:”This Week”,”uri”:”/cricket/fixtures”},{“name”:”Q&A”,”uri”:”/cricket/chat”}],”topics”:[{“group_name”:”Series & Tours”,”topics”:[{“name”:”Aus v Eng 2021/22″,”slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”NZ v WI 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-west-indies-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-west-indies-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Ban 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-bangladesh-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-bangladesh-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Aus 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-australia-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-australia-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”SA v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tour”]},{“name”:”SA v SL 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v SA 2020/21″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-south-africa-202021″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-south-africa-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Afg v Ire 2020/21″,”slug”:”afghanistan-v-ireland-202021″,”parent_slug”:”afghanistan-v-ireland-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v WI 202021″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-west-indies-202021″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-west-indies-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”SAW v PakW 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-women-v-pakistan-women-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-women-v-pakistan-women-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ind v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”india-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”india-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SA v Aus 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-australia-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-australia-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SA v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”IPL 2021″,”slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”parent_slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“video”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Afg v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”afghanistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”afghanistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v SL 2020/21″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”IndW v SAW 2021″,”slug”:”india-women-v-south-africa-women-2021″,”parent_slug”:”india-women-v-south-africa-women-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Zim v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”zimbabwe-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”zimbabwe-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“video”,”logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Ban 2020/21″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-bangladesh-202021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-bangladesh-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v NZ 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-new-zealand-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-new-zealand-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v SL 2021″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v SL 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v Pak 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-pakistan-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-pakistan-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”Ire v SA 2021″,”slug”:”ireland-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”ireland-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”Eng v Ind 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-india-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-india-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v SA 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v Pak 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-pakistan-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-pakistan-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v Aus 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-australia-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-australia-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Zim v Ban 2021″,”slug”:”zimbabwe-v-bangladesh-2021″,”parent_slug”:”zimbabwe-v-bangladesh-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Ind 2021″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-india-2021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-india-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]}, {“name”: “Ban v from 2021”, “slug”: “bangladesh-v-australia-2021”, “parent_slug”: “bangladesh-v-australia-2021”, “uri”: null, “hidden_tabs “:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]}, {“name”: “Ire v Zim 2021”, “slug”: “ireland-v-zimbabwe-2021”, “parent_slug”: “ireland-v-zimbabwe-2021”, “uri”: null, “hidden_tabs “:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”SL v SA 2021″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”WIW v SAW 2021/22″,”slug”:”west-indies-women-v-south-africa-women-202122″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-women-v-south-africa-women-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v NZ 2021/22″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-new-zealand-202122″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-new-zealand-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v NZ 2021/22″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-new-zealand-202122″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-new-zealand-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”,”fixtures”,”results”]},{“name”:”Aus v Ind 2020/21″,”slug”:”australia-v-india-202021″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-india-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Aus v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”australia-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”,”results”,”fixtures”,”today”]}]},{“group_name”:”Countries”,”topics”:[{“name”:”ICC Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-2023″,”slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“today”,”results”,”fixtures”,”video”,”stats”,”tours”,”news”]},{“name”:”ICC T20 World Cup 2021″,”slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“today”,”results”,”fixtures”,”stats”,”tours”,”video”]},{“name”:”SA Women”,”slug”:”south-africa-women”,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-women”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”ICC U19 CWC 2020″,”slug”:”icc-under-19-world-cup-2020″,”parent_slug”:”icc-under-19-world-cup-2020″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”Women’s T20 CWC 2020″,”slug”:”icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020″,”parent_slug”:”icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2019-2021″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]}]},{“group_name”:”Other”,”topics”:[{“name”:”Women”,”slug”:”women”,”parent_slug”:”women”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tables”]},{“name”:”More”,”slug”:”more”,”parent_slug”:”more”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“fixtures”,”results”,”tables”,”stats”]}]},{“group_name”:”SA Domestic”,”topics”:[{“name”:”CSA T20 KO 2021/22″,”slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”CSA T20 2020/21″,”slug”:”csa-t20-challenge-202021″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-challenge-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”MODC 2020/21″,”slug”:”momentum-one-day-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”momentum-one-day-cup-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”CSA 4-Day 2020/21″,”slug”:”csa-4-day-franchise-series-202021″,”parent_slug”:”csa-4-day-franchise-series-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]}]}],”featured”:{“topics”:[{“name”:”IPL 2021″,”slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”parent_slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC T20 World Cup 2021″,”slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”CSA T20 KO 2021/22″,”slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”Aus v Eng 2021/22″,”slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-2023″,”slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”uri”:null}]}}

Continue Reading

Trending