Richard Gibson: Federer and Tendulkar’s cricket connection

Tennis superstar Roger Federer’s impromptu meeting with his cricketing equivalent Sachin Tendulkar during Wimbledon added to a growing involvement of the Swiss in the sport.

Federer, whose familiarity with cricket emanates from the fact his mother Lynette is South African, spent an hour with Tendulkar chatting about their respective careers. Earlier this year, he caught up with England players Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen during the Australian Open.

And he has had the odd knockabout with the bat in his time too, most notably in December 2006 in his role as a UNICEF ambassador when he played in Tamil Nadu, India, with the child survivors of that year’s tsunami.

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New Zealand’s Iain O’Brien is expected to resume his career in his native country this winter following his failed bid to be considered a local player with Middlesex.

O’Brien’s three-year deal with the county included a caveat that he would revoke his overseas status after one season – but the England and Wales Cricket Board turned down his application to be considered as a domestic cricketer, by marriage to a Briton, and he lost a subsequent independent appeal.

O’Brien, 35 next week, quit international cricket in December 2009 to live permanently with wife Rosie in England. He is expected to sign for Wellington for 2011-12.

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Chris Gayle’s fall-out with West Indies has quickly been followed by him upsetting new Australian franchise Perth Scorchers.

Gayle, whose acrimonious relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board led to him being overlooked for the current Test series against India, has signed for Sydney Thunder, making him the first overseas player to fetch the top ceiling price of AUS$250,000 in the Big Bash.

The move reunites him with former Windies coach John Dyson, who heads the Thunder, but has left Perth furious as they claim they had a verbal agreement with him. He previously played 20-over cricket for Western Australia before this year’s switch to eight city-based teams.

Meanwhile, there is a strong chance that Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Warwickshire’s new overseas signing, will finish his career in England as a Kolpak player from 2012 onwards.

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Gary Bettison, a 20-year-old batsman for Barwick-in-Elmet, made good his decision to play this season, after originally considering concentrating on rugby league, by hitting six sixes in a Wetherby League game against St Chad’s on June 25.

The unlucky bowler Zai Ali may have been left to curse Bettison’s decision to don the whites after all in 2011. Neither were the exploits of the apprentice craftsman at St Chad’s’ Headingley base his first such aerial assault. He once hit five sixes in an over in an Under-17 club match.

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England’s second one-day international against Sri Lanka at Headingley was five years to the day of their eight-wicket hammering by the same opposition on the same ground, and also the fifth anniversary of Yorkshire great Fred Trueman’s death.

Fiery Fred might well have spluttered “I just don’t know what’s goin’ off owt there” had he witnessed Sri Lanka’s stupendously rapid chase of England’s 321 back in 2006. Now what did go off in the life of the former fast bowler and Test Match Special summariser, the first man to break the 300-barrier in Test wickets, has been captured in a new authorised biography, written by Yorkshire Post cricket correspondent Chris Waters, and due for release in October.

Among those to have contributed their memories of him are Geoffrey Boycott and Sir Ian Botham.

*Follow me on Twitter @richardgibson74

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