The Australian selectors aren’t paying due regard to the long term future of the Australian One Day International team with its choice of Cameron White to replace Chris Lynn in the squad for the coming matches against England. White is 34 and whilst he has had a reasonable start to the Sheffield Shield and Big Bash seasons, one wonders what caused a change of heart by Australian Chairman of Selectors, Trevor Hohns. You may recollect Hohns’ comments twelve months ago after White had criticised the selection of Sam Heazlett in the Australian ODI squad. He said “Cameron has had plenty of opportunities … he has had plenty of opportunities in the past and it’s probably fair to say performed okay without being earth shattering”. Not the most flattering of opinions and a fair put down for a pro sportman.
Whether Hohns believes White’s form has improved to the extent to be now included in the squad or White has served his penance for the criticism of the selectors, those selectors feel White is better than anything Glenn Maxwell can produce at this stage of his career. For whatever reason there appears to be a rift between Maxwell, the selectors and Australian captain Steve Smith. One only needs to look at Smith’s recent comments about Maxwell to gain a hint on where the problem might lie. Smith suggested Maxwell should change his training practices. If the skipper makes those observations it a safe bet it will be a while before Maxwell is considered for further ODI duty.
Maxwell has the flair and more importantly, the ability to play the one day game at the highest level and at 29 represents more of the future for Australian cricket than White does at 34. Whatever the reason for the disconnect between Maxwell and the Australian cricket hierarchy, it is up to the selectors and the skipper to resolve it so that the best possible team can be put together for the 2019 World Cup and in my opinion, Maxwell is in that side!
At 25, Bernard Tomic has accomplished much in the tennis world but with Tennis Australia choosing not to offer Tomic a ‘wild card’ entry into the Australian Open field, his tennis career looks like it is on a very slippery, downward slope. Without automatic entry, Tomic has already indicated he had no interest in competing in the qualifying rounds.
Having attained his highest ATP tennis ranking of 17 in January 2016, he managed only eight wins after last year’s Australian Open causing a fall in the world rankings to #140. He has not played competitively since November 2017 and, after withdarwing from this month’s Brisbane International, we may have seen the last of Tomic at an ATP Tour or Grand Slam event.
If that is the case, then he will be like a number of young Australian tennis professionals who streak across the sky only to burn out in the heavy atmosphere that is the pro tennis circuit. Poise, composure, work ethic and tact are all qualities that go into making a good professional in any sporting field. After observing Tomic’s career, it is difficult to say he has any of those traits. One only needs to look at Tomic’s performance in a first round straight sets loss to Mischa Zverev at last year’s Wimbledon tournament and his petulant comments made at the aftermatch press conference to confirm this. It led to him being fined a record USD$15,000.00 by the All England Club for unsportsmanlike conduct after he admitted feigning injury during the match. He also told the press that he had felt a little bit bored and only played for the money.
If we have seen the last of Tomic, then I for one am not sorry to see him go. There have been many moments to celebrate in Australian Tennis over the years, but Bernard’s career is not one of them. The Wimbledon fine may be the low point of his career but there have also been more cringe worthy moments than memorable victories. With the suggestion that he could be one of the mystery contestants in the next ‘Get Me Out of Here, I am a Celebrity’, his career is definitely a ‘sell’ option at the moment.
I have been watching a bit of the Australian Swimming Championships this week and have been amazed at the performance of Cameron McEvoy. Not only is he the first swimmer to win the men’s 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres freestyle, he is also considerably smaller than the other swimmers. Most swimmers these days seem to be built like Centre Half Forwards whereas McEvoy is built like a Forward Flanker/Rover. He must have a very good technique to beat his more imposing rivals. I was also impressed that James Magnussen was happy to face the cameras after his defeat in the 100 metres final, he was clearly disappointed, but still put himself out there.
I was also bemused to hear during the week that Port Adelaide FC had secured a substantial sponsorship from China and they intended to play an “away” game in China. That is quite magnanimous of them offering someone’s home game for their sponsorship! It reminded me of Carlton offering to play all their away games in Sydney some time back when it looked like the Swans were struggling and may fold. I cannot see any team wanting to take up Port’s generous offer, but the AFL may pressure the Gold Coast or Greater Western Sydney to take up the game as the AFL is still propping them up.
One thing I did laugh at was our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull telling the world that Aussie Rules was the best game going around….this from a private school educated person who has no doubt played a fair bit of ‘rugger’ in his time. I thought at one stage Turnbull was going to gag on his words.
Have a great weekend!
Late last year I lamented the decline of West Indian cricket and the impact on world cricket and now we have the West Indian men’s team, women’s team and the men’s U19 team being the current World T20 champions. While I think that is great for West Indian cricket and it should engender significant more people wanting to play cricket in that region, I hope that first class and test cricket is not overlooked. Whilst it might be my age and what I grew up with, test cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport in my opinion and the limited overs competitions are lesser versions of the game. Do you agree?
I was a little disappointed to see Jason Day drop down the leader board at the Masters on the first day. He got off to a great start, but a triple bogey late in his round brought him back to even with the card. He is still in contention, but it would be good to see Spieth, McIlroy and Day in the final groupings on Monday morning.
I tuned in to watch a little bit of the Footy Show last night to see how Rebecca Maddern fitted in to the format. She was clearly nervous which is understandable and some of her material was obviously rehearsed/scripted to get her into the program, but I think she acquitted herself quite well and should be a welcome addition to the show which now has a very strong Geelong flavour. I don’t think her addition to the show will make me want to watch the show more often, but it is good see a bit of diversification and Rebecca is obviously a big footy fan which is essential.
Have a great weekend!
Robbed of a chance to have the gold medal around his neck after the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) has upheld an appeal by the world governing body for athletics, IAAF against the winner of the 50 kilometre walk, Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin. Kirdyapkin failed a drug test and his results for the period 2009-2012 were annulled except for the Olympics title.
In a decision earlier this week, CAS ruled that Kirdyapkin could not retain the tile and the event was awarded to the Australian who was second over the line. Tallent said he felt ‘vindicated’ and AOC President, John Coates has said that a ‘meaningful’ presentation will be arranged for Tallent.
Seems that we are quite prepared to take the decision from CAS on this one when it benefits an Australian, but, CAS have got it totally wrong when it comes to the Essendon Football Club players – hard to fathom.
I was interested to see both Richmond & Collingwood extended Damian Hardwick & Nathan Buckley’s coaching tenure during the week. Damian Hardwick has reached the finals on three occasions for no wins and Nathan Buckley has coached in four finals for one win. Neither are premiership coaches and I seriously doubt that they would be on the radar of any other team at the moment….so why the rush?
I am not saying they cannot coach, I just cannot see the urgency. Essendon extended the coaching tenure of Matthew Knights in the middle of the second year of a three year contract and he was sacked at the end of the third year meaning a big pay out for the club. I am not comparing either Hardwick or Buckley to Matthew Knights as coaches, but what happens if both Collingwood & Richmond miss the finals this year? I would have thought consideration in the middle of this year would have been more prudent.
Have a great weekend!
With the EPL results this week it would appear that the title race and the race for the top four positions are still up for grabs with seemingly no side in contention performing to expectations. Leicester are still in front and have stretched their lead by a point with a draw and Tottenham and Arsenal wasted great opportunities to make up the ground. We now see Manchester United and West Ham United with a real chance to get the coveted fourth position with Manchester City losing again. The title is there is be taken by the side that gets into a bit of form. The result of this week’s London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal could be crucial in the end result. From a purely unbiased perspective….’Go Gunners’.
I have heard a lot of AFL commentators criticise the teams that have been selected for the NAB Challenge and the standard of the games. What must be remembered is that nothing really hinges on these games. They are purely practice matches and sides will play how they wish and who they wish. I can appreciate that the media wants more and the AFL always likes to promote the games as being serious, but when it all boils down, it is the pre-season and the expectation that teams will treat them as any more than ‘practice’ is misguided.
The NRL season kicked off last night and it is great to see action on the field replace all the off field insanity. For the record books, the Brisbane Broncos knocked off the Parramatta Eels. The Broncos seem like they have picked up where they left off in 2015 and the Eels look like they are in for a long season.
Have a great weekend!
Well the Australian test team went to number one in the world test cricket rankings during the week on the back of the defeat of New Zealand in Christchurch and a 2-0 result in the series. Some people have suggested that this ranking over inflates their current “real” ranking in world cricket, however, you can only work with the system in place. I think the wins over the West Indies do not mean much, but defeating New Zealand on their home turf is no mean feat as they have had some very good results at home recently with a win over Sri Lanka and a drawn series in England last year. Australia’s loss to England last year and the subsequent win by England in South Africa recently would have England notionally right up there. The Aussie batting line up looks to be solidifying, however, our fast bowlers keep getting injured and in the future if we can keep Starc, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Siddle, Bird & Cummins on the park consistently(obviously not all at once) I think the side does deserve the number one ranking.
While it was good to see the Aussies successful in New Zealand, it was disappointing to see the bad behaviour of Hazlewood and Smith. This continues a run of indiscretions which the Australian team trumpet as playing the game hard, but to my mind spitting the dummy and carrying on like idiots has nothing to do with playing the game hard. I think New Zealand in the recent home and away series showed the Australians how the game should be played. At least Steve Smith acknowledged his mistake and vowed to improve in this department. I hope he does learn, because I like him as a player and he could be a very good Australian captain. Smith should besetting the example to the rest of the team though.
Have a great weekend!
I was interested to see that after Adam Voges had a lucky reprieve last week after being bowled on an incorrect call of “no ball”, that some of the commentators were calling for him to be given out in these circumstances. This was based on the circumstances where the batsman is given “not out’ when it is later discovered that the bowler has over stepped. I must say as much as I am usually more in the bowler’s camp than the batsman’s camp, this does not make sense and should not even be considered. When the batsman gets the call of “no ball”, his reaction is to have a go at the delivery with impunity and the level of application and concentration changes. It may be that the batsman does not even pick up the call and they don’t change their shot, but that would be impossible to adjudicate on. Leave things be for goodness sake!
We had the second instance of flares at an A-League game in the last two weeks and I must say I just don’t get it. Flares seem to be part of the unwanted fabric of soccer but make no appearance at any other sporting contest in this country. I don’t understand the rationale for flares at the soccer. That is not the issue I am looking at today though. Today’s issue is that now both Melbourne Victory and the West Sydney Wanderers could be subject to sabotage by opposition supporters. If it was a question of making the finals or finishing on top, what is going to stop someone dressing up as a Victory or Wanderers’ supporter and setting off a flare? Aside from the responsibility needing to rest with the crowd to retain offenders until security can apprehend them, how about people just generally showing some commonsense and
Have a great weekend!
Well we have one of the biggest sporting events in the world and certainly the biggest sporting event in North America kicking off on Monday morning Australian time being the NFL Superbowl between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. I have never been a big fan of the sport, possibly through lack of understanding, but the fact that a defensive linesman can have a great game and not touch the ball seems to be quite strange given the AFL emphasis on possession. I also find it peculiar that the main player in American football, being the quarterback does not kick the ball. Of the football codes, the NFL has the least emphasis on kicking. Notwithstanding my indifference to the sport it’s popularity in Australia is increasing and I am sure there will be a lot of people off work on Monday just to watch the game. I am going with the favourites, the Panthers.
I was interested to hear that Michael Clarke has announced he is coming out of retirement. As I understand it, he has only flagged
playing the Sydney equivalent of district cricket at this stage, but surely he must be gearing up to cash in on the T20 circuit. As we have seen from other recently “retired” cricketers there is good money to be made. My big question mark over Michael Clarke would be that he has never been an attacking batsman that could do any better than a run a ball at best. If I had anything to do with a T20 franchise in Australia or overseas I would be reluctant to pay too much for his services and query the Melbourne Stars signing him to a contract in the Big Bash.
Have a great weekend!