Posts categorised ‘Sport’

Can I be real, it’s pretty disappointing that an entire Ashes game can be called off just because it rained for a couple of hours 😕 Women’s sport has come a long way in public recognition in the last few years, but it’s still really not taken as seriously, hey.

Link: “Is English cricket's class and race problem behind their dismal Ashes defeat?”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-20/is-english-crickets-class-problem-behind-their-ashes-defeat/100762798

Reminds me a bit of Usman Khawaja’s article(external link) about the hostility of Aus­tra­l­ian cricket to aspiring players from immigrant backgrounds. Apparently 30% of recreational cricket players in the UK are from South Asian backgrounds, but only 5% of their professional players are.

I also did not realise that cricket has only been available on pay TV in the UK since 2005, which naturally makes it a low-profile sport to many young people (there’s a tidbit provided about kids being asked to list 10 sports, and 60% of those kids not thinking to list cricket as one of them). Plus the article mentions it’s an expensive sport to get started in (bats, pads, helmets, etc.) so if low-income kids are going to get into a sport, it’s probably going to be something else.

It does feel like a stretch to suggest that this is “THE” reason England lost the Ashes, but it also seems likely that a lot of England’s best raw talent is not actually taking up cricket, or not making it through to the levels where selectors might spot them. If you’re not starting with all the best people, you’re not giving yourself the best chance.

Thoughts on Novak Djokovic

So I woke up this morning to the news that, after 11 days of legal conflict and confusing news reports, male tennis no. 1 Novak Djo­ko­vic has been deported. In my opinion, this whole issue has been a bit of a shit-show, and I feel like I still don’t fully understand quite how this has all gone down.

I will admit, like many Australians I was pissed off when Djo­ko­vic was gloating on social …

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One “sports history” tidbit that I quite like is the fact that cricket and ten-pin bowling ultimately derive from the same sport. It makes sense if you think of the wicket in cricket as analogous to the pins in bowling. At some point during the Tudor era, people had the thought, “Hey, wouldn’t bowling be even more fun if there was some guy standing in front of the pins trying to defend them?” The whole sport of cricket evolved out of that. Supposedly this is also why underarm bowling wasn’t banned until Trevor Chappell (under instructions from his captain) infamously deprived NZ of the chance to tie a 1981 match by bowling underarm on the last ball(external link). I don’t think you could argue that that bad sportsmanship was justified by the (very!) historical origins of the sport. Still, I think it’s cool how two games that seem so utterly dissimilar today are in fact related.

Link: “Book review – Evita Burned Down Our Pavilion”

Original post found at: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/book-review-evita-burned-down-our-pavilion-1294044

I’m sure the book itself is full of even more interesting historical detail, but this review still gave me a bit more insight into the history of cricket in Argentina (mostly how it declined as Peronism grew). If you’ve ever wondered why Buenos Aires has a rugby team called “Buenos Aires Cricket & Rugby Club”, this might be an interesting little read, haha.

Currently watching the AFL Grand Final (or the half-time entertainment) with Viv – the second year in a row that it’s been at night, in a different state from its traditional “home” at the MCG, and we haven’t even been allowed to see our loved ones to watch the big game together, as we usually would 😔

Not really fussed who wins, although I’ve been glad to see the Bulldogs wage a fightback to make it more interesting 😆 As someone who’s neutral, I definitely prefer to watch an exciting game! (Now when the Swans are in it, I wouldn’t find seeing a one-sided game with us winning… but haha as if that would ever happen.)

Hopefully by this time next year we’ll be able to see it with others once more 😌

Link: “Afghanistan Cricket Board accuses Australia of ‘knee jerk’ reaction over threat to cancel Hobart Test, makes no mention of fate of female players”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-11/afghanistan-cricket-accuses-australia-of-knee-jerk-reaction/100454082

Found this quite an interesting piece, because the journalist has taken the approach of quoting the Taliban-appointed ACB boss’s letter at length, allowing his smarmy dishonesty to speak for itself almost completely. Although this paragraph of added commentary near the end stands out:

There appears to be no irony in the statement that cricket may cease to exist in Afghanistan should the men be prevented from playing; for the women in Afghanistan the game apparently ceased to be played the day the Taliban took over.

I’m certainly no supporter of neverending imperialist wars, but neither do we have to legitimise repressive regimes – and allow them to use matches as propaganda tools – by playing cricket against them 🤷🏻‍♀️

Link: “Olympic cities can become multi-billion-dollar graveyards for white elephants after the Games”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-07/what-japan-learned-from-olympic-white-elephants/100329488

With the Olympics now over, it seems a good time to reflect on what’s happened to the enormously expensive venues that recent host cities have built. Not surprising, really, that hardly anywhere is interested in hosting the Olympic Games any more. There can be some benefits (like the Brisbane 2032 bid apparently was motivated in part by local mayors wanting better train services, and this article says Athens got greatly improved transport infrastructure too) but how overshadowed is it by the cost of unnecessarily large venues and flattering IOC officials’ egos…

The article does also suggest that greater use could be made of pop-up venues (like Pyeongchang’s $101 million disposable stadium – which despite that price tag was less than 15% what Sydney’s Olympic Stadium cost) or else that that the Games could get a permanent home, or maybe that different Olympic sports could have different permanent home cities, although at that point you’d have to wonder what would distinguish the Olympics from existing world championships.

My Preferred Olympic Winner Order

Watching the Olympics this morning, I think I’ve decided the order in which I like to see countries win events. It’d be easy to say “I just want my country to win everything”, but actually I don’t 😉 That’d be really boring and no fun at all. So, I reckon my order goes:

  1. small or underdeveloped countries that don’t see much Olympics success (e.g. Bermuda, …

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The Tokyo Olympics Begin

I stayed up ‘til 1am last night watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Tokyo. I don’t think I’ve paid much attention to any Olympics in ages – it’s probably just Sydney and Athens that I actually followed, because those are the ones that happened when I was just the right age (primary school) to care. (Don’t @ me with “what about the Winter Olympics” – …

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a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.