An interesting thing happened in a Test Match between England and Pakistan the other day. It was unfortunate for controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair that he happened to be officiating on this day, however it seems like he just followed the rules as they are laid out. Originally, Pakistan were penalized five runs after the umpires noticed that the ball had been tampered with. Whether they did it or not, the Pakis should have just got on with the game. Instead, after the tea break they decided to have a ‘sit in’ and did not retake the field. After giving them adequate time to make it to the pitch, the umpires decided that Pakistan had forfeited the match with victory being awarded to England. As with all sports, the umpires are the sole adjudicators of the rules out on the pitch, and the umpires decisions should be final. It really doesn’t matter that people have paid to see a game – they have paid to watch a fair game of sport, and if the umpires declare that the game is not fair, and a team does not follow the rules and laws of the game, then they (and the supporters) will have to suffer the consequences. I don’t like how so much of the blame went to the umpire Darrell Hair (but not his co-umpire?). The blame should go to the Pakistan Cricket team for spitting the dummy and not playing ball.
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I am sitting her writing this entry as I have plenty of time – I am waiting online to purchase tickets for next year’s cricket Test and one-day games between Australia and England. It is going to be a huge Ashes contest after the Poms unexpectantly beat us last year. The tickets were released today to those who had signed up early (which I did) though there is a long wait for web pages to load on the ticketing website. If there is going to be a sellout at the MCG I want to be there. They sold out for the soccer last week and I missed out on tickets for that.
After a few hours online I eventually got the tickets I was after. It was tempting to get some extra tickets to sell on ebay – already there are many there illegally selling for greatly inflated prices. Cricket Australia is trying hard to stop the sales, but I can’t see how they can, unless they can somehow find out the ticket numbers and cancel them. Maybe they should have had a ballot system like they did for the Olympic Games tickets. The current system disadvantaged those without internet, and those who did not have the time to sit around waiting for pages to load. Apparently the phone booking system was just as slow, and you were not able to go in and book the tickets in person. Lets hope they can sort it and and a fair system for all is worked out as the population and interest are just getting bigger while the ground sizes are not.
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Last year my wife and I travelled through India for a couple of months. The locals everywhere were very friendly, especially the kids, who always wanted to chat. As soon as we mentioned we were from Australia, the conversation always turned to cricket. To amuse ourselves, we started to ask everyone we talked to who was their favourite Australian cricket player. We got some surprising answers. The winner of the poll was Adam Gilchrist, a result we could not argue with. Not far behind was Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee, and the Waugh brothers Steve and Mark. Greg Chappell often got a mention too as he was the current coach of the Indian cricket team.
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My wife and I went traveling in India at the end of last year. Once anyone found out that we were from Australia, they all wanted to talk cricket with us. We decided to take an informal poll with the people we met, about who was their favorite Australian cricketers. The most popular Australian (ex) player we talked about was Greg Chappel, as he was coaching the Indian national side. Out of the current team, a favorite was Steve Waugh, which was not surprising considering the work he does in India. Other top players were Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting.
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