No one should have expected the Hughes inquisition

Few Australians, let alone cricket fans, haven’t bared witness to the Phil Hughes tragedy. It’s plain to see what happened in public view on camera and played ad nauseam over the ensuing days. A freak accident, one that simply couldn’t have been avoided with the helmet technology at hand, the rules of cricket or accepted tactics to…

Answers to the Aus v WI 2nd Test Quiz

Write Line Fever’s 2nd Test Match quiz received an appalling response, nevertheless we thank everyone who bothered.  The lucky winner was Devon Port of Devonport.  Congratulations Devon on your scintillating entry.  For the record, the answers were: 1. C): Neither Nathan Coulter-Nile nor mystery spinner Fred Nile has played a first class game since March.  The Reverend was on…

Milo Cricket: is there value beyond the kit?

As published by The Footy Almanac, 3 December 2015 In a former life as a sports development officer I was heavily involved with pushing a nationally branded participation program for a severely under resourced sport in a crowded, ambivalent market. Needless to say coercing parents and teachers across Victoria to sign up for Touch footy was…

Answers to the Aus v NZ 3rd Test Quiz

As published by The Footy Almanac, 30 November 2015 Write Line Fever’s 3rd Test Match quiz received a lukewarm response, nonetheless we thank everyone who bothered. The winner was William S Town of Williamstown. Congratulations William on a marginally better effort than the 7 other entries. For the record, the answers were: False: Boof the Wonder Dog is not the name of the Australian…

Answers to the Aus v NZ 2nd Test Quiz

As published by The Footy Almanac, 18 November 2015 Write Line Fever’s 2nd Test Match quiz received a trifling response, nonetheless we thank everyone who bothered. The winner was Myrtle Ford of Myrtleford. Congratulations Myrtle, a slightly less crappy effort than the 3 other entries. For the record, the answers were: False: The WACA was not designed by the World Association of Chinese Architects.   It was conceived by…

How much does TV commentary really matter anyway?

As published by The Footy Almanac, 14 February 2015 Yesterday’s withering critique by Guardian sports journalist Geoff Lemon dispatched the oft-maligned Channel 9 cricket commentary team right over the pickets. No, make that over the Victor Richardson Gates – with eloquent, entertaining and exacting precision. It was one helluva read. There is no doubt that…

An open letter to Brad Hodge

  As published by The Footy Almanac, 22 January 2013 Not since Kim Hughes’ impersonation of Claire Danes’ contorted cry face has Australia’s batting stocks been so bereft of world class performers. But Hodgey, please, save your dignity and let sleeping dogs lie. It’s one thing to flay poor mugs on bat friendly pitches in…

First Test – Day 5: Clarke’s rubber

As published by The Footy Almanac, 14 November 2012 Round 1 of test cricket’s world championship bout took a rather odd, scenic route.  Ultimately, the Aussies stuck it to the hastily convened critics (I was one) and emerged with a moral points victory. Australia was well and truly on the ropes at beer o’ clock on Friday, helped in no way by the…

Phil Jaques, forgotten man

As published in The Roar, 12 January 2012 It’s been three and a half years since Phil Jaques last donned the whites in Australia’s 87 run win over the West Indies at Bridgetown. Jaques opened with none other than Simon Katich, whose demotion from the national side will go down in history as one of…

Big bash for cash

As published in Inside Sport, December 2011 Not yet sold on the Big Bash’s extreme makeover?  Neither are we.  Around the globe cricket is navigating the winds of change. The spectre of omnipresent gambling, evolving technology and viewing habits, product saturation, private ownership and dynamic power shifts have impacted the game at every echelon. At…

Double Trouble

As published in Inside Sport, March 2011 Richie Benaud labeled it ‘disgraceful’.  New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon called it cowardly and ‘disgusting’.  Ian Chappell instinctively pleaded to his brother from the commentary box to desist.  In the Kiwi dressing rooms, the stunned silence was shattered by an enraged Mark Burgess smashing a teacup!  Thirty…

Tours of Duty

As published in Inside Sport, April 2009 In more innocent times, the most serious threats to the health and wellbeing of touring Australian cricket teams was a severe case of Delhi belly or any combination of Holding, Garner, Roberts, Marshall or Croft. Sure, rum-infused locals fed up with rain delays in a 1978 WSC Supertest…