Vaughan injury worries Aussies?

Well perhaps not – but worries one of them!

No Vaughan no Ashes good people, England must find the nearest hyperbaric chamber and hibernate for the next six months. I cancelled a perfectly good family holiday in Queensland to watch two great teams lock horns in Melbourne on boxing day; i can not and will not settle for anything less!
it’s over to you England………..DO SOMETHING.

Comment of the week by a long shot.

West Indies are all over India

Title says it all. In the 38 overs bowled so far in the fourth Test, India are 56 for 3. That’s under two runs-per-over! Rahul Dravid (inevitably) and Yuvraj Singh have put on 22 for the fourth wicket to steady proceedings, but it’s a cracking start to the Test. Check out the live scorecard.

Update: 91 for 5 from 50 overs

Update: 91 for 6. Read my colleage Jamie’s comments in the ball-by-ball coverage at Cricinfo:

Collymore to Dhoni, OUT, GONE! Short ball on off, Dhoni goes for his favorite cut shot but can only hit it to Dwayne Bravo in the slips, what a good catch, made it look so simple, another Indian falls prey to this disciplined bowling attack, they’re in tatters here at Sabina Park, what a batting display, check one more for the Windies

Yes, he did say disciplined! What a first day West Indies are having.

Sport and society

So Germany are through to the World Cup semi-finals with penalties, which has ended with a bit of a brawl. The commentator on ITV (UK channel) said:

“Germany has never been so unified…its people have never been so universally smiling [sic]”

Now then. Regular readers will know of my indifference to football (even I am pursuaded by the World Cup, however), but is such a comment really necessary or valid? What is he really trying to say? I find it careless and irresponsible. I’m sure I’ll fall victim of making social analogies in my career as a sports writer, but I hope I’m at least aware of them and will learn from them.

It’s over-the-top. That the host nation is through to the semi-final has made the people more unified is probably true…but to say they have never been so unified? Come off it. This is sport. It’s a game. They’re playing a game. Keep it in perspective.

Sport has a huge place in society, globally. Am I being cynical in disagreeing with the notion that sport can define a nation?

Vaughan out of the Ashes

An oddity for you. Just went to my local Starbucks in Barnes to pickup a Mocha, and heard either a Spaniard or an Italian talk about Michael Vaughan! I was in a rush, and so were they, so I didn’t intrude, but heard from them that he is out of this year’s Ashes. Quite bizarre. Got home, logged onto Cricinfo who (of course) had it first.

So that it, folks. After much speculation, Michael Vaughan is to have further knee surgery and will almost certainly miss this winter’s 2006-07 Ashes series. A bitter blow, but at least England now have something concrete on which to base their selections. A permanent captain, in both forms of the game, now must be decided upon. Andrew Flintoff cannot be the man and, to be honest, nor should Andrew Strauss. It’s been a tough one-day series for him, but I don’t think he has shown enough “kick arse” to warrant leading his country.

That’s why Vaughan was so good; laid back on the surface, yet ruthless, determined and fiercely proud underneath.

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Flintoff doubtful for first Pakistan Test

Worrying news, this:

“There is scar tissue in there and whether the bone fragments were the result of the operation or were already in there, we don’t know,” Flintoff told ABC Sport. “We will have another look in two weeks and see where we are.”

Though unlikely to play the first Test, Flintoff was optimistic about recovery. “I am not running at the moment, I am doing a lot of cycling. I am doing things that don’t cause pain and trying to tick over.

At least we have Jamie Dalrymple! To his credit, Dalrymple’s been the “find” of England’s one-day series. He does the basics well.

Australia v South Africa, 1999 World Cup video

Terrific video of the 1999 World Cup semi-final between Australia and South Africa. Yep – that one. Seems years ago, now…

Sachin polaroid

Utterly pointless “polaroid effect” of a photo I took of Sachin Tendulkar:

Sachin Tendulkar polaroidcf

Twenty20 season/carnival upon us

England’s Twenty20 season began yesterday. Ridiculed by many on its inception a couple of a years ago, it’s fast become a favourite even among the more traditional of supporters. I haven’t yet been to one (definately going asap) but I’m sure I’ll love it. 40 mad overs in the evening sunshine with a couple of beers and a bunch of mates? Not a bad evening’s entertainment if you ask me.

Are you a convert, or is it just a gimmick to you?

Four nil, four nil, four nil, four nil

Another one-dayer, another win for Sri Lanka, another clueless performance from England. Even the return of two discards, Vikram Solanki and Kabir Ali, couldn’t delay the depressingly inevitable. What a chuffing shambles.

Sri Lanka look very, very good.