Category Archives: Cricket

Meanwhile, how unpredictable is Cricket, eh!

The second test in Adelaide versus the West Indies is such a contrast to the first in Brisbane!

Australia will be forced to re-write 107 years of history to win the second Test, after West Indies set a record chase of 330 runs on the final day at Adelaide Oval.

The highest successful fourth-innings chase at the venue was Australia’s 6 for 315 in 1902, and a similar feat beckons after the Windies were dismissed for 317.

The tourists added 33 to their overnight score of 8 for 284, and skipper Chris Gayle carried his bat to finish unbeaten on 165 after a splendid captain’s knock took the fight to Australia on day four.

Ravi Rampaul (14) and Kemar Roach (8) were the last men out for the Windies as Mitchell Johnson finished with a five-wicket haul of 5 for 103.

Doug Bollinger was Australia’s next best with 3 for 50, a total of 5 for 117 in his return to Test cricket, Shane Watson took 1 for 15 and Nathan Hauritz effected a run-out.


Right now Australia need 268 runs to win with 9 wickets in hand.

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Posted by on December 8, 2009 in Australia, Cricket, sport


Miscellaneous notes

It was a toss-up whether to note these here or on Twitter. Not that any of them are trivial, but you can’t do a major post on everything, can you?

1. from The Jakarta Post

Leaders of various religious groups as well as anti-violence activists held two separate mass prayers on Monday at the site of the Jakarta hotel bombings, which killed nine people and injured more than 50 on Friday.

Members of the Indonesian Anti-Violence Community, including lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, Yenni Wahid, Wimar Witoelar and Ayu Utami, came to the site of the bombings to pray for the victims.

Soon after, religious leaders led another mass prayer at the site.

They included Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic council, Rev. Petrus from the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), representative of the Hindu community Anak Agung Ngurah Ugrasena and Maha Biksu Dutavira, who came to represent Buddhist.

"Although the situation is overwhelming, people must remain alert but not panic," Rev. Petrus said, as quoted by state news agency Antara.

Suicide bombers attacked the JW Marriot and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Mega Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Friday.

2. from The Sydney Morning Herald: The usual terrorism suspects moved from JI to the Noordin network.

In the aftermath of last Friday’s terrorist bombings in Jakarta, numerous commentators have identified Jemaah Islamiah as the organisation most likely to have committed the attacks. One senior security analyst, for example, told ABC radio that the attacks showed that "JI was back in business".

Other terrorism researchers such as Sidney Jones have argued that the jihadist group led by Noordin Mohammed Top should head the list of suspects.

Of course, there is much that is unclear about the details of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings, and firmer analysis needs to await further information about the identity of those involved and the methods used. But I would like to set out reasons why we should differentiate between JI and the Noordin group, and why it is more plausible to regard Noordin’s group as the prime suspect rather than JI.

JI is not a monolithic organisation. Since the late 1990s it has experienced divisions over how it should conduct jihad. For militants within JI, such as Noordin, Hambali and Mukhlas, the fatwas of Osama bin Laden in the late 1990s declaring it an obligation for Muslims to attack the US and its allies resounded like a clarion call. They were impatient for South-East Asian Muslims to strike a blow against what they saw as Islam’s greatest foes. For more moderate elements of JI, bin Laden’s appeals and the subsequent activities of al-Qaeda were either of little relevance for Indonesia or ran contrary to established Islamic law on jihad…

Such specific details are clearly important to any informed response to events such as these. They tend to get lost when we make blanket generalisations about “Muslims”.

3. SMH again: Karl Konrad – Say hello to our new economic slaves: foreign students.

Karl Konrad “is a migration agent. He was formerly a police officer and whistleblower.”

… Nearly 15 years ago, as a young police constable, I wrote a long report on police corruption to the Victorian ombudsman, Barry Perry. That report sparked one of the biggest investigations into police corruption ever seen in this country. I went to the ombudsman because I couldn’t trust the police or the government of the day. They both had something to lose if the truth came out. Never underestimate the power of a good ombudsman.

Students also need an ombudsman independent of state and federal governments. Proper investigations can get to the bottom of mistreatment or, at worst, outright corruption. Students must be assured the Immigration Department will take no action to deport them. Instead, if necessary, they should be placed out of harm’s way into an alternative reputable education provider at no cost to themselves where they can continue pursuing their dreams.

No one is saying all foreign students have negative experiences here. But now the cat is out let’s keep it out and shake this system free of corruption.

4. SMH: Gerard Henderson smells left-wing bias.

He has the nose for it. 😉

If you want to work out who won what was billed as "the culture wars" during the time of the Howard government, tune into SBS One at 8.30 pm tonight. This is the first episode of the three-part series titled Liberal Rule: The Politics that Changed Australia, which is produced by Nick Torrens Film Productions and written by Nick Torrens and Garry Sturgess.

Liberal Rule is a shocker and a disgrace. Torrens obtained interviews with key figures in the former government – including John Howard, Peter Costello, Alexander Downer and Peter Reith along with some former Liberal Party staffers. They were all identified according to their relationship to Howard or the government he led.

Sturgess had been the senior researcher on the successful ABC TV documentary Labor in Power series, which aired in 1993. It is likely that those supportive of the Howard government who were interviewed for Liberal Rule anticipated a similar style of documentary. In Labor in Power, the key figures in the governments led by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating were allowed to state their case and viewers were allowed to draw their own conclusions.

Not so in Liberal Rule. Torrens put it in a directors’ statement which accompanies the SBS publicity: "Being aware that interviews with our `cast’ of John Howard and his senior cabinet figures would elicit recollections with an eye to history’s favourable view, the crucial decision was how to present a balanced picture . . . Garry and I sought an atmosphere of co-operative engagement. To this we would add the necessary layers of subtext."

You can say that again…

I think SBS viewers are probably bright enough to distinguish fact from opinion. Anyway, do we really want hagiography?

5. Cricket

Did something happen? 😉


One-time pride of Journalspace – John Birmingham’s “Cheeseburger Gothic”

Australian writer John Birmingham was one of the highlights of Journalspace before the great crash. He has reappeared on the new Journalspace at Cheeseburger Gothic, but so far it is a blog of brief notes sometimes pointing to his other venues. You may like to look at his take on the Lahore Cricket fiasco/tragedy: Cricket attack rewrites the rules.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a brave prediction. The attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Pakistan was not carried out by militant Presbyterians.

There is a small chance it was the work of Tamil Tigers, but only a very small chance. If the Tigers wanted to target the national heroes of their enemy, it would be much easier do so at home, rather than go through the logistically tortuous process of moving dozens of trained insurgents and their equipment thousands of miles away into an alien and hostile environment, where their very presence would arouse immediate suspicion.

No, I think we can probably rush to judgment in this case and blame our old friends the beardy nutters.

This attack will have the immediate effect of further isolating Pakistan and its people from the outside world. Sri Lanka were the last, best hope of the Pakistani Cricket Board, the only serious cricket playing nation still willing to tour in the face of repeated warnings from security experts that such an attack was inevitable…

See also my own post Pakistan: Sri Lanka Cricket team attacked below.

And a note on my Google Reader

My little stable of blogs was very active overnight. I have added a record 31 new posts this morning to Neil’s shared items. That’s almost four pages in the Reader!

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Posted by on March 6, 2009 in blogging, Cricket, current affairs, other blogs, South Asian


Tags: ,

Pakistan: Sri Lanka Cricket team attacked

However you read it, this is a bad business. It is still unclear who did what or why. What is clear is that violent people in the long run do enormous harm to others – obviously – and most often do harm to their own cause. We simply do not yet know what cause is involved here. As Lateline put it:

SALLY SARA: It’s the first time that international cricketers have been directly targeted in a terrorist attack, and it’s expected to signal a halt to any further cricket series in Pakistan.
HASHAN TILLAKARATNE, FORMER SRI LANKAN CAPTAIN: Yes, because we all knew that they are so many insecurity concerns in Pakistan. I don’t know why we want to send a cricket team to Pakistan. So, as cricketers, it’s a very bad situation and we are sad about the whole thing.
SALLY SARA: The attack has also increased pressure on Pakistan to take action against terrorists within its own borders – a message which India delivered with an added sense of urgency.
VISHNU PRAKASH, INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: Terrorists based in Pakistan are a threat to the entire world. It is in Pakistan’s own interest to take urgent, meaningful and decisive steps to dismantle the terror infrastructure once and for all.
SALLY SARA: The latest bloodshed has highlighted to instability and insecurity in Pakistan and its implications are expected to extend well beyond the cricket field. Sally Sara, Lateline.

Mr Prakash is jumping to conclusions. He is not alone, and we could do with less of that. Someone needs to bang a few heads together at government level on the sub-continent, and someone needs (among other things) to deliver a just solution in Kashmir, just for starters. The tragedy of partition continues, to the cost of all.*

I looked in on The Pakistani Spectator – which really is just a group blog – to see what reactions I could find there. Some are commendable: see the lead story.

On Tuesday morning, our revered Cricketing friends from Sri Lanka were attacked in Lahore, leaving the whole nation embarrassed, shocked and with our heads shaken in disbelief. With the approval of the Colombo Government, SL team decided to tour Pakistan despite security fears and they courageously defied the advice by other Cricketing nations. India was more vocal against the tour by SL team. Due to our security lapse, Tuesday shooting has helped in vindication of theri stance and has resulted in  closing doors of international Cricket in Pakistan for many years to come – the worst set back to game in its history.

Political differences, ideological distances or social restlessness, no doubt, has created chaos in our country but no such incident has taken place in our history where a sports caravan has been attacked so cowardly. Hats off to those jawans who laid their lives in a combat aimed at saving lives of the guest team.

There are many voices in Pakistan pointing fingers to India for master-minding this attack which has jeopardized the Pakistan Cricket future beyond repair. There may be ‘some’ credence in such allegations as India has emerged beneficiary of the situation in the backdrop of the acrimonious environment prevalent between two neighbours. But this drumbeat is simply out of place because we ourselves need to do some soul searching and have to admit that our security measures were insufficient…

Too true, and it is a shame about some of the other stories: Sri Lankan Cricket Team Attacked : India Behind Terrorism?  and Lahore Attack On Sri Lankan cricket team – Is It Inside Job? especially. Highly bloody unlikely, I’d say. More rational are Pakistan achieves yet another milestone – The Lahore Chapter and Who Dunnit ? Liberty Attack on Sri Lankan Team.

Bad business indeed. See also an earlier post here: Pakistan on the Brink – Four Corners.

Next day

* I was interested to see Tanvir Ahmed making this same point in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

…A large share of responsibility for the current chaos must be put at the door of Pakistan’s army and its Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI. For more than 20 years, the ISI has deliberately and consistently funded a variety of Islamist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group most likely to have co-ordinated the Mumbai bombings. The agency has long seen the jihadists as an ingenious and cost-effective means of controlling Afghanistan (which occurred with the retreat of the Soviets) and bogging down the Indian Army in Kashmir (achieved from the early 1990s).

The results have been disastrous, filling the country with thousands of armed but now largely unemployed jihadists, a plethora of unregulated modern weapons and a host of militant groups. The Islamists have followed their own agendas and have brought their struggle to the streets and into the heart of the country’s politics.

In an amusing twist, Pakistani television channels blamed India’s external intelligence agency for the attack on the cricketers. Geo, a leading news channel, broadcast old footage of the president of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, promising a fitting response to those responsible for terrorist acts in India.

It underscores how the disputed region of Kashmir is again in the shadows of Tuesday’s events in Lahore. It is not in the job description of Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, but remains critical in establishing any sort of stability in the region…

Pakistan remains the prime manifestation of the sores of partition in a region that is still stinging from post-colonial headaches. It is where ancient identities and conflicts arising from them are being reinterpreted for modern conditions, a kind of Balkans with garam masala.

As its most worrying example, Pakistan, languishes next to its powerful neighbour, its impact upon our world may be just as great, albeit in an entirely different direction.


Posted by on March 4, 2009 in Cricket, current affairs, South Asian



School holidays coming to an end; Cricket in Sydney

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These people are running a bit late. The SCG is packed. I took this around 2.45pm.

Let’s hope this isn’t a sign…

23jan 014

That was looking west a few minutes earlier…

Yes, it is still hot and very sticky. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until around 2am. Mind you, I really don’t recommend Greenseas 97% Fat Free Flavoured Tuna with tomato and capsicum – not unless you need a purgative. 😦

Dave Warner just got out: 69 off 60 balls.


The storm didn’t come. South Africa won the game.

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Posted by on January 23, 2009 in Australia, Australia and Australian, Cricket, local, personal, Surry Hills


What an amazing Test Match!

Uncertain right down to the last seven minutes of a five day game!

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This man and his extraordinarily courageous captain – deservedly “Man of the Series” — almost saved the game for South Africa

I watched just about every minute today. Oh, we won, though losing the series. But kudos to South Africa’s rainbow squad.


I am not the only one to have been enthralled by this test match. See Jim Belshaw’s “live blog” Exciting cricket, and Thomas’s case for the real winner having been Cricket: How cricket saved itself.

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Posted by on January 7, 2009 in Africa, Australia and Australian, Cricket


It’s hot, but so’s the cricket

Even if Ponting just got out: 252 ahead of South Africa at the moment though… Meanwhile not far away from the Sydney Cricket Ground, here in Surry Hills it is indeed hot. I don’t envy this guy his job…

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Posted by on January 6, 2009 in Australia and Australian, Cricket, local, Surry Hills


Yes, it’s on again


And in Sydney too: Aussies two down at lunch. But after lunch so far things have gone rather well… Oz 2/104 at the moment.

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Posted by on January 3, 2009 in Cricket


Good news on the Cricket…

It’s the Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne, v. South Africa. We lost the first Test in Perth. This is panning out to be a good game. But of course the good news really is that I can watch the game as our aberrant shared TV antenna has now been fixed, so Channel Nine is visible again, as you can see….

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At that point in the game Kevin Rudd, our PM, was doing his bit in the commentary box. Soon after South Africa lost their second wicket. They’re 2/43 as I write this.

8.3 Johnson to Amla, no run, OUT, smacked extremely hard straight into the chest of Symonds at gully, who manages to cling onto the catch

8.3 H Amla c Symonds b Johnson 19 (34m 30b 1×4 0x6) SR: 63.33, FOW: 2/39, Partnership: 38 (34m 44b). Jacques Kallis is the new batsman.

Australia had managed to rack up 394 in their first innings.

362471 Next day

What a difference a day makes. South Africa is still in at 8/428 as of 4.15pm!

What a partnership this has been! Surely one of the great ones of test cricket. This J P Duminy person is quite amazing.

And the next day

johnson Australia is now (4pm) in, doing well but probably not well enough, though you never know. The excitement at the moment is waiting for Ponting to get his 100…. Oz now has 200 up… Bowler now is Morne Morkel – quite a name that… Peter Roebuck was pretty scathing in the Herald today: Gloom and Duminy. Ponting now on 98… Not much out of that over. Harris now bowling… Well… Maiden over… 7/201… Morkel’s bowling again…. Mitchell Johnson (right) is on strike. He just got a four! 7/205… Then a single… 7/206… New ball, Harris bowling… So Johnson is still on strike – that means batting, by the way… Not “on strike” in any other sense… 4.18pm. Over ended, with Johnson getting a four, bringing Oz up to 7/210, and Ponting on strike. Forty minutes he’s been in the 90s. Morkel bowls. Ponting gets a single: 99! Johnson gets a single, so Ponting is back on strike… The people in the ground erupt… And then tragedy! Ponting has just been bowled by Morkel for 99!!!!

Well, that’s Cricket.

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Posted by on December 27, 2008 in Cricket, Kevin Rudd, personal, TV


Odds and sods

I wonder where that expression came from, aside from the obvious rhyme appeal?

First, I remind you that these days rather than note blogs I have read here I tend to simply add them, with a short comment, to my Google Reader. There have been about 20 added in the past 24 hours. In the side bar there is also a feed to the last 20 additions, though there is a slight delay between the Reader and appearance in the side bar widget. Clicking on a title in the widget takes you directly to the original blog item rather than to the Reader. While I commend the Reader to you, do make sure you visit the blogs themselves from time to time. That’s the whole idea.

Second, there was a time I would have ranted and raved about the latest manifestation of the boring and predictable in Back to basics proposal for English pupils in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. I am rather pleased to note the piece was written by one Yuko Narushima, which itself highlights one of the many changes that have happened here in Oz in the past fifty years, since the alleged “golden age” of English teaching. If you want to know how I might have ranted, just find the appropriate category on this blog and carry on from there. As always, this current move will lead pretty much nowhere because it is riddled with false assumptions and dodgy dichotomies and wishful thinking.** But I said I wouldn’t rant… Anyway, I have passed the torch on to Aluminium, The Rabbit, Thomas, and others… It’s theirs to do now. I am confident the torch is in good hands.

Third, I note that much more important matters have been passing me by. I refer you to the excellent Peter Roebuck: Little Master, big feat.


Don’t underestimate the value of Cricket during global economic crises… Remember Bradman.

Finally, for now, if you want a relief from all that angst about this or that, go to my increasingly non-verbal Ninglun’s Specials. I am about to add to it. Here is a preview:

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Photo by Neil 2008

See you there… 🙂

Update and correction

**Yes, you will see I have struck out the jaded bit there. It was a reflex after so often being infuriated by discussion in this area, but I should have looked at sources, shouldn’t I? When I did I was convinced that something informed and intelligent is being hatched down there! See National Curriculum Board. When I see some of the people involved, I am certain good things will come out of this: Peter Freebody, Ros Arnold… Not trogs, definitely not, and that’s just to name two whose work I am familiar with; Ros was a colleague when I was working in Dip Ed at Sydney University; Peter Freebody’s work became familiar to me when I was doing my Grad Cert TESOL at UTS. (See the essay on literacy I wrote at that time.)

Here are two relevant documents:

English Advice: National Curriculum Board PDF.

English Workshop Questions: National Curriculum Board (PDF).


I have taken no (zero, zilch, nada) interest in the IPL competition…

…because I rather like Cricket.

If I wanted to see to a circus I would go to a circus. If I wanted to watch World Championship Wrestling I would… There are better things on television at more convenient hours, and not on Channel Ten, which also brings you various other prime examples of Reality Television. Etc.

Nonetheless I was amused by this post on Life Is a Street Car Named Desire.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Cricket, sport, TV, weirdness



Sorry, I just can’t take to Silly Cricket. The greater the megabucks the less I like it. Even Cricket in Pyjamas doesn’t really turn me on, and that’s been around for decades now…

There’s really only one Cricket worth looking at.

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Posted by on February 21, 2008 in Cricket, nostalgia, personal


What price justice after this sorry saga?

That is the headline in Peter Roebuck’s opinion piece today. It is a very well argued take on the latest developments in the Harbhajan Singh matter, judicious even, in my opinion.

…Brinkmanship or not, threatening to take their bat and ball home in the event of a resented verdict being allowed to stand was an abomination. It sets a dreadful precedent. What price justice now?

Not that the attempt made by Cricket Australia to broker a compromise had much more to commend it. Ricky Ponting and his players were entitled to take a stand on principle. As it happens, I thought their strategy unwise because they had fanned the flames, Anil Kumble had not been given a chance to intervene and the case was unwinnable… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 30, 2008 in Australia, Cricket


Adelaide Oval Day 2

India’s doing very well: 9/525 at the moment, 45 being sundries — and Tendulkar’s great 153, after which India’s “tail” has added over 160…! Kumble is on 86; will he go on to 100? Now comes tea break, 30 minutes late because the last players are in.


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Posted by on January 25, 2008 in Australia, Cricket, events