ICC must penalise slow over rates where it hurts – the scoreboard

This is an excellent analysis of what is a chronic problem for Test cricket, ever since Len Hutton used a slow over rate to give his speedster Frank Tyson plenty of rest between his own overs when he was off the long run. Most of the blame has been heaped on the fielding side, the captain and his bowlers. But some of the blame must go to the batting side too. Batsmen chat to each other between overs, sometimes between balls. In some instances the batsman is not ready to face up to the bowlers, when the bowlers are ready. Many years ago the authorities studied old films of Tests to work out why in, say, Bradman's day in England around 120 six-ball overs were played off in a day. One thing that came out of the films is that the players moved into position very quickly at the end of each over. And that batsmen did not chat between overs. If the authorities were really determined to get the over rate up they would enforce penalties against the fielding side and also stop the batsmen chatting between overs and enforce the right of bowlers to bowl when they are ready and not when the batsmen are ready. The point here is that batsmen should always be ready to face up, if the bowlers are ready to bowl. If this regime were used the over rate would increase to allow 100 six-ball overs a day quite easily, I would say.

10 Dec 2014
FAREWELL ROAR: Bickering a symptom of troubled times

Scott, the highest compliment I can make about your rugby analysis on The Roar is that I learnt something from every one of the 125 articles you wrote for the site. I am sure that all your readers on The Roar have the same opinion about your work as I do. You gave us an inside view of the tactics, strategy, planning and know-how that goes into creating a strong rugby side. Your analysis showed us how complicated and yet how simple the great game of rugby is. The way you did this with the three dimensional models and the astute use of running photographs provided all of us with an education about the game as it is played on the field and planned off the field that has been unmatched by other writers, on The Roar, or on other sports sites, in my opinion. I say this as someone who has written about rugby for decades and read and studied it for even longer. I have never come across anything as logical and as fascinating in explaining plays and why they worked or did not work as your articles on The Roar. I have always believed that a major part of the opinion writer's task is to be an educator in the area he/she is writing about. You have certainly been that on The Roar. So there is an element of the bitter-sweet for the rest of us in your decision to hang up your boots regarding your contributions to The Roar. You will have a lot more time to get on with other things in your life, family and coaching. That is a gain for you. But we will have to get used to not having your explanations and diagrams about the past games to reinforce our understanding of what happened on the field. That is our loss. When The Roar was started there was the intention to make it a great sports site, the best of its type anywhere in the world. We also had a vision that to achieve this ambition we had to give a forum to talented writers and thinkers about all the aspects of sport to bring their knowledge and insights to a wide audience in Australia, especially, and other parts of the world. It has been a pleasure to host your columns. They stand now as a terrific body of rugby writing and commentary that will stand the test of time. As I have said several times on The Roar, the Wallabies could do with someone with your clarity of thinking about what works and doesn't work on the rugby field. All the best with your coaching, and thanks for gracing The Roar.

4 Dec 2014
SPIRO: Oh no, swing low the Wallabies chariot without wheels

On the contrary Des. I believe you have identified yourself as the secret chapel farter.

1 Dec 2014
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