I once skipped university studies and followed Kel Nagle and Peter Thomson around a Wellington golf course. There were only a couple of spectators and we chatted amiably to the players as they made their leisurely and assured way around a tough course. Nagle found his ball at one time behind behind a tree. 'They say trees are 90 per cent air,' he told us as he took his stance, placed his iron an inch or so to the far side of the ball and then with his quick and efficient stroke sent it soaring to the green.
The golfers of that era, with Ken Nagle and Peter Thomson leading the way, were great sports on and off the course.
Thanks for the memories Kel.
Lovely article, Debbie. I think we'll start to see special FAST4 tournaments starting as the tennis equivalent of Big Bash cricket, And I think it will catch on, too.
The era of slow sports is passing quickly. Life is quickening up, people have less time to do the more things on offer to them.
There will be five-set tennis, three-set tennis and FAST4 events to cater for the different requirements of spectators, ranging from the purists to the celebrity followers.
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.