The Roar
The Roar

Geoff Lemon

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Joined June 2010

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Geoff Lemon is a writer, editor and broadcaster. He's the host of cricket podcast The Final Word, and author of the book Steve Smith's Men: Behind Australian Cricket's Fall.

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I wrote the full transcript of her extended interview on ABC, and she said nothing of the sort. Had three chances to say exactly that, and declined three times. The interview is probably on the Grandstand Soundcloud page if you want to listen.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

It doesn’t get a crowd because it’s a shocking place to watch cricket. It’s deathly hot, uncomfortable, there are no toilets, you can’t take food in, and what they sell there is extortionate. People would rather watch on TV. Given them a comfortable new stadium where they feel at home, and crowds will grow. The first ODI there is sold out already.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

“Probably” = didn’t happen.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

Yep. And the WA government funded the stadium, and want the prestige of having regular marquee cricket there. They won’t throw that over to accommodate a Rolling Stones gig, they’ll work around competing bookings.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

Thanks Glen. They’ll keep the domestic stuff there, and use it as an Allan Border Field kind of training ground, given the stadium will have footy demands for much of the year. The BBL games are staying at the WACA for now, but if they keep selling it out, surely there’ll be a lure to try games at the big place.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

Superfans are generally annoying, but sometimes (as much by coincidence as anything else) they have a point. Kohli had a slow start in Tests but these days isn’t far behind Smith in raw numbers, and has a better 50-100 conversion rate and more doubles. He also absolutely destroys the rest of the Fab Four when it comes to ODIs and T20s. Some day soon I’m hoping to do a full in-depth comparative analysis.

Gulf between Smith and Root makes all the Ashes difference

Purely space, time, and chronology. I barely got into the 80s or 90s at all.

Empire versus upstart, coloniser versus colony: The contests which define the Ashes

You may well be right. Makes sense.

Empire versus upstart, coloniser versus colony: The contests which define the Ashes

A piece for the bowlers at last, Bob! Poor buggers.

Empire versus upstart, coloniser versus colony: The contests which define the Ashes

Hey, I’m a supporter, Pottsy. I just think Hobart has been shit out of luck. Realistically Sutherland knows that too.

Unwanted quiet in Hobart, Australia's hard-luck cricket venue

You forgot: 25 years old and 100 games, just hitting his prime, and has already won multiple games off his own boot.

VOTE: What are they worth? Cloke, Hartlett, O'Meara and more

Have you been to the SSC in the last couple of days, Rowan? Brettig has. Warner has. Angelo Mathews has. This was Mathews speaking earlier today.

“Traditionally it has been a batting track. In the last few games we’ve played here against South Africa and Pakistan it was a turner. It looks pretty dry once again. It looks as if it’s going to take turn from day one. We hope it will take a bit of turn once again from day one and it’s going to be a spinners’ paradise.”

But I guess the Sri Lankan captain is just trying to make excuses for the Australians?

Getting smashed in Test cricket is great, the reasons we lost are better

Historically, I’m reliably informed, Shield players were barely paid (bar a few match fees) until state contracts came about in 1997, after the ACA had unionised and forced an agreement around the first big TV rights windfall. National players started getting paid well for the first time in about 1995, then agreed to a pay cut in ’97 to bring state players into the fold.

Getting smashed in Test cricket is great, the reasons we lost are better

Well, that’s the point I made in the piece. Who?

With some proven record, not just on a Travis Head / Handscomb hunch.

Getting smashed in Test cricket is great, the reasons we lost are better

Yeah, a couple of players on the 2013 tour pointed out the fast progress Phil Hughes made across four Tests there. He was utterly embarrassed by Ashwin at the start, yet by the end was scoring ugly but had found a way to stick around. Given another couple of tours, he could well have become a very good subcontinent player. It took someone as good as Ponting until his fourth India tour to start to crack it. Making that breakthrough can take a very long time.

Getting smashed in Test cricket is great, the reasons we lost are better

Warner’s actually done extremely well, he has one of the highest century-to-Test ratios in history. People can talk about easy pitches and big bats, but he’s still outranking other players with the same advantages.

Getting smashed in Test cricket is great, the reasons we lost are better

Well, also that Smith singled out reverse sweeps after the game as one of the positives. He said on that track, the Sri Lankans had used the shot well to put bowlers off their length, and his guys needed to try the same. Voges didn’t play the shot well all innings, but he played it a lot regardless – using it was a deliberate and discussed ploy rather than a brain fade.

Getting smashed in Test cricket is great, the reasons we lost are better

I was at the WT20 final in Kolkata. Both Hayley Matthews and Ellyse Perry were putting the ball over the fence at Eden Gardens. Not the rope. Into the crowd. And yes, there was one.

The power comparison is misleading, anyway. It’s a different game, technique and timing matter more. Plenty in that for the purists to like.

The evolution of women's cricket at the World T20

Thus the point of you commenting on the article was… absolutely nil?

Cool, glad we solved that.

The evolution of women's cricket at the World T20

Yes, Joseph Smith was convicted. First for his ‘treasure divining’ trick in 1826 – which seems strangely similar to his subsequent and more profitable ‘God showed me magic things that only I can see’ trick. Then he was convicted for bank fraud in 1837.

The other charges he wasn’t convicted of were mostly because he fled the relevant states or counties before trial. So, not exactly a great legal record, but appropriate for someone who pulled off one of history’s most persistent con-jobs.

SundayGate through the eyes of a Mormon

Haha, I don’t often read those comments, too much crazy talk. What was the gist?

Peaks and troughs: Following the game to all corners of the earth

Sorry to be slow replying here, the last rites of the tournament in India were all-consuming. It’s been a pleasure to see the article laid out so nicely, and see that people have got something out of it.

So thanks to everyone for the comments, not a code-war fight to be seen. And for the kind thoughts: with this sort of thing the first reflex is always that talking about it makes you a whinger, so you should keep quiet. It’s hard to fight that idea.

And thanks to Paddy for the editing and presentation.

Peaks and troughs: Following the game to all corners of the earth

Thanks to everyone for leaving those kind comments. I’m still sorting through all my responses to Christchurch, but it was a helpful start to write this down. Glad to hear that it communicated something.

Cricket a welcome reprieve in a still crumbled Christchurch

Thanks, everyone up the page. Good fun writing this one. Better fun watching the innings at the ground. What a day.

Always bet on Black: McCullum signs off with fairytale streak

Good call. Great bowler, 99 Test wickets. Unlucky.

Jackson Bird: Handing out ducks like an attack leader