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The Roar

Ruairidh MacDonald

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Joined September 2017

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I think he said that the boards would be compelled to pull the money directly from the players’ contract funds, in which case they would very much care!

Who should wear the penalties for slow play?

Pretty sure it’s referring to Labuschagne and our usual tortured pronunciation of his name

The Liebke Ratings: Australia vs India, second ODI

Yep it is possible, although obviously improbable. To automatically qualify a team needs to finish in the top 7 (out of the 12 test-playing nations + Netherlands). Even then, the bottom 5 go to another qualifying tournament, against associate teams, and need to finish in the top 2 to get into the World Cup.

So yep, the scenario of Aus missing out is possible, if we end up lower than 7 on the table and then stuff up the qualifying tournament (like the Windies nearly did for the last World Cup). It’s obviously pretty unlikely, but I seem to remember a few years we slipped down to 6 on the rankings, so not totally out of the question.

But based on our form, matching it with the two best teams recently (England and India), we’ll be fine methinks.

Batting firepower and rusty fielding dominate as Australia belt India

In terms of the domestic summer you might be right about its relevance, but when assessing “meaninglessness” now the existence of the Super League does change things. It means that points are on the line for every ODI, points which determine qualification for the next World Cup.

Of course these two teams are expected to get there (in fact India is guaranteed as the hosts), but it is still important to bank points and not have any nasty surprises near the end.

Batting firepower and rusty fielding dominate as Australia belt India

no no, it was a game we played at kanga cricket (recently called milo cricket i think, whatever brand name now). it involved 4 sets of stumps in a diamond formation, a batter in front of each, coach in the middle underarming the ball and everyone else fielding. it was basically continuous cricket: one batter would hit it, all 4 would run to the next one and keep going until the fielders got it back to the coach, who would underarm it whether or not the batters were ready. always a favourite amongst the kids 😁

The Big Bash has announced three new rules for BBL10 and they're ridiculous

diamond cricket all the way

The Big Bash has announced three new rules for BBL10 and they're ridiculous

But the position of umpire extends beyond single careers. The way it is gradually degraded and disrespected begins with single acts like Head’s

Travis Head gives ump a talking to after copping dubious LBW

How do you like an article? 😁 This was really fun to read!

The endless possibilities of Joe Daniher at Brisbane

Hawthorn were top of the table 2013, but otherwise yep, weren’t top other years

Missing from the Richmond dynasty? A legitimate rival

same bothering, different gods

AFL grand final player ratings: Richmond Tigers

Yeah with a name like that he’s rather cursed, same with Allan Donald. Show us a reverse one then, I’m interested 😁

The all-time alphabetical XIs

Damn they’re some seriously good teams, bit jealous now 😂

The all-time alphabetical XIs

You’re right Gayle isn’t an all-time star, but his Test numbers are still quite good – 7000 runs at 42, with a triple century, for an opener. But for sure, your names are weighty too! I’m curious what XI you’d come up with 😁

The all-time alphabetical XIs

See a comment below, major brainfade from me. Ross Taylor’s first name is actually Luteru, but I muddled it into Luke as well as forgetting to explain it

The all-time alphabetical XIs

Yes I was wondering if anyone would pick up that 5th bowler issue, it’s a real poser.

I tried looking around for someone, the person to replace would probably be Lara, his ODI stats aren’t as sublime as his Test ones. Not sure who it might be though, they have to fit between Kohli and Morgan. Dare I say Marsh, Mitchell?

And nice call on Boycott. I might have been confusing Abbas with Anwar as an opener?

The all-time alphabetical XIs

I reckon you can pick either, we straitjacketed enough as it is!

The all-time alphabetical XIs

I remember considering Syd Barnes, and for the life of me I can’t recall why I didn’t pick him. He does seem more obvious.

I didn’t know those hidden first names, they’re definitely game changers! And I like that move with Hammond and Marsh

The all-time alphabetical XIs

Crap, utter brainfade from me! Ross Taylor’s (NZ) actual first name is Luteru, but my sleepy brain typed in Luke.
And you’re totally right of course, there’s plenty of older names I’ve missed. I suppose it reveals the sorts of players that are more on the tip of my tongue.
But I did want to be as close to their original positions as possible, so I think a few of them still miss out. Len Hutton, for example, was an opener wasn’t he? So H is probably too far away to squeeze him in. Same with Garfield Sobers: G is just too high, S is too low.

The all-time alphabetical XIs

Is Inglis good enough to be a No. 6 bat, some time in the future? Because if he is, that would let Agar bat at 7, which I definitely think he’s good enough for. It lets us pick another frontline spinner (whoever that might be) and takes the pressure off Agar to be that person

Four takeaways from Round 1 of the Sheffield Shield

Thanks for the article! It’s great to read about athletics, keep it up.
The stars are certainly shining brightly, but I think a real renaissance is when many people become inspired by the stars and get into the sport. When the masses who do the occasional fun-run get involved in more organised athletics, and when we keep the talented youngsters so there’s more than the odd international challenger, then we’re at a renaissance I reckon. Fingers crossed we’re on the way!

Are we in a renaissance of Australian distance running?

I’m curious, how do you get intel that a particular player is lazy at training? Sorry if the question sounds snarky, genuinely curious 😊

Out of favour: More players who will be at new clubs next year

Wow great piece, that was thrilling just to read. It makes me wonder why athletics organisers don’t try to repeat ‘Mad Monday’ and put several finals on the one night

20 years on: What it was like to be there when Cathy won

Sorry about the wall of text, can anyone tell me why my paragraphs didn’t come out in the wash?

We need to take the pressure off our Olympians

I’ll chuck in my thoughts, firstly in response to matth’s ideas and then my own.
Training to peak every year is generally fine. Track & field athletes do it every year for state championships, national championships, the international season, track season, cross-country season etc. No real worries there, so it you were to discover a publicly attractive competition I think it’d be fine doing it every year.
I agree that a teams competition could be more exciting, but no need to limit it to states. You could go with cities, training squads (which is where the real tribalism is, for the athletes at least) or even somewhat contrived teams like they did for the Nitro Athletics event they did a few years ago.
If you’re looking for ideas for making athletics attractive to the wider public, there are some ideas. One that I wonder about is professional vs amateur competitions. Most people would be familiar with amateur competitions: these are things like national champs where people qualify to compete, everyone races in a ‘normal’ race and obviously don’t get paid. Hardly anybody watches these outside the athletes and their family/friends. Professional races are invitation-only, usually use handicaps and involve some payment. It’s quite a small practice compared to ‘normal’ races that not many would know about, but there are some well known races.
The Stawell Gift is one of these. Once upon a time this was incredibly popular, as you can see on old youtube videos, with the banks of grass tracks in regional towns absolutely packed. They also attracted seriously high quality athletes, such as Cathy Freeman and Craig Mottram. The Stawell Gift isn’t a one-off – there are plenty of other popular professional meets like this, but obviously Stawell is the most famous. With the handicaps they are a lot of fun to watch, it’s usually a local intimate environment and of course there’s betting, always popular with the masses.
I often wonder if more events like this couldn’t make athletics more popular. It’s hard to exactly pin down what has made the Stawell Gift famous across the country (either the handicapping, the betting, the local setting, or something else), but I’m sure there are elements which could be transferred into a national league of similar events.
Another thing to work on is the blending of Little Athletics with athletics more generally. This means both organisationally and in common practice. The organisation Little Athletics (LA) has a laughably dysfunctional and isolated relationship with Athletics Australia (AA), which is again separate from the other major player School Sports Australia, all of whom are usually quite disconnected with numerous private organisations like parkrun or fun-run organisers.
The spat between LA and AA seriously hurts the sport. Little As is an incredibly popular sport for kids – on a Saturday morning go to the local oval which hosts the weekly Little As meet and you’ll be stuck in a quagmire of traffic. It’s heaving. It’s great for naturally gifted youngsters as well as kids wanting to avoid rigorous team sports, and can just dip into the long jump or have a quick race. But as soon as they hit 15, the age when they might just be showing real talent and thinking about committing to a sport more seriously, Little As stops and provides absolutely no continuity to other athletics events, to those organised by AA or anyone else. It’s as abrupt as a cliff. They need to sort it out, so kids can continue to choose it as ‘their’ sport right through high school and into adulthood.
The final thing I’d say is about running, which is obviously not all of athletics but is the aspect I can speak to most. The simple act of running is incredibly common to so many Australians, for something as simple as going for a run around the park. This connects us to the elite in a way that no other sport can. We can join a parkrun or 10k fun-run and find ourselves in the same event as an Olympian or international representative – nobody will ever accidentally find themselves lining up against Dustin Martin or bowling to Steve Smith. This should absolutely be taken advantage of, from both perspectives. Community running events should be incorporated into a national points-scoring calendar of events for the elite runners where they simply need to show up, and just treat it as a training session, as well as heavily market these events to the public as opportunities for the average joe to brush shoulders with Olympians. This should help to narrow the gap between the masses of runners out there and the mostly invisible elite, as Mitch the author spoke about.

We need to take the pressure off our Olympians

Stokes left midway through the Pakistan Test series to return to New Zealand, at the news his father had cancer. Pretty sure he’s still there with him. Not really rested at all

Choker tag’s short stay and the pay-off for patience: Five things we learnt from Australia’s UK tour