Lachlan Barker delivers the good news first in January sport.
AS EVER, when asked the question, "Would you prefer the good news or the bad news first?" I usually say, "bad".
However, when it comes to the sport column, I tend to reverse things and try hard to put the good news at the top, so at least that gets read first.
This is somewhat crucial these days, as week after week in Australian sport, controversy stalks the playing fields and reading – and indeed writing – about controversy is not very enjoyable.
Kyrgios then likewise went out and performed well, knocking off Alexander Dolgopolov in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
At that point, it was all good on the tennis front — well done Kyrgios and Gavrilova. And indeed, as the results came through I was thinking, "the best part here is there has been no prima donna spoilt brat behaviour from anyone".
That feeling lasted through the weekend until news came through that the very behaviour I had been dreading had indeed occurred.
They took umbrage, court management and security were called and Tomic apparently let slip a load of verbal in frustration.
However, Tomic has since apologised and hopefully, he has learned something here. Like it or not, when you are in the public eye, you need to exercise a modicum of PR skill. Amateur players, like the ones using the courts when Tomic showed up, also go to the matches you play on centre court at Kooyong and getting them on side, will mean they are there shouting loudly in support of you on game day..
Moving on to the other main Australian summer sport, cricket, we learn this was totally overshadowed by the appalling Chris Gayle incident.
Gayle made sexist remarks to a female interviewer, Mel McLaughlin – live on national TV – and these remarks were really beyond the pale.
I was dreading having to write about this unsavoury incident and thankfully, I was spared as Tess Lawrence took up the cudgels — her article can be seen here. This article is well worth the reading time, I promise you.
Gayle has since been sanctioned by his team, the Melbourne Renegades, with a $10,000 fine and to give credit where it’s due, his team and Cricket Australia have made it crystal clear that his comments were unacceptable.
And, of course, this all happened in the same period that federal minister Peter Dutton was caught out referring to a female journalist as a ‘mad f*cking witch’. Dutton received no punishment for this.
Clearly, it would have been appropriate for both men to be punished for their transgressions. That Dutton got away with it makes a mockery of any supposed stance from the Turnbull Government in the field of women’s rights.
So leaving (thankfully) the unsavoury aspects aside, we can move on to the sport itself.
The Thunder did lose their most recent match to the Melbourne Renegades; however they have enough wins under their belt to retain the top spot on the table.
Other matches from the weekend saw the Sydney Sixers only requiring 14 overs to gain some NSW revenge over the Renegades. Perry of the Sixers was player of the match, with a blistering 67 from 46 showing a strike rate of 145.
The Sixers won their other game of the weekend over the Adelaide Strikers with Perry again performing well with the bat with a top score of 47 from 50, while player of the match was Sarah Aley with a miserly 2-13 from three overs plus an explosive batting cameo of 22 from 12 deliveries with a strike rate of 183.
I was about to go and see if this strike rate was a record for women’s 20-20, when I saw right underneath, that Aley’s batting partner Angela Reakes hammered out 17 from 7 with a strike rate of 242. Short but full of fireworks — and saved me some stats research.
The Scorchers got home by a run over the Hurricanes with English import Michael Carberry leading the way with 62 from 35 and a strike rate of 177. Ashton Agar led the bowling for Perth with 2-40 from four.
The Strikers, for their part, had an easier win over Brisbane with Sri Lankan Denagamage Jayawardene best with the bat with 53 from 30. Side note: Jayawardene is more commonly known as Mahela Jayawardene but Mahela is his third name, Denagamage is his first name.
With the ball for the Strikers, Adil Rashid did the job with the ball with 2-17 from four.
Final note in the world of cricket goes to test cricket. With the last test match of the summer now complete.
Played in Sydney in early January, the match was heavily rain affected with large portions of the game – both the third and fourth days for instance – rained out.
Thus the match was drawn. This became somewhat of an achievement for the currently very weak and disordered West Indian team as they didn’t lose the series three-nil.
What’s more, when they did actually get on the field in this match, they performed creditably in context.
For Australia, the highlight was another rapid fire output from Dave Warner, with 122 from 103 deliveries when Australia finally took to the crease on the fifth day.
With the test matches complete, Australia move on to play one a series of 50 and 20-over matches against India, while the West Indies return to the Caribbean to wonder what the hell they are going to do now.
In a reversal of the AFL's 2015 acquittal of Essendon football players, thirty-four players from the troubled 2012 team have been found guilty of doping offences by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). They have been suspended from the entire 2016 season.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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