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Sydney Test starts today... probably

Yesterday it was 44.2 degrees in Sydney, the second-hottest day in recorded history. Today it's in the low twenties, very dark outside, and drizzling. No real complaints about that, they've had some hideous bushfires near Gosford over the past couple of days, but there's a Test match due to start at the SCG in a couple of hours.

The webcam at the SCG doesn't appear to be operating at the moment. I'll be blogging about the Test this week as time permits. Feel free to comment.

Happy new year.

That was Kerry Packer and this was his cricket

"There is a problem with gambling in this country, but the problem doesn’t lie with people who can afford to gamble and afford to lose."

- John Howard, talking to 3AW's Neil Mitchell about Kerry Packer after he reportedly lost $32 million in a night at the casino, 1.9.00

If Kerry Packer had not organised a breakaway cricket tournament, someone else would have. Not as well, and probably not for another ten or twenty years.


A double for Hodgie!

Brad Hodge's 203 against South Africa at the WACA continues to demonstrate the remarkable depth of batting reserves available to the Australian selectors.

Both he and Mike Hussey have given excellent service since being promoted to the Test arena during the West Indies series. Hussey has two centuries in four Tests, though his 23 and 58 in this game means his Test batting average has actually dropped to double figures (88.7 to be precise).

Even the fruits of victory would be Ashes in our mouth

ANDREW DENTON: What are you going to do with the rest of your life?

MARK LATHAM: Well I'm very happy being a home dad and the arrangements we've got at home are fantastic so why change a winning formula?

ANDREW DENTON: When the boys are 16, 17, 18, when they're getting out of the house, what are you going to do?

MARK LATHAM: I'll be carrying their cricket bags...

[studio audience] LAUGHTER

MARK LATHAM: ...As they play for Australia and try and reclaim the Ashes.


Ashes, bombers, weasels, feet, mouths

Ah yes, sport and politics can be such a hilarious mix sometimes.

Here's an extract from the hansard from the House of Reps session in Canberra earlier this evening. By way of background, the Dramatis Personae of this vignette are as follows:

A great English victory beckons

Something I thought I would never see, well not in this decade anyway, appears to be unfolding at New Road, Worcester, today.

It's lunch on Day Three of the Second Women's Test between England and Australia. The visitors made 131 in their first innings. England, after being 227 for 9 at the close of the second day, advanced to 289 all out. Australia faced sixteen overs before lunch. They are currently 13 for 3.

Old enough to bowl, too young to talk

Cathryn Fitzpatrick had already held her 21st birthday party when Holly Colvin was born. Not turning sixteen till September 7, Colvin became the youngest Test cricketer for the English women on Tuesday. She paid dividends for England by taking three wickets on the opening day of the Hove Test against Australia - Kate Blackwell, Julia Price and Fitzpatrick - but at day's end was not allowed to talk to the media.


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