God's sport

As for today's match, Australia made a huge comeback over Pakistan (197-7 > 191-6). Michael Hussey's excellent batting providing the winning margin at the last possible moment. A brilliant exhibition of batting skill just when it appeared Pak's lead was insurmountable. Oz goes on to play England in the T20 finale.
A convincing win for the Poms! England wins ICC's T20 championship by 7 wickets 148-3 > 147-6. An excellent series come to an exiciting conclusion. This and the return of the Ashes should serve as a source of pride & joy for the Brits.
The Cricket world has been rocked by a ball fixing scandal involving the Australian Cricket Team on tour in South Africa.

Australian ball-tampering: Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft apologise - BBC Sport

The charges is that the Captain Steve Smith, David Warner, batsmen, and bowler Cameron Bancroft conspired to doctor a ball with sandpaper in a Test Match against South Africa.

What surprised me is that this is such big news. In Cricket's great descendant, Baseball, scuffing or 'wetting' the ball has been part of the game since its inception; as has the occaisional appearance of 'corked' bats. Scuffed and wet balls were banned in the 1920s but there are any number of legendary pitchers who have doctored their balls, or, batters who have used corked bats. Detection might lead to a player getting tossed from the game and possibly a league fine. It's generallly a considered a minor vice; certainly not in the same league as doping.

But the reaction of shock and shame on the part of the Cricket establishment is in a completely different realm. Steve Smith made a nationally televised tearful Mea Culpa on returning to Sydney. Smith has resigned his Captaincy of the Australian Team. Smith and Warner have received 1 year suspensions from all Cricket, Bancroft 9 months. The Australian Coach David Lehmann has stepped down although he was not implicated in the conspiracy.

I can't help but think this part of British Public School ethos; brought into the world of professional sport. This wouldn't have made a ripple in MLB World; but it is a story that has been given equal billing with the Russian Poisoning and Donald Trump's latest escapades on the BBC.
Last edited by coldstream; Mar 29th, 2018 at 02:30 PM..
Australia are a very unpopular cricket team, hated for their arrogance, their verbal abuse of opposing players during matches, and their thinking that they are somehow the game's global moral arbiters. So many cricketing nations - especially their great rivals England - are enjoying their comeuppance.

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