France’s answer to Hayden Ballantyne falls

  by Bob Utber Paris in the spring without football is not football. Mind you the way the weather has been behaving here, walking up the Champs Elysees is like making your way to your seat at Arctic Park.  Not once has anybody asked me the score and there have been some big games this [Read more]

The Funeral Pyre Is Out

DAY 5 ADELAIDE   For cricket lovers the death of Indian cricket at Test level has been lingering. The final rites were given today. For twenty days the pyre has been slowly simmering fuelled by everyone. The ancient wood has slowly simmered away. But will their ashes be thrown out when the clean-up commences? The [Read more]

ADELAIDE DAY 4: Groundhog Day

  Forgive me if I think this is Groundhog Day.  The crowd today look like the leftovers from yesterday. There is a distinctive sign that says “hangover” amongst most of them. It was a big day on Australia Day and I don’t think many of them would remember what happened yesterday.

Hit by the Indian Coach

Talk about your dear old thing.  I did a Blowers this morning when I was hit by a double decker bus carrying the Indian Team. When I told some colleagues that I had been hit by the Indian coach they came up with the comment “that’s the first success Duncan Fletcher has had as a [Read more]

Meet me at the Lehmann statue

  by Bob Utber DAY 2 IN ADELAIDE “Meet you at the Lehmann statue” is the new catch phrase at the Adelaide Oval. Coined by that wonderfully  insightful Sri Lankan journalist (whose name I forget at the moment) but goes under the nom de plume of PJ.Flynn in Australia. ABC’s Jim Maxwell unveiled the Darren [Read more]

Australian dominance continues

  ADELAIDE DAY 1 by Bob Utber Walking through the park to the ground this morning and you realise what a picturesque site it is. Let us hope the new edifice does not distract.  Memories flood back of many great games here at this ground. The fans were out in force today and I don’t [Read more]

TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS

The Diva decides that today will be the day for spring cleaning.  ”But I have to cover the cricket today” I said.  No reply but I did understand that it has to be done today and definitely not tomorrow (the cleaning that is).   I work it out that I can assist at drinks breaks, [Read more]

Long Day’s Journey to the ‘G

This would have to be the most eventful first day I have encountered for a Boxing Day test match. I arrived at the Mildura airport on Christmas Day en route to Melbourne via plane for the big game.  Total travelling time of 1 hour and five minutes. I kiss the ground at Tullamarine seven and [Read more]

I knew Peter Roebuck

    I knew Peter Roebuck.  No, correction, I didn’t know Robey.  I had spent two weeks with him in the Press Box in Sri Lanka as one of a small group of Australians covering the test match series.  I grew to know most of the others in the box Conn, Maxwell, Lalor and co.  [Read more]

WE ARE GEELONG

In life we have some wonderful experiences that can be fleeting or last forever as in a marriage. My marriage to theGeelongfootball Club has lasted for well over 60 years. My other marriages in total have been over 50 years but still no telegram from BettyWindsor.   Let me tell you about my last four [Read more]

DAY 5 AT KANDY

One of the surprising sites in Kandy is to see a dog with four legs. There are not as many dogs as at Whitten Oval which has surprised me.  Most of them laze around on the very edges of the main roads.  None are fat (Georgie Bissett) but lean (Robert Murphy). As a dog lover [Read more]

KANDY DAY 4: THE WISDOM OF DON

The tsunami has taken care of St Kilda and Essendon. Hawthorn and West Coast have injury problems to star players as well and could fall at the next hurdle. It is hard to feel the suffering that must be going on for the Saints.  Forget about Essendon who  cares about their effort. My friend Heather [Read more]

A Day With Jim

DAY 3 AT KANDY A DAY WITH JIM Many, many of us have listened to the voice of Jim Maxwell from all around the world describing cricket to Australian aficionados.  I sat next to him on day three at the second test in Kandy. The day starts with Jim saying that he will be having [Read more]

Great Scott, Scotty and Marsh too

  Today was just a little too much for me. What with day 2 of the Test, the Cats v Hawks and Adelaide (B&F) all live.  It was a dilemma Fortunately the test did not provide too many highlights from a spectator’s point of view with the exception of the Marsh and Hussey partnership.  The [Read more]

Australians on top in Kandy

DAY 1 AT KANDY Pallekele is a wonderful cricket ground in fact I would go further and say it is one of the most beautiful grounds in the world. A word of warning though.  I hope that they do not build pavilions all the way round the perimeter and so destroy the wonderful views of [Read more]

Train to Kandy

by Bob Utber Forget about the cricket, the train trip from Colombo Fort to Kandy was worth its weight in chocolates. The British (as the locals call them) built the railway in the 1860’s as their route to the tea plantations that they were establishing.  The engineering skills of the Brits can still be seen. [Read more]

True Blue Siddle

   by Bob Utber You can take the boy out of the bush but you can’t take the bush out of the boy. So it is with Peter Siddle. When he saw me on Day 1 that cheeky grin came over his face and he first words were “what the hell  are you doing here? [Read more]

BROWNLOW VOTES IN GALLE

The final day at the G saw a brave defence by Mahela J and Angelo M with Mahela equalling DGB’s 29 test centruries and Angelo missing out by 5 playing the same windy woof that caused his demise in the first innings. Five wickets to Ryan Harris was the best performance in an attack that [Read more]

Day 3 at Galle; mixed metaphors at the G.

DAY THREE AT GALLE   I often wonder what journalists do when there is no play.  They sit and chat about yesterday’s play and so it was this morning. Strangely there is no music that Marvin Gay wrote about yesterday but the atmosphere is one of happiness which to me epitomises life in Galle.  After [Read more]

FIONA AND ME

There is nothing better than being in the right place at the right time and so it was for me today. Just before play as I wandered around the ground I stumbled across Fiona Copeland who was anxiously waiting for her son’s first appearance at the bowling crease for Australia. She introduced herself and we [Read more]