Third Test, Day 1: Dysfunction, thy name is Pakistan

3rd Test Australia v Pakistan at Bellerive Oval, Hobart Day 1, Thursday 14 January 2010 [Stumps score: Aust 3/302. Ponting 137*, Clarke 111*.] by Tony Roberts Preview My return to work having blessedly liberated me from reliance on Channel Nine or the ABC’s deteriorating radio commentary, I followed the first day of this match via [Read more]

Tennis: Things to look for at the Australian Open

By John Butler * Numerous folk called Bruce, Baz or Cheryl suddenly discovering long lost Swedish or Spanish heritage and a love of foreign flags and group chanting. * Maria Sharapova’s picture to appear at least daily in the major metropolitan papers. Some of the pictures may even relate to tennis.

Tennis: C’mon, give it a go. Tip someone other than Federer

It’s that time of year again: the time when everyone tips Roger Federer to win the Australian Open. Is anyone willing to tip another player in the tournament that starts in Melbourne on Monday? What about Juan Martin del Potro? Or the unlikely-sounding Robin Soderling? As for the women’s title, surely there’s a candidate among [Read more]

Tennis: Federer’s class separates him from the rest

By Domenic Favata Roger Federer, the magician, the king, whatever you want to call him, is back at Melbourne Park and ready to rock. The fifteen-time grand slam winner is back after a loss to Nikolay Davydenko in Qatar. Some may call it a setback, but I call it ‘warming up’. Federer will release his [Read more]

Akmal’s nightmare sparks memories of dreadful day at Spring Gully

by Peter Lenaghan Pakistan’s wicketkeeper, Kamran Akmal, described it as a “scary dream”. Three dropped catches off the bowling of the leg spinner, Danish Kaneria. All from the bat of the century maker, Michael Hussey. All while keeping up to the stumps. All in front of a big crowd at the magnificent old Sydney Cricket [Read more]

Tennis: Australian Open offers best sporting value in town

A preview of who I think will be the main players at Melbourne Park in 2010.

Footy: Year of the Tiger

By Domenic Favata According to the Chinese zodiac, Richmond should have a pretty good year. That has been promised for years, but will Richmond, under new coach Damien Hardwick, finally take the giant step all the fans have been waiting for? When I heard about one of former coach Terry Wallace’s theories of coaching — [Read more]

Link: Somehow you can come clean but leave others feeling dirty

Dear Almanackers, Here’s another interesting piece from the New York Times, this time concerning the stage-management of mea culpas. The apologist here is Mark McGwire, but it’s an issue that play on the minds of footy administrators in 2010, I’m sure! Rob Clarkson

Footy: A midsummer reflection on the rise of the Cats and the Saints in light of 2004

By Sam Steele When it’s 44 degrees outside and the rest of the family are on holiday, what else is there to do but bung a couple of old footy tapes into the VCR and relive some of the great games of the past. As fate would have it, I chose to have a look [Read more]

Soccer: Is it OK to love another man (in a sporting sense, of course)?

By Stephen George Man love or man crushes are seen as a common and acceptable practice by male members of the sports loving community. How do we best define man love or a man crush in the sporting world? To me, it’s about the ability of a sportsperson to either bring me through the gates [Read more]

Bikes, bats, lycra: a big weekend in Ballarat and Bunni

Local civic and political leaders rarely miss a chance to proclaim Melbourne the “sporting capital of the world”, or “the world’s most liveable city”, blah blah. Whilst I agree that our beloved state capital is a very nice place to live (for most) and a fine sporting town, would it be too cynical to suggest [Read more]

Barney’s 2010 AFL Crystal Ball: West Coast and the Western Bulldogs

West Coast Eagles: Some teams are good, not great, but just good. Sometimes they are great and shoot to the top of the ladder and win the odd premiership, but then they lose some skill and drop down in the top 8. The Eagles used to be like this. 2002, they finished 8th. 2003, they [Read more]

Barney’s 2010 AFL Crystal Ball Part 7: St Kilda and Sydney

by Josh Barnstable St Kilda: So close, yet so far was the story for St Kilda in 2009. 22 wins from 25 games but failed on the big stage against Geelong. That hurt them. It hurt them more then any other premiership loss would have hurt any other club. They have a great team that [Read more]

Barney’s 2010 AFL Crystal Ball Part 6: Port Adelaide and Richmond

by Josh Barnstable Port Adelaide Power: The Power made a resurgence of sorts on the field, putting in some good displays while also getting rid of that shocking home guernsey that they have worn since their inception to the AFL in 1997. Port Adelaide will now sport a new guernsey made by a six year [Read more]

Barney’s 2010 AFL Crystal Ball Part 5: Melbourne and North Melbourne

by Josh Barnstable Melbourne: Off the bottom of the ladder into finals contention is where the Dees will find themselves in the next couple of seasons. What’s so different though? Dean Bailey has predicted a change, he has changed the gamestyle that was, at times, ugly, recruited the best two kids in the country and [Read more]

Second Test, Day 4: Australia accomplishes Mission Impossible

by Andrew Gigacz Day 4 dawns cloudy for Australia, literally and metaphorically. A lead of 80 with two wickets remaining has even the most optimistic of us in doubt. But optimistic I remain and prior to the start of player, I go searching for the silver lining in those clouds. And I find it. Australia’s [Read more]

Mysteries and Demons revisited: An Australian miracle, a Pakistani collapse.

They call it Test cricket because it has a tendency to test all your resources, both mental and psychical. I wrote yesterday of demons and mysteries. At that stage, it was Australia battling the demons, and Pakistan which held all the mystery. Well, as they say, a day is a long time in cricket (and [Read more]

Barney’s 2010 AFL Crystal Ball Part 4: Geelong and Hawthorn

by Josh Barnstable Geelong Cats: The premiers, in decline maybe? You wouldn’t think so, as the only major loss from the premiership side of 2009 is captain Tom Harley, but form in the second half of the season pointed towards a change of form in the next couple of seasons. The forward line lacks a [Read more]

Mysteries and Demons: Not a Dan Brown sequel, but a Pakistani blockbuster

Pakistan has always been one of the most fascinating cricketing nations; though not always for the right reasons. There’s usually an alleged teenage prodigy of indeterminate age, who often turns out to be 26 years old and a father of three; the continual unexplained revolving door of captains, coaches and virtually everyone else in the [Read more]

Big Bash a big hit with the kids (and Dad?)

They say parents go to the football and take their kids. With basketball, it is the kids who go and take their parents. Twenty20 is the basketball form of cricket. Having looked at the cricket calendar I knew we weren’t going to be around for the international short-form games but saw January 2 as an [Read more]