Standing on the outside lookin’ in.

A return to the coal face has not been conducive to what has been a big week in sport. This has been more difficult as the main action has been in Sydney and I’m trying to write from a Melbourne point of view. Still in a week, where undertaking a first aid course has provided me with the skill set to “preserve life”( I’ve detected a distinct sense of uncertainly amongst my co-workers in my capacity to preserve peaches, let alone a human life), I’ve been able to pick up some a few insightful scraps.
My task has been made more testing by my place of work. A mere 9 iron and a wire tap from the former Russian Embassy, the old ASIO building in which I now work still holds it’s cold war defenses. Not even to formidable forces of the ABC have been able to penetrate the office walls. Strict IT protocol prevents me from “streaming” the radio on the computer so news from the Sydney test has been scant. The Age’s live blog doesn’t quite fill the void nor adequately replace the dulcet tones of Jim Maxwell. Word has it that Jim actually cracked a gag after M.Clarke (C) retired before passing the marks set Tubby and The Don for the highest score made by an Australian captain. Jim tweeted that Clarke also gave up the opportunity of chasing the world record. The skipper had apparently “stopped chasing another Lara”. Boom Boom Jim.
The media has obviously been a buzz regarding the exploits of the skipper and rightly so. There was much to buzz about. But it was apparent from listening to Mick and Whitey on 927 this morning that the real epiphany was not the triple century but that M.Clarke (C) had shown real “leadership”. Seemingly for the first time since his anointment to the highest office in Australia. There was a time when the (C) after Clarke name represented many descriptors rather than captain. But now it would seem that all is for forgiven. Jake Nial from The Age chipped in that, while Clarke was not your “stereotypical” Australian captain, he was growing into the job. Given that Australian captains are in short on the ground around Manuka Square, I am not sure what your “stereotypical” Australian captain looks or behaves like. However, based on the previous dozen or so you need to be aggressive, fat, possess a steely glare and have the personality of a dining chair. M.Clark is none of those but does he have to be to fulfill the role. In the minds of many, yes.
The other hot topic of the week has been the tabloid war of words regarding which is the best cricket ground in the world. Apparently, Rebecca Wilson for The Telegaph had the temerity to suggest that the SCG was the “best cricket ground in the world”. Balderdash said the dynamic duo that scribe the gossip page in the Herald Sun’s sport pages. Sure, the SCG might have those quaint old grandstands that look like they belong at a cricket ground but isn’t it better to have really, really big grandstands that hold more of the masses and seats that don’t give you splinters. In fact the boys declared the MCG the best stadium in the world. On the latter, I would have to agree having never been to any of the world’s other great stadia, other than Trentbridge, which really is the Arden St of cricket arenas, complete with gasometer. However, as a “cricket ground”, the SCG does retain a certain charm with the old worldly Members and Ladies Stand etc. That said, “coming over the hill to the MCG” does fill this correspondent with a joy that the SCG could never come close to. Both hold fantastic memories. Personally, the SCG has been a cricket memory and the MCG a football one but the “G” has that extra something. The anticipation that you are about to witness something special. Like belting Essendon by 10 goals. The journey to the MCG has its own peculiar feel which I think a visually impaired person would be able to describe perfectly. It’s palpable. The same person would think they were at a shopping mall going to the SCG. But as a “cricket ground” I think I might dip my lid to SCG as surely a cricket ground is judged by what happens on it, not around it. I’d go the MCG every day but boy, a lot happened in Sydney yesterday including the resurrection of two careers and the evolution of another. Sometimes if not about how many turned up but who turned up. Ponting, Clarke and Hussey turned up at the SCG and suddenly Australian cricket has been “preserved”. Just like a jar of peaches. The problem I feel is that the used by date still hasn’t changed.
What Mike would have written?
A reliable inside source puts the resurgence in the test team’s performance down to Eddie McGuire’s recent foray into cricket administration and that Eddie was the fillip that Australia Cricket needed.
Tip of the week
When faced with a choice of putting your team’s success ahead of your personal glory always choose the former. You will go from Crap to Captain in the twinkle of an eye.
Weekly Dump
If I hear a media commentator asking a T20 player how hard it is to start going for your shots before getting settled I’ll scream. David Warner does it at test level so it can’t be that bloody hard surely.
See ya next week

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.


  1. Peter Baulderstone says

    Fair go Tony. What about Adelaide Oval as Australia’s premier cricket ground. The old stands, the grassed hills/mounds, the magnificent old scoreboard, the majestic Moreton Bay fig trees, and the cathedral and the hills as a backdrop. Daylight second. Newlands in Capetown seems the only rival for the setting.

  2. John Butler says


    They’re turning Adelaide Oval into a ‘stadium’ to accommodate footy.

    That should bring it back to the field.

  3. Peter, My observations were based on comments by melbourne Journos and as such I commmented on their comments regrding the two grounds if that make sense. Yes, Adelaide is al ovely crcket ground but soon to be fototball grounsd. In regard to the asthetic no argument from here but Manuka and Norht Sydnety oval are just as prtetty and better dimensions. Adelaide as a ground was okay until they brought in the the long boundaries by 20m negating their length to offset the sub continent type boundaries sqaure of the wicket.

    Cant wait to see what the AFL to do to wreck the oval. Is there enough sail clothe to cover a three tier southern stand.

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