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Scyld Berry calling Usman Khawaja's selection to the Test side as Australia's experiment with their Asian immigrant population has received widespread opposition. Though Australia are not as well known as other countries for their cricketers having alien roots, Russell Jackson, in a Guardian blog points out a few examples Berry seemed to have overlooked.
He would also know that Rex Sellers, a British passport-holding, Indian-born leg-spinner who played Test cricket for Australia prompted no small measure of angst within the English cricketing press when chosen in the Australian Ashes squad of 1964. In response, the cricket-loving prime minister Robert Menzies fast-tracked Sellers's citizenship at a rate that, all these years later, makes Fawad Ahmed's blessing from the Gillard government look like a glacial drift
Subash Jayaraman caught up with Sharda Ugra, senior editor at ESPNcricinfo, to discuss the life of women in sports journalism, the challenges they face in a male-dominated environment, the impact of sexism and the changes in the industry over the years in the Cricket Couch
There was a discussion. At one point, I was joking to someone "Listen, I am going to tell the TV channel at the start of every season that let me coach these girls and I will teach them that this is how you ask questions. It is very easy. Just make sure you pay me like a really good stipend or whatever it is called. I will coach them. You get me any two girls, and I will teach them how to ask questions on television about cricket." And my friend looks at me and says, "You are a really sad person. Do you think that is what these girls are for?" and I replied, "Sorry. I forgot that." That is not what they are there for in the first place.
In the Daily Mail, Lawrence Booth believes Mickey Arthur's decision to sack Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja hints at larger issues within the team.
It's been a fragile arrangement, and in India the second half of the equation has been rendered less potent by the pitches. This won't matter so much in England this summer, where Australia's seamers may just win them a Test. But the defeats in Chennai and Hyderabad have confirmed a long-standing hunch: Australia just ain't that good any more.
And there's the rub. A nation that for 20 years grew accustomed to winning Test matches, sometimes from ludicrous positions, has been obliged to look in the mirror. Understandably, it isn't enamoured with what it sees.
Chris Barrett in the Canberra Times believes the sacked players are guilty of failing to be accountable within the team set-up.
Requesting players to put together arguments about their selection and value might seem wacky to many. People might scoff at the wellness reports too. But whatever the case, this point is inescapable. The players in question have not done what they were told.
In the Indian Express, Aditya Iyer believes the move to sack players is simply a case of bad man-management and the team think-tank would have done better to simply help the team through a tough series.
All said and done, isn't it the captain's job, or the coach's, to be coming up with the answers when their players -- who just collectively happen to have near-zero experience of playing in the subcontinent -- are asked difficult questions by the conditions? If not breakthrough solutions, then shouldn't they at least do their bit to uplift the morale as a young team spirals through a harsh learning curve? Not in this Australian set-up.
It has been a year since Peter Roebuck committed suicide in South Africa. A fan from Australia, Benjamin Golby, has written a song to mark the anniversary. "In Memoriam - P.M.R" is not an attempt at obituary for Peter Roebuck," said Golby, who is taking his Honours in Composition in Melbourne, having studied Music at the University of Western Australia. "Rather, it is a response to Mr Roebuck's death. This is what distinguishes an elegy from eulogy, in that an elegy is a personal lament rather than a detailing of its subject's qualities."
Golby wrote the song after attending a memorial service for Roebuck in Melbourne six weeks after the writer's death. "I had found Mr Roebuck's death difficult to comprehend and, when attempting to discuss it with friends, felt unable to express the confusion I felt regarding it."
In the song, Golby writes:
"Learnt of your death early on a Sunday morning hungover and consumed with my own complaints Soon after, my father telephoned touchingly to check I was okay, making sad warning Beside myself I had trotted down to the nearby oval, where I found solace watching the park cricketers"
"I feel like a charlatan saying this as a person who was personally unacquainted with Mr Roebuck but I felt the loss severely and still find it very troubling," Golby said. "I thought that this was an overreaction and was ashamed by my response until I realised that a great many others feel the same. His is not merely the case in Australia, where many felt a personal connection with Mr Roebuck through his commentary work on the ABC and the Fairfax papers. The English novelist Howard Jacobson expresses something similar in the opening paragraph of an article he wrote on the subject in the Independent.
"I assume that what is being expressed is not so much personal loss but that some dearly held idea or conviction, espoused by that person or achieving essence in them, is now lost. Fortunately ideas do not die with individuals. As has been expressed in many of the tributes written, Peter Roebuck's most significant contributions, excellence in cricket journalism and that cricket should be placed in the context of greater social and political issues, will abide."
Sunday bore witness to two South African sporting success stories on British shores, with Hashim Amla's triple century followed later in the day by a surprise victory for Ernie Els at The Open. But it was Amla who took top billing on what The New Age called "South Africa's day of champions".
Amla made it on to the front page of the majority of South African dailies, and was shown hugging Jacques Kallis on the front page of The Star above the headline "Mighty Hash lauded after feat".
"Hashim Amla is known as the 'Mighty Hash' on social media websites like Twitter, but yesterday he became the Incredible Hash when he scored the first triple century by a South Africa," the paper said. Els got more of a look in on the back pages, after winning his fourth golf Major.
Perhaps the editorial decision was an easy one - while Els last won The Open in 2002, South Africa have had to wait more than a century for a cricketer to score a Test 300.
Shahid Afridi is set to become the second Pakistan cricketer, after Imran Khan, to feature in a biopic. The movie titled 'Main Hun Shahid Afridi' [I am Shahid Afridi] attempts to capture the struggles and achievements of the cricketer at the start of his career. According to the Pakistani media, 19-year-old Noman Habib, himself an aspiring cricketer, plays Afridi in the film. Producers say that more than half the film has already been completed and that stadiums in Karachi and Sialkot were used for filming.
Matthew Wade's date for the Allan Border Medal awards night, Julia Barry, wore a dress she designed herself and made by Shirley Keon from Keon Couture, while Mitchell Johnson's wife, Jessica Bratich, accessorised herself. How do we know that? Cricket Australia's commitment to make the awards night a glamorous event had them send out a press release with details of those attending and what they'd be wearing - in some cases down to jewellery and accessories. The event, held at Crown Casino in Melbourne, saw players and their dates arriving in 30 cars - the press release also detailing who would arrive in which car. And, hours after Oscar night, Hollywood was in attendance too - Shane Warne turned up to be inducted into the hall of fame.