Summer Scoop

This week – The Big Bash and Australian Open wrapped up, the NBL saw the worst injury of all time and what is wrong with One Day International cricket?

Quote of the week –

 “Please don’t lose, daddy, we want to stay here for longer. For the first time today,   one of my daughters said: it is actually okay. I’m happy to go skiing in Switzerland now”

Has there ever been a more likeable sportsperson than Roger Federer? Grand Slam win number eighteen on Sunday night was something to behold. What a person, a player and a champion. That match between him and Rafael Nadal was simply outstanding.

Tweet of the week –

Good call from AFL 360 producer Tim Hodges. It did not happen, but you just feel Bruce picked the wrong year to have off.

The hero
Serena Williams took out Grand Slam win number 23, with a 6-4 6-4 win over sister Venus in the Australian Open Final on Saturday night. Perhaps one of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena sometimes does not get the credit she deserves. Surely now she goes onto overtake Margaret Court at 24 Grand Slam wins. We have all been lucky to witness the Serena Williams era and are unlikely ever to see someone of her calibre again. A mighty effort Serena.

The villain
Adelaide listen up.

27,929 is a disgraceful crowd for a One Day International at the Adelaide Oval on Australia Day. Yes, the game was a dead rubber, but seriously? How can Adelaide expect to hold onto a marquee game such as this one with a crowd figure like that? I understand that crowd figures are down across the board for ODI’s this season and Twenty20 cricket, which has saturated the market across summer is to blame.

It is only going to get worse next year with the announcement during the week that eight additional Big Bash Games will be held next season. Something must be done by Cricket Australia next year. I am not a huge fan of the idea, but perhaps ODI’s need to be moved away from the Big Bash season permanently.

More on that during the week in the Wednesday Whinge.

What a game those who did turn up witnessed though, with records tumbling left right and centre and hometown hero, Travis Head scoring the first of hopefully many centuries for his country. David Warner is not far off being an all time great, scoring his highest ever One Day International score of 179 and that opening partnership of 284 between Warner and Head was something else. Absolutely brilliant.

The prediction
There are three regular season games remaining for the Adelaide 36ers and they are perhaps the toughest three games of the year. Granted, two of them are at home, which is handy. The Sixers cannot be moved from the top of the table and there is not a huge amount to play for at the present time. Over the weekend, Illawarra clearly wanted the win more than Adelaide in their clash and as a result, they got it. Adelaide must try to keep playing like they have been over the last few months to ensure they can take winning momentum into the finals. That though, will be no easy task.

The Scoop

What does Adelaide’s new thee year deal with Southern Cross Austereo mean for FiveAA? Will it impact on their ability to get Crows players and officials on the station before, during and after games? Half time chats with David Noble were a crucial part of FiveAA’s footy broadcast in previous years. Will that be able to continue with Brett Burton? Time will tell.

Mark Bickley and Stephen Rowe’s contacts will most likely mean they will still get a plenty of scoops and given Triple M had Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane on regularly without having the partnership previously, it will be interesting to see just exactly what changes.

Crow Call Summer
Rumours abound this week that Adelaide are set to name a new apparel supplier following the collapse of BLK. A BLK clean out sale a few weeks ago also gave an indication of this. Given how close we are to the start of the season, if an announcement is to be made, expect it possibly this week.

Toyota have extended their partnership to sponsoring the Crows Women’s side. Has there ever been a more loyal sponsor in the AFL?

Scott Thompson (shoulder soreness) and Brad Crouch (hamstring) are the only major injury headaches heading into the JLT Community Series. Surely this will be the year that Crouch has some clear air to show the skill he possesses. A hamstring is the one you want I suppose, but still not great timing for the youngster.

The NAB AFL Women’s League kicks off for Adelaide on Saturday when the Crows take on the Giants at Thebarton Oval. A new era begins for the AFL and it will be a fascinating ride in 2017. You can read my thoughts on the upcoming season here.

Turn It Up
Sam Heazlett? Who is Sam Heazlett? Nobody is quite sure, but he got the call up to the One Day International squad for Australia’s tour of New Zealand. Australia’s selection policy continues to baffle. Sam Heazlett has not yet represented Queensland in a One Day game, how does he get a gig for his country? Bizarre.

Additionally, surely after Steve Smith succumbed to an ankle injury, David Warner should have had his holiday cut short to head over and lead the team. Instead Matthew Wade, who has had a very strange summer will take the reins for the three match series. Yet another strange selection decision.

Extra scoop 

Channel Seven generally do a good job in their coverage of sport, but they have treated tennis fans poorly over the last couple of weeks. How many times did we return from an ad break only to find that key points and sometimes even an entire game had been missed. That is no different to returning from a break and missing half an over. Not good enough from Seven and reeks of not caring.

The Seven Network has a huge decision to make with their Australian Open rights deal coming to an end in 2019. Do they continue to pump their summer schedule full of tennis or do they have a serious crack at the Big Bash League? At this stage of proceedings, you would probably have your money on the latter.

And by popular demand…

Thank goodness this one had a happy ending. I have not posted the vision, because quite honestly, it is not something you really want to watch. Akil Mitchell had his eyeball removed from its socket in the Breakers loss to the Taipans on Thursday. Thankfully it was medically put back in place, but wow oh wow, this one could have been so much worse.

Picture – Getty Images


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