Our two home test series, first against the West Indies and then Pakistan late last year, lacked sparkle as the outcomes were never in doubt.

But not so across the Tasman. Many commentators claim the tests series between Australia and India was the greatest ever for the extraordinary drama they delivered. They’ll get no argument from me. Test cricket is the most thrilling of any sport on a number of counts, but that series was stand-out amazing.

So too the live Sky broadcasts from India with to date, dramatically different test outcomes.

Whoever invented the saying “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings” obviously had test cricket in mind.

That aside, by far the most entertaining cricket I’ve watched this summer has come from the South African-Pakistan one day women’s series Sky showed through January. I refer to the fielding by both sides. No matter how simple nearly every lolly catch was dropped.

On several occasions with both sides I saw a ball hit not very hard to a fielder who crouched down, hands out only for it to pass through her legs. The ball, now down to not much more than a dribble pace saw another fielder 10 or so metres behind the first, crouch down and through her legs it would trickle, then come to a stop. In would swoop a third fielder and despite the ball now being stationary, dip to pick it up and miss it altogether.

Balls fielded then thrown to either the bowler or the wicketkeeper were rarely caught and resulted in overthrows.

The South Africans won all but one of the matches as they were smarter. Why?

Because they worked out that even if they simply patted every ball to mid-on, mostly it would be misfielded, but if not, it would not be caught when thrown to the keeper or bowler. Consequently they ran on every shot.

It was all wonderfully comical. That said both sides batted and bowled with great zest. Many were mere teens, one Pakistani girl only 16.

This is not to deride women’s sport. For example, I never watch boring slam-bam men’s tennis (Andy Murray was a sole exception with his wily cuts and drop shots) but enjoy the women’s games with their long rallies.

And I avidly watch the LPGA, first as the girls are all astonishingly talented and even better, as so many are absolute stunners.




The women’s rugby doesn’t appeal, the lack of natural feminine elegance and beauty perhaps. Some things are best left to the blokes.
Beach volley ball on the other hand…….

    You must be joking-No amount of, (or lack of) bikini on display can compensate for the unbelievable dullness of it. It even makes the Americas Cup look interesting, and thats practically impossible.

Roys the name, truths the game February 22, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Many years ago I was on a Chamber of Commerce board
There were a few savvy Businesswomen on the board.

On one occasion I must have referenced them as Girls. I was rebuked, they were not girls.
I then tried ladies, this again received pushback.
Exasperated I then said well I don’t care what… I will from now on call you sheilas.

After a bunch of squawking and hilarity I have kept up the practice for the last 30 years.
I occasionally get pushback, mainly from blokes. The sheilas understand where I am coming from and rather than the obligatory pushback, smile and carry on.

Of course I am talking about mature sheilas none of this radical young Non men nonsense.

The cricket in India has been a pleasure to watch played with skill without the banter and sledging which the Aussies excel at. You Sir Robert are very watchful of ladies cricket?

I think I would rather watch women’s sports too, if I were to bother. Professional sports (in the men’s domain at least) has lost its innocence, and in turn its sense of fun. I think this is because it’s *so* competitive now, that only android types who live. eat. sleep. dream. their sport can make it to the top.

But sport, being an abstract achievement, needs its humanity to come alive…which is lost. When android men act like they really are fighting a war because they take it THAT seriously, it just becomes sad and tragic – as so much of it now is. So yep – I’d rather watch the girls. They know not to take it too life-and-death seriously, at least.

No doubt about it Sir Bob. Test cricket is the greatest sport of all. Someone learned once wrote; “while every cricket test is an epic novel, every ball bowled is a perfect short story” I can’t remember who it was but what a beautiful description of the ultimate contest.
Someone (less learned) also said “Test cricket is soap opera for men” A little off, this one, as many women love the game. But not with our obsession.
Sir Bob, (if you read your feedback) may we have your views on the current heavy weight boxing scene? It seems to me we may have an emerging golden era. Two potential greats and a whole range of exciting new comers plus old battlers to keep them all honest.
I just wish they’d get in the bloody ring more often.
Your (or anyone else’s) thoughts?

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