Saturday, December 02, 2006

England: Rugby and The Ashes

With the week spent in England, I was able to witness first hand the first Ashes test and the England South Africa game at Twicks. The Ashes has been highly anticipated; the Assies are full of bravardo and brio as is typical and every English fan knows we are going to get our ass kicked. As the game went on we all knew when Petersen was out in the second innings what little hope we collectively held was vaporized. .....but wait, I go to bed last night with England at 330/3 and this morning they have declared at 550 and got on Assie wicket. Dare we believe?

I have sat in the stands at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) many times which is were my father is going to be on December 26th. Back in 1975, I sat with my cousin with a Denis Amiss sign drapped over the rail in front of us. I have no idea why we picked Denis but he was a fine English batsman. We had painted the sign in big black letters on a sheet which when we lifted it off the patio had left an imprint of AMISS in the stone. Certain adults were not amused and it was a bugger to get out.

England's world cup victory ranks as one of the best sporting events I have ever witnessed. (MU over Beyern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final is number one). I have never been a rugby fan and I only remember playing it once when I got whacked in the teeth and immediately thought this is not for me. Watching this team in the last two years had been painful and the South Africa match was a good example. They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory late in the first half when they were in control a few minutes from the half and a fumbled catch gave the initiative to SA and they never scored another point. South Africa are not a particularly strong team. The coach had to go and he is now out. (BTW, I can't beleive he is two years younger than me. See, that's what Rugby does to you).

Along the sporting line, I heard of a book award program I had not been familar with. William Hill sponsors this award program and this year it was won by Gary Imlach for 'My Father And Other Working Class Football Heroes'.
The book features the story of Imlach's attempts to secure for his late father,
Stewart - who played in the 1958 World Cup finals and was an FA Cup winner with
Nottingham Forest in 1959 - the official cap from the Scottish FA to which
Imlach believes he is entitled but which he never received and is still being
refused.

Other nominated titles included books about Marco Pantini, Abebe Bikila, The Berlin Olympics and Chelsea FC.

Not unsurprizingly, there are no sports 'biographies' nominated.

1 comment:

Sportingo said...

This is a great article -- i think the second test match is giving every English fan hope.

Would you be interested in publishing any articles regarding cricket and/or sports?

michelle@sportingo.com