Showing the ugly face of modern cricket

Have we taken the pursuit of sporting success too far? There is plenty of evidence that the “win at all costs” attitude has overtaken commonsense, says TIM GAVEL

YOU can’t tell me the “sledging” in the Ashes series is good for sport. Sure, we love to win – especially against England – but does it need to involve belittling the opposition?

Shouldn’t we focus on winning through ability rather than sledging and attacking perceived mental frailties?

Mind you, it is not just the Australian team that’s to blame, but all this talk about a new aggressive attitude belies what cricket is all about. We chastise England for Bodyline, but appear to celebrate the image of aggression towards our modern-day foes.

And, ironically, we shudder at the thought that our children will imitate their heroes on Canberra’s sporting fields with an increase in batsmen being given a send off in juniors and the disputing of umpiring decisions.

Boost from Cavalry

AS the Federal Government Budget threats hang over Canberra, the psychological boost of sporting success cannot be underestimated.

Sometimes it comes from left field. For instance, the Canberra Cavalry’s victory in the Asian series. This is a feat worthy of celebration. What makes it more meritorious is that it was a win against the rich Asian champions in South Korea and Japan with budgets in excess of $25 million, up against the Cavalry’s roster of around $47,000.

It is why the win has captured the imagination of us all. Despite the number of imports, it is very much a Canberra team with players billeted by local families.

It’s also worth noting where the team came from in the first place. I remember the meeting held a few years ago of about 100 people upstairs at the Eastlake Football Club to gauge interest in Canberra hosting a team in the proposed Australian Baseball League.

If it hadn’t been for those people showing support there wouldn’t have been a Canberra Cavalry team.

High fives for Brown

THE appointment of Phil Brown as ACT Basketball’s high performance coach is to be applauded.

So many sports in Canberra have identified the need to implement a pathway for the juniors into the seniors, while coaches often feel left behind as the players make the upward journey.

In his new role, the former Opals’ assistant coach will provide guidance on the pathway for players, but also assist coaches in achieving their personal goals.

His appointment will provide confidence to emerging young basketballers, given Brown’s knack for identifying talent at an early age, which is becoming crucial as sports become more competitive in securing talent.

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