In an encouraging display of good taste and fine judgement, the British public has dumped Euro MP, Robert Kilroy-Silk from Im a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. On the first eviction day, to his amazement, he was forced to trudge out of camp with his customary bewilderment at peoples failure to grasp what a fabulous person he is. Everyone though the bland, one-dimensional Brian Paddick would be first out but clearly the people enjoy the spectacle of campers being bored to death by him.
The Twenty20 Cricket Champions League due to take place next Wednesday in Mumbai, India has been postponed due to the recent terrorist killings. More than a hunded people have been shot dead with hundreds more injured it has been reported. Under this black cloud, the Indian officials have called off the event, stating that they cannot insure the safety of the players.
Perhaps, like me, cricket betting fans occasionally muse about the Duckworth / Lewis duo, imagining them to be roughly a cross between the cricketing encyclopaedia and enthusiast, Jonathan Agnew and that bloke off Channel 4 that did the Test match computer graphics. The kind of guys who would let slip a couple of anecdotes about old Freddie Trueman or a reflection on the fluidity of Peter May. You would be disappointed. Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis are statisticians whose sole terms of reference were cold and clinical, mathematical data from other matches when they invented their method of producing incomprehensible and seemingly outrageously unfair results in cricket matches that routinely crush the dreams of a nation.
It’s edging closer to that time of year when the famous Lakeside resort, for 9 days in January, hosts the 2009 Darts World Championship. The prize money for the eventual winner of the Men’s tournament has been increased to a whopping £95,000. As usual the atmosphere will be electric for BDO’s premier competition with ticket allocations for all 9 days of play virtually snapped up.
Its a good job the England football team are back on track and Ricky Hatton retained his world title in Las Vegas because, for rugby fans, the cricket results from India and the rugby results from everywhere are nothing short of terminally embarrassing for English sport. We can mutter about the gruesome tortures we would visit upon Messrs Duckworth and Lewis and grumble about the lack of experienced England rugby caps but, at the end of the day, we might just have to concede that weve gone the same way as the Australians and that its a struggle for us to be good at sport any more.
Well, lets start with the bad news first India deserved to win the third One Day International in Kanpur. Their spin bowlers still have mastery over the English bat and their batsmen are more consistent than ours. The good news for cricket betting fans is that were improving. Our bowling aggression and accuracy is on the up and casting Ravi Bopara in the role of opener, in place of Matthew Prior with Captain, Kevin Pietersen, at number three, seems to have worked well. Ravi Bopara needs to settle into the role but is showing every sign that he will.
In what must be one of the strangest decisions of the week, John Sergeant resigned from participating in the BBC ballroom dancing competition, Strictly Come Dancing, because it looked like he might win the thing. Each week millions laughed and giggled at John’s fumbled dancing routines. A nation took this man to their heart as he entertained. All the while the judges on the show sat fuming and spat acidic remarks towards Mr Sergeant’s dancing style.
It has to be said that I jumped through no hoops when George Burley was appointed manager of Scotland. Now, some months after the event, I am even less ecstatic about Burley. Not once has he ever lighted the heather on fire, nor will he ever. Not as boss of Scotland anyway. A nation knows when a relationship is working. Scotland have had it previously with Walter Smith, look at Jack Charlton and The Republic, also England with Cappello. But Burley and Scotland – just feels like a shotgun marriage.
Forgive your brothers and sisters and you will set yourself free. This advice from above has clearly remained unheard by Terry Butcher, the England defender left reeling after Maradonas hand of God propelled the ball into the England goal on that fateful day in the World Cup finals in Mexico back in 1986. Butcher was on the plane home the next day, carrying with him a grudge against the mighty Argentinean which endures to the present day.
Tomorrow night, Wednesday the 19th November, Diego Maradona manages his first game in charge of Argentina in a friendly international match against Scotland at Hampden Park. Such is the interest in the controversial Maradona that the game is being beamed live to over 150 countries. But there will be 1 man inside Hampden Park tomorrow night who won’t be idolising over the diminutive Argentinian Terry Butcher.