IT WAS a cricketing institution. Forty summers of ‘Got Him!’, cream suits, Bill Lawry’s pigeons, and Tony Greig stabbing pitches with pens and car keys officially ended this week, with Cricket Australia confirming a new broadcast deal with Foxtel and thus ending a four-decade long relationship with Channel Nine. In many ways ‘Nine’s’ cricket broadcast revolutionised TV coverage not only of cricket but all sport. Day/night cricket started under Channel Nine’s gaze, while the crossover from black and white to colour brought sport alive in living rooms Down Under. And then of course there were the personalities, highlighted by the brilliant Richie Benaud – ‘tchoo for tchoo tchwenny tchoo’ – the whacky, excitable Lawrie, and the booming, know-it-all Greig. Sadly in recent times, the standard of commentary, with a few exceptions, has dropped alarmingly, but still that should not detract from the entertainment Channel Nine provided. SOMETHING that significantly enhanced Channel Nine’s status was of course comedian Billy Birmingham’s ‘12th Man’ series in which he impersonated each of the commentators. Among the cleaner, more memorable lines was the exchange between Lawrie’s character and Greig’s. “The Australian’s looking mighty fine in their canary yellow outfits,” said Grieg. “Canary yellow? Canary yellow? That is Australian gold my friend and don’t you f*&)**g forget it,” Lawrie replied. THE Korean Basketball League has a problem: The players are too tall. Huh? Okay, just some of them, most from the United States, who’ve been unable to crack it in the US and have sought employment elsewhere. The players themselves are very popular with crowds, but for
KBL the problem is that they are too dominant, apparently inhibiting the development of Korean players. In order to solve this issue, the KBL has changed some rules. According to the BBC, each team in South Korea can have only two foreign players. Starting with the 2018/19 season, one of these players must not be taller than 2m, while the other one cannot be taller than 1.86m. This meant that one of the country’s most popular foreign players, an American called David Simon, had to leave. At 2.021m, he had missed the cut by just millimetres. “I was a little upset,” Mr Simon recently told the BBC World Service’s OS programme. “Just to be that close and not be able to make it kind of stinks. Doesn’t look like I’ll be going back there to play unless they change the rule again.” It’s not the first time this has happened. In fact, Korea has had a height limit for foreign players since 1997, but this is the shortest that has ever imposed. The KBL maintain it has to protect local players who, on average, cannot match the heights of foreign players, mostly Americans. It has of course raised the question for some: Can you try and shrink? “Non-surgically, there are things you can do to a very small degree,” says Dr Tan Chyn
Hong, an orthopaedic surgeon and a former athlete. “The discs in your spine are composed of water amongst other things, so for example, if you dehydrate yourself, you could perhaps lose a bit of height from the shrinking of the accumulated discs. I’d say from doing that, and maybe also slouching a bit, it’s possible to lose 1cm, but any more than that is very tough.” IT’S BEEN the season for South Africans beating Australians and letting them know about it, and Akani Simbine and the men’s 4x100m relay team kept the season going during the semi-finals of their event at the Commonwealth Games. When the 100m champion took the baton from Anaso Jobodwana‚ the SA quartet were lying second behind the home team by a good few metres. The vociferous home crowd were loving every second of it. While it looked like the gap was too big to close down, Simbine was not going to shy away from the challenge. He overhauled Josh Clarke in the final metres before stopping the clock in 38.71sec. “I told myself‚ ‘Let’s just disappoint this crowd a little bit‚’ because they were getting a bit too loud for me‚” Simbine said with a smile.
Yup, disappointing and beating Aussies, it’s become a very South African thing to do of late.