In­jury Time

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS -

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.

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