Sri Lanka will be making their first appearance of the competition, Australia could be making their last. Pound for pound I think the sides are pretty evenly matched, and similarly out of form. But they do have talent and class that will show itself at some point. Australia seemed very excited before the tournament at Brett Lee's availability for the tournament. I can't imagine that excitement is still there - Gayle absolutely murdered him. Lee was lucky to only got for 56, he bowled a very tight 4th over or it could have been way more. Popular opinion has it that they will bring Hauritz in for Lee on a track that should start taking spin. Now that's funny. A right arm offspinner against Sri Lanka expected to be the shrewd change needed to revive Australia's campaign ? The Sri Lankans will be licking their lips at the prospect of a 60MPH bowling machine trying to keep them quiet. On the flipside - Murali will have a longer batting line-up to go through if he intends bowling his team to victory. The Aussies do bat til at least 9 and in their last outing they were disappointing - expect an improvement tonight. All in all it should be a tight game, bookies have Australia as favourites but I will comfortable enjoy a small wager on the Lankans at 15/10 and watch Jayasuriya and Co send the Aussies on 2 weeks' compulsory leave ahead of the Ashes.
On the Symmonds issue - it amazes me that so many supposedly 'intelligent' and 'educated' people are so surprised at how things have turned out for him. The man is an alcoholic. After falling out with Australian cricket authorities on more than one occasion, the best they could do for him was make him 'promise not to consume alcohol in public'. They did not care that he would be doing untold damage to himself, as long as it was done behind closed doors. The important thing to them was that Brand Australia continued to fair well, and be seen as an upstanding, marketable entity. Too hell with the individual's health. In hindsight it has become clear that Symmonds should have been offered a little more. And included in a little more support in his personal battle, should be complete abstinence from alcohol. If Symmo as an alcoholic, were able to ween himself off booze, he would have been the first alcoholic ever to do so. Cricket Australia are as much to blame for the broken relationship as what Andrew Symmonds is. Silver lining : As a T20 freelancer, their is no doubt that Symmonds could earn more playing the lucrative T20 leagues of the world, than he would have travelling the world with Ponting's men, and making sure he follows the 'family rules'. I for one hopes he is able to stay clean long enough to secure his future of the course of the next 3 years. The man is a joy to watch.
David Lloyd describe the last 12 or 18 balls of any innings as 12 or 18 'events'. Events that could be crucial for either side in their quest for victory. Fair enough. Could someone please ask him to stop explaining the theory behind it at the end of EVERY SINGLE innings ? Man alive, its frustrating. We like you Bumble, but don't take us for granted.
On television, before any batsman makes his way to the middle, viewers are tortured through pre-recorded mundane introductions by the players themselves, describing their favourite shot, nickname or favourite player. Scott Styris - nicknamed Miley - that's funny. Most of the others are not funny, nor informative. These guys are all professional cricketers, and over the course of a decade they will generally do what they do very well. Public speakers they ain't : Most are inaudible, very few even bother looking into the camera, and for some reason most of them have a favourite shot that they look incapable of playing. James Foster's favourite player in the history of world cricket is Nasser Hussein. Essex kiss-arse !
C'mon Sri Lanka - send Australia on a 2 week holiday to Leicester hahahahahahaha !