Wait, that hasn’t happened yet. But I’m hopeful. One day his ‘I’m indignant and spiteful’ glance will bounce off the wing mirror of a passing moped and ignite his weird wiry hair like a clump of steel wool in a campfire, and the entire monstrous homunculus will go up in weird green flame, like when you burned 90s junk mail brochures. (Maybe the modern ones burn like that too, I don’t know, it’s been a while.) The flames will attract swarms of vultures, who will fly in and carry away the burning effigy to a place beyond our imagination. Tony Abbot will be on fire, and we will dance and sing like brainwashed Hillsong children but without the pure liquid evil inside our squishy impressionable skulls. The best part will be that Tony Abbot is on fire. If you have any ideas about how we can… accelerate the process… let me know.
But this day is also pretty good (or rather, the other day, when it actually happened), because recently I found out that I now get to watch cricket on a professional basis. That’s right. Anytime I am now watching cricket and people ask what I’m doing (because they’re blind or idiots or inside a cardboard box with their ears blocked) I will be able to say, “I’m working.” I can also say, “Sorry, I can’t come, I have to work,” and “No I can’t put pants on, I’m working,” and other phrases where watching cricket is replaced with working.
Point is, I now have an official column for sports website The Roar, who I had contributed to sporadically, but who have now kindly asked me to do it on a regular and professional basis. Which makes me feel very grown up, and means I can now describe myself as a sports journalist. One step closer to my lifelong dream of landing in the ABC commentary box – greatest job in the world ever including chocolate tester and Kim Jong Il democracy consultant. I’ll have a column each Monday, and sometimes mid-week as well, depending on what is happening in the world of sport and how much cask wine I have drunk between Monday and Friday. Mostly I’ll be writing on cricket, though I also get to cover AFL and real football, thus having all of the sports that I actually find interesting. Someone else gets the golf, rugby, and underwater basket weaving.
The first two columns are already up if you’re interested in this sort of thing. Obviously I’m going for sportswriting that’s a little bit more interesting than the average match-summary sort of sportswriting. Though you probably still need to kind of like sport. If you’re a spindly consumptive literary type who only likes poems and coughing blood discreetly into your lace handkerchief, stick around, I’ll have some of those for you too. Poems, not bloodstained handkerchiefs.
Australian team at its weakest in decades
Last summer was the mother of all false dawns for the Australian cricket team. They won three series in a row, we were told bullishly. They didn’t lose a match. After a period of rebuilding, they were back on form. All true, except perhaps for the last bit.
The opponents, after all, were the weakened West Indies, without some of their best players, a shaky Pakistan, always prone to choking in Australia, and New Zealand, who have looked less and less like a Test side as the past decade had worn on.
Before that the Aussies somehow contrived an Ashes loss to an England team who rarely played great cricket, and had no real standout contributors. If 2005 had been the ringing clash of titans, 2009 was the sigh of a deflating beach ball. Saying you were bowled out by Stuart Broad is like saying you were savagely beaten with a feather duster. Read more.
New generation brings the end of an aura
If there was any shred of doubt that the aura is dead, that doubt has now gone the way of Australian Test teams past. India’s surge to the top of world cricket, despite the reverence so often paid to the wise old heads of the national team, was personified the other day by a couple of brash young upstarts.
Where so many before them have been intimidated into submission by Australian teams before even reaching the crease, these two played with quick hands, clear minds, and a joyous spirit. The baggage of yesteryear had been left unclaimed at the carousel. Read more.