Charles Happell

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Australia falls for the John Daly freakshow one more time

November 17, 2008

The news that the Australian Masters has signed American John Daly as one its ‘drawcards’ for the 2008 tournament beginning at Huntingdale GC in 10 days’ time shows just how far the Australian golf scene has sunk. For Daly, now ranked 774 in the world, has not been hired for his talent. He’s been hired […]

Things really are crook when Poms say: bring on the Ashes

November 13, 2008 1

I know we keep banging on about the cricket, but these are troubled times we find ourselves in. Things are so bad that the English are now lining up to sink the boots in to Ricky Ponting’s wounded warriors. Like hyenas circling a lame lion, the Poms are now coming over all brave and stout-hearted.  The Guardian’s cricket […]

Australian cricket faces its most telling period since 1985

November 11, 2008

Whereas a Test series starting against New Zealand in Brisbane – in November – would normally attract only marginally more interest than that accorded last night’s harness meeting at Globe Derby, the upcoming matches against the Kiwis will take on a special significance in light of what has transpired in India over the past month or two. Having had a bust-up […]

The Gambhir charade shows why cricket needs a crisis summit

November 6, 2008 2

In a few hours from now, we’ll know if Gautam Gambhir’s name appears on the Indian team sheet for the Fourth Test, starting today in Nagpur, in defiance of a one-match ban handed down by the International Cricket Council this week. If the Indian opener, with the backing of the Board of Control for Cricket in […]

How I was tipped the 45/1 Melbourne Cup winner – and ignored it

November 4, 2008

Was that a tear in the eye of the Old Grey Fox after masterminding his 12th Melbourne Cup win? Looking closely behind those sunglasses, there were the unmistakable signs of welling emotion – quivering lip and tears being brushed away – and why wouldn’t there be? It’s not every day an 80-year-old trains the winner of Australia’s greatest race. […]

Cricket, Stanford-style, going to hell in a handbasket

October 31, 2008

Forgive (again) the dewy-eyed sentimentalism, but the cast-iron proof that all is not well with cricket comes tomorrow when England plays the ”Stanford Superstars” in a winner-takes-all Twenty20 match in Antigua worth $1m to each player on the winning side. The match, sanctioned by the England and Wales Cricket Board, is backed by the Texas billionaire, Sir Allen Stanford. You […]

Too nice by half – the real reason Australia is losing

October 28, 2008 7

Can someone tell me what’s going on here? Matthew Hayden praising the one-time ‘obnoxious little weed’ Harbhajan Singh, the Australian cricketers engaging in some kind of love-in with the Indians and, in the first International Rules match in Perth on Saturday, the Australian players helping the Irish players up off the ground and giving them a friendly pat on the […]

Rugby League World Cup? More like the Pesapallo Playoffs

October 27, 2008

Australia’s thrashing of New Zealand in its Rugby League World Cup opener last night has laid bare the absurdly one-sided nature of the competition. Supposedly a universal celebration of the working-class game, the World Cup in fact has only highlighted so far the paucity of league talent around the globe. The fact that New Zealand, the tournament second-favourite, […]

Whipping up a storm: should jockeys use the persuader or not?

October 24, 2008

The down-at-heel trainer, ever-hopeful owner and hard-core punter would need no convincing: if a jockey’s flourish of the whip is going to get their horse over the line in a close one then, by all means Mr Pint-sized Pilot, go ahead and start flailing away. If using the shillalegh means the difference between a prizemoney collect and an empty […]

India learns to win the Australian way – sledging and all

October 22, 2008 2

Given that Australia produced the template for success in modern cricket: make a power of runs, take a poultice of wickets and sledge the bejesus out of your opponents for five days, the Boys in Baggy Green cannot feel too aggrieved that those very same methods have brought them undone in this latest Test. In beating […]

India lauds Tendulkar as The Greatest, but aren’t they forgetting someone?

October 19, 2008 2

We expected a certain amount of excitement on the sub-continent when Sachin Tendulkar, India’s modern deity, broke Brian Lara’s Test run-scoring record on Saturday. I mean we know how the Indians love their cricket, we know how little Sachin is revered the length and breadth of that crazy, complex country and we know how their players’ successes can provoke […]

A Warne comeback? Maybe it’s not just spin

October 17, 2008

Hidden away in Shane Warne’s News Ltd newspaper column today is a paragraph which may reveal a clue to one of the most compelling sports stories this year: his return to Test cricket. When the notion of a Warne comeback was first raised in May, and then again reared its head last week, most thought […]

Zingy Zaheer comes out swinging (but perhaps he’s got a point)

October 15, 2008 3

So, who are the lippy ones now? No sooner had the hubbub died down after Indian opener Virender Sehwag last week accused the Australians of cheating in January’s Sydney Test, then up pops left-armer Zaheer Khan to claim the Australians have got a pop-gun attack. And that Ponto’s boys played too defensively in the opening Test in […]

A man under pressure: Joe Kinnear delivers sport’s greatest rant

October 10, 2008

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks for rugby league coaches and soccer managers, and their prickly relationships with the powers-that-be. First, Melbourne Storm’s Craig Bellamy went ballistic at the suspension of his captain Cameron Smith, spraying all and sundry at the NRL and its judiciary with a poorly aimed blunderbuss. And then incurring […]

India favourite but beware the bite on this Aussie underdog

October 8, 2008 13

In many ways, Australia’s tour of India – which starts tomorrow in Bangalore with the First Test – represents a watershed for the boys wearing the Baggy Green. Because, for the first time since the tour to India in February 1998 – yes, more than a decade ago – the Australians will go into a […]

Manly by 40 – who’d have thought? (Not many as it happens)

October 6, 2008 5

It was a pretty thin field admittedly – not many more than a dozen entries in the Crikey NRL GF tipping comp – but no-one came close to predicting the extraordinary result at ANZ Stadium last night. Mike Cowley tipped Manly by eight and that, amazingly, was as close as anyone got to the Sea Eagles’ 40-point […]

Grapple with this: Crikey’s NRL Grand Final tipping comp

October 2, 2008 19

  Because this is an Equal Opportunity blog, we’re giving our legion of rugby league supporters the chance to win one of four Crikey 12-month subscriptions by tipping on Sunday’s NRL Grand Final – just as we did with the AFL Grand Final last week. After weeks of grapple tackle talk, chicken wing waffle, suspensions, […]

Ruthless Storm fans flames of Melbourne-Sydney rivalry

October 1, 2008 4

Now that it has become a leviathan, an irresistible force which has pushed aside every immoveable object in the NRL for most of the past three years, Melbourne Storm has officially lost its ranking as everyone’s second-favourite team. It has become too good for that, too brutally successful. The romance of the outsider underdog has […]

Crikey’s bumper GF tipping comp: and the winners are …..

September 29, 2008 4

Well, who’d have guessed, eh? The Hawks by 26 points? Well, no-one from the Crikey bumper Grand Final tipping comp, as it happens, but Anthony Barrell proved the closest (and cleverest) of the lot, guessing the Hawks would prevail by 27 points. That excellent effort at punditry earns him a 12-month Crikey subscription. Forty-five Crikey readers […]

Crikey’s big bumper Grand Final tipping comp – win free subscriptions

September 25, 2008 45

OK, with the Grand Final spirit hanging thick in the air, the smell of freshly-mown grass wafting down from the MCG and the cavalcade of open-topped cars warming up for tomorrow’s lunchtime GF parade down Swanston St, Crikey is offering its legion of devoted readers the chance at winning four free 12-month subscriptions. All you’ve got […]