Posts Tagged ‘cricket’

King Calls for Mandatory State-Funded MRIs for Boxers

Injured boxer Image: en.wikipedia.org

Queensland boxer Shannon King took to the canvas on the weekend against talented super middle-weight Liam Hutchinson. The two fought at the Mansfield tavern on Saturday, the first sanctioned boxing match since the death of Toowoomba fighter Braydon Smith.

King is a boxing trainer, coach of Reds rugby star Quade Cooper, veteran fighter, gym owner and long-time advocate for mandatory, government-funded MRI scans for combat athletes.

Professional fighters are required to have regular scans in South Australia, but no such checks are required in Queensland. Individuals may decide to get the scans done, but they then face a hefty $250 bill.

“We need bulk billed MRIs for fighters,” said Smith. “It is $250 for each MRI, so promoters can’t afford that.

“If a promoter has ten fights, that’s 20 fighters and $5,000 – and who can afford that?

“If you are a professional athlete in a combat sport you should be able to access an MRI every six months for free from the government.”

At the same time king said, “Football is more dangerous than boxing. Since I have trained Quade (Cooper) he has had a shoulder reconstruction, a broken collarbone, and he was knocked out in a Test in England.

“In that same time I have had five boxing fights and all I have had is 12 stitches.”

On wonders then if King believes all footballers should have access to free MRIs as well?

Big Challenge for Anthony ‘Bull’ McCraken Against Vaitele Soi.

Vaitele Soi Image: pacific.scoop.co.nz

Australian boxing legend Danny Green has said Aussie Anthony ‘Bull’ McCracken will need all his strength, wits, and skill if he is to emerge victorious against Samoan juggernaut Vaitele Soi.

The two step on to the canvas together on Saturday night in Christchurch in what is expected to be one of the world cruiser-weight fights of the year.

Green has sparred in excess of 40 rounds with McCracken in camps preparing him for fights against Manny Siaca and B. J. Flores.

“Bull McCracken is one of the toughest blokes I’ve been in the ring with and it was a real thrill to see him climb the world ratings, because I know how hard he works,’ said Green to the Courier-Mail.

“He’s a very powerful fighter, but he will have to be at his best against Soi, who can box and punch.”

31 year-old McCracken has a 17-7-1 record. His most recent upset-victory in Auckland, in November, against highly rated David Aloua, catapulted him into the world rankings.

But McCraken has his work cut out against Soi.

Four years younger than his opponent, Soi boasts an enviable 25-1-0 record. His one loss, against Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brad ‘Hollywood’ Pitt, is still hotly disputed.

Also on the Saturday night fight card, at the Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, are former Australian cruiserweight champion Daniel Ammann against American wrecking-machine Brian Minto. These two and six other classy cruiserweights from around the South Pacific will be fighting out a Super 8 cruiser-weight elimination event.

Warriors rugby league captain Monty Betham will fight former one-day English cricket captain Adam Hollioake.

And hammer-fisted New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder squares-off against ‘The Mouth from the South’ outspoken blogger Cameron Slater.

Melbourne Madness

melbourne-grand-prix

Melbournians could be forgiven for breathing a collective sigh of relief at the end of this week, when the Australian Open – this year characterised by extreme heat in the early rounds, and shock exits of some loftily-seeded players – wraps up and the international tennis stars shuffle off. That sigh seems unlikely to eventuate, though, given the slew of other events sure to keep sports fans entertained.

Melbourne has, in the past, been heralded as the sporting capital of the world. Whether or not this label is deserved, it’s certain that the city is never short on high quality sporting drawcards, with international stars forever jetting in and out. If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that it’s been a busy season for the Melbourne hotel industry – and for good reason.

Cricket

If you’re not a fan of the sport, you could be forgiven for feeling like this year’s summer of cricket has dragged on for far too long. Unfortunately, as a cricket abstainer, you’d also be in the minority there.

Australia and England will face off once again at the MCG on the last day of January. At this point the result seems all but assured. It’s important, though, that the Australian team don’t rest on their laurels, as so many teams in their position would do. Redoubling their efforts and not relying purely on the momentum of this summer will ensure that Clarke and co. maintain the incredible winning streak they’ve been experiencing.

To get a true indication of just how taxing this summer has been for English fans, you could consider checking in to a Melbourne CBD hotel populated by Poms. Their howls of woe and admissions of lethargy are sure to make this match all the more enjoyable for Australian spectators, and victory all the sweeter for our own excellent team.

Formula 1 Grand Prixmelboure-shin

As soon as the words “Grand Prix” are uttered, most of us can almost hear the roaring of engines, and smell the burning of rubber. This year – as always – the event will not only attract adrenaline junkie drivers and their incredible machines, but also a nest of celebrities and a sea of crowds. The Grand Prix is certainly in the top tier of annual sports outings hosted by Melbourne – along with the Open and the Melbourne Cup – and is not to be missed by motoring enthusiasts. The high esteem in which the event is held means that leaving bookings to the last minute can result in a desperate, often disappointing scramble for tickets and accommodation. Rev-heads who have brains to match, then, should be sure to book a room at Hotel Urban Melbourne as far in advance as possible. On your marks, get set…!

Golf

Compared to the adrenaline of the Grand Prix, the 2014 Handa Australian Women’s Open is sure to be a civilised – if at times still cutthroat – event. This year’s tournament will attract many of the world’s top ten female golfers, including defending champion Jiyai Shin. The standard of the game is excellent, so we can only hope that the media gives this tournament the attention it warrants.

Prolongoing Sydney’s Summer of Sports

summer-dragon

So far, the 2013/2014 Australian summer has been one of high drama and high stakes. From Australia’s incredible cricket victories, to tough conditions in the Sydney To Hobart, to a number of early high-profile knockouts in the Australian Open, it’s been consistently surprising and engaging. It’s not over yet, though.

It’s true that a lot of international sportspeople will be heading for the Departures terminal in the next week or so, as big events wind up. What we’re left with, though, is a range of events that cater to tastes that are diverse and slightly left-of-field. Those hoping to assert their status as a well-rounded sports fan will do well to stick around in Sydney, situating themselves in a North Sydney hotel so they have close access to all corners of the city, which will play host to a variety of different sports in the coming weeks and months.

summer-surfingAustralian Open of Surfing

Surfing and youth culture have always gone hand in hand. It makes perfect sense, then, that the Open of Surfing doesn’t restrict itself to sport. Music, art, and fashion will also be on display during the nine-day event, which is free and is expected to attract about 125,000 spectators to Manly during February. There’s also a skateboarding element, ensuring that the tastes of teenagers the country over will be catered to. It’s pretty rare for an event to combine so many elements of youth culture, so don’t be surprised if your uppity teenager is asking to be booked into a nearby hotelurban.com.au/sydney in the near future.

Dragon Boat racing

Now a cornerstone of Sydney’s annual Chinese New Year Festival, dragon boat racing attracts spectators for a number of reason. The physical prowess of participating paddlers is not to be scoffed at, for one thing. Dragon boat racing is also of great significance in Chinese culture, and both reflects and perpetuates national pride and collectivity. Equally important is the visual spectacle aspect that the races bring to Cockle Bay, as an armada of delicately crafted, exquisitely decorated boats – each twelve metres long and housing twenty paddlers – descend for a weekend.

Waratahs vs Blues

A February 7 preview match, to be held at Allianz Stadium, will serve as an interesting preview of what’s to come in 2014 for Super Rugby.

Readers unfamiliar with the curious love/hate relationships between Australians and New Zealanders may well find the stoush enlightening. Interactions between the two nations are like a more jovial, good-natured version of the French and English rapprochement, in sentiment if not in practicality. With the two sides last year occupying neighbouring slots towards the bottom of the Super Rugby ladder, fans will be waiting with baited breath to see who can gain the upper hand in 2014.

Observers from overseas are like to find that situating themselves in the heart of Waratahs territory will make the lead-up and come-down from the match even more exciting. So book yourself into the Chatswood Shopping Center hotel to truly  get a true indication of just how passionate New South Welshman are about their sport. Go ‘Tahs!

Australia’s Summer of Sports

summer-open

The Australian summer is always shaped around rituals. First, of course, is Christmas; then Boxing Day; the trawl up the coast to a sleepy, beach-side town; and the sporting events scattered throughout the calendar.

Often the annual matches and competitions that occur over summer can go by – or be flicked past on the television – relatively unnoticed. However, it’s worth giving them a look-in, as these events draw huge crowds (and television audiences) year in, year out. They’re an important part of our national psyche, and engaging with them can help you feel more connected to your fellow Australians.

Sailing

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race, which I’ve previously written about, is a chief motivation for avoiding alcoholic over-indulgence on Christmas Day. The knowledge that you’ll be spending the following day in awe of a sea of boats – perhaps from North Head, or even on a spectator boat – is reason enough to put the eggnogg away at a reasonable hour. Each year, the race generates a flurry of publicity in the weeks and months leading up to the start of the race. Equally intense is the swarm of bets – frequently placed in a last-minute, post-Christmas, still-somewhat-inebriated rush. In order to avoid this stress, dedicated commentators and observers alike are sure to learn how to pick and bet on winners well in advance. It is expected that this year, six-time line honours winner Wild Oats will engage in a fierce battle with Perpetual LOYAL for the prestigious pole position.

Although the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race is undoubtedly the highlight of the yachting calendar, races occur regularly across the year, meaning that enthusiasts can get their fix on a regular basis.

Cricketsummer-cricket

If you find it challenging to eschew the temptation of eggnogg (or other, more powerful spirits) on Christmas Day, then staying at home to watch the Boxing Day test might be preferable to testing your sea legs so soon after alcoholic consumption. Putting some money on the sporting events directly following Christmas is also a great way to maximise (or minimise) any generous Christmas cheques. There’s so much horse racing info online, but resources and odds for other sports like cricket are also easy to find.

This year, the Boxing Day test will be played against England, forming the fourth test of the current Ashes series. Australia is currently leading the series 2-0, meaning that this test could prove pivotal in securing the series for Australia after a disappointing, 0-3 loss in the last Ashes series. The test looks set to be a roaring success crowd-wise, with tickets already sold out – a potentially record-breaking feat.

Tennis

You could be forgiven for thinking that following a cluster of Boxing Day events, things generally start to calm down in the sporting domain. Tennis, though, only begins to hit its stride in the New Year, with the Sydney International kicking off on January 5. Similar warm-up tournaments around the country will culminate in the Australian Open – perfect viewing when nursing a cup of over-sugared tea, waiting for the sun to begin its decline so you can return to the beach. Clued-in betting services like Practical Punting might suggest that Australia’s chances of producing a slam-winning player in time for the tournament mightn’t be all that great. But we can hope, right?

Australia Wins Second ODI

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Australia has managed to take their first victory of the Ashes series with a win in the second one day international at Old Trafford in Manchester. A century by Australian captain Michael Clarke proved crucial in ascending to an impressive first innings total of 315, one that an experimental English squad struggled to come close to.

After a stammered opening over which saw Shaun Marsh caught behind to Steve Finn and Shane Watson saved from an LBW decision by a referral, The Australian set a steady ground work and built a heavy total. The batsmen were clearly targeting James Tredwell who was taken out of the attack after seven overs after conceding at a rate of 7.5 an over.

Clarke’s 105 was clearly the backbone of the Australian innings, with his deputy George Bailey holding down the helm. Cameos from Watson and Aaron Finch proved handy in reaching the final total.

The English innings proved a struggle from the beginning with Michael Carberry and Jonathan Trott falling early. Kevin Pietersen, Joseph Butler and captain Eoin Morgan held some ground, but as the rest of the team collapsed around them, England was bowled out for 227, 88 runs short of their target.

Post match, Clarke spoke highly of his players and the impact the result had on moral, stating that picking up crucial wickets at crucial times proved the difference.

“Sometimes it might not look pretty or feel great, but if you get over the line and get that winning feeling it’s a nice side of the fence to be on” said Clarke.

After the first match of the series was washed out. Australia now sits in the drivers seat to pick up the Natwest ODI Series. Three games now are remaining, with the next match taking place in Birmingham on the 11th of September.