Australia Slump to 169 Run Defeat in First Ashes Test

Root and English Bowlers Dominate the First Ashes Test

Australia have lost the first Ashes test in England, for the third consecutive English based series.

Australia have not won a first test in England since 2005 and a decade ago the Australian side included Langer, Hayden, Ponting, Martyn, Clarke, Katich, Gilchrist, Warne, Lee, Gillespie and McGrath.

By 2009 only Ponting, Katich and Clarke survived.

With the Australian captain the last remaining bastion of the halcyon days of Aussie cricket, things are not looking good.

As well as the Australians have played in recent times, they are currently ranked number one in one day internationals, second in tests and third in T20, a squad like they had in nineties and early noughties rarely comes along.

In the first 2015 Ashes test the England bowlers really lifted, buoyed no doubt by their recovery against New Zealand in the recent one day series.

Anderson and Broad were back to their best form and were more than ably backed by Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood.

Joe Root dominated the batting, with an aggregate score of 194 and he was the only centurion in the match. Conversely, the Australian batting was no match for the England attack and by far the highest scorer in the second innings was from tail ender Mitchell Johnson.

This was inverse of his bowling which was largely without reward, picking up only 2 wickets for 180 runs off of 41 overs. He has certainly bowled worse and picked up more wickets at other times.

Australia will really miss Ryan Harris in this series, but on a more lively wicket things could go very differently.

This is how the British national broadcaster reported the result.

England romped to a crushing 169-run victory over Australia in the first Ashes Test to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Chasing an unlikely 412 to win, Australia lost four wickets for nine runs in 35 balls either side of lunch and were bowled out for 242 one hour after tea in Cardiff.

Stuart Broad was England’s inspiration, taking the wickets of three of Australia’s top four batsmen.

And, following a brief lower order rally, Joe Root showed his golden touch to take two of the last three wickets, including Mitchell Johnson for a spirited 77.

The win is a huge fillip for England, who lost the last Ashes series 5-0 down under and have only won one of their last five Test series.

Having been reduced to 43-3 on the first morning, they rebounded to produce four days of high-class, aggressive cricket in their first match under Australian coach Trevor Bayliss.

Australia, strong favourites to retain the Ashes before the series, now have only five days to recover and reassess their tactics before the second Test starts at Lord’s on Thursday.

Turning point – Warner’s wicket

After a relatively frustrating morning in which the ball flew repeatedly past the edge, England were contemplating going to lunch with only the wicket of Chris Rogers to show for their efforts.

But Alastair Cook’s decision to toss the ball to Moeen Ali for the final over before the interval proved to be a masterstroke.

David Warner, who had dismissively launched Moeen for six over mid-wicket in his previous spell, played around a ball that slid straight on and was out lbw for 52.

Post-lunch mayhem

The wicket brought palpable relief to a jittery home crowd and dampened the growing optimism among the Aussie-supporting contingent.

Worse was to come for those in green and gold.

In the first over after lunch, Broad drew Steve Smith into an ugly poke away from his body, and for the second time in the match the world’s number one Test batsman was out for 33.

As England’s relentless accuracy dried up Australia’s scoring, captain Michael Clarke succumbed to temptation. Aiming an airy drive at Broad, he picked out Ben Stokes at backward point.

And on it went. Adam Voges nicked his fellow Ashes debutant Mark Wood to Jos Buttler before Cook took a brilliant catch at the second attempt to complete Brad Haddin’s miserable match.

When Shane Watson fell lbw to Mark Wood, and once again tossed away a review, Australia were 151-7.

The tail wags… but Root to the rescue

To their credit, Australia launched a mini-recovery as Johnson showed his abilities with the bat in hand.

His partnership of 72 with Mitchell Starc briefly threatened to push the game into a fifth day, only for part-time off-spinner Root to provide the crucial impetus for England.

Having just been smashed for 14 runs in three balls by Johnson, he stayed on to have Starc and Johnson caught at slip by Adam Lyth in successive overs to leave Australia nine down.

And when Josh Hazlewood lofted Moeen to long-on, England and their fans launched into celebrations.

Big-time Broad

Broad showed himself to be England’s man for the big occasion with another influential Ashes performance.

He set the tone with an exceptional opening burst, which started with three consecutive maidens and featured the breakthrough wicket of Rogers, caught at slip to end a run of seven consecutive Test fifties.

Returning after lunch for another probing spell of full, fast seam bowling, Broad gestured to the crowd to raise the noise levels.

And as they roared his run-up from the Cathedral Road End, he responded to remove Smith and Clarke to rip the heart out of Australia’s batting.

Seeing Broad in such inspired form carried echoes of 2009 at The Oval, when he took 5-37 on the second afternoon to set up England’s Ashes series-winning victory. Then, two years ago, he was England’s match-winner in Durham, with a spell of 6-20 in 45 balls as England sealed the series.

Aussie issues
Australia, who had won 11 of their previous 16 Tests, suddenly have issues to address as they look to wrestle back the initiative and get back on course for a first Ashes win in the UK since 2001.

The 29th lbw of Watson’s Test career must surely raise questions over the all-rounder’s place in the team, especially given that his understudy Mitchell Marsh scored hundreds in both of Australia’s warm-up games.

Haddin is another player under scrutiny, following his pivotal drop to reprieve England’s first-innings centurion Root on nought on the opening morning. The 37-year-old also conceded 24 byes in the match and looked a shadow of the counter-punching batsmen who tormented England in the 2013-14 whitewash.

There are also concerns over the fitness of Starc, who required treatment for an ankle injury after day one, and was visibly limping during England’s second innings.

Given Ryan Harris’s injury-forced retirement on the eve of the first Test, the Aussies can ill afford another casualty in their bowling ranks.

Reaction from the captains

England captain Alastair Cook: “It was a brilliant performance. This Test couldn’t have gone any better and we’ll enjoy tonight.

“Joe Root was fantastic and the bowlers were superb.

“Everyone was talking about what’s gone on in the past, but this is a different side. We had to look forward. We always took the attacking option in this game.”

Australia captain Michael Clarke: “We were outplayed in all three facets. England batted well on day one, we didn’t take our catches and our batting let us down in both innings.

“We look forward to making amends in the second Test. I’m sure the selectors will look at everyone’s performance and make a decision.

The second test starts at Lords on Thursday. Will we see an Australian revival or is this a sign of things to come?

Check out the Ashes memorabilia available from the links below.

Have England Hit Rock Bottom at the Cricket World Cup?

England Start the 2015 Cricket World Cup With Two Embarrassing Losses.

England followed their opening defeat to Australia at the 2015 Cricket World Cup with an even more embarrassing and convincing defeat in Wellington, New Zealand.

England managed only 123 runs in their innings and were bowled out in 33.2 overs. New Zealand‘s Tim Southee took seven wickets for thirty three runs off of his nine overs.

That should have assured Southee of the man of the match award, but Brendon McCullum came out swinging, to make the strongest possible challenge.

McCullum scored the fastest ever 50 at the Cricket World Cup, knocking off the runs in only 18 balls. He looked set to pick up almost all of the required 124 runs himself. But he was bowled out by Chris Woakes on 77, having picked up eight fours and seven sixes, at a strike rate of 308.

An uncalled for lunch break followed, when New Zealand required only 12 runs to seal the victory. The umpires looked embarrassed when removing the bails for the time scheduled break, but they apparently had no say in the matter.

On resumption there were fewer fireworks, but Guptil was bowled by Woakes for 22 before the final runs came by way of 5 wides.

New Zealand‘s run chase was the 3rd fastest in one day international cricket history, only 2 balls behind South Africa‘s win over Bangladesh in 2003.

This England catastrophe followed the less embarrassing, but very convincing loss to Australia in Melbourne, only 6 days earlier. At least in that game England managed to bat more than 80% of their allocated overs and scored over 200 runs.

In Melbourne James Taylor was denied a century by a farcical umpiring decision. He was left stranded on 98 not out when Jimmy Anderson was adjudged run out off of the same ball that Taylorhad already wrongly been given out LBW from. England appealed the LBW and the decision was reversed, but Anderson was still declared run out, when the ball should have been dead after the LBW decision.

The umpiring needs to be much better than that. But with 9 wickets down and more than 8 overs remaining, it made no real difference to the outcome.

Can things get any worse for England in this World Cup?

Cricket World Cup Table after England’s capitulation in New Zealand

England currently sit bottom of their table with mostly minnows to play. They should be able to improve on their results, but these two defeats must have an effect on English confidence and on current form it only needs a good day from one or more of Bangladesh, Afghanistan or Scotland for the next shock of the tournament.

In other news, it looks extremely unlikely that we will see a ball bowled in tomorrow’s scheduled match between Australia and Bangladesh in Brisbane, due to Cyclone Marcia bearing down on Queensland, bringing more rain and wind than the ground staff could be expected to deal with.

Australia Lose Tri-Series Final to South Africa in Harare

Steyn, Du Plessis See Proteas Home

Australia 217/9 (50) South Africa 221/4 (40.5)
South Africa won by 6 wickets

While the injured Michael Clarke watched at home in Sydney, Australia lost the One Day International Tri-Series final to South Africa in Harare.

This is how the Cricket Australia website called it:-

As is so often the way in professional sport, it was those who endured the most pointed barbs who had the last laugh as South Africa romped away with the tri-series trophy in Harare and an early psychological edge ahead of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.

Faf du Plessis, the undisputed player of the tournament, fittingly underpinned his team’s six-wicket win with more than nine overs to spare with an innings of 96 that ended just one ball before the winning runs were struck.

While he’s too much of a polished diplomat to say it, Du Plessis would have enjoyed putting his arch-rivals to the sword after he was goaded with a chorus of barking dog noises when the teams last locked horns in the Test arena in a fiery encounter in Cape Town.
He became the target of endless taunts and noted he had learned never to pick up the ball and return it to Australian fielders because they turned on him “like a pack of dogs”.
Yesterday, the Australians were sent home with their tails between their legs as Du Plessis – who survived a tough chance on 34 when Aaron Finch was unable to hold a fly ball running backwards from mid-off from the bowling of Mitchell Johnson in the 17th over.
It was a rare chance and a costly miss.
Du Plessis was denied the honour of becoming the first batsman in ODI history to score four centuries in a single one-day series when, with scores level, he miscued a drive to mid-on in search of the boundary that would have carried him to the landmark and his team to victory.
But just as they did in their first win over Australia in the tournament’s opening week, Du Plessis and his long-time friend now ODI skipper AB de Villiers ensured Australia’s bowling analysts will have work to do by carrying their team to victory with a fourth wicket stand of 91.
Perhaps they will need to study how Kane Richardson, who missed the final with a bout of gastroenteritis that compounded his already sore side, got the prolific South African No.3 to tread on his stumps as he seems suddenly immune to conventional methods of dismissal.
Or maybe they need to replicate the way in which Dale Steyn, who was also on the end of an angry verbal spray from Australian captain Michael Clarke on the tense final day of the Cape Town Test, can get the ball to reverse swing when it’s less than 15 overs old.

Steyn, who ultimately received an apology from Clarke who conceded he had overstepped the gamesmanship line, tore the heart from Australia’s batting with a couple of inspired spells and finished with 4-35 as Australia was reduced to 9-217 from their 50 overs.

South Africa’s supposedly regimented adherence to a game plan ensured they were happy to chase down a total – which ultimately proved below par – but it proved a sound strategy as they outbowled and outbatted their fierce foes.

And it was the pace and reverse swing of Steyn, as noted by injured skipper Clarke who was tweeting from his couch in Sydney, that proved the difference with the ball as he accounted for four of Australia’s top seven batsmen.

Although India remains the top ranked ODI team in the world at present, the strength and depth of South Africa’s batting and bowling heading to familiar conditions in Australia for next year’s World Cup means they may yet fulfil De Villiers’ prophecy of lifting a trophy that has thus far eluded them.

Sent in to bat for the fifth time in five matches this tournament, the Australians began at a good clip. Phil Hughes, who has looked Australia’s form batsman of the series since given his chance at the top of the order, and Finch were rattling along at a run per ball until Hughes made too good contact with a drive off Steyn and De Villiers hauled in a blinder at short cover.

From there, the innings quickly shed momentum as Steve Smith (10) fell to a mistimed pull shot and Bailey misread Imran Tahir’s googly and was bowled for 12.

Finch was finding the going equally tough on the two-paced pitch that made shot making with surety a risky affair, a struggle best exemplified that the normally fluent scorer played-and-missed four times in the same Morne Morkel over in which he brought up his 50.

But the definitive moment of the innings arrived six overs later when Steyn was able to achieve what few other bowlers have been able to achieve in spin friendly conditions in Harare and got the ball to reverse swing, even though the white ball he was using – one of two employed in each ODI innings – was just 14 overs old.

The first strike came at the start of his sixth over when he got a fast, accurate delivery to tail back at Finch and past the probing inside edge of the opener’s bat who was furious when he heard the sound of his middle stump being sent flying.

Next ball would have accounted for many a set batsman, and given it was the first one Glenn Maxwell faced he had little chance of keeping out the missile of more than 145kph that zeroed in at his legs as he was pinned to the crease and adjudged consummately lbw.

At this stage, Australia’s top half were out of action with just 115 on the board and more than 20 overs remaining, with the team’s youngest (22-year-old Mitch Marsh) and oldest (36-year-old Brad Haddin) in charge of the rescue.

But Marsh was unable repeat the incandescent heroics of the teams’ encounter earlier in the week when he chopped another in-dipper – this time from left-armer Wayne Parnell – on to his stumps.

And when Haddin became Steyn’s third victim – in identical fashion to Maxwell – the instant he returned for his third spell Australia’s challenge was to survive their full 50 overs rather than post a match-winning score.

It was only an enterprising 71-run stand between James Faulkner (39) and Mitchell Starc (29 not out) that carried them past 200.

But even then, it was going to require someone to produce a Steyn-like spell, and end Du Plessis’ golden run, if it was to be sufficient.

A Day of Tough Decisions in British Sport

English Football and Cricket Come Down Hard

Well it has certainly been a day of tough decisions in British sport. In the Premier League, Swanseasacked their manager Michael Laudrup and Andy Carroll’s ridiculous sending off against Swanseaon Saturday, was upheld on appeal by the Football Association.

In CricketKevin Pietersen has been told he will no longer be required for International duty by the ECB.

Swansea came down hard on their manager Michael Laudrup and fired him after Saturday’s defeat to West Ham. It was their sixth defeat in eight Premier League games, which leaves them only two points off the relegation places.

Laudrup led Swansea to their first major trophy, winning the League Cup last year and qualifying for the Europa League, where they beat Valencia early in the competition. With that and a successful Premier League campaign last season, it seems very harsh to dismiss the manger now and it is hard to see how putting the current captain in his place is likely to produce better results.

Andy Carroll‘s sending off, while playing for West Ham against Swansea, on Saturday was totally unjustifed. He swung out an arm in frustration during a full body challenge by Chico Flores and caught him a glancing blow across the top of the head. It did not look like he was trying to hit anyone, he was just really frustrated. But Flores clutched his nose and writhed around on the ground, making the absolute most drama he could of the altercation.

Carroll was shown the red card and dismissed. Neither he, the West Ham players nor the commentators, where I was watching, could believe it. But the FA saw fit to uphold the referee’s decision. This is really a case of backing their man, no matter how bad a decision he makes.

In some ways Kevin Pietersen’s fall from grace comes as no surprise. He has often been labelled a disruptive character in the England dressing room and has clashed with players and coaches in the past. He stepped down from the England captaincy after only 5 months, when he had conflict with Peter Moores, the coach at the time. He also retired from international limited overs cricket in 2012, only to reverse that decision two months later.

But Pietersen is England’s all time leading run scorer in all forms of cricket, amassing 8,181 Test runs, 4,440 One Day International runs and 1,176 T20 runs. He was even England’s highest scorer on their disastrous recent tour of Australia, where they managed only one win in 5 Tests, 5 ODIs and 3 T20s.

But that devastating tour seems to be at the root of a clean sweep by the ECB, with technical director, Andy Flower, standing down only days earlier.

The 2013 Ashes – The Story So Far

The 2013 Ashes Series in Review

Well the 2013 Ashes has seen the Australians completely turn around the results of recent years. English players have been leaving these shores and retiring, while those that have stayed have been battered both physically and emotionally.

One man’s name has loomed large over proceedings, Mitchell Johnson is back in a big way, after a period out of favour with the selectors. This is much more than a return to form; the man is in career best form and sending down balls far too fast and accurate for the English batsmen to cope with.

The signs were there for all to see in the last Ashes series, which England won 3-0 but the Aussies were unlucky not to win at least two tests. The Aussie bowling attack was good in England and only the batting let them down. Now with the addition of Johnson and some decent batting performances from Clarke, Warner and especially Brad Haddin, (not to mention some handy runs from Johnsontoo) it would be a brave man who would bet against Australia taking the series 5-0 in Sydney.

While Johnson is the name on the lips of all Australian supporters, the one that English fans must be mentioning in hushed tones is that of their Captain, Alistair Cook. His form with the bat has been poor, by his own lofty standards, while his captaincy has left much to be desired. He has rarely set an attacking field, even in the brief periods when England has been on top in the series.

Admittedly his bowlers have not really given him the attacking power that they have in recent years. Graham Swann, rated as the best spinner around for some time, complained of a sore arm and retired after the 3rd test. The timing could not have been worse and reeked of submission.

Anderson has been far from the potent weapon that England have been able to rely on in the past.

The man Aussies love to hate, Stuart Broad, has been the best of a bad bunch, despite some harsh treatment from the local media and fans at the grounds. Add to that the battering he has received at the hands of Johnson and I believe he will walk the next time he is given the benefit of a ridiculous umpiring decision.

While Mitchell Johnson has been the talk of every town on the tour, he has been ably backed up by those men that toured England last year. Siddle, Harrison and Lyon have all taken their fair share of wickets and kept constant pressure on the English batsmen.

So will Sydney again be the story of the Mo? Or will the famously turning pitch be Lyon’s day in the sun? What will England do for spin? Monty Panesar replaced Swann in Melbourne, but Cook did not give him many overs, even favouring fresh faced Joe Root with the ball over Monty.

There is no doubt that Sydney will be worth watching. There are no dead rubbers in an Ashes series and we know that England are optimistic, as they still put on sun screen before they go out to bat. The on field sledging and spats are bound to continue and it will definitely be lively.

Does anyone want to bet against Mitchell Johnson being man of the series? Do that in a double with England winning the match and you may as well burn your money.

Australia Lose the Fourth Ashes Test

England Claim The Ashes Series with Victory in Durham

From a promising position on day four of the fourth Ashes test at Chester le Street, DurhamAustralia’s batting disintegrated and succumbed to another defeat to England.

This result gives England the series, having already retained the Ashes with the draw at Old Trafford and leaving Australia with only pride to play for at the Oval next week.

The fourth test swung both ways, with England and Australia taking the advantage at different times, much like most of the series so far. Australia established a first innings lead of 32 in a relatively low scoring match. But it should have been more. Opener Chris Rogers picked up his maiden test century, with some dogged determination and batting. Shane Watson scored 68 coming in at number six. But very few others made much of a contribution to the total, with three of the top five not making double figures.

Australia’s attack once again performed better than their batsmen and dismissed England for 330 in the second innings, giving Australia an achievable target of 299 and the best part of two whole days to get them. England’s total was mainly the result of another superb century from Ian Bell and some handy runs from Tim Bresnan, once again coming in as the night watchmen and Graham Swann’s unbeaten 30 boosting the tail.

The second innings for Australia started really well, with an opening partnership of 109. But things quickly fell away from there. Khawaja and Clarke both made only 21 and Stuart Broad broke the hearts of the Australian batsmen with two sensational balls to dismiss Clarke and the dangerous wicketkeeper Haddin. From there the writing was on the wall. Peter Siddle contributed a gutsy 23 but he was never going to make the required 118 remaining runs with Australia’s weakened tail.

Although Australia have been competitive in this series, with the exception of the Lords Test, the batting line up is fragile and unreliable. Many of the batsmen have limited test experience, but even established players like Clarke and Watson have been hit and miss and it is the missing which has been the problem.

England have a strong bowling attack, but they have not been as consistent in this series as in recent years. James Anderson has hit a poor run of form since the first test at Trent Bridge and some of the Aussie batsmen have blunted Graham Swann’s edge.

So can Australia restore some pride with a win at the Oval?

Cameron Rose at The Roar has the interesting idea of making the Australian top order flexible in terms of the order that they come in and alternating left and right handed batsmen, so that the England bowlers do not get settled. Do you think bringing Clarke in at three after a big opening partnership could improve things?

If not, do you think there is any hope of redemption with the current squad?

Tony Greig

Farewell to one of Cricket’s Greats

It was sad to hear about the premature passing of Tony Greig, former England Cricket captain and Australia’s Channel 9 Cricket commentator.

Greigy, as he was affectionately known in Australia, was only 66 and we had heard recently that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. But it was a heart attack that took him from us, undoubtedly brought on by the rigours of battling cancer, although I am no doctor and I’ve heard no one else confirm that.

Tony Greig was a true multinational. He was born in South Africa and had a Currie Cupdebut for Border Province, but then emigrated to England and signed for SussexCounty Cricket Club. He quickly became one of the leading county players with bat and ball and is rated by many as one of England’s all time best all rounders.

He qualified to play for England because of his Scottish father and made his test debut against Australia in 1972. He was appointed captain in 1975 and was sacked 2 years later under controversial circumstances. Controversy should have been Greig’s middle name, as it followed him all through his life, often intentionally on his behalf.

millionaire media magnet Kerry Packer, the owner of Channel 9 TV, to launch World Series Cricket. This was considered in many circles, especially England, to be treachery at the time. But in the long run it was for the benefit of the players and cricket in general. World Series Cricket brought in coloured clothing, white balls, floodlit night time Cricket and huge crowds. There is no doubt that without it there would never have been 20/20 Cricket either.

Tony Greig was at the very centre of the launch of World Series Cricket. Apart from captaining the England side in the competition, he flew all around the world, on Packer’s behalf, recruiting the leading players of the international game.

As a result of his friendship with Packer and his love affair with Sydney in particular and Australiain general, Greigy emigrated again and was offered a “job for life” by Kerry Packer commentating for Channel 9 Australia.

Tony Greig took to Cricket commentating with all the professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication he had given to his playing career. But he never gave up being controversial, always backing England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and anyone but Australia in commentary, probably just to keep things interesting.

He would have running battles with co-commentator and former Australian captain Bill Lawrie, not only on the International level but also regional, with Greig singing the praises of Sydney and New South Wales while Lawrie is a dedicated Melbournite and Victorian.

Greig was famous for his on field novelties, like the Weather Board. But the longest lasting of his tricks was to inspect any cracks in the pitch with his car keys, infamously dropping them into a cavernous crack at the WACA ground in Perth on one occasion.

Has anyone ever wondered if he drove his car from Sydney to Perth for his commentating stints, or did he just take the keys on tour?

Although he was always a controversial figure and the South African Pom that Aussies loved to hate, he was also a great nurturer of talent and many people have given affectionate eulogies for him, both cricketers and people that he worked with in television.

Tony Greig was a great player and one of the true characters of cricket and he will be sorely missed by all who follow the game all around the world.

Molestation Charges Dropped Against Aussie Cricketer Luke Pomersbach

The Indian Newspaper The Daily Bhaskar reports that the molestation charges leveled against Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach have been dropped.

But rather than clear up the sordid tale of events the report only seems to serve more intrigue. Are the accusers opportunists, seeking to make some sort of gain out of the charges? The story says that no financial settlement was made. But Tweets from Sidhartha Mallya director of Pomersbach‘s IPLteam the Royal Chargers cast serious aspersions on the character of the accuser. But she is also expected to drop legal proceedings against him.

If nothing happened, why did all parties attend hospital and Pomersbach show up in court in a sling? Was this all part of the theatre?

There is no mention in the report of the assault charges which were filed against Pomersbach by the lady in questions ‘fiance’. I get the feeling the truth of this matter will be some time in coming out.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday quashed the FIR against the Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach for allegedly molesting the American woman Zohal Hamid.

The HC’s move came during the hearing of petition filed by Zohal seeking quashing of FIR against the Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach.

Hamid’s lawyers had on Thursday filed a petition in the High Court to withdraw the case against Australian player Pomersbach, who was arrested last Friday and later granted bail.

The filing of petition by Zohal’s lawyer came as a much-needed relief for both Luke and RCB director Sidhartha Mallya.

The lawyer had reportedly informed the cops about Zohal moving the court for quashing the case.

Zohal is also expected to drop the legal proceedings against RCB director Sidhartha Mallya for casting aspersions on her character through tweets after she complained to police about molestation by the cricketer.

Mallya on Wednesday night had expressed his pleasure over the patch-up between the two parties. In a late night Tweet Sidhartha Mallya said: “So glad that all charges have been dropped and Luke can return down under A FREE MAN! (sic)”

However, Sidhartha clarified that the ‘patch-up’ between the two parties was not financial in any form. “Oh and btw, I know ppl can be cynical, so just so u know, the settlement wasn’t financial in any way! (sic),” Mallya wrote on Twitter.

The first indication to this out of court settlement came on Wednesday when Sahil’s brother Feroz claimed they did not want to pursue the case.

Royal Challengers player Luke Pomersbach was arrested last Friday after American national Zohal Hamid alleged he molested her and hit her fiance Sahil when he objected to the cricketer’s behaviour. Pomersbach was arrested and a court granted him bail later.

Defending his team player, Sidhartha on Friday took to Twitter saying: “The girl who is accusing Luke is saying he hit her ‘fiance’…what a load of f****** s***. She was all over me last night and asked for me bbm pin, so if he was her fiance she wasn’t exactly behaving like a future wife.”

Zohal had filed a defamation case after approaching the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) complaining about Siddharth’s tweets. More at IPL molestation:

Hopefully Luke Pomersbach will be back home in Western Australia soon without having spent time in an Indian jail. But I stand by my previous statement that the man should avoid alcohol if it brings him this kind of trouble.

More Trouble for Western Australian Cricketer Luke Pomersbach

The Australian reports that former Western Warrior batsmen Luke Pomersbach has been arrested in India and faces serious chages of assault and sexual assault. 

Pomersbach is in India playing for The Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. He has not played for Western Australia, in any format, since February 2011 following a spate of discipline issues and being arrested for DUI and assaulting a police officer. 

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have suspended Pomersbach for the rest of the IPL season, although he has not played a match so far. Both Pomersbach and the couple alleging the assaults have attended hospital and Pomersbach has been seen with his arm in a sling. 

Australian batsman Luke Pomersbach arrested in India over assault after IPL match

Royal Challengers Bangalore Australian batsman Luke Pomersbach is facing assault and molestation charges in India Source: AFP

TROUBLED former Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach is facing assault and molestation charges arising from an incident at an after match party for IPL players last night.

The West Australian is in India playing with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The cricketer is accused of trying to molest a 27-year-old woman during a party at the upmarket Maurya Sheraton Hotel.

”We have arrested Luke Pomersbach for assaulting a woman and beating up the fiance who objected to his action,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.

The Press Trust of India reports that he has been “charged with assaulting and outraging the modesty of a woman”.

A powerful batsman, Pomersbach made his debut for Australia in a T20 match in Perth in 2007.

He was driving to the ground to watch the game when he got a call asking him to come to the dressing rooms and prepare to play as Brad Hodge had injured his back.

Pomersbach was indefinitely suspended by WA for an extended drinking session that summer.

He narrowly escaped a jail sentence in August 2009 when he was charged with assaulting a police officer who was trying to arrest him for drink driving.

Pomersbach, 27, stood down from the West Australian side last summer to deal with personal issues.

…More at Pomersbach on assault charge in India

It very much sounds like Luke Pomersbach has not dealt with those “personal issues” and anyone who has found so much trouble for himself because of alcohol really should not go near the stuff. 

Coming Highlights Cricket World Cup, Super Rugby, FA Cup

Back in the days when Channel 9 was Channel Eddie, Eddie McGuire would always start The Footy Show with the words “What a week it’s been!”. Well what a week it is going to be for sport. The Cricket World Cup has kicked off on the subcontinent with a lavish opening ceremony. The first game between India and Bangladesh begins on Saturday. A new season of Super Rugby begins tonight (Friday 18th February). The competition has been expanded to 15 teams, including the Melbourne Rebels. Of course we can not forget, back in England the FA Cup Fifth Round matches will be played this weekend, including the fairytale fixtures of Manchester United playing host to non-league Crawley Town and Leyton Orient welcoming Arsenal, fresh from their European Champions League victory over Barcelona.

The Cricket World Cup proper starts on Saturday, with two of the host sides, Bangladesh face favourites IndiaAustralia have their first game on Monday (21stFebruary) in Ahmedabad against ZimbabweAustralia did well against England in their recent one day series and Ricky Pontingmade a come back in the warm up game against India last week. Ponting made 50 in a break from his recent poor run of form, but Australia were well beaten by the Indian spinners. They will need to seriously improve in order to beat India on their home soil and maintain their huge success in this competition. Of Course South Africa should not be forgotten as contenders for the trophy. The Cricket World Cup features 14 teams and 49 matches staged over 6 weeks across the sub continent, including BangladeshIndia and Sri LankaPakistan was forced to withdraw from hosting because of security concerns.

The new Super 15 tournament begins in New Zealand where the Hurricanes host local rivals the Highlanders. The first game on Australian soil is also the first Super Rugby game in Melbourne, where the new franchise, the Melbourne Rebels host last years highest finishing Australian side theWarratahs. The Rebels include a variety of oversas talent, including former England Fly Half, Danny Cipriani. Not to mention Australian Captain Stirling MortlockMortlock‘s former side the Brumbies host  the Waikato Chiefs, while the Queensland Reds host Perth‘s Western Force, who finsihed second from bottom last season. With James O’Connor and David Pocock playing so well for Australia, it’s hard to believe they will finish as low again.

I mentioned those two fairytales fiixtures in the FA Cup earlier, which will undoubtedly go to the Premier League leaders Manchester United and Arsenal, but they will be days that the Crawleyand Leyton Orient players will always remember. Other notable match ups include the round four replays. The all Premier League clash of Chelsea and Everton and Manchester City have to still complete their clash against Notts County.

I can not close without mentioning the superb win by Arsenal against Barcelona. Even Arsenal die hard fans knew it would be difficult. Arsenal played well in the first half, keeping Barcelona out and creating some chances oftheir own, but still conceded a goal to World Cup star David Villa. The second half saw an amazing comeback by the Gunners.Robin Van Persie managed to get his shot from the left between the post and Barcelona goalkeeper ValdesArsenal’s second goal came from some fancy work on the right from Samir Nasri who centred the ball for great finish by Andrey Arshavin. It will be a tough game at the Nou Camp, but Arsenal have given themselves every chance and may be fuelled the confidence of their frst Trophy in 6 years, as they play the League Cup Final before they meet Barcelona again.

The London Olympics Day 16 – The Final Day

Highlights and Results of Day 16 The London Olympics 2012

All good things come to an end they say and the London Olympics 2012 was nothing but a good thing. Sadly the final day came yesterday, but the 30th Games went out with a bang and lots of medals being decided.

The day started with the traditional final Olympic Athletics event, the Men’s Marathon. But in a break with tradition it did not start and end in the stadium, but took in the famous sites of the City of London and finished in the Queen’s driveway, The Mall and the whole route was lined with thousands of supporters cheering on the athletes.

As expected the marathon was dominated by the Africans. The Kenyans led through Wilson Kiprotich from about the halfway mark. Countryman Abel Kirui and Stephen Kiprotich of Ugandacaught him and made it a three way fight for the medals. Despite appearing to have a leg injury Stephen Kiprotich surged to the front and claimed Uganda’s first medal of the games 26 seconds ahead of Kirui.

The Men’s Basketball finished with the most expected result of the games, the USA winning the Gold with their team of NBA superstars, including Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Durant. But Silver medallists Spain did not let them have it all their own way. Spain went behind by ten points in the first quarter but caught up and were only a point behind at half time. The third quarter remained very close, but a few minutes into the final period the USA started to pull away and put some daylight between them, finishing with a 107-100 score line. Earlier in the day Russia had won the Bronze medal play off 81-77

In Boxing five medals were decided, with four of them going to the old communist bloc countries, well if you count Cuba as one of those. Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan all won Gold. Great Britain’s Fred Evansclaimed Silver in the Welterweight 69Kg division and countryman Anthony Joshua won Gold in the Super Heavyweight +91Kg division beating Italian Roberto Cammrelle.

Samantha Murray won Great Britain’s 65th medal of the games finishing second behind Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania in the Women’s Modern Pentathlon. The men’s event had been won by David Svoboda of the Czech Republic the day before.

Russia beat Brazil to win the Men’s Volleyball GoldItaly had claimed the Bronze beating Bulgaria earlier in the day.

Italy went one better in the Men’s Water Polo claiming Silver after losing the final 8-6 to Gold medalists Croatia, their first medal as an independent state. The Bronze was won by Serbia beating Montenegro 12-11 just short of a clean medal sweep for the old Yugoslavian states.

We have written 15 articles and have not even covered all of the events in this fantastic games. The Olympics is always special, but I believe the London Olympics is even more special, the best since Sydney of 2000. Of course I have my own bias having grown up in London and lived in Australiafor many years. But I believe that many athletes and commentators who have been to more than one games will tell you that this one was exceptional.

The opening and closing ceremonies were the best, including the Great British history and huge depth of music and the arts.

In the mean time we will start counting down the days until Rio de Janeiro 2016. Don’t you just love the Olympics?