Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Adelaide Diary: Old Boys still got it

Sport has always had tradition where it is customary for recently-retired players to go behind the microphone. Sky Sports, more than most, has a plethora of ex-cricket boys and in the 16-odd years since broadcasting, I wonder how many times coaching staff have asked commentators for advice on a struggling tour member? Michael Holding, the best bowler in Sky's motley crew, has been asked by Kevin Shine, England's bowling coach, to help study Steve Harmison's action in time for Friday's second Test. Holding and Shine will study television footage from 2004, when Steve Harmison was the world's deadliest paceman. If the story is correct, Holding will no doubt focus on Harmy's technique and not the opposition, during one particularly deadly Caribbean blitz, that year. Personally the story looks a dead one; can you imagine Holding's golfing afternoons being tampered with so that he can iron out England's problems earlier in the day?
The old boy stories continue with the news of an on-stage interview with Darren Gough last night, at the Adelaide pre-Test dinner. The former England bowler said that Darren Lehmann, the South Australian skipper, was a 'strong rumour' as the next England coach after Duncan Fletcher. Whether it was a blast at the current coach is unknown, but Gough said: "He teaches enjoyment to the players... his knowledge is second-to-none, especially of the England players after playing in the country for so long."
Word reaches Nutley of a sponsored streak during the Adelaide Test. It is understood a major company has been looking at ways to maximise marketing potential over the last few months through the stunt. One local radio station had a phone-in this morning to gauge the city reaction. In a country that used to like the odd disruption at sporting events, the results were surprisingly even, depending on the sex of the streaker and what time of day it was at the time.