Weekend Shout:4 Things on Aussie Sport
By Aaron Callaghan
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It is mid-December and after a creaky, groaning start to the summer of sport it is picking up momentum, the engines are gaining speed
The Big Bash League around the corner we are set to go into overdrive which means it is time for ‘The Weekend Shout’. A tongue-in-cheek look at the big storylines in Australian sport.
Cricket: Australia v India
At the time of writing the second test is evenly poised headed into day two. The Big Bash League is mere days away. The insincerity of a cash-grab limited overs series with South Africa, which no-one could watch, firmly in the rear-view mirror, it is time to survey the summer of cricket.
The Australia versus India test series is providing compelling viewing. The first test ended in a dramatic Australian run chase propped up by the heroics of Nathan Lyon’s best Brett Lee Edgbaston 2005 impersonation (B Lee: 42 not out).
India are a fantastic test side worthy of their number one ranking. Australia are in a rebuilding state, attempting to find their feet with a shaky batting line up. Australia’s bowling line up is world class. The great equaliser in this test series is Australia’s home ground advantage, Asian teams have traditionally never toured well down-under and this perhaps gives the Aussies a fighting chance.
NRL: Any publicity is NOT good publicity
Another week, another day, another hour – Another National Rugby League contracted player is charged with some iteration of assault. There is a massive issue at hand here for the league, it’s clubs and offcials, aside from it being a terrible look for the game – The issue of assault by players is completely indefensible, more so domestic violence which is an awful tragedy.
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It is time for clubs to de-register players found guilty and the league to take a stand and permanently ban players from all forms of rugby league until they can show they have successfully rehabilitated and made right with the community of which they have harmed.
NBL: Wildcats and Kings are good
The National Basketball League is really, really good. The level of play has never been better, the on-court product and game-day experience for fans is amazing and a real competitor among the summer sporting landscape.
Perth Wildcats and Sydney Kings are your early picks to contest the grand final series.
A-League Expansion: Bigger is not always better
Expansion is coming in A-League season 2019/20 in the form of Western Melbourne and later South-West Sydney and this has a raft of consequences. Some good, some bad.
The good: More fans have an opportunity to enjoy the game. More teams equals more revenue and more variation to the home and away regular season.
The bad: The already thin football player pool in Australia/New Zealand is diluted again. Fan bases are fractured with another Melbourne team looking to steal from the City and Victory fan base and the Macarthur South West region of Sydney infringing on Western Sydney Wanderers catchment.
Hopefully the data used by the FFA to select these teams bears out true and the A-League can thrive with 12 teams.
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