“It can’t be about the individuals, it has to be about the team and if we promote that elite mateship, then we’ll be okay,” says new Australian coach Justin Langer. Photo: Luis Ascui/EPA


Never mind that they were a team with only two genuine world-class batsmen, or that their bowlers only achieved success when the ball was being sandpapered, no, the Australian men’s cricket team’s biggest problem – according to the newly appointed head coach Justin Langer – was the players weren’t good mates.

“If you’ve got that camaraderie, it’s like the glue that keeps everything together, particularly when you’re under the pressure,” he said.

“I would say without being in it, that camaraderie wasn’t as tight as it needed to be because when we were under pressure, the glue separated a bit.

“I don’t like to see that in a cricket team. I like them to be tight. I like us all to be tight, not just the players, but the support staff.

“It can’t be about the individuals, it has to be about the team and if we promote that elite mateship, then we’ll be okay.”

“Elite mateship” sounds like the conspiratorial hogwash that goes on at secret societies.

If that’s what Justin ‘JL’ Langer thinks Australia need to get better, then happily for the rest of us, the ‘Baggy Greens’ will be going in reverse for another few years. The level of hilarity will be “elite”.


Indian wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, who plays for the David Hasselhoff-inspired Kolkota Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, offered this insightful breakdown on winning games the Dinesh Karthik way: “It was a typical good Dinesh Karthik innings: hitting gaps, running hard, pushing people...

“What is important is to win matches, and I should try to find a way to win matches the Dinesh Karthik way... I know what I am capable of, and I will stick to that.”


It wasn’t quite on the scale of the Brumbies in Cape Town in 2000 – which involved some nudity, tomato sauce and jumping on the roof of a metre taxi – but Nick Phipps, the now-former captain of the Waratahs, still got engaged in a messy affair at his bachelors, which was held partly at a Sydney hotel.

The day had started with some golf and a boat trip around Sydney, following which they went to the hotel.

One witness told local media the boys were “pretty blind” by the time they arrived at the hotel. Presumably they were drinking off the disappointment of the 29-0 loss to the Lions suffered earlier that weekend.

Phipps pulled on a cow costume and urinated on the front of the bar, following which he was thrown out.

Phipps copped a AU$4000 (about R37 700) fine and was relieved of the captaincy of the franchise.

Nick Phipps has lost the Waratahs captaincy after an incident during his bachelors party. Photo: Dan Lewins/EPA

“I’m a goose, if I’m going to do the crime, I’ll pay the time. It’s always been in my character to stand up and accept the responsibility, I was a bloody idiot.”

That’s right, “a goose” in a cow outfit, peeing on a bar. Maybe there’s not enough “elite mateship” in Aussie rugby.


“I’ll be at the opening match of the World Cup, if Vladimir invites me. Then two Fifa presidents will be present: Infantino and me. Because I am still president. I was never voted out, just suspended.” – Sepp Blatter.

That’s Sepp Blatter, who’s been suspended as Fifa president, but who in his own mind is still president. He must wish he had Putin’s ability to rig elections.


Arsenal can be blamed for a lot – anger, anguish and depression among fans being at the top of the list – but this week, financial losses for the bookies can be added to that list.

Paddy Power Betfair has blamed factors including a record number of weather-related horse racing cancellations, and Arsenal’s poor away form in the Premier League, for a dip in first quarter sales.

Horse racing fans were left with little to bet on after the heavy snowfall dumped by the “beast from the east” led to the cancellation of about 400 meetings in the UK and Ireland between January and March.

The bookmaker said customers were also hit by unexpected poor results from big clubs such as Arsenal.

Sunday Independent