Trent Boult will not face England this summer. Photo / Photo port
Chris Rattue reviews the sports winners and losers of the weekend.
LOSERS: Everyone, on the Trent Boult case
Confirmation Trent Boult won’t line up when New Zealand face England
next month is absolutely disgusting.
This has to be the dumbest situation I’ve witnessed in decades watching New Zealand sport.
New Zealand hardly ever hosts a decent Test cricket series.
But when the action against England coached by Brendon McCullum starts at Mt Maunganui, one of our great fast bowlers will be just up the street watching it on TV (or maybe he’ll be on the ground , licking an ice cream).
The game has become so twisted by money and inept management that a key Test cricketer will miss a powerful streak because he played T20 in the United Arab Emirates, which ranks alongside efforts like playing winks to Timbuktu.
I don’t know who to blame, but maybe cricket needs hard and fast rules and international windows so someone like Boult isn’t sidelined by such a ridiculous scheduling conflict.
The question came up after a press conference in Pakistan, but Black Caps coach Gary Stead did not go into detail.
Stead cited “workload” as the reason, with Boult returning to New Zealand days before the first test.
But I don’t see why Boult – a free agent since last year – won’t at least be considered for the second Test.
And there was no discussion of why Boult can’t be zoomed into Test action this time around, when it worked so well in England last year.
We punters deserve at least a decent explanation.
Everyone loses here, including New Zealand players who deserve to play in a team of their own, and even England who will want to prove themselves against the best.
Blame can probably be spread. But cricket needs to be read if it continues down this stupid path.
WINNER: Sports Romance…and a Few Hollywood Guys
The FA Cup has done it again.
English football’s historic knockout football competition has lost its glamor over the years, but it lives on.
There’s nothing quite like the FA Cup to give Minnows a moment of glory in the classic David versus Goliath battles.
Step up to Wrexham, Wales’ fifth-tier club that’s the subject of a fascinating on-the-fly TV series.
“Welcome to Wrexham” is the brainchild of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney of Hollywood, who bought the club.
And they have a wonderful new showpiece with Wrexham upsetting Championship side Coventry in the FA Cup third round this weekend.
And then there’s Boreham Wood – a footballing non-entity playing in the same division as Wrexham – who have been an FA Cup fairy tale side in recent years and achieved a surprise FA Cup draw in of the last lap.
Chairman Danny Hunter – whose father is a former Boreham Wood side manager – remortgaged his house during the pandemic to keep the club going.
He wanted to keep the memories alive and create more.
It’s a far cry from a club like EPL giants Manchester United who have reportedly introduced a rule capping player payments at just $380,000 a week each.
And yet these two clubs are in the same competition.
The FA Cup is unique.
LOSER: The New Zealand honors system
Question: A colleague asked why Hamish Bond and Eric Murray were not awarded knighthoods in the latest list, instead getting a lesser award.
Answer: There’s no good reason, except to say that the whole national honors business is a load of crap.
WINNER/LOSER: Wellington Phoenix
It’s great to see the Phoenix making headlines via a bizarre victory over Sydney FC in the A-league.
Unfortunately, they will revert to the fine print.
LOSERS: Climate change deniers
Some sports are going through tough times due to drastically changing weather conditions.
I hear that climate change is a growing topic of conversation in cricketing circles, for example.
It will also test the mettle of the groundskeepers.
The Auckland Women’s International Tennis event had to survive repeated rain interventions.
At least rising American star Coco Gauff’s victory gave the ASB Classic some welcome credibility.
Meanwhile, the European heatwave is forcing ski areas to close and a World Cup event in Switzerland will be held on artificial snow.
A professor of climate science told Sky News: “By the end of the century it will just be over…skiing in the Alps as we know them…the snow will continue to melt as long as the climate will warm up.”
LOSE or WIN… Pat Cummins
The Australian cricket captain is taking it by the neck in some quarters after claiming five runs with Usman Khawaja overnight in less than a double century. But Cummins’ job is to win test matches. And it turned out that Australia actually needed a lot more time to try and send South Africa back to the SCG. Cummins gets paid big bucks to make the tough decisions.
WINNING… social networks, sometimes
It’s not all bad…
Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin tweets and shares photos from his hospital bed, after needing life-saving treatment on the field during an NFL game last week.
It was horrifying to witness the incident, in which Hamlin stood up after making a tackle and then wobbled to the ground due to cardiac arrest.
It’s such a relief to see him sitting up in bed and communicating.
At the time, such a connection with a distressed star would have been impossible.
But as a veteran, it always seems strange to see someone in his position hitting social media just days after an almost tragic event.