australia

The moment World Cricket has been waiting for

Congratulations to South Africa. Australia profoundly outplayed in this series. If SA can do a clean-sweep in Sydney they'll take number one spot on the ICC Test Rankings. Ricky Ponting is surely one Test, at most, away from retiring, or being retired, from the captaincy. Matty Hayden and Roy should start loading that fishing boat tonight.

With the early finish to the day, Graeme Smith gets two points in today's The Kepler-Wessels count, with Neil McKenzie grabbing one.

BoG catchup

As the sun sinks on Australian Test cricket supremacy, time for me to catch up on the vote count for The Kepler-Wessels for the first four days of the Melbourne Test, which should reach its conclusion in an hour or so.

Day One:
3 pts - Ricky Ponting;
2 pts - Simon Katich;
1 pt - Dale Steyn.

Day Two:
3 pts - Peter Siddle;
2 pts - Michael Clarke;
1 pt - Graeme Smith.

Day Three:
3 pts - Jean-Paul Duminy;
2 pts - Dale Steyn;
1 pt - Paul Harris.

The Kepler-Wessels Perth Test BoG Update

My thoughts on South Africa's brilliant First Test victory over Australia still to come, but here are my The Kepler-Wessels BoG points for days three through five:

Day Three (Friday December 19)
3 pts: Paul Harris (South Africa)
2 pts: Dale Steyn (South Africa)
1 pt: Jason Krejza (Australia)

Day Four (Saturday December 20)
3 pts: Graeme Smith (South Africa)
2 pts: Brad Haddin (Australia)
1 pt: Hashim Amla (South Africa)

WACA Day Two: Sing along with Mitch

OK, maybe it's time to start taking Mitchell Johnson seriously. He even has the DKL Seal Of Approval now after taking 7/42 on Day Two of the Perth Test against South Africa. It looked like the visitors were going to amble to the upper hand (sorry about the metaphor trauma there) until Mitch started to hum.

The Kepler-Wessels BoG points for Day Two:
3 pts - Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
2 pts - AB de Villiers (South Africa)
1 pt - oh god do I have to award points to Jacques Kallis? (South Africa).

Introducing the rickeyre.com Australia v South Africa BoG

In the tradition of the Midwinter-Midwinter I today launch the rickeyre.com BoG (Best On Ground) award for the 2008-09 Australia v South Africa Test Series and its reciprocal follow-up in 2009.

How it works? On each day of each Test I award points on a 3-2-1 basis to the BoGs (Best Players on Ground). At the end of the series, the player with the most points is the winner.

Rudd to Everyone: Drop Dead

5% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. (Maybe 15% if the rest of the world pitches in.)
$4 billion compensation package to the coal industry.
Stacks of free emissions permits on offer.
Emissions from logging/deforestation exempt.

More later. Pardon me while I take my shoes off...

Out of Iraq

One of the most shameful episodes in Australia's history has come to an end, with the commencement of the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq.

The withdrawal came more or less with a whimper, and certainly not telegraphed in advance. Earlier this year the Senate Estimates Committee was told that Australia's role in Iraq was complete, and this was confirmed by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston yesterday (video). We, of course, should never have been there, an aggressor nation (along with the USA, UK and numerous smaller members of the "Coalition of the Willing") invading a sovereign entity on the other side of the world, on the basis of fabricated "intelligence". The acronym for the original (subsequently discarded) US name for the invasion, "Operation Iraqi Liberation", sums up the underhanded motives fairly well.

Testemunha de Terra 2: Making wine, not rice

Australia has been a leading exporter of rice, supposedly feeding up to 40 million people worldwide. But decades of mismanagement of water allocations in the Murray-Darling river basin, exacerbated by the recent drought, has hit rice crops hard, despite the fact that Australian farmers have taken huge leaps in improving water efficiency in rice production.

But there's another problem. They can grow grapes on their land, using less water and making money from the booming wine industry. Yes, the hungry of the world risk playing second fiddle to middle-class Aussie tipplers.

Al Jazeera English visited the Riverina district of New South Wales for this report, which aired on April 23:

The ODI Triseries, 1977-2008. RIP.

A thirty-year phase of cricketing history came to an end at the Gabba tonight. The triangular one-day international series had long past its use-by date, and was finally being put out of its misery. But instead of ending with a whimper, it went out with an unexpected bang. India completed a 2-0 clean-sweep of the best-of-three finals series against Australia to win the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series.