This is going to be a blog post of many parts. As well as the sporting stories in the title I will be sharing some other stuff that I have come across recently. I will cover the sporting stories first…
Two different stories from South Africa. First…
HAVING LOST THE WAR SOUTH AFRICA
LOOK LIKE WINNING THE FINAL BATTLE
England’s victory in the third test match gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four match series, so the fact that they took two sessions (SA 220-1 in 1st innings) to wake up in this match and have never been on terms is less of a worry than it might be. Going into the final day, extended to make up for time lost to the weather, England have 98 overs to bat and with seven wickets in hand need what would appear to be a purely nominal 330 more to win.
Kagiso Rabada who took seven wickets in the first innings already has another two, and one more would make him the youngest ever bowler to take 10 in a test match. Hashim Amla was one good blow short of completing twin centuries in the match and two South African debutants made centuries in the first innings, Cook (like his English namesake an opening batsman) and De Kock (wicketkeeper and middle order batsman).
Barring cataclysmic weather the final outcome of this series will be a 2-1 win to England.
My second cricket story concerns a rather graver matter…
Gulam Bodi has been banned from any cricket related activity except attending anti-corruption programs for a period of 20 years for contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 series. A full account, by Cricinfo’s South African correspondent Firdose Moonda, can viewed here.
While I am pleased to see that a severe punishment has been dished out I can only concur with the thoughts voiced by Michael Vaughan on Test Match Special today – this is not tough enough. Anyone caught engaging in this kind of behaviour should be banned outright for life.
We are deep into the second week of a grand slam tournament (the Australian Open), and Andy Murray is not the sole remaining Brit in the main singles draws (he is of course still there). He has been joined in reaching the last eight by 24 year old Johanna Konta, the first British woman since 1984 to make a grand slam quarter-final.
SOME OTHER BITS AND BOBS
I have a few other items to share, starting with…
FAREWELL TO LONDON CITY AIRPORT (HERE’S HOPING)
I have already given this some coverage on my London transport themed website. Sian Berry (Green party candidate for London mayor) and her team have come up with an excellent alternative usage proposal for the site of London City Airport. Full details can be read here, while the original of the picture I reproduce below can be viewed here.
DON’T CUT BENEFITS FOR PEOPLE
LIVING WITH DISABILITIES
First, a petition which I introduce by way of a piece of text designed for use in emails:
I just signed the petition “Don’t cut benefits for people living with disabilities” and wanted to ask if you could add your name too.
This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:
Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It’s really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or click these links:
For more detail please view this post from disabilitybenefitsconsortium.