Friday, 15 January 2010

New Year, New Start – 2010- Get Involved and Move On

Firstly, I hope all you TTS readers had a jolly Christmas break and fun-filled New Year celebrations. Secondly, prepare yourselves for yet another year of action-packed sports entertainment; that’s if the snow decides to shift itself.

There will be highs. There will be lows. Both heroes and villains. Shocking displays of sporting conduct and moments of greatness. TTS will endeavor to bring the action to the floor to stir up debate left, right and centre.

You may be wondering what the deuce the headline of this blog means exactly. Well, it was a piece of advice handed out by the chief speaker at a New Year party I attended in Carlisle. The 2010 message was to “get involved and move on”.

Since then, the speaker has started his year at RMA Sandhurst, where he will certainly be “getting involved”, and probably be “moving on” by marching several hundred miles.

But with sport, it’s also a time to get involved; whether it be participating or spectating. Leave last year’s sporting misery behind us, and move on to bigger and better things. At least that’s what I overheard Rafael Benitez whimper recently.

There is plenty to look forward to, especially if you enjoy watching England’s football team bring their viewers to within an inch of a fatally high blood pressure, with the 2010 World Cup.

Sooner however, The Australian Open is to serve up some tennis magic, as Andy Murray continues his search for a major title. He has been selected on the same side of the draw as Nadal, Del Potro and Roddick, so he has his work cut out.

The finale of England’s thus far successful Test Series in South Africa is underway at The Wanderers, and has already produced a drama or two.

It is precisely this drama I am focusing the debate of this blog around, so without further ado, I will get the ball turning with effect (unlike Paul Harris).

An incident came to my attention just this morning whilst watching a desperate-looking England cricket team try to recover some dignity after their first-innings batting sham in the final Test of the Series.

Graeme Smith, the very much in form South Africa captain, slashed at a wide delivery from Ryan Sidebottom, with the score at 36-0. England fielders thought he got a thin edge, appealed, and then was given not out by Umpire Hill. Strauss called for the review.

It was at this point the almighty kerfuffle started. According to numerous sources, 3rd Umpire Harper received the replay footage from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which has the volume feed on low (whereas Sky has it on high volume).

Harper didn’t see enough evidence to give Smith out, and the review was rejected. Don’t forget, the Third Umpires are not permitted to use Snicko or Hot Spot technology.

The fact of the matter was, if you were watching Sky, you could hear Smith snick the ball and should have been given out. Instead, he went on to score his 20th Test century.

Jonathan Agnew’s Twitter page said the following: “SABC: everyone gets same sound feed. They do what they want with it. SKY has it high, SABC comms low. Harper's on 4/10 (has been all series).”

I asked myself, how in the name of sanity could this happen in world class cricket? Then I remembered, oh yes, it’s the referral system.

Those among you with remarkable memories may recall I blogged about the referral system on TTS previously. It comes back to the same conclusion in my opinion. Either use ALL technology available or none at all.

My preference is the latter; before we see Billy Bowden and chums turn into figures not dissimilar to Arnold Schwarzenegger towards the end of The Terminator (see image for details).

Having said that, the referral system has proved umpire decisions to be wrong on many occasions during the Series, having a considerable impact on the outcome of the matches.

What would you rather?

Human errors from umpires, that has been part of the game for centuries, but can lead to a team being defeated by poor decisions.


Lengthy delays adding to an already lengthy sport, which can provide accurate decisions to be made, most of the time (but not all it seems).

I would love to hear your opinions on this, and any other thoughts you feel should be brought to light, so do post comments at the bottom of this blog.

So many sporting events have already happened this year, including the horrific Togolese football team shooting before the Africa Cup of Nations, Phil “The Power” Taylor storming to yet another world title in darts, and two notable FA Cup shock exits from Manchester United and Liverpool.

So keep your eyes peeled to the action and the next installment on TTS.


  1. Excellent speech Steve ! What do you make of Malawi's chances in the African Cup of Nations?

  2. I reckon Malawi should fancy their chances against Mali, and will progress to the next round as runners-up of Group A


Search TTS