Cricket review system / VAR

People who think technology [the cricket review system] is going to lead to a mistake free world are very wide of the mark. What are you going to get is a different argument about a more highly refined type of mistake. And it’s going to come down to scrutiny of inches and millimeters of a television screen, rather than a judgment made out in the middle. So all we are getting is a displacement activity where contentious decisions are being moved from the field off the field. You are never going to get to a mistakes free world or a controversy free world – Ed Smith (55m 29s into programme)

Personally I think it’s a good thing that we can never completely eradicate out those contentious decisions. I think sport needs them. But Smith’s point is worth thinking about after the first competitive club match in England using VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology was played last night (Brighton v Palace).

In cricket the scrutiny of those inches and millimeters on a tv screen takes time, but the game and crowd have managed to accommodate this and so the delay contributes a certain tension to the game. Whether similarly, in football, those off-pitch decisions that take time and slow the pace of the game down (I can’t see how they won’t) add to the overall excitement of the match or detract from it remains to be seen.

The Ashes

I’ve loved this Ashes series, even though England has lost it, because each game they lost contained moments when they could have won – and not just moments, but whole half-hours, and occasional mornings, and even the odd day. Test matches, and entire test series, have a wonderful open-ended quality, and then an equally wonderful finality when the door eventually shuts. Whenever a game ends, there’s always that strange feeling that there must be one more twist life. But the haunted look on the faces of the defeated players tells you that there isn’t.

Ashes to Ashes, LRB

People are Kind

Anders has been welcomed in every corner of Britain: from Falmouth Town (Cornwall) to Forres Mechanics (near Inverness).

In Shildon, County Durham, where he visited on August Bank Holiday Monday, he got a full English – and a pint – in the clubhouse before the game.

At Sheringham, Norfolk, which he visited on 18 August, he got a club shirt and a lift back to the station.

“Things like that are typical,” says Anders. “People are kind.”

– The Norwegian who’s been to 445 English football grounds

Going For A Song: ‘7 heure du matin’


Jacqueline Taib – 7 heure du matin

July is the month of the Tour de France. It’s being shown on ITV4. They closed the highlights of Stage 13 with this song, which was perhaps a nod to the winner of that stage, Warren Barguil, and to the winner of stage 12, Barguil’s fellow Frenchman, Romain Bardet.

When I first heard it I assumed it was a cover of The Who’s ‘My Generation’, but I was mistaken in that assumption.

Disqualified and Withdrawn

Two of my favourite riders in the Tour de France out in one go:

World champion Peter Sagan has left the Tour de France after being disqualified for causing the crash which ended Mark Cavendish’s race

Gutted. Can’t believe Sagan elbowed on purpose or with malice; just seemed like an automatic reaction.

Oh well.


‚ÄčI feel that I owe it to myself, the team, our sponsors and most importantly to the Tour itself given its history and everything that it stands for – as well as the emotional attachment I have for it – to give it my best and to put everything I have into trying to help the team – Mark Cavendish

Even if he gets one closer to Merckx’s record then it’s some achievment; even if he doesn’t it’s some achievement already.