- Ant Sims
- 19 May 2012 12:00 (South Africa)
In a new weekly feature, we take a look at who had it bad and who had it good in this week’s sports news. By ANT SIMS.
Women and sport
You know how tough it is to be a woman. Those damned child-bearing hips, the sexism and the discrimination, the shady looks when you walk into a press box to cover a match. Avast, ye prejudiced ones, women in sport took things by the balls this week. Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of F1 team Sauber, has one-third of a stake in the company to ensure she sticks around once Swiss owner Peter Sauber retires. Kaltenborn has been working for Sauber since about 2000 and appointed CEO in 2010, so it's no surprise that she's been given a part of the company, but it's still fist-pump-inducing for the lasses who like to fight for equality and recognition. To sweeten the week for the ladies, Charlotte Edwards has become the first woman on the MCC's World Cricket committee. It's only taken them two centuries, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. All that bra burning wasn't for nothing.
Young, bright, English sporting talent
It's a baptism by fire for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain following his inclusion in England's Euro 2012 squad, but the 18 year old has been given a chance to prove himself on the international stage for the senior team. The Arsenal man, who is also the youngest English goal scorer in UEFA Champions League history, will have to shake off a lot of Theo Walcott comparisons even before the tournament starts, but if injuries stay at bay, he might just be one to watch in the upcoming tournament. Keeping with the theme of trusting home-grown talent, the English cricket team actually handed a Test cap to an Englishman for a change as Jonny Bairstow made his bow against the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's. He's already played a couple of one-day internationals and Twenty20s for England, but the Yorkshireman now has the chance to prove himself in the Test set-up. He's got a healthy first-class average of 46.42 and, with England's number six spot increasingly under scrutiny, Bairstow has a lot to prove.
Football managers in England
Alex McLeish has endured a torrid time in the English Premier League. Not only did he suffer relegation with Birmingham City, but he’s become the most hated man in all of, well, Birmingham. After just one season in charge of Aston Villa, he was given the boot and considering Villa won only seven of their 38 league matches and finished two points ahead of Bolton, who were relegated, it’s probably the right decision.
McLeish seems intent on having all the teams in the Midlands relegated, ambitious to say the least, but worth a try. While McLeish was fired, Roy Hodgson was welcomed at the helm of the England team with a trending topic on Twitter that read: #HodgsonOut. Yes, that’s right. The manger just announced his squad and he was already asked to leave. It might be that England soccer fans were trying to be ironic, but we don’t think they’re that smart.
And last, but not least, Kenny Dalglish was sent on his way. While Liverpool fans were divided in opinion, the folks who own LFC were probably pleased they no longer have a manager who forked out about £100-million to build a team, which was more unpredictable than Lindsey Lohan during a night out on the town. Nobody knows who’ll take over next just yet, but whoever does probably won’t have much time to take Liverpool by the scruff of the neck and put them into some sort of semblance of former glory. You can only trumpet the “we won it five times” for so long, because you haven’t won it recently and one of your rivals, well, they’ve won that small matter of the Premier League 19 times. Good luck.
Cricket and spot-fixing go together like milk and honey. Only the milk is rotten and the honey has turned into that sticky kind of sugary substance you can’t get out of the jar. Five Indian players were suspended by the IPL on Tuesday after a sting operation revealed that one of them was allegedly involved in spot-fixing in an Indian domestic match. The others were banned for apparently trying to negotiate a better deal while under contract with a franchise. This is something the IPL rules don’t allow, but the rules might have changed again while writing this. Further investigations are underway as the saga continues to rumble on and fuel has been handed to anti-IPL protesters to stoke the fire while the rest are feverishly trying to bury it all in the sand. Here’s an idea: since cricket was engineered for betting, why not just legalise the whole spot-fixing thing? Just kidding, of course.