Happy Movember: Please grow your moustache for the right reason!

Today spells the start of November and for many men the start of their quest to grow a moustache. For those of you who have missed it, Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers, and associated charities.

This is a great cause and it is great to see all of the moustaches around during this month.

One thing that has bothered me over the last couple of years is an increasing occurrence though of men growing moustaches in this month for reasons other than charity. Whether it is because they feel it is more acceptable in this month or because they are wannabe hipsters, of late when I have asked fellows seemingly participating in the events of Movember I have oft been surprised to learn that they are not signed up as part of the charity efforts of the month.

Some may consider me to be irrational in this view but seeing this happen irritates me. The idealogy of Movember is to raise awareness of and funds for men health issues and to me growing a moustache but not participating in the actual charity element of Movember makes a mockery of it.

So gents I simply say please grow your mo’s for the right reasons: get involved in the charity and raise some money! If you are doing it for other reasons this month take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and then shave that top lip!

PS: For the record I am not participating in Movember but will be donating as heavily as I can. If you are not participating as well I implore you to donate.

Derby Day: Best Bets

It is the start of the festival of racing at Flemington today and, as always, the festival kicks off with the best day of racing of the year: Derby Day. Here are my best bets across the card at Flemington:

Race 1 Number 15 Azkadellia 

Race 2 Number 3 Abduction

Race 3 Number 4 Huckelbuck

Race 4 Number 3 Scissor Kick 

Race 5 Number 9 Signoff 

Race 6 Number 15 Rising Romance 

Race 7 Number 2 Moonovermanhattan (The Derby)

Race 8 Number 1 Sweet Idea

Race 9 Number 6 Deep Field 

Whatever it is you are doing and wherever you are watching this great day of racing I hope you have an enjoyable day! Good luck and good punting!!!

An Open Letter to Cricket Australia

Dear Cricket Australia,

I am a long time fan of the game, some 30 years have passed since I first strapped on a pad, but a first time correspondent.  I write to implore you to bring an end to the charade that is domestic cricket in this country.

Until recent times, the domestic competitions in Australia, consisting of the Sheffield Shield and 50 over competition, were the benchmark world wide whilst also providing the benchmark for selection in the Australian team.  Simply, albeit with some exceptions obvious to those sitting in Queensland, if you performed in the domestic competitions you had a chance to be selected.  Of late, as confirmed by the events of today, it has become clear that the status of the domestic competitions as the last bastion before selection to the Australian team is no longer.

It has never been more clear that this is the case after the selection of the Australia One Day International team to face South Africa announced today.  The squad announced is:

Michael Clarke (capt.), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Shane Watson

The selection of Matthew Wade is, without question, a travesty and completely out of touch with the form shown by wicketkeepers in the just completed Matador BBQs Cup.  Consider these numbers arising from this just completed competition:

Player Games Innings Runs Average S/R
Matthew Wade 6 6 101 16.83 63.52
Chris Hartley 8 8 403 57.57 83.09
Peter Neville 8 8 267 33.37 69.89
Tim Paine 6 6 249 49.8 91.88

I am an unashamed Queensland fan and thus will not always advocate for the selection of Chris Hartley.  This time his form in the domestic competition not just warrants  it, it demands it.  However, even forgetting the form of Hartley the selection of Wade ahead of Neville or Paine is equally as unexplainable on form.

If players can not get selected in the Australian team even when they are in exemplary form or, as a minimum, better form than the person selected then it stands to reason that form in the domestic competitions counts for nothing.

That being the case I ask that you put these domestic competitions out of their metaphorical misery, save some money and end them.  They serve no practical purpose anymore and that would open up the schedule to allow you to put more T20 domestic games on which you so sorely and clearly crave.

Best Regards,

A long-suffering fan

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