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Australia are 8/243 - damn the reception!

This looks to be a very good test match between Australia and the Proteas at the WACA, but the reception is terrible! *sobs* I just can't watch it at all! Well, I should stop feeling sorry for myself and just head down to the hotel reception and ask how to fix it...on the other hand, it's probably better that I can't watch tv, not that I'd been watching any at all recently...

From the commentary, some of the Australians have been playing badly, but let's not take anything away from the South Africans, especially Ntini, who's been bowling excellently after the tea break (3 for 8!!).

I've been wanting to write this since I'd started reading about the Pakistanis trashing the Poms on the subcontinent. That England team shouldn't have changed much from the team that won back the Ashes just this Northern summer...and they were completely walked over. The way cricket is played needs some changes. The current rotation of home and away series usually gives the home team a huge advantage over the visitors (unless the home team is one of the minnows, generally), and most trips to the subcontinent show it very well. It is so difficult to win there that many teams make it a challenge they wish to overcome - many players want to win there in the course of their careers. Unfortunately, such advantages often make for very boring series, IMO, because, no matter how much you prepare to attack the opposing players' weaknesses, the venue can always destroy a team simply because they haven't been able to get used to it. In this sense, on aspect of England's county system, so often criticised for producing relatively weak players (is this true?), is something I wish to see implemented around the world. Australia's cricketers often go to England during the winter down under to play county cricket, which gives them an opportunity to face the conditions there. If only it could be implemented around the world!

Of course, that's only an ideal, so long as cricket remains so much a national game. It works in soccer because the clubs are privately owned (although nationalistic pride remains, as one can see in events concerning ManU's new ownership earlier this year(?)) and both money and occassionally values are used to attract the best players to various teams around Europe. And when soccer has its World Cup, the matches are very closely fought amongst the top countries. So long as cricket is a national game, funded by government money, then it will never be viable. All the richest countries will take the cream of the crop. It's unfortunate for the game, but I guess we have to live with it.

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