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  1. Got another hour of work here in Uxbridge before hitting the road to head back down to Uckfield. MetOffice is suggesting the snow might beat me home...
  2. I did the direct access motorcycle course in December 2010. Failed my first test, having arrived at the test centre to be told that it would likely be cancelled due to snow on all their routes, only to have it confirmed as going ahead 5 minutes before due to go out. Promptly messed up pulling away from stationary on-road parking less than 5 minutes into the test. Anyway, on a more on-topic note: I've been AWOL over the summer (being a snow junky as an ex-pat Aussie) and it appears I've got a lot of catching up to do. Anyone able to point me at a thread or two (or just send me a PM if easier!) that discusses the new models (Para & FV3 in particular, any others?) I've been seeing mentioned, and what their advantages / disadvantages might be? In particular if any of them are expected to be more accurate during the winter months and/or more accurate for our wonderfully difficult to predict island.
  3. In my mind, the drivers need to be reminded they have mirrors and to use them. Raikkonen's excuse that it was all behind and that he had the green light so went is a cop out IMO. I know the teams and drivers are striving for every little split second they can shave off the pit times, because it can make a difference in the race, but that accident was entirely avoidable through a simple mirror check. I bet Kimi will be doing exactly that for the next few races.
  4. In other news ... as an Aussie I have to 'own' this. So: avatar change to the best p-taking photoshop I've seen in a while.
  5. Pretty sure Lehmann's been 100% on this one. Re: Smith, I think you're right on the picture that is emerging. Jim Maxwell seems to have been given an inside briefing, it's come out that the full extent of Smith's involvement in the "planning" of what went on was to turn a blind eye as he walked past Warner instructing Bancroft on what to do. Apparently Smith said to them as he walked past during the lunch break "What are you doing? I don't want to know what you're doing." He may have naively assumed they weren't actually going to do anything on the field and that his having spotted them would cause them to rethink. It's from International and Domestic (first class, big bash, etc). They are explicitly allowed to play club cricket, on the explicit guidance that they do so as part of "reconnecting" with the game at a grass roots level. I think the overall picture is growing that this was, indeed, an isolated incident. Any deeper digging into earlier "ball tampering" allegations risks opening a much, much bigger can of worms - David Richardson from the ICC has alluded to that in his most recent statement, where he mentions that the umpires have been turning a blind eye to a certain level of "we can accept that..." ball tampering from all teams for a long time. Absolutely agreed here. You can't fake that sort of deep emotion, unless you're also an Oscar winning actor who's spent years honing the art. Been expecting this. Langer will take over as interim coach, and probably favourite to get the permanent job too I suspect. Nope, I think his words can be taken on face value. He wasn't aware of the ball tampering. His guilt is over having allowed the culture to deteriorate to the point where this could happen, and (at least temporarily) ruin the careers of a couple of quality young cricketers.
  6. As things stand, I'd suggest Burnley is the "model" of what new teams coming into the Prem should aspire to, at least initially. What they've achieved since coming up, and seemingly without needing to over-spend, without creating issues within the player group, without ever seeming to panic if they hit a dry spell - it's the right way to go about things. I'm hopeful that Brighton are heading in a similar direction. We've got a good owner, we've got a solid-if-uninspiring player group where the sum is greater than the parts, and I think in Hughton we've got a manager who's learned from past efforts in the Prem and is so very, very keen to prove he can make it in the Prem and has a very supportive club behind him in that. Our first target has to be emulating Burnley's successes over the last few years, and then once firmly established I suspect the club has probably looked very closely at the Tottenham way of going about things. Keep the budget under control, accept that you'll have to build slowly, don't push too hard too fast - focus on making sure there's no nasty surprises around the corner and then take the opportunities when they arise. Lots of small steps, no attempts at making massive leaps.
  7. Actually, they've got more than that from what I've seen. They've got testimony from others who heard what he said, as well as testimony about how hard he went at the team during the tea break trying to get to the bottom of what was going on. From what I've seen I'm entirely satisfied that in this instance it's the truth (and I'm also starting to see comments through from independent sources who know Lehmann that are saying he's not the sort of bloke who'd be able to let Bancroft swing while he himself got away clean if he had indeed been involved).
  8. And it's exactly those folks I'm defending in my posts you responded to. Warner can go back to playing in the bush for all I care. He's not the sort of person I associate with the peak of Aussie cricket. Smith and Bancroft ... I hope that, one day, they can find their ways back into the team. Both have been monumentally stupid in this, but I firmly believe both of them will come out of these as better people.
  9. Agreed. I'll miss the entertaining way he bats, but nothing else will be missed. Aussies are well rid of him. Conversely, I think Smith will be back and he'll be back as a far better (in terms of judgement) player when he does return. To avoid double-posting again, @chionomaniac it has now been confirmed that what I thought re: Lehmann and the walkie talkie was correct: http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/22941664/six-words-put-darren-lehmann-clear
  10. I can't edit this further now, but also worth noting that many lawyers won't take payment until the case is finished, and that in a high profile case like dismissing Lehmann would be if the CA lost any damages awarded would likely more than cover any lawyer fees.
  11. Yup, I'm very disappointed to see this. And respect that was restored by them "coming clean" in that conference is now lost again. At least we're now starting to see some detail emerge. From what's been published so far, it's become clear that: a) Warner was the instigator and architect of the plan; b) Smith was aware of the plan and then failed to prevent it going ahead; c) Bancroft failed to refuse to do it and then carried out the plan. I now firmly expect the eventual report (which should carry sign off from the ICC observers who were present) to clear Lehmann and detail that the message sent to Bancroft was an immediate cease-and-desist order issued as soon as Lehmann became aware of what was going on (via the broadcast footage).
  12. I'm not referring to Smith, Warner, or Bancroft appealing and suing. I'm referring to any other individuals that some in this forum clearly think *should* be punished despite a lack of evidence (ie Lehmann, and the rest of the "leadership group" which I believe is Lyon, Hazlewood, and maybe Starc). More to the point: while a top lawyer might cost that much, you can be sure the players (and any other staff) could find representation for less than that if they needed to. Apart from anything else, the Australian players group has already promised support to Smith & Co should they decide to appeal the severity of the penalties. Interesting to note that Vaughan and others, so vocal up to now helping to whip up the outrage, or now backing off and saying the penalties are too harsh. Also, incidentally, you may not be aware that the Australian cricket team is *very* well paid. Smith and Warner will both have the wherewithal to pursue cases should they want to (I very much doubt either will, however). Unless you're privy to the state of their personal finances and can show they're both destitute? Bancroft won't, as he's a junior player, but I also think he'll be taking this on the chin.
  13. Reality check for you: many of those ex cricketers you're talking about played in teams that are known to have ball tampered. Vaughan in particular, was captian in the 2005 Ashes series that Trescothick has since admitted he systematically tampered with the ball. Given what he's saying now, surely we should all be assuming that he knew about it? That he condoned it and was part of a wider conspiracy by the entire England team? Their current righteous indignation feels very much like a jump-on-the-bandwagon job; where was that indignation when Faf du Plessis was caught using sweets to tamper with the ball in Hobart a couple of years back? Or when he was caught roughing it up on a zipper a few years before that? I'll answer that question: because there's folks in the sport who have been just itching to be able to put the Aussies down, because the Aussies have been putting forward this stupid "holier than thou" attitude for a while. I also firmly believe those ex cricketers are all making similar mistakes to you: they've pre-judged the situation, and are now washing any new information through that pre-judgement and jumping to conclusions that cannot be supported by the actual facts and evidence that have been revealed so far. I suggest you, and they, should be awaiting the publication of the report, which I am sure will be accompanied by plenty of detail to sink our teeth into. I'm not a huge fan of Lehmann, but I'm also not a fan of pre-judging people and turning due process and evidence-led investigation into a witch hunt. Which is what's going on here at the moment. I also don't think these allegations re: the Ashes series in Australia should be taken seriously. Root himself has said that the England team saw nothing untoward during the series. Let's not forget here that Cricket Australia could have done what every other international board (South Africans 3 times in the last 6 years...) has done with similar incidents in the past: accepted the far-too-lenient punishments handed out by the ICC and pretend that nothing serious had happened. Instead, the Australian board has urgently launched a full investigation, stepped in and appears to be issuing the penalties that the ICC should have put in place at least a decade ago. And also let's not forget that any sanctions handed out will need to stand up to any potential appeals under employment law. Unless it can be proven that others were involved, trying to sanction those others will only end up in further scandal as the others in question sue CA for breach of contract.
  14. Again, you're making assumptions based on what you *think* should be happening and then assigning guilt on the base that hasn't happened. Let's not forget here that the investigation hasn't been run by Cricket Australia in isolation. It has been shadowed by two ICC integrity officers throughout. If what Sutherland said yesterday was false, have no doubt that the ICC would have been squawking by now.
  15. It isn't. Smith has questions to answer as to why he dropped this on the leadership group as a whole when it wasn't the whole group that knew. Rumours I've seen suggest that the others in that group are livid.
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