Super Rugby enters the unknown in 2016

Australia’s five Super Rugby teams represented at last week’s season launch, at Wet ‘n’ Wild in Sydney’s west. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Guardian Australia: It was a nice surprise to be contacted by The Guardian’s sports editor again this week, with my last appearance on their pages coming in late 2013.

For my rugby debut (I’d written about cricket for them previously), I’ve looked at the Super Rugby season ahead as it presents: more teams, more conferences, more countries involved, and more broadcasters around the world paying more money into the biggest broadcast deal the competition has ever seen..

Current schedule means one-day form must count for Ashes

Bailey, Warner, Hughes, White, Voges, Khawaja. Their one-day form puts them into contention for the First Ashes Test in Brisbane..

Bailey, Warner, Hughes, White, Voges, Khawaja. Their one-day form puts them into contention for the First Ashes Test in Brisbane..

“You have to take ODI form with a pinch of salt.”

It’s a common line that’s been trotted out since Jesus donned the coloured gear for the Nazareth 1st XI. One day form means nothing and can’t be used to select players for First Class or Test cricket. This particular quote here was lifted from an online forum within the last week.

In my return to the sport section of The Guardian‘s Australian pages today, I explain why it’s a noble thought, and comes with good intentions, but the Australian cricket calendar as it is this season renders the argument useless and dated. One-day form has to – and will – be used by the Australian selectors next month.

Australia lose a weapon as they drop the WACA

Ricky Ponting pulls in front of square in Perth, with seven Englishmen behind the bat. India won't have to worry about this in 2014/2015..

Ricky Ponting pulls in front of square in Perth, with seven Englishmen behind the bat. India won’t have to worry about this in 2014/2015..

Cricket Australia has – to quote the body itself – “devastated” the Western Australia Cricket Association and its key broadcast partner of the last three decades over its announcement that the WACA will not host a Test for the 2014-2015 summer.

The Perth Test is one of the WACA’s major sources of annual revenue, though it has been granted additional one-day internationals in 2014-2015 as compensation.

With the 2014-2015 international schedule to be shortened due to Australia and New Zealand playing host to the Cricket World Cup, to be played in February and March 2015, Australia will play only four Tests against India, instead of the regular five or six that cricket fans have known and loved for decades.

Read the rest of my debut article for The Guardian today, including my hypothesis on why Perth misses out in 2014/15.

Another masthead for BMcSport: The Guardian

Guardian AusA bit of a thrill for me today, with my byline making its first appearance under The Guardian’s masthead.

The Guardian – one of the biggest papers in the United Kingdom – set up an online operation in Australia mid-year, and my debut has today graced the front page of the Australian edition and well as the sport pages of the UK edition. Comments have been coming in from all around the world.

My debut article on the front page of The Guardian Australian edition today..