Cheap Seats Episode 79: Getting heavy

Ryan O’Connell and I – but mainly Ryan – have adjusted the man crush list ahead of Episode 79 of the Cheap Seats podcast.

#AskTheCheapSeats is back seeking explanation on Dean Mumm’s inclusion in the Wallabies’ 40-man squad, and whether the Alex McKinnon-Cameron Smith thing is anything more than a media beat up. And that segues neatly into…

The 60 Minutes report on the recovery of former NRL player Alex McKinnon. What was a really good story providing revealing insight into what McKinnon and his family went through at the time and now, 15 months on, has been quickly hijacked by the portrayal of Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith in the report. The story is now less about McKinnon and more about Smith, and in our humble opinions, Channel Nine and 60 Minutes have some questions to answer.

Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh - a club and a game mourns..

Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh – a club and a game mourns..

In other news, the State of Origin decider looms, we again ponder This Week’s Premiership Favourites, and talk the Super Rugby Final and the Wallabies squad. We also try to get our heads around the tragic death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, and the sudden retirement of Australian quick Ryan Harris on the eve of The Ashes. Plus there’s a wrap up of the Cheap Seats Tipping League, which you can still join which you can still join for The Ashes and The Rugby Championship .

Get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod, PLUS now on the TuneIn radio app as well, and get your questions in for next week using the tag #AskTheCheapSeats. And stay cheap!

Ryan Harris’ body finally catches up with him

Ryan Harris picked up a new knee injury after Australia's tour match against Kent last week. Image via @CricketAus

Ryan Harris picked up a new knee injury after Australia’s tour match against Kent last week. Image via @CricketAus

Some disappointing news from England overnight, where Australian fast bowler has announced his immediate retirement, after another knee injury was going to rule him out of the entire Ashes Series. With the First Test to commence Wednesday night AEST in Cardiff, Australia have called Pat Cummins into the squad.

Harris finished with 113 Test wickets from his 27 Tests, at an average of 23.5, a record that almost mirrors that of another chronically injured Australian quick, Bruce Reid, and is on par with Glenn McGrath’s first 27 Tests. Michael Clarke referred to him overnight as a constant “first picked”, and that was his importance to the Australian side.

But it always going to end this way. I can still recall Harris in Perth in 2010, having just played a major role in Australia’s win, detailing his ‘bone on bone’ condition in his knee, and saying even then that he had to “play each Test like it’s my last.” And in that regard, we’re lucky to have got five more years out of him.

Certainly makes the Ashes Series that little bit more even now…

A look ahead: my Australian Cricket World Cup squad

Clarke, Maxwell, Bailey: one of these three miss out in my Australian squad for the World Cup...

Clarke, Maxwell, Bailey: one of these three miss out in my Australian squad for the World Cup…

The Roar: Funnily enough, Michael Clarke’s extremely long odds of leading the Australian side in the 2015 Cricket World Cup actually make the 15-man squad a little easier to name.

It’s always felt to me that the 15 would be split pretty evenly – seven bats, seven bowlers, and a ‘keeper; Brad Haddin probably. Batting and bowling allrounders – think Mitch Marsh, James Faulkner, maybe Glenn Maxwell – would take up a spot in their respective dominant fields.

I think the squad used for the South African series gives a pretty strong hint to the World Cup squad, as will the squad for the Tri-Series with India and England. With the possible exception of someone like Ryan Harris, I can’t see anyone coming in for the World Cup who we haven’t yet seen in the coloured gear..

Cheap Seats Episode 30: Embarrassing love-ins

the Cheap Seats podcast: Ryan O’Connell and I have finally swapped chairs in Episode 30 of the Cheap Seats podcast.

Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith celebrates his match-winning field goal against Manly. Image: ABC Grandstand

Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith (centre) celebrates his match-winning field goal against Manly. Image: ABC Grandstand

In this episode, I reluctantly gave up the hosts seat I was becoming rather comfortable in, but was antsy all episode as Ryan did his best to keep control of proceedings.

Episode 30 talking points: a belated wrap-up of the Third Test in South Africa last week, some gushing words of appreciation of the great Ryan Harris, and the sudden retirement of Proteas Captain Graeme Smith; opening weekend of the NRL, the lack of people watching it, and some surprise results on field; Round 4 of Super Rugby, with big wins for the Brumbies, Reds, and Force, and some concerns in the other conferences; AFL starts this weekend coming; the now-famous token A-League wrap, and the coming week’s Worst Case Scenario.

Get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod and use the tag #AskTheCheapSeats.