Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Waiting for standard time

This Saturday, sunrise in Sydney will occur at a later time by local clocks than on any other day this year. For the last few years, daylight saving hasn't ended until the first weekend in April, and hasn't begun until the first weekend in October, when we have the earliest sunrise of the year.

I can't see the point of this. Now that I appreciate the idea of daylight saving at all, I think the current set up is slightly better than the previous dates, where changes happened at the same time that Europe went the other way. However, where daylight saving is observed in both Europe and Australia/NZ, the times use seem to fit in with the solar pattern with unnecessary asymmetry.

I think it would be an improvement to move both changes forward a week. The only downside is that the spring adjustment will no longer fall on a long weekend, but that only happens in two states and a territory anyway. The return to standard time will also be less likely to coincide with Easter (as it does this year), but that's hardly a bad thing. There's certainly not enough reasons to outweigh the ridiculously late sunrises this week.

Mind you, even things I don't like can have a positive side. On Thursday morning I will appreciate the fact that a US-hosted webinar is on at 4am rather than 3am Sydney time!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Expansion teams

The announcement of two new IPL franchises sounds familiar, and while the process is much less drawn out in this case, can we draw any parallels with the AFL's expansion?

While Fremantle and Port Adelaide have been around long enough now, the IPL has accepted a second team in a cricketing heartland state (Pune). However, they have also taken on a "Western Sydney" expansion area 'not known for cricket' (Kochi). The apparently deserving alternative of "Tasmania" has been left out (Ahmedabad), perhaps continuing to supply fans for teams from neighbouring state(s), especially "Hawthorn", who play some games there (Rajasthan).

Of course, these analogies are far from perfect: The IPL (thankfully) has no Victorian roots. It might be a more realistic depiction of the relative populations, and (probably only slightly) fairer to Kochi's cricketing heritage to align them with the Gold Coast. While the Chargers this year might look like the homeless Kangaroos of old, some might think that designation would also fit Warne's Royals better than that of the Hawks. But does that make Ahmedabad the Gold Coast? I'm getting confused...

My point (other than being entertained by my own confusion) is that it's interesting how quite different mechanisms of decision making (both directed at making money, it should be said) have led to similarly disputed choices when it comes to expansion. Having said that, my colleague from Ahmedabad isn't concerned with the news at all - the whole thing seems safer ground than looking at the leagues' respective approaches to providing players for the new teams!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Sledging bingles

A NZ ex-cricketer, cricket CEO and cricketer have come out saying that sledging Michael Clarke over his bingle/bungle (Kiwis can't tell the difference, after all) in his relationship. That hardly brought a response, but somewhere in there teammate Michael Hussey opined that it would indeed be "going a bit too far", and that brought on comments galore.

There's a lesson in that.

While still looking for lessons on sledging, isn't it interesting how these stories tend to prompt writers to include the stock list of all-time famous sledges? Isn't it even more interesting that nearly all of them aren't in the list because of the original sledge, but for the response?

Friday, 5 March 2010

Howard embraces ICC-speak

I have spent most of the last 10 years studying, mainly mathematics. This explains why I haven't had all sorts of experience that might be considered useful for all sorts of positions. The experience I have had might be just as useful for some of these positions, and for others is might even be more appropriate, but whenever missing skills are considered important, I can't simply say that I couldn't have pursued them and completed my studies at the same time!

John Howard has no experience in cricket administration. It's not hard to find arguments for his appointment on the grounds that his experience is at least as good for the ICC vice-president's position (if it matters). His reply, on the other hand is simply to point out that we know what he was doing instead:
''I think the fact I haven't been involved in cricket administration is explained by the fact I had a day job which made that rather difficult."

All I can say is that he clearly has skill in giving completely irrelevant response. He is a good fit for the ICC!