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Author Archive for Andy Bull

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Shooting fiasco makes the Commonwealth Games look silly once again

The organisers of Birmingham 2022 dropped the sport from the schedule but have now reinstated it, 7,000km away in IndiaJon Oliver, on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, runs an occasional series called How Is This Still A Thing? Over the years he has done…

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Cricket still in the dark 20 years after Hansie Cronje’s declaration | Andy Bull

ICC has stepped up the fight but the proliferation of franchise cricket has made the job of stopping corruption even harderIt was, almost everyone agreed, a deft and handsome bit of cricket. Twenty years ago this week, on the fifth day of a dead Test s…

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Dom Sibley’s blunting approach hints a long line of openers has an heir | Andy Bull

Going back to Grace, via Hutton, Boycott and Cook, England have a long history of stoical openers. Dom Sibley’s 133 over 495 minutes in Cape Town suggests an interregnum is overAnxiety, collapses, swing bowlers, off-spinners, tea, and opening batsmen, …

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The Spin | The Hundred will be hangover to cricket year that took the biscuit

Stokes’s Headingley miracle and the World Cup final super over were special but 2019 is likely to be as good as it gets for a whileThere’s something missing from the England and Wales Cricket Board’s financial statements, a hole in between all the inta…

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The Spin | The Hundred will be hangover to cricket year that took the biscuit

Stokes’s Headingley miracle and the World Cup final super over were special but 2019 is likely to be as good as it gets for a whileThere’s something missing from the England and Wales Cricket Board’s financial statements, a hole in between all the inta…

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Jaw-dropping sport moments of 2019: Japan stun Scotland and shake up Rugby World Cup | Andy Bull

Typhoon Hagibis nearly stopped this match from taking place at all. But the Brave Blossoms’ win galvanised the tournamentAnd what did you hear in the silence that fell over Yokohama Stadium before kick-off that Sunday night? Grief and sorrow, yes, for …

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The Spin’s Test team of the decade, from Cook to Anderson via Kohli | Andy Bull

Three Englishmen, three Australians, two from India and South Africa and one from New Zealand make a formidable XIThe 2010s end, like they began, with India top of the world rankings and in between 598 players, from Varun Aaron to Zulqarnain Haider, ha…

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‘We’re calling this the death’s door tour’: cancer and the power of sport | Andy Bull

James Howarth was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014 and told he had six months to live. Five years later he was watching England’s journey to the Rugby World Cup final in JapanIt’s June 2014, and James Howarth is in a waiting room at Orpington hospital. …

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Society and social media alter Spoty contenders’ outlooks | Andy Bull

Raheem Sterling, Lewis Hamilton and Ben Stokes have used social media to fight back against a hostile pressLet’s begin with Bob Nudd. Now, this may seem a strange place to start an article about the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards when the sh…

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Society and social media alter Spoty contenders’ outlooks | Andy Bull

Raheem Sterling, Lewis Hamilton and Ben Stokes have used social media to fight back against a hostile pressLet’s begin with Bob Nudd. Now, this may seem a strange place to start an article about the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards when the sh…

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Platitudes, interviews and sport’s biggest stars: the strange tale of Diego Jokas

Joe Marler’s horse impression made quite a splash – and no wonder given we’re so used to tired cliches that it’s hard to spot when quotes are fakeThree years on, I still find myself thinking about the strange story of Diego Jokas. It came back to me ju…

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Tales from Tokyo: micropig cafes, karaoke regrets and 500,000 fans having fun | Andy Bull

Japan has cultural differences to get used to but is proving a wonderful Rugby World Cup host. Just don’t pick up a micropigSome things you just can’t learn from books. Even the 51-page guide to Japanese manners and customs the local organising committ…

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Rugby World Cup refereeing confusion is hindering drive to grow game | Andy Bull

Mixed messages from officials and disciplinary panels suggests a breakdown in communication as the sport tries to evolveThere is a plaque on the wall at Rugby School, commemorating the exploits of William Webb Ellis, who “with a fine disregard for the …

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Uruguay shock Fiji to pull off historic victory in classic encounter

South Americans collected their first win in 16 yearsFiji staring down an early exit after two lossesThere has never been a World Cup match like the one they played in Kamaishi this bright, blue, Wednesday afternoon, when it felt like every single one …

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Joe Root’s fatigue shows the catch of being a cricketer for all formats | Andy Bull

The England Test captain’s tiredness exposes modern cricket’s faultline – a packed schedule is brilliant for fans but brutal for playersThe weather seemed to turn last week, and the conversation with it. All of a sudden it was autumn and, since what it…

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Jonny Wilkinson: ‘It took a few years for the pressure to really build. And then it exploded’ | Andy Bull

Jonny Wilkinson, England’s World Cup winning fly-half, speaks about his battle with mental illness and why no amount of trophies can ease the pain of depressionIt is October 1999, and a 20-year-old Jonny Wilkinson is sitting on the edge of a bed in Cli…

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Golfers and rugby players show cannabis is going mainstream in sport | Andy Bull

Top golfers take CBD for calmness, while Saracens locks George Kruis and Dominic Day were so impressed with it they launched their own businessThe first time I saw Charley Hoffman play, you would not have looked at him twice. That was at the Masters in…

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Once troubled Ben Stokes now has a summer he will always own | Andy Bull

His career obituary was being written in 2017 but England’s Headingley Ashes hero has become the best version of himselfThe messiest corner of any sports writer’s life is their waste-paper bin. A lot of the time print deadlines are so tight that most o…

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Fast bowlers have not hit a new peak – they’ve just reached a plateau | Andy Bull

There is a school of thought that bowlers such as England’s Jofra Archer are bound to be faster now, simply because of the advances in sport science – reality suggests something differentAt 96mph the ball travels from the bowler to the batsman in the b…

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Anger is an energy, and Dale Steyn rode the furious wave to greatness | Andy Bull

An insult on his ODI debut from Ricky Ponting inspired the firebrand bowler to become a living legend of cricketThe first time Dale Steyn bowled to Ricky Ponting, he was a 22-year-old kid playing his very first game of 50-over cricket for South Africa….