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Author Archive for Andy Bull

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Ireland’s moment in the sun comes just as it is setting on Test cricket

Malahide on Saturday saw the first Irish Test XI take to the field, against Pakistan, but the game was far from a sellout and they have only 16 more Tests planned for the next five yearsNorth Richmond Street, being blind, is a quiet street. There is no…

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Wicketz takes its pastoral initiative to a fertile space in Hartlepool | Andy Bull

Lord’s Taverners project has been introduced in 16 areas and is making great strides in integrating mixed communities as well as teaching young people Britain’s summer sportThe first time Cole Pearce came to Lynnfield school in Hartlepool, the children…

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Caster Semenya and the IAAF: if the science is wrong, the ruling is wrong | Andy Bull

The case is complex but demanding some female athletes lower their testosterone levels was a big call, yet seems to be a debatable conclusion to reach based on a questionable studyThey say there are six tics that tell you when someone’s bluffing. When …

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IAAF accused of ‘blatant racism’ over new testosterone level regulations

• Rules will impact on world 800m champion Caster Semenya• Minister says regulations designed to ‘disadvantage’ South AfricanThe IAAF has been accused of “blatant racism” by the ruling party of South Africa, the African National Congress, over its new …

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Australia ball-tampering scandal may be a reality check, says Mickey Arthur

• They have paid a big price already, says Mickey Arthur• Pakistan visit involves a Test in Ireland and two in EnglandMickey Arthur hopes that Australia’s recent ball-tampering scandal will be “a reality check for world cricket” that makes everybody “s…

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Cricket for idiots: there are 100 reasons not to like the ECB’s big idea | Andy Bull

The Hundred is a baffling move from the ECB: an idea no one in cricket likes, and no one outside cricket knows they wantEach county ground has its own soundtrack, subtly distinct from every other. So at the Oval, there are the schoolchildren playing ov…

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Patrick Reed found a way to cope with the pressure and Rory McIlroy did not | Andy Bull

After a nervous start for both on the final round of the Masters the Texan settled to play his game but McIlroy’s challenge diedThey say a Green Jacket costs around $250, though no one who knows will confirm that. Money talks in Augusta, same as anywhe…

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Why did Smith and Bancroft have to front up, only to break down? | Andy Bull

It is not clear who benefited from all the weeping in the fall-out of the Australia ball-tampering scandal but not the playersFive days deep into the scandal the Australia team finally hit bottom. Their coach has quit, their two openers are banned and …

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Swift and severe punishment for Smith and co but questions remain | Andy Bull

Cricket Australia has come down hard on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft but tampergate will not end hereThe harder you step in mess, the more it spreads. Last Saturday Cricket Australia found a flaming bag of the stuff on its doorstep an…

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Steve Smith is enveloped in a perfect storm of cricket’s distant ideal | Andy Bull

Australia ball-tampering scandal is a brew of dishonesty, hypocrisy, public fervour and tarnished pride that has inadvertently proved the Spirit of Cricket is still aliveThey say one of the early signs of a tsunami is the distant roar of the coming wat…

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You weigh Kevin Pietersen’s game by the memories you are left with | Andy Bull

The ex-England batsman made more moments you can still see in your mind when you close your eyes than any other postwar English player but for Ian Botham and Denis ComptonIt was Richie Benaud’s rule that “if you can add to what’s on the screen do it, o…

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Jacob Stockdale in a rush to make mark on Ireland record books | Andy Bull

The 21-year-old wing has scored 10 tries in his first eight Tests and one more against England will break Six Nations recordJacob Stockdale remembers well the first time he saw Ireland play live. But then it was not so long ago. His father took him to …

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The sound of silence: when will common sense prevail over music at live sport? | Andy Bull

Cricket, rugby and even NBA basketball games have been turning down the volume and while some sports need it, others should know where to draw the lineSports marketing must be a fiendishly difficult job. It has to be, because so many people are so bad …

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Jacques Brunel has brought France together, but can he bring success? | Andy Bull

Brunel took the job nobody wanted by succeeding Guy Novès and has lifted the gloom but now needs results, starting against England in ParisBack in 2009, Jacques Brunel made a bet with his players at Perpignan. If they won the championship that season, …

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Sebastian Coe should follow Roger Bannister’s lead for athletics legacy | Andy Bull

With the Heritage Collection the IAAF wants to yoke the sport’s present to its glorious past but there was an aspect missing from the president’s speech at the launchAt midday last Sunday, Sebastian Coe launched the IAAF’s scheme to get people interest…

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Laura Muir reveals frosty relationship with rival Genzebe Dibaba

• Coach linked to Dibaba arrested in 2016 after discovery of EPO• ‘It is what it is. All I can do is concentrate on my performances’Laura Muir has revealed how uneasy she feels about racing Genzebe Dibaba, who beat her twice in the world indoor champio…

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Laura Muir reveals frosty relationship with rival Genzebe Dibaba

• Coach linked to Dibaba arrested in 2016 after discovery of EPO• ‘It is what it is. All I can do is concentrate on my performances’Laura Muir has revealed how uneasy she feels about racing Genzebe Dibaba, who beat her twice in the world indoor champio…

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Townsend’s ‘Toonie flip’ brilliance lives on in Scotland’s x-factor rugby | Andy Bull

Scotland’s win against England was made possible because their coach has fashioned a team who take risks as he didYou’re not supposed to throw slow, floated 20-yard passes off your left hand when you’re standing on your own 22. It’s something sensible …

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Facts can be stranger than fiction when it comes to failing drug tests | Andy Bull

Athletes are becoming more susceptible to being spiked and more prone to outlandish explanations if the recent case of a couple of Japanese kayakers is anything to go byThere are all manner of reasons why an athlete might fail a drug test and it seems …

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Champagne on ice: the mystery and myths behind Dutch skating success

Dutch fans take great pleasure in attempts to make sense of their dominance, particularly the frozen-canals theoryNicholas Tomalin reckoned that the three qualities a journalist needs to succeed are rat-like cunning, a plausible manner and a little lit…