On the Front Foot: Chappell brothers face chop and The Don's in danger as stands are renamed
Sunday 14 November 2010
So, farewell then George Giffen, Sir Edwin Smith and perhaps the brothers Chappell. And who knows, Don Bradman himself. All may become victims of the grand refurbishment of the Adelaide Oval. The Western Grandstand has been completed at a cost of £80 million and more development will soon take place at the best cricket arena in Australia. It means some of the old stands will disappear and need to be renamed. The issue is complicated by the fact that in future the ground will be shared with Aussie Rules. Horse trading is now going on between the sports about who should be commemorated where. For years, the names mentioned above have been dotted round the various stands. Giffen was the first great Australiaall-rounder and his name has always been above the dressing room. It is difficult to see Ian and Greg Chappell surviving if the stand named after them on the east side is demolished. Similarly, even The Don himself is at risk because there is now a Bradman Museum at the ground. Not only will footballers come into the equation but also South Australian cricketers of recent vintage such as Darren Lehmann and Jason Gillespie. Poor Edwin Smith, whose charmingly ramshackle stand once dominated the west side of the ground, seems certain to be a casualty. Pity, because, as mayor of Adelaide, he helped develop the city in the late 19th century, overseeing the construction of many splendid buildings. The Cathedral End is being protected from development, which means the legendary view of St Peter's and the most famous scorebox in the world will remain.
Aussie selectors go South
Adelaide has cornered the market on the Australian selection panel. Three of the four members live in the city – the chairman, Andrew Hilditch,the national talent manager, Greg Chappell, and the South Australia director of cricket, Jamie Cox. The fourth member is David Boon, from Tasmania. It was to Adelaide that Bradman famously jumped ship from New South Wales in the 1930s and stayed there for the rest of his life. But it is still remarkable that so many selectors are holed up in the same place. The old centres of NSW and Victoria now have no representatives after the recent sacking from the panel of Merv Hughes.
Pietersen has a stiff upper (hairy) lip
Kevin Pietersen appears to be the only England cricketer growing a moustache for the month of "Movember". It is a luxuriant but short number. Several Australian cricketers are growing hair on their upper lip for the charitable cause, designed to raise money for male illnesses such as prostate cancer. They include Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle, whose light-blond hair means it may be an uphill struggle.
Barmy Army are AWOL
The weakness of the pound and strength of the Aussie dollar is having a profound effect on ticket sales. Australia had budgeted for legion upon legion of England fans but numbers are said to be 50 per cent down on 2006. "We were hoping more Poms would come but it isn't happening," said a South Australian official. At least it should give Australian supporters, who protested last time that there were too many England fans, a chance to fill the spaces.
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