'Random' intruder caps a crazy day for Cowan

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The Independent Online

Police arrested a man who broke into the home of Australia cricketer Ed Cowan, a day after he was named as an opener for the first Test against India in Melbourne starting on Boxing Day.

Police said the man barricaded himself inside a bedroom and held police at bay for more than four hours, saying he had a gun, before they stormed the home and arrested him. They later said he had not been armed.

The 29-year-old Cowan, who was in Melbourne with the rest of the team, grew up in the house in Darling Point in eastern Sydney.

His father, Richard Cowan, said the cricket announcement coupled with the intrusion had made for an "eventful 24 hours", but that the events did not appear connected. "It was very random and the man had no idea whose house it was," Richard Cowan said. "It was a minor matter and no one got hurt. To have this happen has spoilt the day, but that's life."

The arrested man was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital for assessment, but no charges were filed. Superintendent Jason Joyce said it was a difficult situation. "[The man] did make threats," Joyce said. "He was locked away in the bedroom, so it was difficult to know whether he was armed."

Bronze statue for Warne is worth weight

Shane Warne cuts a svelte figure these days but his time as a more rotund player was recalled when a bronze statue of the spinner was unveiled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The 42-year-old's 708 Test wickets earned him a place outside the MCG in his home city. "It's 300 kilos that statue, it's pretty lifelike for when I played," Warne joked.