Hold The Back Page: 01/01/2011

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It's a big weekend for...

Gary Anderson

Simon Whitlock, John Part and James Wade are all out, Raymond van Barneveld has reached the quarter-finals almost by default; the hopes of the "Anyone But Taylor" set at this year's World Darts Championship have been poured into a new vessel: Gary Anderson.

The tattooed Scot has been responsible for some obscene high-scoring thus far: he averaged 103 in the first round, 103 against Dennis Priestley in the second and then a Christ-like 108 in the third as he eviscerated Andy "The Pie Man" Smith, in a 4-0 win that lasted just 16 legs. He should overcome Van Barneveld in tonight's quarter-final, and may well deny Phil Taylor his 16th title on Monday.

And a testing moment to be...

Michael Clarke

Elevating the vice-captain when the skipper is out ought to be uncontroversial. But the Australians' decision to do exactly that for the Sydney Test has Australians anxious about the team's direction. They want a return to the competitive ethos that made the team great; instead, they got the wag-chasing, metrosexual "Pup" Michael Clarke. There is a sense that the cussed Anzac spirit, so nurtured by Steve Waugh, does not shape and define Clarke quite as much as it might. In 2009 Clarke was attacked by Simon Katich for showing insufficient respect to the team's victory song, due to Pup's preference for seeing his rather appealing fiancée. If Australia want their essence back, Mike Hussey or Brad Haddin might have been wiser choices.

Plus the stories you may have missed

Charity at Cheltenham

Cheltenham racecourse is offering free entry today to all those with Australian passports, out of sympathy given recent events. "It's the least we can do," said Edward Gillespie, the managing director.

Already better than Heskey

Video has emerged of Benjamin Aguero Maradona (son of Sergio, grandson of Diego) playing football. At 22 months he can already trap the ball, which is more than some members of England's World Cup squad could manage.

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