Something From The Weekend: Tatenda Taibu; Kevin Blom; The non-flying Romanian
The Good, The Bad and The Odd
Monday 05 September 2011
The Good: Tatenda Taibu
For those bored by the predictability of England's new-found cricketing excellence, there is a very different and rather more rewarding story taking place in Harare. Zimbabwe returned to Test cricket last month after six absent years, beating Bangladesh comfortably. Next up, Pakistan, whose attack led by Saeed Ajmal has ripped through the hosts. The sole resistance has come from wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu, still in with one day left, bravely keeping Zimbabwe in the game while as his partners are picked off. Taibu may not see it out, but his commitment to what has until recently been an unserious cricket team is inspiring. Andy Flower may have moved on to a very different cricketing challenge, but his archetype endures.
The Bad: Kevin Blom
What a shame for the home nations, as a collective, that those that did not need to win did so, while those for whom it was a necessity could not. And while the two Irish teams can blame the errors of Steven Davis and Robbie Keane, the Scots once again found themselves the victims of imprecise officiating. Kevin Blom, the Dutch referee, first awarded the Czech Republic a penalty after Jan Rezek's bent-knee, arched-back Platoon parody. Minutes later Christophe Berra was tripped in the box, and booked for his troubles. But these were mere mistakes. What is even less acceptable is Blom reportedly telling Berra to "eff off" earlier in the match. Respect works both ways, as a dissapointed Kenny Miller pointed out afterwards.
The Odd: The non-flying Romanian
Bravery, and its opposite, comes in a range of forms. Fear and fearlessness are not uniform. That, surely, must be the lesson of Romania wing Catalin Fercu's refusal to go to the Rugby World Cup because of a fear of flying. Fercu (above) must certainly be brave in his way, having 52 times faced the physical and mental examination of Test rugby on the wing. But this particular challenge was, unfortunately, beyond him. Not that those players who did fly to New Zealand necessarily see it like that. "I would say more than half the team are angry at him, not just disappointed," snapped vice-captain Cristian Petre.
Latest in Sport
Tour de France 2015: Five riders abandon race after enormous crash on Stage 3
Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
Memphis Depay's squad number revealed as he trains with Manchester United for the first time... but is it cursed?
Nick Kyrgios supporters who smeared Vegemite on their face questioned by Serena Williams
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 4 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
- 5 Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£12500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This accounting practice is looking for ...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To work within the Visitor Experience Departm...