The Seven Network, in a joint bid with Foxtel, have won the rights to broadcast Cricket Australia fixtures for the next six years. However, fans of cricket have received the news with a mixed reception after it was revealed that One Day International fixtures would be exclusive to Foxtel and, in order to save costs, Basil Zempilas will be made host of everything on the network.
Zempilas is already juggling co-hosting duties on Weekend Sunrise with AFL commentating duties, as well as reading the news for Seven Perth. Most recently he has featured during the network’s Commonwealth Games coverage as main commentator at the swimming events, and has commentated the Australian Open tennis while also taking on the Master of Ceremonies on-court position.
It is expected that Zempilas will be added to the cricket commentary team ahead of this summer’s coverage to keep costs minimal in lieu of adding more knowledgeable and experienced cricket personalities.
Similar strategies are expected to be employed over the Seven Network’s other key programs.
Long-running soap Home and Away is expected to drop the axe on Ray Meagher who has famously played character ‘Alf Stewart’ since the show’s inception. Fans of Stewart can expect to see the character continue, however, with Zempilas affecting a more broadly Australian accent and recounting the character’s famous catch-phrases, such as ‘flamin’ galahs’, ‘flamin’ mongrels’ and ‘flamin’ mongrel galahs’.
Zempilas is also expected to replace, not only one but, both presenters of the Seven Network’s prized property My Kitchen Rules. While existing hosts Manu Feildel and Pete Evans both bring unique qualities to their roles, the Seven Network is confident that Zempilas can replicate the best of what both have to offer. It is said that, for Feildel’s role, Zempilas will talk in an offensively slurred French accent and for Evans he will just open his eyes unnaturally wide.
Finally, Zempilas will take over from Brynne Edelsten on Brynne: My Bedazzled Life. No cosmetic or character changes will be necessary.
Foxtel have not announced any of their presenters at this stage. Kevin Pietersen is not expected to play any part.
GILLESPIE WILL ENCOURAGE SANDPAPERING LEATHER FROM CRICKET BALLS IF HIRED AS AUSTRALIAN COACH TO REPLACE WITH ‘VEGAN ALTERNATIVE’
Former Australian test cricketer and current coach of Sussex, Jason Gillespie, has announced that if hired as Darren Lehmann’s replacement as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team, he will further encourage the use of sandpaper on cricket balls saying that Cameron Bancroft ‘didn’t go far enough’.
Speaking exclusively to ASW Gillespie, who is one of a handful of candidates touted as possible replacements for the outgoing Lehmann, revealed that ball tampering would be one of his main priorities.
“People are angry at Bancroft because he tried to remove the shine from the cricket ball with sandpaper. I’m angry at him because he didn’t remove the leather all together,” said Gillespie, an ethical vegan.
“The shine on a cricket ball is made with shellac, which is produced by lac bugs, so Cameron was already on the right track by removing that, but to not go all the way is criminal.
“If I were appointed coach I’d make Australia sandpaper the leather from each and every cricket ball and replace it with compacted, fermented soybean. I’d call it ball tempeh-ring.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Gillespie had flown in the face of cricket tradition to maintain his vegan principles. In 2004, in a Test against New Zealand, Gillespie replaced all the bowlers’ baggy green caps with replicas made of hemp, to protest the use of sheep’s wool. Shane Warne and Michael Kasprowicz each took four wickets in the first innings, while Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie each made half-centuries with the bat.
Gillespie says he may re-introduce the hemp caps if appointed coach.
“I would have kept the hemp cap tradition going back then, because they were so successful, but Warney smoked them all.”
Cricket Australia are expected to announce their decision on the soon vacant position in the coming weeks.
Hours after Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland announced that Darren Lehmann would be retained as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team after recent ball-tampering controversies, Stalag 13 commander Kommandant Colonel Wilhelm Klink has held a press conference to announce that Sergeant Lehmann would also be kept on as a Nazi guard.
Speculation has grown in recent days that Sergeant Lehmann had involvement in the recent escape efforts from the famed Nazi P.O.W. camp and that his position as the main guard on duty was in jeopardy.
Video footage was captured of several prisoners, including Colonel Robert Hogan, concealing contraband materials in their underwear, potentially to be used in escape efforts. Further damning footage was seen that appeared to show Sergeant Lehmann using a Feldfu A1 radio transceiver to warn Corporal Louis LeBeau that they were under suspicion in exchange for his delicious apple crumb cake.
When asked by ASW directly after the allegations were raised whether there was any truth to the rumours, Sergeant Lehmann strongly denied involvement.
“I see nothing!” said Lehmann defiantly.
“I hear nothing! I know nothing!” he continued, apple crumb cake still on his chin.
Colonel Klink accepted Lehmann’s denial of any knowledge of the escape plan and said that he was looking forward to continuing to work with Sergeant Lehmann.
“Like Sutherland before me, I believe him when he says he had no involvement,” said Klink.
“Now we just have to get down to the business of eating apple crumb cake together…I mean…running an efficient Nazi prisoner camp together.”
Lehmann’s next immediate duty will be in his position as Australian cricket coach, with the fourth Test against South Africa due to begin on the 30th of March.
Nathan Lyon has enjoyed another impressive home Ashes Test series taking 21 wickets and moving closer towards overtaking Nelly Yoa as Australia’s leading wicket-taking off-spinner.
The Ashes series concluded yesterday with Australia claiming victory in the final Test at the SCG, with the series 4-0 in Australia’s favour.
Lyon’s 21 wickets takes his career tally to 290 Test wickets, putting the former member of Adelaide Oval’s groundstaff to within 400 wickets of Yoa’s famous tally of 687.
Lyon’s 21 wickets also included the dismissal of Moeen Ali seven times, a feat which sees Lyon join Clarrie Grimmett as the only Australians to dismiss the same batsman seven times in a five Test series.
It is unlikely that Lyon will reach Yoa’s legendary figure, but the player nicknamed ‘GOATBY’ (Greatest Of All Time Besides Yoa) says he is happy just to be mentioned in the same breath.
“Just to be associated with Nelly is an honour,” said Lyon.
“You’ve got to remember that while Yoa was playing for Australia he was also juggling his commitments as Carlton (Football Club)’s full forward, and fly-half for the Wallabies. It puts him in another echelon.
“Still, I’ve always felt an affinity with Nelly, what with us both coming from unorthodox backgrounds. Me as a groundskeeper before I was plucked out of nowhere, and Yoa as an astronaut on the International Space Station.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, speaking to ASW, was quick to shower praise on Lyon after Australia’s Ashes victory.
“I called Nathan after the series to congratulate him and the team on their performance which has made this country very proud. He and the team can hold their heads up high,” said the PM.
When asked if he thought Lyon would ever surpass Yoa’s tally, the PM replied jokingly “I hope not! I’d never hear the end of it. We need Yoa to be focusing on the job I’ve given him – negotiating a peaceful resolution in the Israel-Palestine conflict.”
For fans of both off-spinners, Lyon is scheduled to appear on Nelly Yoa’s television chat show Yoa Joking! on Friday on the Nine Network.
England are expected to hit back in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia in Melbourne tomorrow after getting a big bag of ‘intent’ from Santa Claus for Christmas.
Australia, who have won the first three Tests of the five-Test series and regained the Ashes, have been consistently cited as showing superior ‘intent’ during the series by commentators, fellow players and coaches alike.
Steve Smith praised Mitch Marsh’s intent during his maiden test century in Perth, while it was Smith’s own intent that Michael Clarke claimed helped Smith to his double century in the same innings.
England captain Joe Root, who is under fire for a series of underwhelming performances on the tour, signalled his intent to ask Father Christmas for more intent after hearing pundit Shane Warne use the word eight times in a single sentence.
“It’s obvious that on home soil it’s easier for the Australians because they can cultivate their own home-grown intent, or even store some spare intent at the ground. They have an abundance of intent,” said Root.
“For a touring squad it’s much harder as Australian customs are intent on preventing the import of intent, and the exchange rate on intent is terrible if we were to get it here, especially since Brexit.
“That’s why I put the call out at Christmas for some extra intent from Santa, and a really fast bike.”
Following Root’s plea, Father Christmas is said to have delivered 18 metres of intent, as well as a sick BMX. It is alleged that batsman Alastair Cook was spotted popping a wheelie with a line of intent trailing out of his back pocket in St Kilda this afternoon.
Upon hearing the news that he may have inspired the beginnings of an English comeback, Shane Warne was not prepared to take responsibility.
“Root reckons he got the idea of intent from me, but our boys have shown intent all through the series. You just had to see Steve Smith’s intent in his double ton, or Shaun Marsh’s intent in his century in the Second Test, or even Hazlewood’s intent in his five wickets in the Third Test,” said Warne.
“If people blame me for giving them the idea, well, that wasn’t my intent.
"Plus, Kevin Pietersen has used the word 'intent' more than me. To be fair, though, he's used every word more than everyone."
The Fourth Test kicks off tomorrow, December 26, at the MCG.