WELL the Ashes have now finished and Australia has successfully returned the urn to where it belongs. I have rated all players from the series:
David Warner- 8: Had a great series and got the Aussies off to a great start in most tests. Cameron Bancroft - 4.5: Didn't produce when needed and now will find his position in jeopardy Usman Khawaja - 7.5: Started the Ashes slow but really found form in the last few Tests. Steve Smith - 10: this man is no doubt the best player in the world and is the closest thing we have seen to anyone in Bradman form. Shaun Marsh - 8: Was controversially included before the start of the Ashes but silenced a lot of critics with some tradesman-like knocks. Mitch Marsh - 8: Like his brother, was a shock inclusion but was given another chance and took it with both hands. Tim Paine - 8.5: His glove work was top class and produced with the bat when needed. Mitchell Starc - 8.5: Our number one spearhead, and scariest to the Poms in the 4 Tests he played. Pat Cummins - 8.5: Bowled quick and stayed injury free and showed his batting was pretty good also. Josh Hazelwood - 9: Was the Aussies' best bowler throughout the Ashes; great length, great line and reaped 21 wickets. Nathan Lyon - 9: Is a world class spinner and once again the English had no answers to him. Peter Handscomb -3: Got first opportunity but failed to deliver and subsequently was dropped. Jackson Bird - 2: Played one Test but failed to take a wicket on the lifeless MCG pitch.
Darts champ calls time
THE world of darts said good bye to the greatest player of our time in Phil "The Power” Taylor. Taylor has set records that may never be broken, like winning 216 professional titles and 16 World Championships. Phil announced his retirement plans recently but it didn't stop him making it to the final of his last competitive tournament. Unfortunately he just couldn't get the job done losing to an up and coming star in Rob Cross. Local players have had the pleasure to see him recently with Phil in Brisbane the last two days in the Pro Darts showdown. If you missed him then you still have a chance to witness the champ for the last time on the Gold Coast this weekend.
Show us more, Nick
NICK Kyrgios has turned the corner and won his first ATP event and Australia should now all embrace him. Well I am here to tell you that it will take more then winning the Brisbane three-set event against no Grand Slam winners before the public will take any interest. He has a huge chance to rectify some of his past with a strong disciplined performance at the upcoming Australian Open. He is no doubt a prodigious talent but his demeanour on the court at times is plain disgraceful. Let's hope we see a new Nick Kyrgios this year that we can cheer on in the future.
HERO OF THE WEEK
THE name Alex De Minaur is new to us but the up and coming 18-year-old tennis player is doing all the right things. He made the semis in Brisbane and has continued his great form in Sydney. He is currently ranked 167 but on current form will rise up the rankings fast this year.
VILLIAN OF THE WEEK
THE third umpire in the recent Brisbane Heat clash. How could he get it so wrong with the decision to rule that Alex Ross had obstructed the field. A crazy decision.
DID YOU KNOW
INDIAN Cricketer Bapu Nadcarni holds the record for bowling the most consecutive maiden overs. Bapu bowled an astonishing 21 in a Test match in 1963/64 against England. He finished with figures of 32-27-5-0.
IT'S Magic Millions Day tomorrow at the Gold Coast and the favourite in the 3yo Classic Pierata will simply just win.