Wanted: Irishmen to hit a ball with a stick
Hold The Back Page: The Last Word
The elevation of Ireland to the fold of Test cricket playing nations is a magnificent achievement for those involved in playing, promoting and supporting the game here. Compare the position of cricket in our sporting hierarchy to that it occupies in the other Test nations and what's happened seems almost unbelievable. To have become credible candidates with such limited player numbers speaks volumes about the calibre of those involved.
So where do we go from here? The hope must be that Ireland's new status will mean that in the future outstanding prospects like Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce will declare for their home country rather than opting for England. And also that Test matches on Irish soil will raise the profile of the game to the extent it becomes part of the mainstream. The chances of Irish cricket making a significant splash at Test level will depend on its success in spreading the game outside its traditional heartlands. We may have missed out on a Henry Shefflin-Brendan Cummins opening partnership but some of their county men may yet grab the opportunity.
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Wrestling promoters are always keen to find bad guys whose villainy will strike a chord with the target audience. So it's perhaps not surprising to find that The Progressive Liberal is currently wowing the fans of Kentucky's Appalachian Mountain Wrestling Programme.
This bad guy's shtick includes wearing a cape covered in photos of Hillary Clinton into the ring and shouting at the crowd, "I want to exchange your bullets for bullet points of knowledge". His killer move is known as The Liberal Agenda. TPL's creator is Daniel Harnsberger, a 36-year-old who'd been on the circuit for a few years before coming up with the idea.
It's been a big success as The Progressive Liberal inspires hatred everywhere he goes. Reports that he's enlisted Fintan O'Toole as a tag team partner could not be confirmed at the time of going to press though with lines like, "You all identify with country music because it's slow and it's simple and it's boring like each and every one of you," he'd surely be a big hit in Castleblayney and Drumlish.
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Gutsy comeback of the year award goes to Petra Kvitova. Just six months ago the two-time Wimbledon winner's career looked to be in jeopardy when an intruder broke into her home in the Czech Republic and attacked her with a knife, badly damaging tendons and nerves in the player's left hand.
Kvitova still hasn't recovered full power in the damaged hand but that didn't stop her from winning the Aegon Classic final last Sunday. Her form in the tournament, only Kvitova's second after her injury, was impressive enough to see her become favourite for Wimbledon. It would be some fairytale. With Johanna Konta having a shot at becoming the first home winner since Virginia Wade in 1977, the women's singles looks like being more intriguing than ever.
Sunday Indo Sport