Malcolm Conn is a big fan of Shane Warne the cricketer, but not, it seems, of Shane Warne the bloke:
THE Ricky Ponting-Brett Lee spat may have looked bad but this is the most unified Australian team in more than a decade because Shane Warne is not playing.
Warne is probably second only to Bradman as the greatest Australian cricketer of all time and he is being sorely missed on the field, but this rebuilding team can do without his dark mutterings and long knives.
Malcolm goes on to accuse him of being a monumental white-ant.
Any history? Well, back in 1998, Conn discovered the connections between Mark Waugh and John the Bookie, which subsequently revealed Warne's involvement, and their hushed-up fine by CricAussie. He then ran hard throughout the next few years, never missing a chance to bring up the affair.
In December 1998, prior to the Third Test between Australia and England at the Adelaide Oval, the journalist Malcolm Conn from The Australian was uncovering the story of "John", a report for which he was to win a Walkley Award for journalism. On December 8, three days before the start of the Test, Conn informed the CEO of the ACB, Malcolm Speed that he was going to reveal the details of a cover-up concerning the secret fines imposed on Waugh for his involvement with John. Conn was not aware that Warne was also involved. The ACB responded to this by pre-empting Conn and releasing a statement that two unnamed players had been fined in 1994–95 for having financial dealings with bookmakers. Later in the evening, Test cricketer turned sports broadcaster David Hookes named Waugh and Warne on Melbourne radio station 3AW. The next day, Conn's story was released.
Coincidentally, Rat Malik, who stood accused of offering bribes to Warne & Waugh and was later found guilty of match fixing, was today let off by a Pakistan court:
Pakistan court has overturned a life ban against Salim Malik, the former Test captain, that was imposed for alleged involvement in match fixing.
Malik was banned following a lengthy inquiry in 2001 after Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May accused him of offering them bribes to underperform on Australia's tour of Pakistan in 1994.
Judge Malik Mohammad Altaf today overturned the ban after hearing Malik's appeal at Lahore's Civil Court.
"I am relieved," Malik said. "I have served cricket for 19 years and today I feel vindicated. Now I can live a peaceful life and can do coaching which I badly wanted."
All too serious? A joke then:
November 12, 2007
THE joy of Australia's utter domination after such a dramatic loss of star personnel can only magnify concerns about the state of world cricket.
Greg Chappell said alarm bells should have started ringing around the globe when Australia won a third successive World Cup and, for the second time, went through undefeated. "There is a huge void in the game," Chappell told The Australian last week.
History says that Australia has never played more entertaining Test cricket. It would be even more fun if it came with more regular competition. The game needs it.