Another few weeks passes, and with it we’ve seen the return of Ronaldo to Manchester United, Dame Sarah Storey defy belief to become Great Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian, and the long-awaited return of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League…
Nice and quiet then.
Anderson & Age
When you think of the signs of summer, most think of blazing sunshine, verdant gardens and burnt BBQs, but for others there’s only one true indicator; James Anderson bowling, and taking countless wickets, in a England international Test Match, such has been his regularity and consistency.
At 39 years of age, Anderson looks as good as he ever has done. He’s tormented in Indian batsmen in this series, has now far surpassed 600 wickets, and is without question statistically the greatest fast bowler in history. For the romantics among us, we hope it’ll go on forever. But for the cynics, they know it must end one day.
Anderson is now just 10 months off his 40th birthday - a landmark for many - and while both his talent and work ethic have been unrelenting, injuries have started to creep in recent years. England’s fast bowling stocks are currently depleted through injuries, his long-term bowling partner Stuart Broad has recently been sidelined with a calf injury, and this has increased the noise around Anderson’s long-term fitness and future, at the same time the team’s reliance on him has increased.
Of course, as we’re seeing in the US with Tom Brady, athletes are looking after themselves far better than those before them, and it’s unquestioned that soon athletes playing in to their early 40s will become the norm. However, Anderson is clearly a consummate professional, and - as we all would be - reluctant to give up his long love. One only hopes mother time doesn’t intervene, and if it does, he has achieved the remaining items of his cricketing bucket-list.
In a recent feature, we discussed the myriad challenges that are faced when insuring an Olympic Games; the transport of kit and equipment, the personal injury risks, the possibility of repatriation.
You can read that one here.
Well, imagine all of those challenges and double them, and you have somewhere close to an idea of what it takes to cover a Paralympic Games. What an incredible journey Team GB has been on in Tokyo - landing 2nd in the medal table - and a big shout out to those who helped insure them to get there.
Racism Rears Its Head Again
England international football was back, and once again racism reared its ugly head as Hungarian fans pelted goalscorer Raheem Sterling with drinks, cups, and abuse from the stands - truly disgusting scenes.
Raheem, however, stood firm and The FA have both condemned the Hungarian Football Association and referred the incident to FIFA.
It is, however, a stark reminder of the new challenges that face modern footballers - particularly around online abuse - and one they need to take seriously throughout their careers. Of course, racism and hate speech in any form is deplorable, but the mental health implications of dealing with it are only just becoming known.
One to - sadly - continue to monitor.
The Hundred and FAWSL
Finally, in much happier news, the FA Women’s Super League is back, and what a brilliant sight it is to see that league get such a fantastic platform on Sky and BBC.
With that platform, brings an increase in profile, and we’ll be writing much more about that – and in particularly throughout cricket – in an upcoming piece.
Keep your eyes peeled.