Archive for August, 2018 | Monthly archive page

Match fixing in tennis: The various ways to fix a match

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

The fix is in 

Tennis is thought to be a popular target for match fixers because there are only two players involved and, given many matches are decided by a few crucial points, it is reasonably straightforward to “influence” the result.

There are several ways to “fix” a whole match, the score or even particular points.  Game changerNikolay Davydenko at the Australian Open in 2010. Photo: Joe Armao

The infamous Martin Vassallo Arguello v Nikolay Davydenko​ match was played in Sopot, Poland in August 2007.

The suspicion was that both players were involved. The match was investigated but the players were not sanctioned. Martin Arguello, of Argentina, at the 2009 Australian Open. Photo: Mark Dadswell

What happened: World number 87 Vassallo Arguello was backed from $6 into $1.51 favourite with online bookmaker Betfair before the match and was still a hot favourite “in running” despite Davydenko winning the first set.

At 2-6, 2-1 in the second set, Vassallo Arguello was trading on Betfair at $1.06 – the odds of a virtual certainty – despite still being a set down.

Davydenko pulled out injured in the deciding third set. About $10 million was traded on the match. Betfair, whose rules state it pays out on incomplete matches, voided all bets after consulting with integrity investigators. Some of sport’s major betting scandals

1919 BASEBALL WORLD SERIES Dubbed the “Black Sox Scandal”, eight players from the White Sox accepted payment from New York gangster Arnold Rothstein​ in exchange for throwing matches in the series against the Cincinnati Reds. A grand jury was held in 1920 to investigate the series and while the players were acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing, they were banned from Major League Baseball for life.

1984 FINE COTTON AFFAIR Tom Waterhouse’s father, Robbie, and grandfather, Bill, were banned from all Australian racecourses for 14 years for their involvement in the ring-in scandal at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse, in which a horse by the name of Bold Personality was painted in a futile attempt to pass it off as another horse named Fine Cotton. Bold Personality won the race, but the scam began to unravel when people noticed the paint running down his leg. The horse was disqualified and an investigation launched. Organiser John Gillespie, horse trainer Hayden Haitana​, and businessman Robert North were banned for life. Both Robbie and Bill Waterhouse have always denied prior knowledge of the substitution.

1994 BRUCE GROBBELAAR Then-Liverpool goalkeeper was charged with conspiracy to corrupt after British newspaper The Sun released video footage of Grobbelaar discussing match fixing with a Malaysian businessman. The keeper pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy charges and after two trials at which neither jury could find enough evidence to support the claim, Grobbelaar was cleared. In 1998, Grobbelaar sued The Sun for libel and was awarded £85,000 ($A195,000). However, the decision was overturned at appeal and Grobbelaar was ordered to pay £500,000 ($A1.146 million) in legal costs, which left him bankrupt.

1994 AUSTRALIAN CRICKET Two of Australia’s greatest cricketers – Shane Warne and Mark Waugh – were fined over their involvement in a betting scandal that plunged the game into of one of its greatest crises of the modern era. The Australian Cricket Board fined Waugh and Warne for providing information about match conditions and possible team selection to an Indian bookmaker during Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka in 1994. The scandal was covered up until 1998.

2000 HANSIE CRONJE The South African cricket captain admitted to receiving $150,000 from bookmakers to fix matches and influence other players to do the same. Implicated in the scandal were Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Henry Williams. After the King Commission of 2000, Cronje was given a life suspension from any involvement in cricket (playing or coaching), which was upheld at appeal. He was killed in a plane crash in 2002.

2004 KIEREN FALLON The champion Irish jockey was charged in 2004 with race fixing after a British police investigation alleged up to 80 races between 2002 and 2004 had been fixed. Fallon, along with three other jockeys, was charged in 2004. In 2006, further charges were laid against him of allegedly conspiring to defraud customers of internet betting site Betfair. He was banned from riding in Britain after the charges of race fixing were laid, but in 2007 he was found not guilty because of lack of evidence.

2006 ITALIAN SOCCER Series A clubs Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Regina were accused of offering bribes to Italian soccer officials in exchange for the appointment of favourable referees for key matches throughout the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Punishments handed down by the Italian Football Federation saw Juventus relegated to Serie B, stripped of its 2005 and 2006 championships, and deducted nine points to begin the following season. Milan retained its place in Serie A, but was deducted 30 points for the 2006-07 season. The scandal forced the resignation of Italian Football Federation president Franco Carraro and the entire Juventus board of directors.

Alex Lavelle, Marissa Calligeros

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Australia v India: Shaun Tait shocked but stoked to get another opportunity for Australia

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

High five: Shaun Tait celebrates a wicket with Hurricanes teammate Michael Hill during the Big Bash League match against the Perth Scorchers. Photo: Michael Dodge – CAShaun Tait typically avoids answering phone calls from unfamiliar numbers. He is unsure why he deviated from that policy, but is relieved he did given what was conveyed: a shock return to the Australian team, just in time to audition for the World Twenty20.

Having not played for Australia for almost five years, since the 2011 World Cup, was reason enough for the express paceman not to have chief Australia selector Rod Marsh among his mobile phone contacts.

Both Tait and Marsh had a good laugh when the news was broken about his return to the Twenty20 squad for next week’s three matches against India, because it had been so long since there had been reason for them to talk in an official capacity.

Marsh admitted on Monday morning that Tait had been well off his radar at the start of this season’s Big Bash League, to the extent he knew nothing of his current fitness or form situation, beyond the fact he was on Hobart’s list.

That was not a sign of disrespect. Tait himself had no ambitions for after this BBL beyond his body behaving long enough for him to play a full season for a Hurricanes. It became a rare instance where Tait stayed free of injury for long enough to fulfil his goal.

“A lot of people said that I seem to be holding up all right. The past couple of years I’ve struggled to string games together, but this is the first time in two or three years, at least, that I’ve actually felt alright . . . and I’ve managed to play every game,” Tait said on Monday.

“Selection is all a matter of timing. There’s injuries to a few of the quicks, and I think that’s created an opportunity for me. I’m still confident that when I’m feeling all right I’m able to bowl fast. I think I’ve shown that in this BBL.”

The last time Tait, who turns 33 next month, played for Australia it was part of a World Cup in the subcontinent. He conceded there was no guarantee he would again be in India for another world cup five years later, the World Twenty20, but was delighted it was now officially a possibility.

“At least I’ve now got a chance,” he said. “Just because I’m in this squad it doesn’t mean they’ll be picking me [for the World Twenty20]. Like the rest, I’ve got to bowl well. If I don’t, this might be it – but at least I get to pull on an Aussie jersey again.”

When South Australian Tait last played at Adelaide Oval, late in this BBL season, he was gently booed by virtue of having joined the Hurricanes. His response was to consistently exceed 150km/h with the new ball.

The reception for Tait is likely to be a lot warmer if, as expected, he features in the first Twenty20 against India, to be played at Adelaide Oval on Australia Day.

“I can’t promise anything, other than I’m not going to change anything this time around. I’m just going to go out there and try to bowl fast. Whether that’s enough, we’ll see,” he said.

Another reason Tait is delighted with the call-up is it creates the first opportunity for him to play under Darren Lehmann, whose decorated career was winding down when Tait debuted for SA in 2002.

They played a total of 34 matches together before Lehmann retired, after which his career has led him to coaching Australia. Tait said he was pleased to have already spoken by phone to Lehmann, whose number he had never discarded from his contact book.

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Last local to take on Lleyton Hewitt at Australian Open has advice for James Duckworth

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Canberra tennis coach Todd Larkham still remembers been demolished by Lleyton Hewitt at the 2003 Australian Open. Photo: Graham TidyLleyton Hewitt’s last hurrahAustralian Open 2016 set for huge day oneMore tennis news

Todd Larkham still remembers the day Lleyton Hewitt ran him ragged on Rod Laver Arena as cramps set in and the then world No. 1 showed no mercy to an “Aussie battler” from Canberra.

So as the only compatriot to play against Hewitt at the Australian Open, Larkham has some simple advice for James Duckworth ahead of his round-one clash on Tuesday – enjoy the ride.

Hewitt is playing his 20th and last Australian Open as he winds up a remarkable career.

It comes 13 years after Larkham went toe-to-toe with Hewitt on centre court and the former US Open and Wimbledon champion hasn’t encountered a fellow Australian since.

Hewitt was the world No. 1 in 2003, while a 28-year-old Larkham was No. 235. The result was a landslide 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 Hewitt triumph.

Asked if he could remember the match, Hewitt said: “I think it was pretty quick”.

Larkham laughed, “No doubt it was, it was like he was conserving his energy.

“It was in the second round and I cramped badly in the first round and had a brutally long match. I was in the change rooms in the corner, cramping and feeling sick.

“The only guy who was there was Jason Stoltenberg, I asked if he could get me a drink, some ice and the doctor because I was really hurting. The problem was he was Lleyton’s coach.

“So they knew I wasn’t in a good way and the first five games of the match, Lleyton hardly missed a ball and ran me from side to side.

“After the first set I thought to myself, ‘I’m pretty shot here’. But Lleyton’s always been supportive of other Australians on tour and at the end he shook my hand and said: ‘Well done, you’ve had a fantastic week’. Coming from the No. 1 in the world, that was great.”

Larkham was in charge of the Nick Kyrgios camp this time 12 months ago, joining forces with the Canberra 20-year-old to make it to the Australian Open quarter finals against Andy Murray.

But fast forward a year and Larkham was in Traralgon on Monday as part of his coaching duties while Kyrgios got ready for his first match of the grand slam and Hewitt prepared for his last tournament.

Hewitt’s first hurdle is Duckworth, who has the unenviable task of trying to end one of his mentors’ careers in Melbourne.

Most in the crowd will be cheering for a Hewitt fairytale and hoping for a run through the early rounds to mount one last challenge for the title.

But like Larkham, Duckworth is standing in the way as a potential villain.

“Actually, the crowd was pretty fair to me even though I didn’t play very well. I was just an Aussie battler, a journeyman who got his crack,” Larkham said.

“I gave it everything I could and the crowd could see I was struggling, but I fought for every point.

“The crowd will probably be on Lleyton’s side, but they’ll still respect Ducks. Ducks has got a game where he could definitely trouble Lleyton. He can mix it up … I’m tipping it will be a close one but Lleyton in five.”

Larkham is coaching the next batch of Canberra young guns, including 12-year-old Annerly Poulos, who is trying to qualify for the junior girls Australian Open.

His coaching career started not long after he had a chance in the spotlight against Hewitt.

“I’d played tennis all my life and here I was on Rod Laver Arena … it was a dream come true, it was pretty special,” Larkham said.

“I think I won maybe 30 points for the whole match. A year later I played Andre Agassi and I played much better.

“But with Lleyton, the main memory I’ve got is trying to get a ball past him and I couldn’t. He was so quick then, his anticipation was unbelievable. It’s pretty amazing that he’s still going.

“It’s a phenomenal achievement … 13 years ago I played him and didn’t get a point off him but he’s still going now, amazing stuff.”

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Up to funny business

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

TIME is running out to buy tickets to see comedian Jimmy Carr doing what he does best in Newcastle on Sunday –making people laugh.

The English stand-up kinghas been in demand since he arrived in Australia earlier this monthfor his national Funny Business tour, and the Herald has been advised there are only a handful of tickets left to his January 24 show at the Civic Theatre –if that.

Tickets are $79.90 through Ticketek.

SHAKE’N BAKENEWCASTLE’S Cambridge Hotel is the next stop for the Shake n Bake tour featuringBoo Seeka, Bootleg Rascal and Lyall Maloney.

It’s been a big debut year for Boo Seeka. The duo’selectrosoul sounds struck a chord with music lovers and they havealreadyheadlined Australian tours, travelled to Europe andpicked up a nomination for a Triple J unearthed artist of the year.

Bootleg Rascal’sunique dub-hop sound works particularly well live and as for talented producerLyall Moloney, prepare tomellow out and be lostin the music.

EDGY: Stand-up comedian and television presenter Jimmy Carr brings his Funny Business tour to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on January 24.

See all three artists, and maybe a special guest or two,at The Cambridge on Friday. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets at bigtix老域名备案老域名.

ROCK ANTI-HEROESSEX Pistols bass playerGlenMatlockwill be joined on stage bySlim JimPhantomand Earl Slick at The Cambridge on March 2.

Phantom was the drummer with rockabilly bands Stray Cats and The Head Cat, a side project for Motorhead’sLemmy. Slick played lead guitar on albums by David Bowie and John Lennon, and toured with Bowie.

If you missed the mayhem of the’70s, this is a rare chance to hear the songs that made punk, rockabilly and glam history performed by the history makers themselves.Tickets through bigtix老域名备案老域名.

ALL THINGS TINNYAUSTRALIAN beer tin connoisseurs, TheTinny Appreciation Society, will celebrate the tinny at The Small Ballroom on January 26.

On the line-up are headlinersSkegss,The Pinheadsand Maids, as well as Latham’s Grip,Split Feed, Wash,The Sufferjets,Raave Tapes,Pals andVacations.

Triple J’sHottest 100 will be playing in the main bar and in thebeer garden, which will be set up with a free barbecue, blow-up pool, cockroach races and selected $5 tinnies. Doors open at noon. Tickets $15 from oztix老域名备案老域名.

SOUTHERN SOUNDSCOUNTRY with a distinctly Melbourne twist will be served to punters at The Stag and Hunter Hotel on January 24.Deep Down Southis atravelling revue led by Lachlan Bryan and starring Mat Alford, Tom Dockray, Jemma Nicole, Brooke Russell, Les Thomas, Andrew Swift and Gretta Ziller. The gig kicks off at 8pm. Admission is free.

SWAN SONGTHE Australian Chamber Orchestra is in Newcastle next month for what will be a bittersweet performance.

It will be Newcastle violistChristopher Moore’s final tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra before joining the Melbourne Symphony as principal viola.

A spokeswoman for the orchestra said: “Chris has been one of the biggest musical personalities in the ACO’s great cast of characters, and we will miss his unique combination of the most subtle and sophisticated musicianship with his outrageous, larrikin behaviour and his irreverent humour. Our huge loss is the Melbourne Symphony’s immeasurable gain.”

Chris was born in Newcastle and, after studying with two prominent Sydney Suzuki teachers, Marjorie Hystek and the late Harold Brissendon, completed his Bachelor of Music in Newcastle with violinist and pedagogue Elizabeth Holowell.

The Australian Chamber Orchestrawill perform Beethoven & The 21st Century at Newcastle City HallonFebruary 4. Doors open at 7.30pm.

SMYTH GOES SOLOSTEVE Smyth is taking to the stage at5 Sawyerstonight for a one-off solo performance.

Having spent most of 2015 touring Europe, this is short run of local shows isa rare treatfor Smyth fans.He will be supported by soul-pop duoAdrianna Rouge and Ava.

Entry to this show is free however capacity is limited so don’t be late. Table bookings can be made by groups of 10 or more.Doors open at 6pm.

APRA AWARDSDANIEL Johns is in the running for a 2016 APRA award for his song Aerial Love.

Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala, Troy Cassar-Daley, Pond, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Waifs, Birds of Tokyo, Joel Little, C.W. Stoneking,Vance Joy and Jarryd Jamesare among the nomineesin the running for the Song of the Year award.

The peer-voted top five will be announced in March and the winner in April.

Short story: A Man’s Best Mate

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Worth 1000 words: Summer Herald will each day publish a short story competition entry. The winner will be announced on January 30. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

STUMBLING on the uneven footpath Chad kept a steady hold of the leash and encouraged his dog to “find a way”.

“Get me there boy, you can do it.Good boy Gorg.”

Gorg didn’t know every word. But he knew the meanings and emotions of his friend. He knew his role was to lead Chad through hazardous pathways.He had to negotiate uneven paths, rocky gravel roads, cross busy streets, past bushes and protruding objects.He needed to ignore startling sounds, quick movements, sudden distractions, cars and bikes, scents and smells, barking dogs through fences, even stray cats.

This wasn’t always Gorg’s job.It just happened.Almost all of his life he had been with Chad.Before Chad he tried to forget. At times, in dreams, parts flash back. His own yelp startling him awake, he would break the rules, climb onto Chad’s bed and lean his full body against Chad’s broad back.

Chad knew.“Another bad dream,boy?” he asked as tickled his belly and patted him back to sleep.

It all started with whimpering in the corner of a shed.Old Muhammad Bashir lived next to an unpainted ruin of a house rented by the local druggy. He was trying to raise cash for more meth through breeding dogs and selling them, or so he bragged once. The druggy hadn’t been home for weeks, no one knew when or if he was coming back.Muhammad had heard the crying for weeks and just couldn’t handle it any more so he peeled back loose fence palings and went searching.

The RSPCA had come and collected all the pups and dead carcases a few days ago but the old Persian could still hear scuffing and whimpering sounds.That’s how Gorg was finally found, hiding under tin.The bedraggled, mud-covered, flea-bitten whelp shook convulsively. Muhammad threw a large dirty rug over the smelly, filthy stray,scooping him up in one quick action, before sheer terror forced him to bite. After the filthy pup was hosed down it was obvious he was in too poor condition to be kept alive if taken to the dog pound. The pup’s fate was at the lowest ebb of its young life.

Muhammad was building up the courage to take the stray to its death when Chad called by.Chad was the local paper boy grown up. He got to know the Bashirs when they were the only Muslims in the street and most people wouldn’t talk with them.Chad was different.Muhammad cherished the morning paper being delivered because the shy sandy haired kid would stop to chat and chat some more,just so he could practice his English.

Muhammad brought Chad through the house almost at a drag, so excited to show the young man his new find. Although the pup had eaten until he fell asleep then ate again, he was still terrified of large two legged creatures. He had slunk into the corner of the old inverted baby crib,whimpering and growling simultaneously.

Chad knelt down and the pup yelped, jumped and tried to find more corner to wedge into.

“My God, what a little cutie, but he is so scared,” Chad offered.

Muhammad told his story. Chad laid down and kept eye contact with the whelp, making soft cooing noises to settle him. “Mr Bashir, may I keep him?”“I was hoping you’d say that” He patted the boy’s shoulder as Chad encouraged the dog to take dried liver treats.“I think it best if he is left here for now.Just so he is not more scared with new surroundings.” Chad agreed.

“He is so pure white. ot any other markings. What breed do you think? He looks like a young wolf.He remind me of wild dogs I saw in the hills of my old country.The wolves of ancient Persia.” “You must call him ‘Gorg’. It mean ‘wolf’ in my language of Farsi”

Daily, Gorg grew strong. Daily, Chad visited.They both grew very close.Gorg would sit with ears fully forward same time each day awaiting Chad.Chad never let him down.When the dog wasstrong enough, old Mr Bashir said his goodbyes and hugged Gorg. Dust flicked into his eyes so he had to wipe them.

Years passed. Chad and Gorg were virtually inseparable. Gorg proved an extremely intelligent dog, pre-empting Chad’s commands and gestures.He almost knew English Chad thought as he merely “spoke”with his dog and the animal reacted as if understanding words. What also passed, over these years, was the deterioration of Chad’s eyesight. For a young man the specialists were surprised his genetic degeneration was advancing so rapidly. He was offered the services of the Assisted Guide Dog Program This would mean having a replacement dog to help him traverse his diminishing visual world.

Replace Gorg? No way!

So, their campaign started. Chad read and interpreted every method he could find on teaching dogs to guide. Liver treats, Chad and Gorg worked well in each training program Chad devised.Even short walks around the house with Chad’s eyes closed seem to be almost perfect.

The time was fast approaching when Chad didn’t have to close his eyes.Each day Chad could be seen being lead by Gorg down the busy footpaths, across streets.Chad could hear the traffic and encourage Gorg to hold until the cars were gone. The dog even looks out for overhanging branches way above his own height, just so Chad would not be caught by them. Chad and Gorg’s favourite spot is the park with bygone gates.A gentle, verdant oasis of sound and scent, shadows softening the outside world. Gorg runs wild for a while as Chad lays under a tree. But Gorg always comes back to stand next to his friend, his master, his saviour. To be with him and make sure he is safe … as Chad always does for Gorg.