Cricket news, England put COVID on balls, West Indies

England cricket chiefs spread COVID-19 on cricket balls to help prove it was safe for the game to return.

Lord’s boss Tom Harrison has revealed the extent to which the ECB went as it feared for the very survival of cricket earlier this year.

Harrison had forecast an eye-watering $700 million loss for the English game if no cricket was allowed this summer.

Plans for the game’s return were on the brink of collapse after PM Boris Johnson suggested the ball was “a natural vector of the disease”.

That prompted the ECB to ask its chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce to conduct a series of tests to prove cricket was safe.

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AFL: Chaos balls and surge footy will dominate AFL games Queensland

Chaos balls and goals by “stealth” could be the best way to score as the lingering big wet in Queensland starts to take hold of matches according to Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.

A Monday night downpour in Perth was the “extreme” in recent conditions but Beveridge said the weather in the AFL’s new base for games in northern Australian was continuing to be a major factor in planning.

Dry conditions are forecast for Wednesday’s clash with Richmond, but Beveridge said early evening dew has and will continue to impact matches.

Big key forward have continued to struggle with small forwards dominating the goal kicking list and Beveridge said the team which best adapted to the surge style of football would prosper.

“ Most games are played in slippery and wet conditions so for forwards it’s becoming pretty tough and we’re seeing that in recent times. It’s definitely a lot different to playing under the roof,” Beveridge said.

“The teams that are adjusting, you talk about what your system is and your style and there is still some pretty strong elements in what you plan to do, but you do need to adjust pretty quickly. We’ve done it OK.

“I’m no meteorologist … but the last two (games) have been slippery and we had some rain last week and that clearance game and the opportunity to get territory from centre bounce and create some chaos in a wet, damp forward 50 arc, you might just luck out on a goal or two from the ball skidding out in your direction.

“The more you can create those opportunities, through stealth more than anything, a bigger chance you are to grind away and have a margin.”

media_cameraIt hosed down in Perth on Monday night. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Beveridge knows the Tigers fit that “manic” style of football but conceded that, like his team, the reigning premiers were still working out where they sat in the premiership mix.

He said the compacted fixture, changing injury landscapes, and the fact they each team played each other only one hadn’t given him a sense where the Bulldogs really are, despite five wins in six games.

“We go over the equator now, half way, it’s the ninth game with eight to go, and the fact we only play everyone once means in the context of the season you are not sure where you sit,” he said.

“ We are just trying to work out where we sit, who we are, who we can beat, where we belong and ultimately whether we are chance to make it at the end. There is still a lot of uncertainty attached to that for both teams.”

That uncertainty extends to what teams could look like over the course of the next month, with Beveridge conceding his team could change its look considerably by the time they get to the next group of games beyond Round 12.

“Aaron Naughton will be available, Josh Dunkley, we anticipate Lachy Hunter will be available in a couple of games. The forward line is a moving feast a little bit,” he said.

“Our defenders last week were quite magnificent, and they have a challenge this week to live up to a standard. Our forward line will continue to evolve. Some of our decision making around selection … how deep we go will change the face of our team as games go on.

“Maybe that’;s the fascination with the season too, there’s so much uncertainty.”

Originally published as Bevo: Chaos the way forward

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Lamb kofta balls with pine nuts

This super easy lamb kofta recipe is a favourite in our house. Juicy, tender and with hints of cinnamon and pine nuts, these lamb kofta balls are tasty, freezer-friendly and perfect for the barbecue or the frypan.

What is kofta?

Kofta is a meatball recipe popular in the Middle Easter cuisines. It consists of ground meat mixed with onions and warm spices such as cumin and sumac. I also like to add a dash of cinnamon to the mix as well as pine nuts.

You can cook lamb kofta balls (lamb is my preferred mince here) in a frying pan, but they are delicious cooked over a gas or charcoal barbecue. Alternatively, thread them onto skewers in a sausage shape. You can also cook the lamb kofta recipe into burger patties – it makes about 6 patties.

lamb kofta recipe, how to make lamb kofta, kofta balls recipe

What mince can I use in kofta recipe?

Lamb is a traditional mince for a kofta balls recipe.

You may have noticed that apart from the occasional lamb shanks or frenched lamb cutlets I don’t cook much lamb. It may be the fact that I grew up in those parts of the world where mutton was much more widely available than lamb, and because of its extra-strong flavour it was never a meat of choice at my Mum’s. But, every now and again, I get a little craving for lamb. I have found that using mince, as versatile as it is, is great to make the strong flavours of lamb more palatable. 

However, you can also use beef or even chicken mince to make the kofta balls. It’s best to use fattier mince, which helps keep the balls moist and imparts a more delicious flavour.

lamb kofta recipe, how to make lamb kofta, kofta balls recipe

Serving ideas

If you’re wondering what to serve lamb kofta balls with, the possibilities are endless.

Serve lamb kofta balls with hommus, salads and homemade flatbreads as a tasty and fun meal. You can also pop them into a soup. Or add to saucy curries.

Lamb kofta balls with pine nuts and spices

Juicy, garlicky and filled with warm spices, these lamb kofta balls are best cooked on the barbecue. But you can make them just as well in the frying pan.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time30 mins

Servings: 20 balls


  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 sprig spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 slice bread stale is best
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 500 g lamb mince
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 4 sprigs coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 slice bread stale is best
  • 1/2 cup water

To serve (choose any):

  • Flatbreads
  • Eggplant dip or hommus
  • Tabbouleh salad
  • Corn kernels
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Minted Greek-style yoghurt


  • Peel and finely dice brown onion. Finely dice spring onion. Heat oil in a small frying pan set over medium heat. Cook onion and spring onion for 2 minutes, stirring, until translucent.

  • Tear bread into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Add water and mix, you want the bread to soak up the water.

  • Place mince in a large bowl. Add pine nuts, spices, cooked onions. Squeeze excess water from the bread and add bread to the mince. Using your hands mix and knead the mince well for about a minute.

  • Form about 20 small bite-sized meatballs.

  • Cook on a medium hot barbecue or in large frying pan (in batches) for 2-3 minutes on each side.

  • Serve with hommus, flatbreads, tabbouleh, sliced cucumber and corn salad and minted yoghurt.

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Morrison, Frydenberg and their crystal balls

Morrison is seeking to sustain the sensation of crisis and that he is the only just one who can help save us.

IN Previous WEEK’S truncated version of Parliament, Scott Morrison declared stridently that he did not have a crystal ball.

By this he meant that he could not be blamed for any earlier pronouncements about the financial state mainly because coronavirus experienced made them irrelevant, assuming they were being ever related in the 1st place.

And it also authorized him to say that he had no genuine strategy of how or when points would get back to regular in the aftermath — apart from that the elastic band experienced well and certainly broken and would not snap back. The previous could be overlooked, the upcoming was unknowable and even the current appeared a bit tricky to fathom. As anyone had described, the condition was unparalleled.

But his trusty Treasurer, the indefatigable (and the good thing is disinfected) Josh Frydenberg was on hand to set him straight. Frydenberg was justly criticised for telling us very little new in his point out of the economic system speech on Tuesday, but it did present a succinct summary of what we currently knew: we are up shit creek in a barbed wire canoe.

But not to worry, the Authorities was paddling like buggery and even if it was not likely to truly get us again to shore, it would at the very least do a whole lot of splashing about in the process.

The oars, as Frydenberg noticed them, would be fairly considerably the standard kinds, if suitably supercharged for the celebration:

Reskilling and upskilling the workforce, retaining our $100 billion ten-yr infrastructure pipeline, slicing pink tape to cut down the charge burden on companies and the overall economy and tax and industrial relations reform as a signifies of rising our competitiveness.

In scenario there was any doubt, tax reform did not – must not – be about extra or larger taxes, even such as the GST it was about reducing firm tax in the worn out and discredited outdated system of trickle-down economics. And industrial relations reform was, as usually, about plain outdated union bashing.

He would not hazard a guess about the size of the finances deficit, but most forecasters are searching at perfectly around $130 billion. And the horrendous personal debt bill would acquire quite a few yrs to repay — check out about ten of them. And this was the very good news. If there was to be a second wave of COVID-19 infection and we experienced to reimpose the limits, which are now staying little by little lifted, the price tag would be all but unimaginable.

Ominously, there was a collection of mini-outbreaks all more than the spot final 7 days — not automatically a precursor to the dreaded 2nd wave we have viewed in other international locations, but adequate to stress each the politicians and the public at a time when reassurance is desperately essential.

And the other bad news was Morrison filling in a person of the gaps: minimizing authorities paying out, doubling down on his resolve to end the necessary and deserving stimulus actions for which he has been greatly applauded as quickly as doable. So back to the dole queue and hunger assistance for the hapless victims who may possibly have last but not least experienced a flavor of what welfare actually intended. And as for the types who missed out on the temporary, latest bonanza, what they do not know will not hurt them.

It improved not, simply because out of the blue there are a good deal of them. On Thursday, the bomb dropped: practically 600,000 added employment shed in April, virtually 5% of the workforce. The statisticians massaged this down to a rise of just 1% in unemployment, predominantly due to a huge drop in the participation fee — a ton of people have merely offered up searching for non-existent jobs and, absurdly, are consequently not provided in the numbers.

And JobSeeker is also an helpful masker — these on it theoretically continue to be utilized, though no matter whether they even now will be when Morrison pulls the rug less than them is hugely problematic. And even if you acknowledge the 6.2% jobless statistic, it avoids the awkward fact that approximately a person in 7 classed as staying in function are underemployed and wages growth has fallen to an all-time small.

So staying someplace close to trustworthy – not a recognized characteristic of the Morrison Govt – the true unemployment level is currently hitting the 10% mark with a ton a lot more on the brink even Morrison and Frydenberg acknowledge that there is worse to arrive.

And they really should know, due to the fact September, when they have promised that JobKeeper will close, is previously looming. In the conditions, it is both of those foolish and heartless of the ugly twosome to preserve rabbiting on about resilience, innovation, the terrific capacity of Australians to convert disaster into triumph. The broad majority of people even now standing are by now on some variety of welfare but if that is snatched absent from them, they as well will be socially distancing their way to Centrelink.

The wildly optimistic prediction that by then the employment will be surging back – 850,000 of them by the conclude of July – is simply not believable and is not likely to be thought by the many hundreds on the brink. It is unquestionably not believed by the economists, who keep warning that unemployment is a lag indicator — it rises pretty swiftly, but can take a prolonged time, several years, in reality, to drop back again to what we applied to simply call normal concentrations.

And there is pretty very little Morrison can do to hasten the approach. Instead, he is becoming forced to slide again on a wait-and-see coverage, urging the states to simplicity limits and hoping that if just about anything goes incorrect, they will be blamed.

But this is not what he needs. He requires to maintain the momentum going, which is why we are nevertheless obtaining bulletins, like the one particular on mental health and ramping up of the we-alert-the-czar marketing campaign on China.

Morrison demands to preserve the feeling of disaster, the notion that we are still in deep problems (which without a doubt we are) and that he is the only one who can help save us (which is considerably additional contestable). And when the recovery has long gone as far as it can be pushed, he demands to be the unquestioned saviour, the gentleman of eyesight, braveness and achievement.

It can be performed — he could get lucky.

And he is no doubt praying with far more than his usual fervour. Because if it all falls apart in September, a disillusioned electorate will be all set to give him a huge kick in his crystal balls.

Mungo MacCallum is a veteran journalist who labored for quite a few years in the Canberra Press Gallery. This posting was published on ‘Pearls and Irritations‘ and is republished with permission.

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Today host Karl Stefanovic loses it as AFL legend Shane Crawford discusses ‘slippery balls’

Channel 9’s Today host Karl Stefanovic has been left in stitches after a weekly football discussion went off the rails with a discussion over the AFL’s “slippery balls”.

One of the big talking points this week in AFL circles came after Collingwood president and Fox Footy commentator Eddie McGuire brought up the idea that the Sherrin balls are too slippery which would explain the poor skills in round two.

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With the AFL just one week back following almost three months off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was always expected to take some time for the league to get back into the swing of things.

But following a lacklustre return, including a record low scoring draw in the Collingwood-Richmond blockbuster to restart the competition, McGuire pointed to the slippery Sherrin as one of the issues.

Speaking on his Triple M Hot Breakfast show, McGuire called for a rethink of the balls after the first week back after the coronavirus suspension delivered some less than spectacular performances.

“I don’t know whether they’ve put another coat of varnish on the footballs, but no one can seem to grab it,” McGuire told Triple M on Monday.

“I reckon it’s almost time for us to put a roughcast or even … you know the rugby league balls how they’ve got the rubber knobs on them.

“If there is any sort of dew or bit of wetness … the ball just goes straight through their hands.

“It’s as hard as anything at the ends of the ball, and they’re as slippery as all … at the moment.

“I reckon it’s stuffing up the game as a spectacle because no one can control the ball, it’s just going straight through their hands.”

But on Thursday’s show, AFL legend Shane Crawford was asked for his thoughts on the talking point and with a mischievous grin, he dropped a hilarious line that brought Today host Karl Stefanovic to tears of laughter.

“Eddie’s got to button his lip,” Crawford said. “He wants to change the rules all the time, he wants to change the balls now. It’s a winter sport, it was dewy last week — sometimes you’ve got to play with slippery balls.”

After some grins from his co-panellists, the camera cut to Karl who covered his face and unable to speak.

But Crawford wasn’t done, seizing the moment: “We’ve all done it haven’t we Karl?”

“What are you bringing me up for?” Stefanovic responded through his laughter. “I’ve got a six week old.”

Crawford rammed home his point saying “It’s a winter game, sometimes the balls are slippery and you’ve just got to work with that.”

Former NRL star Sam Thaiday added “I played 16 years with slippery balls” before a headshake.

Stefanovic’s co-host Allison Langdon then got it back on track but it’s always great to have a bit of childishness in the argument.

It comes after AFL stars Jack Riewoldt and Max Gawn responded to McGuire’s claims as fans call for a more attractive brand of football.

Melbourne captain Gawn admitted he had “no idea” if the Sherrins were to blame for poor handling, but revealed he found it easier to mark the red footy used in day games compared to the yellow footy used at night, while Richmond forward Riewoldt suggested the dew at night games was a factor behind ball-handling issues.

“I don’t know. It was pretty slippery on Thursday night, and I imagine it was pretty slippery down at Geelong on Friday night,” Riewoldt said. “Usually you come across those conditions in Queensland a fair bit and the boys up there seem to adapt to it pretty well.

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Healthy Anzac Biscuit Bliss Balls with Thermomix Instructions

Anzac Biscuit Bliss Balls

  • 1 cup desiccated coconut (100 grams)
  • 1 cup dry roasted cashews (150 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (30 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (30 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (60 grams)
  1. Place the ingredients into your processor and blend at high speed until the mixture resembles a fine, sticky crumb. Use your hands to press and shape the mixture into balls. Place the balls into the fridge to set.
  2. Eat and enjoy.

Thermomix Method

  1. Place the ingredients into the bowl and blend at speed 9 for 7 seconds.
  2. Use your hands to shape the mixture into balls. Place the balls in the fridge to set.
  3. Eat. Enjoy.

notes – 

  • you can substitute the honey with rice malt syrup if preferred.
  • be sure to not over blend as the mixture will become sticky and difficult to work with.


Anzac Biscuit Bliss Balls with Thermomix Instructions



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