Sydney Sixers look to emulate Melbourne Storm spirit after home game snub

“We thought we might be a chance of reduced crowds and playing a couple of games here,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for our fans and our members that we can’t get there; it was a bit of a shock.”

The Sixers are keeping their fingers crossed they will be able to host at least one BBL final at the SCG in the back end of the season.

The Sixers will finish the regular season as the only side not to play at home.Credit:Getty

“It would be very important if we get the opportunity for that go ahead,” Hughes said. “Having a home game advantage in finals is huge … they are conditions that you’re used to.”

Sixers boss Jodie Hawkins said the club would be out to emulate the Storm spirit and take out the premiership while based interstate.Mitchell Starc, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott and Nathan Lyon are also all scheduled to return in the coming weeks.

“If you look at the Melbourne Storm, it’s the season of winning away and you just have to do it any way you can,” Hawkins said. “We’ll start the conversation with Cricket Australia about finals next week, and we’re hopeful we’ll be able to get back [to Sydney].”


The Sixers will finish the regular season as the only side not to play at home. The second-placed Thunder have played at Manuka Oval nearly every year and are no strangers to the conditions in Canberra.

“The Thunder have been able to stay put in one spot longer than anyone else,” Hawkins said. “They’ve had a good crack at Manuka and know the conditions well, and we don’t really get that benefit.”

Also disappointed by the decision for Sydney games to be relocated, Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson said the Sydney Test had given his side a false “glimmer of hope”.

“We thought that might have given us a little bit more of a chance,” he said. “But we’ve just got to ride the wave and take every challenge that comes.”

Ferguson also confirmed Daniel Sams was set to return from concussion.

“Obviously his health is the most important thing, not just now but in the long-term future,” he said. “Now that he’s passed all the tests, been through all the protocols, he’s ready to go and excited to be playing in the derby.”

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Hanuma Vihari drop, teammates snub star, awful blunder, marnus Labuschagne

Jasprit Bumrah had his head in his hands after just two balls on day four of the third Test in Sydney after Hanuma Vihari dropped an absolute sitter at square leg.

Marnus Labuschagne clipped a ball off his pads in the first over and it travelled at an easy pace and height to Vihari, who made a meal of the simple chance.

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Normally when someone drops a catch their teammates will console them, but Australian legend Michael Hussey pointed out in commentary for Fox Sports that wasn’t the case with the Indians.

“The other Indians have not got around Vihari at all,” Hussey said. “None of the other fielders went over to give him a pat on the back and say, ‘Don’t worry, get the next one’.”

India was desperate for early wickets to keep Australia’s lead to a minimum but Vihari’s drop was a cruel blow for a team that surrendered control of the Test on a disastrous third day.

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting said all the talk in the Indian camp before day four would have been about taking any half-chances that came their way but Vihari’s blunder hurt the team’s morale badly.

“That’s an absolute sitter,” Ponting said in commentary for Channel 7. “We’re not going to get an easier chance than that. A straightforward chance.

“It’s a plan that they’ve been working away on for days and almost Test matches to get Labuschagne (caught) in that area.

“I can guarantee the whole chat last night and even earlier this morning with the Indians would have been about being patient, bowling at areas, taking chances when they come and trying to create a couple of half-chances as the Australians did yesterday. That’s as straightforward as they come.

“Generally a very good and safe fieldsman, Vihari. He has good hands and that’s an absolute sitter.”

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Labuschagne capitalised on his life to register his second half century of the match, cruising to 50 off 82 balls as he continued to pile on the pain with Steve Smith.

However, their 103-run partnership was broken when substitute wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha — on the field because Rishabh Pant was off injured after copping a nasty knock on the elbow while batting on Saturday — showed Vihari what to do with a classy catch behind the stumps.

Labuschagne, on 73, gloved a ball from Navdeep Saini down the leg side and Saha moved smartly to his left then dived full-stretch to haul in the tough chance.

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Sydney Sixers star Steve O’Keefe considered walking away from cricket after NSW snub

A chat with Sydney Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins before the Big Bash season convinced him to play on. O’Keefe was so impressed by the conversation he has urged more sporting organisations to employ female CEOs due to the empathy Hawkins showed him during some of his darkest days.

“It is hard to be that transparent in NSW because I just don’t think, on that personal level, they understood you,” he said.

Steve O’Keefe was “sacked” by NSW earlier this year. Credit:Getty

“You can be really transparent with [Jodie] and tell her how you feel and say, ‘look, I’ve got reservations about this’.

“I genuinely think that Jodie and women as CEOs make better CEOs because they’ve got that empathy.

“They’ve got that understanding and that nature about them, which it does feel like you can go in and be yourself around them and that’s just so important.”

O’Keefe also gave credit to Sixers coach Greg Shipperd for his return. Before the season started, O’Keefe said he was “battling”.

“[Shipperd] just said, ‘whether you perform, whether you go OK, or whether you go poorly, there will be no judgment from his end, let’s just keep checking in day-in, day-out’,” he said.

“Because I’ve been sacked, I’m not all fired up and ready to go out there and play. I’m just grateful for the opportunity that I can come in and play with a bunch of good mates and under this organisation, which I think gets me as a player and as a person.”


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F1 2020: Alex Albon speaks on Sergio Perez Red Bull contract snub for 2021

Alex Albon has broken his silence after being dumped by Red Bull in favour of Mexican veteran Sergio Perez for the 2021 F1 season.

F1’s musical chairs in 2020 seemingly left Perez without a seat next year after Racing Point (now Aston Martin) signed Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, while the likes of Ferrari, Renault and McLaren also locked in driver line-ups early.

But Albon’s future was never secure and, after a second lacklustre season for the energy drink outfit, his contract wasn’t renewed.

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Cameron Green snub, Pat Cummins, Australia vs India 1st Test, Tim Paine

Cameron Green has enjoyed a rapid rise but he was forced to wait his turn on day one of the first Test against India.

The 21-year-old is making his debut in Adelaide and thought he’d been given the green light to roll his arm over for the first time representing his country in the five-day format.

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Green took off his cap, grabbed the pink ball, headed to the top of his bowling mark and started limbering up in preparation to try and dislodge Cheteshwar Pujara in the first session on Thursday.

But the young gun quickly learnt his place in the pecking order. Pat Cummins went up to him, signalled to captain Tim Paine, then promptly took the ball back off Green and continued his spell, relegating the West Australian back to his fielding position.

The Adelaide crowd had started cheering in anticipation of welcoming Green to the bowling crease but was forced to hold its applause until later in the day.

It turns out it was a simple misunderstanding. Explaining his snub on day two, Green told Fox Cricket the instructions from his skipper were misinterpreted.

“Tim Paine said, ‘You’ve got five minutes to get ready’ and Patty hadn’t even started his over beforehand,” Green said.

“Overs normally take three or four minutes so in my head I’m doing the math and thinking I’ve got the next one.

“Then he might have said five overs’ time instead of five minutes. There were a few things going through my head so I wasn’t thinking too clearly.”

The Fox Cricket commentators certainly saw the funny side to it.

“We were starting to get excited. He had the ball in hand and then Patty said, ‘Sorry mate’,” Mark Howard said.

“Just establishing the order there, was Patty.”

Shane Warne added: “Jeez. Tell you what, Test debut, bit of nerves, tell him he’s bowling then take it out of his hand and say, ‘Nah just kidding, I’m having one more’.”

Green eventually bowled nine wicketless innings in India’s first innings, and made 11 with the bat on day two before miscuing a pull shot that was snaffled by a diving Virat Kohli at mid-wicket.

Australia was bowled out for 191 in response to India’s 24. The tourists will resume their second innings today at 1/9.

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BUDGET SNUB: ‘The boat ramp’s a pie in the sky thing’

Midge Point residents are fed up over waiting for a new boat ramp and say the lack of action is hampering the region’s tourism potential.

Laminated design plans for a new ramp off Jimmys Rock Rd are posted on the door of the town’s Point Tavern.

Midge Point locals say they are using the makeshift boat ramp at the end of Jimmys Rock Rd. Picture: Heidi Petith

It has been there since the Mackay Regional Council’s visit to discuss the project earlier this year; residents said it was a sore reminder of no progress.

“The boat ramp’s a pie in the sky thing,” Midge Point resident Steve Summers said.

“A lot of people would love to have a (new) boat ramp.

“To use the beach (ramp), you’ve got to have a tractor.”

Midge Point residents Luciano Gardel, Steve Summers, Trevor Leo and Fuzzy O'Donnell want Mackay Regional Council to commit to building a proper boat ramp at Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

Midge Point residents Luciano Gardel, Steve Summers, Trevor Leo and Fuzzy O’Donnell want Mackay Regional Council to commit to building a proper boat ramp at Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

Mr Summers said this was useless to tourists, residents and the Volunteer Marine Rescue.

“It’s not only fishing, it’s the actual Whitsundays (islands) out there,” he said.

“The caravan park in the peak period is usually full.

“The lack of a boat ramp is holding back the economic development of Midge Point.”

Residents say you need a tractor to launch your boat on the beach at Bundensen Ave, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

Residents say you need a tractor to launch your boat on the beach at Bundensen Ave, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

Fellow resident and keen angler Trevor Leo said people had resorted to borrowing their mates’ tractors to launch their boats.

“We used to have the Laguna Quays boat ramp but they cut it off,” Mr Leo said.

He said the VMR could use the private ramp, but it was only practical at high tide.

The makeshift boat ramp at the end of bush track off Jimmys Rock Rd, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

The makeshift boat ramp at the end of bush track off Jimmys Rock Rd, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

As residents waited for the new Jimmys Rock Rd boat ramp, they were making do with what currently existed.

The makeshift boat ramp at the end of bush track off Jimmys Rock Rd, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

The makeshift boat ramp at the end of bush track off Jimmys Rock Rd, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

The unofficial makeshift ramp at the end of a dirt road is made of rough concrete and pocketed with holes.

The makeshift boat ramp at the end of bush track off Jimmys Rock Rd, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

The makeshift boat ramp at the end of bush track off Jimmys Rock Rd, Midge Point. Picture: Heidi Petith

The Queensland Government has committed $3 million for a new ramp to be built but the council remains responsible for building the needed onshore facilities

Mackay Regional Council CEO Michael Thomson said this was not allocated for in the current budget or in its future works priorities lists.

Midge Point is home to the Whitsunday Cabins tourism park. Picture: Heidi Petith

Midge Point is home to the Whitsunday Cabins tourism park. Picture: Heidi Petith

Mr Thomson said the boat ramp had not been raised with council before being announced by the State Government.

“We’ve done some concept design work on building a road and car park and it is estimated to be more than $2.3 million,’’ Mr Thomson said.

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“Council is continuing to have discussions with Transport and Main Roads.

“We’re seeking additional funding for the land-based assets, particularly road corridor funding, to enable the unbudgeted project to go ahead.”

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This story was thanks to the My Town series – a Daily Mercury and Mackay Regional Council initiative.

Next up, reporter Melanie Whiting will visit Sarina on Tuesday, December 15 alongside Deputy Mayor Karen May.

Let us tell the stories that matter to you and if you think we should come to your town, send us an email to

In the meantime, why not check out the other My Town stories:


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Cooking with gas: Zarby’s Cafe celebrates 2nd birthday

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‘Scary’ Bruce Highway turn-offs on course for collisions

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Small town’s headache over miners’ long-term parking

Push for new ambulance station at Eton or Marian

New owner at the helm of 154-year-old pub

Widow waits for husband’s funeral 6 months after death

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‘We desperately want something done about it’: Antoney’s Crossing, Kinchant Dam

‘You’ve got to have a lot of electricity in your body’: Eton’s water diviner


A Mackay castle fit for the bride and groom

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UN defends excluding Morrison from climate summit, Canberra livid with Johnson over snub

Selwin Hart, the special adviser to UN secretary-general António Guterres on climate action, said Australia had not met the threshold needed to speak.

“We will not be commenting on the participation of individual leaders,” he said.

“But the three co-hosts – the UN, UK and France – provided all member states with very clear guidance from the outset that speaking slots would go to countries and other actors who show the most ambition right now.”

Hart would not be drawn on what the UN thought of Morrison’s planned announcement or what the UN wanted to see from Australia on climate change.

However he did repeat the UN’s position that countries should sign up to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 ahead of a major climate summit in Glasgow next November.

Morrison has recently embraced the idea of net zero emissions but has only said it can be achieved in the second-half of the century.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also excluded from the list of nearly 80 world leaders given permission to address Saturday’s summit.

China, which is building hundreds dozens of new coal-fired power plants, was given a spot.

“Rather than focussing on those countries that are not on that list as of now, we really should be celebrating those that have decided to come forward this early – many of them from the developing world who despite the challenges of the pandemic, [are] on the frontlines of the climate crisis including many countries in the Pacific – to make bold and ambitious commitments around net zero,” Hart said.

“Some have brought these commitments forward and I think we should celebrate those leaders who have come forward and decided to take this ambitious step before COP26.

“We have a long way to go before Glasgow and we hope that this coalition around net zero by mid-century will grow.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said publicly that he was asked to speak at the climate summit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Credit:PA

Johnson offered Morrison the chance to speak even though France, the UN and other supporting partners like Italy and Chile had a say on who made the final list.

The government is furious that Johnson was unable to guarantee the promise. There had already been tensions between the UK and Australia over climate in the weeks since Downing Street publicly claimed Johnson had urged Morrison to take “bold action” during a phone call on October 28.

“He has thrown us under the bus,” one government official said on Thursday.

Downing Street did not respond to questions on Thursday.

Diplomatic sources not authorised to speak publicly said Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office was determined to not let Australia speak.

Morrison plans to outline his climate policy to an online meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum on Friday night instead.

He told Parliament on Thursday that Australia’s climate and energy policy would be set in Australia’s national interest, “not to get a speaking slot at some international summit”.

Japan, Fiji, Kiribati and Cambodia are the only countries in the Asia-Pacific given a speaking slot.


Hart said the UN wanted to see more commitments on climate financing and appeared to take a swipe at Australia for not doing more to help its Pacific neighbours.

“Ten years ago developed countries promised to mobilise $US100 billion per year in new climate finance to support mitigation and adaptation in the developing world,” he said.

“That goal has not yet been met and therefore its absolutely crucial that as we head towards Glasgow there is renewed commitment around climate finance mobilisation for the developing world as well as support for those countries -including many in the Pacific that are already dealing with climate disruption and who face and uncertain future as a result of the climate crisis.”

Morrison last year pledged to redirect more than half a billion dollars in foreign aid towards renewable energy projects and disaster relief throughout the Pacific.

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Treloar ‘hurt’ by Magpies snub

Adam Treloar has confirmed claims that Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley told him senior Magpies players no longer wanted him at the club before the midfielder’s bombshell AFL trade.

The 27-year-old became a Western Bulldogs player right on the deadline of the AFL trade period.

It followed weeks of rumours leaked out to the media detailing discontent between Collingwood and Treloar, who was contracted at the Magpies until 2025.

Treloar said that, in a meeting with Buckley, the Magpies mentor expressed the concerns some players reportedly had with the 27-year-old and that they believed it was in his best interests to leave.

“That was told to me in no uncertain way,” Treloar told reporters at Whitten Oval on Friday.

“That did hurt because I know how close I am with the players; to be told that when I don’t think that’s the truth (hurts).

“To be told there’s some players who don’t want you there when I know that the majority of players love and care for me.

“They were adamant on moving me on so no matter how they were going to go about it, it was going to happen.

“It was a fight up until the end because that’s where I wanted to be, at Collingwood.

“I guess anything was going to be said to move me on.

“There’s not been one player that has come to me and said ‘yeah, I was a part of moving you on’.”

Treloar was one of four Magpies to be traded out on Thursday night as the club attempts to rectify challenges with its salary cap.

Collingwood list manager Ned Guy on Thursday night claimed the Magpies would have been unlikely to explore a trade if Treloar’s partner Kim Ravaillion had not signed a Super Netball contract to play with the Queensland Firebirds next year.

But the couple have committed to a long-distance relationship next year and Treloar says he never thought about moving to the Brisbane Lions or the Gold Coast.

Ravaillion attended Treloar’s first press conference as a Bulldogs player with their daughter Georgie.

“That’s really disappointing (Guy’s comments),” Treloar said.

“The club has known that I never wanted to play anywhere else and I never wanted to move to Queensland.”

Despite his acrimonious exit, Treloar says he holds no grudges towards Buckley or anyone at the club where he played 94 games after arriving in 2016 from Greater Western Sydney.

Treloar “instantly fell in love” when he began talks with the Bulldogs and coach Luke Beveridge immediately made him welcome.

“There’s so many things going on in my head at the moment and I’m just super proud and super glad to be a this footy club now,” he said.

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Brazilian telecoms snub U.S. official over Huawei 5G pressure: source

FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with the Huawei and 5G network logo is seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture taken January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

November 7, 2020

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s top four telecom companies have decide not to meet with a visiting senior U.S. official who has advocated excluding China’s Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL] from the Brazilian 5G equipment market, an industry source said on Friday.

The carriers declined a U.S. embassy invitation to meet on Monday in Sao Paulo with Keith Krach, U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, the person in contact with telecom sector executives said.

“This invitation is not compatible with free-market choices that we are used to. We should be able to freely make our best financial decisions,” the source said, requesting anonymity.

The invitation from U.S. ambassador Todd Chapman was first reported by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, which together with the Valor Economico business daily said the companies preferred not to attend.

Telefonica Brasil SA, Grupo Oi SA, TIM Participações SA, controlled by Telecom Italia SpA and Claro, owned by Mexico’s America Movil, each control between 19% and 29% of Brazil’s wireless market.

They already use Huawei equipment in preparation for the auctioning of spectrum concessions next year in Brazil and do not support a ban on Huawei sought by the U.S. government.

The U.S. embassy did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The four carriers declined to comment.

The Trump administration has stepped up diplomatic pressure internationally to block the use of Huawei equipment, alleging that it could be used for spying by the Chinese state. Huawei has repeatedly denied being a national security risk.

“Huawei is the backbone of China’s global surveillance,” Krach wrote in an op/ed article published in August in Brazil’s O Globo newspaper.

Krach said the U.S. government and its partners were accelerating efforts to protect global economic security by restricting the involvement of Huawei in 5G networks.

“There are now more than 30 countries participating in the Clean Network,” he wrote.

(Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio and Rosalba O’Brien)

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NSW Vs Queensland, game 1, welcome to country snub, talk over, controversy

NSW head into the 2020 State of Origin series as one of the shortest-priced favourites in recent memory, but the Maroons may still have an ace up their sleeve with wily coach Wayne Bennett.

The series opener at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday was rocked with some huge injury news for Queensland – forcing Maroons coach Wayne Bennett into a late team shake-up.

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But before the game even began, controversy was already brewing.

There was even more drama before kick-off with Channel 9 being slammed by fans and footy commentators for cutting away from the Welcome to Country and speaking over the top of the traditional presentation.

Former AFL star Tony Armstrong led the outcry after local elder Karl Telfer, a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region, welcomed the State of Origin to the local area.

However as he finished his welcome and a traditional dance began to be performed while Telfer played a didgeridoo, Channel 9 host James Bracey began speaking over the top of the music and eventually cut away from the dance to an interview between Karl Stefanovic and Andrew Johns.

“The locals are certainly loving it here at the Adelaide Oval,” Bracey said over the top of the Welcome to Country.

“The atmosphere certainly is building and we are moments away from kick-off. Karl, you’re with Joey.”

It comes after the NRL also backflipped on its national anthem ban after several players last year refused to sing.

Armstrong couldn’t believe it when the Welcome to Country was snubbed.

“Channel 9 just started commentating over the Welcome to Country. Cool cool cool,” Armstrong wrote on Twitter.

“You won’t believe it. We made it to the end of the anthem.”

Fox Sports’ Adam Peacock also wrote: “Welcome to Country should be before Anthem with both teams out there”

Triple J reporter Avani Dias posted: “I clocked about 20 seconds of the Welcome to Country before they cut to the commentators. Interesting decision considering the anthem debacle”.

Fans on Twitter also described Nine’s decision as “disrespectful”, “rude”, “unbelievable” and “a total lack of respect”.

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