Kennett
being, well, Kennett.
Hawthorn knew Jeff Kennett
would not cut a shy, retiring figure when he assumed the Hawks presidency. For
the struggling club, the brash public manner and business acumen of the
ex-Victorian premier would have been attractive parts of the Kennett package.
But did anyone suspect, six months into the job, he’d be applying such public
pressure on coach Alastair Clarkson? Opinion is divided about whether Kennett’s
statements
on the head coach’s job were in fact a veiled warning to Clarkson, or merely a
statement of fact. But we can be sure about one thing: the players and their
young coach won’t have interpreted them as a public statement of fact. As
Caroline Wilson neatly surmised in this morning’s Age,
we may have just seen the first sign that “the president and the coach are on course for a collision.”

Bogut
fit and ready to go.
Rising NBA star Andrew Bogut
has shown an impressive dedication to Australian basketball by
declaring he’s a
definite starter for Australia’s three-match series against New Zealand
in July. “It’s great to be back home in Melbourne,” Bogut
told The Australian.
“I’m looking forward to a short rest and then getting back on the court with
the Boomers.” He joins a full-strength Aussie line-up in the battle for the
Ramsay Shield, starting in New Zealand on July 12. When the Boomers and Tall Blacks play the third match
of the series in Hobart on July 17, Bogut will play his first game of basketball on home
soil since 2002.

Windies
sneak a thrilling win.
For the second time in a
week, the West Indies have beaten India in a one-day thriller. Three games into the five match series, the
Windies have a 2-1 lead, after Ramnaresh Sarwan steered the home team past India’s
total of nine for 245 with just one ball to spare. Sarwan (115 from 119 balls) was
ably supported by Shivnarine Chanderpaul (58 from 68 balls), with Chris Gayle
chipping in with a handy 40 at the top of the innings. For India,
Virender Sehwag scored a belligerent 96 from 83 balls, but the Indians lost
their way late in the innings, losing six for 34 in 12 overs. The match was the
first game of international cricket played at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts, one of the new venues for next year’s cricket World Cup.

No keeping a good horse down. Kentucky
Derby winner Barbaro is making an impressive recovery after breaking his ankle
in three places in last weekend’s Preakness Stakes. Immediately after the
injury, grave fears were held for his survival, but three days after the
emergency surgery, the signs are encouraging. “He’s
actually better today than he was even yesterday and he was pretty good yesterday,”
said Dr. Dean Richardson, who, with a team of surgeons, spent five hours
pinning Barbaro’s ankle bones back together.
Veterinarian Corinne Sweeney agreed,
saying certain appetites had returned earlier than expected. “He also showed appropriate interest
in the mares, which means he’s acting like a young colt should.”

Peter Fray

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