Welcome to Bizarro Australia, at least if you’re a sports fan. For the second year in a row, Sydney and Perth teams are fighting for a trophy that used to be exclusively contested by Victorian football teams.

Meanwhile, Melbourne and Brisbane sides will be fighting out the grand final for rugby league’s once exclusively Sydney-based silverware. Strangely, the NRL website seems to have already decided to call it a draw and give them a trophy each.

Meanwhile, Australia finds itself the world champion in women’s basketball. How can that happen? Nobody cares about basketball around here, do they? A few thousand people show up to NBL matches, and less turn up to WNBL matches, so really, how can we be world champions? It’s as though we just became the globe’s ice hockey power. (And nice work, ABC TV news department last night, for rating some motoGP bike race as a better sports story in its news breaks.)

And finally, Australia gets trounced in Davis Cup by Argentina, a country which has exactly zero Cups to its name and last made the final in 1981, compared to Australia’s magnificent record of 28 Davis Cups. Argentina will play Russia in the final, after Soviet player Dmitry Tursunov beat Andy Roddick 17-15 in the fifth.

Luckily, overseas, there were some constants over the weekend; sporting fortunes flowing as expected. Like Karrie Webb playing well to win the LPGA’s poetically named Longs Drugs Challenge by a shot from Annika Sorenstam.

Or the Australian one-day cricket team rampaging past the Windies to win the ODI final in Kuala Lumpur by 127 runs. The Australian team now motors on to the Champions Trophy while we all count the days until they stop wearing pyjama uniforms and don their Ashes kit.

Peter Fray

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