Monday, 4 April 2011

More Than Studs And Leather

Is it sport, or is it a party?  Some go to watch rugby, others go to party, and those like yours truly enjoyed both. 

Yes, we’re talking about the one and only Hong Kong Sevens, the world’s biggest rugby party.

Perhaps the Saturday is more for party-goers, and the Sunday for rugby aficionados, but it all becomes somewhat blurry after a while.

Sevens rugby is not everyone’s cup of tea. There is something inherently  light-hearted about it, perhaps more akin to a game that you’d expect to see in the backyard after a barbecue, or in the school playground at lunchtime. But it does indeed grow on you, and the fitness and skill levels are unquestionably  high.

It is also the only form of rugby which is truly competitive world-wide, with teams from countries such as Canada, Portugal, Spain, and Russia performing very creditably.

Anyway, here’s a few pictures intended to capture the atmosphere at the Hong Kong 7’s, 2011, courtesy of Steve Lawie.

 The clergy got into the spirit of things.

Mr. T was there.

Team America took time out from saving the world.

 Support for the Kazakhstan team.

He claimed the Welsh are the “Reigning World champions”, but was it a load of bull? 


Miss Bubbles



Duty, Honour, Country.

The fairest of them all. 

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Dawning Of A New Era

Anyone watching the awesome performance of the Indian cricket team in the World Cup could only have been impressed by the quality of cricket on display. But demographics indicate that we are witnessing something even greater: India will dominate international cricket for decades to come.

With around 160,000 registered adult players,  the cricket participation rate in Australia is less than 2% of the population.

Despite being a sports-mad nation, our enthusiasm is divided amongst many codes.

The population of India is fifty times that of Australia, and the cricket participation rate is conservatively listed at 5% of its population, so the ratio of cricket players in India to Australia is more than 100:1.

Obsessed with only one sport, India has a gargantuan pool of players to draw on.

Formerly, India’s rise to the top of world cricket had been prevented by poverty, but it now has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world.

While per capita income growth in Australia is around 2%, the per capita income in India is expected to double within the next 9 years.

This will rapidly result in progressively more of its population entering a burgeoning middle class, with the income to indulge in a game which is a national obsession.

The sheer weight of numbers is compelling: it is the dawning of a new era.