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Olympic boxer 'spat on' officer

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 06 Januari 2013 | 23.08

Olympic Boxer Damien Hooper: facing charges.. Source: News Limited

CHAMPION boxer Damien Hooper has been charged with seriously assaulting a police officer after a weekend incident outside a nightclub in Dalby.

The 20-year-old, who lives in Toowoomba, was an Olympian last year but did not make it through to the quarter-finals.

His Olympic campaign was marred by a run-in with authorities when he showed up to a match wearing a T-shirt with an Aboriginal flag on it. He later apologised for breaching protocol.

Police were called just after 2am yesterday to the Mirage nightclub in Dalby. Hopper allegedly dropped his pants and exposed himself to officers and spat in a male officer's face as police struggled to load him into a car and take him away.

Hooper spent the rest of the morning in the watchhouse and was charged with wilful exposure, assaulting or obstructing police and seriously assaulting police.

He is due in Dalby Magistrates Court on February 19.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Fears fires took lives with 100 missing

Tonight thousands of Tasmanians remain in emergency accommodation as fires tore through thousands of hectares of land destroying more than a hundred properties

THE bushfires in southern Tasmania may have claimed lives, with police unable to reach 100 people now thought to be missing.

Acting Police Commissioner Scott Tilyard told the ABC that there are about 100 people with whom authorities have been unable to make contact.

"That's not to say that those people necessarily have come to any harm, but obviously we can't totally eliminate that until we've had confirmed contact with those individuals," he said.

Acting Tasmanian Premier Bryan Green said he hoped there would be no fatalities.

"I hope from the bottom of my heart that nobody has lost their lives through the fire, we will just have to wait for police to make those assessments," he told reporters.

There are no confirmed deaths as a result of the bushfires on the Tasman Peninsula, but police and defence services personnel are searching for bodies.

John Yaxley stands in front of the remains of his parents home in Copping. Picture: Sam Rosewarne

"We're hoping very much along with everyone else that there won't be (any deaths), but we need to go through the process to confirm that there hasn't been,'' he said.

"If you have a house or a shack that burns to the ground that there's quite a thorough examination that needs to happen to confirm that there is definitely no deceased person in there.''

"I am fearful that someone may have died in this fire... it is a very distinct possibility still and I think people need to brace themselves that that may occur," Mr Tilyard said, saying there were grave fears in a "handful" of cases.

"Whilst we have had no known deaths associated with these fires at this particular point in time, I want to make it quite clear that it is still far too early to confirm that that is not the case," he added.

The danger is not over yet

(From left) Dunalley couple Patricia and John McCauley with Patricia's mother Doris Aspden who lives with them lost everything in the fires Picture: Roger Lovell

There are also fears of further fire damage with above average temperatures expected today - Hobart is forecast to reach 29C and Launceston 30C.

Temperatures will stay high until Wednesday and are also expected to be above average again in the days following.

"While we hopefully will not experience those once-in-a-generation, horrific, catastrophic weather conditions that we faced on Friday, there isn't a decent rain ahead of us," emergency services minister David O'Byrne said.

"There are still some weather conditions later this week where the temperatures will rise again ... which will mean not only the existing fires but other bushfire prone areas of Tasmania will be under threat."

Fire chiefs say they can't predict when the massive blazes in the state will be brought under control.

Hobart wakes under a blanket of smoke as bushfires ravage Tasmania's south-east. Les Reynolds surveys the damage in Carlton River. Picture: Mark Stewart

Police and troops will today continue going door to door in the worst-hit towns of Dunalley and Boomer Bay to search for the missing and confirm no lives had been lost in conditions officials had described as catastrophic.

Nothing but the shirts on their backs

Meanwhile in Hobart, 92-year-old Doris Aspden tok the material of her shirt between her fingers and declared: "This is what we've got."

Mrs Aspden, her son John McCauley and daughter-in-law Patricia McCauley sat in Hobart's City Hall, where a refuge has been set up for those evacuated by boat from the bushfire ravaged Tasman Peninsula.

The family lost everything, including their home of five months, at Dunalley, the worst hit town of the Tasmanian bushfire crisis.

Fire-fighters at the fire near the Glen Esk Rd, Conara Picture: Chris Kidd

Because they'd moved so recently, they were yet to take out contents insurance.

They'd cleared the area around the house on their five acres and had the fire service burn a break for them, all to no avail.

"We said, 'It's going to be a hot summer and we might have bushfires', so we wanted it all cleared," Mrs McCauley said.

"It didn't work though. It's really cleared now."

The fishing village of Dunalley is known to many visitors as a meal stop on the way to or from the major attraction of Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula.

Tasmanian police have been unable to locate several people after bushfires destroyed properties in the state.

Its bakery and pub offering seafood sit either side of its famous Denison Canal.

The McCauleys' son-in-law watched his oyster-farming gear go up in smoke, including his boats.

While Mrs McCauley's priority was getting Mrs Aspden to safety, Mr McCauley tried to stay and defend their home.

"It was 62 degrees at the head of the fire. It was blistering the paint," he said.

"That's when you die, 62 degrees."

A eucalptus tree ignites near Dunalley, Tasmania. PIC:: Richard Jupe

Mrs McCauley went back for him only to be stopped by police.

"When I found out he was going to stay and fight that fire we went back to get him because we were too scared."

Mrs Aspden will head to NSW to stay with one of her daughters, while the McCauleys have been overwhelmed by offers of accommodation and support.

They are already looking to the future.

"We never look backwards. No point," Mrs McCauley said.

Dozens of homes have been destroyed by bushfires in the Australian island state of Tasmania. Paul Chapman reports.

"You start again."

Her husband agrees.

"No use sitting there crying and blubbering about it, it's gone and nothing we're going to do is bringing it back."

Evacuations continue as fires rage on

More than 1000 people were evacuated from the peninsula to Hobart via boat, with the final ferryload of 180 people departing Nubeena for the capital early yesterday morning.

Clouds from a nearby bushfire are seen over Mount Wellington during day one of the Hobart International at Domain Tennis Centre on January 4, 2013 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Hundreds more have sought refuge with relatives and in evacuation centres across the region, including at the Port Arthur historic site.

The threat posed to communities by the Forcett bushfire was downgraded to watch and act, but the blaze continues to burn out of control, and has already done massive damage throughout the peninsula.

Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) chief fire officer Mike Brown said a bushfire near Bicheno had destroyed between 10 and 15 homes, and burned around 7000 hectares.

The Bicheno fire continues to burn out of control and the town's main access route, Coles Bay Road, was closed again after briefly reopening on Sunday morning. Mr Brown said the TFS was hopeful of getting the fire under control within the next 48 hours.

The town of Dunalley was the worst hit, with around 65 homes and the town's school destroyed, while dozens more buildings were razed at Connellys Marsh, Eaglehawk Neck, Murdunna, Copping and Primrose Sands.

A major bushfire swept through Dunalley in Tasmania. Picture: Richard Jupe

Queen sends her best wishes

Authorities have pledged to rebuild the bushfire ravaged town of Dunalley and restore to the happy place it once was.

"It seems, obviously, the community of Dunalley has been most affected ... as soon as we can, we will be there to make sure we reassure those people that we will rebuild this community," acting Premier Green said.

"It is an important part of Tasmania and there is no reason why we can't bring Dunalley back to what it was and ensure people can get on and live the happy, healthy lifestyle the whole area was famous for," he said.

The federal government is making disaster relief funding of up to a $1000 per person available to Tasmanians affected by bushfires currently raging out of control through the state's southeast.

Speaking in Sydney, Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon said the government had made emergency funding available for those impacted by the fires.

"People living in the local government areas affected will be able to claim up a $1000 per adult and $400 per child,'' she said.

Smoke plume from a bushfire burning at Forcett in Tasmania. Photo: Twitter, @foodsideoflife

"Other emergency assistance will be made available for people who need money for food and temporary accommodation.

"That comes on top of the funding that Tasmania and the commonwealth together will invest to rebuild those communities.''

The Red Cross yesterday officially launched its Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal, and encouraged Australians to give generously.

The organisation's Tasmanian executive director Ian Burke said money donated would go a long way.

"Many families now face a huge challenge to rebuild their lives," Dr Burke said. "The priority for this appeal will be to assist people directly affected by the bushfires and we urge Australians to donate funds to help the people of Tasmania recover from this devastating disaster."

A bushfire rages out of control near Copping, in southern Tasmania, as temperatures in the state top 40C. Picture: Killick David

Donations can be made at www.redcross.org.au or by calling 1800 811 700.

The Queen has also expressed her concern for the bushfire victims in a brief note passed on by Tasmanian Governor Peter Underwood.

"I would like to convey my deep concern for all those who have been affected by the devastating bushfires that have caused widespread destruction across Tasmania,'' she said.

"I send my sympathy to those people who have lost their homes or livelihoods in the fires, and offer my support and admiration for the firefighters, volunteers and emergency services officers who have been working tirelessly to contain the situation.''

In a separate message, Mr Underwood praised the camaraderie on display over the past few days.

A worker tries to keep flames away from infrastructure at Repulse Dam. PIC: Sam Rosewarne

"I am confident that all Tasmanians will rally around those stricken and displaced and willingly give them support and encouragement,'' he said.

"We already have seen evidence of this spirit in the tireless work of the firefighters.

"To those who have suffered so badly in these fires, I say, we Tasmanians will rally to your aid; have courage.''

Recreational and commercial vessels were used to bring in thousands of meals and other essential supplies, and to evacuate people.

Reinforcements arrive as community rallies

A crew of 65 Victorian firefighters was expected to arrive in Tasmania yesterday, while NSW sent an expert Rural Fire Service team to help document fire damage.

Property losses on the Tasman Peninsula have been significant, with 30 per cent of the buildings in the small community of Dunalley destroyed, including the school and police station.

At Connellys Marsh, 40 per cent of the buildings are gone, along with three houses at Copping and several at Primrose Sands.

Twenty houses have been lost around Murdunna and there are reports of more at Eaglehawk Neck.

As stunned residents examined the damage, the human stories emerged from a day of horror.

Some were cut off by the speed with the fires spread and fought alone to save their homes.

Others were saved by neighbours or by the heroic efforts of fire crews or waterbombing aircraft turning up in the nick of time. Or luck.

There were tears and trauma, but overwhelmingly a sense of optimism and community and gratitude that things weren't worse.

Chief officer Mike Brown said Friday's high winds and 42-degree record temperatures matched conditions on the day of the state's 1967 bushfire disaster and it was very fortunate none had died.

''The conditions of yesterday were comparable with that terrible day and on that day we lost 2000 homes and 62 lives, so I think it speaks volumes for the really hard work that was done yesterday and our more advanced operational and warning systems that we are able to use,'' he said.

Thousands of people remain displaced, sheltering in refuges and or with family and friends, many not knowing if their homes had survived the fires.

The bushfire that started at Forcett laid waste to town, destroying over 30 per cent of the town's buildings - including its school, its police station and its bakery.

Dunalley was a ghost town yesterday, with around 100 people who remained gathered at the local pub.

Twenty homes were destroyed at Murdunna, with about 40 per cent of the structures in Connellys Marsh also burnt down, along with homes in Copping, Boomer Bay, Dodges Ferry and Primrose Sands.

At least 12 properties had also been destroyed by the bushfire near Bicheno, which yesterday was downgraded to an 'advice alert'.

The fire at lake Repulse in the Derwent Valley slowed down overnight and has been downgraded to a watch and act alert level.

Search teams were yesterday investigating the ruins of every destroyed and damaged home to ensure no one had died. Until every property has been checked, people would not be allowed to return to their homes.

Yesterday afternoon fire affected areas on the Tasman Peninsula were declared a Serious Incident Site by police for public safety, security of evacuated homes and to preserve evidence.

Acting Commissioner Tilyard said Aurora and Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources workers had been working to remove power lines and trees from the Arthur Highway in an effort to allow the home to be reopened.

''We're hopeful of, if not opening the highway fully, at some point in the near future at least having some form of escorted access for people particularly coming off the Tasman peninsula during the day,'' he said.

Mr Tilyard said he was confident most people sheltering at Nubeena who wanted to leave the peninsula would have been evacuated by boat by last night.

An estimated 2000 people sheltered at the community refuge centre at Nubeena amd 600 people at Port Arthur.

On Friday night and throughout yesterday tourist cruise boats, ferries and private vessels picked up people stranded at Nubeena and took them to Hobart.

A boat arrived at Dodges Ferry yesterday morning carrying 3000 meals, fuel, bottled water and ambulance and other health workers.

The team headed to Nubeena where they distributed supplies and aid to people around the area.

''There's a great sense of community out there, people are helping each other and coming together as happens in these circumstances,'' Acting Commissioner Tilyard said.

Acting Commissioner Tilyard could not confirm when residents in affected areas would be allowed to return to their homes to assess the damage.

He said power outages had occurred across the Tasman Peninsula. This was affecting communication between people in the area and their loved ones elsewhere.

''There are certainly many many residences and areas that do not have power and people with mobile phones some of them have found that their batteries would have run out and they have no capacity to (charge their phones),'' he said.

People unable to contact their loved ones can call a police hotline. Acting Premier Green, who took a helicopter flight over burnt areas of the Tasman Peninsula yesterday afternoon, said it was a devastating sight.

''It's fair to say that (Friday) must have been a terrible experience for those people living on the Peninsula and surrounding areas,'' he said.

Mr Green said as uncontrolled bushfires were still burning, preserving life was still the authorities' main focus.

''People must put in place their fire plans,'' he said.

The fire at Bicheno is thought to have been started by a lighting strike and the fire at Lake Repulse was thought to have been started by a camp fire.

The cause of the Forcett fire is being investigated, but so far there is not evidence that it was deliberately lit.

with Blair Richards, David Killick

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Mum finds her baby in grip of a python

The mother was alerted to the python's presence by her cat hissing. Picture: AP
Source: AP

A MOTHER woke to find a 1.85m-long python wrapped around her two-year-old daughter yesterday morning.

Tess Guthrie, 22, from Lismore on the far north coast, was woken by her cat hissing at 3.30am and discovered the python wrapped three times around her daughter Zara's arm, who was sleeping in the bed with her.

At first she thought it was a dream but soon realised the horror and grabbed the snake by the head to pry it off her child, which caused the reptile to bite Zara three times on her left hand.

"After we went to the hospital and Tex came, they found the snake sort of down behind the bedside table and in-between the wall but I don't doubt he was there for days," she told the local TV station.

Zara was treated at Lismore Base Hospital and released yesterday morning.

Tex Tillis, from Tex's Snake Removals, who removed the reptile, said the coastal python, or carpet snake, wasn't trying to hurt the child.

"The snake, not in any way, shape or form, had intended to eat the baby - it was trying to have a group hug," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"Pythons, underneath their bottom jaw they have a row of sensors which enable them to see the world in terms of infrared pictures. So in the dark they're going to see a baby as this warm spot."

Ms Guthrie said she had noticed that her cat had been behaving out of character in the days leading up to the python's appearance.

"She's a very resourceful lady," Mr Tillis said. "She tried to grab its head but got six inches down which left the head to bite the baby.

"When you grab a snake, a snake in its reptilian brain thinks, 'anything that can grab me can also eat me'."

Mr Tillis estimates the python to be 5-10 years old: "by no means a big fella - they grow much, much bigger."

But Ms Guthrie insisted that the reptile not be killed and instead it was released back into the wild about 5km from the house.

Mr Tillis said: "Not only is she courageous and gutsy but she's compassionate."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Glassing victim 'lucky to be alive'

Images of four men police wish to speak to about a glass attack in Lygon St, Carlton. Source: Herald Sun

A NATIONAL manhunt is under way after a man had a glass "ground into his face" at a Melbourne restaurant.

Detectives have described the horrific attack as "absolutely brutal" and said the victim is lucky to be alive after the incident in Lygon St, Carlton.

A group of men were sitting together at a table outside the unnamed venue when a dispute erupted.

One man, in a red Elwood hooded top and beige shorts, grappled with the victim before picking up a heavy milkshake-type glass and smashing it into his face.

"It is an appalling attack, absolutely brutal. I have not seen anything this bad in my seven years of policing," Detective Senior Constable Brooke Manley, from Melbourne North Criminal Investigation Unit, said.

"The offender has picked up a glass and literally ground it into his face.

"He suffered major facial injuries, which will last a lifetime ... He is lucky he wasn't killed," she added.

Detectives say the victim is not co-operating with police, however a national search has been launched in a bid to identify the offender and lay charges.

"The incident happened at 1.30am on May 2 last year but I was convinced we would be able to identify the attacker due to the clear pictures of his face," Senior Detective Manley said.

"We have run their images throughout Victoria Police - including the specialist outlaw bikie Taskforce Echo - without success.

"I am surprised they have committed this level of shocking violence and are not known to police. However someone will know who they are and it is possible they are from interstate.

"We have syndicated ... their images to police forces around the country and I am absolutely confident we will bring these people to justice."

Police have released the images of four men who they believe will be able to assist them in their inquiries.

CCTV footage shows the pair falling to the floor as the man pushes the glass into the victim's face.

His attacker then picks up a chair but does not throw it when his victim stays on the floor.

The group are last seen heading towards Grattan St as the victim staggers off with his face dripping with blood.

The man who struck the victim with the glass is described as Middle Eastern in appearance, aged in his late 20s, medium build and dark hair.

If you have any information contact Crime Stoppers, confidentially, on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestoppers.com.au.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

No, really, food is way cheaper

Food prices in Australia are going down, even though consumers feel the cost of living is rising. Picture: Brianne Makin Source: The Sunday Telegraph

IN a remarkable reversal, Australian families are now enjoying the fastest-falling food prices in the developed world.

After unrivalled increases, local food costs declined by 2.7 per cent in the 12 months to the end of September, News Limited analysis of OECD data reveals.

"We can confirm that Australia had the biggest price decline of food prices in the recent past," Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development spokesman Lawrence Speer said.

Some of this most recent drop is due to fruit prices normalising after the effects of the Queensland floods of late 2010 and early 2011, the Victorian floods of January 2011 and Cyclone Yasi in February 2011.

However, the OECD data also shows that there is a broader and more sustained trend at work.

Since the end of 2009, Australian food prices have remained contained when compared to similar nations such as Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

Between 2000 and 2009, Australians had endured the fastest-rising food prices among major developed nations.

Two of the significant factors in the turnaround, according to University of Queensland economics professor John Quiggin, have been the end of the drought - increasing supply - and the strong Australian dollar, which has helped to limit the cost of globally traded food ingredients such as wheat.

"The appreciation of the dollar pushes down the prices of commodities, which pushes down the price for Australian consumers," Professor Quiggin said.

Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said there was a "misconception" that food bills were still rising.

"Consumers may be quite surprised to see these results given that the overall cost of living feels like it has really increased," Ms Just said.

A recent national poll by Lonergan found more than three-quarters of respondents believed costs were rising faster than the official overall inflation rate of 2 per cent. Among these people, two-thirds of men and four out of five women mistakenly believed food prices had risen more than 2 per cent over the past year.

The costs that are actually rising fast are rents, rates, electricity, gas, healthcare and education expenses, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

At the supermarket, shoppers have been saving $100 million a month on food, new research by Deloitte Access Economics claims.

The Deloitte report, commissioned by Coles, said that across the entire supermarket sector the "overall saving in food could in fact be worth $1.8 billion or more over the 18-month period" to end of June 2012.

Deloitte cited causes including increased competition between Coles and Woolworths as well as the entry of players such as Costco and before them, Aldi.

There may be more savings to come. Woolworths' general manager of fresh food Pat McEntee said that following excellent seasons in "almost all regions", shoppers would soon benefit from additional price reductions.

"We will start to see some further deflation in fruit and vegetables, which is great for the customer," Mr McEntee said. Currently Woolworths' average measure of fruit and vegetable prices is one per cent lower than this time last year.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Tributes flow for sweet, gentle Timmy

Timothy O'Brien's stepfather Peter Williams with police. Picture: Brad Ward Source: Herald Sun

A smiling Timothy, who was inseparable from his stepfather. Source: Herald Sun

A 14-YEAR-OLD brutally bludgeoned to death was remembered as a gentle boy with an amazing smile, who was inseparable from his stepfather.

Timothy O'Brien's teachers and neighbours revealed their shock at the death of the young autistic boy.

Timmy was struck in the head with a blunt weapon early Saturday morning outside a Carlyle St property at Scarsdale, southwest of Ballarat.

Teachers and classmates at the Ballarat Specialist School where Timmy studied left tributes online in memory of the gentle boy.

Lynne Koene said: "Being a teacher is an amazing and rewarding job ... a traumatic part occurs when you hear of a student being senselessly murdered.

"RIP to a sweet and gentle young man with an amazing smile."

A Ballarat man Darren Wilson, 35, and a Wendouree man Joel Henderson, 39, were each charged with one count of murder.

Timmy and his stepfather Peter Williams, 45, had allegedly gone to the aid of two teenage women after they received threatening phone calls.

The Scarsdale community has been shaken by the attack and the loss of the teenager, who was often seen riding his scooter around the block.

Local residents said that while it was strange to take a 14-year-old to such a volatile situation, the pair never left each other's side.

Neighbour Carina Hunter said the family were distressed and were screaming hysterically on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Williams was left utterly inconsolable in his backyard.

"They were totally inseparable. They went absolutely everywhere together," Ms Hunter said.

"They were best mates. We always thought they were father and son. Timmy even called him Dad."

Another neighbour said Timmy acted like he was 10 years old and was a passive and polite boy.

"He was the tiniest, skinniest little boy you have ever seen," the neighbour said.

It is believed a woman in her late teens had only been renting the property, where the attack occurred, for about a month.

Neighbours said they had noticed an increase in unusual traffic at the residence with cars coming and going at all hours.

Forensic crews combed for fingerprints at the Scarsdale property where the incident occurred, while a police tow truck removed a white Commodore van believed to belong to Mr Williams.

A witness said they saw Mr Williams run to the car shortly after 4am on Saturday.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Nine fury over Aussie ODI selection

Former Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is recalled to the Australian side, while Mike Hussey is effectively axed.

Retired Test batsman Michael Hussey optimistic despite his omission from Australia's one-day team. Source: Getty Images

CHANNEL 9 is furious that Australia has picked a second string one-day side to begin the five-match series against Sri Lanka.

Just three players from the Test team that beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in Sydney yesterday for a 3-0 clean sweep have been chosen for the first two one-day matches.

Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Phil Hughes are the only survivors, with the most controversial decision to rest explosive batting star David Warner.

The retiring Mike Hussey has been completely overlooked as the selectors plan for the 2015 World Cup while captain Michael Clarke is still nursing a sore hamstring and his deputy Shane Watson remains unavailable with a calf strain.

Brad Haddin has been recalled to replace resting wicket-keeper Matt Wade.

Nine's director of sport Steve Crawley was clearly disappointed with the lack of stars in the team. 

"At Channel 9, I'm surrounded by experts," Crawley told the Herald Sun.

"I'm not an expert. I'm a fan and as a fan I'd not only have David Warner in the side, but make him captain and as a fan I don't know how you leave Mike Hussey out of anything this summer."

Hussey, 37, was upset when told on Saturday night that he had been overlooked for the one-day series, but remained ever the diplomat yesterday.

"I would like to have played, but the selectors spoke to me and said they were starting to look towards the 2015 World Cup," Hussey said.

"It would have been nice to play, but I totally understand where the selectors are going."

Warner wasn't particularly chuffed about being rested, but as one of the few players involved in all three forms of the game he has been has been on the go for six months and has a big year ahead.

"You never want to have a game off, but having these two games off means I get the chance to mentally prepare for the one-day series and the tour of India," Warner said.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland played down the lack of big names in the squad.

"It's only the first two games of the series. In the fullness of time we'll see who plays in the one-day series," Sutherland said.

"It's only been picked for two games so I don't see what the big issue is about that.

"The selectors made it pretty clear that the three guys who are rested (Clarke, Warner and Wade) will be back fresh in the not too distance future."

Sutherland denied the Australian one-day side had been devalued.

"In this debate there is a great temptation to delve into the micro detail without taking a big picture view," he said.

"The greatest context around one-day cricket is the World Cup and we have the Champions Trophy this year.

"The selectors are very, very focused on developing teams that can win those big events.

"I think that's really exciting because what will play out during this series is fantastic opportunities for young guys who have the potential, in the selectors' eyes, to be representing Australia in a World Cup in 2015 that is being hosted by us in Australia.

"I can understand people's disappointment but we need a big picture focus here about Australian cricket."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Toughest challenge for Dan Crowley

ON THE MEND: Former Wallaby Dan Crowley has the support of his daughters, Chaise and Jessica, after suffering a stroke at the age of 47. Picture: Liam Kidston Source: The Courier-Mail

FORMER Wallaby hardman Dan Crowley knows the stroke that suddenly floored him at just 47 could have been fatal if he'd been surfing or driving.

Whenever he dwells on why a fit, non-smoker of his age should be a victim, the one-time undercover detective is rallied by how lucky he is to be starting a determined recovery.

"My doctor has told me how lucky I am," Crowley said yesterday in his first interview since his world was spun upside down five weeks ago.

"I was just walking back from buying the newspaper on holidays when I felt the first bad headache and the leg went a bit wonky.

"I went for a two-hour surf with my son and drove back to Brisbane from the Sunshine Coast the same day."

Two days later, he was being rushed by ambulance to Brisbane's Mater Private Hospital where he stayed for more than two weeks. A tear in the artery wall at the back of his head had caused a stroke.

"I couldn't walk or talk. My blood pressure was through the roof, I was really crook and I just couldn't make sense of what was happening," Crowley said.

Dan Crowley, centre, celebrates with fellow Wallabies John Eales, Phil Kearns, Tim Horan, Glenn Panoho and Daniel Herbert after the Australians won the 1998 Bledisloe Cup over New Zealand at Christchurch. Picture: Fotopress

Many times since, Crowley has wished he was dealing with breaking a rib in a truck-smash scrum collision with a 130kg South African, as happened in his 1990s prime as a prop.

"I wish it was a broken bone so the doc could say six weeks and you'll be right," the 1991 and 1999 Rugby World Cup-winner said.

"This is out of my control and I'm not used to it ... or being big on patience."

His balance has been affected, his vision blurs when he tires and the full function of his left arm and leg will take months to come back.

"A few weeks ago I couldn't walk or swallow. Now I can get to the front gate on a walking stick and I'm doing my rehab twice a day," the father-of-four said.

"My family and rugby mates have been great support. I can't catch a ball but my old teammates reckon nothing's changed since I played."

His humour nerve is intact: "... and I'll be speaking like Darren Lockyer for a few months, too, while I fix myself up."

Crowley was renowned for his durability during his career of 38 Tests and 124 games for Queensland and played a social game only weeks before his stroke.

A chief executive and managers are keeping his successful investigation and security firm operating at full-throttle.

Crowley has also had a reassuring phone call from London from 1991 World Cup-winning teammate Michael Lynagh, who is recovering from the stroke he suffered in Brisbane in April at the age of 48.

"We had a talk on the phone and it's good to know the progress you make and I've the same doc (Dr John O'Sullvan) who helped Noddy," Crowley said.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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