Lots of news for you!

A bit to get through.. Fiji for a holiday, voted onto the Leadership group for the PKF Tasmanian Tigers, Have started a Bat Company with Dane Anderson called Venom Cricket and the Mavericks have made a splash in Free Agency signing Drew Gooden, Tim Thomas and trading for Shawn Marion who is a known perimeter defender... More on that later. In news not so interesting – Australia won the Fourth Test. If you want to be bored with actual cricket stories, you should try Tim Neilson or Nathan Hauritz blogs. I am told they are worth a look if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you haven’t been to Fiji, I suggest you get there. Their motto should be; Sunny on Day 1 and intermittent rain and strong winds the rest. Although Day 1 did bring a dirty pink rash to my chest. The doctor called it sunburn, I thought I had Malaria or Denghi Fever and was going to die. Mum always said I was a hypercondraictaitis and that I was never very good at spelling big words!

Fiji did bring the happiest day of my life. No, I didn’t get married in an Elvis style ceremony, but I did have my first ever sub par round of Golf. I am a Golf nut.. I’m a sucker for an eBay purchase that will be the next answer to my putting woes, or fix my erratic tee shots and I once brought an eraser that claimed to turn my 5s into 4s.. I have used this saying before in my blogs, but Dean Jones said it best in his hit VHS “Deano.. The One Day Dynamo” I HAD A DAY OUT!! I missed two fairways – 12 of 14. Hit 12 of 18 greens and had only 28 putts. 3 under 33 on the Front Nine and a 1 over Back nine with 2 birdies and three bogeys. I honestly couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the day. As my last putt rolled in for a birdie 4 on the 512 metre par 5 at Denaru Island Golf and Raquet Club I lept into the air like I had just beaten Tiger Woods in a playoff at the US Open. I very quickly returned to earth when my left ankle gave way and I fell to the ground like a pro wrestler who had just been clotheslined.

There was a little bit of speculation when I sent out 58 text messages telling all and sundry about my tremendous round. There were the usual replies.. “I didn’t realise Fiji had championship mini putt putt” and “Oh yeah, had the old foot wedge in your bag did you?” – But I can hold my head up high and say – Yes I’m a cheat.. so what of it??!! How I Love Fanta.... Yum - See if you can crack my little brain teaser? What is the hidden word?

Quite amazingly I have been voted into the PKF Tasmanian Tigers Leadership Group. The Leadership group was formed last year with the main aim of keeping me in check. I remember coming back from a four week tour of India with the Australia A team last season. I arrived back in Hobart under the pretense that training for the first three days were optional for the guys returning from India. I took this opportunity to play some golf and spend some time with my dogs. When we arrived in Mooloolaba for our Pre Season Tour, I was summoned to face the leaders of men. For missing three sessions and not filling out a survey for a pre pre season camp (that I was away for..) I was fined and put on my last warning. Any indiscretion for the remainder of the year would see me face a two week ban from the squad and any State Cricket that was scheduled in that period. Oh dear, nasty stuff!

After spending last year with my views on the Leadership Group clouded by the off coloured haze surrounding my head (kind reference to me having my head up my backside), I took it upon myself to inform the new skipper that I wanted a spot on the leadership group for the upcoming year. If you cant beat em join em.. The squad members voted and in I went. I’m a little peeved though. I was under the impression that being in the Leadership Group allowed you to miss training without an excuse, gave you unlimited access to David Boon’s wine collection and a years supply of pies. Turns out that you get 75% off the pies. Peeved!!

Some exciting times lie ahead for myself, Dane Anderson and our brand Venom Cricket. For the past 4 months we have been working closely on the finer details that a project like this brings. There is a lot of hard work involved, but we are throwing ourselves into it full tilt. We spent close to 3 weeks with a graphic designer coming up with the logos and bat stickers. It has been a process that has involved lots of swearing (if you’ve spent more than 5 minutes with Ando you will know what I’m talking about) and more than one fist fight. Our idea is to provide “Players” quality gear to the public at a price that everyone can afford.

The hardest thing about getting involved in this project has been the termination of my relationship with Koookaburra Sports. Kookaburra supplied me with my first bat when I was a pimply faced germ at the Cricket Academy. That relationship has lasted close to a decade and I cannot thank them enough for their ongoing support not only through that decade long period, but towards my future with Venom cricket also.

I turn over a fresh page and what I see excites me. Ando has mastered the calculator to the point he can write rude words with the numbers and we have created a brand that is as respected as Kookaburra Sports. Ando and I both know we are a long way from both those things. But with continued hard work and maybe a paid tutor for Ando, we will get there.
In other news; Luke Butterworth had a hole in one on the Par 3 11th at Tassie Golf Club. Hitting a 52 degree Cleveland Wedge he put it past the pin and jazzed it straight back in. SHOT!! Xavier Doherty and Emma Coogan agreed to be Mr and Mrs Doherty, at some time in 2011.

Engagement party was a roaring success. I gave them a toaster, prob not a great idea giving them mine. Toasting under the griller takes way too long – Timmy Paine got himself into the Aussie one Day Tour of England. Its amazing what blonde hair and blue eyes will do for you.. .