Players’ union chief warns T20 will kill Test cricket
The Big Bash League has burst into the top 10 most attended sports leagues in the world.
Organisers of the Twenty20 tournament, in its fifth edition, are still trying to digest the enormity of the 80,883 crowd that turned up to the MCG for the derby between the Stars and Renegades a week ago.
The upcoming Sydney derby next Saturday is also poised to be an SCG domestic record of up to 42,000, an attendance that will only help drive the average crowd figures further north.
The late-season average of 28,279 before Sunday’s two games has propelled the BBL to ninth position on the list of the world’s most attended sports leagues, nudging ahead of Japan’s professional baseball league (28,248) and Indian Super League football (26,376) and ensuring the Canadian Football League (24,737) and Italy’s Serie A (23,001) are absent from the top 10.
The BBL clearly has a far smaller sample size than other competitions that fill spots inside and around the top 10. There were only 24 games played before Sunday’s two matches between Hobart and Perth, and Sydney Sixers and Brisbane with a total attendance of nearly 700,000.
By contrast, the world’s biggest league, the NFL, drew in excess of 17 million fans to its stadiums in the 2015 regular season. Major League Baseball comes in seventh with an average of 30,517 but with teams playing 162 games a season had a total attendance of more than 73 million.
Even so, a rise of nearly 5000 spectators per game and the place in the global top 10 to date this season is another representation of the fast emerging success of the BBL.
“That’s flattering, given that the competition is only five years’ old, to be in the company of some of those really established sports leagues,” Big Bash manager Anthony Everard said on Sunday. “Having said that it’s obviously not really our focus. Our focus is on our own backyard and making sure we continue to appeal to kids and families. That is as satisfying to us as perhaps some of those big numbers on a global scale.”
The Big Bash figures are obviously improved by the massive crowd at the MCG.
“I think that number has been a real eye-opener for us,” Everard said. “If I reflect on the first few years of the Big Bash we were astounded by mid-20,000s and I think we had 30,000 at the Gabba one night. Those were considered at the time to be fantastic numbers.
“Here we are eight or 10 days after that MCG game and we’re still trying to get our heads around 80,00 fans at a Big Bash game. It gives us a real cause to reconsider where the opportunities are for the BBL and the growth available not just for Melbourne but all the other markets as well.
“We’ve stated that at the end of the season we’re going to consider our options. I guess we sort of think of it as growth rather than expansion and it can take many different forms.
“It could potentially be more games … we’ve already gone on the record to say we’re not considering introducing new teams at the moment. We haven’t put a time frame on that. We’re not going to get caught up in its success this year and make too many knee-jerk reactions.”
Top 10 most watched sports leagues (average crowds, 2015/16)
1. NFL 68,278
2. German Bundesliga 43,331
3. US College Football Division I FBL 43,288
4. English Premier League 36,464
5. AFL 33,428
6. Indian Premier League 31,750*
7. Major League Baseball 30,517
8. La Liga 28,498
9. Big Bash League 28,279
10. Nippon Professional Baseball 28,248
* IPL figures are from 2014 tournament when first 20 games were played in the UAE and are unofficial.
Milos Raonic of Canada holds the Roy Emerson trophy after winning the Brisbane International. Photo: Matt Roberts Milos Raonic celebrates winning the men’s final against Roger Federer at the Brisbane International. Photo: Matt Roberts
A new year, the same finalists, a different result. Milos Raonic has reversed last year’s Brisbane International result by upstaging top seed and defending champion Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 to win his eighth career title and first Roy Emerson Trophy.
Raonic was the support act in a 2015 finals show that was all about Federer, of whom a grand fuss was made when he registered his 1000th career match victory to prevail in three sets. But this year’s lower-key yet still hugely satisfying celebration was the Canadian’s, after what was just his second defeat of the 17-time major winner in 11 attempts.
While Federer was not as sharp as expected, it was a fine performance from the big-serving Raonic, whose ranking dipped 10 places to 14th due to foot and back injuries from May last year. He has long been spoken of among the next generation expected to challenge for major titles, but a semi-final appearance at 2014 Wimbledon has been his best grand slam result so far.
Raonic said the result does “great things” for him heading into the n Open, where he reached the quarter-finals last year. “For myself it signifies within the team how concrete and good the work we’re doing is. At the same time, with the difficulties I’ve had last year, it’s maybe a good way for me to show the other guys I will face going in Melbourne (that)I’ve got my stuff back together and I can play some good tennis again.”
Asked if he felt ready to win the Open or at least be a serious grand slam contender in 2016, he said: “Yeah, definitely. Sort of two steps: Being able to step up and play great for two weeks, which I believe I can definitely do.Then there is the aspect of if you want to compete to be the best player in the world, that’s about playing a good about 30 weeks. That’s maybe another step away, but I definitely feel I have it within myself to step up with play great tennis for two weeks.”
Federer admitted he struggled with his serve and defensive game, having felt “one step too slow” on legs wearied by the illness that compromised his preparation. “Considering the week I’ve had, I’m actually quite happy,” said the world No.3. “That’s why I’m not down or anything or disappointed. If I would’ve known I would’ve made the finals five days ago I would’ve been unbelievably happy.
“I’ve still got a cough and the throat is a bit weird. Definitely got to make sure I get over it as quickly as possible. As long as I keep on playing and doing all that stuff it’s not going to go away faster. So I am going to rest up tomorrow. Also have to see, but then probably hit the practice courts again. Practice you can manage how hard you’re going to do it. Obviously health is No. 1.
“The good thing is the off-season was great. I have a base there, so I think within three, four days I should be back at 100 per cent, if things progress normally, which I think they are now, because 90 per cent is passed now, which is a good thing.”
What will be the only n Open lead-up event for both players was Federer’s first with Raonic’s former coach Ivan Ljubicic in his entourage, the Swiss star’s long-time mentor Severin Luthi due to join the team in Melbourne on Tuesday.
“I think it was very comfortable, very natural first week for us. Severin is going to arrive on Tuesday to join the team now,” Federer said. “So I’m very happy how the first week went.. We were both thrilled that I got to play as many matches as I did here this week, because we saw how bad I was doing on Tuesday. So still been a good first week.”
In a 41-minute first set, Raonic’s improved execution at the net was quickly apparent, with his off-forehand also proving particularly damaging from the back of the court. With a first-serve percentage of less than 50 per cent, Federer was struggling to stay with his younger opponent when Raonic left the court for a medical time-out at the end of the third game.
The Canadian returned to serve four double-faults in the next game, Federer could not convert what would be his sole break point of the match. Down 30-40 at 3-3, Federer pushed a forehand wide to give his opponent the advantage he would not relinquish. The errors were mounting for the Swiss champion, whose last was a backhand return that sailed long. All over in 89 minutes. Raonic’s victory party this time.
“I’d like to congratulate Milos on a great start to the year here in Brisbane,” Federer, who is yet to commit to return for the opening week of 2017, said at the presentation graced by Emerson’s proxy Rod Laver. “You played great already here last year, I thought that final was epic on many levels for us both, and now this year you got it. You deserve it, well played, and good luck at the n Open.”
The Sydney International has been dealt a huge blow with two of the tournament’s top drawcards withdrawing from the event on Sunday.
Reigning tournament champion and world No.6 Petra Kvitova was the first to pull the pin, heading to Melbourne earlier than anticipated with a gastrointestinal illness.
The tournament No.3 seed’s withdrawal was shortly followed by No.2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who has a leg injury heading into the opening grand slam of the year.
“I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from the Apia International Sydney but unfortunately I am still not feeling well,” Kvitova said.
“Being defending champion, this tournament obviously means a lot to me and I’ve always had a wonderful time playing this event. I look forward to coming back in future years to play for my fantastic fans.”
The injuries keep piling up on the women’s side of the draw heading into the n Open with Radwanska and Kvitova joining Serena Williams (back), Maria Sharapova (forearm), Garbine Muguruza (leg), Simona Halep (Achilles) and Sam Stosur (wrist) as the walking wounded.
Stosur will open her Sydney International campaign against Italian Roberta Vinci on Monday afternoon, albeit with the discomfort of a right wrist injury.
Halep believes the n has the game to leave an impact on the summer despite a terrible record on home soil.
“I think she has the game to do everything in Melbourne,” Halep said.
“She’s already grand slam champion, so she knows how to play the grand slams. But still, when you are at home it’s difficult with the fans. You don’t want to lose because you don’t want to disappoint the people from your home.
“So it’s tough. I know, I’ve played in my country as well. That was a big difference because the tournament was very small. It’s not easy to handle the pressure and it’s not easy to handle the attention that you are home and you have to win.”
On the opening day of the tournament, n Tammi Patterson was no match for Svetlana Kuznetsova, going down 6-2, 6-0 on Ken Rosewall Arena.
The 2014 champion Tsvetana Pironkova was too strong for Ukranian Lesia Tsurenko, while American Coco Vandeweghe was bundled out by Serbian Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-4.
The opening round of the men’s draw begins on Monday, with n Jordan Thompson taking on Martin Klizan, while John Millman takes on veteran Tommy Robredo in the twilight session.
Hopman Cup hero Daria Gavrilova will make her first appearance against qualifier Monica Puig.
Angelique Kerber has touched down in Sydney fresh off her Brisbane International final loss against Victoria Azarenka and will look to continue her good run of form when she squares off against Elina Svitolina on Ken Rosewall Arena.
Swiss teen sensation Belinda Bencic will also begin her campaign against Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Canberra Capitals player Abby Bishop hopes to step up on the n Opals tour of Brazil this week. Photo: Jeffrey ChanOlympic Games hopeful Abby Bishop admits she’ll have to take her game to a new level to slot back into international basketball when she suits up for the n Opals for the first time in two years.
Bishop and Canberra Capitals teammate Stephanie Talbot left on Sunday to fly to Brazil for an Olympic test event in Rio as they push their claims for Opals selection.
It’s a chance for the Opals to show there’s light at the end of the tunnel if ‘s greatest female basketballer, Lauren Jackson, fails to recover from injury in time to play at a fifth Olympics.
But the journey is equally as tough for Bishop as she prepares to play her first game for the Opals since withdrawing from ‘s world championship campaign over a controversial childcare policy.
Bishop will leave daughter Zala in Canberra with a nanny as she attempts to reignite her international career.
“I’ve played in the WNBA [in the United States] which is a level up from the WNBL, so hopefully that helps me a bit,” Bishop said.
“But being away from that international standard for a couple of years means I’m definitely going to have to take it up a notch a little bit.
“I probably won’t realise how much that is until we get over there and start playing. [Coach] Brendan [Joyce] plays a very different style to what I was used to in the Opals.
“I’ve been working on my fitness to hopefully get back in there and fit in again.”
Jackson and her management are expected to make a statement this week about the four-time Olympian’s latest injury setback and her hopes of playing at Rio.
Joyce is giving players a chance to step up at the test event, with the Opals to play against Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela over two days.
“Everyone in the post has a chance to show what they can do and Brendan will be looking at what we can do without Loz, just in case she’s not there,” Bishop said.
The trip to Brazil is also a chance for Bishop and Talbot to breakthrough for their first win of what has turned out to be a WNBL disaster with the Capitals.
The Capitals have lost all 17 games this season so far and are languishing at the bottom of the ladder in the worst season in the club’s history.
They don’t play again until Bishop and Talbot return, and the pair hopes Opals victories spark a winning feeling.
“It’s nice to be back in the national program … hopefully it’s good for [Bishop and Talbot’s] confidence if we can get a win,” Bishop said.
“Everyone has said a win for us is a win for them. With all the losses we’ve had in Canberra, you can get down so we want to bring back some wins.”
Main man: Jack Bobridge celebrates after the win. Photo: SuppliedThe worst ever performance by Orica-GreenEDGE in the men’s elite road race of n road championships at Buninyong was due to the unexpected but “incredible” ride of winner and former teammate Jack Bobridge, according to their head sports director Matt White.
Bobridge, 26, won the 183.6km by 2 minutes 52 seconds from another former Orica-GreenEDGE rider in West n Cameron Meyer (Dimension Data), and 3m 53s on Victorian Pat Lane (Avanti-Isowhey).
Orica-GreenEDGE only had one of their nine riders finish – Simon Gerrans in sixth from the 15 survivors of the 127 starters that battled scorching 33C temperatures.
Bobridge was in every move but eventually spent more than 90km on his own in front and was clearly underestimated by the fancied bigger teams like Orica-GreenEDGE that came in to the race with Gerrans and NSW’s Caleb Ewan as ace cards to deal.
However, Orica-GreenEDGE left with its poorest result since its inception in 2012 after Gerrans won the title in 2012 and 2014, teammate Luke Durbridge won in 2013 and Ewan placed second last year.
“It was an incredible ride from Jack Bobridge – we’ve never seen a ride like that in national championships history,” said White on Sunday.
“It’s certainly a very unpredictable ride from a very unpredictable man.
“We were there riding for the win – whether we finished with a medal or not, we came here to win and it wasn’t possible with the way that Jack rode.”
While Orica-GreenEDGE did put five riders at the front of the peloton late in the race, with Bobridge having a nine minute lead the response was too late.
“We were the ones who took responsibility for the race, to try to bring him back, but to no avail,” White said. “He was just too strong.”
Orica-GreenEDGE had two riders in the initial 21 rider break that included Bobridge who the set off with Bernie Sulzberger (Drapac) set off on a two-man breakaway.
When Bobridge dropped Sulzberger, White expected that the South n would not stay away.
“I actually thought when Jack went … when he left Bernie Sulzberger [on lap 10 of 18], well that’s great because it’s too far to go on your own,” White said.
“I thought he was setting himself up for a shorter day in the office than what eventuated. He was just too strong.
“We tried to bring [back … we got very little help from the other teams.”
White also questioned the tactics of BMC for which Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis who did not finish.
“A couple of teams did some pretty interesting rides,” White said.
“The BMC guys were doing intervals on the climb today to try to disturb the pace of the peloton. What it did was implode the race.
“Richie was doing some five-minute efforts up the climb today and you saw after a couple of times, there was no-one left.
“Then we had to take responsibility from there. We weren’t just good enough to bring Jack back from nine minutes.”
However, White played down the significance of Orica-GreenEDGE’s poor result, saying: “It’s the first of 228 race days for the team.
“So it’s disappointing we didn’t win the national title, but it’s one day of a very long season and we just look ahead now to Tour Down Under.”
Canberra United defender Rebecca Kiting celebrates her first W-League goal in Sunday’s 3-0 win against the Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park. Photo: Stefan PostlesNo Williams. No Heyman. No worries for Canberra United as the defending W-League champions cruised to a seventh-straight victory to keep their title ambitions on track.
With Matildas representatives Lydia Williams and Michelle Heyman watching from the grandstand, Canberra easily disposed of the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 at McKellar Park on Sunday.
Two goals in the first 11 minutes stamped Canberra’s dominance from the outset before electric striker Ashleigh Sykes continued her stellar campaign to seal all three points early in the second half.
Canberra has confirmed second place on the ladder and will host Sydney FC in a semi-final on the weekend of January 23-24.
Williams and Heyman will both likely return for Friday night’s game away to Adelaide United after they were instructed by Matildas team management to be rested after a camp in Sydney last week.
Canberra coach Rae Dower said it was a credit to her team’s depth they were able to get the result regardless and their fifth-straight clean sheet.
“There were a few late disruptions with the team changing but as I reminded the girls, it was pretty much the same team that played the Wanderers in round seven (when Canberra won 4-1),” Dower said.
“Lydia had a fairly solid challenge in their game, (Matildas coach Alen Stajcic) gave some words to the fella who did it, and it gave her a pretty nasty cork. Michelle was a bit tight from the long trip back from Perth, so she basically did rehab running for the week.”
Filling in for Heyman in the No.9 role, Caitlin Munoz opened the scoring after just six minutes, finishing off a nice assist from Kendall Fletcher.
The American midfielder was again in the action five minutes later, delivering a pinpoint cross into the box to the head of defender Rebecca Kiting, who found the back of the net for her debut W-League goal.
United killed the game off in the 58th minute through the boot of Sykes after a great pass from Mexican international Veronica Perez.
Fletcher is aiming for her first grand final appearance after missing out last season when she was a guest player.
“It’s kind of a running joke. This is my sixth season here and every single season I’ve played every semi-final and never made it to a final,” Fletcher said.
“That included last year, because even though the team made it, I didn’t get to play in it. So I was a little gutted, but at the same time it was a decision we had talked about and I felt really comfortable with.”
Fletcher said the squad was determined to avoid being complacent during their great run of form.
“When you’re on a seven-game winning streak, you can go one of two ways — you can go stale or you can build momentum,” Fletcher said.
“I think that’s been a big focus of ours from the coaching staff and for the players to keep building each week. While we’re getting really good results, none of us feel that we are where we need to be. Today, we came out hungry and when you get goals early it can change games.”
CANBERRA UNITED 3 (Munoz 6, Kiting 11, Sykes 58) bt WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0 at McKellar Park on Sunday.
The breadth of Ellyse Perry’s sporting talent has been well established, but she gave an insight into her knowledge of sporting history being similarly impressive as her Sydney Sixers stormed to their fifth consecutive Women’s Big Bash League victory.
The Sixers’ abysmal start of the competition saw them lose their first six matches. What initially seemed a token victory just before Christmas, when they beat Perth Scorchers at home, has been shown up as the start of an unlikely finals qualification bid.
Their commanding victory over Melbourne Renegades on Sunday at Junction Oval entrenched their return to form, which saw them win all four of their matches over three days in Melbourne.
It is hard to upstage Perry, and even though she was deservedly player of the match for what was her third half-century in four days she was relegated to second fiddle behind Ashleigh Gardner. The 18-year-old clubbed 42 from 29 before falling on the cusp of the Sixers reaching their target of 129 with eight wickets and 32 balls to spare.
While Perry was rapt with the result she was quick to put it in context when asked if reaching the semi-finals would qualify as the great escape, given they lost their first six matches.
“I think there was an America’s Cup race that was probably more of an escape than us,” said Perry, referring to 2013 when the United States trailed New Zealand 1:8 in the first-to-nine yacht race but nevertheless won.
Irrespective of the implications for the semi-finals, Perry hailed the Sixers for turning around what was on track to be a wretched season, for a team that was saddled with high expectations given its line-up.
“Certainly it is a big turnaround . . . and it is obviously a lot nicer winning than it is losing. I think sometimes you really search for answers when things aren’t going well and sometimes it is simple as you are just not playing well and it is sort of against you and I think it showed a lot of character in the group to turn it around the way we have. And winning is certainly a habit, so now that we’re in doing that, hopefully we can keep that going.”
The Sixers bowlers limited the Renegades to 2-24 in their powerplay, allowing them to score from only eight deliveries in those first six overs with the field up. Even though the Renegades lost only one more wicket until the 18th over, that of top-scorer Dane van Niekerk for 38, they did not score fast enough to make amends for their sluggish start. Their 6-128, which was helped by Molly Strano’s 33 from 26, needed to be complemented by early wickets to challenge the Sixers. Kris Britt (32) was also handy, but ultimately the Renegades were punished for none of their batters going on to make a big score.
South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp excelled. The right-arm seamer claimed 2-7 from her three powerplay overs and was on a hat-trick on her way to finishing with 2-13.
In the Sixers’ reply Alyssa Healy’s departure in the fourth over brought Gardner to the crease. By the end of the eighth over she was only nine when Perry was on 38, but by the 12th over she was just one run away from matching her partner, thanks to her six fours and a six.
Perry, whose unbeaten 67 came from 42 balls, had no problem with Gardner taking the limelight and helping ensure the Sixers gain a significant run-rate boost.
“It was really exciting I think – and she’s kind of done that for us all weekend. Coming in at three . . . her role is to blow the game apart a bit and she’s been really good at doing that,” Perry said of the right-hander. “She’s got a phenomenal eye and hits the ball really cleanly, so when it is in her spot more often than not she finds the boundary . . . in Twenty20, especially early overs, if you can do that a couple of times it really gives you the momentum coming in after the first six. She was outstanding.”
Woolworths is moving all eggs into cold storage, prompting shoppers to urge Coles to do the same. Photo: Quinn Rooney Grocery stores are being urged to keep eggs in cold storage to reduce the risk of a salmonella outbreak. Photo: Pat Scala
Eggs are not being kept cool in some stores, as seen in this Box Hill store in Melbourne. Photo: Daniel Pockett
Supermarket giant Coles is under pressure to move eggs off its warm shelves in a bid to protect shoppers from salmonella, matching the practice being rolled out by its main competitor.
Woolworths has pledged to keep eggs in refrigerated cabinets as it continues a nation-wide revamp of its stores.
It is understood dozens of Woolies outlets have had new cabinets installed in the past year, allowing stores to keep fresh eggs chilled below seven degrees, which helps prevent the spread of the harmful salmonella bacteria.
The rollout comes as experts have warned about egg-related salmonella cases, which are on the rise around the country, leading to serious illness and hundreds of hospital admissions each year.
Coles, however, would not disclose if any of its stores would keep eggs refrigerated in response to these calls, prompting shoppers to criticise the company across its social media platforms.
“I will be buying my eggs in Woolworths until you return to displaying them in a chilled area,” one shopper wrote on the company’s Facebook page.
A NSW personal trainer wrote how he had stopped buying eggs from Coles while another shopper pointed out: “It even says on the carton: keep refrigerated.”
The shopper revolt came as another expert joined calls urging stores from large supermarkets to small grocers to be part of an unbroken chain of cold storage for eggs.
Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases expert at n National University’s medical school, said eggs must be treated just like raw meat and kept in a refrigerator at all times.
“I’m always surprised by the lack of anxiety about this,” he said. “We ought to make the product safer, and we do that by refrigerating it, even at the supermarket.”
Coles declined to comment on Sunday.
It had previously released a one-line statement – “Coles adheres to all health and safety regulations regarding egg storage” – and responded to complaints on social media by denying it was an issue. @robbineal we understand Robbi. Refrigerating eggs doesn’t significantly reduce the risk of salmonella.— Coles Supermarkets (@Coles) January 8, 2016
The company, however, did not reply to one customer who asked why Woolworths would then choose to upgrade its stores with refrigerated cabinets. @Coles yes but @Woolworths do and eggs have to be refrigerated in transit so why not complete circuit? #salmonella?— Elizabeth Taylor (@eatay3) January 8, 2016
The salmonella bacteria is spread by birds, usually through faeces, with food safety laws requiring eggs to be washed, inspected for cracks, graded and then kept at cool temperatures at farms and during transport.
But there is no legal requirement to keep eggs in a cool environment at the retail level, and there is no scientific consensus about the need to do so.
Peter Scott, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne’s veterinary school, said keeping eggs chilled in all retail stores would not make a big difference to rising salmonella infection rates.
“For the limited time the eggs are stored at the supermarket unrefrigerated it is, black and white, not significant,” he said.
Dr Scott, who also works as a consultant for the poultry industry, stressed that poor practices at farms, where “dirty eggs” are graded and used when they shouldn’t be, combined with poor food-handling practices, particularly in catering or at restaurants, have been the main culprits behind large outbreaks of the food-borne illness.
“You need two consecutive events: an egg contaminated with salmonella and then the [growth] in a raw egg dish,” he said.
“When [eggs] are made into one of these raw egg products, the replication of salmonella is very dramatic, and that’s where all the food poisoning is coming from.”
Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett warned shoppers to be careful with egg products in the hot summer months, calling salmonella a “hideous” illness.
“Don’t use food after its use-by date, do refrigerate where the recommendation is to [do so],” she said.
Zaida Cobangbang, of Union City, California, shows her Powerball tickets shortly after buying them on Saturday. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez Customers wait in line to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, California. Photo: Nick Ut
The lotto frenzy that has swept through the United States is set to continue, with a world record jackpot of US$1.3 billion ($1.87 billion) to be drawn on Wednesday.
The multi-state Powerball lottery was $500 million last week and climbed to $900 million on Saturday (Sunday AEDT). But despite frenzied interest, there was no winner with the unprecedented prize ballooning over the billion-dollar mark.
Leading up to the draw, the New York state’s gaming commission recorded ticket sales of up to US$3.3 million per hour.
The full amount is only paid if the winner chooses to take an annual payout over 29 years, otherwise the lump sum is considerably less.
State and federal government tax offices stand to collect a tidy sum from the eventual winner. The federal tax rate is 25 per cent while state government tax rates vary according to state.
Experts estimated the odds were one in 292 million.
Put into perspective, the odds are equivalent to tossing a coin 28 times and getting heads every time, according to associate professor of biostatistics at the University at Buffalo, Jeffrey Miecznikowski.
“It doesn’t sound so bad … but you would be at it for an eternity,” he said.
The lucky numbers drawn on Saturday were 32, 16, 19, 57 and 34, while the Powerball number was 13. To win, punters must guess all six numbers correctly, including the Powerball as the sixth number.
Powerball is played right across the US in 44 states, Washington and two US territories.
Eastlake batsman Ashley Meek scored 66 to help his team beat Queanbeyan on Sunday. Photo: Jeffrey ChanWests-UC have cemented their place as the team to beat in the Cricket ACT two-day competition as they set their sights on claiming their third Douglas Cup title in four years.
The Lions made short work of Tuggeranong at Chisholm Oval, cruising to their second outright win in just the third game of the two-day season.
Still stinging from failing to make the Twenty20 and one-day grand finals, their dominance against Tuggeranong fired the first warning shot of 2016.
Former skipper Ben Oakley was the chief destroyer, claiming 4-22 and 3-21 as Tuggeranong fell three runs short of forcing Wests-UC to bat a second time.
Wests-UC have played in seven of the past nine two-day grand finals, but lost the decider to Weston Creek last season.
Captain Joe Cooke said: “Our two-day cricket has definitely been our strongest form over the past few years.
“We were disappointed to not even make the grand finals in the other formats, but you take that and use it as drive and motivation towards the two-day competition.
“The [Douglas Cup] is the one you want to win. A lot of our players are suited to two-day cricket and it requires a lot more discipline, so now the challenge is to keep playing better.”
Wests-UC sit comfortably atop the two-day ladder after three rounds with almost maximum points after beating Tuggeranong, Ginninderra and North Canberra-Gungahlin.
Oakley has claimed 18 scalps in those three matches and is the competition’s leading wicket-taker. He has taken 28 wickets across all formats this year.
“Both Oaks and Ethan [Bartlett] are carrying injuries at the moment. We’ve got Sam Skelly coming through, but it’s hard not to rely on Oaks sometimes,” Cooke said.
“It’s something we’ve worked on as a bowling unit. Oaks maybe a yard or two behind what he used to be [in pace], but he certainly hasn’t lost the knack of taking wickets.”
ACT Comets players were stood down from play on Sunday in the second day of clashes across Canberra as they prepared to play against Western in the Futures League from Monday.
Eastlake beat Queanbeyan at Kingston, while Weston Creek-Molonglo’s massive total of 4-359 off the back of a John Rogers double century was far too much for Ginninderra, who struggled to 134 and 3-131 in their second innings.
ANU was too strong for North Canberra-Gungahlin, easing its way to a first-innings triumph after rolling their opponents for just 59 on Saturday.
English import George Rhodes scored a classy century to ensure Norths avoided an outright defeat, finishing their second innings at 2-197 after ANU made 220.
Eastlake captain Michael Spaseski will take the Comets’ captaincy reins at Manuka Oval for the clash against Western , stepping up to fill the hole left by Aidan Blizzard.
The Comets will go into battle without Blizzard and Jono Dean (Big Bash duties), Blake Dean (injury) and Henry Hunt, who is on tour with the n under-19s team.
DOUGLAS CUP: Weston Creek Molonglo 4-359 dec bt Ginninderra 134 and 3-131 at Stirling Oval. Wests/UC 223 bt Tuggeranong 100 and 110 at Chisholm Oval. Eastlake 9-293 bt Queanbeyan 212 at Kingston Oval. ANU 220 bt North Canberra Gungahlin 59 and 2-197 at Harrison No 2 Oval.
Futures League: ACT Comets v Western second XI at Manuka Oval. Play starts at 10.30am.