Thursday, February 29, 2024

Jamieson’s millionaire rise

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Black Caps fast bowler Kyle Jamieson. Photo supplied

Having created his own Cinderalla story in signing for the 2021 Indian Twenty20 Premier League,  cricketer Kyle Jamieson will be happy with his princely $2.7 million contract for two months’ work.

It is the kind of rags to riches story that makes sport so attractive to so many although the 6ft 8in, 26-year-old Jamieson does not claim to have been a pauper.

Still his rise has been meteoric although his statistics in international Twenty20 for the Black Caps is modest with just three wickets at a 35.33 runs average from four games.

Where he has excelled spectacularly is in his six tests where his right arm fast/medium bowling has taken 36 wickets at astounding 13.27 average with best figures of six for 48.

Indian wickets won’t be as favourable to the bounce and swing Jamieson enjoys at home,

But he remains an exciting talent whose progress in the IPL will be followed with interest.

For a No. 8, he is also a more than useful lower order batsman.

Meanwhile, once again we have been treated to an outstanding Australian Open tennis tournament in which Serb Novak Djokovic snapped up his ninth Australian men’s singles crown and Japan’s 23-year-old Naomi Osaka clinched her fourth major.

Djokovich, 33, can lose his temper occasionally but he’s a strong-minded character who plays the big points so well.

His 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 final win against 25-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev was easier than expected after Medvedev had beaten Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in their semi-final.

Earlier Tsitsipas showed his best form by serving well and going for his shots to eliminate Spanish legend Rafael Nadal in a five-set thriller.

Losing the first two sets 3-6, 2-6, Tsitsipas recovered brilliantly to take the next three and match 7-6, 6-4, 7-5.

In doing so he prevented Nadal extending his 20 major triumphs ahead of Roger Federer’s 20. Djokovich has 18.

At 23, Osaka is the new queen of woman’s tennis, having eclipsed 39-year-old Serena Williams who again remains one short of Australian Margaret Court’s 24 majors.

Williams has fashioned a tremendous record, dominating with her strength and power which is now matched, and sometimes surpassed, by the more mobile Osaka who also has the temperament to become one of the game’s greats.

Aussie world No 1 Ash Barty is also gifted with a good tennis brain. However she was sadly out of touch this time and doesn’t appear to have the power to match Osaka’s hard court game.

Meanwhile we await with interest the long-delayed upcoming heavyweight boxing clash between former world champion Joseph Parker and up-and-coming renowned puncher Junior Fa.

For two guys who once respected each other without letting their mouths run loose, it’s sad to see the two camps not always giving the respect they deserve.

The latest objection from the Fa camp was that two Christchurch judges were among the three appointed for the fight.

The argument was that Christchurch was a tight boxing community from which Parker’s mentor, Kevin Barry, hails. As such Fa camp feared Parker would have an unfair advantage.

Hopefully this fight will be decided by allowing the fists to do the talking.

Parker has the superior experience and good chin against a man who has a puncher’s chance.

  • Ivan Agnew is an award-winning sports writer and author

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