Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from India Insight:

Mark of Boucher

In cricket, and in life, a perfect end is a rarity.

Even Don Bradman was bereft of it. Yet a not-so-perfect ending cannot deny a few sportsmen their legitimate place in the sun. South Africa's wicket-keeper Mark Boucher is one such cricketer.

His remarkably long international career, of almost 15 years, was tragically snuffed out when he was hit in the eye by a bail in a warm-up match against Somerset on July 9 during the ongoing England tour. He was only one short of 1,000 victims -- an unheard of feat in the 145 years of international cricket history.

Agonisingly short of a milestone, just like Bradman who could not score the four runs in his final innings to sign off with a perfect test average of 100.

The England series was meant to be Boucher’s last, where he was expected to walk into the sunset having crossed the monumental mark of 1,000 victims and 150 Tests. The plan was perfect, not destiny.

from Photographers' Blog:

Roger and out: Wimbledon 2012

By Toby Melville

After two weeks of rainy, cold and windy tennis, somehow kept on schedule courtesy of early starts, late finishes and a much used Centre Court roof, the traditional tournament highlight of the Men’s Singles Final took place on Sunday.

For the first time in 75 years a Briton would contest the match. The only obstacle in Scot Andy Murray’s path to glory was the huge boulder in the shape of sixteen grand slam winner and six time Wimbledon victor, Switzerland’s Roger Federer.

from Photographers' Blog:

Paralympic spirit

By Nir Elias

When the idea to photograph Israeli athletes for the London 2012 Paralympic games came to mind, the second athlete I met was Pascale Berkovitch.

Pascale, 44, lost her legs in a train accident in the suburbs of Paris when she was 17 years old. She now lives with her partner and two daughters in Tel Aviv and is part of the Israeli Paralympic staff for the 2012 games in the field of Hand Biking.

Greg Rusedski blog: Murray will one day win a grand slam event

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The second week of Wimbledon started with another massive upset. The world number 1 and a lot of people’s pick to win the championship, Maria Sharapova, lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki of Germany in straight sets.

This really opened up the top half of the woman’s draw and meant there would be a new world number 1. Victoria Azarenka the world number 2 or Agnieszka  Radwanska the world number 3 would become the new world number 1. It all depended on who went further in the tournament.  Radwanska took full advantage of Sharapova losing and made her first Grand Slam final.

Other sports can learn from chilled out Tour de France

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This has been my first Tour de France and it has been like going back in time.

Sport has become big business and egos have exploded too, while security restrictions have made visiting many stadiums something of a chore.

But not on the Tour. To say the French approach is laissez faire is an understatement. As a journalist you can practically go wherever you want with hardly any checks, even standing just behind the stage finish line. Yes you might get your toes clipped as the rider speeds past but the access to the cyclists is remarkable.

Van Persie in the hunt for medals, not money

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By Phil O’Connor

As the annual Arsenal transfer soap-opera gets underway, it’s worth wondering why such high-profile players leave one of England’s best clubs every year.

Should Robin van Persie sign for Manchester City, much will be made of their financial muscle, but they are not the only club in England with resources – indeed, Arsenal are one of the richest clubs in the world and could easily afford to offer competitive wages.

Still craving Euro 2012? Get ready for Euro 2013

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By Phil O’Connor

As Spain’s victorious Euro 2012 male side returned to Madrid with the Henri Delaunay trophy, football administrators in Sweden were already working to make Euro 2013 for women a similar success.

Euro 2013 is the second-biggest event UEFA are planning next year, after the Champions League final for men,” former Sweden international Viktoria Svensson told Reuters in an interview.

from Photographers' Blog:

Robo-cams go for Olympic gold

By Fabrizio Bensch

Is it possible to get 11 photographers into a box and put them in a position where you could never place a photographer? Normally, it would be absolutely impossible. But nothing is impossible when it comes to the Olympic games.

The London Olympic summer games will produce huge emotions, records and we as the Reuters photographers team will catch it from any extraordinary angle. When athletes from around the world compete against each other for the glory of an Olympic medal, hundreds of photographers try to capture the one and only moment which makes the Olympic games so unique.

“Boring” Spain set new standards

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Chastised and lambasted in the early stages of Euro 2012 for passing the ball sideways and backwards too often for the liking of goal-hungry fans and journalists, who had thrived in the feast of a wildly entertaining tournament, Spain silenced all their critics with a ruthless of display of flamboyant flair and lethal finishing in a one-sided final which made Italy look like a bunch of schoolboys.

Vicente Del Bosque’s “boring” strategy, based on deploying a strikerless formation to draw out opponents who park the proverbial bus in their own half, in fact proved to be a masterstroke which none of Spain’s rivals could cope with.

from Photographers' Blog:

The Olympic Games: Much more than the stars

By Denis Balibouse

"The important thing in life is not victory, but the fight; the main thing is not to have won, but to have fought well." Baron Pierre de Coubertin

I have always been addicted to sports, any kind of sports. My father was a sports reporter in Switzerland. As a child I would follow him onto soccer pitches, motocross grounds and ice hockey rinks. Whenever I travel somewhere I try to follow the local sports. I even attempted to understand cricket (I'm married to an Australian), although I have to confess, I have so far failed with this one.

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