Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Cricket’s model professional to declare at last

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In the Australian summer of 1982 Richie Benaud was approached by “a fair-haired angelic little lad of about 12″.

“Did you ever play cricket for Australia, Mr Benaud?” the cherub asked.

Benaud, a dashing all-rounder and one of Australia’s great captains, recalled he had not known whether to laugh or cry. “I did neither but merely said yes,” he replied.

A generation later, Benaud’s playing days have slipped further into obscurity. When he retires from television commentary in a year’s time, it will have been 46 years since he last stepped on to the field in a test match.

This glorious, unpredictable northern festival

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Wales' Leigh Halfpenny celebrates his try against England with Andy Powell during their Six Nations rugby union match in CardiffYou wouldn’t have got great odds on Wales and France coming out on top against England and Scotland respectively on the first day of the second weekend of the Six Nations.

But England beating Wales in the try count at the Millennium Stadium and Scotland taking the game to the French the way they did in St Denis were not forecasts I’d read anywhere.

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