Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Raw Japan:

Ichiro: Japan’s greatest sporting export

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Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki underlined his position as his country’s greatest sporting export after shattering one of Major League Baseball’s oldest records.

The Seattle Mariners outfielder was described as a "Hercules" by fellow players after becoming the first man to record 200 hits for nine straight seasons.

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The 35-year-old reached the milestone with a single in the second game of a double-header against the Texas Rangers on Sunday to beat the previous mark of eight consecutive seasons set by Willie Keeler in 1901.

Ichiro himself, who left Japan for the major leagues in 2001, spoke of a "sense of liberation" after his latest MLB record, set to be marked with a commemorative stamp in his home country.

England start well but the old batting demons remain

There is never a bad Australian side, I keep hearing, and I’m starting to believe it after the tourists put on another display of sheer bloody mindness in another see-sawing day for England’s batsmen and fans, who will be left drained with mixed feelings, while Australian supporters will feel no less tumultuous.

And if there’s never a bad Australian side then it’s nice to see that even after a hundred-odd years, the tradition of the good old English batting collapse is still going strong with no hint of abating.

Is Sehwag the world’s most destructive batsman?

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India’s explosive opener Virender Sehwag is probably the best batsman in the world at present.

The 30-year-old has been amassing runs with ridiculous ease since his comeback in January last year, setting up several wins.

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