Explaining the centuries-old significance of Lord’s cricket ground to some of Australia’s Olympic archers is all in a day’s work for former Test captain Steve Waugh.
Lord’s is one of the iconic venues being used by the Games, with archers firing their arrows at a target 70 metres away across a swathe of grass familiar to viewers.
Waugh, one of the top 10 Test run-scorers of all-time, knows a thing or two about the venerable ‘home of cricket’. There is always an exception to every rule and Waugh, in London as an athlete liaison officer with the Australian Olympic team, revealed that at least one of his charges had bowled him a googly.
“I gave some advice to one of the archery team the other day, and she didn’t really know what Lord’s was,” said Waugh.
“I said ‘Which end do you shoot from?’ and she said ‘We’re shooting from the end where there’s this old red brick building behind us’. I said ‘That’s the Lord’s pavilion’. So you try and add a bit of value where you can.”
Waugh said he could also help the archers with what to expect from a crowd at Lord’s and the sort of playing conditions they might face.
“One of the issues that is brought up is maybe the wind factor coming from different directions. The main thing is just to feel relaxed and comfortable and do the things you have always been doing.”
Aussie swimmer slams ‘brutal’ Games exile
Meanwhile, Australian swimmer Kenrick Monk, who caused outrage when he and teammate Nick D’Arcy were pictured, posing with shotguns, slammed his Olympics punishment as ‘brutal’.
The two men were allowed to keep their places in the Australian team for the London Games, but will be sent home once their events have been completed.
“We caught a bit of a harsh punishment but basically, social media was banned for us and we were getting sent home from the Olympics,” said Monk.
“But it happens, it was one of those things they want to punish us with, it’s quite brutal, but you know we have to accept that and move on from it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.