It’s a sell out! No tickets left for Canberra Big Bash game

SPORT: Sydney Sixers take on Perth Scorchers in the T20 Big Bash League at Manuka Oval in Canberra. Fireworks go off in the grandstand. 28th January 2015. Photo by Melissa Adams of The Canberra Times. NEWS: The crowd during the T20 Big Bash League at Manuka oval in Canberra where Sydney Sixers take on Perth Scorchers. 28th January 2015. Photo by Melissa Adams of. The Canberra Times.
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Canberra Big Bash bid officials hope a sell out crowd at Manuka Oval in January will be the perfect way to show Cricket Australia how serious the capital is about having its own team.

The Sydney Thunder clash against the Melbourne Renegades at a resurfaced Manuka Oval is officially sold out almost two months before the game.

It’s a major boost for Canberra’s hopes of impressing Cricket Australia officials after a group of business men and women launched a bid for a Big Bash licence.

The consortium hope the cricket community rallies behind their proposal and vote with their feet for the Thunder-Renegades men’s and women’s double header and Canberra’s first Test next year.

“The sell out demonstrates what we’ve said all along – there’s a strong appetite in Canberra for premium cricket content,” said bid leader Mark McConnell.

“In some ways, it doesn’t matter who’s playing. People just want to support more content in Canberra.

“Canberra is part of the Thunder territory, but we’re still keen to get our own team here and it bodes well for our bid that a team not even based here, people still come out and support it.

“The appetite is for the Big Bash first and the team second. People are wedded to the product and we think people will continue to support it.

“If you build it, they will come. If it’s good content with international players and a good team, people will come out in their droves to support the game.”

The only way to get a ticket to the game in Canberra is to sign up as a Thunder member after all public allocations were exhausted on Tuesday.

A limited number of tickets are expected to be released at a later date when sight screens and camera positions are finalised.

Cricket Australia is yet to detail expansion plans for the lucrative Twenty20 competition, but McConnell and co have set up an advisory group to be ready to pounce.

In the meantime, the Thunder are forging a relationship with Canberra and loom as the city’s best chance to have a Big Bash presence until expansion plans are put in place.

Manuka Oval will host a Test for the first time next year when Australia plays against Sri Lanka.

The Canberra bid has adjusted its membership program to garner support in the Canberra community, shifting to a pledge of support rather than asking for a financial commitment.

“Canberra gets criticised sometimes for disappearing over the Christmas holidays and not being able to support big fixture games, but this one is right in the middle and already sold out,” McConnell said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Prior says Australian sledging has been ‘personal’

Since Australia sledged England’s Jonny Bairstow at the Gabba over his headbutt greeting of Cameron Bancroft in a Perth boozer there have been rumours about what else has been said in an Ashes series not short on verbal exchanges.
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They haven’t been substantiated and the only thing that has been made public on the stump microphone was David Warner’s comment, to Jimmy Anderson in Brisbane, that the tourists “shouldn’t headbutt our mates”.

But former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has thrown some fuel on the fire from afar, suggesting the Australians have got personal, although he declined to divulge what he claims has been said.

“There is a lot that’s gone on that I think the England players are quite upset about, and rightfully from what I’ve heard,” Prior told a BBC Five Live podcast.

“There has been a lot of chat on the pitch that hasn’t got anything to do with cricket and quite frankly shouldn’t be on a cricket pitch. Stuff that hasn’t come out for various reasons and whatever it may be. I know I’ve probably just thrown something out there and I’m not going to put any more colour into the picture.”

Australian captain Steve Smith was probed again about the sledging in Adelaide on the eve of the second Test and maintained his team had not crossed the line, as is the terminology these days for what is and what is not considered acceptable on-field banter.

Prior is not convinced. “I think the question was asked of Steve Smith a number of times in a press conference ‘did the Australian players cross that line? Did they go too far?'” he said.

“After he said ‘I, 100 per cent swear on my life they did not cross the line’, I think he was dragged out of that press conference pretty quickly because there are things that are going on.”

The former-Test wicketkeeper added: “Simple sledging doesn’t really work on these top international players. Alastair Cook is not going to be affected by sledging. Steve Smith, Warner, these guys have seen it, done it, so therefore you have to go deeper if you want to try and get a reaction, if you know what I mean.

“You have to say something that is going to be pretty fiery and potentially personal.”

Fun and gamesmanship

England also weren’t impressed about nightwatchman Nathan Lyon bunging on an injury and denying them one more over in the last session on Monday night. Joe Root and Peter Handscomb clashed on the way off the ground only moments later.

Lyon’s teammates, however, thought the time-wasting was a hoot.

“They were all laughing about my acting,” Lyon told ABC Grandstand on Tuesday.

Match-day blushes

Australia’s shock calls at selection caught us all on the hop, so too the publishers of the match-day program, it seems. They’ve done a big read on opener Matthew Renshaw, whose run of outs cost him a place in the Australian XI.

There’s also a section titled “Meet the team”, which does not include wicketkeeper Tim Paine, opener Cameron Bancroft or recalled No.6 Shaun Marsh. The deadline for the magazine, which The Tonk believes was before the shield season started, does not make things easy. Back then, Renshaw was considered a lock, Bancroft was not in the frame and Paine was no certainty to get a start for Tasmania.

Sweet and Starc

Fast bowlers these days are finely tuned athletes who are careful about what they eat. So you’ll be surprised to hear what Mitchell Starc puts down after a long day: ice cream. The left-arm speed demon finds it hard to keep weight on when he bowls, especially on away tours, and often does not have an appetite when he plays. So it only makes sense for Starc to help himself to a few scoops to refuel.

“I’ve done it a few times – quite a bit actually, after some heavy bowling loads,” Starc said in the match-day program. “Definitely, in Australia you can just go down to the convenience store and get a tub of ice cream.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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David Duchovny takes Australian tour in his stride

David Duchovny takes Australian tour in his stride TweetFacebookThe X-Files, David Duchovny is a bit of an enigma.
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NEW ROLE: David Duchovny is about to release his second album and tour Australia with his band for the first time. He will perform in Newcastle in February.

He is quite comfortable, alone with his thoughts, outin left field. He backs himself but is also his harshest critic.

Why, people ask, is Duchovnymaking music and, heaven forbid, actually recording and touring it, when he is anaward-winning actor, filmmaker, director and New York Times best-selling author? Why would he bother?

The truth is, of course, always out there soWeekender asked the question and Duchovny’s answer was surprisingly simple.

Because he can.

He enjoys it. He finds it challenging. And he doesn’t need anyone’s approval to continue doing it.

Duchovny is, of course, best known for his roles in television series The X-Files, Aquarius, Californication and Twin Peaks. His film credits includeKalifornia, Zoolander, Evolution, House of D, Beethoven, The Rapture,The X-Files: I Want To Believeand Julia Has Two Lovers.

For fans of The X-Files, some good news. Season 11 of the hit series will returnin 2018 and star both Duchovny as Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully.

But today, we’re talking music and his upcoming Australian tour, which includes a night in Newcastle.

Debut albumHell Or Highwaterwas a collection of Duchovny’s musings on pride, loss and remorse. If you haven’t heard it, it is a nod to his musical heroes:Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Leonard Cohenand R.E.M. His second album,Every Third Thought, is due for release in 2018.

Duchovnysupports theD’Addario Foundationand believes music education can change lives, especially those of disadvantaged children.

It has certainly changed his own.

“When it comes to music education, well,I didn’t really have any,” he says.

“But I do think that as I have learned a little about it, I can objectively and scientifically see how music education increases performance by students in all areas, not just in music. It’s an integral part of thebrain that needs to be fed. Now that’s a scientific fact.”

The only instrument he knew how to play“until about seven years ago” when he picked up aguitar was the humble recorder.

“I don’t know if you had that instrument in Australian schools but in the US it’s what theyused to make kids learn. And that was the extent of my music education,” he says.

“I liked itbut I didn’t go beyond the recorder, unfortunately, until I started learning the guitar.”

Recorder lessons were once common in NSW schools, I tell him, much to the despair of many a parent.

I also remind him of something he was once quoted as saying: “I may not ever be a good singer but I can sing.”

“That’s right. You don’t have to be born with a good voice to be a singer.

“There is so much about speaking out or singing out loud that is scary to people. People are afraid to be heard in that way if they’re not confident about being in tune or whatever.

“There is a lot of fear involved and there certainly was for me.

“Iwas lucky enough to find a guy who was a really great teacher of voice, Don Lawrence, and somehow from the first lesson he kind of liberated me and turned me around. I had to work at it though.”

And then there is the question of pitch. Good pitch. Duchovny says he is one of those people “born without it”.

“Some people are and they can just sing. Effortlessly. But if you’re not born with good pitch you can actually get better at it. It is like a muscle.

“And I don’t think I will ever have a kick-arse voice butI have got my voice.

“I’m not going to win any contests and I’m not going to go upthere without a microphonebut I’m pretty confident that I can learn my tunes and sing my melodies to within about 80 to 85 per cent accuracy.

“And for a live performance that’s fine. I’m not looking for 100 per cent.”

Duchovny is brutally honest when it comes to his musicianship, too.

“I’m never going to be even a good musician. I’ll be OK. I can play the guitar well enough to throw chords together to write rock ‘n’roll songs,” he says.

“But I’m not a composer. I’m not an educated musician. I’m humble enough, and been humbled enough, to have been around some amazing musicians and there is a huge difference between me and them. But what I do is, I throw chords togetherand I come up with melodies and I write lyrics and Ican write songs for some reason and I don’t know why.

“I certainly never could until about four or five years ago so I’m as surprised as anyone else that I can do it. But it doesn’t have anything to do with me being a good musician, which I’m not. It just happens.”

It is perhaps no coincidence that he started writing songsin the wake of his divorce from actor Tea Leoni. The couple share custody of their two children.

He is in two minds when asked if he feels vulnerable singing lyrics he has written to an audience. He feels the need todistance himself from his words.

“It isa vulnerable position but it’s still a performance,” he explains.

“Even when I write a song I don’t feel like it’s me writing the song. Yes, it’s my point of view, but it was mine on the day that I wrote the song. Which is not necessarily my point of viewnow.

“So for me,all the songs are kind of characters in a way, or all of the songs froman album are similar characters from a similar time.

“Idon’t feel like they are me –I feel that they were me when I wrote the song.”

He continues on the subject of lyrics, saying that it’s all up to the listener and how they interpret them. That’s what ultimately gives them meaning.

“I don’t think great lyrics are straight-up confessionals, like what I did today and what I’m feeling and these are my political views,” Duchovny says.

“But I think great lyrics aresomehowvery personal but also abstract and universal at the same time.

“It’s veryinteresting to go back and sing a song that you wrote a few years ago and try to inhabit it. That’s where singing on stage is a bit of an acting performance, when you want to convey the emotion of the song.

“In some ways I think that’s why covers are easier to do than your own songs because you’re not covering yourself. You can throw all your emotion into a cover because somebody else wrote it.”

When suggestedit takes guts to do what he’s doing because of his public profile, Duchovny agrees.

“People are going to take their shots and people are going to want to dismiss somebody doing something that they are not known for. That just seems to be the way it goes.

“You might buy my album or come to my concert because you like my work as an actor but that’s not going to make you like the music. Once you get in there, your ears don’t care what else I’ve done in my life. Your ears are your ears. You’re either going to like it or you’re not.

“All I want you to do is listen to the music. I don’t care why you’re at my show, I don’t care about your skepticism, I don’t care if you’re a fan or if you came to watch me fail or whatever, all those things are fine.But open up your ears and it is very possible that you’re going to like this stuff. That’s how I feel.”

So, can the Newcastle audience expect him to whip out the recorder during his set?

Duchovny laughs.

“Well, you know, maybe I should. We don’t have enough recorder solos in rock’n’roll. Maybe it’s time to change that.”

David Duchovny performs at NEX Wests City, Newcastle, on February 28. Tickets are on sale now.

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Vindication for Signature success

“Who me” was Signature Gardens Retirement Resort general manager Jo-Anne Dryden’s initial reaction after being namedBusiness Person of the Year 2017 at the Hunter Local Business Awards.
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WHO ME?: The moment when Jo-Anne Dryden reacts with joy after being named Business Person of the Year 2017 at Belmont 16s last Wednesday.

Up against a top class field of local business leaders, she gave herself little chance of winning.

HEART AND SOUL: Jo-Anne Dryden, general manager of Signature Gardens Retirement Resort, accepts her award for Business Person of the Year 2017.

“I felt overwhelmed with the thought that my peers felt this way about me and also I thought of how proud my parents would be for even being nominated,” Jo-Anne said.

Signature Gardens Retirement Resort is an over 55’s retirement village at Rutherford catering to singles and couples looking to downsize and enjoy the lifestyle and facilities the resort offers.

“I feel the entire team at Signature Gardens Retirement Resort contributed to me winning the award,” Jo-Anne said.“We are a team here and as Henry Ford said, ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself’.

“Phillip Cater, the owner of Signature Gardens Retirement Resort has mentored me over the last 26 years, so in business I am what I am today due to his guidance and knowledge.”

Jo-Anne said it was an honour to be even nominated alongside such an incredible selection of business people.

“With so many well established nominees for the Business Person of the Year, I really did not think I would win,” she said.

“It is an incredible feeling and when I look at the award I still pinch myself.

“I have learnt so much over the past 26 years working/being mentored by Phillip Cater. This finally proves to me that following my heart and doing what I love and am passionate aboutis worth all the hard work.”

Jo-Anne said the award would enable her to connect with more people on a bigger scale and create positive change for her peers, the business and the employees.

Signature Gardens is a family-owned business without multi-level management. It has been in operation for six years.

“Our residents want to be part of a community that enhances their choice of independent living and who are able to live an active healthy life that offers safety, security and peace of mind,” Jo-Anne said.

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