I’ll not pretend to be the biggest cricket expert in the world.
But the debate around England’s Ashes embarrassment is a fascinating one because of its wider context.
It doesn’t appear to be as simple as batters and bowlers not playing very well.
By the sound of things, in England at least, there has been a fundamental shift in priorities away from the traditional long-format side of the game (test matches) to the newer, trendier and shorter variations (T20 and one-day).
And, with the money involved, administrators aren’t putting up a fight.
My own sport is going through a change just now with the addition of mixed curling.
In case you're up for watching some world-class mixed doubles curling live, follow the Gothenburg Mixed Doubles Cup 🇸🇪, starting today.
— World Curling (@worldcurling) December 28, 2021
Traditionalists might see it as a bit gimmicky and less tactical but it’s certainly faster-paced and higher scoring.
The good news is that it can happily co-exist with men’s and women’s team events because you can train to play one without weakening your ability to succeed in the other.
And the length of time games take isn’t significantly different.
But, it will be intriguing to see how the viewing figures match up when it comes to the Olympics.
If mixed proves to be more popular, people will definitely be paying attention and you could see changes following on.
Curling will be no different to any other sport in that regard.
It felt weird saying ‘see you after the Olympics’ when I left the family home on the 27th.
But, even though it’s not quite time to go into an official bubble just yet, making sure I take every precaution to not test positive for Covid-19 is at the front of my mind.
It will pretty much be a routine of home-training-home from now on.
It’s just as well I don’t mind a bit of quiet time!
The trials for the Canadian mixed had to be cancelled recently, which will mean a team being picked rather than earning its spot for the first time ever.
That’s a big deal for them.
Ourselves and Team Mouat have withdrawn from the Grand Slam event over there in the new year purely because it isn’t worth the risk.
It’s not a three-row rule on flights anymore for close contacts, it’s the whole plane.
And the number of international teams who will compete in a mixed event over here at the curling academy in Stirling will definitely be affected.
With an Olympic Games so close, doing everything we can as athletes to be in Beijing is all we’re focusing on.
At the moment, that means staying Covid-19 negative.
It’s that time of year to look back on the sporting highlights of 2021.
For a St Johnstone supporter, it’s pretty easy.
There will never be another year like it and, even though supporters weren’t allowed into Hampden Park for the two cup wins, memories have been made for life.
— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) May 22, 2021
Sport moves on quickly, though.
And 2022 is shaping up to be a tougher one.
But you don’t get to the level Saints got to without having a top level coach and some good players.
More silverware might be a bit much to expect but once they find their mojo again I’m sure things will improve at McDiarmid Park.