COMMENT

Sad. Very sad. The late and much lamented Jonah Lomu and Martin Crowe deserve much better.

Today's announcement that their names are going on the trophy for a flippant cross-code T20 cricket match next week is tacky. What's even worse, the thing looks like a tombstone.

If the sporting legends had chosen to adorn a sports non-event, well fair enough. It's a free world. But when they can't have a say?

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Crowe was certainly steeped in genuine cricket history. And while he was an innovator and lateral thinker, on the one occasion I interviewed the great man he expressed a degree of angst at having designed the prototype which spawned T20 cricket.

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The so-called Black Clash, between Stephen Fleming's Team Cricket and Graham Henry's Team Rugby, also deserves better.

A novel idea has suddenly come to epitomise tacky sports promotions.

Even sports promoters deserve better.

Duco Events, who are running this game in Christchurch, have contributed so much in recent years, the rise of Joseph Parker et al. Brave promoters deserve the credit for putting a lot on the line to give us entertainment. There are huge risks. It doesn't always work out for them.

But Duco and co. should be hit for six over this.

All Black behemoth Lomu was rugby's rarest star because he reached beyond the game's limited world boundaries. He was a World Cup giant at two tournaments. Crowe was a Kiwi cricketer beyond compare in his overall contribution.

They were so much bigger than a crappy cricket game, which is now steeped in the cringe factor.

Missing Andy Murray

It was a bit like a funeral, as Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray signalled his pending retirement at the Australian Open.

Murray was very gloomy, which is how he often comes across and strongly shapes impressions of him.

His career will be known for two things - the first Brit bloke to win Wimbledon for yonks, and the impressive Fourth Man in the incredible era of Federer/Nadal/Djokovic.

His looming retirement didn't seem all that noteworthy, given the shadows he has lived in.

But then something magical happened. The accolades rolled in, and it was a chance to see Murray in a truer light.

People in the know emphasised his support for the women's game, in the face of what is portrayed as a rising misogyny among the influential male players. They talked of his generous nature, dry humour, the wit, the genuineness.

Looking back through old stories, the real Andy Murray was always there. From my point of view, he'd been hiding in plain sight.

I'll miss Andy Murray, having missed the real Andy Murray in the first place.

You be the judge

How the heck did Greg Inglis get off a drink driving charge? Photo / Photosport
How the heck did Greg Inglis get off a drink driving charge? Photo / Photosport

Greg Inglis can probably thank Dylan Napa. He can certainly thank a judge...and the fame game.

But really, how the heck did Inglis get off a drink driving charge, and with such little scrutiny?

Drinking/driving/speeding takes and ruins lives, but apparently not if you are a role model.

Instead of a conviction, Aussie league superstar Inglis copped a good behaviour bond for doing something that kills people. The outcry has been virtually non-existent.

[Read more: Chris Rattue - Yawn...another NRL scandal, how much more can we take?]

Okay, this happened across the ditch.

But what happens there has an influence here, and the NRL has a huge impact on New Zealand sport. And there have been plenty of parallels over here with famous footy players.

Bulldogs forward Napa has been hogging headlines over a video controversy, which took some of the focus away from Inglis.

Inglis, a test and State of Origin league legend, was handed the Kangaroos captaincy last October but hours later was caught speeding while over the legal alcohol limit. (He was immediately suspended from upcoming tests against Tonga and New Zealand).

This week, a judge noted all the wonderful things about Inglis, including his charity work.

Inglis, who pleaded guilty in November, escaped any conviction. He was reportedly supported by character references from Aussie coach Mal Meninga, and NRL boss Todd Greenberg.

"None of us are perfect," the judge told Inglis.

Also this week, a Sydney lawyer who tried to defend his drink driving client by citing the Inglis result was slapped down.

That judge asked if the lawyer's client was "an Aboriginal former captain of the Kangaroos who has performed charity work" according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Inglis — surprise, surprise — announced he wants to go back to being a role model.

He could have been a true role model by accepting responsibility and consequences, rather than using powerful friends — not available to the people he wants to be a role model for — to help get him off.

In other words, all the role model stuff is a load of garbage.

The moral of the story: the justice system is a game.