PM not the only skipper who’s under the pump

WHAT have Tony Abbott and Michael Clarke got in common?

There seems to be question marks over whether their whole teams want them. I suppose the Prime Minister has his numbers for the time being at least, but I am not so sure about the cricketer.

Politics and sport are pretty similar when it comes to who is backing who and whether you can believe the "he has our full support" quotes.

I am a little unsure why Clarke isn't playing in game one today, but I suppose time and results will tell who ends up skipper in what is probably the most important job in Australian sport.

I can't get too excited about the World Cup, but I suppose that may change as the tournament warms up.

The last time Australia and New Zealand hosted the tournament, in 1992, the final was in Melbourne between Pakistan and England, with Pakistan winning.

I recall that New Zealand went really well and was a little unlucky not to make the final. I have the same feeling this year that the Kiwis are the dark horses.

After being spoilt by the 20-over game, I guess - like everyone else, including the promoters - we will be hoping for some close finishes to set the stage.

The All Stars v the Indigenous All Stars had problems leading up to last night's spectacle, with players pulling out and tickets selling slowly, but I hope the NRL continues with it as we owe it to our indigenous heritage.

Some experts have suggested the NRL side be replaced by a Maori-Pacific Islander combination - an idea that has some merit considering how strong the game is in PNG.

Maybe the match could be in PNG every second year, because I am pretty sure they wouldn't have to worry about slow tickets sales there.

I see that Beerwah's Courtney Lockwood, Annette Brander and Sarah Walker played for the Women's All Stars vs the Indigenous All Stars in the curtain-raiser.

Also, Lana Sheedy (All Stars) and Kiesha Taunoa (Indigenous All Stars) were unavailable, and Michaela Peck was a shadow player.

This is certainly a good indication of the quality of our local players.

By the way, happy Valentine's Day and here is an idea for you and your loved one today.

Come to Alex and check out the state lifesaving board riding titles, which are on all weekend and have been well supported by lifesaving clubs, drawing 300 entries.

This goes to show surf clubs are pushing hard to retain members, young and old, by embracing short and longboards, which is creating some healthy competition.

 GREAT to see the Brisbane Lions on the Coast this week and with talk of a long-term vision of an AFL club here, it should highlight to other codes the importance of the region.

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