The silence of James Packer after the death of the Australian icon

Warne was particularly close to Packer’s father, Kerry, so much so that he gave her his first baggy green as a gift. It was also Kerry who personally phoned Warne in 2005 to tell him he had been dumped as a commentator following a series of sexting scandals.

The son of Australia’s richest man and the legendary leggie quickly formed a close bond. They have been spotted at lavish events together, at the Melbourne Cup together, owned a nightclub together at Crown in Melbourne.

They also spent time on Packer’s super yacht, scene of Warne’s shock proposal to the actress Elizabeth Hurley.

Packer was also Warne’s first reluctant guest on his talk show Warnie! on Channel Nine (which is owned by Nine Entertainment, which also owns this masthead) in 2010 when Packer was co-owner of Network Ten.

It’s actually a great interview; a love-in, of course, but a good-humored conversation between two friends. When Warne was never gonna be next Michael Parkinsonit’s hard to remember a time when Packer, an often reclusive soul, was so relaxed in front of the cameras.

Packer hadn’t done an interview in “15 to 20 years,” but Warne convinced him after a few drinks to come on his show.

“You got me when we were out late at night,” Packer said with a laugh. “And you are a very dear friend.”

Warne excerpted a few bits, getting into the sensitive realm of Packer’s complex relationship with his late father.

“Every son and father has their ups and downs,” Packer said. “One of the great joys is that we finished in the best place we’ve ever been. It’s a huge blessing. It happened because he made sure it happened.

Perhaps the most telling thing was Packer’s ability to shoot Warne that no one else could.

“What was the difference between the Mystery Ball, the Zooter and the Zinger?” Packer smiled.

“Nothing,” Warne replied smiling. “They all went straight.”

The interview also revealed that Packer had been an extra on a good friend Tom Cruisethe film The last Samourai. Warne suggested that finding a costume for someone Packer’s size must have been difficult.

“I needed some diuretics,” Packer replied, a reference to Warne’s 12-month ban for taking a banned substance before the 2003 World Cup. Warne took it in good spirits.

When asked if he ever wished he could lead a life in obscurity, Packer replied, “We all wish we were you, Warnie. If I can’t be you, I’m happy to be me.

Warnie! was canceled after four shows, with Nine softening the blow by claiming Australia’s poor performance against England that summer was to blame.

Packer is in the United States and it is unclear whether he will attend the Warne State Memorial at the MCG on March 30.

Luke Thompson was fined $2,700 for a hip tackle that left Knights prop Daniel Saifiti with a broken leg.Credit:NRL Photos

A league apart

Only the NRL could wait until the opening day of the season to reveal its revamped match review and legal processes for foul play.

Still, the streamlining measures are a welcome change from the postpone-loading-reckless-reckless-intentional-Colonel-11-secret-herbs-and-spices gibberish we’ve grown accustomed to.

Instead, foul play will be judged on whether it is a first, second or third offence.

Not for a single moment, however, should we expect complete clarity when the charge sheet drops after each game.

The main problem with the Match Review Board is the maddening inconsistency of suspending players for accidental contact in some tackles while handing out simple fines for heinous acts in others.

For example, how the Bulldogs Luke Thompson was fined just $2,700 for a hip tackle on the Knights prop Daniel Saifiti in a test match simply defies belief. Saifiti is out for six weeks with a broken leg. Thompson, who makes $800,000 a season, had to cough up an ashtray change.

‘Coherence’ was about the general manager of South Sydney Blake Sollymind this week when he emailed the NRL boss André Abdo.

Souths was fined $20,000 for failing to promptly disclose the domestic violence and drug allegations made against Sam Burgess to the Integrity Unit.

Meanwhile, the Roosters have not been sanctioned after investigating and finding no fault with the captain James Tedescowho had been accused via Instagram of shouting “Squid Games” in the face of a young Vietnamese Australian outside a pub in Bondi after a night out.

“After discovering the post on Instagram, we investigated the matter thoroughly,” the Roosters general manager said. Joe Kelly say it Herald at the time. “There was absolutely no interaction between James Tedesco and this group of people. We categorically deny that anything untoward happened.


Yet Tedesco was there last week, finally breaking his silence on the matter, telling reporters: ‘The way I handled it, I spoke to who was affected and acknowledged it. I was obviously disappointed but happy with the way I approached all of this and it was all sort of sorted out. It was more about coming to terms with that and taking responsibility.

Tedesco was ultimately fined $10,000 for discrediting the game, but the Roosters escaped punishment for their own light investigation, in which they failed to interview the girl.

The NRL said Solly the Roosters reported the incident immediately and that was enough.

Bulldogs drone on

The Bulldogs’ football department has been accused of being late this week for not using drones in practice.

Not only do the Bulldogs own and use a drone, but the drone is known to police.

The club were holding a training session at a pitch outside Belmore Sportsground over the summer when the police arrived, much to the surprise of the players.

It turns out that an elderly woman who lives in a nearby unit had filed a complaint, fearing the drone was spying on her.

The Bulldogs coaching staff explained that the drone was used strictly for football purposes, but promised to keep the drone away from nearby buildings in the future.

former coach Haslers introduced drones during his time at the club. There wouldn’t be many teams that wouldn’t use them as they provide the perfect overhead view of the ball sessions.

One of the first was South Sydney under Michael Maguirethough it didn’t help much the day one of the drones was picked up by the wind and thrown into a nearby housing commission, never to be seen again.

Shane Warne after taking his 700th Test wicket at the MCG.

Shane Warne after taking his 700th Test wicket at the MCG. Credit:Getty


“He should end up in heaven – but he will have to serve a short probationary period in purgatory.” – Kerry O’Keeffe finds the right words, as always, following the death of Shane Warne.


If you like sports, the NBA, big hair, chest hair, gold chains, paunches, the 80s, Los Angeles, the LA Lakers and, in particular, Magic Johnsonyou have to watch winning time, a drama series telling the story of the Lakers dynasty. The first episode came out last week and it was gold with John C. Reilly particularly brilliant as a team owner jerry bus. Margaret, I give it four and a half stars.



russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak wore a ‘Z’ on his leotard as he received his bronze medal at a World Cup in Doha in support of Russian forces invading Ukraine. An unrepentant Kuliak said he would do it again because the symbol represented “victory” and “peace.” Yes, the war and peace are such comfortable bed companions.

It’s a great weekend for … the ground of Karachi, place of the second test between Australia and Pakistan, from Saturday. Australian bowlers took just four wickets on the highway-shaped wicket in Rawalpindi.

It’s an even bigger weekend for… Ben Simmons, who will sit on the bench for his new team, the Brooklyn Nets, as they face his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, in Philadelphia on Friday. He might consider wearing a mouth guard and a stackable hat. Simmons is suffering from back spasms but could play against the Knicks on Monday, his first game in a year.

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