AT the outset this week, I'd like to extend some congratulations.

First and foremost to Glamorgan for beating Warwickshire 6-4 in their soccer match last Sunday, apparently all despite a rather indifferent performance from their goal keeper, Adam Davies (son of Hugh, the club's vice chairman and once on the staff as a fast bowler just like his father).

He was a late call up, though, and had to fill the not inconsiderable shoes of Yorkshireman Alex Wharf who had an outstanding game in Adrian Dale's benefit match last winter (a report on the match appears on page 42 of this paper).

Secondly to England for their magnificent success in the rugby last Saturday. Rarely is sport so dramatic, whether or not you've got significant money on the result.

Whether I will ever see that cash from Messrs Maher and Kasprowicz remains to be seen. The text messages from Jimmy Maher seemed to dry up quite quickly, even though he did have a reasonably valid excuse because his wife had presented him with a second child, a boy called Christopher, on the Friday evening.

And thirdly to Robin Davey, this paper's intrepid rugby reporter, for his eminently sensible observations on Tuesday evening, when he chastised certain sections of the Welsh media for their reaction to England's win. For one paper to declare that the nation was in mourning was disgraceful. Such small-minded bias will not do anyone any good. A Northern Hemisphere win is great for everyone. Just imagine how spicey the Six Nations is going to be now with the added incentive for everyone to have a pop at the world champions?

The effect that win has had on rugby in Britain can already be seen by the staggering 6,000 people who turned to greet their heroes on their return from Australia. That interest will surely have its effect in Wales, especially after the huge promise shown by the team Down Under and with the Heineken European Cup starting soon.

Back to cricket and there is an interesting shoot-out going on in Sri Lanka at the moment with all three spinners being chosen for England's warm-up match.

I am glad that Robert Croft has been given his opportunity because it signals the fact that the management do not just see him as being there as back-up. He will not have much time to brush away the cobwebs but at least he has the chance. I'm sure he will take it. Weather permitting that is, of course. For it has not been good. In fact it has been just like you'd expect from a monsoon season. Which, as we now know, it is. Why oh why was this series scheduled for now?

It has to be greed on the part of the administrators, surely. They will have England playing internationals at home in October next! Come to think of it, that will almost be the case this autumn when the ICC Champions Trophy is staged over here and is scheduled to go on until late September.

The one-day series went to a watery grave when the final two matches were completely washed out in Colombo, leaving Sri Lanka 1-0 winners after that demolition job in Dambulla. Let us just hope that the Test series does not go the same way, for it promises to be cracking.

There were a number of disgruntled English fans voicing their displeasure after the rain fiasco - and rightly so. Some had spent a lot of money for very little - there were no ticket refunds, apparently. As one of them said: "We didn't check the weather forecast. We just trusted the EWCB to have done that before they organised this trip". Indeed.

Lastly, an unashamed plug for an open day which Glamorgan are holding a week on Saturday (December 6). The club are inviting all supporters to this Christmas event from 11am until 3pm. Children will have the chance to join forces with the Junior Dragons and visit Santa's Grotto while adults can enjoy the hospitality (a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie) and peruse the various stalls on display. And you can mingle with the players and take the opportunity to discuss 2004 memberships.