England's summer of international cricket continues its crawl into deepest September today with Bristol playing host to the third ODI international between England and the West Indies. The first game of the five match series was far from competitive with England winning by 7 wickets, whilst the second game on Thursday was washed out after only 14 balls. Shock horror… rain in September! Whilst English cricket fans' focus this week will naturally be on the team’s final preparations before The Ashes, attention should at least be shared with the action at the final County Championship match of the season between Lancashire and Surrey in Manchester. Whilst neither of these two sides has anything left to play for, the game marks the final first-class match for Sri Lankan cricketing great, Kumar Sangakkara, who is retiring at the ripe old age of 39 years and 337 days. The saying goes that professional sportsmen and women know when their time is up, but with championship scores this season of 71, 46, 136, 105, 114, 120, 200, 84, 4, 26, 180*, 164, 157 and 35, and a batting average of 111, it's fair to say Mr Sangakkara is going out at the peak of his powers (and probably too early!). Well batted Sir.
What could be better than settling down with a nice cup of coffee to read the latest instalment of The Weekly? Whether it is via a Nescafe home brew or an overpriced latte from the high street, the good news is that you seldom have to go far for your next caffeine fix. But according to Citigroup, it’s time the big brands woke up and ‘smelt the coffee’, as we are apparently about to reach saturation point for coffee shops. About to reach?? Clearly Citigroup haven’t ventured around the vicinity of The Weekly’s HQ recently! Citigroup predict that only four to five years structural growth remains in the UK coffee market. Ten years ago there were less than 10,000 places to buy a coffee in the UK. By the end of 2016 there were more than 22,000, and by 2032 there are forecast to be 32,000 coffee shops. This rapid growth is being driven by the reported consumption of 2.3 billion cups of coffee each year in stores! Whether the coffee shop saturation point is indeed reached in the next four to five years or in fact is sooner, as some analysts are suggesting, landlords of the UK high streets need to sit up and take note.
Parents up and down the country have been waving goodbye to their beloved offspring over the last few weeks as they set off for university, beginning a new life of study, independence and a diet of Pot Noodles. The first week of university usually only means one thing…Fresher’s Week…a week (reportedly!) associated with getting drunk, throwing up and passing out! Or for the less cynical, the opportunity for students to make some new friends and acquaint themselves with a new city before the serious matter of attending three lectures a week commences. It would seem, however, that today's generation of students are not being entirely trusted to behave. Student housing company, Campus Living Villages, has this year been handing out Paddington Bear-style wristbands to their students at Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool universities, printed with their address and emergency contact details on them. The main purpose of the wristbands is to remind students where they live after a big night out and to improve safety levels! The words patronising and mollycoddling immediately spring to mind, whilst the saying “show us your wrists, let’s get p?@sed!” has never seemed more relevant.