Sport - Jason Cowley enjoyed watching Serena's earrings

A summer to be remembered for fast bowlers and billionaires

As this column prepares for its own summer recess, I thought I should leave you with some highlights (or possibly lowlights?) from the sporting summer so far.

1) England's rugby team: After so many years of drift and disappointment, English sport at last has a team of which it can be proud. The back-to-back victories in New Zealand and Australia, following a winter of hard achievement, reaffirmed what we knew already: that this ferocious and committed England team is the finest to emerge from these islands for more than three decades, in any sport. The World Cup next?

2) Roman Abramovich: I can't decide whether the takeover of Chelsea by the Russian billionaire is to be celebrated or feared. His arrival certainly inflated a moribund transfer market while providing the tabloids with infinite opportunity to scheme and speculate. Modestly talented players such as Damien Duff of Blackburn Rovers have seen their market value almost double. Will Chelsea be a more accomplished side for the arrival of Abramovich? Who will be the first player on whom he ludicrously spends £50m? Will Sven-Goran Eriksson be the next manager at Stamford Bridge? Does anyone really care?

3) James Anderson: The 20-year-old fast bowler is perhaps the most exciting cricketing discovery since Ian Botham (or should that be Darren Gough?). It's too early to say how good he can be, but the evidence suggests that he is quick, he swings the ball away from the right-hander, he pitches it up and has a knack of knocking over top-order batsmen. He has had two hat-tricks already this season. He must be an Aussie in disguise.

4) Popp's Peak (aka Henman Hill): This is the grassy mound where tennis fans gather inside the All England Club to watch Tim Henman on the big screen. So desperate have they become for a home champion that, for a brief period during the men's quarter-final, they even began to support a German, when word spread that the journeyman Alexander Popp, who, at the time, was two sets up against the eventual beaten finalist, Mark Philippoussis, had a British passport. For one glorious, uninhibited afternoon, Henman Hill became Popp's Peak as the Home Counties dreamt of an improbable "all-British" semi-final. In the event, both Popp and Henman lost their quarter-finals. Popp returned home a German.

5) Rugby League: I'm afraid, despite the protests of Mr Philip Dacre (Letters, 7 July), that I still can't bring myself to say anything meaningful, or indeed anything at all, about this peculiar northern ritual.

6) The transfer of Harry Kewell: When Gary Lineker, one of the game's most efficient money-making machines, can write in his newspaper column that the transfer of Kewell from Leeds to Liverpool has made him ashamed of his association with football, then something is very seriously wrong. A couple of weeks ago, Kewell was valued at £7m. In the end, Leeds, the club that had nurtured him since his arrival as a schoolboy from Australia, received, according to their chairman, John McKenzie, only £3m from his transfer to Liverpool. Professor McKenzie revealed that Kewell's agent received £2m from the deal, from which, no doubt, the player himself, who will now earn £60,000 a week, took a hefty cut. Leeds were forced to take so little because Kewell's contract would have ended next summer, leaving him free to walk away for nothing.

7) The return of Darren Gough: When the Yorkshire fast bowler returned home injured from the Ashes tour of Australia in the winter, it was widely predicted that he would never play again. But he has - and with his usual exuberance and flair. Would that he could stay fit for the rest of the year and beyond.

8) Serena Williams: The highlight of my sporting summer was watching Serena beat Jennifer Capriati in the women's quarter-final at Wimbledon. Never before have I seen a sportswoman perform with such power, athleticism and grace. Even her large, hooped, silver earrings were a thing of wonder.

Jason Cowley is the editor of Observer Sport Monthly