Australian cricket is stuffed
Australian cricket is in crisis there are just so many reasons you can debate these and add yours!
1 – Programming has been an utter disgrace.
Cricket Australia and cricket in general cares far more about money than the good of the game. How in the hell can we be playing meaningless one day games in South Africa instead of being back here playing Shield games – preparing properly for vital home series of TEST matches – real cricket!
Australian Test players play Shield games marginally more often than Richmond win a final and it is a farce that the majority of real summer cricket time, when Test matches should occur, is dedicated to the cash cow, the Big Bash.
India brings in about 70 cents of every dollar generated in the sport, so again 20-20 cricket comes first; just so bitterly disappointing that money rules – not the good of the game.
2 – The positions created in Australian cricket and then the people appointed to the roles.
General manager of high performance, Pat Howard who comes from a rugby background, and being tactful (not my strong point) I am very reliably informed knows zero-zero about the game of cricket! Other roles: dietician, communication manager etc.. – are they just hanger onners there for the gravy ride? Do they really contribute anything? How would Doug Walters, Boony, Warner put up with this? Has it helped the game and the Australian side whatsoever?
3 – The complete and utter stupidity re going on about a bowler’s pace when what type of bowling has run through our batting consistently? Swing bowling! The Hobart pitch and conditions were tailor made for the best exponent of swing bowling in the country by a space in Chadd Sayers – he had to play (let alone for the fact he has taken 17 wickets at 10 so far this season and 182 at 22 in his career!)
4 – The selection of sides.
Wow oh wow, Rod Marsh talking about Jackson Bird’s batting and so the obvious comment is made: so therefore Glenn McGrath wouldn’t have played Test cricket (that was as weird and bizarre comment made in the history of the sport)
(Please comment with other gems re selection and comments).
5 – District Cricket in Adelaide (I think the rest of the country as well?) being played of Sheffield Shield hours 11 till 6, so players have to be there by 9.30 or so. They may have to travel an hour or so to get there and then do the right thing and go back to their club. Don’t get home till after 8 – so guess what? Guys who are married in their 30s and are no longer playing district cricket – so Ken Cunningham, Bob Blewett, Clacker Clarke, Wayne Bradbrook, Bob Zadow etc. who were the TEACHERS of the young guys, and helped provide that hard-nosed edge. And the standard has dropped markedly through not only losing the older players, but the fact that Saturday is just another working day, now.
The game has lost a lot of players for this reason
6 – A reason that is not even thought of but having coached in the last few seasons is split marriages. Yes, it is great that society has moved forward and the male plays more of a role in this situation re having the kids on weekends compared with years ago. Merely stating the fact that has caused a drop off with guys playing cricket.
7 – There are so many more opportunities to play so many different sports than what was really the traditional footy in winter and cricket in summer (OK I know I am going a tad overboard re generalizing so much).
8 – Backyards are so much smaller – so that obviously hurts the chances of cricket being played big time and safety wise. Years ago, as kids we basically got on our bikes, left home in the morning and played with our mates all day, and didn’t return till it was dark. Sadly those days are long gone. (How many games of cricket do you see being played on the road or in parks compared to years ago?) Amount of open space such as parks and reserves to play sport has dwindled.
9 – Kids and bloody computers!!!
10 – The garbage re kids’ sport of not keeping score (OK not quite so much in cricket)
I am referring overall to not allowing kids to learn how to win and lose well – guess what – that is life!
I have given my thoughts re how the game is struggling (even stuffed) right from the top level, grass roots and kids level.
Your thoughts? Solutions Pretty Please? I honestly think it has been a slow decay of the game and I really can’t see any way back. I desperately hope I am wrong.
For a creative expression of what’s wrong with Australian cricket read this (imagined) conversation from a bar in Hobart (by E. Regnans)
Other cricket articles:
Read Mike Sexton on Hookesy at West Torrens – a little known story