Almanac Cricket: Luigi returns!

Dear lovers of real cricket,


I used to write some articles in this Almanac but stopped because of my disenchantment with the game and I got busy with work. If you remember, my Great Grandfather came to this lucky country from Italy after the Great War. He worked on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and learned all about cricket when he joined with his workmates when they used to watch Bradman at the Cricket Ground. He grew to love the game and that has been passed on down the generations after he moved to Melbourne and set up our first fruit and vegetable shop. Our families and our fruit and veg empire have both grown and we could almost field our own team with Luigi’s batting from one to eleven.


Just lately we bought the shop next door and turned it into a cafe and deli. It is a thriving business too and a favourite haunt for daily cricket and football gossip. Sandpaper-gate saw our coffee sales spike and when Pat Howard got the boot we almost ran out of coffee beans. For so long we could see what he was doing to our game at the highest level and we couldn’t understand how management and the board could sit by and let it happen.


With the Argus Report, we could see what the CEO and his mentor had created in conjunction with the hockey player who knew no different. And, the three rather naive former captains just let it happen. As it unfolded we could see what it would do to the future of the game we had grown to love as they destroyed it bit by bit.


I remember a conversation with me, my Grandfather and Father. We had already lost the fabric of the game, the ideals and the proper education of our young players and now these two ex-footballers were going to make matters much worse. We cringed every time some crazy innovation was introduced which flew in the face of cricket commonsense. And, we cringed every time they disbanded methods which had made our adopted country a great and respected cricket nation.


We had already lost our way but these two people were treating cricket as a business and not a sport. They were hiring non-believers as they plummeted our game downwards, almost to a point of no return.


You would think that the players union would be smart enough to see what was happening but no! They too hired a footballer to run the show. That made three footballers running cricket. All the ACA does is fight the parent body to benefit their already pampered, entitled, overpaid, non performing “elite” players who find it easier to cheat in South Africa than to lose graciously.


I’m writing again because the two main architects of this massive downturn in cricket fortunes and the ability of our players, have gone. Can those left in charge make the necessary changes to improve matters? We seem to have ineptness everywhere with seniors players, coaches and mentors. What will happen there? Will we, as fair dinkum Australians put up with this or would we rather see a purge there as well? In business you are outed, never to return.


Should it be the same in sport? What sort of message are we sending out to thousands of young cricketers that you can ignore the rules, and break them willfully, but the team coach will welcome you back into the side because you can bat and your replacement can’t?





  1. A brilliant analysis, Luigi.
    Love it!!

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