It’s time to take the Australian cricket team back


It’s time, says Gerard Whateley. Time for cricket fans everywhere to take back ownership of the Australian cricket team in the face of management that runs beyond negilgence.

Read Gerard’s article at the link below, then add your thoughts here.

LINK: It’s time to take the Australian cricket team back.





  1. “That this panel has been allowed to appoint the next captain, end careers, hand out contracts and pick the next team is beyond negligent. It’s reckless.”

    So Gerard, the charge is ‘reckless, high contact (an assault to out collective cricket brains) and high impact (no explanation required there – look at the results of the past three years)’.

    What sort of MRP penalty should that translate to for Andrew Hilditch? Several years in a public stockade, I reckon.

  2. Even if (should I say when) the Australian Cricket team is humiliated in Sri Lanka it won’t make any difference. Just like it hasn’t since 2009. Repeating the same mistakes is a sure sign of insanity. I suspect that everyone in CA has taken leave of their senses.

  3. Dave Nadel says

    Hilditch’s latest guesses (sorry selections) for the positions of Australian spinner sound more like a drinks menu. – Lyon, Nathan and Beer, Michael

    Let’s hope by the end of the tour that we are not saying that they would have been better as a drinks menu!

  4. Witty article by Whateley, but I suspect that ‘playing the man’ (selectors) misses the point. Growing up my first love was cricket, but it has waned over the years. I suspect that the problems are deep, complex and structural – World Cricket; Australian Cricket and the fact that there are now at least 2 if not 3 different sports embedded in ‘Cricket’. I defy anyone to be a top performer in all types for long (look at the decay of MS Dhoni and India in short time). The confusion of skill sets and the exhaustion of body and mind take their toll. Cricket has diffused its talent when it is most under assault from football codes and other entertainment options. India and Sri Lanka at least have a large talent pool that aspires to little else. Australia, South Africa, NZ and WI do not. Pakistan is a permanent war zone and Zimbabwe a tragic ‘basket case’. I think England have comparatively prospered because they did some hard thinking about the structure of domestic cricket a decade ago, while we patted ourselves on the back about the timeless strenths of the Pura Milk Cup. They also appointed hard heads like Fletcher and Flower to drive excellence in the national team.
    I suspect that Ponting, Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath are the last great vintage. Vintage wine takes time and effort to nurture and mature through vineyard and cellar. We are all in thrall to the up front appeal of VB and Bundy and Coke. The punters and the players are looking elsewhere. Cricket has withered on the vine. (Might be an article in this metaphor).
    Cricket Australia thought that the spring would produce forever. The well has run dry (to mix liquid metaphors). Selectors can be criticised, but the long twilight of the golden generation has masked that nothing significant was growing in their shadows. Can’t pull your sox up if…….
    Cricket Australia (more than selectors) and Cricket internationally are guilty of self indulgent, short sighted back slapping while talent and interest has dwindled away.
    It will not be easily restored.
    I like Gerard as a commentator and critic, but this piece wins the Robert Walls Medal for ‘sound and fury signifying little’.
    Must try harder.

  5. Mark Doyle says

    Gerard Whateley’s comment is typical of most of the current day media commentators on sport. It is puerile garbage. Whateley has a very poor knowledge of sport. Whateley is like most people who work for the mainstream ABC; they are supercilious, arrogant and self righteous. ABC radio and TV provide a very poor coverage of sport – funding cutbacks in the past 20 years has resulted in them not being able to employ quality sports commentators and broadcasters. The commercial media is not much better.

    Peter Roebuck’s article on the current Australian cricket selectors, which is printed on the ESPN website, is much more intelligent and articulate.

    I will be very interested to see how Australia performs in the imminent tour to Sri Lanka under Michael Clarke’s captaincy. I believe that Ricky Ponting was a poor captain, especially his use of spin bowlers.

    The best cricket commentator in Australia is Ian Chappell – his current article on the Indian opening batsman on the ESPN website is worth a read.

  6. Andrew Fithall says

    Huh? Puerile garbage? Poor knowledge of sport? Elsewhere on this site you say Robert Walls knows nothing about football. Mark Doyle – I suggest youy consider the argument and offer your contrary opinion rather than simply denigrate the person. In Dips’ article he addresses what Robert Walls has written and opposes the premise. Gerard Whately has offered an opinion and all you do is attack him as a person calling him supercilious, arrogant and self righteous. You criticise the ABC as not being able to employ quality sports commentators and broadcasters. I would assert that the quality of person on ABC sport broadcasting is relatively high. Gerard Whately doesn’t need me to defend his record. I enjoy his commentary. I enjoy his contributions on pay TV, excluding the vapidity of After The Game. I don’t always agree with what he has to say. But I will argue that point rather than simply discount his entitlement to have that opinion.

  7. Peter Flynn says


    I agree re IM Chappell. Harsh comments re G Whateley.

    I agree with the sentiments of G Whateley’s rant and I am similarly frustrated about what’s happening to our Test team.

    Ponting wasn’t a good captain of spinners and the selection panel hasn’t done a particularly good job of picking spinners. Not that the cupboard is full mind you.

    Where is the review at is a great question.

  8. Doylie,
    Harsh. What’s your rationale that the ABC lack sporting nous? None of those allegations ring true for me. Mind you, it wouldn’t be hard to feel superior to some of the crap hacks that call themselves footy journos, not to mention the groaners, yellers and grunters who masquerade as radio commentators on the commercial networks.

    Personally, I’m a big fan of what the ABC do sport-wise. I usually agree with Gerard’s cool-headed assesments. Sure Auntie suffers from funding shortfalls, but that’s hardly the fault of the employees. Employees such as…Peter Roebuck.

    I am keen to hear a few examples that point to why you feel the way you do towards our National Broadcaster.

    As far as the Aussies go, there’s no denying the problems. Perhaps they are endemic, but I also agree with PeterB that the issues affecting world cricket are more deleterious and alarming. Sporting teams, such as the Australian cricket team, inevitably go through ups and downs, and the reasons as to why they do are not always clear at the time. The ICC worry me. They’re probably not as autocratic as FIFA, and hopefully not as corrupt, but they sure run a neat fiefdom. I worry that by appealing to the masses, they are convoluting the things that make Cricket so unique (i.e., undermining the importance of good Test Cricket) and running it into the ground.

    Maybe that’s an overly simplistic view and I know the Indians love the shorter forms of the game arguably more than they care for Tests, but I reckon if the big bosses went back to extolling the virtues of good Test Cricket, we’d all feel a bit better about where the game was headed.

  9. Mark Doyle says

    To you blokes who have got your balls in a knot about my comments about the ABC coverage of sport and especially those of Gerard Whateley,

    I make no apology or retraction for my comments and believe that we should agree to disagree. This issue is fortuitious and you should read Paul Collin’s essay in ‘Euraka Street’ on the subject of the commercialisation of the ABC and the subsequent reader comments. I should make an internet link to this website, but am not sure how to do it! Can anyone help me?

    The main issue here for me is that the ABC has been ‘dumbed down’ for the last 10-15 years to be more alike and ratings competitive with the commericial radio and TV networks. This policy has been driven by conservative ABC Board members and managers to justify funding submissions to government.

    ABC Radio has not had a good sports presenter since Tracy Holmes left about 15 years ago.

    With respect to ABC coverage of AFL Football, it is no different to the other media – commercial radio, TV, newspapers and the internet; It is mediocre and superficial at best and most of the content is trivial and celebrity nonsense. I believe that most sports fans do not appreciate good sports commentary and broadcasting. Most of the retired AFL footballers who work in the media and sports journalists are ignorant buffoons who are inarticulate. The exceptions are people such as Ian Chappell, Peter Roebuck, Richie Benaud and Mike Coward for cricket; and Leigh Matthews, Stephen Williams, Ben Allan and Martin Flanagan for AFL football; and Greg Alexander and Wayne Pearce for rugby league.

    The only TV football shows that are worth watching on a regular basis are the ‘Marngrook Footy Show’ and the ‘Barefoot Rugby League Show’.

    A lot of the radio and TV coverage of AFL footy reminds me of pub talk which is illinformed, irrational and illogical and people not listening and respecting other peoples opinions.

    It bemuses me that the media and public comment likes to focus on mickey mouse issues such as ‘tanking’. I believe the media and the public would be better to focus on serious issues such as the financial viability of some AFL clubs, such as Melbourne, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Port Adelaide. I believe that the most significant issue for these clubs is to generate revenue of $45-50 million per year.

    Finally, my final cooment is that the AFL is a great product. It provides good quality football at an affordable price for fans. It is also the most fair and democratic football competition in the world; the draft and salary cap means that all clubs have an equal opportunity to be successful.

  10. Mark,
    Lots of issues here for robust discussion…
    but – I cannot believe your rating of Tracy Holmes. I cannot recall anyone worse in my listening time.
    It raises some interesting questions. She was a watershed for me, too – in my case, I was dumbfounded at her capacity to get “gigs”…assuming she had some family link. not even the “best Tracy” here, as Tracy Parish was capable. I turn off anything TH is on.

  11. Glenda Ellis says

    Hey, Mark Doyle, try to limit the spray a little and we might get somewhere. Gerard Whately makes some very valid points about Australian cricket at the moment. The sooner Hildich is given out the better – the selectors learnt nothing from the Ashes debacle over summer – and now the Aussies can’t even win a 20/20 against Sri Lanka!!
    Come on – Gerard has a very good point whether he is on the ABC or anywhere else.

    And what do you think of Kerry?

  12. I hear the delightful clicking of Madame Defarge’s knitting neddles.

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