Ryobi Cup Week 1

Steve Kerrigan,the ‘ideas man’ from ‘The Castle’, is having a big influence in his new role at Cricket Australia. Who else could have come up with the new Ryobi Cup format, with a month long tournament all played at suburban Sydney venues? Even better still, mostly on weekday’s between 9.30AM and 5.00PM. Prime time. Great to have it back on free-to-air TV though. Even if CA had to pay the Nine Network 800K to broadcast it on digital channel GEM. As someone who works outdoors during the day, this timeslot is horrible. Especially since my beloved Victoria Bushrangers have played 3 weekday games so far. So I record the games, follow them on Twitter during the day and watch the games on fast forward that night, seeing the key moments that need to be seen. Every year I would make it to a day/night Bushrangers game at the ‘G. This season it will Sheffield Shield cricket only. I’d better go while I still can. CA have denied the ABC the right to broadcast domestic cricket. No-one else will supply radio broadcasts of Sheffield Shield or Ryobi Cup cricket in 2013/14. I have listened to Sheffield Shield broadcasts on the radio ever since I can remember first listening to a radio. CA are doing a good job of killing off Shield and Ryobi cricket. The ABC have since announced full radio coverage of every A-League match this season. Even with their beloved BBL, CA have sold exclusive rights to FM broadcaster Triple M. Who apparently won’t be doing traditional cricket broadcasts, whatever that means. No good to anyone who lives outside a major capital city anyway.

Believe it or not the Ryobi Cup has been going for a week. Here’s what you’ve missed-

Game 1 is held at Bankstown the day after the AFL Grand Final. Apparently 100K people watch the broadcast on GEM, alleged to be a 50% rise on the Fox Sports figures from last season. Must be from all that extensive promotion. On a low, slow pitch that has been prepared to last a month, New South Wales struggle to make 9/178. Steve Smith is a standout with 70 off 99 balls. His batting has come along in leaps and bounds. This shouldn’t be enough against a strong Tasmanian team but it easily is, the Tigers all out for just 97. Moises Henriques outstanding with the pill, taking 4/17 off 8 overs.

Game 2, again at Bankstown, and Tasmania bat first against Victoria. The Tigers are all out for 197 despite a good start from Mark Cosgrove, who looks to have lost a few kilos. The slightly-less-overweight opener made 35 while the only other real contribution came from discarded Test opener Ed Cowan with 60 from 88 balls. Fawad Ahmed is punished early but recovers well to finish with 4 wickets. The Bushrangers had little worry in chasing down the Tigers total, winning by 5 wickets.

Game 3 saw South Australia bat first against Victoria at Bankstown and post 6/232. Most of their batsman got starts with debutant and former Ballarat boy Sam Miller top scoring with an unbeaten 47. Another successful run chase for the Bushrangers, winning by 6 wickets. Cameron White back to his long, straight hitting best with 86 off 89 balls. Leg-spinner Brenton McDonald (brother of Andrew) took 2/47 on his South Australian debut.

Game 4, again played on the same low, slow Bankstown pitch, sees New South Wales struggle to 9/171 against Victoria. David Warner makes a duck after missing a day of grade cricket to prepare for this game, while Ben Rohrer continues to thrive against a white ball and the lack of short bowling in this format. Cameron White leads the Bushrangers to victory again with an unbeaten 82. The removal of the burden of captaincy, which he has had since a young age, seems to be beneficial. He’s still not getting a bowl though. The captaincy has certainly given Matt Wade’s form a boost, the poor form of India and England that saw him lose his Test then One-Day spots appears to have turned around with his form so far in this tournament.

Game 1: New South Wales 9/178 (SPD Smith 70, B Laughlin 3/23) def. Tasmania 97 (EJM Cowan 25, MC Henriques 4/17)

Game 2: Tasmania 197 (EJM Cowan 60, MJ Cosgrove 35, Fawad Ahmed 4/38, JW Hastings 3/24) lost to Victoria 5/199 (RJ Quiney 49, PSP Handscomb 43*)

Game 3: South Australia 6/232 (SP Miller 47*, TP Ludeman 38) lost to Victoria 4/236 (CL White 86, RJ Quiney 65, BG McDonald 2/47)

Game 4: New South Wales 9/171 (BJ Rohrer 63*, SPD Smith 47) lost to Victoria 8/174 (CL White 82*, MS Wade 50, DE Bollinger 2/25)


This weeks games- Wednesday: South Australia v Tasmania at Bankstown, Friday: Queensland v Western Australia at Bankstown, Saturday: Tasmania v South Australia at Bankstown, Sunday: Queensland v Victoria at North Sydney, Sunday: Western Australia v New South Wales at Hurstville.


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. The Ryobi Cup is a) lacrosse; b)hurling; c)cricket. Played in a)Munster; b)Ulan Bator; c)Bankstown. Between a)Syria and Iraq; b)6 Nations; c)Australian States. Send your answers to Cricket Australia. The first winning entrant will be appointed Media Manager for 12 months.
    I dips me lid to your faith and persistence Luke, but as John Cleese once observed “this is a dead parrot. He’s been nailed to the perch and joined the choir invisible.”

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Luke I too detest what is bein done to Aust Cricket Luke are you telling us there will be no Sheffield Shield on Grandstand on the ABC on Weekends this year ?
    Thanks for the write up

  3. It boggles the mind what CA’s strategy is around the domestic 50 over competition Luke.

    On one hand they appear to be actively killing it off, yet at the same time they have it back on TV for a public execution. I guess it’s nice of them to put something on for unemployed cricket tragics and uni students.

    Clearly they want it out the way ASAP so it doesn’t get in the way of the bash for cash they want to play, and the Sheffield Shield they’re obligated to play.

  4. G’day Luke,
    What a great report. Thanks for keeping us all abreast of this competition. I would have struggled with PeterB’s multiple choice quiz, but with your report behind me I feel much more in the know.
    Sadly, so much of cricket has slipped off the public radar.
    Toying with the idea of playing again soon (not done since 2003/04).

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Peter, is there any difference between Bankstown and Ulan Bator? Indeed it is a dead parrot.
    Cheers Malcolm. Sadly no Shield cricket broadcasts on the ABC this season. What a disgraceful move by CA. Big win for the A-League which will have increased coverage.
    Jeff everything revolves around the Big Bash now. Even the Ryobi Cup fixture was hastily put together 3 weeks before the season. The BBL fixture was released in early May.
    David sot on, most cricket has slipped of the radar. Great to hear you’re considering a comeback. If you are up for a weekly 4 1/2 hour round trip, we’ll happily fit you in at Pomborneit. Hope to see you at training on Thursday.

  6. Hey Luke

    Thanks for the report. I prefer my 50 over cricket in blurbs now, so you’ve afforded it as much as it deserves.

    On the treatment it’s getting … I couldn’t be happier. I’ll be a releived man the day 50 cricket dies. For me it means Test cricket has seen off a guest that overstayed its welcome. After all, let’s face it, 50 over cricket was only invented to dumb cricket down. For me 20 20 is a better option in this regard. It means I only have to put up with 2.5 hour games in between real cricket instead of 8 hours of Michael Bevan nurdlling runs to 3rd man off Chris Harris’s dibbly doblies ( or was that fine leg?).

    Anyway, I’ll be glad to see the back of it. But as for seeing offf 20 20 … hmm, test cricket will have to roll its sleeves up for that

    PS Luke: I’m running Viv Tufnell on a blog this year. If you’re interested, I’ll let you when it’s up and running

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers T Bone. As long as Test and four day cricket are strong and relevant, I’m happy. The rest is filler, but I enjoy the game regardless of length. As someone who grew up with one day cricket, I still think its a good form of the game if played in context and moderation. Just like t20.
    Viv Tufnell returning, that’s the best cricket news I’ve heard in a long time!! Keep us informed about the blog. Maybe Viv will
    be the Ryobi Cup’s saviour.

  8. Well covered Luke, this is more comprehensive than any thing i’ve seen in the corporate media. Your article provides more credibility to the Ryobi Cup than it deseves. I mean, how do you play a whole season on a ground based in NSW. Is it meant to be taken seriously?

    Re the ABC losing coverage of the shield, a sad momnet. To my knowledge the ABC has covered these matches since the ABC’s inception. For a competition, still regarded as the strongest domestic competion in the cricket world, to be demoted to a sttaus of no virtually no coverage, while we highlight te Perth Scorchers, or what ever their name is this week, is indicative of what is wrong with cricket in Australia. The whole focus is on instant gratification , with no sense of planning for the future.

    Keep up the good work luke, Glen!

  9. DBalassone says

    Luke, it’s great to have you providing this comprehensive cricket roundup. I tend to keep away from papers in Oct (too much trade nonsense and horse racing for mine) so it’s great to get what cricket news I need to know from you. This rushed Ryobi Cup is a strange one, but I must say I’m in T-Bone’s corner re the 50 over format. It’s just not necessary any more. T20 fills the gap for the pj stuff – there’s no need for 50 over cricket now. It’s obviously being kept on life support until at least the 2015 World Cup. Is there anything more boring than overs 15 to 45 when batsman just punch the ball to long-off or long-on for a single? To endure 8 hours of it is painful. At least with T20, as T-bone says, it’s all over in 3 hours while you wolf down a pizza and a few drinks after work. One day cricket changed forever in the ’92 World Cup when Mark Greatbatch started hitting over the top in the early overs on those small NZ grounds. The great Sri Lankans Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana took it to another level in ’96 and then of course along came the great man Gilly. What these guys did in the 50 over game made it seem more logical to condense the experience into a T20 format. It gets rid of all the chipping around to defensive fields in the middle overs. Mind you, none of this stuff compares to the glory of test cricket and never will.
    I will ask you one question re selection: Has Cam White done enough to get back into the T20 and ODI team? I still think he is the logical option at no. 4 in both formats.

  10. Well said Damien: the 50 over game is on life support for 2015 World Cup. I really can’t see any logistical reason to flog a dead horse any longer after that. And further on the game being changed forever, just as Greatbatch, Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana’s tactics trailblazed a new trend, Michael Bevan’s, and now Dhoni’s, strategies exposed a fatal flaw in the format. Overs 15 to 45 are now a yawn thanks to them. Batsmen are happy to take around 6 singles an over in this stanza, just as bowlers are happy to conceede around 6 singles. The stalemate means ODI’s seldom encourage attacking cricket for a large part of their 100 overs. Again, a fatal fatal flaw.

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Glen. The decision to take Sheffield Shield radio broadcasts away from the ABC is a baffling, ridiculous decision by Cricket Australia.
    Damian, hard to argue with what you say. If the one-day World Cup didn’t generate so much money I think the format would already have disappeared.
    Re Cameron White- he would be in my Australian T20 team for sure, was unlucky to be dropped as performances for Australia in that format were still very good. An awful season for the Melbourne Stars cost him his place in the team. If he keeps up this form there’s definitely a spot in the ODI team for him.

  12. T-Bone,
    I agree with the general thrust of your comments, but be careful what you wish for.
    Now that the BCCI, CA, their marketing arm, and Pay TV in the sub-continent have seen off 50 over cricket – they will turn their attention to Test Matches over the next 5-10 years.
    Too long; don’t hold the attention span of new/discretionary spending “consumers”; unreliable length for TV scheduling.
    You have been warned. The demise of the 50 over game is the canary in the coal mine; not the mad aunt in the attic.

  13. Yeah fair point PB. In fact the Orwellian dystopia you’ve illustrated (and marvelously I might add) has already gone through the 1st and 2nd acts and is well into the 3rd. Test cricket is moribund pretty much everywhere but here and England. But as much as its got to do with the BCCI, CA and other bodies grabbing for cash, its also got to do with context. Most Test series have no context and won’t have one until there is the world championship like the ICC keep promising. When that happens, I back the cricket loving public’s of all the established test nations to emerge from their slumber. But as you drew in your dystopia, the same market forces that have stymied the roll out of a championship will continue to thwart it, so yes, it may never happen, and yes, I should be careful what I wish for. All the same, even if ODI cricket might resemble long form cricket more than T20, and thus something we might want to keep around in case real cricket is killed off, I still would be happy to just have T20. That way at least cricket in the year 2050 would be dynamic and something that works as opposed to a big yawm with singles and nothing but singles between overs 15 and 40.

  14. Terrific work Luke.

    I’ve made a feeble attempt to keep informed as to how the boys from FECC have faired – Hastings (6wkts) and Walker (YTP). New format has failed to make much an impression in the mainstream media apart from appearing on the Nine digital outlet.

    Brenton McDonald gets around – Four stops (Footscray, Richmond, Melbourne and SA) in eight seasons.

    Look forward to your next update


  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers thanks Mic. Great to see Hastings return so well after injury, and also great to see B.McDonald get a chance at this level.

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