The View from Shepparton: A dearth of cricket talent

Well you can’t blame the Poms for insufferably patronising, cynical, boastful, or generally unbearable regarding the current state of Australian cricket. After all it wasn’t too long ago that we heaped humiliating scorn on them during the course of a series whitewash that we inflicted on them out here. What goes around comes around I fear. All the same it is hard to take when Joe Root can take 180 off us so early in his career against the record of the individual most seen to be our best hope not too long ago Usman Khawaja who scored 37 in his first dig and was praised to the skies at the time, who went on to do next to nothing for ever after many trys, (remember “try’s” NSW it’s something you can never get enough of against Queensland). He was dropped and some (again mostly from NSW I think) reckoned that he had had confidence permanently dented because of this. He was never up to it in the first place although last night’s effort compared to anyone else was fair enough I suppose. Another, Hughes, at least started out in a blaze of glory before Flintoff fixed him up.


It is easy to feel a sense of despair really, there is no new young  talent on the horizon at all. You can blame the selectors, team management all you like but if the players aren’t there  and aren’t going to be anytime soon do you say as I heard suggested somewhere this morning that the next ten days should be used to “improve their skills” . Ye gods, been left a bit late don’t you think?  Would perhaps help though if someone in the team, preferably Clarke in the first instance understood the referral system. In general terms  think that we are going to be years in the wilderness as there is simply no new talent coming up at all with the possible exception of Ashton but even he is in the team as a spinner and as a nineteen year old he won’t want to be remembered as a 98 number eleven flash in the pan.


The Maroons won again. Oh that there could be a series like that in Rules with the same result in favour of South Australia. As likely as Australia winning the next three Tests!


In the real code, North Melbourne were all over Carlton in that last quarter and could well have stolen it if it had not been for that last minute fumble and bumble as they rushed the ball towards the goal. Was so hoping that they would get up. What yet another devastating result for the Shinboners.


When Robbie Gray turned the wrong way and missed a certain goal with Port 39 points up I said to the  Minister of Home Affairs, “such misses are going to cost the Power”. A simple skill error nearly did indeed turn the match. Nevertheless the Saints could feel really hard done by as that tripping free kick in the last quarter was dubious to say the least and then to cop the subsequent  fifty metre penalty which was also as soft as. If Port do make the finals they can thank that one umpiring decision for saving their skins. A great comeback by the Saints.


As a Lions man I hate to admit this but I focused on the Port St Kilda game. Anyway we won, which just keeps in the fight for the eight. Hard to see them beating Port at home though. Melbourne were at least very competitive.


As a totally unbiased observer (not true) I gained an immense sense of satisfaction at the Suns beating the Pies. This team is now not just Ablett although he gave a master class on how to play the game. How long does it take for Collingwood to realise that Cloke is simply not accurate enough to be retained. Every time he  lines up you think it will be another “Coach Killer”.


The Sprawls did  not disgrace themselves this week but again after a really good first quarter they weren’t up to it. Easy win for the Dons. I suppose that as they are now second that may or not be fair enough but to me their whole season still has a giant * along side of it. We will see what happens in early August.


The Western Bulldogs played reasonably well against Hawthorn but I don’t think that anyone seriously expected them to win.


I described Cloke as a “Coach Killer” but so is Harry Taylor, how on earth could he have missed that last shot for goal. I watched this game for a while but after Adelaide fluffed so many chances in the first quarter I knew that they were going to lose and indeed get thrashed. A later check of the score, about 30 points down, confirmed this. I was not feeling very gruntled so watched a replays of “Offsiders and “Onsiders” instead. Imagine my surprise that the Crows had got up. Could  not believe it. Well good luck to them, still don’t think that they can make it to the finals but this was a great win. So as an avowed follower of interstate teams this was a great round, and as my sister has just reminded me, Norwood got up as well.


Sydney are still the premiership favourites, they were far too good for West Coast. Hannebery and Keiran Jack played really well.


Richmond had a good home win against the Dockers but given Freo’s outs so they should have. Anyway, good luck to them, their supporters war last have something to cheer about.


Highlights: Maroons, Ablett


Low Light; The Australian Cricket Team, particularly in the first innings when Watson wasted a referral.




About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Peter, Your view on the Port game differs from mine. I reckon Port would feel incredibly aggrieved if they had lost. The umpires implemented the “mercy rule” about half way through the second quarter. Any Port player pushed in the back was penalised for holding the ball. Any Saints player caught holding the ball was awarded a free kick for push in the back. Dropped marks being paid, the list goes on. The real shocker was Riewoldt getting 50m penalty for throwing himself at the fence, luckily conscience kicked in and he kicked accordingly. Port got the better of poor umpiring just a couple of times in the last, but nothing compared to the even-it-up-bias afforded to St. Kilda. Phew, end of rant. Sorry to my family trying to get some sleep whilst I was shouting like a demon at the glowing screen in the corner of the lounge.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    Yeah good point re Riewoldt, was thinking of mentioning him in terms of at least one ridiculous umpiring decision that went against Port.

Leave a Comment