Monday, March 11, 2013

Cricket Australia: Daring to think beyond Test Cricket ?

Just about 17 years ago to the day, Australia were coincidentally also in Mohali. On 14th March, 1996, Australia and West Indies played one of the best ever World Cup Knock out matches - with Australia winning the semi-final by just 5 runs. It was a game, that I watched a little bit - with eyes red from the soul crushing disappointment of the previous night.
17 years later, Australia cricket provided me (and many cricket fans), a rather interesting event of dropping 4 players from their squad from the next test match on account of not completing certain presentations (apart from other things). Well, much amusement was had at the Aussies expense today - on twitter. I for one generally don't believe in kicking a man when down, but hey - who can let go of such opportunities. 
Nevertheless, while the postmortem of this rather bizarre event will no doubt remain ongoing for the next few days and weeks, I found a couple of rather interesting news articles in the Aussie newspapers.
The Australian carries the article: 

A certain domestic cricket coach is mentioned there - who appears in another story as the main subject. But before that, another headline - this time from the Herald Sun:

Australia's cricket mismanagement has created an unmitigated disaster, writes Gerard Whateley

And finally, the aforementioned coach has generated the following headline: 

Phil Hughes's coach accuses Cricket Australia of denying him preparation time ahead of India tour.

Take all this in together and you have a cricket side, which to an outsider like me, appears to be in disarray. And while it is all good fun to see the once all conquering Aussies - a little down, a weak Australian team cannot really be good for a cricketing universe, which has barely a handful of countries who take the game seriously.

Coming back to today's events, going by the standards of journalism set in the summer of 2011, I could accuse Cricket Australia of arrogance today. They are probably denying the paying Indian cricket public of seeing the best Australian cricket team in the next 2 tests. Perhaps they just made a mockery of test cricket with their complete John Buchanan-isation of selection. Note: They have had problems in the past, but they were dealt in a different way perhaps. Nevertheless, these are their internal matters. But just one last point before I end. If you read Clarke's statements from the interview, the below paragraph struck out for me.

"We can't accept mediocrity here. This is the Australian cricket team. Maybe I am biased [but] there is a big difference between this team and other cricket teams. If you play for Australia there is a lot that comes with that and standards, discipline, culture that is all a big part of what we are talking about here."

I wonder what he meant, when he said, there is a big difference between this team and other cricket teams. Was he implying that Australians happen to have a superior cricketing culture, tradition etc etc compared to everyone else ? Perhaps they do. But how did he come to this conclusion ? What did he mean when he talked about standards, discipline, culture ?  Not that it matters, but just for the record, the last Australian cricketer who played in such a manner (with their standards, discipline and culture) that I became a fan, made his test debut way back in November, 2005. Since then, I haven't really been impressed by any of their lot. But then, that's just me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Copy Pasting from this site is allowed only if you give credits. Ok ?