Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Dear ICC, listen to me!

Never one at risk of becoming a wallflower, Shane Warne has again re-inflated his already substantial profile by writing one of the most forward thinking articles on the game and its future in his Times slot.

Few things escaped Warne's critical glare, foremost being the standard of umpiring.
Some umpire -those named- may feel affronted, as being able to make decisions according to the rules of the game is their trade. But whether it is due to some mellowing, or an attempt to use his position to affect change without being labelled a wowser, Warne gives some positive points to those that he has named and shamed, (apart from D.Harper.
And if any umpire was to take issue with this, they are missing Warne's solution: pay umpires more!

Next is the place of T20 and ODI's within the greater scheme of the game. Warne believes the 50 over game is holding on only due to the greed of administrators, and that cricket is better served with only T20 and test; i'm hardly saying something new when i remind you that i believe this to be the only way too- great Victorian legspinner minds think ali...

Lastly, whether it is the bowler in him talking or greater good, Warne wants switch hitting taken out of the game. I'm a bit surprised given he was one of the best users of flight/drift/loop i would have thought he'd see a batsman playing these shenanigans at the crease as more of a target and affording more opportunities for dismissal.

Sure it all gets a bit out of whack when it comes to an LBW against the batsman having a go at this risky play, but at least Warne offers an answer here too; "...if switch hitting can't be banned, then the leg before rule must be tweaked so that the batsman changing his stance has a second off stump."
A fair call too.

The thing i don't like or think is fair are those bats with the reverse side flattened to enable reverse sweeps/paddles without turning the wrists. Pure shite!

I for one like this (switch-hitting) in the game as it adds a little more variety and excitement and it should push bowlers to develop their speed shift ups or downs on release. There is more to be addressed on the issue, but the powers that be should look at how it can be included whilst still having a balance between bat and ball.

for Warnies 6 point plan for cricket:


stoph verismo
down the wicket


  1. Warne's plan for improving the game are as miopic as all of the commentary he has provided since retiring. Almost all of the changes are meant to improve the game, especially if you are only looking from where Warne stood or currently stands.

    At least it finally puts paid to the nonsense that he would have made a good skipper. Granted, better than Punter but being the Boss Man takes more than a spirited and attacking approach to field settings and charismatic leadership. A few years of the same stories and catch phrases and players would be asking to be dropped.

    Umpires, switch hitting and not rolling the pitch are wishlists from a bowler if ever I've heard them. IPL scheduling looks after his next five years of employment and ending one day internationals means players getting the same pay for half the work.

    The only proposal worth listening to is a world Test championship but as you would expect, he's a little short on detail here.

    When will we gain an understanding that ability on the sporting field does not mean intelligence off it. He was a brilliant player - not arguable the best spin bowler ever, quite definitely - but outside of his cricket gifts, he's a bonehead!

  2. Oooooohhhhhh, very inflammatory Lango – I like it!

    There are a couple of writers here that strongly believe Warne would have been up there with the best captains for Australia. I don’t agree with them but it’s one of those things we’ll never know. He took the Royals to the top one year and finished bottom the next. If he had captained it would have been during one of the most successful periods anyway so we would not have seen many bold declarations, daring field placings etc that indicate a captain’s knowledge and inventiveness. However, when you go over scorecards from Taylor’s and Waugh’s reign you see that they were always going for the throat and going for the win. This is the area Ponting lacks: irrespective of the players he has to turn to. Warne undoubtedly would have had that aggressive, never-give-up attitude that Taylor and Waugh had but I don’t think he would have been any better.

    From listening to Warne commentate I now think he has a great cricket brain, which I doubted before as I didn’t think he had any brain at all, but he comes from the bowler’s point of view. He is justly protective of spin bowling as he has watched his craft fall by the way-side since his retirement. As he is provocative I love seeing his opinions, especially about judicial elements. Further evidence that he is biased toward a bowling perspective as only bowlers will howl about umpiring

  3. A thoughtful article, by both leggies. While I agree one day cricket in its current format cannot be sustained I also believe T20 cricket is ruining the game and should be a stand alone novelty game. My ideas for one day cricket are as follows.

    1. Make it 30 or 35 overs. It is not quite the hit and giggle of the T20 but also not the grind of a 50 over bore fest.
    2. Give each team 15 or even 20 wickets. Runs added to the opposition for lost wickets as per indoor cricket.
    3. Batting and bowling teams can be picked so each team has more players to have more effect.
    4. New balls more regularly. Maybe every 10 overs if the fielding captain wants it.
    5. Shorter boundaries, especially on the spacious Australian grounds.

    All these things can be used together, or separately to make the spectacle a bit more interesting. As I said, cricket has never been about two hours of slogging and it never will be for me.

    Lango you beat me to the punch on Warne. That article is the biggest bunch of self serving clap trap I have ever read.

  4. certainly is self serving.
    still, as a national captain his record stands at (ODI) 10-1 hmmmm.
    and he lost the test VC for off field incidents- best man for the job, right CA?

    stoph verismo
    down the wicket

  5. After reading Warne’s 6 tips for saving cricket I’ve come to the conclusion that they demonstrate no insight whatsoever. Making changes to help bowlers and bagging umpires (note no recommendation of standing the best umpires in the most important series – irrespective of their country of origin – just give them more money!), doing away with 50 over cricket altogether and further building 20/20 are not forward thinking ideas.

    Stoph, a record of 10-1 in 50 over crap hardly puts a case for recommending someone as captain. Noone doubts he would have been good but I think Waugh and Taylor did alright. When Ponting started Warne was on the way out so he would have had 2 years – although he may have extended his career if that carrot had been dangled.

    My view is that it is unavoidable that 20/20 has to be accommodated. I too believe it is eroding our game and no good will come of pandering to the BCCI and catering for it with 20/20 windows. It will be too late when administrators realise that their test crowds have halved as people save their money for 20/20 double-headers where there is always a result in 3 hours. While 20/20 may introduce new admirers to cricket these fans will be introduced via a glamorised orgy that leaves you feeling violated. The prospect of waiting 5 days to see if there is a result will prove too much for those used to multiple orgasms in such a short period.

    I still maintain that 20/20 is itself boring as unless players compete on flat pitches batsmen struggle to do their bit by hitting sixes all the time. It then becomes more strategic and that is not the philosophy of the format – which is hit, hit, hit.

    If the ICC was serious about preserving test cricket they could do well to look at Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and ask ‘what went wrong’. Sri Lanka are really challenging at the moment and unless we see test cricket back in Pakistan soon, with West Indies imploding, world cricket will be in real strife. As anyone can have their day in the sun through 20/20 there will be even less incentive for Countries struggling to compete with a lack of resources, support etc to even bother in the test scene. New Zealand may be the next casualty of 20/20 as they have no cricket academy and produce far better limited over players than test players. They are going nowhere even with players like Ryder, Taylor and Oram.

    I may sound dramatic here but there are more and more high-profile senior players intimating that 20/20 will feature heavily in their career plans. If you are having contractual disputes, your country plays bugger all tests each year – and most of these are against crap opposition, other sports dominate, there’s no improvement: why wouldn’t you consider playing for a franchise where your contribution is rewarded?

  6. i like the 2 teams part Nozza!
    imagine watching the best 11 batsman and the best 11 bowlers crunch the same from the other side.

    if it is going to be a different type of game, go the whole hog.

  7. no doubt Lango that Warne is a bone/boofhead, but i think (even if he is being self serving as a bowler) Warne is one of only a few in world cricket endeavoring to create some interest that will develop the game further.

    certainly the ICC are working on development in places of less interest, but they appear not to be tweaking the game itself to generate continued and greater interest.

    clearly, as a test purist- i'd like minimal interference with the 5 day game, so the obvious candidate is limited overs; 20-35-50 overs whatever it takes to bring edible cake to the hoi polloi.

    Warne me be squint eyed with his methods, but at least he isn't close minded to the need for change.

    stoph verismo
    down the wicket

  8. Some good points fellas. I have have several hang ups in the modern game and I am often accused - fairly - of not letting up. My problems are Ponting and Warne.

    I've listened to his commentary too but when I compare him to Taylor, then we are biting down on chalk and cheese and believe me, I don't like my red wine with chalk, despite being an ex-teacher. Warne may have a great cricket brain but unfortunately it has to show itself via his mouth.

    He's too blokesy in his commentary. I hate to say it but if the Ashes had been decided in the commentary box, England would have won 5-0. Whether its TV or radio commentary (I've here Digitalus Foulus on both) and his Jack The Lad routine leaves him looking foolish and blokes like Nasser, Bumble, Gower and even Botham well ahead on points. What's the difference between Kerry O'Keeffe and Shane Warne? One's a moran with an infectious lecture and the other is moron with lecturous infection.

    Vented. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

    I'm okay now.

  9. warne is right, the rest of you are wrong...no change = death

  10. What's the difference between Kerry O'Keeffe and Shane Warne? One's a moran with an infectious lecture and the other is moron with lecturous infection.

    POTD for that ripper!

  11. Warne is right Gab, no change does equal death. He just didn't need to include the separate agenda in his article that is obvious to all who read it. Although a good cricket brain he lacks the subtlety of a good writer to disguise the undertones and stick to the actual premise of the article. He's not the first journalist to do it and he certainly won't be the last but what sickened me was the forum he decided to use. Why write an article supposedly about saving the game he played and still loves while peppering it with self serving irrelevant nonsense.
    While switching sides does create some disadvantage for the bowler it also creates more chances for an edge or skied shot due to the relevant difficulty of holding the bat in an unfamiliar way. Warne knows that and he also knows the call for two off stumps is just wishful thinking. As for not rolling the pitch, only a complete idiot doesn't know the issue with that one. Why not stop covering them at night? As for his thoughts on the IPL he also knows that the ICC must be VERY careful of being held to ransom by the blood sucking parasites who run the competition. Warne's view has been compromised by his employment with the establishment and as a journalist he should not have weighed in. What precedent does it set for other tournaments if the ICC changes schedules for players to participate in non-sanctioned events? Players need to be reminded of the loyalty they owe the game and what it means to the game itself that international cricket not be ruined by the lure of quick cash.
    Warne knows all these things.

  12. nine msn.
    gotta stir the pot!

    WarnePosted by: stoph, melbourne, on 19/08/2009 8:43:35 AMi won't pretend that umpires have an easy job, but whatever happened to, "(if in doubt)benifit must go to the batsman"? this simple adage would -if nothing else- even up the desision making process, and eliminate many awefull calls. Warne is offering suggestion that further his position, but he IS right too. if the umpires don't like, don't take his proposed pay rise! stoph, downthewicket, verismo

    Nice one NL, points well addressed (with your typical sceptical mind, love it)

  13. Well played Nos ... however ... let me elucidate two points - Warne the journalist and change.

    ... Warne knows these things? Don't we need evidence of that before we can safely assume it? Add to this my adhorrence at any equation which has Warne on one side, the concept "journalist" on the other and a equals sign between. Just like the popularist thought that being a Test cricketer makes you an expert thinker on the game, there is a vast difference between someone who likes to express opinions and he who is good at doing so.

    Like your comment above Nos, journalism is about research, fact, skill in presentation (verbal or written) including coherence in argument and knowing how to tell your story from start to finish without losing readers/listeners somewhere in the middle.

    Warne is to journalism as whales are to nuclear fission.

    That asside, I agree with you from the top of the handle to the tip of the blade.

    No change equals death ... maybe but it will depend what the change is and who gets the most from it. The biggest danger to cricket are the money men of the IPL but this is more sinister than when tennis went pro (yes I'm that old) or American football or baseball. The players stood to be the big winners in pro-tennis and so it proved and the other two codes are based on games only played (in any serious fashion) in the USA so team ownership and a drivetrain made of Greenbacks only affects one nation.

    Cricket administrators have been bending over the boundary fence and squeeling like a pig since the 1970's and sometimes that was a good thing. It opened their eye(s) - so to speak - and players often got a better deal. The IPL will benefit a few players but in the process, destroy the fabric of the game by reducing the status of Test cricket or any nation-state base to games. However, the ICC remains terified of the power of the sub-continent so they are prepared to be their fags.

    Change by all means but change where money that goes out of the game is not the driving motive.

  14. Let me just clarify Lango that I used the term "journalist" in relation to Warne very loosley. Uneducated or uninformed readers of that particular paper would assume an innocent motive for the article as a "journalist" had written it. That is where the poison in the article is for me. Not for the discerning reader able to decipher the childish attempt at being clever but for the innocent that know no better. I have always thought Warne to be a terrible human being who just happens to be the greatest test cricketer in this country we have for a very long time. His involvement in the bookie scandal was the catalyst and the whole diuretic thing just made me sick. I have no doubt whatsoever that he used it to mask a far more sinister substance.
    So I guess his article shouldn't surprise me but the paper in question should have at least read it before they printed it.

  15. Again, well said and no surprise given the line you have taken (bearing in mind I'm new in these parts).

    Nice poll Stoph.

  16. Warne's views are that of a bowler's....BIG surprise, of course they are, HE WAS A BOWLER.
    I wonder how an article put forward be Warne about the intracacies of batting would be received?
    He looks through a bowlers eyes, if he didn't he would be a fraud.
    Changes in cricket have supported the batsmen far too much over the past decade (bouncer counts, pitch preparation, 20-20)
    Switch hitting SHOULD be banned; The fielding team sets the field and fielders are not allowed to change their line when approaching the stumps, the batsman has all this information at his disposal and knows it cannot changed mid delivery. Changing from right to left or vice versa gives the batsman an unfair advantage.
    Back in the old days of Warehouse cricket one of my "Wrongun's" was one delivered out of the left hand instead of the right. Stoph, although bamboozled would know that he could fall back on the "No Ball" call if he got himself tangled....well whats good for the goose is good for the Gander.
    We will never know whether or not Warne would have been a great captain, he certainly would have been a successful one given the team he would have led. Which is why Steve Waugh is the luckiest captain in our history, he had nothing on Tubs.
    As for Warnes manner in the commentary box, What do you expect? Do you honestly think he is putting it on?
    Once people feel comfotable in the box they speak honestly in their own manner:
    Benaud = Minimalist.
    Greig = Twat.
    Skull = self deprecating and insecure.
    Warne = BOGAN
    Surprise surprise guys, Warnie comes across as an uncouth, ill taught, lad's lad who lacks in perspicacity.
    I am sure that the English gentlemen in the box quietly snigger to themselves when he releases some strange vernacular, or just delivers his thoughts in the way that he does.
    But then again the English look down on anyone that isn't english anyway, always have always will....maybe that is why is is spelled POMpous.
    Far from having to be an expert thinker on the game or to be able to elucidate to others your thoughts in the way that they want you to, Warne is a "natural" he feels things rather than having to think about them, he is an instinctive beast who understands the game in front of him at a gut level...much deeper than the mind.

    Those that discount people because of their use of lanuage and delivery are the miopic ones.

  17. i reckon that's about (most) all bases covered guys.

    well said everyone; fair appraisal of Warne the bogan OS; if he is not well educated OS, it is must reflect his dedication to studio, because the fees at Mentone Gram are crazy; which doesn't represent a good education i know.

    unless someone has anything else, can we get onto the 5th test now.

    thanks for the poll comment Lango; we all know i'm a Warne fan, so i tried to give option i thought reflected the mood relating to his comments.

    OS, you only ever resorted to that "wrong un" after i put you away with my switch hitting and reverse sweep prowess!

    Nos, what other substance are you alluding to? toot? steriods? fat blunts?

    maybe that is why is is spelled POMpous.
    Benaud = Minimalist.
    Greig = Twat.
    Skull = self deprecating and insecure.
    Warne = BOGAN

  18. his dedication to studio,

    proof reading is a good skill to develop for a writer!

  19. Other substance Stoph would be steroids to heal his shoulder which I believe should not be banned for injuries but they were and he did.

  20. that's where money was (and i agree with you)...but with Hollywood, who knows!