Saturday, 8 January 2011

Couldn't Be Said Better

Robert Craddock in Herald Sun today.

I think this article highlights EXACTLY what is wrong with not just Australian cricket, but cricket in general.

Forget number one nations and who is where, this article makes me wonder if the standard of test cricket throughout the world is falling. Not just batting but bowling too.

Tendulkar is feasting on bowling that is not fashioned around the line and length that undid Australia in this series but exactly the opposite in the hope a terrible shot will result in a wicket.

T20, as repugnant as it is to the game of cricket that I love is now also eroding the skills of once great cricketers and limiting the skills of emerging players that need the money and exposure to survive. The saddening prospect of test cricket fading into obscurity is now becoming a genuine reality, not through lack of support but lack of suitably skilled players.

The lopsided nature of the tests in this series should be recognised as a warning to the powers that be that this great game is being torn apart by petulance and impatience from young players that are not being educated properly.

England exploited it this series and as you read this article it becomes clear that it will be much worse by the next series in August.

Six months of T20 and one dayers will erode the memory of what happened here this summer. Sins will be forgiven and mistakes forgotten. How do you pick a test side based on short game form?


  1. It's just plain wrong that a player like Steve Smith will play NO Sheffield Shield games from now until the next test series, Big Bash, One Dayers, and T20 comps' seem to get in the way.

  2. I'm not fully convinced that T20 is responsible for eroding skills. Certainly it encourages other "skills" (suited to the game most of us believe isn't 'cricket' at all) and lessons the ability of a player to keep his head down and build an innings, but this isn't the sponsors fault and Craddock does little in th way to convince me otherwise with KFC still pouring $'s into the test comp too.

    I think it a bit rich to keep hitting into the money man when -as Craddock pointed out, the future will be planned along economic lines- people will pay for the product they want to see.

    Young cricketers will need to weigh up what is of value to them- representing their country, or a bank balance.

    We are likely to lose a lot of talent to bash-em-up cricket, but others won't have the temperament for that format and will only want to play long form- i can't imagine Boycot thinking he could have made a living stepping away from the pitch of the ball!

    Surely the answer to skills shortages in players must be addressd as part of the intake asssessment at the Centre of excellance? "Where do you see yourself heading with your cricket sonny?"

    I like Craddocks cricketing observations, but he missed me here with his big bash of the Big Bash cashman- and i don't even eat the product!

    You can't stop kids wanting fame and fortune, but you can create a sense of purpose and value of test with counter coaching and education as to its place in the grand design. We still get great crowds at tests, if it is a viable career move, we will still get good players.

    The sooner the redundant ODI is removed from the equation, the sooner we can have 2 distinct formats and then no 8 month gaps between test series!

    this has been stoph verismo, so the world can be better informed!

    down the wicket

  3. Surely "other" skills learned will be to the detriment of those already learned, or as I think is the case, not learned at all.

    I have to say I am more leaning towards spicing up the ODI format rather than resigning it to the scrapheap. If the uneducated public want to watch hit and giggle runfests then use second or third tier players from around the country to populate the T20 disco nights. They don't know who the current mob are anyway.

    Cricket died a little when the "free hit" was introduced into one of it's formats. For &^%#$ sake it flies in the face of all that is truly sacred about this game. There is no "free hit" in this game. The penalty is the extra ball and run not some pinball bonus.

    The general public spoke with the attendances to both the Melbourne and Sydney tests regardless of the mediocre cricket being played. The proof is there, test cricket is alive and well. But the public won't settle for trash like was served by our current test squad. One which is being short changed by shortcuts from young players eager for a buck.

    CA need to financially assist the up and comers so they don't forsake skill for party tricks. The game is too important.

    Nospmas out.