|Posted on 23 July, 2017 at 3:30||comments (0)|
At the conclusion of cricket last season, I asked Premier clubs what they planned to do about a Cricket Victoria (CV) Board and a CEO, I believe had acted "Unconscionably" and among others things had failed to support our home grown cricket talent.
Casey, Dandenong and Frankston and Ringwood were the clubs I had targeted because they were either supporting the incumbent Board and CEO or sitting with a leg each side of the fence. I felt they owed all Victorian Cricketers an explanation as to why they weren't prepared to support the clubs with an endeavour to rebuild cricket in this State.
Perhaps, it is the time to reminded them why they were invited to join the District ranks... Victoria's Premier Cricket Competition.
It's because they presented themselves to foundation members of Victorian Cricket as worthy participants, capable of contributing to the competition. Each of these clubs explained that they had on their doorsteps, large cricket playing populations in search of avenues to the higher levels of the game and that they could accomodate cricketers with such ambitiion.
And so it was... the foundation members of the 'Victorian Cricket Association" with the best interest of the States Cricketers at heart... did place upon the clubs their "CHARTER" which they accepted and are now shirking!
It's time for these clubs to reciprocate the support they were given by stepping up beside the likes of Essendon, Carlton, Prahran, Footscray, Melbourne, Northcote, Monash Tigers (Richmond) Camberwell Magpies (Collingwood) and Fitzroy Doncaster and other cricket associates from around the state who believe the only pathway to 1st Class Cricket is the pathway through District Cricket now Premier Cricket?
It is where the game began and it is in your best interest that all cricket is developing the talent needed to feed your competition and that these players... in the case of Victorian Cricket are home grown and are being provided every opportunity to become the best in our Country.
Sadly the incumbent Board having failed generations of cricketers are refusing to do what is best for the game in our State by stepping down. Instead they promote themselves as having won a hat trick of "Sheffield Shields". And Yes! it is true, they did but with half a team imported from interstate using our funds, Victorian and Local Government taxes to progress interstate prospects over our own.
It is time we find ways to improve our cricket programs, making sure investment is best spent... not wasting money on consultants or players who've had their chance. But rather providing investment to encourage cricketers to hand the game on ensuring its future. This must also apply to clubs who find it far to easy to spend money on players or coaching programs that neglect proper instruction for juniors... our focus must be on the next generations.
And Yes! Country Cricket is suffering greatly and we all recognise this... but not once in my conversations with those proposing the new Board, have they not recognised this? It is one of their highest priorities and it is not the "cherry picking" agenda of those in charge at the moment.
The time has come to elect a CV Board who'll listen to cricket people, who'll encourage motivate and reinforce real experience inherited from game... those who have the ability to recognise areas of failure and who are capable of finding real solutions.
Victoria this is your last chance to save our cricket... do it!
|Posted on 11 July, 2017 at 23:15||comments (0)|
Australian Cricket flying high as an International sports is spiralling out of control leaving its best players in a haze of uncertainty. Meanwhile at Cricket Australia (CA) the alleged "2 million dollar man" CEO James Sutherland and his Board of Directors are all lying low having terminated their playing list.
They have done this because they're confident of not being thrown out or sacked... as long as they stick together, even though they once had employment obligations pursuant to the rules of their organisation... as set out by law in CA's Memorandum of Articles its (MOA).
For those not familiar with the Corporations Act, a MoA outlines why a company has been established and along with its Constitution sets out rules and governance procedure. One such rule is Rule 2.2.1 from its MoA; determining the setting out of the terms and conditions upon which players may play cricket. It is for this reason a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the players was signed two decades ago... so it beggars belief, why this precedent is no longer suitable when the players have set the standard on the field and the game is attracting big money.
Behind the scenes David Peever and his Board have been basking in the games success and now strangely, they want to roll back the players share of the revenue... What is going on... something "stinks" and we've all got whiff of it!
Following this James Sutherland informed " Grass Roots" that it required 60 million dollars invested into it to bring it up to standard... and for this reason CA are saying they want to reduce the players share of the revenue stream and curiously when increased earning are forecasted!
What has been missed by mainstream media is that CA are not saying they wish to fund the States so they can plan or formulate strategies to assist Clubs and Associates at grass roots, No! They say they want to increase overhead expenditure by employing more... CA wants to place 200 operatives into the field... but what does that really mean? For one thing it means CA is taking away Member State responsibilities to control the stream of money into grass roots cricket... and to the ordinary observer this may seem reasonable enough.
Except if you ask why! Why would CA want to side step the six States who have obligations to those they represent, the Clubs and Associates of cricket?
Could it be that CA wants total control of all Australian Cricket? Many long time cricket people think so. It's been an agenda for more than 20 years and so I felt I should investigate this theory. So I visited the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) to research its Company Register. The records show all the Office Holders elected to the Board over he years... elected to do what is best for the games benefactors in Australia. I discovered that it was about the time Australian Cricket Board of Control became the ACB when the alterations began, slight at first and then to Cricket Australia. This is where change really began, and most intriguing are the "Amendment Resolutions" passed,
The "Count of Monty Cristo" would have been proud_ each resolution coming down like a hammer onto a chisel to chip away, at the foundations of Australian Cricket until very little of it can be recognised and virtually all hope of the crickets benefactors being able to protect the game as and when needed, If not right now for example!
Simon Katich asked a simple question... where has the money gone? Again respected sources within the game tell me CA has 90 Million dollars in cash reserves plus investment property that should have been reinvested back into the development of the game and why hasn't it?
It is also extraordinary to think ex Test Cricketers sitting on the CA Board have been missing when the game is in crisis and needs leadership. Are they expecting us to believe they’re not fully informed? Disgraceful! Why do they deserve the position of a Directorship… what are they there for and is the game being represented as it should be?
What also needs to be explained here… is why the Member States are powerless to avert such a crisis. In the past the States were the Board and transparent with benefactors so what has happened. ASIC records shed the light... they show the passing of resolution to change the rules and the most concerning took place in 2013 elevating each Director to "Member Status" This means the 9 Board Directors of CA now have 9 Member Votes and as a group become the new owners of Australian Cricket... I will say that again "OWNERS" compared to the 6 original State Cricket Association Members representing "Grass Roots", cricket now the minority interest.
Effectively what it means is the States have no influence of power in the decision making process of running Cricket in Australian. Compare this to a large corporation who have a duty of care to their shareholders and where the Board may come and go at shareholders pleasure… to put it bluntly, when it comes to Cricket in this Country, its shareholders are irrelevant and unable to keep executives accountable.
The Board having 9 votes to the 6 belonging to State Associations this means achieving a 2/3 majority when change is need, is almost impossible... 4 Board members would need to cross the floor.
So who were those responsible for representing the interest of Australian Cricket when all these amended resolutions were orchestrated and why in "Crickets Name" couldn't they see the obvious? Why would you give up control and what were the incentives that lured them to give up Crickets rights?
The Board of CA and its executives are shameless and are able to sit there without fear, portraying the Countries best cricketers as over paid and greedy. They can do this because they have made themselves "Untouchable" as long as they stay united. To think that they can get away with what they’ve done to Australian Cricket and the great lengths they have gone to make the players look like the “bad guys!” But not before they’d tried to herd our best cricketers from the flock, with the objective to tempt them with special contractual offers leaving others to fend for themselves.
CA would have created a special group of Australian Cricketers in a select pool and it all fits into the fulfilment of what seems to be a long term CA agenda to side step the games owners. Of course they intend to throw scraps from time to time, by making additional funds available as long, no! only as long as the states comply with their directives. "Dictatorship!" placing CA in perfect position to "CHERRY PICK" talent from anywhere in Australia... firstly for their under age Australian teams, then directly to their Academy and on to the Australia A team... no longer would they need Sheffield Shield Cricket or the excess of players and no need to payroll the benefactors.
Is this the way of the future? Who knows! but if it is the objective, it would have been complete had it not been for the players standing in the way... of what might have been a perfectly executed plan.
The only hope for Australian Cricket now, in my opinion... is for the players to stand firm with the games interest at heart and with the six States in support.
Already this looks to be an impossible task as CA's teeth are deep and we don't know where favours have been done. If only District Clubs and Associates hadn’t fallen asleep at the wheel… shirking their responsibilities to the game. Their last chance is for Delegates join forces across all borders... and take back control and this must start next month at Cricket Victoria's AGM. If they cannot remove the “Squatters" from around their own Board Room table at Cricket House... the game and the reason so many of us have enjoyed our involvement in it and with so many will no longer exist... in my opinion!
|Posted on 21 June, 2017 at 0:05||comments (0)|
India and Pakistan are obviously great rivals politically but when it comes to “Cricket” that rivalry escalates to stratospheric levels… especially in India.
Since March 1st 2009, the last time Pakistan played a home Test Match, their supporters have not had much to celebrate… so disappointment is something they’ve learned to deal with. However in India, it is a totally different story, especially when the two sides are about to play against each other as they did last Sunday, in the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy final at the Oval.
I got the impression Pakistan supporters were just happy to have made the final and were praying their team would be able to make a game of it, but India on the other hand... a loss against Pakistan is totally unacceptable.
So as I was going to be one of the billion plus viewers watching on television I hoped for a good game, not only for the occasion but because it also involved Mickey Arthur the former coach of the Australian Cricket Team.
If you’ve already forgotten, Arthur was replaced by Darren Lehmann who’s team, ironically had failed to make the semis. I am not saying I think Arthur a better coach; it is that the fortunes of the game can change and turn a full circle in a short period of time as we saw Sunday!.
Another reason I was looking forward to the game was the disappointment I felt when Pakistan's was last in Australia, knowing full well they were much better than they'd shown us.
I had also followed them during the tour of the West Indies and despite the loss of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-haq, talent is plentiful in a country of 190 million... so I was interested to see if they could be competitive and if Arthur could make the difference.
From a bowling perspective, I also thought the form of Hasan Ali and the 18 year old leg spinner Shadab Khan would compliment their Left Arm pace attach to such an extent that I would be prepared to argue the Pakistan attack is now the most exciting in the game… if not the best in world cricket!
So the day began with India winning the toss and sending Pakistan into bat and my immediate thoughts were… This is good for Pakistan, they’ve nothing to lose, let’s hope they can post a competitive score to bring their highly spirited bowling attack into play.
And this is exactly how it turned out... the "unpredictable" batting of Pakistan began nervously with both opening batsman hit in the helmet from well directed bouncers. The Indian quicks were hitting the deck at good pace and then the first ball of Bumrah's second over he was able to take the outside edge of Fakhar's bat with a beauty... but hang on "lady luck" appears and heads Pakistans way. Bumrah had over stepped and Fakhar, who's nearly off the field by now has retrace his steps to take strike.
As we all know Fakhar went onto score a fine century and helped set up two century plus partnership to help Pakistan to a total of 338... a total never before chased down in an ICC final.
Bumrah who'd reached speeds of 146k lost confidence and was going for more than 6 an over. At the other end Kumar was consistantly reaching speeds of 138k, always on line and with late movement off the track. He bowled superbly only to be let down by the Indian spinners... the last thing any of us expected.
Ashwin and Jadeja were nothing like the bowlers we saw in India and it was lucky for India they had Pandya, not only can he bat but he's a very attacking bowler... not express, but with a good action able to bowl well directed lines. He also has the ability to get excellent seam position on the ball to take the ball away from the right handers. He, like Kumar worried all batsman with good shot balls that would test anyone.
However the pressure was easily released at the other end and if it hadn't been for Kumar and Pandya working so well together at the death, the Pakistan would have posted a much higher total.
I’ve always enjoyed watching great bowling partnerships especially when immense pressure is applied. And one of the best batting strips in world cricket with a reasonable amount of grass the pitch was hard and dry with no cloud cover… it as just a wonderful "good seeing", English summer day and so finding excuses for batting failures would not be easy.
When India arrived at the crease, Mohammad Amir took the new ball and from that moment it seemed like a tornado had hit the ground... he struck 3rd ball, a delivery that pitched in line, jagged off the seam just enough to trap Sharma. Then in his next over, he drew Kohli into the shot; the ball did enough off the seam to take the edge but unfortunately for Amir, Azhar Ali spilled the chance.
As a spectator we'd hardly had time to digest the severity of what had actually happened... when he very next delivery, Kohli chancing his luck, went even harder at the ball. This time a thick outside edge flew to backward point where the athletic teenager Shadab Khan leaped high and to his left clasped the ball and Kohli was on his way.
Pakistan’s were out of the blocks with intensity levels that were through the roof and so much so, that the Indian fans were already looking for the exit signs.
But whilst Amir had taken the scalps, he was being well supported at the other end by another left arm quick Junaid Khan. Who was attacking the batsmen, giving nothing away and so quickly were things happening... commentators seemed dumbfounded.
Then last ball of Amir’s 5 over… the the prize scalp of Dhawin, who tickled one that bit just enough from a good length off a scrambled seam and the catch was safely taken by Captain Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps.
If the game wasn’t over at this point.. it wasn't long after India had posted their 50, in fact 9 balls later when, Shadab Khan caught Yuraj with a well flighted leg break that turned just enough. It sounded like a bat pad, the umpire had thought so, I surely couldn’t be certain. But so confident beyond his eighteen years was Shadab he forced his Captain to review the decision and the Indian supporters were off… long legging it down Harleyford Rd.
The two attacks, to be honest, were impressive and it may have been a total different story had it not been for a bowler trying to exert just that little bit more from the pitch.
You have to hand it the Television coverage, so good these days, you get to see things that you wouldn’t pick up, as a spectator on the ground or as a player on the field.
For example, how the fingers grip the ball, whether there is any wrist action at delivery, seam position created or the reaction of the ball hitting the pitch in relation to that seam. So what is it that sets a bowler apart from another... is it the pace of the delivery or the consistency of the line... I’ve always believed the later, the most important and watching the fast bowlers in action, working in partnership was a joy. Something I'll always find interesting until my dying day... I reckon!.
As the game progressed I recalled something "Darren Lehmann" had told me (not that I agree with him). He believes a pace bowler could not be considered for selection if he could not sustain 140k plus. Perhaps this is a reason the South Australian quick Sayers cannot get a game. Anyway, his reasoning is that it is far too easy for batsman to adjust their shot selection... and yet we were witnessing the opposite at the Oval.
I think Darren needs to reconsider his opinion... we were watching the best batman in the world being intimidated by aggressive bowling between 130k and 142k and as I have mentioned... no need to look further than "Pandya" who showed the world, you don't have to be express to be intimidating as long as you're action is reasonably side on and you are working the lines. A good action, yes, it's oh so very important, because it allows a bowler to achieve the most deadly of deliveries... I am referring to late movement off the wicket.
A result of being able to hit the deck hard with your lines right and whether short or full you will worry batsmen. So never mind worrying about spots on the pitch... concentrate on line and good seam position. This means the batsman is always in two minds even If short, it will be into the chest or over off stump or straight at the head. If it is full of length it will draw the batsman into a shot.
Therefore it is so important for a pace bowler to hit the seam with regularity and all the better if rotating over the front foot enabling the technique required to take the ball away off the wicket.
Think about the off spinner who requires a side on position at a minimum to get the body rotation he needs to release his back leg through the crease. The follow through (bowling arm, front arm and weight transfer (Nathan Lyon is a perfect example)) required to generate spin, drift or bounce; its same for a leg spinner (Shane Warne a wonderful side on action with rotation over the front leg with follow through... perfect example).
It is no different for any bowler who is wanting to execute a leg cutter or away swinger, except you'll need a complete understanding of the bowling nexus made up of many interconnecting components; a synchronised action involving weight transfer, back leg release facilitating rotation over the front leg, into the follow through down the pitch so that you can look deep into the eyes of the batsman.
Well I hope you got as mush as I did from the perfectly demonstrated performance put on by the Pakistani attack on Sunday night.
What concerns me though... I don't see our bowlers in Australia being able to execute such a technique with regularity and that is surely a worry because Ryan Harris was a perfect exponent of this type of bowling... so hopefully some of his skill will be passed on soon.
|Posted on 17 June, 2017 at 0:15||comments (0)|
Premier Cricket Coaches have been discussing their concerns for Victorian Cricket with Club Officials for years. I know I was one of them and I have no doubt that these concerns were passed on. But nothing changed... it just got worse!
The concerns became problems and so the murmurings of disquiet began. Still nothing changed and so the rumblings started and got louder by the day at “Cricket House” in Jolimont Victoria.
And sitting around the table at Cricket Victoria is Chairman Russell Thomas, his Board and CEO Tony Dodemaide carrying on seemingly oblivious to the chorus of complaints that were being made against them.
I have often wondered how they could carry on... knowing they were being thought of as incompetent.
I suppose it all gets down to the ego's of those at the Board room table, for the Chairman, his Board and CEO knew very well that they no longer had the confidence of those they were elected to represent.
Did it matter to them? No, I don't think it did!
I am told they held onto power only because they offered secret deals and favours in return for voting support. However, that support disappeared last Thursday afternoon... the day Victorian Cricket "fought back!"
It happened about 5pm the 15th of June and the silence became deafening at "Cricket House" Jolimont when documents were lodged in accordance with the Consitution of Cricket Victoria and these pursuant to the Corporations Act contained resolutions to remove each member of the Board.
What sealed their fate, wasn’t the poor sponsorship and commercial deals they made, nor their poor communication skills, threats or bullying behaviour, not even the lack of concern shown for members… No, it is what I consider to be an attempted “Sting”, so slyly and cunningly perpetrated on unsuspecting stakeholders (Clubs, Players and Regions and Associations) called the “Breaking New Ground Stategy”.
From where this idea came, nobody knows as yet... many say it is a Cricket Australia agenda. In any case it was designed to take control of the game of cricket in Victoria by disbursing the voting rights of “Shareholders” to all corners of the state.
Just imagine if the various cricketing regions were provided such favour, each voting against the other unable to find common ground and a Board with the controlling votes… a "Carte blanche" to totally control our Victorian game of cricket.
I am told those on the Board were still pursuing this agenda up until Thursday afternoon, believing they had been victims of unwarranted criticism and so with their feelings badly hurt and tails between their legs, those still with connections with Premier Clubs ran to them asking for support.
Unbelievable even astonishing when you think about it... that is to ask members to condone and support their behaviour, when others are objecting... is this not asking Club Commitees to make themselves and their unsuspecting members "equally" complicate to the Deed?
In my opinion those behind the formulation of the “Breaking New Ground” concept and its presentation behaved in a manner that is... in all circumstances unacceptable under the "Trade Practices Law" and this is surely something all Cricket employees, Associates and Premier Club Committees should think long and hard about between now and the Cricket Victoria AGM in August... when it might be necessary for your club Delegate to stand up and vote for Victorian Cricket and its future.
|Posted on 8 June, 2017 at 22:00||comments (0)|
Here is a stat for those who think cricket should follow the "AFL" governance model;
Vic Country football has 443 teams 40% are non competitive averaging 0.86 wins at the half way mark of the season;
Thats 170 teams with 146 wins between them
|Posted on 6 June, 2017 at 21:35||comments (0)|
This could be your story young man… it is about a cricketer who sets out aiming for the highest honours of the game, committing to the pathway system and in many cases whilst trying to complete an education. It cannot be easy?
When his time comes, he might burst onto the Premier Cricket scene with a series of fine performances earning state selection (in my dreams) and like many before him… the world beckons.
It might start off with a contract to play as a Professional, perhaps in the prestigious "Lancashire League" England.
By doing this, he accepts the responsibility of leadership… it’s a real learning curve, far from his homeland and nothing like anything he’s ever experienced. No where near as simple or as easy as finding a club for an English cricketing holiday.
In this situation, a Professional Cricketer finds himself an ambassador for his country, where he will have to learn to appreciate local community history, customs, philosophies and traditions not only to do with his club… but throughout the league and the country.
It is such a wonderful life experience that will reward him with friendships he finds amongst many other cricketers and people from around the globe, playing with or in surrounding leagues.
It is also a testing time for he will confront many trying moments… no doubt searching for ways to overcome unfamiliar wickets, weather conditions, regulations and tactics. He will also be compared… rated to those before him.
He will be asked many questions that will test his mental capabilities and maturity but by seasons end he will have found a way through which will hopefully lead to a proven 1st class cricketer career or higher.
What ever else he learns from the experience he will have learned the meaning of the “Cricketers Code”, that he and those like him are responsible for nurturing the game as those before him have done.
However and with such a wealth of “worldly cricketing experience” do we see these Cricketers being trained to take up administrative positions within the game, where they can use their vast knowledge and experiences to foster it?
Fair question I think... because if we are to honour this “Code” it is essential that qualified, dedicated experienced cricketers are employed for that reason.
I took the opportunity to read the last Cricket Victoria (CV) “Annual Report” where I counted 91 people employed.
Of those employed with the qualification I have outlined "Three":
• Tony Dodemaide, CV (CEO) Australia, Victoria, Sussex, Footscray Cricketer, Manager Corporate Marketing MCG, Head of Cricket Marylebone Cricket Club
• Shaun Graf, CV (Cricket Operations) Victoria, Western Australia, St. Kilda Cricketer
• Andrew McDonald CV (Coach Bushrangers) Victoria, Sth Australia, Leicestershire Melbourne Cricketer
And keeping these three in check… an incompetent unqualified Board with only one (Paul Jackson) a qualified Cricketer and only 2 (John Douglas & Phil O’Meara) qualified Cricketer Delegates.
Either qualified cricket people are failing their responsibilities to the “Code” or they are being deliberately excluded... What ever the case it is shameful!
The game needs a good blend of qualified cricket people and qualified Cricketers
|Posted on 31 May, 2017 at 21:40||comments (0)|
Yesterday, a former team mate said to me “Don’t worry about the way the game is heading… the best will always come to the top!”
But it does worry me… and it should worry everyone associated with sport!
This was not the first time I’d heard such a comment… the last person to say this to me was formerly of the Northcote Cricket Club.
Both players had played District Cricket; the other a hand full of games for Victoria in the late 70’s.
What concerns me about this ideology is that it is so very nonchalant!
Yes! Very much like the way these former team mates of mine approached and played their cricket. I was disappointed for them; because I felt they should have gone much further in the game.
They were two cricketers that got by on natural talent but neither of them would ever push their ability to the point where they laid everything of themselves on the line. To me, it is a bit like an athlete who never puts him/herself to the test by competing up front to win, preferring to stay the distance for a PB.
It’s the difference between those who will succeed and those who will not!
So I say to those who think that the talent will always come through… think again, years could be spent wasting time, molly coddling “talent” if the proving grounds of sport disappear.
In Victoria a majority of District Clubs are attempting to spill a very poor Cricket Victoria Board who are blindly following Cricket Australia strategies and have reduce our State Cricket testing grounds to a lowly Community Level.
So if the spill gets up I would hope they make it their priority to restore the competitiveness of Premier Cricket by demoting 4 of the under performing clubs back to Sub Districts Level or have them relocated to major cricket areas Gippsland, Bendigo, Shepparton and Ballarat.
I would also hope more of our 1st class players will be available to play and train along side club players.
Yes! You can see the talented ones, they’re all about us, but it is when they’re “under pressure” the “clutch situation”… that’s when you see if they have it or not.
It takes far more than talent to make it through the system… don’t get me wrong, you certainly need it but you also need a desire to compete and fight it out against the best hard nosed elite players.
This is where you win respect, learning that you have the mental toughness to overcome the fear of “doubt”… and this what separates those with talent from those who will go on.
|Posted on 25 May, 2017 at 22:30||comments (0)|
I think we can manage our cricket much better and far more cost effectively if we simplify its governance. What is in place now is over kill and for the game to function meaningfully and transparently, information must flow from the grass roots of the game to the top of the chain, free from agenda driven idealogy.
The following was and is an example of such a system:
(Not for Profit)
Governed by 7 Directors (One from each State & one independent Chairman)
Responsible for day to day Management of Australian Cricket Internationally; and
Cricket Revenue & Distribution (including independent Overseer/Audit committee); and
Arranging International scheduling & Logistics
Interstate Cricket affairs
High Performance of National Squads
(Not for Profit)
Each State to be governed by 7 Independent Directors
(1 to be elected Chairman)
Representing Club Delegates and Associates;
Responsible for overseeing Day to Day Cricket Affairs
Premier Cricket Fixtures
Management & High Performance of State Squads & Teams
Metro & Country Senior Cricket
Responsible to Independent overseer for Revenue; and
Allocation of Funds to District Clubs & Zone Development
DISTRICT CRICKET CLUBS
(Not for Profit)
Governed by (Club Committees including Zone Representatives)
Representing Zone affiliates and members: and
Responsible for overseeing Day to Day Cricket Affairs
High Performance District Squads including Pathways programs associated with Zone development programs
Representing above all else:
Milo to Under Age Cricketers throughout each Region of the State (Zone, Association, clubs & schools)
LEAGUES and ASSOCIATION
(Not for Profit)
Governed by (Elected Committees including Regional & Club Representatives)
The above may seem like the game is stepping back in time, but in my mind there was not a lot wrong with the system we had.
Key stakeholders with a wealth of cricket experience and knowledge had a say in the way the game was run and this made it very easy for even the lowest level cricketer to offer his or her ideas. Today you are told what is best for the game and if you do not agree... "You're from the Ice Age, mate!"
In my mind, Cricket Australia (CA) under its new corporate business structure is seeking total control of the game, with little regard to the shareholders and above many other things… they are not qualified as cricketers.
This has come about, in my opinion, because elected State Cricket Authorities lost sight of the meaning associated with the “Cricket Code”. A code which has been handed down by generations of us and that is:
"As cricketers, it is our responsibility to nurture the game".
As a result the game has lost its "State" individuality, philosophies, traditions and cricket is on the path to being "One State Organization" and this cannot be good for it.
Under this structure... we also see the game being neglected in the most important development areas by the cherry picking mentality of the "One State" concept.
Therefore the game is no longer inclusive... rather exclusive and hardly transparent.
Even the games most valued Asset (Our Nations Elite Cricketers) are treated as enemies by those with their "Snouts in the Trough" .
CA in my mind have made our State Cricket obsolete and for years have neglected another of our greatest assets, the young children showing an interest in the game... the “Milo Cricket Children” boys and girls, from the "Grass Roots" of the game.
These children Boys and Girls are the future of Cricket... the reason the game is “SUSTAINABLE”.
CA and their cohort employees who search for ways to look after themselves, are now using "Grass Roots" Cricket to break the Players and I find this dispicable.
To do this James Sutherland the CEO of CA has just decided he's a Junior Cricket Coach.
If he was any sort of Coach he would have been pushing the grass roots agenda, long before now and in fact he would have been using the words "Neglect".
For example an issue that has been staring him in the face as CEO for a decade:
That is the drop out rate for cricket!
It begins at the 15-17th year and the reason... and it still has not been identified, for if it had, James Sutherland and CA would have done something about it, a long time ago, don't you think ?
I believe those lost in the 15-17 year group, is more to do with the fact that they're unable to execute the basic skills associated with the sport.
And in my opinion it can only be a sign of neglect for:
• If a participant cannot execute the basic skill… there is no enjoyment!
• If he/she has not been educated or taught about the game he/she will have no passion for it!
So instead of searching for reasons as to how this can be overcome, James Sutherland and CA have rejected Junior Cricket and instead of nurturing this talent source... they turned to the “Women’s Game”.
And how they pat themselves on the back telling us how much the womans game has grown! When in truth, it cannot stand on its own feet, financially and relies on the revenue the elite men generate.
Did you know that the split between Male and female cricket, is 92 to 8 and in reality most girls believe that “Cricket Clubs” are not a fun place to be!
Please don't get me wrong... I have no problem with the concept of promoting Women’s Cricket… I just think that we need to be careful, that we do not get too far ahead of ourselves and that we do not neglect our responsibilities to the Men’s game. For without the top class men players coming through, the game would generate little interest and there’d be no money.
This bit is for you James Sutherland... you have neglected the single most important aspect of the game that makes it “Sustainable” Junior Cricket... do not prentend you've ever cared, because if you had, anyone in your position would have done something about it long before now. I think you've suddenly released this could be a lever against the "ACA " and honestly... if "Grass Roots needs the money you say it does... then the game is in real trouble and CA is to blame!
In fact, I would go so far as to say... you do not know what the grass roots of cricket is?
There has been no money or resources directed at the children who’ve shown their interested in the game which is neglect!
Why time, money and resources are not being spent on coaching blueprints or strategies designed to turn children into cricketers with the technique and style that is needed to advance in the game, is beyond me.
Just recently I read “Community Cricket” Blueprint for Metro Cricket” put out by Cricket Victoria, but which I think comes from CA.
It took a lot of people, a lot of time, energy and resources and it’s supposedly designed to ensure Cricket remains a sustainable sporting option.
It quotes many obstacles the game might face moving forward in an attempt to justify the game tripping over its self, but unfortunately it only highlights issues relating to poor and failing governance rather than addressing any issues relating to "Cricket's Sustainability”.
When Cricket governance concentrates its efforts on competitions for those who have had their chance of higher honours and who play in competitions that continually disrespect the “Cricket Code”, as they’ve been doing for so long... investment there is just a waste of time and money!
|Posted on 16 May, 2017 at 5:15||comments (0)|
The game is in termoil... from state level to international and in my opinion, it is the fault of James Sutherland and his Board.
If you didn’t know the history behind the game of cricket in Australia, I will give you some background information… it began at club level and as competition grew clubs formed governing bodies to manage demand. Various State bodies were formed, such as the Victorian Cricket Association (VCA) the New South Wales Cricket Association (NSWCA) and so on domestically.
It is from here the Australian Cricket Board of Control (ACB) was established to arrange National and International fixtures.
The Cricket Revenue generated was shared amongst the States from where it was distributed to shareholders for the development of game at “grass roots”. The game moved along very well surviving two “World Wars” and even “World Series Cricket”.
With each passing era the game adapted, moving with the ebb of time… but what we are seeing today is something completely different. You must look deep into the murky depth of what ACB has become… a governing body in search of total control over all aspects of the game in Australia, reducing the various governing bodies to irrelevancy… therefore it is a takeover and certainly not “déjà vu” from the “Packer Era” as some of you might think!
Today the ACB trades as “Cricket Australia” (CA), a governing body with an independent board, no longer representing the States and no link with the games shareholders "the owners" of the game in our Country who gave birth to it… the District Cricket Clubs and Associates.
Any normal cricket person would ask, how can this be… the answer is because we’ve allowed the governance of our game to become unbalanced… too many types have been introduced from failing tertiary backgrounds, failing cricket careers and many lack in personality, worldly cricketing knowledge or hands on grass roots experience: and
Without such experience they’d lack vision, passion or understanding of the game or its traditions and that is the reason they recruit only from within their group... otherwise they'd be found out for what they are!.
I would go so far as to say that this has been a conscious almost incestuous program for with each new recruitment the games buoyancy is lost and along with it… the ability to feed untarnished (agenda free) information from grass roots to decision makers.
It is an “imperative” for any decisions maker in Cricket to be in touch with the “pulse of the game” around this country.
As this is no longer the case, those employed in the game have been able to manipulate the system to promote their importance and along with it, their own agendas, rather than what the game requires; and
If it wasn’t their intention… why then would the game need an independent board? Wake up people!
Governance should be for the game, by the players and for the supporter of the game?
So the target now for the “CA Highbrows” is now the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA)… the games last bastion..
In my mind the ACA represents players (both former & current) but it also needs to reflect this in its governance structure... a meaningful demonstration of the wealth of knowledge that exists around the country… from where the game came from and to where the game will be taken.
For CA to take full control of the game as its governance so obviously desires it must break the ACA… so it really gets up my goat when a former player like Mark Taylor comes out against the ACA and says
“Things (discussions with the ACA) haven’t been going anywhere for months”; or
“Every time you (CA) makes money you (CA) gives away a certain percentage” obviously he’s been indoctrinated or he has no idea!
Mark is a “Channel Nine” employee who is benefitting from the games TV rights and also sits as a current serving CA Board member… talk about conflict of interest and to make such statements, his understanding of “business” let alone “cricket business” seems non-existent.
So let us look at the questions;
Who makes the money and who puts the value into the game?
Surely not the 1000 or more employed by the game across our Nation and as “Fox Colley” puts it most eloquently … “all with their noses in the trough!”
In my opinion, it is certain that without the talent of the Men’s game and its drawing power… there would be no “Revenue” and certainly no CA!
So the arguments or lack of argument between CA and the ACA, I think gets down to what should be recognised… that the top Men Players are the most valuable Asset the game has, at this point in time and should be treated as such. It should also be recognised that not always will our cricket be on top of the world game and so… perhaps a performance base salaries structure could be considered.
As for Women’s Cricket, they have been a revelation but until they have developed their game and are standing on their own it is a “marketing expense” associated with the development of the game and it should be treated as such otherwise they are getting ahead of themselves.
Expecting income when the games doesn’t cover costs can only be detrimental to all grass roots cricket including the development of the women’s game.
So in saying this… no one deserves to be entitled until the gate takings prove otherwise.
If we are really talking about “grass roots” then Cricket needs to get back to the basics. CA need to concentrate on International affairs and promoting Domestic Cricket and it needs to establish a mechanism whereby State Bodies have the power to remove poor or out of control departments or governance: and
This needs to be the same at each State level so that the game represents its origins.
|Posted on 11 May, 2017 at 1:05||comments (0)|
Because I am of the opinion that half our top class cricketers come from country cricket, I was interested to read the “Review of Country Cricket in Victoria” prepared in 2015 by David Richards OAM.
Unfortunately before I'd got to the end of the "Introduction" I was suspicious that an outcome may have been given prior to the undertaking of the review. The reason, in his introduction the Author emphasised the report was based on one premise… "that the heart of the game is the club!"
Hang on a minute, isn't the heart of the game "Junior Cricket" and the club, the facilitator?
As I read on I thought to myself "Goodness me, tell us something that we don't know!"
Not once did the Author find it necessary to attend a country club senior/junior practice night or most importantly a "Milo Cricket" session... so how could there be any value placed on this review... unless an agenda was the priority?
I guess we'll never know really... but given the way Cricket Victoria's CEO and Board Chairman Russell Thomas tried to push through the "Breaking New Ground" stategy... I will trust my own judgement.
So I began to take a more concerted look into the governance of the game in Australia;
At the top of our “Cricketing Tree”, sits Cricket Australia formed by representative State branches. The lower branches, the strongest and largest belong to the original Premier Clubs who provided all the support for the Cricket Tree as it evolved. So we can be sure that the growth rings demonstrate DNA origins and the supporting limbs of Associate or affiliates. Nothing has changed over time, each year the game grows and continue to grow as each spring the "Cricket Tree" drops it fruit to the "Grass Roots" of the game... infant cricketing talent, all the young boys and girls who've become interested in the game!
This is the "Heart of the Cricket" and the future of the game from where each club evolves and from where our future Australian Cricketers will come... this talent only needs nurturing, a little time spent teaching the fundamental values of cricket, introducing cricket skill programs... but here lies the problem... these children are being neglected because the clubs are unable to meet associated costs and there they sit, the Board Rooms of Governance, totally oblivious. We know this true, otherwise something would have been done about it a long time ago: And
The Proof also lies in these reports "Argus Report", the "Crawford- Carter", "Richards Review" and finally Cricket Australia's "Premier Cricket Accredition Plan"... if anyone has time to read them. Not a mention of it anywhere, in any of the Reports the slightest reference to the neglect suffered at the heart of the game... the "Grass Roots” of cricket.
The game requires people who can demonstrate and instruct the necessay skills of the game and what is more... Coaching is all about patience where a coach must demonstrate, demonstrate, encourage, reinforce and praise each attempted effort associated with the execution of a cricket discipline.
So why are there no programs to foster or harness the interest "Milo Cricket Children" have shown the game?
It stands to reason the interest leads to the talent needed to produce cricketers and if nutured and encouraged it will produce good technique?
In my opinion and from experience, here lies the answers to most if not all cricket's problems.
Rather than talking about better coaching if you refuse to address the issue "What is being coached or who is being coached or who is coaching". It is a meaningless endeavour. So I ask... why spend time money and resources coaching senior cricketers going nowhere in the game whilst neglecting to invest in the future... those at "Milo level" when the games future relies on them and no one else?
We should be relating cricket stories, capturing their imaginations, instructing proper technique using drills that reinforce eye hand skills, umpiring, wicket keeping and with progression introduce compentent young proven players from that very program as support coaches... this will further encourage self-esteem leadership skills.
This will surely lead to children executing the skills so they will find greater reward and fun times in the game. The flow on effect will eventually solve many problems along the pathways to the higher levels and alleviate the frustrations that come with being a "patchwork" coach.
I have doubts about those we've put in charge of the game for they have shown little knowledge of it or its nexus and most importantly no foresight at all: And
It get worse... instead of concentrating on International affairs, its National Teams and the competition that feeds those teams, Cricket Australia believes it is in the best postion to foster the game... this of course being in total contradiction and in conflict as to why the organization was established in the first instance. So I would say with little or no knowledge of grass roots cricket and having taken its eye well and truly off the ball "Cricket Australia" was complicit in allowing the IPL to establish and then to prosper... a situation which now means the game is facing the prospect of handing over its rewards from the "Cricket Tree" to the money of IPL cricket and where no returns can be received to benefit our game across Australia, nor anywhere else for that matter!
Our Cricket requires leadership that is for sure... but surely from those with a greater understanding of the game and most importantly by cricket people educated by the game. The Crawford - Carter Governance Reports suggests those from "big business" are the most qualified?
Whilst I agree with much of that report, I have my doubts regarding the types required to lead,
Perhaps I can best explain it this way... Ron Barassi (#31) once told me "they're are 3 types of people in the world, those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who say... What happened?"
I think I'd choose the person who'd "Made it Happen" every time, wouldn't you??