Callen Cricket Pty Ltd
Founders of the Willow Blue Cricket Forestry Project

"out hitting the competition"

Doggy's Blog

view:  full / summary


Posted on 25 May, 2017 at 22:30 Comments 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

Interstate Logistics

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



(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)




(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 ever cared because you would have done something about it long before now. I think you've suddenly released this could be a lever against the players and honestly... if "Grass Roots needs the money you say it does... then the game is in real trouble and CA is to blame!

I do not believe you really 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 it is 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 faces moving forward in any 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 a waste of time!

Get those nose's out of the "Cricketing Trough"

Posted on 16 May, 2017 at 5:15 Comments 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.

"3 Types of People in this World"

Posted on 11 May, 2017 at 1:05 Comments 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?? 

We're all here for the game of cricket... or are we?

Posted on 3 May, 2017 at 2:25 Comments comments (1)


We’ve all heard the words before and these days they’re passed around by anyone and everyone trying to benefit from or to push an agenda.

It seems the game is being shoved, pushed and screwed as if it were a towel waterlogged with money.

This has been allowed to happen because District Clubs (Crickets Regional Custodians and their Associates) now referred to as Premier Community Cricket Clubs (PCCs) have been rather negligent, not paying attention and have placed too much trust in their governing bodies.

They have taken little notice as various administrative factions (Types) have been introduced and like ants... they have been allowed to work day by day unchecked and have manovered themselves into a position were they can take the control of the game.

Transparency is non existant these days as the "Types" work secretly behind the scenes, undermining a system that was working well, a system developed by cricketers for cricketers, over the ages and which produced world class performers.

How did we ever produce a cricketer in the "dark ages" they exclaim!

For the common person in the street, the paying customer, those who fill the cricket grounds wanting to see the best our cricket has to offer, sit oblivious to  the irregularities or murmurings at the heart of the game... as are those who compete at the highest levels of Grade Cricket hoping for higher honours.  This could also be said for the participating under age aspirant in the Pathway Programs. None of them have any idea what is being thrown at the game by the various "Types" most of whom seek a "Badge of Honour”.

These "Types" are out of control and change must be made... but have PCC committees sort advice from those they represent and are they instructing the Delegates accordingly? 

For example have the following PCC's:

Ringwood, Dandenong, South Melbourne Casey, Frankston Pen, Camberwell Magpies or Geelong informed their players of what is unfolding behind the scenes at Cricket Victoria or have they received a favour in some way? Would they deny their playing group? Have they consulted them? Have they explained how important the Delegate vote is to the aspirations of the playing group and will that Delegate vote represent them or will it be cast for undisclosed favours?

If you are associated to one of those playing groups and it is your dream or hope to play higher levels of cricket or if you know of someone like this then you need to tell others. Be diligent tell others in your club, your friends and team mates. Share this blog, let your feeling be known to your club and supporters... NOW is the time, not later, it must be Now!!

It is so important for you all and for future Victorian cricketers?

If your club has not explained the issues or why the majority of clubs and Associates are seeking to remove the current Cricket Victoria Board and CEO... then the club has failed its duty to you a pathway participant and to the game.

Why?  the following is a good example:

Young trusting lads put their faith in the hand of Clubs all over our country, hoping that those in charge provide quality mentors who’ll coach, manage and guide them.

What a huge responsibility this is... but who are they? What are their qualifications and what are the qualifications of those who engaged them?

Just recently in my home state of Victoria, the governing body ran an “Under 18 State Championship” for aspiring lads as part of the pathway program.

What a debacle it turned out to be.

Prior to the competition the Cricket Victoria Pathway Championship Coordinator was told by various long time servants of the game that his design for the “Championship” was flawed. It was explained that under his system a team might very well win all 4 games but fail to qualify for the Semi finals.

Of course this "Type" knew better than anyone and ignored the advice, proceeded unchecked and guess what??


You can guess it… It was “Northern Rivers” a strong and very proud cricketing region who played four and won four only to miss out on a berth in the finals. These kids, their Clubs, their Associations and their parents were devastated and demoralized. They did not deserve this insult, Tony Dodemaide!

But it doesn’t end there… one of the teams Northern Rivers defeated was able to qualify above them? 

This is the way of the Cricket Victoria CEO and Board under Russell Thomas.

We do not need “Badge of Honour” Types who refuse to listen and who run about unchecked, willing to spend money that should be used to for the betterment of cricket in our state.

Last year Russell Thomas and his Board spent a staggering 4 Million Dollars ($85,000 per week) on Consultants.

It is hoped that all PCC's and Associates can come together under Geoff Collinson from the "Footscray Edgewater Cricket Club" at a meeting coming up very soon and secure our crickets future.

Can you direct me to the Cricket Pathway?

Posted on 21 April, 2017 at 0:00 Comments comments (1)

I have given a great deal of thought to the game of over the years, in particular the development of the game and its pathway systems. Obviously most of my thoughts have been to do with cricket in Victoria... so please don't hold that against me.

I was a young country boy who became interested in cricket because of my father and Mother. Dad was playing cricket and football for Yarck (a small country town 9 miles from Alexandra on the Maroondah Hwy) Mum was scorer. But Dad had also played under Leo Finch at Carlton so naturally I was going to follow in those footsteps dreaming of higher honours.

I remember one hot summer day listening to the cricket on the radio… Bobby Simpson was nearing a hundred. I was in “make believe” land, (some say I still am), playing every shot for him and running each run between the wickets I’d set up on “Wrights Lane” out side our house. Unfortunately Freddie Titmus ended “Bob Cats” innings at 91.

Who would have thought that someone from Yarck, was destined to play Test Cricket let alone under him 16 years later?

I was probably very fortunately that my parents moved to Croydon a few years later where I was able to play junior cricket. (Yarck’s population was about 50 and had barely enough children to keep the school open)

So I began my cricket at the Heathmont Cricket Club in the RDCA and the pathway to higher levels was easy enough to follow: Practice hard, continually make runs or take wickets, earn representative selection and eventually an invite into the District ranks.

In those days the Dowling Shield was the avenue most young cricketers followed but I thought it more beneficial for me to compete against men to test myself. So as a 15 year old I earned selection for the RDCA u21’s against CUOV u21 Association teams. I did well and went on the represent the CUOV in national championships and was then selected for the National Team.

I was 18 when I was invited to Carlton where Peter Bedford was the coach and I started in the 3rd XI. Each year I was able to earn promotion based on my performance. It wasn’t easy by any means; I found that there were so many good cricketers all desperate to succeed and so it took five years for me to earn selection to play for my country.

The pathway to higher levels obviously worked well for me so I cannot understand why it is still not the preferred avenue today.

It  was based on performance… isn’t that a good idea?

So we get to the reason I am writing this… I was astounded to read recently that Cricket Australia had named an under 16 Australian Team. I immediately thought… what do all the other young developing cricketers around the country think about that?

I feel that if you ever wanted to demoralise a young cricketer, offer the Australian dream, entice our children to take up the game, lead them along the so called pathway system and then cut them adrift by selecting an Australia U16 team. Meanwhile the majority of our youth cricketers who missed out must be wondering if it is worthwhile continuing on.

I think about Glen McGrath… who was missed by every development program. Why? Because some kids develop slowly, they are still growing and lack the strength.

What could be more soul destroying than for a 15 year old waiting for their body to catch up to miss out? And what about Mum and Dad, think about the process, every parent goes through because they believe that there’s a pathway to follow.

Here is Mum washing and ironing the whites each week, having picked up the young aspiring child from school for Milo Cricket, then onto practice, then to matches in under 12’s, u14’s representative cricket and on to u16’s only to see others chosen ahead of their child and given priority and special treatment.

It makes me wonder why Cricket Australia recommend that clubs should retire batsman after so many runs or why we give very child a bowl even when they can't. It seems that there is a contradiction somewhere in all this?

So having missed selection, the family sit around the dinner table discussing whether or not they should continue on. Perhaps they can make it through the District ranks... now “Premier Community Cricket”.

Is it worth the effort?

They might not think it is… or perhaps they might think of leaving home to go to Melbourne or any other Capital city, find a job, practice hard. There is a chance of making it through the ranks to State Selection… but what about the draft system someone might be brought in over me? I suppose I could go to another State and do a “Peter Nevill”, I could be that lucky or not?

I cannot see why the pathway system has been made so uncertain… it should be about taking the opportunity.

I have an idea, let us make it performance based… make runs, take the wickets and hold the catches.

I can see huge problems with Australian Cricket because it seems to me that they believe our future cricketers should just be allowed to have fun without being disciplined or challenged. It is my belief that we have far too many academics from an failing education system running the development of the game and we need to balance this out very quickly otherwise we'll have cricketers coming through who've never been disciplined or challenged and life as is cricket... is a real challenge where no one in the real world is or should be entitled. 

Yes have fun and enjoy the game... it is great for keeping the numbers up so the marketing arm of the game can promote "more people are playing cricket than ever before". Let us get them on the “SCG or MCG” during the lunch break of a Test, never mind that they can’t hold a bat, bowl a ball or catch it!

We can tell everyone that there having fun and look how well cricket is doing… can we have more funding please?


No Response from Tony Dodemaide or his Board

Posted on 14 April, 2017 at 3:20 Comments comments (0)

10 years ago at a Footscray Edgewater Season Launch Tony Dodemaide had just been appointed the Cricket Victoria CEO and he told the audenience that  “1/3 of all cricket played in Australia is being played in Victoria”.

On the back of that statement, there can be no excuse for those in charge of the game in Victoria, because had they been successful Victorian cricketers would be knocking the Test Selectors doors down and a stream of highly talented cricketers would be flowing interstate where the game is not so strong.

Cricket Victoria (CV) is failing our game at the “Milo grass roots level” and in every other development area associated with it and it is for this reason alone Victorian Cricket needs needs fresh blood at the top, we need to remove the dead wood and replace them those who can anticipate change and for this you need vision, expertise, energy and be prepared to listen to cricketers with coaching experience and ideas. Otherwise our young players will continue to be discouraged and this is not what the game is about in Victoria.

We must instruct technique to execute the disciplines of the game starting from Milo, provide opportunity not denying it, educate our cricketers about traditions and the responsibility they have to those who will follow us. We require selection criteria to encourage youthful aspiration, invigorate cricket clubs to pursue junior development through the concept of participation.

This might sound very harsh since during Tony's his reign the Bushrangers have won 3 Sheffield Shields... but not as Victoria!

“Smoke and mirrors” is what Victorian Cricket has got and a CEO who boasts to Jon Pierik of the Melbourne Age that “Victorian Cricket” is in a great space.

The truth is that the CEO and his Board are under great pressure from the CV shareholders (Premier Clubs & Associates).

This doesn't deter Tony Dodemaide he claims he knows nothing of the unrest, even though I sent the following via the CV website contact page and copied all Premier Clubs, VCCL and others:

Tony Dodemaide and the Cricket Victoria Board

Cricket House Jolimont


As a former player, long time stakeholder in the game and contributor to Victorian Cricket I feel I have earned the right to ask you to provide me with an explanation as to why you have not resigned from office given the following:

Collectively you all have been engaged to represent the game of cricket in Victoria and yet you secretly initiated an agenda Report called "Breaking New Ground". This report was released under the pretence of it being in Victorian Cricket's best interests and yet was designed to effectively replace the voting rights of the owners of the game in this state, "the Premier Cricket Clubs", who established the Victorian Cricket Association now CV.

This was a conscious decision by you collectively (some of you may say you weren’t part of it… no excuse) and it was an attempt to remove and greatly disadvantage those who engaged you, it was not a mistake... it was a planned effort using "money” that did not belong to you. Again, it belonged to those who engaged you and in all circumstances this is unconscionable.

Further to this, it seems you have been secretly "giving and forgiving" loans, offering extra delegate votes to secure favour and have been caught lying to associates which again, is in all circumstance unconscionable.

This behaviour is not acceptable in business and certainly is not the type of behaviour expected from our cricket representatives and now with the majority of Premier clubs against you... you steadfastly refuse to do the honourable thing and resign.

Forget about how well you think you have done, because the fact is... So bad is Victorian Cricket under your reign that on most occasions only 5 of our home grown players are good enough to represent our cricket team, “the Victoria Bushrangers”. This has been the way for far too long and it is demoralizing for our Cricket in this State. Nothing has improved under your reign and when you consider this fact: Since the year 2000 Victorian Cricket has contributed only 3 Test Match (at the time of writing Glen Maxwell had not scored his century in India) Centuries to Australian Cricket... for the CV Board and its CEO it is your "Job performance indicator".

If you have any respect for Victorian Cricket you need to relinquish your positions in a manner that will allow easy transition for those who expect much more from the investment that has been and is put in all over our State each and every summer since the 1860's.

We are Victoria, the style of game here was a proven success, it should not have altered, and it was handed down to us.

It is our game as are the traditions and philosophies that go with it. Obviously you have all lost sight of this and given all the above your positions are untenable.

Please don't write my letter off as a former player not in touch with the modern game as I have been involved constantly in the sport, firstly as a player, as a Playing coach, administrator, Coach, specialist coach and mentor from First Class to grass roots community club level and all over the world.

My involvement in the game also extends from my business activities since 1985 and I am in regular contact with club cricketers throughout the state who constantly express their concerns to me… about the future of cricket in Victoria and what can be done about it?

I would also appreciate a response to my email.

Yours faithfully

Ian Callen

So let us repair the pathway System and take control of Victoria Cricket... we can start by doing the following:

No 1. If the Cricket Victoria CEO and Chairman Russell Thomas wont resign sack them.

No 2. Fill the remaining Board positions with Victorian Cricket patriots who can stay alert, remove the voting rights of the Board, take 2 votes away from Womans Cricket they only need one, give 2 votes to Country Cricket.

No 3. Evaluate all departments within Cricket Victoria and remove the non productive or fruitless.

No 4. A priority will be to evaluate and over haul the Cricket operations, Bushrangers Coaching and Selection policies.   

No 5. Re appoint Peter Binns and religate any Premier Clubs who have failed to produce an International player since 1980 back to Sub Districts ranks.

No 6. Allocate regions/Zones to Premier Club and provide funding for each club to developement their regions and retrench all regional development managers. Clubs must adhere to guidelines to qualify for development funding.

No 7. Premier Clubs & associates qualify for dividends on a year basis

No 8. VCCL Combined Country Team to play 3 day 1st Class fixture v Combined Metro Team choosen from Premier Cricket.  

Our young talented Cricketers should be representing the State above everyone else and we should be feeding them into higher honours.

Every effort should be made to develop, encourage, invigorated or reinvigorate and reward them. It is the taxes or rates Victorians have paid for the infrustrucure and the District Clubs have invested 150 years into the game and facilities for young Victorians to benefit from.

If we lose matches… because our boys are not good enough on the field of play, then our development programs are failing and those involved should be replaced until we find success. That is when we'll know "Victorian Cricket is in a good place".

Any CEO, Chairman or Director of Cricket Victoria would know the corporate responsibility they had to those who set up the organisation that had engaged them. In this case they knew very well that it was the Districts Clubs (now Premier Clubs) and Associates had engaged them and as such they were to be treated as Shareholder of the game of cricket in Victoria.

Those who were employed to prepare the “Breaking New Ground Strategy” and those who endeavoured to push it’s outcome under the pretence of it being in the games best interest will have a hard time convincing me that they were not attempting a “Sting”.

At this stage most Premier Clubs and Associates are attempting to have this Board removed in order to reclaim the “game of cricket” for the state of Victoria.

Cricket Bat Law Change - What it means?

Posted on 31 March, 2017 at 18:55 Comments comments (1)

The MCC's new code regulating the maximum size of a cricket bat arrives October 2017.

The Maximum width of the bat will remain 108mm or 4 1/4 inches, however the apex will be limited to 67mm or 2 41/64 inches and the edges 40mm or 1 37/64 inches. 

The law is being introduced to address the imbalance between bat and ball. However, it really gets down to the density of "timber" when looking for greater rebound... so in real terms, size will not matter other than it may reduce the "psychological'  goings on, in the mind of some with, ball in hand.





Posted on 24 March, 2017 at 20:20 Comments comments (1)

Over the past months I have been hearing complaints about a Cricket Victoria (CV) Pathway Coordinator. The final straw came when I heard he was hogging the New Ball at his club and so I tweeted about it as follows;

"Neil Gray @cricketvictoria "Pathway Coordinator" takes new ball in front of those on the Pathway to higher levels".

Neil responded immediately claiming all Pathway players at his club were playing in higher grades and so he wasn’t taking the new ball in front of anyone as I had claimed. Later that day the Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club (CMCC) Treasurer tweeted that I had taken a “Cheap Shot” at Neil and later Barry Ross the club Secretary Tweeted that I was “Weak as Piss” and I should get my facts in line.

Ok ! So here are the facts and I can tell you I think I am right…….

CMCC Contact and Secretary Barry Ross commented that my beef is with CV and not Neil, Wrong Barry... my beef is with anyone failing the game of cricket in Victoria and that includes Premier Cricket Clubs. In my opinion Premier Club have lost sight of their role in developing cricket across the state, they lack urgency, lack transparency and still support a CV Board who in my opinion and from the information I have should be under investigation by ASIC... but that another story.

So let me finish with Neil Gray who is responsible for the following at CV:

1/. Develop a comprehensive Cricket Victoria Pathway Program that promotes both playing and personal development.

2/. To oversee the Victorian Bushrangers and Vic Spirit Pathway Championships operations.

3/. Embed the National Player Pathway philosophy into the Cricket Victoria Pathway program and the competitions that connect directly to the program.

4/. Support the connection between Victorian Premier Cricket and the Cricket Victoria Pathway program.

5/. Responsible for budget process including expenditure, reforecasting and administration.

6/. Explore partnership opportunities with appropriate Commercial and Community partners.

7/. Oversee the appointment and payment of Coaches, Managers and support staff in all Cricket Victoria regions.

Under point 3, 4 and 7 of his responsibilities proves he does have an obligation that comes with coaching" and captaining the 4th XI because all Premier Clubs fall in under the "Pathways System".

The 4th XI in any Premier Club is the first stepping stone to higher levels. It is not a "GRAVE YARD" for cricketers and how dare Neil Gray infer to me that they are less important than any other in cricket...

Taking the New Ball, rather than giving it to someone endeavouring to climb the ladder, is hogging the ball. An ego show and a dereliction of duty. And if any member of your club or any other club cannot see that then get out of the game.

Neil has taken the "New Ball" in all but 2 games this season and in the 2 day games his over tally reads as follows 21, 30 19, 23, 25, and 22.

Some might try to say that there is no one else to bowl mediums so Neil has to take the New Ball... well wouldn't that be an indictment on the clubs recruitment officer or perhaps it’s because opportunities just don’t exist for anyone wanting to come to the club.

 I make no apologies and will continue to call out those who are not doing the right thing.




Posted on 21 March, 2017 at 23:55 Comments comments (0)


I had received a number of comments about a Cricket Victoria Pathway Coordinator and coach who was hogging the New Ball at his club.

 So I tweeted about it and got a response.

I have never met Neil Gray, but I know he is engaged as a coach at Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club in Melbourne and plays in the 4th XI.

I understand you love your cricket Neil but if you are the coach your position in the team comes behind the other 10 players. So if I were you... I would hand over the New Ball and allow others first use of it.

It’s an obligation that comes with coaching.





On a more serious note:

Over the past few weeks I have been handed some very disturbing information relating to the behaviour of the Cricket Victoria Board and CEO Tony Dodemaide.

It all started with the Boards agenda to re distribute votes belonging to Premier Clubs, the owners, of the game in Victoria.

In my opinion that is a bit like those employed by a business plotting against its shareholders… and this is in all circumstance unconscionable conduct.

So I wrote to Tony Dodemaide and the Cricket Victoria Board asking them why they have not resigned given the fact that the majority of games representatives had asked them the same?

Had I turned a blind eye to the behaviour I'd become an accessory. Certainly any club official offering or providing support to this behaviour in my opinion, became exactly that. 

No I have an obligation to the game as someone with almost a lifetime involvement and I think I did the right thing.

I have been a victim of this kind of behaviour in a previous life and a witness to the devastation that followed. Not good!




The Idea of Test Championships

Posted on 18 March, 2017 at 20:15 Comments comments (0)

The idea of "Test championships and wealth distribution has been floated by Greg Chappell... to save the game.

Greg believes that of the 10 countries playing Test cricket, Zimbabwe, Banglasdesh and the West Indies rarely trouble the top cricket playing nations which means Test cricket, "the purest form of the game" is under threat from the limited over format.

Chappell believes that by sharing the wealth more evenly among the 10 Test playing nations will increase the number of competitive teams and this action should be a priority because... a lot of countries don't have the population or money to develop a competitive team.

"Somehow we've got to equalise the payments around the world because what we're seeing – take the West Indies for instance – top players electing not to play Test cricket because they're not getting paid as much as they get to play 20-over cricket around the world.  If we can't balance that out a little bit then there's going to be no incentive for people to play Test cricket." Chappell said.


The Test match championship proposal, I agree woud need to be an ongoing competition, culminating in a series every two years between the top two nations but it is one that needs to be expanded in my opinion upon.


But I would like to see more Countires involved... why not sell a franchises into America, Asia and Europe by creating a player pool from well populated cricket nations? A freelance qualification would provide incentive and opportunity for players. It would generate interest and with it exciting prospects... in particular for the developing junior cricketers we encourage and nurture each weekend at grass roots level. 

The incentive of a Test series played around the globe for points to determine the world's best team on a biennial basis would in my opinion capture the imagination of world cricket on a continuous basis. Once a series final decides a champion the competition would start again and so on.