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