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2nd Test England v West Indies "Old Trafford" Preview

Posted on 14 July, 2020 at 20:05

FEW could argue against the rationale that it was the West Indies bowling attack that set up the first Test victory, but not before a tense final day at Southampton had played out. 

What a shame the stadium was devoid of cricket loving supporters for this highly entertaining return to Test cricket.

Jofra Archer and Mark Wood (more on Mark later) were far from impressive in their 1st innings bowling performances and when they took the field in the second innings they were fighting for their careers. It was Archer who took the bitbetween the teeth. His first spell was what you’d expect, it was ferocious. He crushed opener John Campbell’s big toe, forcing him to limp off the field retired hurt, he bowled Braithwaite for 4 and then trapped Brooks LBW without scoring all in the space of four overs.

Capitalising on the mayhem, Wood knocked Hope’s off stump out of the ground with his fourth delivery. This was to be his only wicket.

Then Chase and Blackwood settled into a partnership that was to lift the Windies’ morale.

Archer and stand-in captain Ben Stokes kept the pressure on, but in the end it was Jason Holder and the hobbling Campbell who carried the Windies over the line to a 1/0series lead heading to Manchester.

Holder at 2.01 metres stands tall but is batting too low at No 8. He looked the most composed and technically correct of the West Indies batting list and he’s missing out on big runs where he is batting. He averages 32 and if he wants to strengthen his team, he must bat higher. And the best place to start will be this coming second Test, where traditionally the Old Trafford wickets have more pace. This will suit the all-round game of Holder and Stokes and encourage pacemen on both sides. In particular veteran Jimmy Anderson. It’s his home ground afterall and he knows it well. But will his ageing body hold up and allow him to take that advantage, one more time?

There is hardly enough recovery time between the Test matches this series — just four days this time — and this is surely taking a toll on his body. Anderson is 37 and approaching his 153rd Test, a long and brilliant career that has yielded 587 wickets, a world record for a pace bowler. But nobody can go on forever. So if he does not find form it is very possible one of these last two Tests will turn out to be his “benefit” match!

If it’s this one, there couldn’t be a more fitting way for this great champion, from the Lancashire League club Burnley to say farewell to the game than in front of his adoring Lancastrian fans.Unfortunately for English cricket, there is not a lot coming through the ranks good enough to take over from him. Mark Wood has the pace but is incapable of variation. At Southampton he bowled from the same very wide crease position every delivery except when he ventured around the wicket. But even then, he continued to hit the same foot marks. This means his lines (the direction of his deliveries) are the same and he does nothing off the pitch, restricted by his action, so for anyone facing him, it’s “Groundhog Day”.

And this was the difference between the two attacks. The West Indies hit the deck with good seam and extracted movement. It doesn’t matter how good a batting technique you have, late movement off the pitch will bring the best undone. I was impressed with the 23 year old Alzarri Joseph and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Windies gave the 22 year old Chemar Holder his chance this game, in place of the wicketless Kemar Roach. 

Yes, I know Roach is nearing the 200 Test wickets (only 7 away) and he’s been a great servant for Caribbean cricket. He also bowled economically last time out and at 32, he has time to get other opportunities. But right know he mirrors Gabriel to the extent his angles are the same; whereas Joseph and Chemar Holding will attack stump to stump lines at pace with the ability to move the ball late creating opportunities. This elevates the potency levels of all those bowling in partnership. 

There is a negative of course: inexperience, but man! They’d be raw, fast, exciting and right now, they are the future of West Indies cricket and I’d set them loose.

If selectors stay with Roach he will have the opportunity to be the first West Indies fast bowler since Curtley Ambrose in 1994 to reach that 200 wicket milestone.

As for England, their batting will be bolstered by the return of Joe Root, from “parental duties” and Stuart Broad’s wicket-taking ability will be needed to give greater variation.The question remains:can Anderson last? If not the West Indies could be close to winning their first series in England this millennium.

Can’t wait to see what “Old Trafford” has in store for us.

England v West Indies the 38th series

Posted on 7 July, 2020 at 22:50

Starting tonight cricket lovers in UK will see the first Test played for the summer when England take on the West Indies at Southampton’s “Rose Bowl”.

The West Indies have not won a Test series in England this millennium and the coming series will be the 38th between the two.

It will be Ben Stokes (England) and Jason Holder (West Indies) leading their respective sides. Joe Root having chose to attend the birth of child will trying to make amends for some very poor captaincy another time.

On the other hand; Holder having lead the “Windies” to a series win on home soil when these two teams last met... has also overseen an improving Caribbean cricket team. Many experienced cricket followers are say the Islanders cannot be taken too lightly.

Holder himself, is on the verge of passing 2000 runs in Test cricket and with a double century to his name he is never out of the game. He has also taken more than a 100 wickets now and must now be classed as one of the top all rounders in the game.

Even so, I believe England on home soil, go into the series as favourites; their opponents have never played a Test match in Hampshire and Southampton! Is a place where tourists have often met an unfortunate fate... who can forget the “Mayflower” or the “Titanic”... both set forth from Southampton, if I am not mistaken.

So what can we expect or even better... what can we look forward too?

Chris Woakes, if he gets a start is closing in on 100 Test Match wickets, ever green James Anderson at the age of 37 is nearing 100 catches and 600 wickets . In English conditions I think Anderson, with Archer, Broad, Stokes and either or... Woakes, Curren or Wood in support, will be leading a very experienced if not a “mature attack”.

Yes, not a lot coming through ECB development programs. After all, Archer their greatest prospect comes from the Caribbean himself and that must be a very sore point for the visitors.

But for those of us in Australia who will be watching on TV... I think we are in for a real treat for there’s another “Holder” on the scene.

Watch out for “Chemar Holder”, he’s tall, athletic, with a high “side on” action; his high front arm facilitates the release of what we could describe as a “coiled spring” weight transfer through the crease; all in sinc and into the following through.

He generates great pace and bounce and because of the fluency of his action he hits the deck hard and the ball leaves the bat late. Not a lot can go wrong with his action and I think he will be a star of the future.

In support will be Roach closing in on 200 Test Wickets, Shannon Gabriel, left arm paceman Alzari Joesph, Jason Holder and the spin of all rounder Royston Chase.

If the West Indies batting can combat the English conditions and they bat down the list, it might just a be series worth staying up all night for.

Sir Everton Weekes

Posted on 2 July, 2020 at 8:40

Very sad news today; the passing of Sir Everton Weekes.



 

As a child I found myself gazing for hours over the photographs of the “3 W’s”, Walcott, Worrell and Weekes; I idolised them.

 

Following my dreams in cricket, inspired by them, I arrived in the Lancashire League at Ramsbottom in the late 70’s, or early 80's and found myself sitting in the kit room of their historic “green & cream” club house... still in repair in those days.

 

Hours of my free time that season was spent sitting with two of the clubs stalwarts; Albert Holt and Les Barrow (pictured)



 

I think they were happy that the “Pro” gave them the time, but it was me who was happy to listen to their memories and drink their tea. We’d look out over Acrebottom towards the River Irwell and talk cricket for hours. Mostly about the cricketers they’d remembered.


But there was one they talked more fondly of than any other; Everton Weekes!

 

I carry those recollections with me today, as vividly as if I had been living and breathing in that very special era of the Lancashire league, myself.

 

Everton signed for Bacup they told me in 1949 for about £500; it was so bloody cold; that year they said, that Everton was often seen wearing an Amry Great coat about. I had to laugh... because, I also found the early part of my seasons in the league so cold...I played in full length long johns!

 

Bert and Les reckoned Weekes performances were so outstanding that the grounds were packed... they estimated 400,000 spectators crammed into league venues those years.

 

I have seen photos hanging proudly at various league grounds to back their stories up too!

 

Take it from me... these were special times in cricket and they’ll never be seen again.

 

RIP Everton. 

If we could only find the records.

Posted on 15 June, 2020 at 19:20

 

“Reminiscing”, by Little River Band was from their “Sleeper Catcher” Album. It was written by the band's guitarist Graeham Goble and sung by Glenn Shorrock, rising to No 3 on the US charts in 1978.

 

I don’t know why it is, but I often find myself doing the same these days. Perhaps because I'm a romantic at heart or this is what you do... in twilight years?

 

In my case, I seem to reminisce all things cricket, reminding myself of cricketing friendships or the places the game has taken me. This is of course a natural occurrence, a faculty by which the mind stores and remembers the information it receives.

 

It is ever so important these days, don't you think? Especially when we're being told the past is to be forgotten.


But this is exactly what has been happening to country cricket all over regional Australia.


And it is the fault of the game for if cricket clubs cannot spend the time to honour the endeavours of those who contribute to its history (on and off the field), how can we expect to encourage others to pursue the same? For decades now rural cricket competitions have been lost, along with statistics, historic photos, memories, the names of champion regional players, characters of the game and much worse... the stories or yarns once told over a few cold beers.

 

This really hit home to me last week whilst visiting a friend who'd moved to the picturesque township of Yea situated north of Melbourne between the Great Divide and the Strathbogie Ranges. I had spent time in Yea when Dad had worked in the town. They once had a very strong cricket competition known as the Yea and District Cricket Association (YDCA), so before I left the area I decided to take a walk around the cricket ground. I passed an abandoned roller that I remembered; a huge iron contraption of a thing, very similar to the “Bossers Pet” once used to flatten the deck at Lords.


I couldn't believe it was still there and it was in reasonable condition given the last time I laid eyes on it was 60 years ago.

 

A time when I could be found dragging my father's cricket bat around the grounds he played. It was something I did when I didn’t want Dad to get out or in hope that he might take another wicket. He was a handy bat and a bloody good leggie.

 

He’d reached a pretty good standard in his day too, playing second XI at Carlton under well known “Carltonian” Leo Finch in the 50’s, before moving to his father's farm at Gobur. Turn left at the Yarck Pub and keep driving; you’ll find the place up the every end of Frees Lane.

 

The closest cricket team was Yarck and so that's where he played. It was also a time when it was considered an honour to be selected to represent your local community club and its association at Melbourne Country Week. Dad did this taking 39 wickets in a single country week of cricket for the Alexandra and District Cricket Association (ADCA); which I'm told is a competition record.

 

Anyway, this big piece of iron was pulled up and down the wicket by a team of horses in its day, rolling the Yea cricket wicket unfriendly to all opposition attacks.

 

Further on and positioned behind the wicket area is the old Grandstand.


I remembered sitting in the stand with Mum while she scored so I climbed the stairs to look over the ground. Immediately I had images of my father with his rhythmic flowing action and follow through. He had the ability to draw the batsman towards him in the false hope of lifting him high over long on; only to find the ball fizzing past the bat having dropped unerringly; leaving them stranded and well out of their crease.

 

That is, all but one person; Harry Docking (HD) from the Yea Cricket Club.

 

His team made up the YDCA along with Molesworth, Homewood, Boundary Creek, Glenburn, Flowerdale and for one year, Yarck who mostly played in the ADCA except for one year when it’s best player was working in Yea.

 

So I began to wonder about Harry; was he still alive I thought? Perhaps I could have a chat with him, get his views on cricket today. It would be a good “Sportshounds” piece?

 

I know, I’ll try the “Yea Chronicle” it might be the best place to start; it’s been serving the community as long as? Umm! Well, for as long as I can remember and they might have archives.

 

Unfortunately not!

 

So I tried the library where I learned Harry had passed on some years back but, was given the phone number of Gary Pollard who might have known HD. I phoned him and left a message. I then found Yea C.C. listed on “my cricket” I called the contact number listed and was told HD played for Boundary Creek”.

 

No, he  played for Yea mate!

 

It didn’t take long for Gary to return my call and I learned that he had actually played against my father and opened the batting with Harry. He told me Harry was also a handy opening bowler who could move the ball both ways. He said HD was a real chain smoker you know; after he'd taken a wicket... he lit up, stomping it, turned to bowl to the new batsmen and exhale. He looked like the old "goods train" that puffed along the Seymour to Mansfield line in those days. One season having played every game up until the Christmas break only, 3 members of Yea team had batted and Harry hadn’t been dismissed.

 

I learned that HD had played until he was 60. Gary couldn't tell me where the club records were but there had been a book written about the YDCA history and that he might have it someplace... he'd look.

 

As of today it still hasn't been found and that's not to say it won't be; things move slowly up the country you know, so let’s assume HD began his cricket at 18. We’ll give him a few years to find his feet in the game and by my reckoning he made 7 centuries a season at a minimum, from the age of 28 to 45 (17 year period). I know this because the Yea Chronicle arrived in the post at our house every week all through my primary and secondary years.

 

Our family moved to Croydon in 1963 where I'd religiously turn to the sports section to find a another “Ton” had been scored.

 

Harry Docking, would surely have amassed a 100 hundreds and must have been pushing for the title of “Bradman of the Bush”.

 

If we could only find the records.

 

A SOLUTION FOR VICTORIAN CRICKET

Posted on 27 May, 2020 at 18:10

So I must ask; Cricket Victoria! where do we go from here?

 

You've removed some dead wood; but what plans have been put in place for the future of the game in our State. The link below tells us you have; no idea!

 

https://www.cricketvictoria.com.au/club-association-news-update-25-may-2020/

 

Cricket Statistics! Don’t lie and I’ve laid them out for you in previous posts proving the last two decades; have been the worst in our cricket history.

 

Why?

 

We don’t know because the questions asked by our Club “Delegates” are never answered adequately; our Representatives are continually walking away from CV meetings dumbstruck?

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a system in place where the Governor’s of our game including departmental heads; were held accountable. Why can’t we recall the likes of Geoff Tamblyn and have him answer questions pertaining to his Chairmanship? And

 

Review the information pursuant to the decision making process at the time. And

 

We also apply this to those who followed on; Russell Thomas, Claude Fatone, Paul Jackson, David Maddocks, Tim Considine, Ian King, Paul Barker and Tony Dodemaide.

 

Understanding the demise of our game over this time; can only help with the remedy.

 

What the game “does not” need... is another forum with questions designed to lead us towards preconceived outcomes. A handy tactic, commonly used over the past two decades to lead our cricket up the “garden path”.

 

What we need is discussion, with a starting point: “Victorian” First Class Cricketers need to be the best in the country. From that point we can formulate a real plan. Get rid of the CA player pool we want to develop our own cricketers.

 

Perhaps this plan needs to involve each Premier Cricket (PC) Club being responsible for nurturing a Pathway to higher levels of the game. PC would need adequate funding (not impossible) so they are able to develop the game throughout our state. Where cricketers from a higher level and with proven ability to analyse and recognise talent can work with youngsters on a more regular basis.

 

Such a “Blueprint” would need to be developed and adopted in each region of our state. Such a undertaking would raise the profile of the game in regions throughout the State facilitating greater community involvement and support. Or

 

At a minimum PC might consider creating four new clubs to play in its competition from rural Victoria; I say create... because we’ve learned from the mistakes of promoting existing “self-indulgent” clubs.

 

Such an idea, might mean dropping 3rds and 4ths from club lists; using the Subby’s as a feeder.

 

Both concepts put the games money into grassroots cricket rather than dead end programs were cricketers; who have had there chance to progress can fund their club themselves a long with paid players they entice, ultimately to the detriment of a younger developing player.

 

Yes!

 

I have criticised CV because I think they deserve it; but I also offer solutions... while others don't.

 

Stats Prove The Point On Payroll Decision

Posted on 22 May, 2020 at 2:40

I have researched some facts to put an end to the criticism that continues over Cricket Victoria’s (CV) decision to remove a number Regional Cricket Managers (RM’s) from its payroll. Many pushing the following statement by a renowned commentator; “This will be the most incompetent decision in its entire History”. 

 

Now that’s saying something, when you think about the decision to “Give up the rights to the MCG”!

 

And for whatever reason; we’ve seen a perfectly a good development system demolished.

 

I have no idea what is being planned for the future of the game in our state but it surely cannot be any worse than recent times.

 

Of course, there are always some who will disagree; recently I read that Victorian Cricket is heading towards the English System. A system that gives private schools with all the money; greater access to the higher levels… than say, the public School system!

 

Ignore the fact; playing Private school competition is nowhere near as challenging as club cricket where promising youngsters mix it with better cricketers.

 

The Club system only breaks down if it’s unfortunate demographically or its leaders fail their responsibilities to game. Such as, being unable to attract and develop juniors.

 

Yes, the game faces challenges in that regard I agree; but there other challenges such as clubs being hindered in the most extraordinary ways; for example a local council recently ruled that a social group playing “Sunday Competition” be granted full use of a Clubs facilities and infrastructure rather than being encouraged to assimilate into the community as we all do.

 

To favour a separate ethnic identity in my opinion; goes against everything the game and this Country is about; it devalues the hard work of volunteer’s who are trying to keep the game alive let alone achieve inclusiveness within their communities.

 

These are just some of the problems facing the game based on this age old premise; “without community support or juniors” club cricket will struggle.

 

I have seen quality coaching and playing opportunity offered to young cricketers with aspirations and there are so many out there; late developing talent, over looked or not recognised, left out of the Pathways System (PS). I wonder how many youngsters have been discouraged in this way and have ended up walking away from the game.

Unfortunately passing the game on means little if those within the system fail it. And don’t think for one minute that these “CV Regional Manager” are blameless here.

 

The feed back I continually received from clubs was that they were never seen; and there are the Association who do little to promote initiatives designed to advance the careers of young players within their competition; those with ambition searching to find that path to higher levels. This is the last thing the game needs.

It is why I have never been a fan of the PS program... it fails the game in too many areas and here are the facts!

 

Please feel free to “Fact Check” me!

 

Since the introduction of the PS (on or about the turn of the millennium) we have seen it produce 13 Victorian Test cricketers who have achieved a combined tally of 134 Test Matches at an average of 6.7 Tests per year with 4 Test Centuries.

 

Regional Cricket Managers and the Game Development Department within Cricket Australia (CA) and CV call this period, the Modern Era (ME).

 

In ME, most feeder clubs play on synthetic surfaces and clubs employ; mostly playing coaches and in some cases; a number of other paid men are engaged to make the club competitive.

 

Most Coaches carry CA Qualifications which mean they have attended and passed a number of courses. They are taught to demonstrate injury preventive technique whilst providing or creating a politically correct safe inclusive environment. This is where everyone is entitled to bat and bowl even if they’re unable to execute disciplines.

 

If you believed what you’ve been reading or hearing of late; you’d think ME had been leading the game out of the dark ages.

 

However, there are other eras to compare ME to, such as the 1980 to 2000 “Post Packer” (PP) District System (DS) which produced 16 Test cricketers with a combined tally of 378 Test matches at an average of 18.9 Tests per year and 18 Test centuries.

 

The “Performance Indicator” being Longevity; players able to hold a Test spot and excel; the difference here is significant, don’t you think?

 

It was an era that had lived on for 20 years PP as the game turned to the type of professionalism it is today. The reason I think; players were still required to progress “down the line” as they said in those days from feeder clubs or competitions; transitioning from experimental surfaces to turf.

 

During this PP period prospective talent were still shoulder to shoulder with role models, players with stature in the game; hardened cricketers with a wealth of experience.

 

Now we move on to an era leading up to “World Series Cricket” (WSC) 1960 to 1980.

 

This was a time when the founding District Clubs produced 20 Test cricketers with a combined tally of 388 Test matches at an average of 19.4 tests per year with 44 centuries. Now that’s a “Performance Indicator” to be proud of.

 

I think the stats are conclusive; the development of the game and the “funding” for developing grassroots cricket should be allocated to the DS which has well and truly proven itself over time.

 

These clubs are more than capable of running development programs with the support of Associations committed to passing on the game.

Cricket Victoria Clearing the Dead Wood

Posted on 14 May, 2020 at 4:05

This post will be too much for most to get behind but, I don’t care it needs to said.

A lot of criticism has been directed towards Cricket Victoria (CV) in regard to its decision to cut staff. But nothing of any substance about it’s responsibility to mitigate the effects of the current global crisis.

In truth... we can only hope that the decisions made in the Board room are in the best interests of Cricket in this State based on credible information.

If you recall, it wasn’t too long ago that there was an effort to rectify growing discontent amongst the cricket community in the State; when a “coup d’etat” was launched by CV Members. And not just any Members but foundation Members.

The final straw for them was the secret, cleverly disguised attempt by to reissue the voting rights of foundation members and disperse them to all corners of the State.

In the end the coup failed. Why? Because even though 1/3 of the States top cricketers come from country regions the VCCL get one solitary vote compared to Women’s Cricket 3.

I’ll leave it to you to consider.

This action though, forced the Chair and CEO and a few others out and so it should have.

Today a number of new faces have joined the Board promoted by the clubs leading the coup and I am told there are more to come.

So we can only hope that they are cricketers who can identify the different stages of the grass roots level of the game and how development programs can be improved to improve abilities.

It should also be noted that when mandating change of significant magnitude interested parties like myself; “Life Members” of founding member Clubs, identified and awarded with “custodianship” should not be removed from the conversation when reasoning is needed.

You’d think this would be a natural process of inclusiveness and transparency when the CV Board room is filled with so many non cricketers... surely such feed back, would be welcomed when self interest employees have so much influence and say.

In my opinion, it should also be a requirement of every Member Club to keep members updated in such a situation; to seek advice or feedback from those who’ve devoted significant service or have been decorated with higher honours within their Club. In most cases they have wide ranging global experience in the game and that is worth something!

How such wealth of experience and knowledge can be eliminated from discussion concerning the game, is a failure of Governing Bodies “once” ( I highlight this because somehow it has change) elected to that position, to act in the best interest of our ��.

I have always said; there is only “one” true performance indicator to measure the success of those employed or appointed to positions within CV and this is the number of “ Home Grown Test Players” representing our State and their longevity in the game.

The question I ask; is the CV Board taking the opportunity to clean out dead wood, given the current climate?

Because I am encouraged by the Boards decision to ignore the stand over tactics of Cricket Australia (CA) (That is another story). So I am happy to wait and see what comes about, especially with the many variables at play at the moment.

****************************************************

My ideology However, has never sat well with some; particularly those employed by CV. For example; At this point I think it important to frame this properly because I want to portray the type of environment within CV and CA over the past 2 decades.

A former CV Regional Manager (2004-15) who is now 10 months into a Presidency of a VCCL Association... my “Protagonists” �� and qualified CA High Performance Coach who should know better. �� no doubt he believes he did his best for the game and still believes so.

However he commented to me that, “Young players of today don’t give a rats about the game’s history or traditional values”!

I think that statement is a stand out admission of failure.

Also the nature and inference of other comments made he made to me, really hit home. It confirmed my long standing suspicion, that there is a serious underlying problem within Victorian and Australian ��.

And it can only come from superiors and so... is it any wonder stakeholders like me are concerned for the game. So much experience in the game and we are considered bitter past players, who are out of touch and void of any understanding of the “Modern” era game.

Disturbing... don’t you think?

I would say that the real truth is that the game of cricket has evolved from what came before it, built by the efforts of those before us rather than those who lack the credentials or decoration. Types who can’t take criticism or scrutiny or crumble given a clutch situation and so of course... heads within CV must roll if performance does not measure up... if the cap fits wear it I say.

For far too long Custodianship input has been interpreted as infuriating, arrogant or offensive; by those in paid position within the game.

Why any ex player still involved in the game, committed to passing knowledge and experience on to future cricketers is not met with the respect it deserves is beyond me!

Now at this point I’d like to add a qualification!

Many like me, have worked their arse off for cricket in this State... not just the last two decades, but many more: And

In all my years of experience I have been astounded by the kids I have coached... their unquenchable thirst and respect for the game and it’s values, I think I can speak for others here and say that it never ceases to inspires us to take on the responsibility of” Custodianship” even more seriously.

To support initiatives and report back when we believe it’s in the games best interest to adopt new strategies.

I’d also like to point out that, I and many like me believe it is our duty to take responsibility for the way the game is headed... this was passed on to us by our mentors and it is why we comment.

Cricket 's Case of Disappearing Shares

Posted on 14 May, 2020 at 4:00

I’ve found that we don’t always agree but nevertheless from discussions agreement can be reached and plans formulated.

The same principle applies to business and cricket’s a business.

What I cannot accept though... is the changes made to the way the game is governed in Australia.

The wind of change began mid to late 1990’s at a time when Australian cricket had entered one of its highest performance eras of all time; we were the envy of the world in that sport and with so many up and coming players in reserve.

For the life of me… what was wrong with our tried and true governance structure?

In December 2011 “The Crawford/Carter Report” (CCR) was realised.

A blueprint the Game adopted in search of a better cricket governance system, whether we needed it or not.

Today, we are very nearly 10 years into this new governance structure… what do you think?

Personally, I think it’s safe to say that the implementation of this so called modernised “High Performance Board” to successfully oversee strategy and management of the game has been an absolute failure.

Can we say that the Cricket Australia Board has set the standard or has come close to demonstrating the “high collaboration level or the strong sense of common purpose” between the States?

What about the “Strategic Direction” we were promised?

I think those who were responsible for this change.., need of a good kick up the back side for the game had progressed as it had for a century under a system that was put in place by “Cricketers for Cricketers” its custodians.

For years I could not fathom the reasoning behind such change until recently when attending a Lord Taverners dinner last year; “Geoff Tamblyn” a former CA Board Member one of the men who pushed for change was attempting to justify the reasoning behind the decision.

Tambo’s explanation was that the current Board structure made it difficult to “oversee” the game; because “States” would unite to deny progressive thinking. But was this anything new I immediately thought… this is a situation no different than what goes on within the ICC.

I likened his explanation as to having given up; as if was all just too hard!

Again why change the structure… step aside and give others more capable a chance. Don’t blame the system for your failure otherwise the entire premise, for change is flawed.

Looking further into it all I’ve become down right unforgiving.

The CCR describes the rightful ownership of the game in terms of shareholdings and this is reflected as the game in Australia began to take shape. And let us face the facts here; Victorian, NSW and South Australian District Clubs were the founding members of Australian Cricket and developed the game. As it grew under their stewardship they rightfully maintained a rightful majority shareholding as they were joined by Queensland and Western Australia and finally Tasmania. The shareholding structure was Vic. N.S.W & SA Foundation District Club 3 votes each, QLD & WA 2 each & TAS 1.

However the ownership (held in Trust by the State Associations) have somehow been diluted to equal representation. How on earth did this happen?

The adopted Crawford/Carter Report recommends a Board consisting of a minimum 9 including the CEO; and that each State accept 2 votes each and if they wish to remove a Board; it would require a 2/3 majority.

But there has been no consideration for the foundation members… on what basis we’re these changes made and what was offered to the foundation District Clubs who held a greater and rightly deserved interest in the game. Such neglect to this issue is surely unconscionable unless they were offered significant reward?

So again I ask, what was presented to the foundation members for them to agree to a redistribution of the their wealth in the game?

I have asked the questions to many and have never been given an explanation

100 up for the RDCA

Posted on 2 April, 2020 at 21:00

This season, marks the 100th year for the Ringwood and District Cricket Association (RDCA) in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. As a ”Life Member” of the association I thought I should write this opinion piece, not only to congratulate them but to thank them for providing my club Heathmont a competition to enable and further the careers of others.

I was lucky to have so many mentors around me at that time; my father Lloyd, Bill Dean, Chris Healey, Keith Barrett, Alan Espie, Ray Curnow, Jim Clarke, Russell Hall, Ian Castle, Noel Eddy, Les Blackbell, David Boxshall, Alan Batten and of course Doug Ackerly... All mates who helped me through my youth in a game which subsequently became a lifetime involvement. To you all , I say; “Thank you!

I think it is also safe to say, such an opportunity would not have been afforded me had my parents stayed in Yarck; And yet it is there my passion for the game was born. I had followed Dad about dragging his bat to games at Yarck, Thornton, Eildon, Alexandra, Marysville and Mansfield. The memory of his team mates stay with me today and I thank them; Max Blakeney, John Cameron, Ivan Fox, Eddie Jackson, Alan and Murray Parsons, Laurie Nicholas and Peter Tossol.

I began my association with the RDCA through Heathmont U/162’s in the 1964/65 season.

Not many would know that during the late 60’s and early 70’s the RDCA had the largest participation numbers of any competition in world cricket.

In those days it wasn’t too difficult to find a Victorian to represent the State; names like Lawry, Cowper, Connelly, Redpath, Stackpole, Sheahan and Walker were representing our country.

In the wings knocking on the door of Test selection were; Watson Josilin , Thomson, Robinson, Gott, Bedford, Rose, Hogg, Higgs Yallop, Hurst, Bright, Moss and Laughlin.

The strength of Victorian Cricket was at an all time high and with only a hand full of paid administrators at the helm... I ask you to take a minute to think about that simple fact!

It was a time when Melbourne District Cricket Clubs (the founders of the VIctorian Cricket Association) we’re discussing whether or not they should vote to include new teams into the competition. It was felt this would encourage further development of the game particularly from areas like the fast growing Eastern Suburbs (the RDCA). Something that was being pushed hard by the late great Clive Fairburn, a mate.

And so on the basis two new clubs were given the responsibility of growing within their regions; it all took place in season 1973-74.

In the RDCA’s case; many had hoped for brand new independent cricket club; formed in association with the RDCA, but unfortunately an existing club was promoted and in the opinion of many, it was a sad day for local cricket... looking back on it all now, only one of those two clubs survive and statistically it has never lived up to obligations.

Yes I am talking about Ringwood Cricket Club and at the time, local clubs were not happy and were of the opinion that Ringwood (The Rams) had a significant “conflict of interest”.

Yes! The Rams were running A and B grades and their own junior program in the RDCA and because of this local clubs felt they were at a disadvantage; especially cumulatively. After all who had done all the hard work developing the game in the area to allow their junior programs to be raided without compensation, acknowledgement or reward.

It was a good point and the animosity amongst local clubs, never really improved over the years and I leave it to you to figure out why?

From what I know, I will say this... it wasn’t a fault of the Rams players. Not once did they convey themselves as superior in the game and that is the way it remains.

I think this was a significant factor in the way the RDCA is today. And don’t get me wrong; it is only that I had visualised something more for the RDCA.

Unfortunately for the RDCA, Ringwood Cricket Club have not produced a single Test Player failing all expectations held by founding VCA members.

It should have been realised that just a Club participating in the Premier Competition of the State would never be appropriate... it would require pathways structures, between the associated competitive organisation, coaching opportunity and the idea of administrative advancement.

Looking back the RDCA should not only have been the breeding ground for future Test players but for coaches, better ideas and development programs. These should have been introduced to juniors development programs... to encourage player participation and reciprocation.

If only greater thought had been given to the RDCA it would be celebrating much much more this year... nevertheless congratulation on turning 100 and let’s hope the next 100 brings greater reward.

The Future of Coaching Pacemen

Posted on 10 September, 2019 at 19:30

To follow on from my Facebook Post Friday Sep 5th re: the Jofra Archer article in the Age newspaper.

If you were able to read the article the “Fast Man” is expected to change the face of fast bowling for years to come. And I for one hope he does, because Jofra has everything a fast bowler should have.

However, this will mean the re structuring of cricket development programs world wide along with a revision of the content provided to those it is supposed to benefit: Why?

“The Side On Bowling Action” is no longer encouraged in modern day coaching practices.

Having listened to all the arguments behind this decision, I’ve come to the conclusion coaching educators and instructors; have zero understanding of the nexus involved and there are few with the ability to provide an analysis of it.

If you can’t execute it... how could you possibly coach it?

This point very much proven in the Pierik article; where neither he nor any of the high performance experts from Cricket Australia, mentioned the very obvious fact that “Jofra Archer” bowls with a perfect side on bowler action.

So if the next generation are to take on the Archer style, Cricket Australia will be choking on what will be “failed theories” because they have totally disregarded the knowledge and traditions handed down by cricketers from generations past; in particular those held by the late Frank Tyson.

So where does this leave our Nations most credentialed pace bowling experts who were used to highlight the Pierik story line; because it immediately occurred to me that we have developed generations of fast bowling experts with no real understanding of the discipline. Perhaps they’ll be searching scrap heaps for Franks ideology’s in order to keep their jobs.

Obviously this knowledge has escaped Craig McDermott who seems to have blatantly plagiarised the work of a renowned fast bowling high performance coach from England, Stefan Jones, without giving him the slightest acknowledgement. (link blow).

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/JOFRA-BREAKDOWN-Bowling-coach…;

Coaches all over the World will need to familiarise themselves with the teachings of “Typhoon Tyson”. For it was this man, who introduce coaching qualifications standards to cricket in the State of Victoria (with the help of Peter Philpott). I for one completed the course and have been coaching ever since.

Those qualifications non longer recognised of course... disgraceful isn’t it!

Frank was one of the game’s great mentors; a man with exceptional cricket knowledge and most importantly; he possessed an understanding of fast bowling which was as valuable as his analytical ability (After all, Frank had analysed his own game in order to achieve at it’s highest level).

Frank’s philosophy of course, was to have a high side on bowling action and I vividly remember him; standing at the top of my bowling mark at State training; encouraging me to get the front arm and leg high. He would demonstrate the process encouraging me to release over a braced leading leg, to finish with the left arm high behind me as It would encourage the release and transference of weighted momentum. “That’s it, get that left leg through the crease too” he would call out, “It’ll carry you into the follow through”.

He’d reinforce to me every interconnecting component of the bowling nexus explaining that it has to be understood and that every process of its execution must embedded into the mind.., before you turn at the top of the mark for the next delivery.

The fact is... Administrators have the undeniable responsibility to provide proper development and investment to grassroots cricket and yet in truth, I don’t think they recognise that grassroots cricket is the children lured to the game (Cricket assets) wanting to emulate their idols. Not club cricket.

Furthermore, the carrot dangled to entice greater youth participation has been removed. The creation of elite Australian youth squads have surely discouraged many a young cricketer’s longevity in the game.

Late bloomers will see that Cricket Australia of Sate under age squad have been selected; and the message must be clear to all an sundry that if you miss selection any further opportunity has gone... what future is there for me they’ll say and go surfing!


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