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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!

Old Trafford

Posted on 4 September, 2019 at 21:15

The 4th Test at Manchester’s Old Trafford gets underway tonight and it is a must win situation for England.

The toss and the weather will determine the result here... this time of year in Lancashire; the cricket seasons in the various leagues around Lanc’s are drawing to a close.

A drawn Test is not what England want either.

There are are so many variables that could effect this result and must fall into place for England to win, otherwise they’ll go to the Oval, desperate for victory on a venue the Australian’s enjoy and this might be the reason for resting Pattinson; because I can’t remember Starc taking a wicket at Kennington; whereas Siddle and Hazlewood have. Let’s hope Cummins can stay on his feet for the remainder of the series.

So what to do?

With the Oval coming up... I’d play Siddle this Test; on the basis he’ll hit consistent lines and having been rested at Headingley a reasonable gallop before heading to London might be needed. I think Sids needs work to maintain rhythm and confidence and we’ll sure need him working away in partnership for the 5th and final Test. So keep this in mind.

With Starc coming into the 12 and the unreliable Khawaja, making way for Smith. I can’t see the selectors going with 5 bowlers so Siddle or Starc must miss out.

England on the other hand have chosen a quick who bowls good lines and hits the deck. Overton can also handle a bat which makes him an obvious replacement for a jaded Woakes. In my mind, this gives us a pretty good idea as to the type of pitch we can expect at the home of Lancashire Cricket.

During the first two County Championship game’s early this season all but two wickets taken by Lanc’s fell to seamers. This gets back to importance of bowling sustained lines... something the Australian’s have struggled to achieve.

England with a five pronged attacked of Archer, Broad, Overton, Stokes and Leach in support... will attack with Archer using with his great lines and pace. This will allow them to work over the fragile Australian batting with patience whilst exerting the utmost pressure.

Add all this to the ever changing conditions the “surrounding moors” will provide and we will have one very intriguing Test.

Is Jofra corrrect?

Posted on 2 September, 2019 at 8:20

England's new fast bowling sensation Jofra Archer has played all of 2 Tests and I might add; on wickets that have done plenty. He won’t find these condition everywhere he plays but this hasn’t stopped him from sledging opponents.

The question I ask is; has he experienced enough of the game to be in a position to make such bold statements? In other words, has he earned his stripes? There is no longevity here... that’s for certain!

Most new arrivals to Test match cricket go about their task quietly and with humility... but not “Jofra” and a lack of cofidence will never be his downfall and he desn't hold back when making judgement either. He claims the Aussies panicked under pressure; in other words they choked and let's face it... it is what many have said, but is this true?

Anyway it has raised some questions in particular; about Australia’s ability to overcome what ended up being a very humiliating 3rd Test defeat at Headingley and do they have tthe ability to bounce back?

Let’s take a look at the pressure situations that Australia overcame during at Headingley: firstly Australia were on the back foot after a disappointing Ist innings and fought back to blast England out; no choking under pressure there. Then from a disastrous start to the snd innings, they fought back to post England a sizeable second innings task; no choking under pressure there either; And

Just when England had put themselves back into the contest, on a wicket that was flattening out... Australia rose to the challenge again.

When James Pattinson had taken the wicket of Broad; he had gone for a miserly 4 runs in three overs and I for one, was certain the Aussies had done enough to retained the Ashes and I headed for bed.

Our arch enermy were 9/286, had lost 2 wickets in three deliveries and with a run rate sitting at 2.48, tail end Charlie "Leach" would need to hold our boys out for more than 30 overs or more.

I can say I was dumbstruck to wake up to the news England had won and to learn of Stokes, had done a "Botham 1981". Just think of it... had this been Pakistan who'd lost from this position; the corruption Police and Media would have been all over them.... and calling it a scandal!

With this in mind; I went straight to the cricinfo “commentary page” to check the ball by ball coverage (a terrific way to get a clear perspective of the game, if you ignore the comments). I did some quick calculations and worked out that Stokes had faced just 45 deliveries, (7.3 overs); I realised that he had flayed our attack at just above 11 runs per over.

I dug deeper trying to find the reason; Pattinson I discovered, had gone on to complete his spell, 3 of which were maidens, costing hime 1 wicket for 8 runs. An overall performance of 25 overs 9 maidens 1/47.

Lyon, when I had turned in for the night, had bowled 35 overs, he went on to bowl another 4 overs; finishing with 39 overs for the inning. His last overs consisting of 17 dot balls and 7 scoring shots. This including 4 sixes (3 hit straight and the other an extraordinary reverse sweep over third man) It meant Cummins and Hazlewood had gone for 43 in only 3.4 overs. Hazlewood, in his defence, had already bowled 30 overs; he was spent!

Josh would have been feeling extremely sore having worked hard for his 4 wickets. Trying to get his big frame into gear again, was going to be a big ask. It's not surprising he went for 19 (4, 6, 6, 2 & 1).

Cummins on the other hand... had bowled considerably less, 22 overs and in his next spell of 2.4... conceded 24 runs, the fourth and last ball, being a wide short pitcher, that was smashed through covers for 4 to bring England a remarkable and memorable victory.

In all; from that 115.2 over mark, when I hit the sack, 8 sixes were hit. Of those runs need for victory, 44 were scored between mid wicket and fine leg... I guess we might say the lines were poor!  27 runs were scored straight with only 1 solitary single... this might suggest some baited deliveries (a term we use is shopping for wickets). it will not be the last time this idea fails and finally 22 runs were scored between 3rd man and cover... ok! you don't mind that.

In summing up; we can ask questions like; did we provided Stokes with too many opportunities to play power shots square of the wicket? Or  could it be said that we tried to buy wickets. It could; Or that Hazlewood had been bowled into the ground... but he deserved the opportunity to take another 5 for.

As for Pattinson and Cummins... were they under used? I am sure James would have been happy to bowl a few more, especially after taking his first wicket of the innings.

But the truth is... Australia have been playing a bowler short all series and given our batting display; as it turns out, we might as well have played the extra quick all along.

So is Archer correct?

No, Australia had already fought off a number of clutch situations during the game and put themselves in a match winning position. To say the boys choked is an insult to Stokes and Leach.

Archer is full of confidence and is showing a touch of arrogance that comes with inexperience; he will learn the hard way... perhaps as soon as Old Trafford Test. 


More on the "Concussion Rule"

Posted on 20 August, 2019 at 0:55

Yesterday I said the concussion rule cost England Victory at Lords because Australia were allowed a replacement batsmen. This prompted immediate response in defence of the rule and the severity of concussion.

 

Still, I am not convinced a replacement player should be allowed. Just as we accept an umpires decision when we are dismissed... why is it that we cannot accept a medical decision on the matter?

 

Concussion after all, is an injury and if sustain during the course of the match; I think it should be treated as such?

 

Concussion can occur many ways and not necessarily from a blow to the head (the helmet does not prevent it), it can come from a whiplash effect and only rest can repair the damage (just like many injuries). So if we are concerned for a players wellbeing, then the player needs to be taken from the game if the injury is deemed serious.

 

In the case of being concussed a players judgement, balance, reflexes memory and vision can be affected but it is an “injury” and as a result of this the player could be hit again. So what about the damage next time?

 

Any other blow to the head region may not need to be so severe from what I have read... this raises another issue. The player will be taking this injury into any future game of cricket... so should he continue to get replacement batsman?

Cricket's The Concussion Rule

Posted on 20 August, 2019 at 0:45

The “Concussion Rule” denied England a series levelling win at Lords last night.

 

In the course of any sporting event, injuries happen. Jim Anderson if you remember suffered a recurrence of a calf strain in the first innings of the Edgbaston Test; having completed just 4 overs he was unable to contribute for the remainder of the match. England played on with a substitute fielder but were a bowler down for the most of the Test Match.

 

On the other hand at Lords, Australia were allowed to replace Smith who during a enthralling battle with England’s fast man Jofra Archer misplayed a rising ball and was felled from a severe blow that hit Steve behind the left ear. Steve was forced to retired hurt even though he was wearing all the injury prevention equipment he could find (helmet, leg guards thigh pad gloves etc).

 

He then returns to crease moments later, but is unable to take the field for the second innings.

 

Now it is fair for England to play a bowler short, but it is for Australia to play a batsmen short because they were allowed to replace Smith with another top order replacement rather than suffer the inconvenience of playing on with one short; I find this rule absurd.

 

No athlete wants to suffer injury or loss of form particularly in a team sport environment. In almost all team sport scenarios; sitting on the sidelines are reserve players (replacements) ready to take the field to reduce workload or replace non contributors.

 

So why are we allowed to replace an injured batsman but an injured bowler?

 

In all circumstances a bowlers is just as important to a teams chances of victory as any batsmen.


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