"Willow Blue" its Australian for English Willow 


Doggy's Blog

The Cupboard is Bare

Posted on 16 June, 2019 at 20:15

First of all I don't get paid to comment and I certainly do not rely on Cricket Australia (CA) or any organization associated to them for income... so I am not affraid to say it as I see it... therefore you wont see me sucking up for favour as we see in the media. The only thing I get from Cricket is my 200 club membership. It was something I earned as a player and coach and I am proud of that.

I also wish every Australian Cricketer success and don't be mistaken... I want our players to do well, now and into the future. But most importantly I want cricket in Australia to do well and in my opinion this can only happen if the game is governed by cricketers elected by cricketers with experience in the game... those who work with our great volunteers. 


Just look at the situation the Australian Selectors confronted recently... it seems they opened the door of the High Performance Managers office at CA, walked to his cupboard marked "Players ready for Test Cricket" and found it almost bare... for if we are true to ourselves, how else can we describe the 15 man squad to play two Tests against Pakistan in the U.A.E. in November.


There is no doubt in my mind that our high performance strategies and development pathways are failing... we have nothing at all to fall back on as we have found with Warner and Smith disqualified. Our Australian Test Cricket Team named by Chairman of Selectors Trevor Hohns has five uncapped players and only two batsmen averaging better than 40. Usman Khawaja (Averaging 42) has 6 Test centuries and Captain Tim Payne (40.82) who has not yet reached triple figures at that level


They find themselves relying so heavily on Shaun Marsh (37.60) with 9 Test hundreds and those still trying to cement places... Matthew Renshaw (33.47) who still clingings to a maiden Test century was selected in favour of two time century maker Peter Handscomb. Next best and this really does put Australian Cricket Standards into perspective... statistically Ashton Agar (32.50) who dramatically fell short of a début century at Nottingham four years ago, slots in above two time century maker Mitch Marsh (27.85).


There is no doubt that Mitch is the big improver... lets hope he'll be a player of the future and can find someone to bat with and that all the batting stars "Align" so that we are able to out play Pakistan at the crease because our reinforcements... Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschange and Travis Head, average less than 40 in first class cricket and if we are truly honest... this means that they barely qualify for State selection.


What has happened to the game that was left for us cricketers to nurture. Somehow the responsibility we "Cricketers" inherieted... vanished? 


How is it that we now Selectors  and Coaches sending a messages to a player that does not apply to others... for those chosen above Glen Maxwell have not been as successful as he. Do you know Maxwell averages above 40 in First Class Cricket compared to those selected above him and has scored as many hundreds with less opportunities in some instances.


Ask yourself this question... Does it seem the game is scraping the bottom of the barrel?


With Hazlewood, Patterson and Cummins injured, it seems like Treveor Hohns resorted to a lucky dip... he dragged out Brendan Doggett from Queensland who has taken 32 wickets in 9 games of First Class Cricket and team mate Michael Neser who at least has captured 98 First Class Cricket scalps... is that as good as it gets?


The saving grace is the 699 Test wickets Starc Siddle and Lyon share between them.


At least that is something to work with and I give them credit for that given the situation.. it will allow Starc to be used in short spells, Siddle to do the grunt work... which provides Payne the opportunity to interchange Siddle and Marsh with Lyon while the ball is holding shape. Then to mix it up with the left arm orthodox of either Holland or Argar... both with Test experience. This could work but as I said... all the cricketing stars in the southern hemisphere will have to align for Australia to finish ahead of Pakistan.


To find our cricket in this situation...  does not say alot about the state of Australian Cricket under CA governance or its cast of thousands which include a High Performance Manager, Cricket Development Heads and its "Centre of Excellence" for that matter. They have all taken credit for past glory.


The game has disintegrated under current Policies and it does not matter how many coaching level certificates are certified... if players are not coming through the system with proper technique or thought process, all that can be done is "Patch up Coaching".


Game Development has been on the wrong path for years... I doubt they could recognize "Grass Roots Cricket" if they fell over it and sadly this reflects badly on good coaching efforts around the country.

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