The Australian selectors aren’t paying due regard to the long term future of the Australian One Day International team with its choice of Cameron White to replace Chris Lynn in the squad for the coming matches against England. White is 34 and whilst he has had a reasonable start to the Sheffield Shield and Big Bash seasons, one wonders what caused a change of heart by Australian Chairman of Selectors, Trevor Hohns. You may recollect Hohns’ comments twelve months ago after White had criticised the selection of Sam Heazlett in the Australian ODI squad. He said “Cameron has had plenty of opportunities … he has had plenty of opportunities in the past and it’s probably fair to say performed okay without being earth shattering”. Not the most flattering of opinions and a fair put down for a pro sportman.
Whether Hohns believes White’s form has improved to the extent to be now included in the squad or White has served his penance for the criticism of the selectors, those selectors feel White is better than anything Glenn Maxwell can produce at this stage of his career. For whatever reason there appears to be a rift between Maxwell, the selectors and Australian captain Steve Smith. One only needs to look at Smith’s recent comments about Maxwell to gain a hint on where the problem might lie. Smith suggested Maxwell should change his training practices. If the skipper makes those observations it a safe bet it will be a while before Maxwell is considered for further ODI duty.
Maxwell has the flair and more importantly, the ability to play the one day game at the highest level and at 29 represents more of the future for Australian cricket than White does at 34. Whatever the reason for the disconnect between Maxwell and the Australian cricket hierarchy, it is up to the selectors and the skipper to resolve it so that the best possible team can be put together for the 2019 World Cup and in my opinion, Maxwell is in that side!
It is no surprise that English cricket captain, Joe Root was admitted to hospital last night suffering the effects of severe dehydration. Root spent nearly all day on the field yesterday during the fifth test at the SCG. He was so badly affected that he did not resume batting this morning and was replaced at the crease by Moeen Ali. What is surprising was that other English or Australian players didn’t end the day in hospital as well.
Sydney’s weather was described as a ‘scorcher’ yesterday, with the temperature in Penrith at 3.00pm hitting 47.3C degrees – the highest temperature recorded since 1939. The temperature at the SCG was not far behind at 43C but a ‘heat stress tracker’ at the ground showed a reading of 57.6C on the oval.
It is unfathomable to me that Cricket Australia would send the players out to play in such heat and allow them to remain on the field all day. This is an occupational health and safety issue that cannot be ignored. The Australian Open tennis tournament suspends play when the temperature reaches 40C, many enterprise bargaining agreements allow for employees to cease work when the temperature reaches 35C and I am aware of one football league that does not permit training or matches to be played where the temperature exceeds 30C.
The question remains why cricketers are treated differently to workers and other sporting participants? It seems ironic that it is quite permissible for cricketers to leave the field when it rains but don’t have the same latitude when it gets too hot. With the hospitalisation of an elite cricketer, Cricket Australia needs to take action to impose a temperature limit on all matches under its control.
Well we are back in the swing of things for the new year and the biggest story in sport this week had nothing to do with the actual sport, but the comments by Chris Gayle to Mel McLaughlin in an interview after his innings in the Big Bash. I did not see the interview live, but heard it replayed the following day. My initial thought was that it could have been a set up given Gayle’s playboy image, but was assured that McLaughlin was not comfortable with it. There is no excuse for Gayle, what he did was wrong and it warranted a fine and he won’t be asked back so he has cooked his own goose, but did it warrant the analysis that it got? The ABC ran a story on the 7.30 Report and it was the hot topic on talk back radio. No one died and no one was physically hurt or threatened and whilst I am sure Mel McLaughlin didn’t appreciate the comments or the attention the incident created, let’s keep it in perspective. Obviously a slow news day.
This was not unlike the Dustin Martin, chopstick incident where the media pushed the story, whilst the woman who was threatened, did not want to make too big a deal of it. Having said that, the Martin incident would appear to be a lot worse than what Chris Gayle said. On the scale of transgressions, I think being physically threatened is worse than inappropriate language.
In the meantime, the Big Bash has gone from strength to strength and I doubt that Cricket Australia will get better crowds for the ODI series against India. 80,000 at the MCG for a domestic 20/20 game is amazing and the scheduling is perfect for night time viewing. I don’t have a team, I like both the Melbourne teams with a leaning towards the Renegades, but that could be a reaction against the Eddie Maguire aligned Stars.
I went to the soccer at Skilled Stadium last night and there was another good crowd in attendance. I think there is a bit of a push to have an A-League or a Big Bash team based in Geelong. I believe there is enough interest down here, but I am not sure if there would be enough corporate support. That being said there seems to be enough crowd support to warrant more A-League fixtures and Big Bash games once Skilled Stadium has been upgraded.
Have a great weekend!
The much vaunted ‘international’ cricket season has commenced and if Friday night’s crowd of around 21,000 at the MCG is anything to go by, the bells are tolling for the health of the game as a spectator sport. The bash and crash form of the game usually draws big crowds, especially at Melbourne’s sports Mecca, but not this time!
I have read a number of excuses including that Melbourne sports mad public are tired of the non-stop grind of the annual sports calendar. This may be part of the cause but fails to acknowledge the gradual fall off in interest in the grass roots form of the game. I include Sheffield Shield in this.
Showing my age here, I can recollect watching a Sheffield Shield final involving Victoria at the MCG against Western Australia in 1980 where there were at least 50,000 people in attendance. What would the cricketing hierarchy give for crowds like that in today’s four day domestic fixtures? Regrettably, the last time I was at the MCG to see a shield game circa 2007, there were 15 people present on a Saturday afternoon.
The fortunes of the Australian side haven’t assisted as their recent history in Test matches and the limited form of the game haven’t set the world on fire. Spectators like winners and they fall off very quickly when the form line heads south.
By failing to capture the imagination of the sporting public in the domestic form of the game, Cricket Australia hasn’t generated sufficient interest in the game itself and it would appear only a matter of time until cricket becomes even more marginalised and follows the NBL onto the sporting scrap heap!
The Professor and the Gelding talk about worrying signs for Australian cricket – the Professor thinks cricket is in the same boat as swimming and the Melbourne Football Club – all have problems at the top of the tree. The Gelding comments on Michael Clarke’s captaincy 1606 – cricket The Professor and the Gelding also talk about what assistance the AFL should provide to the Melbourne Football Club 1606 – melbournefc
26 February 2012 236.1 – Daniel emulated Sportzfan Stan’s usual start to the show by launching his own rants, starting with Stan himself. Daniel suggested to the Professor that Stan needed to be sent to Florida if he continues to wear cardigans on 36C days. He quickly moved on to Ricky Ponting and whether he retired or was sacked by Cricket Australia. He discussed NFL and Troy Aikman’s comment that American football will not be the most popular sport in America in 10-15 years due to parents’ perceptions towards contact sports and Daniel posed the same question about the AFL. Dan Butterly returned to the show to deliver his U.S. report and rehashed the lack lustre 2012 Super Bowl. He thought the commercials were the highlight rather than the game itself and that the Peyton Manning saga overshadowed the Giants/Patriots matchup. Dan also considered questions posed by Daniel regarding Eli Manning versus Peyton Manning. With March Madness due to start, Dan’s pick for the NCAA Final Four was, Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas and North Carolina. He also predicted some upsets caused during the tournament. Finally he looked at ‘Linsanity’ that has taken over not only New York but also the NBA. The Gelding reported on the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield and the Sydney Colt’s results. Sportzfan Stan’s rant du jour was the usage of drugs in sports and the bad image caused by abusers. The panel expressed their confusion on the penalties outlined by the AFL and the lack of criminal charges for those found offending.