The Rich Tapestry of Australian Cricket

As Australian cricket tries to progress to a new era, some interesting skeletons have emerged from the closet. Australia has recently cleaned out the selectors, the coach and the captain and things indeed are looking up.  And now, we have some dramas.  Will they rock the ship?  Probably not.  I think they are mere sideshows but I thought it might be fun to have a look.

The first thing I will draw your attention to is a dumbfounding article published on Cricinfo yesterday, in which Tim Neilson admits that the selectors were caught off guard by Suart MacGill “sudden” retirement. They had counted on getting two years out of Stuey after Warne’s retirement!  It’s true.  You can read about it here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/current/story/539017.html

This is my favourite bit.  Neilson is quoted extensively and it’s worth a read – it makes you realise that the Argus report was money well spent.  Neilson is quoted as saying:

“What really was the issue was we counted on MacGill to play through until the end of 2009 really, and when that changed, it put us under a bit of pressure from a spin bowling stocks point of view, we had young blokes who weren’t quite ready and maybe thrown in the deep end a bit early. At different times there were decisions made that it might actually hurt them more to keep going rather than just yank them out and let them play a bit more Shield cricket.”

When Warne retired in 2007, MacGill was already 36 years old, his body was falling apart and he was far more interested in wine and cheese than cricket.  How blind could the selectors be?  Dongles wrote this towards the end of 2007, beforeAustralia had played any further Test cricket:

From dongles.org

Then there is Macgilla. I think he looked great – almost as good as his TV star wife, as they recently hosted the show Saturday Kitchen. Wine and cheese, if you please. Stu was in his element and I seriously doubted he could ever be taken seriously on a cricket field again. It is true that on paper, Macgill has a wonderful record. It’s been said 1,000 times that if he was born at another time or place, he would have been up with the greats. The boy has talent almost to match his outrageous mouth but how much has he got left?

Even dongles could see that it wasn’t going to work out.  It typifies the thinking of those selectors – they saw what they wanted to see, what they hoped for but not cold, hard reality.  Some might call that faith.  Others might call it foolishness.

In another bit of recent history, a few days, Simon Katich ago dug his own grave and confirmed what we already suspected: Punching Clarke’s head in a few years back was not such a good idea and it was costing him now.

And now, Brett Lee, launching his creatively named autobiography, My Life, has spoken out in support of Katich.  He said, ”If you can’t get on with ‘Katto’, you must be an ordinary bloke. Period.”  Hedging his bets, he went on to say that Michael Clarke was also a ripper bloke and a good friend.  At any rate, I don’t expect we will see Brett Lee playing forAustralia again.

Thankfully, all of this stuff should be far removed from the guys who are actually playing and perhaps they can concentrate on the task at hand.

3 thoughts on “The Rich Tapestry of Australian Cricket

  1. Haha, andrewg. I take your point – being told that you are smarter than Neilson or Hilditch does not necessarily mean a great deal. And I know it can be annoying doing the “I told you so” thing but as I had it in writing, on the internet (so it must be true), I couldn’t resist. i think my “hypnosis piece” following Stu’s retirement was also a hoot.

  2. nice insights dongles. yes, your prescient views on macgill contrast nicely and compare favourably with mr nielson’s own views. of course i’m not saying that makes you particularly legendary but it does put you somewhere higher on the evolutionary ladder than mr nielson. maybe somewhere between amoebas and amphibians…

    the brett lee quote is comforting, and very consistent with what we’ve always seen from mr lee. warming in this age of match fixing and administrative narcissism.

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