Cricket compendium


Kiwi captain Dan Vettori has called on himself and the other senior players in the Black Caps to ‘stand up’ for the final Chappell-Hadlee series deciding match in Brisbane. Correctly identifying the failure of Vettori and Kyle Mills to take wickets is a good first step, but rallying calls aside, what moves are Vettori and co. doing to enhance their wicket-taking skills, and the positive strokeplay of nervy batsmen like Fulton, Cumming and Broom?

Perhaps the Kiwis could break into 2 mini-teams and play mini-matches against each other in training to recreate match tension? Penalties for losing players…

Barring a miraculous turn-around, surely it is time for selectors to admit Peter Fulton and Craig Cumming are not up to international play against better sides? They have had chances, and have been dropped and brought back, and failed again, against a weaker Oz side. Hard to see how they will then prosper in the upcoming Indian series.

And to show we haven’t forgotten, when Matthew Sinclair replaced the bypassed Jesse Ryder for 1 Windies game recently, because Ryder was too drunk to train a few days before, we were told by selectors that Sinclair was ‘next cab off the rank’ after he was dropped for the remaining match. Yet Ryder went home injured, and Hopkins was taken as injury cover for McCullum with Cumming filling in for Ryder, yet no Skippy… why is that? (noting Sinclair could cover for McCullum too, as he used to keep for CD quite tidily).



Hard to believe, but potty-mouthed Andrew ‘Roy’ Symonds has been upholding the purest of cricketing principles. His criticism of NSW picking Brendon McCullum for their IPL Twenty20 side may have been poorly expressed – describing the selection as “un-Australian” and McCullum as a “lump of shit” – but Symonds has touched on the essence of competitive sport. Total commitment to your team.

As soon as the ICC allowed McCullum to play for 2 competing teams, the spectre of match-fixing raises it’s dread visage. Commentators have avoided the issue that haunted the late 1990s, but the question has to be asked:

Would McCullum put in a lesser effort for one team in the hope of advancing his career, or the team that gave him the biggest payout?

Naturally, the same question applies to any player in a similar position. Not since the late South African skipper Hansie Cronje admitted taking bribes for altering his performance has cricket seen such an ugly potential for changing the face of the game.

If a team’s sponsors offer a bigger payout to players for a win, will conflicted player’s like McCullum back off their efforts for the team offering a smaller boost to their bank balance?

And who, or what process, decides which team McCullum plays for if both ‘his teams’ get to a playoff against each other?

The only solution is for a global ban by the ICC on players training or turning out for more than one team in the same competition. And to thank Andrew Symonds for his stark warning of the dangers posed by double-dipping players, even if it was expressed in the nature of a gruff ‘get in behind’.


2 Responses to “Cricket compendium”

  1. The Cricket Blog Says:

    I thought the Kiwis were in with a fair shout at Adelaide when Ponting departed.

    There has probably never been a better time for them to beat the Aussies in Australia.

  2. squaredrive Says:

    @ The Cricket Blog – Probably, though the Aussies have regained confidence and some batting form from their 2 wins on the trot. It is still true that Oz only have Clarke, Ponting and Mike Hussey as reliable batsmen though, so if NZ can dismiss those 3 reasonably cheaply at Brisbane, then they should win.

    NZ’s big problem is the instability that the out-of-form/out-of-depth batsmen like Cumming and Fulton bring – the more alented Kiwi batsmen are forced to bat more cautiously in case their dismissal triggers a quick collapse. We saw a bit of that in the Oz camp too, from Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke especially.

    Of course, no matter how low the total, NZ could win if Mills and Vettori start taking wickets again 🙂 No-one seems to have noticed that NZ picked a whole bunch of medium fast ‘pace’ bowlers who all (bar Mills) rely mostly on swing; at a dry Adelaide oval, they were never going to get swing, so were always likely to go for a lot of runs. Shame they never took Mark Gillespie (now injured I think), James Franklin or Chris Martin as backup to allow ‘horses for courses’ pace bowling selections.

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