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I spent the first three days at the test this year. It was great to be there on the first day with Tom, and with friends and colleagues on the subsequent days. As I type this, I have watched bits and pieces of the fourth day on TV, including on a large outdoor screen that is still erected in Marysville. I’ve also listened to the fantastic ABC radio commentary.

One of the stand out performers this year has been Shane Watson. As much as he frustrates me with his attitude and apparent lack of sportsmanship, he’s been great. The other stand out has been Pakistan’s Mohamad Aamer. At 17 years of age, he certainly looks a superstar of the future.

I need to have my usual two rants. It makes me feel better to get them out there, even though I know there’s not a snowflake’s hope in hell that anything will change.

  1. Whatever happened to the days when it was plain courtesy that you didn’t leave or go back to your seat during an over, thus walking in front of people as play is proceeding? It’s damn rude and incredibly frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when it happens in the Members’ area – these people should know better.
  2. Why the hell do the morons in Bay 13 and the general vicinity bother? ‘Nuf said.

Rant over. Normal service restored.

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I’ve blogged previously on Muthiah Muralitharan and how the world cricketing authorities have changed the rules to support the way he delivers the ball (I won’t say “bowl”, because he doesn’t). Hence, I was delighted to read this in today’s The Age:

“Writing in the Adelaide Review, off-spinning great Ashley Mallett said: ‘‘There was unanimous agreement that the off-spinner’s ‘other-one’, the doosra, should not be coached in Australia. I have never seen anyone actually bowl the doosra. It has to be a chuck. Until such time as the ICC declares that all manner of chucking is legal in the game of cricket, I refuse to coach the doosra. All at the spin summit agreed.’’

‘‘All’’ included leg-spinners Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill, Jim Higgs, Terry Jenner and Peter Philpott, offies Gavin Robertson and Mallett, as well as Australian chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch.”

Absolutely fantastic guys, well done.

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The Age is reporting this morning that Muthiah Muralitharan will be turning out for Victoria to play Twenty20 cricket next season. This is cause for frustration on a number of fronts.

  1. Whatever happened to the honour of representing one’s state or country? I would have dearly loved to have had the honour to represent my state (either Queensland, Victoria or Tasmania) and to play for Australia would have been just magnificent. The extent of my representative career was to play both football and cricket for the Gold Coast. Which native Victorian with the same aspirations is going to be kept out of our state side by this clown turning up to play?
  2. How much are we paying him? Twenty20 cricket is an irrelevance. How many great Twenty20 cricket matches can anyone remember? In contrast, it’s very easy to remember the great test matches and performances within those test matches. If the Indians want to run their Premier League and pay players absurd amounts of money for not doing a hell of a lot, that’s fine. Given the irrelevance of Twenty20 cricket in Australia, why wouldn’t the money we’re paying Muralitharan go towards developing juniors or up and coming players in the state?
  3. If you’re determined to pick a marquee player, why would you pick a bowler who can’t bat? So we’re going to pay him to turn up and bowl (sorry, I meant chuck) 24 balls each game? He can’t bat and he certainly can’t field. Indeed, some of the under-10s I used to coach could bat better than this bloke. Surely the best option is a strong batsman or allrounder.
  4. Now here’s the biggy. Muralitharan is a chucker. Always has been. Always will be. Darrell Hair quite correctly called him for an illegal delivery all those years ago. Every one of those wickets he’s taken has been done illegally. So what happened? They changed the rules, rules that had been in place for our great game since its inception. Rules that stated that the ball needed to be delivered with a straight arm. Why did they do it? Just another example of the way the cricket community continues to pander to the sub-continent. This is the same sub-continent that brings us teams who threaten to catch the next plane home when their players are correctly disciplined. It’s the same sub-continent that brings us terrorist attacks on visiting teams.

Cricket Victoria – this is a really dumb idea!

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