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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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