Gideon Haigh SLAMS Justin Langer. Destroys Cricket Australia with logic and facts.

Richard Pryor

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Thought Haigh's article deserved a full thread devoted to it, since it asseverates what most of the board thinks about the selection woes of Australian cricket.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sp...r/news-story/db651760d3663915fd5fd046c68cdb73
One inference that can be drawn from Langer’s remarks is that the door has a secret knock which you need to know. For the problem appears to be not that nobody is making runs, but that it’s not the people the selectors want.

Wade is 31, Maxwell is 30, Burns is 29. They’ve been tried; they’ve, apparently, been found wanting. There’s already a specialist batsman in the Australian team, Shaun Marsh, with an average less than his age. The selectors seem to dream of a wunderkind, who would not only alleviate the pressures on the Australian team but also vindicate the cricket system — a new Ponting, a tyro Gilchrist, a kid Clarke.

One suspects that these are the “batters knocking on the door” to which Langer refers. Unfortunately this generation are actually not averaging 30 this season; they’re averaging 20.

That’s your Hilton Cartwright, Jake Weatherald, Sam Heazlett, Josh Philippe, Ben McDermott, Jason Sangha, Jack Edwards et al, into whom years of coaching and managerial resources have been ploughed, and for whom enormous futures have been prophesied, almost mandated.

Cricket Australia’s high-performance empire has hardly had a better day than in early November when teenagers Sangha and Edwards put on 180 for the sixth NSW wicket against Tasmania. But that memorable occasion aside, the pair have 286 first-class runs at 17.9 to show for this season.

For his club Manly-Warringah, meanwhile, tall right-hander Edwards has actually never made a century, from fifths to firsts; at first-grade level he has just two fifties.

Strip these from his first-grade record, in fact, and it contracts to 121 runs at 8.64. Yet in some eyes, Edwards will be closer to Australian selection than Wade, Maxwell and Burns.

It’s unkind to single Edwards out: he’s hardly picked himself. He may yet succeed; one hopes he does. But so far he’s been offered opportunities well in advance of his performances. What door has he banged on? Or has he simply tapped politely on an open one?

Anecdotally, too, there’s quite a bit of this going on, since the advent of a pathways system that encourages subjective analysis and rather deprecates mere performance. If you’ve an idle few hours, drill down into MyCricket and check out some pathways cricket averages. Some kids sure seem to get a great run. Just sayin’ …
 
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The kids who are sniffing around the State and Aus U19 teams miss huge chunks of the grade season.

And typically they are a bit flat (physically and mentally) when they return.

I'm not sure these tournaments do much for them to be honest.

A full season of 1st Grade cricket would be better.

Likewise the full winters identified players spend up in Brisbane at the COE. Wouldn't they be better working in their state system?

No doubt there are quality coaching resources at the COE. But I would prefer that CA mobilised this coaching staff - get them to travel around to the states, work with the coaches and players there. In the environment they are actually going to play in.

Rather than fly a bunch of kids up to Brisbane for the winter. Tinker with their game for a few months. Then send them back to their states where coaches may have different ideas about their game.
 

Richard Pryor

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Anything Greg Chappell touches in regards to selection turns to shit. I still remember the 2010/11 ashes very well, the fawning over youth, the butchering of the shield cricket seconds which destroyed state level depth. I’m sure the Indians remember him very well too.
For as great a batsman as he was the second he retired he's been spudding it up when it comes to cricket.
 

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"As national talent manager and national selector, Chappell is one of the most powerful figures in Australian cricket – just as he was four decades ago, while in the prime of his playing"
a complete confict of interest , CEO /and selector
No wonder to justify his Job , all the kids at the COE have been promoted above there ability
google his stuff, no one likes him
just said he is hanging around for another 5 yrs
 

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Greg Chappell is what happens when a relatively clever man gets given free reign to do whatever he likes with no oversight, and no-one to help shape his ideas into things that will practically work, or to point out that maybe his theory is wrong.
He learned at Bradman's knee in a weird sort of way.
 

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#11
The kids who are sniffing around the State and Aus U19 teams miss huge chunks of the grade season.

And typically they are a bit flat (physically and mentally) when they return.

I'm not sure these tournaments do much for them to be honest.

A full season of 1st Grade cricket would be better.

Likewise the full winters identified players spend up in Brisbane at the COE. Wouldn't they be better working in their state system?

No doubt there are quality coaching resources at the COE. But I would prefer that CA mobilised this coaching staff - get them to travel around to the states, work with the coaches and players there. In the environment they are actually going to play in.

Rather than fly a bunch of kids up to Brisbane for the winter. Tinker with their game for a few months. Then send them back to their states where coaches may have different ideas about their game.
I rate the Under 19's tournaments but they should simply be a footnote on a players path to international cricket. At the moment it feels like it's the most important tournament of a cricketers career until he reaches international cricket.

After Michael Clarke retired he did an interview on ABC and they asked what the most challenging period of his career was. He said without hesitation the step up from junior cricket to adult cricket. Interestingly, he didn't say the start of his first class career (where he initially didn't perform amazingly - averaging in the high 30's for the first few years of his career) or the start of his test career.
 

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#12
This doesn’t just happen at the top level. It happens everywhere. I don’t know how long it’s been going for but where I am it has been for a while.
Up until 6-7 years ago, junior representative teams had almost no impact on senior sides.
The best kids in Bathurst/Dubbo/Orange (the three main regional centres where I live) played for their towns first, their council second, and if they were good enough at that level, they’d play for Western which would encompass the entire region. Dominate there and get selected for country to play against Metro.
Meanwhile when available they’d play club cricket in whichever town they were based, usually first grade, or second grade depending on age.
None of those kids would get into the senior district side based on any of that.
A few of them would be given token first grade spots without having earned it through seconds but it usually came from having scored runs or taken wickets.
Then as they got older they would play for the town under 21s side.
Generally at any given time the under 21s team would have 2-3 players that were also in the senior town team.
That side for the first 7-8 years I was in Bathurst was picked by the captain first and foremost, with two selectors to help him.
This was pre-MyCricket for most of that time, so as a local journo I actually had hold of most of the stats and the captain would routinely request stat sheets.

If you played for that senior town side, you had earned it. Yours truly even got asked to play at one point during a season where I sat near the top of the charts for a while. No way was I in the best 11 in the town (for a guide, Bathurst has produced Copeland, and Jono and Blake Dean who both played Big Bash) but the fact was that I had done decently and it got a reward. As it was, I couldn’t play anyway.

Fast forward to now, the district side is made up of probably 5 guys who have unequivocally earned it. The rest of the spots are basically rotated between players who have made those council and Western sides as juniors and in some cases, were yet to even play first grade when they were picked to represent the town team at senior level. The flow on effect of ‘reputation and hype over substance’ has filtered right down to the grass roots levels and it has left a LOT of people fairly disillusioned with the game
 

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#13
This doesn’t just happen at the top level. It happens everywhere. I don’t know how long it’s been going for but where I am it has been for a while.
Up until 6-7 years ago, junior representative teams had almost no impact on senior sides.
The best kids in Bathurst/Dubbo/Orange (the three main regional centres where I live) played for their towns first, their council second, and if they were good enough at that level, they’d play for Western which would encompass the entire region. Dominate there and get selected for country to play against Metro.
Meanwhile when available they’d play club cricket in whichever town they were based, usually first grade, or second grade depending on age.
None of those kids would get into the senior district side based on any of that.
A few of them would be given token first grade spots without having earned it through seconds but it usually came from having scored runs or taken wickets.
Then as they got older they would play for the town under 21s side.
Generally at any given time the under 21s team would have 2-3 players that were also in the senior town team.
That side for the first 7-8 years I was in Bathurst was picked by the captain first and foremost, with two selectors to help him.
This was pre-MyCricket for most of that time, so as a local journo I actually had hold of most of the stats and the captain would routinely request stat sheets.

If you played for that senior town side, you had earned it. Yours truly even got asked to play at one point during a season where I sat near the top of the charts for a while. No way was I in the best 11 in the town (for a guide, Bathurst has produced Copeland, and Jono and Blake Dean who both played Big Bash) but the fact was that I had done decently and it got a reward. As it was, I couldn’t play anyway.

Fast forward to now, the district side is made up of probably 5 guys who have unequivocally earned it. The rest of the spots are basically rotated between players who have made those council and Western sides as juniors and in some cases, were yet to even play first grade when they were picked to represent the town team at senior level. The flow on effect of ‘reputation and hype over substance’ has filtered right down to the grass roots levels and it has left a LOT of people fairly disillusioned with the game
There is an argument for the accelerated promotion of some cricketers, but it's reached some questionable levels and has done for some time now.

Jack Edwards (mentioned in the article in the OP) is a good example. Whilst he looks a tremendous talent, every single cricketer to take the park would have killed to get a crack at first class cricket on the back of less than 200 first grade runs and without a century at any adult grade.
 

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#14
There is an argument for the accelerated promotion of some cricketers, but it's reached some questionable levels and has done for some time now.

Jack Edwards (mentioned in the article in the OP) is a good example. Whilst he looks a tremendous talent, every single cricketer to take the park would have killed to get a crack at first class cricket on the back of less than 200 first grade runs and without a century at any adult grade.
There is no argument for accelerated pathways, none at all. Having been a junior in some of those systems and later a coach, the affect it has on your psyche is almost always negative, ultimately affecting your skills.

For every kid that's a success, it burns anywhere from dozens to potentially hundreds. The counter argument is that it strengthens grass roots when they return to a lower level, but it doesn't. They become captains, coaches or administrators and the same problems are perpetuated and repeated.

This isn't a cricket phenomenon, it has happened with every major sport, cricket is just so far behind.

Wanna git gud as a kid? Play against adults as early as possible.
 

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This doesn’t just happen at the top level. It happens everywhere. I don’t know how long it’s been going for but where I am it has been for a while.
Up until 6-7 years ago, junior representative teams had almost no impact on senior sides.
The best kids in Bathurst/Dubbo/Orange (the three main regional centres where I live) played for their towns first, their council second, and if they were good enough at that level, they’d play for Western which would encompass the entire region. Dominate there and get selected for country to play against Metro.
Meanwhile when available they’d play club cricket in whichever town they were based, usually first grade, or second grade depending on age.
None of those kids would get into the senior district side based on any of that.
A few of them would be given token first grade spots without having earned it through seconds but it usually came from having scored runs or taken wickets.
Then as they got older they would play for the town under 21s side.
Generally at any given time the under 21s team would have 2-3 players that were also in the senior town team.
That side for the first 7-8 years I was in Bathurst was picked by the captain first and foremost, with two selectors to help him.
This was pre-MyCricket for most of that time, so as a local journo I actually had hold of most of the stats and the captain would routinely request stat sheets.

If you played for that senior town side, you had earned it. Yours truly even got asked to play at one point during a season where I sat near the top of the charts for a while. No way was I in the best 11 in the town (for a guide, Bathurst has produced Copeland, and Jono and Blake Dean who both played Big Bash) but the fact was that I had done decently and it got a reward. As it was, I couldn’t play anyway.

Fast forward to now, the district side is made up of probably 5 guys who have unequivocally earned it. The rest of the spots are basically rotated between players who have made those council and Western sides as juniors and in some cases, were yet to even play first grade when they were picked to represent the town team at senior level. The flow on effect of ‘reputation and hype over substance’ has filtered right down to the grass roots levels and it has left a LOT of people fairly disillusioned with the game
There is something enormously prescient and simultaneously depressing about reading this.
 

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#22
Is this the same Gideon Haigh that genuinely considered Jake Weatherald an Ashes touring option with Head in front of Maxwell as back up batsman at no.5? Apparently his 'BBL form had sharpened up his technique'.

Seriously this is what is wrong with cricket and how it is perceived. BBL is not even comparable to Test Cricket, and anyone that thinks you can transfer successfully from BBL to Test Cricket does not know a single thing about the game.
 

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#23
Great article. Nail, meet hammer.

The issues aren't just with batting, it's with bowling too. All round depth in the state leagues have suffered over the last 10 years. Pathway system is a crock of shit, and the same with bbl splitting the shield season up.
imho fast bowling is 90% natural talent, 10% technique to stop getting injured. Our fast bowling stocks are pretty good because as Shaun Tait would say - you can either bowl quick or you can't. We will always have decent bowling stocks imho.

Spinners might be slightly different but the best spinner in history only had one coach who wasn't even on the CA payroll.
 

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#24
imho fast bowling is 90% natural talent, 10% technique to stop getting injured. Our fast bowling stocks are pretty good because as Shaun Tait would say - you can either bowl quick or you can't. We will always have decent bowling stocks imho.

Spinners might be slightly different but the best spinner in history only had one coach who wasn't even on the CA payroll.
Problem is that with increased focus on junior T20 the development of bowlers is restricted too. The "give everyone a go" issue means everyone bar the keeper gets 2 overs each, and half the kids dont get a bat.

My son (now 20) is a bowler. Nothing special, he went through the district junior rep program up to Under 16's but mostly in the 2nd XI. As more T20 rolled out he enjoyed his junior cricket less and less - so at 14 or 15 he started playing mens afternoon astroturf cricket where at least he would get an opening spell of 5 or 6 overs and then come back later and never went back to juniors.
 

PhatBoy

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#25
imho fast bowling is 90% natural talent, 10% technique to stop getting injured. Our fast bowling stocks are pretty good because as Shaun Tait would say - you can either bowl quick or you can't. We will always have decent bowling stocks imho.

Spinners might be slightly different but the best spinner in history only had one coach who wasn't even on the CA payroll.
No doubting natural talent goes a long way but then you watch someone like Anderson or Boult who, while clearly very talented in their own right, are absolutely masterful in the way they set up a batsman, and it gives you an appreciation for how much work goes into a ) out thinking batsmen, and b) being able to master such command of where you want the ball to go, and it makes you realise that pure talent can only get you so far. Philander perhaps even more so than the two mentioned. While his build and pace mean his has less impact on dead tracks, watching him go to work on a pitch that offers a bit, or in swinging conditions, is just like watching a surgeon.
 
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