Hyperbole aside, might Australian cricket be in trouble due to societal factors?

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Financially the sport will be fine: kids and women love the Big Bash and it will continue to grow.

But in terms of player quality, especially when it comes to first-class cricket, here are some problems I see getting worse:

1) Obesity. This is a fat country and only getting fatter.

Australia is not alone in this regard but we seem to be near the front of the pack.

2) Urbanisation. Our cities are getting larger and denser, while backyard sizes are getting smaller.

Where do kids learn that competitive spirit? Once upon a time it was in backyards. In Australia, the major cities are the population bases, and within those cities, new homes are built without backyards, while existing homes are being destroyed and the land sub-divided to build newer, shittier 'houses', with even smaller backyards.

3) Helicopter parenting. The 'stranger danger' thing is now deeply rooted in the Australian psyche.

When backyards are small, kids can still play on the street. Well, they used to. We don't see kids outside much these days. There are several reasons for this and I contend that one of them is that parents not allowing their kids to go and play with neighbours, whereas not long ago it was common for parents to actively encourage their children to go and find other kids to play with.

4) Mind-warping drugs. Young boys are being prescribed psychiatric drugs like nobodies business.

Statistics on this are surprisingly hard to find, but based on anecdotal observation, it seems to me that Australian boys must be the most doped-up in the world (apart from the Yanks). Anybody who thinks this has no effect on the long-term outcomes for a child are woefully naive.

It seems to me that Australia is one of the world leaders in societal trends which are deleterious to producing talented athletes and especially talented cricketers, particularly in comparison to other cricket-playing nations.

Perhaps I am overreacting and allowing the shiteness of one generation of Aussie cricketers to cloud my view. But take away Steve Smith and before him Michael Clarke and this country's Test batting has been woeful for a decade, with no sign of improvement on the horizon. If the factors I am pointing to are not somehow responsible for it, then what is?

And don't say video games or technology: those are problematic in every country now, even in 'poorer' nations. From what I can tell, Australia is no worse in this regard. Kids around the world are hooked on video games and smartphones. The factors I have pointed to, I am suggesting that Australia is worse. Obesity, urbanisation, helicopter parenting, doping up kids: I am suggesting that these are worse in Australia than other cricket-playing nations.

I would love to be wrong. Please tell me I am.
 

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Just on the mind-warping drugs thing, according to this report, about 10% of Australian boys now have ADHD.

Yep, one in ten boys is being diagnosed as having a mental disorder. we can infer that a similar number are being medicated.

Was it that bad when you were in school? No. It is getting worse, at a rapid rate.
 

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#5
We're in trouble because other sides have increased their professionalism and caught up. Two tours ago, India came here with a side packed with overweight, ageing batsmen, poor fielders and a popgun attack. Now look at them.

Same reason our olympic swimming team hasn't been as successful of late.

In contrast, we seem to be going great guns in women's sport, which would be largely due to how it is funded (compared to other countries).
 
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goes on to make a number of incredibly hyperbolic statements about the Australian cricket team, Australian society and the world in its entirety
What in my post do you disagree with? Be specific.

A statement is not 'hyperbolic' merely because it hurts your feelings.

When I say that Australia is full of fatties, or that backyards are getting smaller, or that more young boys are being doped up at school, I am not exaggerating.
 

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#7
Financially the sport will be fine: kids and women love the Big Bash and it will continue to grow.

But in terms of player quality, especially when it comes to first-class cricket, here are some problems I see getting worse:

1) Obesity. This is a fat country and only getting fatter.

Australia is not alone in this regard but we seem to be near the front of the pack.

2) Urbanisation. Our cities are getting larger and denser, while backyard sizes are getting smaller.

Where do kids learn that competitive spirit? Once upon a time it was in backyards. In Australia, the major cities are the population bases, and within those cities, new homes are built without backyards, while existing homes are being destroyed and the land sub-divided to build newer, shittier 'houses', with even smaller backyards.

3) Helicopter parenting. The 'stranger danger' thing is now deeply rooted in the Australian psyche.

When backyards are small, kids can still play on the street. Well, they used to. We don't see kids outside much these days. There are several reasons for this and I contend that one of them is that parents not allowing their kids to go and play with neighbours, whereas not long ago it was common for parents to actively encourage their children to go and find other kids to play with.

4) Mind-warping drugs. Young boys are being prescribed psychiatric drugs like nobodies business.

Statistics on this are surprisingly hard to find, but based on anecdotal observation, it seems to me that Australian boys must be the most doped-up in the world (apart from the Yanks). Anybody who thinks this has no effect on the long-term outcomes for a child are woefully naive.

It seems to me that Australia is one of the world leaders in societal trends which are deleterious to producing talented athletes and especially talented cricketers, particularly in comparison to other cricket-playing nations.

Perhaps I am overreacting and allowing the shiteness of one generation of Aussie cricketers to cloud my view. But take away Steve Smith and before him Michael Clarke and this country's Test batting has been woeful for a decade, with no sign of improvement on the horizon. If the factors I am pointing to are not somehow responsible for it, then what is?

And don't say video games or technology: those are problematic in every country now, even in 'poorer' nations. From what I can tell, Australia is no worse in this regard. Kids around the world are hooked on video games and smartphones. The factors I have pointed to, I am suggesting that Australia is worse. Obesity, urbanisation, helicopter parenting, doping up kids: I am suggesting that these are worse in Australia than other cricket-playing nations.

I would love to be wrong. Please tell me I am.
Obesity- not sure that we r worse in this area than other countries. Probably got a bit to do with kids playing video games all day and diet of course

Urbanisation - certainly true in the cities although country areas have traditionally provided a high percentage of our test cricketers -

Parenting - might be true to an extent. Definitely don’t c kids playing cricket in backyards, parks, streets, schoolyards etc. like when I was a kid.

Drugs- absolutely spot on here. What a farce that 10percent of kids have been diagnosed with ADHD. Psychiatry/counselling is one of the biggest scams going around but nearly everyone seems to have fallen for it.

The other factors that I would include are
- increase in drug use
- in Victoria even local AFL teams start training in November which sees a lot of talented sportsmen give up cricket.
- popularity of basketball is another killer for junior cricket
 
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These factors would influence AFL and the Rugbies far more and far sooner than Cricket so I think they can be discounted.
AFL is not played internationally so we have no way of comparing our crop of players against other nations.

As far as I am aware, Australia's Rugby team is also shithouse.

That said, I think the factors I have mentioned would affect cricketers more than Rugby players.

Reason being that cricket is a supremely mental game. All professional sport is mental, but cricket especially so.

So the doping up of kids, and the loss of the traditional developmental stomping ground (backyards), is more deleterious to cricket than rugby.

Even obesity is not so much of a problem for rugby. Based on what I have seen, fat kids seem to do well on junior rugby teams, due simply to weight.

How many fat kids can handle standing around in the sun all day?
 
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I think the elite young athletes are choosing Australian Rules Football due to the number of positions available.
I think this is probably a large factor as well. Good point.

How many kids get drafted to the AFL each year? 100?

How many kids get signed up to a state cricket side or a BBL franchise?

I honestly do not know but off the top of my head I would guess it would be less than half of the AFL spots.
 

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#11
I think this is probably a large factor as well. Good point.

How many kids get drafted to the AFL each year? 100?

How many kids get signed up to a state cricket side or a BBL franchise?

I honestly do not know but off the top of my head I would guess it would be less than half of the AFL spots.
We were very lucky to keep the Marsh brothers, as they were just as talented at football.
 

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#12
Evolving technology.

Ever since the introduction of "social media" or even "gaming", the lack of involvement in physical activities largely sports in schools or communities as seen a drop imo. Schools seem to not focus on sports as much now either, plus parents having second thoughts about the amount of money even needed to enroll their kids, a large amount is just for equipments, clothing, and fees.
 

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Evolving technology.

Ever since the introduction of "social media" or even "gaming", the lack of involvement in physical activities largely sports in schools or communities as seen a drop imo. Schools seem to not focus on sports as much now either, plus parents having second thoughts about the amount of money even needed to enroll their kids, a large amount is just for equipments, clothing, and fees.
I actually do think gaming is a big one. Even just about eight years ago when I was in high school the only way to get that sense of camaraderie, testing yourself and collaborative spirit you get from sport was to play actual sport (eg; I'm sure everyone has a good memory of the tubby/short/skinny kid getting to kick a goal or make a try or something during school sports and everyone going nuts).

Now kids can get that from the comfort of their own home with FPS games. I did have them the whole time I was growing up, but they were extremely limited compared to what they have now in terms of infrastructure or mainstream acceptance of obsessing over it.
 
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On your point on obesity I completely agree. Where trying to promote healthy living by encouraging young kids to exercise, yet every second ad this summer has been a KFC ad, not to mention the big bash is sponsored by KFC.

Another point to mention is that with the increased presence of t20, our attention span has become shorter and we expect either a wicket or a boundary every over. Test cricket is a game of patience, and future bowlers are going to find it hard to persist in sessions where their hasnt been a wicket in hours .


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Don't forget that we have also turned a traditionally hard country into a generation of mummies boys.

You've got these kids now who are told every day they are the best at everything, they are held back in junior sports from starring because it will hurt the feelings of the kids who suck. Everyone gets a go, not just the good ones.
Coaches aren't allowed to go hard on them anymore because if they do they'll cry and complain on Twitter and get the coach sacked.

CA has got exactly what it wanted, by watering down all the competitions beginning at the grass roots the top level has suffered. This won't change for generations especially when a young cricketer can clear his front leg, but 40 from 22 and become a T20 gun for hire around the world.
 

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It's why CA were the first to go really hard at building a "W" competition.

They could see their market shrinking and needed to hit up women to be able to maintain attendances, tv ratings, sponsorship money etc for the men's game.

White people aren't having kids either. The population increase is driven from immigration from Asia and while we have a big Indian community that are in to cricket, anyone from China or South East Asia couldn't give a crap about the game.

So from a business sense targeting women helps but from a talent pool perspective for the men's game they are completely screwed.
 

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What in my post do you disagree with? Be specific.

A statement is not 'hyperbolic' merely because it hurts your feelings.

When I say that Australia is full of fatties, or that backyards are getting smaller, or that more young boys are being doped up at school, I am not exaggerating.
Well for one you have merely made hyperbolic statements that these things have lead to a worse cricket team. It's incredible hyperbole to look at a weak correlation and imply long term causation.

You could say that an increased trend towards renewable energy is hurting our young cricketers. #windfarmsharmkids
 

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#18
The threat of schools and sporting clubs being sued when children get injured is a very serious problem.

Have seen it affect sporting clubs locally, ie the amount of training and certification club personnel and administration are required to have and the cost of the insurance clubs are required to have, and think it will only cause less people willing to take on the responsibility of junior sport in the future.

The sports clubs I have seen are extremely naive regarding this and most operate operate on the basis that it won't happen here.
 

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Don't forget that we have also turned a traditionally hard country into a generation of mummies boys.

You've got these kids now who are told every day they are the best at everything, they are held back in junior sports from starring because it will hurt the feelings of the kids who suck. Everyone gets a go, not just the good ones.
Coaches aren't allowed to go hard on them anymore because if they do they'll cry and complain on Twitter and get the coach sacked.

CA has got exactly what it wanted, by watering down all the competitions beginning at the grass roots the top level has suffered. This won't change for generations especially when a young cricketer can clear his front leg, but 40 from 22 and become a T20 gun for hire around the world.
Ridiculous. Junior sport has had an emphasis on equal opportunity and development for decades. Intelligent people are aware that just because kid A is better than kid B at 10 years of age, that does not mean kid B is always going to suck and should just be forgotten about. It's like people with your opinions haven't ever heard of 1) coaching 2) training or 3) puberty.

Kids in junior sports that excel are held back because pushing them too hard too early can easily result in burnout. Look at swimming as a classical example.
 

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Ridiculous. Junior sport has had an emphasis on equal opportunity and development for decades. Intelligent people are aware that just because kid A is better than kid B at 10 years of age, that does not mean kid B is always going to suck and should just be forgotten about. It's like people with your opinions haven't ever heard of 1) coaching 2) training or 3) puberty.

Kids in junior sports that excel are held back because pushing them too hard too early can easily result in burnout. Look at swimming as a classical example.
Disagree with this

They were presenting medals to the primary school kids who played at the national primary school championships at the MCG during the lunch break at the test.

Most sports now have talent ID and pathway programs which attempt to pick out the kids with best ability and give them better coaching and support.

There is a bureaucracy in place to run these programs and they become self justifying Eg " what will happen if we don't encourage the best kids"

What happens to ones that don't make the squads ?

The fallacy in these programs is, as you say, puberty, burnout and actual desire to play.
 

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#21
Don't forget that we have also turned a traditionally hard country into a generation of mummies boys.

You've got these kids now who are told every day they are the best at everything, they are held back in junior sports from starring because it will hurt the feelings of the kids who suck. Everyone gets a go, not just the good ones.
Coaches aren't allowed to go hard on them anymore because if they do they'll cry and complain on Twitter and get the coach sacked.
I remember playing trial cricket matches at primary school (so that would be around 1970) when all batsmen were forced to retire at 15. So everyone got a go, not just the good ones.
 
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#22
It didn’t hurt my feelings - your list is ridiculous and you are exagerrating.

Look at T20, pathways, scheduling and the wickets young players are learning to bat on. Or perhaps the fact that you know, a country with a billion people to choose from has finally got its coaching, sports science and pathways up to scratch with ours.

All the other cultural/social phenomena you list aren’t either a) unique to Australia or b) relate to the Australian cricket team.
 
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It didn’t hurt my feelings - your list is ridiculous and you are exagerrating.

Look at T20, pathways, scheduling and the wickets young players are learning to bat on. Or perhaps the fact that you know, a country with a billion people to choose from has finally got its coaching, sports science and pathways up to scratch with ours.

All the other cultural/social phenomena you list aren’t either a) unique to Australia or b) relate to the Australian cricket team.
To this day, Barbados has routinely produced West Indies greats and makes up the largest proportion of their players, with a population not quite reaching 280,000. Population is not important.
 

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#25
I reckon we'll start to go a bit the way of NZ. Raval, Patel and Sodhi in their squad. All NZers of subcontinental heritage.

It's not that kids will stop playing cricket or anything but it's a bit like the year 12 honours lists where Asian names dominate despite being a minority of the population. The cultural drive will push kids to excel while we tell our kiddies that it doesn't matter who win and everyone is a winner.
 
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