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

TigerCraig

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Seems India have no problem finding excellent players, despite their parents dying young, living in poverty in shanty shacks, having little to no possessions and sometimes at best having little more than a 5-foot wide alley to play in.
This is actually part of their strength now.

Crash Craddock made the point (and so does my Indian wife) that in the past the cricket team was made up of generally well to do men who came through the good schools and clubs and had talent, skill and technique but not always the fire. They also generally came from a small number of states - of about 250 test cricketers since independence over half have been from Maharashtra (Mumbai), Delhi or Gujarat.

Since the IPL most players from lower socio-economic groups have been getting a chance to make their names
 

Scotland

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It's nothing to do with population. Australian's these days grow up with a sense of entitlement, from a young age, through their teenage years and into young adulthood. Plucking players out of junior leagues at 12 and 13 to head off to elite development camps and systems just reinforces that mentality. Some clearly deal with it better than others but for every Ponting there's dozens of spuds who should never have made it past grade cricket.

We're legitimately talking about Daniel Hughes and the next Lehmann as possible test cricketers. **** me, I won't watch a single test with those hacks in the team, it's hard enough with the Marsh brothers spudding it up.
It is when said population lives and breathes cricket. England has twice the population we have, but most of them don't grow up playing cricket and it's always raining anyway.

We seem to produce very limited cricketers. When the conditions aren't within a narrow band our bowlers and batsmen seem to look lost. The MCG pitch was shit, but it was playable. We made it look like a road and a minefield with poor bowling and batting. Bowl full on the stumps at the Indians and you'll most likely just be clipped off the pads. Bowl full on the stumps to our guys and you're a good chance of an LBW. Some of our dismissals are just bizarre. Mitch Marsh vs Ashwin - WTF was Marsh doing? Ball was outside leg and he somehow got outside the line and got an outside edge.
 

Hungry Jacks

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How chubby are the kids these days???!! Deadset all they eat is fast food and energy drinks. How on earth are we going to produce the next pat Cummins if our next gen cricketers are all 120 kilos
 

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Doodlesweaver

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Probably deserves it's own thread elsewhere but do we have any sporting areas of traditional strength where we're actually getting better?

Cricket, rugby, swimming & Summer Olympics in general, tennis... we used to be good at these sports.

Test team stinks, that's pretty well established. Wallabies are 6th or 7th in the World and haven't won the Bledisloe for 15 years and the WC for nearly 20. SR participation has become a bit of a joke and the ARU couldn't organise a chook raffle. We won 16 gold and 58 medals overall in Sydney compared to 8 and 29 in Rio. Results have been trending down each games since 2000. Tennis we used to win the Davis Cup. Wasn't that long ago it took us about 5 years just to get back into the World Group. We have a couple of players floating around the top 50 but seem to produce almost exclusively ********s now so none of our guys are yet good enough to shake off the 'yeah but he's still a dickhead' thing.

On the flip side our basketball team has never been stronger. We've got more players going through the US college system and US professional league than ever. Once upon a time winning a medal of any colour at the Winter Olympics was a big deal. These days we go in with a couple of medal fancies in various disciplines each time, all of which spend most of their time training overseas. We're pretty good at a lot of women's sports but then I think we just provide more opportunities than other countries and the relative international standards aren't that high.

Do other countries just do it better than us now?

NB: Mocking England in the 90s was almost a hobby. Cricket team sucked, and they won 1 goal and 15 medals overall at Atlanda 96. They've gone 10th, 10th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd in the medal tallies since. And kicked our arse in a couple of Ashes series home and away. They even had a male tennis player win Wimbledon, even if he's from Scotland.
$$$$$ - they've been funding sport like there is no tomorrow.
 

Scotland

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$$$$$ - they've been funding sport like there is no tomorrow.
Yep. The UK had been chasing hosting an Olympic Games since Barcelona and being awarded the 2012 games gave them a focus to be one of the best performed nations. They really put their money where there mouth is. Team GB winning 27 gold medals an Olympic Games would've been laughed at in the 90s, and in 2016 that's what happened. Swimming, cycling, rowing, gymnastics... they even won the women's hockey. Neither of our hockey teams made it out of the quarter finals, previously we've been gold medalists in both.
 

Chaisa

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I don't think the decline in Australian cricket is so much a talent issue as a development issue. What you see with the batsmen is a lot of guys averaging early 40's with 60+ SR's, which suggests that batsmen still have the talent, but the ability to build innings does not seem as prevalent as what it was 10-20 years ago.

As for why this is.....that is a trickier question. I'm blaming Greg Chappell.
 

strewthcobber

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From my experience, it's not the kids that are the issue, it's their 45 year old parents who aren't willing to sacrifice their entire weekend for one kid's sport

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Richard Pryor

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Gavin Excell

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I think the elite young athletes are choosing Australian Rules Football due to the number of positions available. Secondly there would be a smaller percentage of the population that are active as children, with even fewer being able to afford an expensive sport like cricket.
This

Best sports kids choose the footballs

Cricket is almost a niche sport now in Australia.

The comparison to India where cricket is everything is stark
 

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Caesar

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I really don't think it's any more complicated than recreational options getting a lot more diverse, and cricket not being a very attractive sport for kids to play. It's very expensive, requires huge time commitments, and even good players spend a hell of a lot of time standing around in the hot sun with minimal involvement in the action.

Chuck in the talent drain from the increasing professionalisation of other sports, and it would be surprising if we weren't producing fewer good cricketers.
 

Moonwatcher

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I think the elite young athletes are choosing Australian Rules Football due to the number of positions available. Secondly there would be a smaller percentage of the population that are active as children, with even fewer being able to afford an expensive sport like cricket.
Carey is a case in point. Dropped by GWS and is now playing for Australia. AFL sides have international quality cricket players on their list. With the 2 best Australian batsmen suspended, it only takes the AFL pinching one or 2 more of the potential best Australian top order and we're a weak team.
 

amazingjoshy

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From my experience, it's not the kids that are the issue, it's their 45 year old parents who aren't willing to sacrifice their entire weekend for one kid's sport

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It's the kids AND their parents. These days, who wants to spend their entire weekend out in the sun, mostly standing or sitting around doing nothing, when instead they can go off and play 2 hrs of basketball on a Sat arvo (and be in the action the whole time)?

If you think our Test team is bad now, give it 15 years. I don't know where the players are going to come from.
 

Richard Pryor

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It's the kids AND their parents. These days, who wants to spend their entire weekend out in the sun, mostly standing or sitting around doing nothing, when instead they can go off and play 2 hrs of basketball on a Sat arvo (and be in the action the whole time)?

If you think our Test team is bad now, give it 15 years. I don't know where the players are going to come from.
Specifically basketball is a huge reason for the Windies decline if I'm not mistaken.
 

greatwhiteshark

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I played in 4 premierships in footy before I was 12 and one cricket premiership before I was 14. Kids would miss out on being selected and only a very small percentage of us went on and played high level.
The system is different now where participation is what it’s all about, winning and losing is not part of a young child’s world now.
The system today is not producing any more better players than it did 40 years ago because there is always going to be a minute amount of talented kids.
You simply cannot pick kids out of thin air and think coaching will make them good players, you either naturally can play or you can’t. There will always be some exceptions but for the most part it is what it is.
The drop out in sport was always large in My era as well, in fact they probably dropped out even earlier as they went and focused on something they were good at.
Parents were a non issue in my era also as only a small percentage of them even watched you and if things didn’t go your way all they said was talk to your coach and get better. Parents knew it was not their place to interfere and solve their kids issues. And coaches never consistently told you what a star you were they simply installed the basics of the sport and let you work things out yourself.
We were also lucky that most of our coaches were all former top line footy and cricket players and were not impeded by stupid coaching accreditation’s. You learnt from people who knew, not from people who have only read about it.

The systems I grew up with in my opinion are far better but I don’t blame the modern system for Australia’s talent at the minute, we are just in a bit of a bad trot and in time we will be back top of the tree like we have done forever. Just be patient and accept that right now our players are simply average.
 
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smasha

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This is actually part of their strength now.

Crash Craddock made the point (and so does my Indian wife) that in the past the cricket team was made up of generally well to do men who came through the good schools and clubs and had talent, skill and technique but not always the fire. They also generally came from a small number of states - of about 250 test cricketers since independence over half have been from Maharashtra (Mumbai), Delhi or Gujarat.

Since the IPL most players from lower socio-economic groups have been getting a chance to make their names
India like China are finally seeing the advantage of having a humungous population and tapping into a much larger talent field,yes I know it’s only 11 versus 11 on the field but with a population of 1.4 billion,that’s a hugely bigger talent pool.

Would Germany win all those WC’s with a population of 20 million? I wouldn’t think so.

Aussie grit kept us on top for 20 years,we will be back despite the huge pendulum swing in today’s World where money is everything.

Out of all the countries in cricket,we love to put ourselves down,it’s an Aussie thing,when we fail in a few series,it’s like the World has fallen down.

Look at our incredible achievements in the long term history of the sport and cheer up Australia,if you want too lol.

We will be back,sandpaper gate has set this team back,this year’s cricket Summer reminds me very much of the Summer when England tore through Australia because our stars were playing in World Series Cricket.

A transitional year and we only just lost to India last night by a whisker!
 
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Monjike

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Regarding population, in 1948 Australia's population was 7.7 million, less than 1/3 of what it is in 2019. In 1948 we had the Invincibles and were by far the best cricketing nation.
I went by my local reserve and the team was mainly made up of young Indian players whose parents have migrated to Australia. Incidentally the local soccer team is made up largely of Sudanese kids...
 

Simon_Nesbit

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Discussing this with a mate who's still coaching at local level - his biggest issue are the PC brigade forcing restrictive supervision requirements and insurance restrictions onto clubs for junior players, and the participation drop-off and lack of commitment/availability of the older players. We are better now at keeping participation rate up to 16, (it used to dropoff dramatically around 12-13) but adults are far worse than it used to be 20 years ago. He thinks the move away from regular business hours (9-5, Mon-Fri) to 'flexible' hours has had a major impact.

Their insurance policy used to cover everyone, any age, any level - if an under 18 parent signed the forms, no additional supervision was required for senior games or U/16, with the "boys" competition (U/14) they were expected to have one parent to support the coach every week. Age groups less than that were run through the school systems.

Now, their insurance requires every child under 15 to have a parent/guardian on site at all times. Even TRAINING requires adult supervision. It's no longer about the talented kids - it's about which kids have parents that can commit 8-10 hours a week for training, plus another 8-10 hours on the weekend. All are now required to have Working with Children accreditation.

The best kids used to rock up after school at 3:30, train with the juniors until 5pm, then train with the seniors until 7pm - mostly just as net bowlers or boosting participation for drills, but getting involved with the senior players and the CLUB much earlier. They used to get 40+ seniors to training 3 nights a week - rocking up still in work gear, train then having a pint and parmy at the bar afterwards. Now, they only get 15-20, while half the senior team can't train at all due to work commitments. Training is sometimes cancelled due to lack of numbers, but the club still foots the bill for the facility and equipment hire.

Game days would see intermittent crowds of 30-50 players, partners, wags, parents, families, etc. A really social atmosphere. Now the only spectators are the parents that are "forced" to be there, and more often than not they will sit in their car (or leave) rather than invest in the game.

In his eyes the game is dying as a social sport, and the kids (and parents) are far more interested in sports that only require 1-2 hour commitments (basketball the biggest one).
 

Wedge McManus

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Discussing this with a mate who's still coaching at local level - his biggest issue are the PC brigade forcing restrictive supervision requirements and insurance restrictions onto clubs for junior players, and the participation drop-off and lack of commitment/availability of the older players. We are better now at keeping participation rate up to 16, (it used to dropoff dramatically around 12-13) but adults are far worse than it used to be 20 years ago. He thinks the move away from regular business hours (9-5, Mon-Fri) to 'flexible' hours has had a major impact.

Their insurance policy used to cover everyone, any age, any level - if an under 18 parent signed the forms, no additional supervision was required for senior games or U/16, with the "boys" competition (U/14) they were expected to have one parent to support the coach every week. Age groups less than that were run through the school systems.

Now, their insurance requires every child under 15 to have a parent/guardian on site at all times. Even TRAINING requires adult supervision. It's no longer about the talented kids - it's about which kids have parents that can commit 8-10 hours a week for training, plus another 8-10 hours on the weekend. All are now required to have Working with Children accreditation.

The best kids used to rock up after school at 3:30, train with the juniors until 5pm, then train with the seniors until 7pm - mostly just as net bowlers or boosting participation for drills, but getting involved with the senior players and the CLUB much earlier. They used to get 40+ seniors to training 3 nights a week - rocking up still in work gear, train then having a pint and parmy at the bar afterwards. Now, they only get 15-20, while half the senior team can't train at all due to work commitments. Training is sometimes cancelled due to lack of numbers, but the club still foots the bill for the facility and equipment hire.

Game days would see intermittent crowds of 30-50 players, partners, wags, parents, families, etc. A really social atmosphere. Now the only spectators are the parents that are "forced" to be there, and more often than not they will sit in their car (or leave) rather than invest in the game.

In his eyes the game is dying as a social sport, and the kids (and parents) are far more interested in sports that only require 1-2 hour commitments (basketball the biggest one).
This:thumbsu:

And video games I reckon as well as overweight kids too. It's a shame but I still reckon we can be a force in world cricket. Heaps of subcontinent migrants coming through boosting numbers and hungry to succeed. Might have a different look about it in the future but the national cricket team will be very competitive. Hopefully we can move away from the T20 focus a bit and get back into hard lessons learned at the longer format
 

Wedge McManus

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Drunk redneck at the pub last week screaming at the TV saying we had too many blacks taking over our team??!! Big guy went up to him and explained in no nonsense terms that the team was 100% white apart from ussie. Might upset the large number of idiot racists out there but in the future half our team will be coloured imo. Nothing wrong with that at all. It's either that or wave goodbye to competitive cricket in oz
 

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