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

Park cricketer

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#76
None of the factors mentioned in the OP seem to be a serious issue.

1. The first thing that's important is the participation of young kids in the sport, because you need raw material to work with. If I'm a young kid growing up in Australia, what is the sport that will capture my imagination first. In India, there's a mad passion about cricket. But even there, now a sporting culture is starting to develop and more and more young kids are turning to football, badminton, etc. So I can imagine how difficult it must be for cricket to grapple for attention in Australia competing with other sports like the AFL, rugby, soccer, basketball, etc.

This in turn is dependent on the visibility of the game at grassroot levels, if the game is promoted well in media, is the coverage available to all the people, etc. It must be promoted in a way that every kid growing up must dream about representing the country in that particular sport one day.

2. It's fine having good participation but the numbers are not the be all and end all of everything. If it was so, we would have won multiple world cups in football by now with our 1.2B population and small european countries wouldn't be dominating football. Raw talent is not something that's limited to a particular region or country but is ubiquitous throughout the world. Irrespective of the population, a robust developmental system is enough to ensure the production of top quality players in any sport. La masia was the secret behind Barcelona's success in football, many of Mumbai's stalwarts were shaped in the bustling maidans of Mumbai.

In any sport, be it football or cricket, how good a player becomes is determined in his formative years (10-18 years). The junior levels is by far the most important period in a cricketer's life and any bad habits accrued over this period will be very very hard to rectify after he becomes a pro. It's somewhat easy to achieve good habits but extremely difficult to let go off bad habits. So it's vital that kids in these levels are not influenced by the fancy shots that you find galore in the short formats, it's difficult because every kid would love to belt a bowler to the cow corner for a six and driving the ball back past the bowler with a high elbow and a straight bat probably won't be as appealing to say the least. But take the example of the quintessential test batsman in world cricket right now, Che Pujara. Apparently his father, who was a first class cricketer himself, was repulsed whenever he saw young kids playing with tennis balls hitting them in the air. He actually took young Pujara to a separate corner of the ground and kept rolling a cricket ball along the ground and asked him to drive it back with a straight bat. He apparently didn't feed him a single ball that was pitched for a long time so that he doesn't develop bad habits along the way.

Ask any Kothi Compound resident of late 90s to early 2000 and they would remember seeing the Pujaras on most evenings in the corner of the Railways ground, under the neem tree, next to the volleyball court. The father rolling the ball along the ground, the son methodically bringing the bat down and playing it straight back to him.

Years later, Arvindbhai would tell me why he avoided giving the usual one-bounce throw downs to his pre-teen son. “At that age, kids swing their bat wildly to connect to the ball and end up playing cross-batted shots. I didn’t want Chintu to develop that bad habit.” The ball that Arvind set rolling wouldn’t stop, it travelled around the world. Chintu would never forget the first lesson he got under the neem tree, he would continue playing straight, complete 5,000 plus Test runs at 30 and get counted among the last few batsmen responsible for keeping the dying art of Test match batting, alive.
https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/i-saw-the-making-of-cheteshwar-pujara-5535781/

A very good read about the development of Pujara over the years.

So yeah, the formative years is the period that determines how good a player is going to be and you can do very little changes to the technique after one becomes a pro because if one grows up playing with a loose technique, no matter how hard he tries to get his hands and feet moving, subconsciously his hands will be drawn away from the body/feet won't cone to the pitch of the ball and things like that because that's etched in memory and very hard to lose habits developed in formative years. So the quality of the junior coaches, the infrastructure available for the kids and whether the competition is high enough and things like that are much more serious factors.
 

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Park cricketer

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#77
Australia is still a top cricketing nation with one of the best cricketing infrastructures in the world and I don't think there has been any major decline. But from an outsider's perspective, what I've noticed is that Australia is producing batsmen that are more limited overs format oriented and not many batsmen are known for batting time. Let's not forget, this is the same nation that produced the best superstars of the game 15-20 years back. So what changed then. I honestly don't know the nuances of the issue, maybe the BBL has been having more influence on the kids and players. The BBL does have a great participation of women and young kids in the crowds.

It's interesting studying the development of players in India and Australia. Both countries have robust systems, they both have top cricketing infrastructures and perhaps both countries face an imminent risk of the IPL and BBL influencing young kids and impacting their games. I don't know about Australia but I read that parents specifically come to the coaches and ask if their kid can make it big in the IPL in India. Money always attracts people and a parent would want his young one to become a millionaire by becoming an IPL star than ploughing through the first class cricket in India and making a name. Coaches at grassroot levels acknowledge this problem and they seem to be very particular that the technique shouldn't get comprised for money at a young age.

Two things that stand out in India are:

1. The crazy amount of competition. I live in Chennai and I've played in many play grounds here and you do have good presence of kids in the grounds playing cricket, but when I see documentaries about Mumbai cricket, it makes my head go crazy. That's a whole new level of cricket madness over there.

https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/cricket/11457647/cricket-in-mumbai-episode-1

Looking at this video, it seems mad how so many kids can play in such a crammed space and how so many matches take place simultaneously in that space in a seemingly organised way. But then when I think about it, that is perhaps why Mumbai has won so many domestic titles than us and the rest of India. When you have such a huge competition for places, you naturally raise your level and only the cream of the crop comes out on top. It's different when the level of competition for places isn't that high in places other than Mumbai. These kids also play multi day format matches and not t20s and they are used to racking up huge scores in school cricket tournaments which is extremely strong in Mumbai (the Harris Shield through which Sachin and Kamble made their name and more recently, Prithvi Shaw).

2. Another factor is that you need immense dedication from a parent for their kid to make it to senior levels in India because of the level of competition involved. For this reason, many middle class families don't allow their kids to take up cricket as a career option seriously and take the more safer career options like engineering, medicine, etc. This is why a lot of kids with very humble backgrounds make it big in India because they're literally driven towards success in sport as they believe cricket is a way through which they'll be alleviated of their hardships. Prithvi is a fine example, he comes from a very humble background, and his father sacrificed his job for his son to make it big in the circuit. Pant is a similar example, Pandya another one. In the past, almost all of the cricketers like Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble, Laxman, Ganguly, etc., hailed from well to do families but it has changed now and cricket is seen as a serious option by people of all backgrounds as a shot to getting well settled in life.
 

greatwhiteshark

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#79
My son played cricket until he was 13.

He got sick of the sledging.

He's now playing AFL... and has been a star... He's 16 and has been team captain and best player for the past two years... now playing for the Seniors (despite his age) and is in the Lions academy...

Best move he ever made.
How will he handle the sledging in AFL, because as his teams best player if he ain’t getting sledged now it will be coming. Part of sport, part of growing up, part of life. Unless of cause if you live in a utopia.
 

corbies

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#80
Yeah far out the idea that sledging only exists in cricket is a massive fallacy. We're just obsessed with it in cricket because it happens over a 22 yd space and is easily identifiable.
 

greatwhiteshark

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#81
Yeah far out the idea that sledging only exists in cricket is a massive fallacy. We're just obsessed with it in cricket because it happens over a 22 yd space and is easily identifiable.
People who have never played footy only believe this, footy is clearly many levels above cricket with sledging.
 

R Chee Manning

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#82
So if sledging is such a part of the Australian psyche... such an inherent part of the way you people play sport...

Why is it that you just can't play the best you can without it?

Like most other countries in the world do?

Why are you so fragile that you need to cling to sledging like it's the only 'weapon' that makes you great?
 

R Chee Manning

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#83
Part of sport, part of growing up, part of life.
No.

There's nothing great about being a great white racist.

Racism is not just a part of sport... it's not just part of growing up and it shouldn't be a part of life.

Go back to the bad old days if you still condone racism in sport.

It's 2019 mate. We've moved on.
 
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Thread starter #84
I played heaps of footy, cricket and basketball growing up. Sledging was not part of footy or basketball. It was a huge part of cricket.

Only my own anecdotal experience.

Not saying there was no ****-talking in footy, but genuine sledging? No. Cricket is built for sledging.

One dude surrounded by 11 opponents, with long breaks between deliveries.

Footy and basketball simply cannot compare.
 

Damon_3388

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#85
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.
In general, "nerd culture" and insular homebody-ness is much more commonly accepted for people all ages than it was 10 years ago. I think because there is still a social component or connection (eg., shared experience with a popular TV series, or internet connection with online gaming), it's not as much of a solitary, isolating thing like it once was.
 

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#86
I played heaps of footy, cricket and basketball growing up. Sledging was not part of footy or basketball. It was a huge part of cricket.

Only my own anecdotal experience.

Not saying there was no ****-talking in footy, but genuine sledging? No. Cricket is built for sledging.

One dude surrounded by 11 opponents, with long breaks between deliveries.

Footy and basketball simply cannot compare.
I played club, school and social basketball regularly for 17 years, and can't recall any sledging going back and forth between players or parents. The only abuse or cross words would be at umpire's calls, or (for me) at myself for making a mistake. "Trash talk" was more of an American thing, or at least the domain of the pros.
 

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Tayl0r

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Society enables self isolating behaviors now. Validating everyone's anxiety. All teenagers are self diagnosed depressed.

It will be a byproduct of a society that encourages everyone to create their own identity in new and interesting ways that those same people will find self validated reasons to not work hard at something because it ceases to be a slight on their character and becomes a new defining feature.

They aren't lazy, that's a negative. You can't say that. They are less active and that's just who they are.
 

PhatBoy

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#88
How will he handle the sledging in AFL, because as his teams best player if he ain’t getting sledged now it will be coming. Part of sport, part of growing up, part of life. Unless of cause if you live in a utopia.
How is it a part of sport and part of growing up? Outside of the usual good natured teasing etc I never experienced that in normal life. Are you saying bullying or being bullied is normal? F***ing hell.
 

Tayl0r

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How is it a part of sport and part of growing up? Outside of the usual good natured teasing etc I never experienced that in normal life. Are you saying bullying or being bullied is normal? F***ing hell.
I think there is an argument to be made that social pressure to conform is natural and that the issue we are really discussing is where the threshold for acceptability is set.
 

greatwhiteshark

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#91
How is it a part of sport and part of growing up? Outside of the usual good natured teasing etc I never experienced that in normal life. Are you saying bullying or being bullied is normal? F***ing hell.
Not talking about bullying, being able to get in another players ear and get him thinking about something else other than his game is part of sport. Teasing/sledging is the same to me. There is a line you don’t cross that’s all.
 

greatwhiteshark

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#93
No.

There's nothing great about being a great white racist.

Racism is not just a part of sport... it's not just part of growing up and it shouldn't be a part of life.

Go back to the bad old days if you still condone racism in sport.

It's 2019 mate. We've moved on.
Who mentioned anything about racism? Where the Damn you get that from?
 

PhatBoy

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#94
No sledging in Rugby league?? Surely you jest
Aside from the odd ‘good one mate’ when someone drops the ball? You’ve got to be kidding. Maybe some of the nrl smart arses get a bit lippy. At lower levels? There might be one player per team that would fit that bill.

I’ve been complimented 10 times more than I’ve been sledged - ‘good run mate’ ‘good hit mate’ etc.

Remembering too that most of the aggro in league stems not from anything verbal but from a perceived physical infraction
 

deltablues

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#95
No.

There's nothing great about being a great white racist.

Racism is not just a part of sport... it's not just part of growing up and it shouldn't be a part of life.

Go back to the bad old days if you still condone racism in sport.

It's 2019 mate. We've moved on.
You've moved on to where? It's still Australia, bud, and sledging (which, btw, I don't like and consider to be juvenile) is not racism. It is part of the Australian sporting culture, in some sports, and is a different culture to that of, for example, glass-jawed Asian 'face'.

And owning your own country means not having to explain things to those from different cultures and being free to comment without the fear of being labelled racist.

Give it a rest.
 

Ishikawa

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#96
How is it a part of sport and part of growing up? Outside of the usual good natured teasing etc I never experienced that in normal life. Are you saying bullying or being bullied is normal? F***ing hell.
Think you are making an enormous mistake in putting on-field sledging in the same basket as bullying.
 

PhatBoy

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#97
Think you are making an enormous mistake in putting on-field sledging in the same basket as bullying.
Really?

I wouldn’t be so sure. If you call someone a fa66ot on a cricket field is it really any different to doing it off it?

It’s one thing to say ‘more edges than a rubix cube’ quite another altogether to go in with some of what passes as sledging.
 

deltablues

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#98
Think you are making an enormous mistake in putting on-field sledging in the same basket as bullying.
Agreed. Sledging is a contextual thing.

And 'bullying' - hitherto restricted to the schoolyard where a big kid taunts a little one - has become a trope for every instance of perceived pressure or disagreement applied by one person against another.

A classic example of the infantilization of speech as a result of the victim culture.


.
 

eth-dog

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#99
Sledging happens in many sports. A pearler I heard earlier today at a local footy match was "I ****** your dad last night" as a bloke was running in for a set shot.
 
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