Australian news April 22, 2010

Redbacks swing axe in search of winning culture

Cricinfo staff

South Australia have not offered six players, including the former internationals Dan Cullen and Mark Cosgrove, contracts for next summer in a significant shake-up. The Redbacks finished last in the one-day and Sheffield Shield competitions and have cut some of their under-performers.

Cullen, the offspinner, played a Test against Bangladesh in 2006 but was unable to maintain his form and was a fringe figure with the squad last season. "He probably didn't cope with his elevation terribly well," Jamie Cox, South Australia's director of cricket, said.

"What he did when he got elevated to Test match level was to try to make himself better. His way of trying to make himself better was to try and invent new deliveries to try to become a different bowler and a better bowler and unfortunately that was to the detriment of what was his key craft, which was as a really good, talented offspin bowler."

Cosgrove's release was announced last week while Allan Wise, Matthew Weeks and the rookies Alex Carey and Cameron Francis also missed out. Paul Rofe, the fast bowler, has retired.

While South Australia qualified for the Champions League Twenty20 after reaching the domestic final, Cox said the results in the other competitions had "brought some things to the surface". "Too often it would appear as though we accept near enough as good enough," he said. "And we have compromised along the way in times where a tougher pathway has clearly been the way forward. That has to change because the culture here has really proven itself to not know how to win."

South Australia first round contracts Cullen Bailey, Cameron Borgas, Daniel Christian, Mark Cleary, Tom Cooper, Chris Duval, Callum Ferguson (Cricket Australia contract), Peter George, Jake Haberfield, Daniel Harris, Michael Klinger, Graham Manou, Aaron O'Brien, Kieron Pollard, Gary Putland, James Smith, Shaun Tait (Cricket Australia contract).

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  • Rajaram on April 26, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    At last! South Australia have realized that the fattest cricketer in the world,Mark Cosgrove, cannot pull his weight in the team and needs to sent to practise Heavyweight boxing rather than cricket.

    A pity about Dan Cullen - I thought the Spin Think Tank - Terry Jenner, Shane Warne were working on improving the spinners. Yes, he's better off moving to NSW or Vic.

  • Leo on April 24, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    On the mark, StuartK319 - as a Queenslander, it would be disappointing to see another spin talent wasted by the lack of opportunities available with the Bulls. Dan Doran has been earmarked as a potential star by some pretty good judges, yet he can't get a game behind our constantly under-performing captain, Chris Simpson (Since when has captaincy alone been enough to get selection in a first-class team?). Our strength has been and will always be fast bowling, so I hope Cullen goes to a state that will help him to reach his true potential. As much I hate to say it, maybe Victoria would be a good place for him (with Hauritz and Smith at NSW, he wouldn't get a game).

    South Australia have plenty of talent, but not alot of depth (especially in their bowling); if they can find some consistency and stay injury-free, it wouldn't be completely surprising for them to challenge in the shield of season 10/11.

  • Scott on April 23, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    Victoria should seriously have a look at Dan Cullen... Sure, if he wants to play for Australia, he maybe better off going to NSW, but Victoria are going to need a young (ish) spinner in the very near future, and Cullen might just fit the bill. We've got a pretty good record with recycled/imported players (see: David Hussey, Jason Arnberger and Matthew Wade just to name 3)

  • Luke on April 23, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    Don't think SA will challenge for the shield unfortunately. Qld and Vic will still be far too strong - their squads are very well balanced and the depth is huge. Since the Cullens rarely featured for SA one at least had to go. Now they really need to pick Bailey or what's the point having him?

  • Stuart on April 23, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    It's sad to see how far Dan Cullen's confidence has fallen in 3 years. He's gone from knocking Australia's best first-class batsmen over left, right and centre to struggling in Adelaide grade cricket. I wasn't surprised by SA cutting him at all and agree with Jamie Cox's comments. Still; Nathan Hauritz's confidence wasn't too high a couple of years ago either - at 25 Cullen can still bounce back. What Hauritz has done well recently is bowl to a simple, disciplined plan - I'm sure when Cullen gets back to 6 generously flighted off-breaks an over again, he'll make grade batsmen look incompetent and states will then begin to knock on his door. I just hope he doesn't go to Queensland; they don't seem to have any idea of how to develop or use spinners.

  • Michael on April 22, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Considering that Aaron O'Brien regularly made the 11 ahead of Bailey, it is probably a good thing for Cullen to look for a new state. He certainly has the talent to be an international, but needs some more experience at first-class level. Hopefully he'll be picked up by Queensland or Western Australia, who have struggled to find a spinner with any penetration over the last few years (Aaron Heal excepted on occasions).

  • Josh on April 22, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    Amazing that Cullen Bailey got the spot over him, I reckon. Hopefully "Doosra Dan" finds another state because he is a great talent, and I'd love to see him represent Aus again. There was just one too many spinners at South Australia, last year and the many before that too. wouldn't be surprised if SA challenged for the Shield next year, either.

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