Argus review recommendations August 21, 2011

Loan system among Argus proposals

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Australian cricketers would be loaned between states in an effort to ensure the nation's best 66 players are consistently appearing in the Sheffield Shield, under a proposal outlined in the Don Argus-led Australia team performance review.

A loan system, and the use of incentives to encourage strong states - namely New South Wales and Victoria - to allow fringe players to ply their trades elsewhere are key to the review's recommendations about strengthening the pathway that underpins the Test side.

Many figures within Australian cricket, the Tasmania captain George Bailey among them, argued that every effort should be made to get the best players playing first-class cricket, irrespective of their state. NSW in particular have an abundance of talent that may be better utilised by the greater flow of players to other teams.

"Australian cricket must consider innovative ways of dealing with the geographical imbalance of talent resulting from the widely varying populations of states," the Argus review said. "Consideration should be given to: a loan system at first-class level, perhaps managed by the National Talent Manager; mechanisms to encourage states to export under-utilised talent, for example: State Talent Managers being required to recommend players for transfer at the end of the season, where it is unlikely they will be selected by their current state; financial incentives for states for each first-class player they produce, regardless of whether the player plays for that state."

The rate of serious injuries among fast bowlers was also addressed, as the panel concluded that more needed to be done to manage the transition between short and long-format cricket. This conclusion shines harsh light on the scheduling of the expanded Twenty20 Big Bash League head-to-head with the home Test programme in December and January.

Australia's fast bowling stocks are believed to be strong, particularly in terms of the talent that is starting to emerge. However many fast bowlers, either young or more experienced, experienced serious injuries in recent times, and the panel argued that better and more thoughtful management was required, particularly to bridge the fitness and conditioning gap between the three formats.

"Feedback suggests that fast bowling injuries are and have been caused by a combination of factors: absolute match schedule and workload; changes in workload and intensity (eg. shifting between from Twenty20 to Shield); intrinsic factors such as age, bone density and skeletal strength; bowling action; lower proportion of overs being bowled by spinners.

"The 'gut feel' of most of the fast bowlers we spoke to, and others, was that: fast bowlers should be screened for the intrinsics above; workloads should be graded accordingly, with a bias to building players up over time through regular bowling (plus core strength work etc.) at higher levels than currently; workload management should be focussed as much on changes in workload than absolute volumes."

While the review's recommendations to restructure the selection, coaching and management processes around the national team attracted the most attention initally, Argus and company looked far more deeply into the reasons why Australia had stopped producing players of substance.

Among the other longer term plans outlined by the review panel were ways to encourage senior players to remain in grade cricket, while also discouraging the emergence of a "graduation mentality" that has seen first-class and Test players show reluctance to return to their local clubs.

It was concluded that more had to be done to keep senior players involved, so better to keep standards high and so educate young players. Research has been recommended to ascertain why older players have been leaving the game earlier than in the past. First-class and international players should also be reminded that they are not exempt from playing at the grassroots level.

"[We should] also reinforce that state players are not exempt from grade cricket and should play as often as possible," the report said. "A 'graduation' mentality among players - ie. a belief that once they have played at a higher level, they are no longer obliged to play, or were above, the previous level they played - is unacceptable."

James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, will arrive in Sri Lanka this week to speak to the players and officials on tour about the review. He sought to clarify that the review, while scathing about so many aspects of the Australian team's structure, performance and organisation in recent times, did not blame individuals.

"The report does not and did not seek to blame individuals - it says we have the wrong high performance structure and need to change the design of that structure," Sutherland said. "It doesn't and nor should it blame individuals such as Andrew Hilditch, Tim Nielsen and Greg Chappell.

"Take Greg Chappell for example - a person of stature - all the report says is that the job we created and then hired Greg to do should be structured differently to have a singular focus on national talent management. Similarly, Hilditch has previously argued Australian cricket needs a full time head of selection in the full knowledge that he would not be available should his recommendation be accepted."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • funkybluesman on August 24, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Maybe we just need a couple more sides. Of late, NSW have regularly had players who've been on the verge of national selection struggling to get a game in the state side because there are so many players there, including playing games with the two current Australian openers playing alongside the two top condenders for that role in the same side, and then some of the top young players in the same positions struggling to get a game.

    Maybe it's time to bring in a second NSW side, and possible a second Victorian side also, as has been done for the new Twenty-20 comp, but do it in the Shield also.

    I bet none of the other top cricketing nations have only 6 first class sides!

  • Meety on August 24, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    @Nicholas Mayo - sorry mate I don't buy into the reasons you've given regarding Ozzys not playing in England. As Hyclass said - they are playing in short formats, but County cricket not so. I agree with your comments about County cricket is a great place to learn or refine your game. I believe the drop in Ozzys playing in County cricket is more to do with politics & quota restrictions. I'd also have to throw in the other reason is that since the Poms moved to a 4-day 1st class comp, the standard of English born/qualified players have improved, particularly in the 1st division.

  • hyclass on August 24, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    I have always considered County Cricket a fine finishing school.Where do I discredit County Cricket@Nicholas Mayo?I have highlighted that others hold it and the results accomplished there in lower regard,even offering my caveat on their opinion,that it has produced the world No.1 team.It isnt suggested that i share their view.Ive made it clear that one of the strengths of County Cricket,is its arduous schedule and that a County pro must have the quality of endurance if he is to prosper.I consider mental and physical endurance to be the two must underrated aspects of the modern game.Ive highlighted how it encourages non bowlers to work on this part of their game.D.Hussey and North are two that immediately come to mind.The obvious advantage of playing in that,or any other country,is working in different environments.Ive highlighted 4 players from australia immediately,who play there.Your opinion on the worth of Australian players,is clumsy,lacks supporting evidence and discredits you.

  • on August 23, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    hyclass - I think your doing Country Cricket a disservice, Yes there are a lot of game but that is one of the strenghts of it. Players will play a lot of matches, get plenty of chances they also learn to play in English conditions which is very useful for Ashes series. There are two reasons this is not happening for Aus Players firstly because they are not good enough for the price and secondly because those looking for a payday find their way to the IPL

  • on August 23, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    I think if there's a need to get the best talent all playing and there is that need, then the solution is through another team, preferably an academy based team. This could be based out of the centre of excellence in Brisbane and perhaps focus solely on first class cricket. Aimed at perhaps under 23 players, competing in the shield competition as well as playing touring 'A' teams and touring overseas, with a squad of 16 or so they could play 20 matches a year easily. Over the last few years we've seen a log jam of bowlers in New South Wales for instance which has given players like Copeland very little chance at all to play first class cricket. Perhaps the national talent manager could be responsible for managing the squad, plucking players from state teams at the end of each season with a view to touring through the winter and forming a team thereafter for the following state competition. With a concentrated squad of young talent all in one place they may be better managed.

  • Meety on August 23, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    @Adrian Bartsch/Hyclass - re: County Cricket. I think the Kolpak arrangements have stymied Oz players going to County cricket over the last few years. Unless you can get residency (I think DiVenuto), its quite tough, as they have also (I think lowered the import quota), I am fairly sure this in a round about way how quite a few Saffas are qualifying to play for England. Whilst I don't like the qualification part of it, England were well within their rights to reduce imports IMO, even if it takes away some opportunities for some young Ozzys!

  • hyclass on August 23, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    Thanks for the heads up on Alice Springs @Mark Smith. I havent been there for a few years and wasnt aware cricket could be played there.The last i saw,was the unfortunate sight of the consequences of dole day,at the pub on the Todd River end.It wasnt a good look.Given its internationally iconic standing,the BBL,which i hold in low regard in terms of its contribution to cricket in general,might accomplish some good,by basing a team there in season.It would help put it in the spotlight and for international viewers,to whom,one cricket field is much the same as the next,it could introduce the elements of Australiana that make overseas games alluring and promote tourism.With the Australian dollar on the wrong side of tourists,it might be an excellent sinecure.

  • hyclass on August 22, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    @Adrian Bartsch.with respect to the positivity of comments,you will find its a result of actions finally meeting intelligence at CA.If people were negative,it was a sign that they long ago recognised that action was necessary and instead received rhetoric,contrary to intelligence.When Australian cricket burned,CA fiddled.I think cricket fans would burn images in effigy if it was legal to do so.As for County Cricket,there are ceratinly some playing,such as Hughes,North,David Hussey and Cosgrove.I think a number of them also play IPL.Ive noted on this site,that County Cricket is not held in high esteem and that results there are deemed to inflate player figures,despite England being No.1.A County season is a test of endurance and a County pro,such as an overseas player is constantly playing or driving between games.They definitely earn their money and it encourages predominantly batsmen,to develop their bowling.Any link between it and Australias dominance would be tenuous and incidental.

  • on August 22, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Guys, with regards to cricket in the NT, you simply could not play in Darwin after mid November at the absolute latest, and really that is more like mid October. It just rains! Alice Springs is a genuine option though as a place to play though in the Australian Summer. Don't be fooled to think the pitches in Alice or Darwin are Indian turners, quite the opposite in fact. Alice pitches are very slow and seam around, it has to do with the grass that grows there, while Darwin pitches and outfields are flat and fast batting tracks.

  • saivich on August 22, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    Got to love the Australians and their love for cricket! I just hope the Indian management and the BCCI are reading this!

  • funkybluesman on August 24, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Maybe we just need a couple more sides. Of late, NSW have regularly had players who've been on the verge of national selection struggling to get a game in the state side because there are so many players there, including playing games with the two current Australian openers playing alongside the two top condenders for that role in the same side, and then some of the top young players in the same positions struggling to get a game.

    Maybe it's time to bring in a second NSW side, and possible a second Victorian side also, as has been done for the new Twenty-20 comp, but do it in the Shield also.

    I bet none of the other top cricketing nations have only 6 first class sides!

  • Meety on August 24, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    @Nicholas Mayo - sorry mate I don't buy into the reasons you've given regarding Ozzys not playing in England. As Hyclass said - they are playing in short formats, but County cricket not so. I agree with your comments about County cricket is a great place to learn or refine your game. I believe the drop in Ozzys playing in County cricket is more to do with politics & quota restrictions. I'd also have to throw in the other reason is that since the Poms moved to a 4-day 1st class comp, the standard of English born/qualified players have improved, particularly in the 1st division.

  • hyclass on August 24, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    I have always considered County Cricket a fine finishing school.Where do I discredit County Cricket@Nicholas Mayo?I have highlighted that others hold it and the results accomplished there in lower regard,even offering my caveat on their opinion,that it has produced the world No.1 team.It isnt suggested that i share their view.Ive made it clear that one of the strengths of County Cricket,is its arduous schedule and that a County pro must have the quality of endurance if he is to prosper.I consider mental and physical endurance to be the two must underrated aspects of the modern game.Ive highlighted how it encourages non bowlers to work on this part of their game.D.Hussey and North are two that immediately come to mind.The obvious advantage of playing in that,or any other country,is working in different environments.Ive highlighted 4 players from australia immediately,who play there.Your opinion on the worth of Australian players,is clumsy,lacks supporting evidence and discredits you.

  • on August 23, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    hyclass - I think your doing Country Cricket a disservice, Yes there are a lot of game but that is one of the strenghts of it. Players will play a lot of matches, get plenty of chances they also learn to play in English conditions which is very useful for Ashes series. There are two reasons this is not happening for Aus Players firstly because they are not good enough for the price and secondly because those looking for a payday find their way to the IPL

  • on August 23, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    I think if there's a need to get the best talent all playing and there is that need, then the solution is through another team, preferably an academy based team. This could be based out of the centre of excellence in Brisbane and perhaps focus solely on first class cricket. Aimed at perhaps under 23 players, competing in the shield competition as well as playing touring 'A' teams and touring overseas, with a squad of 16 or so they could play 20 matches a year easily. Over the last few years we've seen a log jam of bowlers in New South Wales for instance which has given players like Copeland very little chance at all to play first class cricket. Perhaps the national talent manager could be responsible for managing the squad, plucking players from state teams at the end of each season with a view to touring through the winter and forming a team thereafter for the following state competition. With a concentrated squad of young talent all in one place they may be better managed.

  • Meety on August 23, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    @Adrian Bartsch/Hyclass - re: County Cricket. I think the Kolpak arrangements have stymied Oz players going to County cricket over the last few years. Unless you can get residency (I think DiVenuto), its quite tough, as they have also (I think lowered the import quota), I am fairly sure this in a round about way how quite a few Saffas are qualifying to play for England. Whilst I don't like the qualification part of it, England were well within their rights to reduce imports IMO, even if it takes away some opportunities for some young Ozzys!

  • hyclass on August 23, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    Thanks for the heads up on Alice Springs @Mark Smith. I havent been there for a few years and wasnt aware cricket could be played there.The last i saw,was the unfortunate sight of the consequences of dole day,at the pub on the Todd River end.It wasnt a good look.Given its internationally iconic standing,the BBL,which i hold in low regard in terms of its contribution to cricket in general,might accomplish some good,by basing a team there in season.It would help put it in the spotlight and for international viewers,to whom,one cricket field is much the same as the next,it could introduce the elements of Australiana that make overseas games alluring and promote tourism.With the Australian dollar on the wrong side of tourists,it might be an excellent sinecure.

  • hyclass on August 22, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    @Adrian Bartsch.with respect to the positivity of comments,you will find its a result of actions finally meeting intelligence at CA.If people were negative,it was a sign that they long ago recognised that action was necessary and instead received rhetoric,contrary to intelligence.When Australian cricket burned,CA fiddled.I think cricket fans would burn images in effigy if it was legal to do so.As for County Cricket,there are ceratinly some playing,such as Hughes,North,David Hussey and Cosgrove.I think a number of them also play IPL.Ive noted on this site,that County Cricket is not held in high esteem and that results there are deemed to inflate player figures,despite England being No.1.A County season is a test of endurance and a County pro,such as an overseas player is constantly playing or driving between games.They definitely earn their money and it encourages predominantly batsmen,to develop their bowling.Any link between it and Australias dominance would be tenuous and incidental.

  • on August 22, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Guys, with regards to cricket in the NT, you simply could not play in Darwin after mid November at the absolute latest, and really that is more like mid October. It just rains! Alice Springs is a genuine option though as a place to play though in the Australian Summer. Don't be fooled to think the pitches in Alice or Darwin are Indian turners, quite the opposite in fact. Alice pitches are very slow and seam around, it has to do with the grass that grows there, while Darwin pitches and outfields are flat and fast batting tracks.

  • saivich on August 22, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    Got to love the Australians and their love for cricket! I just hope the Indian management and the BCCI are reading this!

  • sumscorer on August 22, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    Nice to see this finally happen. Although there is a lot of work ahead. IMO, I believe once players start complaining about poor management, there is only one way out of the mess. Cricket Australia have done the right thing for the good of Australian cricket. It happened to India and the moment they got rid of miscreants at the top, things improved. They won the world cup and moved higher in rankings etc.

  • Meety on August 22, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    @redneck - I know that the ACT have a state team - I believe its is/was captained by Mark Higgs, who was a handy allrounder. I meant that before being thrust into the Shield, the side would play a few games against the other Shield sides - but not be a part of the competition (I am fairly sure this happenned with Tassie & WA before they entered the Shield), they'd also play against any touring Test teams, (possible 2 matches), & play some games against other Future sides. @hyclass - not sure but I think you're idea is similar to mine except AIS & ACT are interchangeable. I'd have AIS players feed into the ACT side until they were offerred contracts to their home state or finished their "internship". What I am probably confused over is whether the AIS is the same as the cricket acadamy based in Brizzy???? @Mark Smith - good option, save a bit in travel I would assume! Strong preference for it to be a turner of a track!

  • on August 22, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Some really good and constructive comments here guys .... it makes a bit of a change to many comments I read on this site! On a side note, in Australia's period of dominance, a large proportion of fringe players were playing County Cricket. The likes of Law, Lehmann, Hussey, DiVenuto, Langer etc all forged strong careers in the off season in England. It seems that these days there are less and less (outside of T20 rubbish) Aussies playing 1st Class cricket overseas. I wonder if this is having an effect on our current test side. Any thoughts?

  • tfjones1978 on August 22, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    This sounds like a brilliant idea. A mechanism needs to be implimented to allow players to more easily move between states. In AFL they use a supply and demand system with financial incentives. Perhaps Cricket Australia should look at this with a mid-year exchange system. Regarding teams, I do think that Shield and Domestic One Dayers needs to include ACT and NT. With a proper mechanism Australia can have 8 strong teams with 8 different pitches representing the different types of pitches around the world.

  • Meety on August 22, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    @ Woody111 - with respect to a NT side, I would imagine that if the games were held earlier in the day - say 8am to 3pm, not so much play would be lost, as from what I understand its afternoon rain. Dunno about drainage I suppose! About the NSW situation, if players went elsewhere it would open up MORE opportunities for youngsters in NSW in that "competition" for places is reduced. I would say as in the case of Warner, a lot of players would back their ability to grab a spot. Warner was seriously approached by QLD a few years ago when he basically hadn't played 1st class cricket but was a T20 regular for Oz. He nearly signed but stayed with NSW hoping to force his way into the side. He now is a permanent member when the Test players are unavailable. Another factor that may keep players hanging around is that there is currently 2 BBL sides out of Sydney. I think to a certain extent the boat was missed back when the Canberra Comets were playing in the 50 over comp!

  • sss333 on August 22, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    ACT won the Futures League last year, time for a promotion! there are currently 13 former ACT players contracted to state teams for the 2011-12 season, that's enough for a team.

  • on August 22, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Guys - The NT team can play in Alice Springs, there are two grounds there capable of hosting first class cricket, and the cricket season in Alice is the Australian Summer season. Alice Springs hosts the annual Imparja Cup competition and has a ground with excellent enough lighting called Traeger Park. South Australia played Queensland (in Andrew Symonds' last OD game for Queensland) there in 2009.

  • hyclass on August 22, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    A better alternative,to loaning players,would be to create a reserve side at 1st class level,run from the Centre of Excellence.Those players would then be available to their state sides,who would have selection precedence in the event of loss of players to tours and injury.Reserves would then gain experience at 1st class level.Shield cricket doesnt offer the kind of money that validates the risks associated with interstate moves,as might otherwise happen in AFL for example.If the players were based at the Centre of Excellence and a continuing part of the Shield competition,right up to the final,it would incorporate them into existing structures with minimal complications and create better results than its current use allows.State sides have lacked any credible promotion.Recent moves to paytv are a retrograde step that threatens to marginalise cricket in australia at the second highest level.Unless a sincere effort is applied to free to air tv and radio coverage,how can it prosper?

  • redneck on August 22, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    @Meety i think the ACT are already part of the futures league. im all for loaning players, first class comp should be just that first class!!! its fair to say that there are probably 20 or so worthy first class aspirents in nsw but only 11 spots, so sending a couple of them to SA and WA where the New south welshman are probably better than a few locals getting a game would be a good thing! the big bash needs to be looked at though, i see it as the major thorn in australias quest to get back to number 1!

  • Woody111 on August 22, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    One problem with an NT side is the different seasons in Darwin; no chance of playing cricket on turf during the wet season. ACT should have a side and the nature of movement through the states could fill it up no problem. I'm wary of a loan system. Players already move to get opportunity if they're not getting them in their home state. If I were NSW I'd be concerned that when I loaned a player to another state the next season I will have lost them if they're good enough to get a game somewhere else. Very quickly NSW's pool of quality players diminishes and so will their strength due to reduced depth. In time you may have good young players leaving the state early to ensure they have a chance to play state cricket at 19 and show their wares. I'd like to see a counter argument to this. One main issue remains unresolved; a lack of quality spinners in Aus.

  • Meety on August 22, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    I'm happy that a loan system will be in place. This will be vital during periods when the Test players are available. Assuming no injuries NSW have at least 18 players with either International experience or hold a central contract, (assuming Stuey Clark has retired). A full strength NSW side would see Jaques, Warner, O'Keefe, Starc, Hazlewood, Casson, Henriques all miss out on a game. 5 of those players are viable test candidates. I would back MOST of those 5 players would be frontline players in ANY state side, (particularly Warner & O'Keefe). If a 7th FC side operating out of the ACT was created, it would probably be filled by NSW players & allow some players to return closer to home.

  • jkaussie on August 22, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    @Harrietmarlow: fantastic comment! This is the first time I have seen such a sensible point put forward. Everything is cyclical - sport, business, weather, economies etc etc. Our cricket team is going through one of those, in fact the world game is. I don't enjoy us losing but I must admit to hanging on every result more now, on seeing how the other countries are going and realising that having England at No 1 is great for the game, as was having India there beforehand. Thank goodness it's not like the EPL - same teams every year...BORING!

  • sammykent on August 21, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    There is nothing wrong with looking at ways to improve cricket within Australia. Whether that be at an administrative, selection or player management level. During the Ashes players were dropped after one poor performance and out of form players were persisted with. As John Baker mentioned, Australia was considered the best when it had a depth of talent. That depth has never gone away, it has been poor selections and poor player management that has caused the decline in the fortunes of the Australian squad. Personally I believe that the culture of a team plays a big part in success. England have a winning culture and it shows, Australia's winning culture was killed off by useless selectors. Let's hope these sensible changes have a positive impact.

  • Meety on August 21, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    @RandyOZ - there is another review ongoing, seperate to the Argus review. It is aimed at governance - which is Sutherland & the Board. The Argus report did highlight that TESTS should be the priority though, which I think is a major rebuke of Sutherland. @youngkeepersdad - 100% agree. I mean in it wasn't that long ago that Tassie were not in the Shield. What I'd like to see is that at first the ACT/NT team not avtually compete in the Shield but play against the Future Leagues, touring Test teams & some Interstate matches. Do that for a couple of seasons & then introduce them into the Shield - they should be reasonably competitive then. Allow AIS players to play cameo's for them & make sure the pitches are spin friendly. That will improve the all round experience for batsmen & provide a "safe have" for spinners to ply their trade!

  • Webba84 on August 21, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Well, NSW is the most populous state. It's statistically most likely to produce the greatest number of top level cricket players. Nothing unfair about it.

  • ygkd on August 21, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    Bring on ACT and NT/N Qld on turning tracks and encourage a couple of overseas players in per team. Make a few of them real spinners.

  • RandyOZ on August 21, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    I am still not sure how on Earth Sutherland escaped the blow torch. If anyone is underfire for the structure of cricket at grass roots level, surely its the CEO. In any company if there are any liability issues the CEO is responsible and has to take the fall. That's why they get paid the big bucks. I would say our recent fall from grace counts as a failure, to which the public should make him liable!

  • on August 21, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    Queensland have been giving players away for years, Hauritz, Watto, Johnson, Noffke, Rimmington and more

  • on August 21, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    @ Bobagorof - O'Keefe gets snubbed for Hauritz who in turn get snubbed for Michael Beer of all people.

    @ Evilpengwinz - When Australia were doing well and England were doing poorly it was generally considered that the concentration of talent in the Australian game was what caused our superiority. now it's considered a weakness? It can't be both ways.

    While I tentatively support a loan system. It's rather disappointing that NSW has to produce not only it's own players for the test team, but players for other states also.

  • Meety on August 21, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    @Evilpengwinz - mate, 6 teams has worked for over 30 years, & 5 teams have for over 40 years - before that 4 teams! The advantage the Shield has/had over other domestic competitions, is that it most closely resembled test conditions. Imran Khan came & played Shield cricket in the mid 80s (a point when Oz cricket was severely weakened), & couldn't believe how competitive the matches were. That all being said I would like an extra team playing out of Darwin or Canberra as I believe they'd be more conducive to spin, a development needed IMO in Oz cricket.

  • Evilpengwinz on August 21, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    "Australian cricketers would be loaned between states in an effort to ensure the nation's best 66 players are consistently appearing in the Sheffield Shield"

    I think that in itself is a problem. If you've only got a pool of 66 players (at most, that's before you take away any overseas players, and players who have already retired from international cricket) to choose from, you're going to end up with more cases like Michael Beer's selection despite his lack of First Class experience, as well as less variety of bowlers, etc.

    It might upset the traditionalists, but having only 6 teams can't be good for the game, surely?

  • on August 21, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Poor Australia - yes they are suffering a downward turn, but does this really mean that things are seriously, terribly wrong in Australian Cricket? No, of course not.

    A natural and inevitable consequence of the end of the greatest Aussie side ever. The players who would have been playing for Australia today, having debuted years ago, couldn't break into such a brilliant team and as such the rebuilding will start from a lower point.

    It's a natural point in the cycle - not a great failing.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 21, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    State players absolutely should play for their clubs at every opportunity. The same goes for retired test players playing a few seasons for their state after they retire. Warney would have attracted crowds to shield and domestic one day games. Not to mention showing some young spinners (and batsmen) a thing or two. Instead he went to play IPL. Disappointing.

  • bobagorof on August 21, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    I thought NSW already 'loaned out' players who weren't likely to play for the state - Dan Christian, Jason Krejza, Aaron O'Brien, Tom Cooper, Ed Cowan, Adam Maher and Michael Hogan are all playing for other states. If he keeps getting snubbed in favour of Steven Smith, I can see O'Keefe moving elsewhere too...

  • on August 21, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    I love the loan system-english are already doing it borrowing from ireland and south africa. Indians should borrow from Pakistan a couple of bowlers pakistanis dont utilize

  • Webba84 on August 21, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Love how Sutherlands says that individual are not to blame and in the same breath goes on to state exactly which individuals are 'not' to blame. :P classic

  • farkin on August 21, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    "The report does not and did not seek to blame individuals - it says we have the wrong high performance structure and need to change the design of that structure," Sutherland said. "It doesn't and nor should it blame individuals such as Andrew Hilditch, Tim Nielsen and Greg Chappell." why the hell not it was them that put the side together

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  • farkin on August 21, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    "The report does not and did not seek to blame individuals - it says we have the wrong high performance structure and need to change the design of that structure," Sutherland said. "It doesn't and nor should it blame individuals such as Andrew Hilditch, Tim Nielsen and Greg Chappell." why the hell not it was them that put the side together

  • Webba84 on August 21, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Love how Sutherlands says that individual are not to blame and in the same breath goes on to state exactly which individuals are 'not' to blame. :P classic

  • on August 21, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    I love the loan system-english are already doing it borrowing from ireland and south africa. Indians should borrow from Pakistan a couple of bowlers pakistanis dont utilize

  • bobagorof on August 21, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    I thought NSW already 'loaned out' players who weren't likely to play for the state - Dan Christian, Jason Krejza, Aaron O'Brien, Tom Cooper, Ed Cowan, Adam Maher and Michael Hogan are all playing for other states. If he keeps getting snubbed in favour of Steven Smith, I can see O'Keefe moving elsewhere too...

  • Barnesy4444 on August 21, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    State players absolutely should play for their clubs at every opportunity. The same goes for retired test players playing a few seasons for their state after they retire. Warney would have attracted crowds to shield and domestic one day games. Not to mention showing some young spinners (and batsmen) a thing or two. Instead he went to play IPL. Disappointing.

  • on August 21, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Poor Australia - yes they are suffering a downward turn, but does this really mean that things are seriously, terribly wrong in Australian Cricket? No, of course not.

    A natural and inevitable consequence of the end of the greatest Aussie side ever. The players who would have been playing for Australia today, having debuted years ago, couldn't break into such a brilliant team and as such the rebuilding will start from a lower point.

    It's a natural point in the cycle - not a great failing.

  • Evilpengwinz on August 21, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    "Australian cricketers would be loaned between states in an effort to ensure the nation's best 66 players are consistently appearing in the Sheffield Shield"

    I think that in itself is a problem. If you've only got a pool of 66 players (at most, that's before you take away any overseas players, and players who have already retired from international cricket) to choose from, you're going to end up with more cases like Michael Beer's selection despite his lack of First Class experience, as well as less variety of bowlers, etc.

    It might upset the traditionalists, but having only 6 teams can't be good for the game, surely?

  • Meety on August 21, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    @Evilpengwinz - mate, 6 teams has worked for over 30 years, & 5 teams have for over 40 years - before that 4 teams! The advantage the Shield has/had over other domestic competitions, is that it most closely resembled test conditions. Imran Khan came & played Shield cricket in the mid 80s (a point when Oz cricket was severely weakened), & couldn't believe how competitive the matches were. That all being said I would like an extra team playing out of Darwin or Canberra as I believe they'd be more conducive to spin, a development needed IMO in Oz cricket.

  • on August 21, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    @ Bobagorof - O'Keefe gets snubbed for Hauritz who in turn get snubbed for Michael Beer of all people.

    @ Evilpengwinz - When Australia were doing well and England were doing poorly it was generally considered that the concentration of talent in the Australian game was what caused our superiority. now it's considered a weakness? It can't be both ways.

    While I tentatively support a loan system. It's rather disappointing that NSW has to produce not only it's own players for the test team, but players for other states also.

  • on August 21, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    Queensland have been giving players away for years, Hauritz, Watto, Johnson, Noffke, Rimmington and more