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New Ryobi sets scene for World Cup

Daniel Brettig

September 27, 2013

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin hit a quickfire 66 in Australia's warm-up match, BCB XI v Australia, April 7, 2011
Brad Haddin believes Australia's chances in future world tournaments will be boosted by the new format of the Ryobi Cup © Associated Press
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Having set his sights on turning out for Australia at the next World Cup, Brad Haddin believes the shift of the domestic limited-overs competition to a tight tournament format will enhance the national team's chances of contending when the 50-over game's major trophy is contested in 2015.

Haddin will lead New South Wales against Tasmania in the opening match at Bankstown Oval on Sunday, heralding an event played entirely in Sydney across four venues inside the space of a month. In this it reflects the intensity and rhythm of a World Cup or Champions Trophy, a marked change from the spreading of fixtures across the entire summer.

"I reckon the way they've set it out this year is outstanding," Haddin said. "It mirrors what you do with the Australian team and it gets guys used to being in a tournament and building towards a final.

"Tournament play is about getting better as you go along and I reckon this is a great way for state cricket to start in a tournament like this. I like that it's all compressed into a tournament so from that point of view it's good and we obviously should have a home advantage if it's played in Sydney."

New South Wales have been rejuvenated by a series of off-field changes since the start of 2013, starting with the elevation of the new chairman John Warn and then a fresh chief executive in Andrew Jones. Trevor Bayliss has returned as the coach, while Haddin has happily accepted captaincy duties whenever Australia commitments allow him.

"Leaving for the Ashes it wasn't a great place to be around," Haddin said. "But coming back with the work Andrew Jones and John Warn have done with NSW Cricket it's just been a fresh start. So it was refreshing to walk back in after the Ashes campaign and see the headspace everyone was at. The office is now buzzing, we've got everything sorted, so it's up to us to continue the momentum they've started upstairs and play some good cricket."

They will be helped in this pursuit by the limited-overs tournament being staged exclusively in Sydney, granting a major advantage to Australia's most populous cricket state. Haddin admitted his competitors had a right to raise eyebrows at the loss of home ground comforts for the duration of the event.

"I would ask some questions definitely [if from another state]," he said. "The one thing about playing for your state is you like to have the home ground advantage and make teams coming to your area as uncomfortable as you possible can. So a bit of luck the Sydney crowds will get out and make every team as uncomfortable as possible."

Among the anointed venues is the picturesque but small North Sydney Oval, a former favourite with limited-overs schedulers but now notable for how its small boundaries can be exploited by the spring-loaded bats of 2013. Last summer Victoria were set a distant 351 to win by the Blues, but David Hussey and Aaron Finch ran them down with 20 balls to spare.

"We're still looking for some balls Aaron Finch hit out there last year," Haddin quipped. "It's good for the crowd. North Sydney Oval traditionally was always a great place to start the tournament, we always used to play the first one day game of the year there, so it was a great event.

"It's a great ground to play at, as is out here [the SCG], but it is an interesting ground to play at now especially with the size of the bats. We won't hide from the fact we'd like to play at the SCG, but I like the way the tournament's set up, and these are the grounds we've chosen."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Mary_786 on (September 29, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

@lillee4pm i agree with you on Cowan's running, very dissapointing to see him run out 2 of his team mates in what changed the game and i hope he takes the time to work on his running.

Posted by PFEL on (September 29, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

If I was a coach, I would not let Cowan anywhere near my team, even if he was averaging 50. He's an ordinary player who got incredibly lucky to be in the Australian team. Right place right time.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 29, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

@ lillee4PM, COuld not agree more! I was a bit surprised by the general feel about him being a team man and a hard worker. To me, though i don't know him, he seems as if he is always looking out for himself, his comments in the media are almost provocative sometimes, don't like him. I tried, but don't like him, hope that was the last we saw of him in international cricket.

Posted by lillee4PM on (September 29, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

Just watched Ed Cowan run two of his team mates out against NSW. He does this at Test level too and is one of the most selfish players going around, a real liability at either end. He just got out, caught Warner for 25 and has left the Tassie innings in tatters!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 29, 2013, 3:06 GMT)

Same old, same old rubbish batting! Smith has shown he is far and awy the best young batsman in the country, sick of all the phonies. Warner bad batting again, now it's clear why he was dropped. Maddinson has recieved a huge wrap from everyone but his oneday record is abysmal. Is henriques ever going to come good? And rohrer is far too inconsitent for a supposed senior batsman, throw hadds on that boat too.

Posted by PFEL on (September 29, 2013, 1:20 GMT)

@Nerk, No it won't be somewhere else next year. I can see them possibly holding one in Vic, but no one will there ever be the whole tournament being held in Tas, WA or SA. Hopefully this is just a one off and it will go back to home and away games next season because holding all the one day games in Sydney is a joke.

Posted by Chris_P on (September 29, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

@ Nerk. There is a game at Blacktown so don't worry. With so few attending matches, this format would appear the best option. Every state will have their turn so if you're really interested, when it comes to your turn to host these matches you can see a stack of them! @Adoh. What fans? You mean the 23 who turn out to watch these usually? The usual followers on TV won't miss out, there won't be a backfire because you can hardly attract LESS spectators than before. @Webley & Razmont. Seriously, how many Ryobi games do you attend? If you do, you are one of about 20 who do, but when this series come to your city, you can go to plenty!

Posted by Adoh on (September 28, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

So, it's not about the fans and its not about getting experience on different wickets. This will backfire.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (September 28, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

I 100% agree ss1981 these games should be played in every state on all surfaces for all to enjoy not just in one state and to show more attention to the slug fest 20/20 which to me is getting old and making players loose there talent am i wrong put a batsman on a half decent bowling wicket and there stuffed i say easy up the 20/20 focus all around the world that making the ICC (Indians take a dive from there pockets so be it)

Posted by Timmuh on (September 28, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

I like the idea of packing the competition into a short timeframe, but the one city thing is annoying. It also means we will never get ListA games in regional centres again, as no regional city would have multiple suitable grounds. And why is it 45 overs????? That makes no sense.

Canvey26, WA and Qld games were probably scheduled as they are at least in part to avoid clashing with Brisbane and Perth's Cgampions League commitments.

Posted by ss1981 on (September 28, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

Big Bash should be condensed.. Shorter format gets more time... I thought the point of 20 over cricket was to have it done and dusted quickly, and keep the non-cricketing nations like the USA, China and others from becoming bored?

Australian STATE cricket, should be played in all states (and territories).. so having a National tournament based in Sydney is pointless, and will further diminish the interest in 50-over cricket nationally speaking.. which is what CA wants..

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

Fantastic idea. Leave the Shield to the home and away fixtures. Change the states that host them each year and play them on Grade grounds only. Great concept

Posted by Nerk on (September 28, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

The first year will be in NSW, next year it will be somewhere else. Get over it.

The problem I have with this structure is, looking at the fixtures, all the games are near the city. It would be nice if a game could have been arranged at Blacktown, which has hosted first class matches.

Posted by Canvey26 on (September 27, 2013, 23:52 GMT)

I hope Sutherland does read these because he should of been sacked years ago this smells of saving money to trigger his own bonus, The system is not fair NSW are not only at home but are given more days rest as well, how can you expect WA and Qld to play 6 games in 12 days and NSW with no travel play their first 4 games in 19 days,?!?! why wasn't the competition moved 2 weeks back so it's fair.....Integrity Cricket Australia ,Integrity.

Posted by wix99 on (September 27, 2013, 21:11 GMT)

I can understand why the matches are being held over one month, but why do they all need to be in the same city? Surely Brisbane could have hosted some of the matches.

Posted by anton1234 on (September 27, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Horrible idea to stage all the games in one state but really like the idea to condense the tournament into a single month. Each state must play home and away (with some matches on out grounds to attract bigger crowds).

In any case, I think the 50 over game should end with the 2015 world cup. The 50 over format is way too long. Replace it with a 40 over a side competition. More condensed but still enough time to get subtlety. Have only two 5-over field restrictions (one in the first 10 overs and one in the last 10, both chosen by the batting side. Or have none at all. I have never liked the idea of field restrictions. I always felt they were artificial and the bowling side should always be able to place their field as they see fit. But if you have to have them then limit it to two 5 over periods.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (September 27, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

I like that its condensed into 1 month, don't like that we can't see any games in Brisbane. Bulls as defending champions have a big job defending our title, Burns, Khawaja to fire for us in the batting and Cutting, Mcdermott in the batting. Though i like the look of the Bushrangers as well and i think they will be the team to beat along with NSw.

Posted by PFEL on (September 27, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Cricket Australia will always do what's best for the Big Bash, simple as that. They are a corporation and this is a business, so finance is always going to be first and foremost, as would be expected. Saying that though, this is still just terrible. I don't mind the tournament format so much, but having all the games in Sydney is beyond ridiculous, and the Grounds they are playing on will do nothing but further demolish the standards of domestic cricketers coming through the ranks.

Posted by DSPT on (September 27, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

So the state that finishes top hosts the final? Is that correct?

Posted by   on (September 27, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

As a born-and-bred Sydneysider (although living overseas), I think it's great for us to have the tournament set-up like this. Of course I see where people who live in other states are coming from and hope for their sake that this format can be transported to other states in the future too.

A gentle reminder though to all those complaining about not being able to go to a game now: when the opportunity presented itself last season & the seasons before, did you take it? Is it a case of you don't know how good you've got it until it's gone? Sydneysiders though are notoriously fickle so it's not a case of throwing stones from glass houses - Sydneysiders need to go to the games too, especially now that they're ALL here!

The concept of mirroring a major knock-out tournament is great though, as it will heighten the players attention & focus and hopefully improve the quality of cricket. Well done CA for initiating this change! And don't be afraid to tweak it if necessary in the future!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 27, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

@Razmont, Watch it on TV, it's on free TV now. I know people are angry about it, but around 50 people showed up to the RYOBI cup final last year, so you can't blame CA.

Posted by Big-Dog on (September 27, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

Razmont 6.39..I totally agree. This decision is a disgrace & will do nothing to foster the game in other states. Sutherland should be sacked.

Posted by JDH95 on (September 27, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

This is ridiculous! The format is good but why can't we have the same format but using the grounds available in other states. Last time I looked this country was called Australia NOT N.S.W!!

Posted by Cricket1960 on (September 27, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

Yeah, great format for you Brad. Bad luck if anyone else wants to get along and watch their State team play. There is a world outside NSW you know. Ridiculous format. I'm furious.

Posted by Webley on (September 27, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

Disappointed that I can't go and see a Ryobi Cup game game in Melbourne this season.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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