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March 5, 2012

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The cult of the rebuilders

Jarrod Kimber
Pat Cummins appeals unsuccessfully for a wicket in his debut spell, South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 1st day, November 17, 2011
The TRDs crave new, fresh and different  © AFP
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Genetic sexual attraction is as fancy way of saying that you’ve fallen in love with a relative. It doesn’t happen often, and most of us will never truly understand how a sister and brother or father and daughter, can have romantic feelings for each other, yet alone act on them.

Cricket has a similar syndrome that few fans could ever truly understand. Most fans want their side to be the best of the best. They want to be able to gloat to everyone who had the misfortune of not being born in their part of the world. They want to go into each series thinking that the opposition will be little more than road kill for their heroes. There are other fans including those who truly want cricket to be the real winner. And even those other sick fans who prefer their side to lose just so their natural pessimism is proved to prophetic.

Then there is the TRD fans.

TRD (Team Rebuilding Desire) is something that certain fans suffer from. While they get some satisfaction from their team’s heady success, they get much more from the new players coming into the team and replacing the old players they know everything about. The problem is, this turnover can also bring losses. Now true TRD fans don’t care about this, that’s what distances them from just the shouty guy who wants everyone dropped who hangs out at your local corner store. The TRD fans desire the new blood, they crave it like some tween heroine from an otherwordly novel, and they care little for things like ending careers or a few series losses.

I can finally out myself as someone who has this affliction. Over the years I’ve wanted everyone from David Boon, Adam Gilchrist, Steve Waugh and even Ricky Ponting to move on just so I can see the next crop come through. These guys don’t have to be dropped. They can retire if they want; I want new blood, not needless blood.

During the mid-90s I wanted David Boon dropped more than anything in the world, even though I loved watching him bat, just so I could see guys like Damien Martyn, Ricky Ponting and even Greg Blewett. It became far more important to me for these guys to come in than for Australia to keep winning. David Boon couldn’t shock me, I knew exactly what to expect from him. I could tell you how many times a day he’d readjust his box just by how many runs he’d made. Then in the mid-2000s I felt the same. So Australia’s collapse in 2008 was perfect for me. Because I don’t even need the next big thing. I just need lots of new things. I need the old things repackaged. I need the new things still in the box. I need the damaged things. I need the things I never wanted. I just need it new. I need Michael Beer, Phil Hughes, James Pattinson and Matthew Wade. I need Bryce McGain and Patrick Cummins. New, fresh, different.

Right now you’re probably assuming I just have a one-off illness, it’s even possible you think I’ve made this up, that TRD is just some figment of my imagination. But I bet there are some Indian readers who get this. They love Sachin, Rahul and VVS, but their TRD means they want to see Che, Rohit and Ajinkya now.

To some of you this may seem sick and wrong. You’d want us locked up and our tickets taken from us and given to loving normal fans who don’t need to get their satisfaction from something this disgusting. You probably think we should all change our ways and continue to support and appreciate our aged greats.

This may not be normal to you, but please let us get our kicks from something as simple as a selector or coach saying, “we’re in a rebuilding phase, we’ll be looking at some new faces soon for sure”. Nothing makes a TRD happier than that.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Posted by veryeavy on (March 8, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

As a NZer I have virtually no ability to empathise from current, or indeed past, experience. At the moment we want Vettori and Martin to play forever, Guptill, Williamson and Bracewell to get their Test match "smarts", McCullum and Taylor to find an extra 5% and Ryder to get off the booze. So same as it ever was as I play the game of looking at other teams' fringe players and imagine them playing for NZ - Tremlett and Finn from the Poms and the young Saffer de Lange spring to mind currently and from days of yore the unlucky Aussie Stuart Law. And one of the biggest what-ifs of NZ cricket - what if Graeme Hick had opted to play for NZ and had flourished away from the toxic Pommie press. Off to the the Oval now to watch the Phantom dismantle Steyn and co.

Posted by Visal Liyanage on (March 8, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

You know Bryce McGain is 40 right? Certainly not new, fresh or different...

Posted by krishna vemuri on (March 6, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

IT took me about a minute to work out who you were talking about when you wrote 'Che'. Please dont do that again, it is very disturbing.

Posted by smudgeon on (March 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

Excellent article, I can definitely relate. In the late 90s through to the early 2000s, I wanted to see Mark Waugh gone more than anyone. By any means necessary. Part of it was because his remarkable skills seemed cheated by his less remarkable ability to get out at any time to an ordinary ball and a lazy shot. But mostly it was because I needed to see Jamie Cox, Michael DiVenuto, Jamie Siddons, Martin Love, etc in the side. So glad that when Argus was put into place, change happened - and continues to happen. I won't mind seeing a settled Aussie line-up for a few years, provided they're the guys I like.

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