Cricket 17 October 2017
“ICC need a stick. A big STICK!!!”
Big Jim takes a look at Crickets new plan to find relevance….read more
The ICC has announced that they are going to make some changes to improve the state of International cricket. This is long overdue but I fear that these may just be empty words or are they actually going to make a difference.
If you are going to have a governing body then it has to have teeth. FIFA might be more corrupt than the mob but at least it has real power. When they control the World Cup and competitions like the Champions League individual countries only defy FIFA at their peril. The ICC has constantly suffered because individual national cricket boards often tell them to stick their suggestions if it doesn’t suit them. This means the whole system can often be nothing short of a whole lot of hot air.
Both forms of International limited over cricket is a total joke. Outside of World Cups games mean nothing. A ranking system has to mean something as well. There has to be some qualification process with a “final” or “finals” at the end. World rankings that don’t mean anything are worthless.
Test Cricket also desperately needs a facelift. I don’t understand why we can’t have a World Cup of Test Cricket. Hold it once every four years where the top 4 teams play a semi-final and then a final to decide the winner. Competitions like the Ashes remain strong due to its unique place in the culture of two countries but don’t be fooled into thinking that test cricket is alive and well.
Cricket is the sleeping giant of world sport. It has huge international appeal and billions of supporters. The problem is that from an administrative perspective the game is toothless and continues to pander to outside interests that hold the game back.
Cricket 2 October 2017
Big Jim takes a look at what our bowling line up will look like come the first Ashes Test against the Poms…read more
There is always plenty of speculation when it comes to selecting the best 11 for an Ashes Test Match. The media is responsible for a lot of the bull shit flying around but they have to write about something. Today lets have a look at our bowling stock.
I think the bowling picture is clearer than some cricket experts might suggest. In Brisbane and Adelaide we will go in with 3 quicks and 1 spinner and at least 1 batsman that can bowl. Now in Perth and Melbourne there is a very slim chance that we might consider going with 4 quicks and in Sydney there is a chance we might go in with 2 spinners. The most likely scenario is that we stick with 3 quicks and 1 spinner throughout the entire series.
Now firstly lets talk quicks. Starc and Hazlewood obviously pick themselves. If they are fit then they play as they are the best opening bowling combination in the game. Now you would think that Pat Cummings has a mortgage on the third seamers spot. He deserves it on both form and talent.
Now the biggest wild card would be James Patterson. I think you could only gamble with him if you were going to go in with 4 quicks and the only way I could see that would be in Melbourne if the Aussies HAD to win that test. The next option could be Nathan Coulter Nile who could well get his chance with any injury. At some stage you would expect that at least one of the top three would need a break or would get injured. The bolter might be Marcus Stoinis who has performed well over in India. Stoinis is a great limited over cricket player but I am far from convinced that he is good enough to be selected as 1 of 4 front line bowlers for a test match.
In regards to our number one spinner that position is a lock for Nathan Lyon. I would really like us to have a front line leg spinner instead of an off spinner but the bottom line is that we don’t have one that is at Lyon’s level right now. If we need a leggie in Sydney then I pray we go for youth. That would mean picking one of Boyce, Swepson or Zampa who you all could make an argument for to fight it out for that position.
In regards to the “batting all rounder” then you would think that Maxwell is the man. I think that Smith probably tends to under bowl him but that is just my take. The Aussie team needs Maxwell as he is capable of winning the odd test solely on one amazing game changing innings with his bat. We have a host of batsmen who can bowl meds if we need to go that way.
Cricket 11 September 2017
“Bango’s rattle the cage.”
Big Jim has a look at the Aussie Cricket Teams far from impressive effort against Bangladesh….read more
Great to see the Bango’s win a test match. They really deserved it and credit where credit is due. The Aussies bounced back in the second test but have any questions been answered? The simple response to that is NO! It was two tests against a sub continent minnow on sub continent decks.
I read an article from Ian Chappell who suggested that the first test calamity was simply a lack of match practice and had nothing to do with the shenanigans of the last 6 months. That for me is far from the truth. Yes, the lack of match practice didn’t help but there are some deep rooted problems in regards to Australian Cricket and to suggest that this public spat hasn’t damaged our final product (the performance of the Australian team) is laughable.
Lets just touch the surface regarding the fall out of our pre Ashes schedule:
- Who runs the scheduling for the Aussie team? It’s Cricket Australia but you could never tell. What sort of lead up are two test matches against Bangladesh and a meaningless 50 over series in India?
- We played three spinners in the last test. Why? We are going to go into the Ashes with three quicks and there is even a chance that we could go in with 4 front line seamers if Brisbane, Perth or Melbourne throw up green tops. So a pointless exercise in regards to a lead up series.
- The debacle behind Okeefe’s selection was yet another media circus which the team and the ACB needed like a rock in their shoe.
- The Batting looks OK and we probably have 5 certainties that played against Bangladesh that will also line up in the Ashes. The problem is that they would have been better off playing First Class or even Grade Cricket here in Australia in regards to finding form for the upcoming test match series on home soil.
These are just a few problems that have emerged in the last week! The list of what is wrong with cricket in this country could fill 400 pages of a Royal Commission but sadly I have neither the time or the inclination to go into more depth here today.
England’s effort against the Windies isn’t exactly promising for them either, but if we want to dominate the Ashes (which we should here on home soil) we had better hope that our fast bowling stocks are resting and are feeling ready to go for the first test.
Cricket 31 July 2017
“Michael Clarke weights in! Must be looking for an ACB gig!”
Big Jim is sickened by the greed of both warring parties and the parasites that feed of the carcass’s….read more
Michael Clarke has “broken his silence” regarding the Australian cricket debacle. Make no mistake he would have done this for his own good. After all Clarke was the poster boy for the new look Australian Cricketer that used the baggy green as a tool to line his pockets and his ego. Not that Clarke actually said anything or even suggested anything outside of politically correct diarrhoea. Apparently it would help the players to actually play some cricket leading up to the Ashes. Thanks for that Clarke, who would have thought?
On that topic what an incredible lead up Cricket Australia came up with to warm up for the Ashes. Bangladesh for some serious test match cricket followed by yet another meaningless one day series in India. That serious topic of conversation isn’t even being mentioned because the players are far from packing their bags.
The Aussie cricketers are no better. After taking up the big bucks in the IPL the papers and social media have plenty of happy snaps of the boys getting some much deserved down town whilst jet setting across the globe. Have no fear they will blame everyone but themselves if things turn to custard against the Poms. Over work, bad lead up games, stress. I will be amazed if a host of them aren’t diagnosed with mental disorders over the next few months. After all its a tough life for the overworked and underpaid cricketers of Australia even though those at the top are clearly the best paid team sports people in the country.
Allan Border also felt obligated to have his say. I love AB. He was my childhood hero and no greater man has ever donned the baggy green. Behind closed doors AB would be guttered by the hordes of pigs with their noses in the Australian Cricket trough. Border suggested a short term “armistice” with players agreeing to a stop gap deal to get us through until after the Ashes. Its not that this is a bad idea, its the fact that it won’t make the problem go away and more to the point how the hell did it ever come to this?
James Sutherland has had to finally come out and appear like he is playing an active role in this grubby saga. He used his puppet boy Pat Howard one too many times to shield himself from the heat of the bonfire and now the rat at heart of the burning fiasco is slithering out to save himself. James is desperately trying to sell himself as the voice of reason, regarding a problem, that apparently isn’t his fault in the slightest.
“Arbitration” says Sutherland!!! What does that actually mean James? WHO pray-tell will actually head this so called independent body? AND when this so called independent body finally makes it decision what’s to bind the two parties to its findings? These are just empty words from a desperate man who couldn’t run a 5 year olds teddy bears picnic.
The FARCE CONTINUES…..Make no mistake, Sutherland and Howard will be up for a pay rise soon and the Aussie cricketers will get more money, a lot more money, before this drama ends. Everyone will walk away with smiles except the public who (outside of the Big Bash) are getting thoroughly sick to the stomach with ALL the power brokers in Australian cricket.
Both the suit wearing men of Australian Cricket and the money starved players are both a sorrowful pack of self servers. Their concern for the game runs about as deep as the pigs concern for the barn in Animal Farm. If truth be told, George Orwell would have struggled to have created such dislikeable fictitious characters. SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!
Cricket 20 July 2017
“Gilly predicts end to the crisis as Poms sink”
Big Jim updates us on the Aussie cricket crisis as the Poms lose the second test against South Africa….read more
Australian Cricket Legend Adam Gilchrist has come out and said that the pay dispute is a week away from being resolved. This has been greeted with a heavy dose of scepticism from staunch player representative Pat Cowan.
It is strange that a lot of former test greats appear to support the fact that the ACB is now ready to make this horrible nightmare go away. I am not so sure. Both parties continue to preach that they are waving the flag for the long term future of the game. The rest of us are left thinking how two bodies so actively involved in the future of the game could be doing such a hatchet job on cricket. SORT IT OUT IDIOTS!!!
South Africa bought the Poms back to earth in a thud by levelling their test series in England after two tests. The English were basically “no-shows” in the test that was dominated by the visitors. It will be interesting to see if the English side can bounce back in the next two tests before their long awaited show down with the Aussies. That is…..IF……Cricket Australia can sort out their own barrel of crap before hosting the most important competition in the world of cricket.
Cricket at the moment is like a son that destroys the family. You still love him but he makes it very very hard…..
Cricket 10 July 2017
“Poms got a good Root!”
Big Jim takes a look at Joe Root England’s new cricket captain and the possibility that the Poms don’t come down under this summer….read more
Its a long way off before the Ashes get cancelled but when people start talking about the possibility a ripple can quickly become a wave. Well I hope Cricket Australia are happy with themselves. Its also a little hard to stomach that the Aussie players apparently have the “best interests of the game” at heart. I have had my say on this and don’t want to repeat myself but this is getting beyond a joke. Enough children time to kiss and make up before someone gets really hurt.
I think its smart PR from the Poms to start winding the screws on this topic. They have said that unless they get adequate warm up matches to acclimatise to Aussie conditions then they wont be coming. I wouldn’t either in their position the Urn is theirs at the moment. Joe Root might be an annoying little twit but he has two things going for him. Firstly he is one hell of a good cricketer and secondly (just like Kohli for India) he has Aussie style toughness and fire in the belly. The Poms will fight hard this summer make no mistake about that.
Roots first innings (190 off 234 balls) as captain against the Saffers came when his side was under extreme pressure. This wasn’t a David Warner type knock of smashing the ball around when it didn’t matter on a flat deck. This was an innings that the likes of Border, Steve Waugh or Steve Smith would have been proud of. South Africa did a job on us last summer and England have started their home test series against South Africa in impressive fashion. This is not a great English team but with Broad batting at 9 they have incredible depth in that department and with the likes of Anderson, Broad, Stokes and Ali they have a bowling side that at the very least has vast experience.
The Ashes is awesome. Its one of the oldest and most cherished of sporting traditions and it brings many warm memories back to me of when cricket consumed every ounce of my attention. I really hope this summer isn’t a wash out and we can somehow get the toys back into the play pen before its all too late.
Cricket 5 July 2017
“Pat Who and the Greedy Bunch”
Big Jim looks at the player dispute debacle that is ripping Aussie cricket apart…read more
As I have said before I don’t want to get involved in who is right and who is wrong in this dispute. Both sides have valid points and both sides appear ready to fight it out to the bitter end regardless of the damage that they do to the game. Every piece of cricket media at the moment starts with the “inspite of the bitter pay dispute” mantra.
To sum it up idiot, cheat and all round arse hole Greg Chappell thinks this is a “good healthy debate and that positive things will come from this”. His endorsement is enough for us to categorically know that this war is a debacle of the highest order. Cricket needed World Series Cricket as it was dying back in the late 70’s. In 2017 the future of cricket appears rosy and this is the last thing the game needs in Australia.
Lets start with the players. Cricketers are worse than even AFL football players when it comes to moaning about being over worked. That is until they go over to India to snap up million dollar contracts to play in the Premier League. The Players Association and the players are screaming that they are fighting for the battlers but that argument is tenuous. Aussie cricketers want more of the pie, they want to play less and its obvious by their actions in this public spat that their concern over the future of the game in general is limited at best. There might be a few exceptions to this but across the board this is clearly the case.
Now Cricket Australia is an archaic institution with narrow minded imbeciles at the helm. I am probably not going far enough as outside of the Australian Rugby Union this administration is about as bad as it gets. Pat Howard could put Rasputin to shame when it comes to poisoning an organisation from the inside. How did Howard get involved with Cricket Australia? Not only has he constantly made screw up after screw up he has thrived at cricket HQ. Maybe they rate you on how much damage you can do the game in your KPI’s when you sign an ACB contract. The more damage, the more ticks, the more money and the more promotions. It sounds stupid but its hard to argue.
The most stupid thing of all and the biggest problem is who thought that it would be best that this circus should be played out in the media? The person who made THAT initial decision needs feel the axe! The Big Bash League is flourishing and the Ashes are on their way. The Poms currently have that Urn so cricket should be basking in the sun. How could any organisation stuff that sort of momentum up? The thing that should be debated in the press at the moment is WHY the best Australian players aren’t playing in the Big Bash? They play in the IPL (which we don’t get to watch) but they don’t play in the form of the game that the kids in this country are watching. SHAME on you all!!!
Lock the two sides of this stupid debate in a room and lock the doors until this is resolved. It WILL be resolved make no mistake so lets do it now. The ONLY thing that is left to debate is how much damage will be done until this is worked out? The ACB won’t let the Ashes get flushed down the toilet bowl and the Aussie players have Bondi Mansions and Ferrari’s to pay for so kiss and make up and lets see if we can forget about this stupidness sooner rather than later.
Cricket 18 May 2017
“ACB and players threaten stand-off!”
Big Jim looks at pending pay dispute between Australian cricketers and the board.
Its time for the Ashes again this summer. This should be the time Australian Cricket basks in the sun. But the ACB has never been a sporting body that resembles competency. There is an increasing pay dispute starting to rage which features the players and their quest for a % of the games revenue over guaranteed salary packages.
I’m not sure who the hell is on the right side of the fence in regards to this argument and to be truthful nor do I care. The one thing I am sure about is that the Australian Cricket Board couldn’t run a chock raffle in an RSL and that the majority of Australian Cricketers want as much of the pie as they can get their hands on. These two facts could well be the tinder to spark this fire.
Cricket Australia needs smart people to run the sport. Australian cricketers need to understand the incredible position they find themselves in and even though they have the right to be well rewarded financially for their efforts they have to understand that the public image of the sport is part of their responsibility as well. If no one cares then there isn’t the money!
Cricket was Australia’s game. It was the one sport that all of the country cared about. This isn’t the case like it used to be, as the game has suffers from poor management, poor opposition and some sub standard performances. The players and the men in suits better get this sorted and they better do it damn quick. Sort this out and get on the soap box and preach how exciting this summers Ashes is going to be. Otherwise more and more Aussie cricket fans will be tuning into the Big Bash and tuning out of the Australian team.
IPL Cricket 4 May 2017
“Warner finally blasts a ton but we were in the dark?”
Big Jim takes a look at the IPL no-broadcast farce…read more
David Warner actually scored some runs in the sub continent the other day for his IPL franchise but good luck if you wanted to watch it. There was a debacle a few years back about the broadcast rights for the IPL in Australia and that joke scenario continues to screw Australian Cricket fans. I LOVED the IPL in the first few season when I could actually watch it as it featured top class cricket, huge crowds and plenty of action when it came to betting.
Foxtel continues to broadcast irrelevant test and one day games featuring teams no Australians care about while our Aussie cream are battling it out in India in the biggest 20/20 competition in the world. With the success of the KFC Big Bash doesn’t any broadcaster think that it might be worth showing the games in Australia? Every second taxi driver I speak to always tells me how he would love to be watching the IPL!
I have no idea if this is just stupidity by Australian broadcasters or if its the fault of the greedy power brokers of the IPL demanding a far too heavy price for their product. I suspect a bit of both! Whatever the circumstance is; It sucks!!!
For fans of David Warner it might be the only time you will ever actually see him make a difference with his bat when it matters. On the same note while I’m at it if you want to watch the NBA play-offs then good luck with that hit and miss coverage on Foxtel.
Cable television is dying a quick death and if they continue not showing sport that people want to watch then they can hasten that death ten fold. I don’t want to watch a softball game between two American Colleges when I could be watching the NBA play-offs. I don’t want to watch a touch football game from who cares where when I could be watching the best 20/20 cricket comp on the planet. Thankfully all sport we will be wanting to watch will downloadable on the internet. Many major sports already offer this and the rest will follow sooner rather than later. Yes, we will all to pay for what we want to watch but I would rather pay than not get to watch it at all!!! So don’t talk to me about poxy free to air coverage that sucks! Yeh….I’m talking to you Nicole!!!
Cricket – March 15 –
They Care! So We Care!
Big Jim takes a look at the enthralling test series in India. Read more……
Its been a long time since we have seen two young captains so desperate for success. Steve Smith and Virat Kholi are young lions trying to be the dominant male in the pride. This has created a test series where tensions are high and the cricket insatiable viewing.
Most of the Aussies have played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) so many of these players know each other very well. So I am far from convinced that the fire and hatred extends off the pitch but the passion in which these two sides are throwing themselves at each other is plainly evident. The Aussies in the past have been the best “sledgers” in the game but Kholi has ramped up his trash talk and is giving the Aussies a taste of what they have made other teams suffer in the the past. Kholi handled himself beautifully in the press conference after the game when he called Smith a cheat outside of actually using the word. Love him or hate him, Virat Kholi represents the tough professional leader that the Indian Cricket Team has never had.
Steve Smith, on the other hand has let his bat do the talking. His batting order is young and inconsistent but he remains the rock that keeps it all together. In the field his bowling rotations has been nothing short of brilliant and he has kept the Aussie lads believing they can win. Remember this series was mission impossible prior to the first test. At one test a piece, Smith is one unlikely win away from retaining the Border/Gavaskar Trophy and arguably the mantle of the best test team in the game.
Australia has to drop Mitch Marsh and play Glenn Maxwell. Test match cricket is an arena where at the very least your batting or bowling has to be up to standard. Mitch Marsh in India is a total waste of time. Maxwell coming in at 6 is capable of a quick fire 50 that could decide this series. India on the other hand needs Kholi to fire with the bat. I would be amazed if he doesn’t reach triple figures at least once in his next four innings.
The toss remains crucial to winning the next two test matches. I would urge you to back the team that wins the toss and bats. If you watched the first two tests then you will join me in keeping your fingers crossed that test cricket remains part of the cricketing landscape for years to come.
Ladbrokes has India at $1.60, Australia $4.00 and the draw at $5.25 in the three way market for the third test. The play here might be to back the Aussies and pray they win the toss. India on the other can win the game batting second where as you think the Aussies would really struggle to do that. Anyway plenty of sexy betting options here in what should be a cracker.