Australian cricket needs a complete review
Australia is on the edge of losing the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time since 1986/87 while sitting in fifth place on the ICC Test rankings. It is simply not good enough.
Yes, the retirements of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and the like has hurt the team, and it’s one of the key reasons why Australia has not performed to expectations in this Ashes series, but it goes much deeper than that.
The Sheffield Shield, once the world’s premier domestic first-class competition, has gone backwards over the last few years, with little or no chance of improving because of the growing trend that is Twenty20 cricket.
Also, Australia’s form both at Test and ODI levels over the last few years hasn’t been all that good.
The way Cricket Australia forced the team to prepare for an Ashes series by sending them to India for a full-scale tour, then having to pick a 17-man squad for the first Test in Brisbane, to see who will be in the final XI, is not good enough. England already knew who would be in their first Test XI two months before the series had even started.
While there will be an internal review by Cricket Australia at the end of this series, will that achieve anything? Not much. The status quo will remain intact.
What is urgently needed is a full-scale independent review of every aspect of Australian cricket – club, Sheffield Shield, Test and ODI.
The recommendations from that review should be swiftly implemented without delay. Otherwise, cricket in this country would take the hardest hit ever seen since the turbulent days of WSC.