Big Bash selling-out Australian prospects
There are appeals upcoming Australian crickters like Patrick Cummins are being let down by the Big Bash competition (AAP Image/Dale Cumming)
Twelve months ago, Patrick Cummins had just finished high school. He was playing grade cricket in New South Wales for Penrith, unsure of what his future held.
Now Cummins is the future of Australian cricket at the tender age of 18, following his match-winning 6/79, which led the Australians to a series-leveling victory against South Africa.
His meteoric rise to the Test team came through the domestic T20 competition, the KFC Big Bash. The New South Wales Blues gave Cummins a chance and he did not let them down, finishing the tournament as the leading wicket-taker, with 11 scalps from six matches.
It was Cummins’ raw pace that had Australian selectors excited, calling him up to the T20I and one day international squads for the tour of South Africa.
Yet, now the newly formed Big Bash League is turning its back on youngsters like Cummins, instead offering lucrative contracts to has-been players of previous eras who will not be part of the future of Australian cricket.
Shane Warne, Brad Hogg and Stuart MacGill are all spin bowlers who will be taking part in this summer’s Big Bash League, at the expense of young players; those who could strengthen and develop the meagre depth of spin bowlers in Australia.
Obviously, the financial benefits of Warne are undeniable, yet you would think Australia’s desperation for a quality spin bowler far exceeds the financial needs of our national sport.
The proof of domestic T20 cricket developing players is irrefutable, following the unearthing of Cummins as well as current Test spinner Nathan Lyon.
Similar to Cummins, Lyon was not competing in domestic cricket 12 months ago. He was the curator at the Adelaide Oval, who would occasionally train with the South Australian Redbacks.
Redbacks’ coach Darren Berry was impressed by the 24-year-old off-spinner and offered him a contract for the KFC Big Bash, where he excelled, finishing with 11 wickets, equalling Cummins as top wicket-taker.
So, I feel that the proof is in the pudding and that Australian cricket is selling out and essentially stunting the development of the next generation cricketers.
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