The money or the box containing the baggy green cap?

Luke Doherty Roar Guru

By Luke Doherty, Luke Doherty is a Roar Guru

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    A "baggy green" cricket cap worn by all-rounder Keith Miller in 1956 is shown in Melbourne, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006. The hat is one of 1,017 lots of cricket memorabilia to be auctioned over two days at Charles Leskie Auctions and is expected to fetch at least $20,000. AAP Image/Julian Smith

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    It’s an interesting proposition; the money or the box containing a baggy green cap?

    An Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) survey appearing in News Limited papers at the weekend found that 92% of respondents believed a baggy green cap was more important than a $1 million contract with an Indian Premier League franchise.

    110 current international and state players were surveyed and if you believe the results then the shortest form of the game doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

    Last year, according to ACA chief executive Paul Marsh, 64% answered baggy green cap and 36% a $1m deal.

    The question is which sample of players do you believe?

    Faced with the same choice which box would you have ticked?

    Surely you would have to be torn.

    The child in you who played backyard cricket with your mates until the sun went down and dinner hit the table would find it a ridiculous question.

    The baggy green cap was invaluable, sacred and the ultimate symbol of sporting significance.

    Phar Lap could win a million Melbourne Cups, but you’d rather see Sir Donald Bradman stroll out to the middle of the Sydney Cricket Ground with his baggy green on.

    For younger Roarers think Makybe Diva and Ricky Ponting.

    The adult in you would be concerned about mortgages, bills and the ever decreasing time on the career clock.

    You could be one injury away from having the word “former” placed before your profession.

    $1m to the adult looks incredibly enticing. The figure seems like something straight out of fantasy land, but the opportunity is real and present.

    That same amount of money to a child is meaningless. Nothing could match the prestige of that cap.

    Have 92% of those 110 current international and state players rediscovered that childlike love of cricket again?

    Was this year’s group less mercenary in nature than the class of 2011?

    Have players had enough of Test cricket being treated as a way to kill time between T20 games rather than the other way around?

    The realisation that a payday of such proportions is reserved for a select few might’ve set in, but that wasn’t the question.

    The question had to be answered as if everyone was Chris Gayle or Shane Watson.

    If 92% of the group of 110 players had the ability of those two men I’d find it extremely hard to believe such a large number would take the baggy green over the money.

    It’s not impossible to have successful T20 and test careers, but it’s extremely difficult.

    Even the sight of Phil Hughes freeing the arms for the Adelaide Strikers last night made me slightly uncomfortable.

    He smacked 74 off 48 balls as the Strikers beat the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.

    It was a great knock, but on Friday Australia will need him to be slightly more restrained and responsible with his time at the wicket as the Aussies take on Sri Lanka in the first Test.

    Would a champion golfer tinker with their swing a week out from the Masters?

    It’s the way the modern game works though.

    Which brings us back to the original question: Would 92% of you really take the baggy green cap over $1m dollars?

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • December 10th 2012 @ 7:22am
      Johnno said | December 10th 2012 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      Thats; like saying to rugby union players during the amateur era, the All Blacks jumper or the wallaby jumper, or playing in the NSWRL and actually getting paid money. Playing rugby league proffesionaly in other words.
      And Ray Price, Ricky Stuart, Michal O’connor, Brett Papworth, JohnTimu, Daryl Halligan, Matt Ridge and many others all took the money. And I can’t blame them.
      If the baggy green can’t buy the big house or a funky apartment or penthouse, the top of the line sports car, and all the other luxuries of being semi-rich, or highly upper middle class, but T20 cricket and the IPL, and other comps like champions league T20 tournament and the many other T20 comps, I sure know what I would choose, if I was a cricketer and it’s not the baggy green.
      Same as during the amateur era of rugby union. I’d take the money in rugby league over a wallaby jersey or All Black jersey.
      Many of these cricket players may say they care about the baggy green more in a survey, so they don’t want to be perceived or seen as greedy, or ambitious money wise, but in practice and reality , they want the money, and you can’t blame them.
      As SBW said when he left rugby league, loved his analogy.
      If your a bus driver, and another rubs company offers you more money to drive the same bus, what do you do, you do the obvious. It makes sense doesn’t it, yes it does.
      So enough said, in reality if i was a cricketer, give me an IPL team any day over the baggy green. why. $$$$, and that’s the only reason. Money talks in pro sport always has , and always will in the present and future.

      • December 11th 2012 @ 11:44am
        Bayman said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        As you suggest, Johnno (or was it SBW?),

        If you don’t like the massage you’re getting you should go to another rubs company.

        • December 11th 2012 @ 11:53am
          Johnno said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          I have done that Bayman, found a better one, for my pesky shoulder, and lower back,

    • December 10th 2012 @ 9:42am
      Matt F said | December 10th 2012 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      It’s not that surprising really. The odds of actually getting a $1million dollar contract in the IPL are quite low. Only the absolute elite players get this and most Aussie players aren’t on anything like that money. Besides because Australia places priority on test cricket a player who is a superstar for the Test side will probably earn $1mil+ from both his CA contract and various endorsement deals. In other words, if you’re good at test cricket in Australia you can end up with both

      • Columnist

        December 10th 2012 @ 10:57am
        Ryan O'Connell said | December 10th 2012 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        Matt, you took the words out of my mouth. If you added up the amount of money generated for a Test cricketer from a CA contract, match payments, and endorsement deals, it would approach or exceed a million dollars.

        • December 10th 2012 @ 11:11am
          Ian Whitchurch said | December 10th 2012 @ 11:11am | ! Report

          The two figures I’d quote are Jamie Cox and Stephen Coniglio.

          Jamie Cox was very very good batsman, but never played Test cricket. He probably earned a decent living, but never saw a million bucks a year.

          Stephen Coniglio was a very talented 17 year old. He saw Sheffield Shield contracts on the thin side of $100k a year, and nominated for the AFL draft.

        • December 10th 2012 @ 1:27pm
          Timmuh said | December 10th 2012 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

          To get the $1m deal in the IPL a player needs to be widely known in India. That doesn’t happen from the BBL, but from successful Test and ODI appearances against India or previous (lower paid) contracts n the IPL. Players seem to be paid for their marketing value as much as their T20 prowess.
          A player can get the baggy green and not the $1m deal, but gettng the $1m without the baggy green is very difficult. Of course, once a player has both then they can make this decision, but not before – and plenty have decided on the short form path (Symonds, Tait, Malinga, as examples for different reasons).

        • December 10th 2012 @ 1:40pm
          Matt F said | December 10th 2012 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          This is also the reason why Australian cricket isn’t as affected by T20 as much as other nations (in terms of players withdrawing for the national team to play IPL.) These players are already paid alot of money for representing Australia so the risk of losing their CA contract outweighs the potential gain of an IPL contract for most players, or at least the ones in Test contention. Sadly it’s not the case in other nations

    • Roar Guru

      December 10th 2012 @ 6:00pm
      Andy_Roo said | December 10th 2012 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

      It’s easy to give answer a hypothetical question. I suspect if the choice was real and immediate then the numbers might be a bit different.

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