“There’s no single there whatsoever!”
From its glory days back in the early part of the century, Australian cricket seems to have hit a crossroad. The Australian side is now the fifth ranked Test team in the world and faces a summer which could make things worse.
On the one-day front, things are still quite good, and despite not giving a yelp at the 2011 ICC World Cup, Australia is still ranked number one in the 50-over format.
Australia is currently touring Sri Lanka. Having lost the first two T20 matches in Kandy, a solid bowling effort saw the Aussies win the first of five one-day internationals.
Australia kicks off its true Test season with three matches against Sri Lanka, followed by a series in South Africa where the Baggy Green will play two Tests at Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The final Test in South Africa concludes on the 21st of November, just 12 days before the start of the Australian summer program. New Zealand play two matches in Australia, at The Gabba (1-5 December) and Bellerive Oval, Hobart (9-13 December) before the Christmas period.
With a multitude of changes being made to the side over the last two years and a lack of stability in the current squad, it is hard to see where victories are going to come from for the Australians.
Sri Lanka have proven their worth on the Test stage, controlling India last year in a three Test match series. South Africa has also demonstrated Test success over the past year with series wins, both at home and away.
After the Christmas break, Australia then takes on the Test might of India in a four-match series that is by far the most crucial.
They must prove that the wheels haven’t fallen off and that as a cricketing nation, we are close to the best in the world once again.
The Australian cricket fans are used to success, if that is not provided for the second summer in a row, attendances and TV ratings will suffer.
No summer has been so important for Australian cricket, a tough Test draw followed by a ODI series against India and Sri Lanka.
The new and improved formats for the domestic season hopes to draw crowds and the chance to rebuild Australian cricket.
Cricket Australia must handle this summer without a hitch, there must be success, although that’s out of the hands of administrators and cricket must be pushed into the media in any way, shape or form.
Fox Sports now holds rights to domestic cricket in all three forms in Australia, this needs to change. If possible, cricket needs to be on free-to-air television.
The general public aren’t being exposed to any more than 25 players over the summer, yes, these players are the best 25 but up and coming youngsters need to get a lift, to be pushed into the spotlight of the national selectors.
Cricket Australia is doing everything right at the moment; launching the Big Bash League, kicking off its summer campaign nicely.
As has happened in recent years, we see a lack of publicity until the games are around the corner, advertising is targeted towards members of the public who are likely to attend year after year, cricket fans.
Advertising needs to be pushed towards those who don’t often, or never have attended a game of cricket, push the excitement of the shorter forms of the game towards a new breed of cricket fans.