Why is Ponting allowed to play Ryobi Cup final?

owenteakle87 Roar Rookie

By owenteakle87, owenteakle87 is a Roar Rookie

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    Ricky Ponting is arguably Australia’s greatest ODI player but with time called on his international career, should he be allowed to walk straight in to Tasmania’s one day side?

    In an Australia record 375 ODIs, Ponting became the second highest ever run scorer and century maker and, of those who have scored more than 8000 ODI runs, his average of 42.03 is only surpassed by modern champions Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis.

    Statistically he has also proven himself as a player for important situations. His average improved to over 50 in World Cup matches, where he scored over a thousand runs and hit four centuries while leading Australia through two undefeated campaigns to become World Champions in 2003 and 2007.

    While his captaincy was rightfully criticised for lacking initiative at times, he played some of his greatest innings as captain and either placed Australia in winning positions or saved them from defeat.

    More than pure numbers, his presence at number three in the batting order saw him become the Australian top order’s prime wicket for opposition attacks, and there was a feeling among supporters that all was well while Ponting was at the crease.

    Meanwhile, his fielding saved hundreds of runs and took dozens of wickets behind backward point.

    Now with Ponting effectively retiring from ODIs on Monday, he has made himself available for both limited over and first class cricket for Tasmania and will make his return for the Tigers in the Ryobi Cup final against the Southern Redbacks at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

    While it will be a boost for domestic cricket, currently lacking appeal to the general cricket supporter, the rules which allow Ponting being allowed to play on Saturday make a mockery of the competition.

    Currently there are no eligibility requirements to play domestic finals in Australia, meaning Ponting is able to come straight back from international competition and take part despite not playing a domestic one day game for Tasmania all season.

    Not only does this adversely affect the balance of Saturday’s match, considering the Redbacks now have to face a player who other teams have not had to play against, it also takes away the chance for a player who has been part of Tasmania’s campaign all season to be a part of the final.

    While coach Tim Coyle has suggested Ponting will fill a spot in the top six that others in the squad, when given the chance, have not grabbed, it will still be an injustice to Matt Johnston or James Faulkner if they are forced to give up their place in the side for Ponting.

    It may be argued that Ponting’s current lack of form will mean his presence actually hinders Tasmania’s chances but there will always be an asterisk in the record books if Punter scores a big century which leads his side to the silverware.

    Surely this situation is the perfect opportunity for Cricket Australia too look into qualification rules for players to take part in domestic cricket finals, such as those present in state football leagues for players returning from the AFL.

    A fine line is being ridden between promoting domestic cricket in Australia and making the individual competitions a sideshow to drawing in crowds and television audiences. It must be ensured that the balance is kept.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • Roar Guru

      February 25th 2012 @ 10:46am
      Ben Carter said | February 25th 2012 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      Hi Owen – downright weird, it is (my Yoda-speak moment for the day). No doubt some in the crowd will love the fact that Slicky Ricky is getting a bit of a bonus send-off in the Apple Isle shirt, but let’s face it, is his form really worth the risk? If Ponting is picked, bats anywhere between number 3 to 6 in the order and scores less than 10, with the Tigers going down to SA, will the TCA be quite as chuffed with the decision? Personally, I hope SA win the thing – I’m a former SA resident who reckons it’s about time we won the thing – for the first time since 1987, apparently. That’s 25 years. When it was called the McDonald’s Cup! Yikes!

    • February 25th 2012 @ 12:02pm
      Matt F said | February 25th 2012 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      I don’t mind that he’s eligible to play. Players come and go from the national team all the time and on those (sadly increasingly rarer) occasions where all the national team players are available, state teams can look entirely different.

      I get that it’s a final, so maybe having to play a set number of games would be an option but what about if a player was coming back from injury? Same rule? Besides domestic cricket needs all the help it can get in terms of media and spectator interest. If Ponting’s presence can bring a few thousand more people, or even a couple of hundred more (a good result for domestic non T20 cricket) then it’s probably a good thing.

    • February 25th 2012 @ 2:12pm
      jameswm said | February 25th 2012 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

      What’s the issue?

      Ponting has always been a Tassie player. He rarely played for them because he was always playing for Australia. Now he’s dropped from the national team, he can play for the state team.

      It’s just like grade – even between the first and second days of a grade game, if a 1st grade player gets a state call up or comes back from state duties, then you move a player up or down through all the grades to cover them – ie move a 5th grade player up to 4th, 4th up to 3rd, 2nd to 1st and the 1st grader plays for the state.

      That’s how it works and this is no different.

      You can’t win, can you? Everyone complains that the national players don’t play enough for their state, and then when they do, someone whinges that it’s unfair.

      • February 25th 2012 @ 2:54pm
        Rhys said | February 25th 2012 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

        100% in agreement. It’s a non issue.

    • February 25th 2012 @ 2:27pm
      Don Corleone said | February 25th 2012 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

      Off topic…how poor is it that Fox Sports has pulled out of covering the Sheffield Shield final. Disgraceful.

      • February 27th 2012 @ 8:32pm
        Evan Askew said | February 27th 2012 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

        I remember when the sheffield shield final used to be on free to air! Times have changed for the worse in my opinion.

    • February 25th 2012 @ 3:25pm
      Johnno said | February 25th 2012 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

      Why should he not. If he is not picked it demeans the Ryobi cup as a legitimate pro sports comp where winning is everything. And the comp loses credibility. Having punter there and if taste win could only be good for taste cricket more silverware, so why not. And anything that generates interests in a weakening state cricket comp like the ODI state comp is a good thing. I think ODI cricket will either go pro 40 over innings, and soon have cities rather than state model like the T20 big bash.
      But the question I have to ask is now Punter good enough to make the Tassie ODI 1st 11. His ODI form has been awful.

    • February 25th 2012 @ 3:43pm
      Jack Russell said | February 25th 2012 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

      If they look at the rules governing AFL players in state leagues, then Ponting would be allowed to play. If a player isn’t selected in the AFL side for that weekend, then they can be selected for their state league side, irrespective of whether it’s a final. There is a minimum number of games rule, but that only applies when the AFL club isn’t playing – i.e is out of the finals. Australia are clearly still playing, Ponting isn’t being selected, therefore he’s entitled to play for his state.

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