The Australian public’s right to select a cricket team

The_Big_Big_Show Roar Rookie

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    There is a very common saying you might have heard before that states, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

    Now I am not here to upset any teachers or sports fanatics but its pertinent to this article that I bust out that oldie, but a goodie.

    In cricketing terms it would be more accurate to phrase it like this:

    “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, criticise players openly, sometimes blindly and often select their own best XI.”

    Having an opinion on the Australian cricket team is not only a birthright in Australia but in my opinion more important than the right to vote.

    I’d happily give up my voting rights if I was allowed to have a shot at selecting an Australian team for any match.

    Since the modern day ‘fab five’ (Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath) retired almost simultaneously, Albion Sports have been pumping out ‘custom made, hand crafted baggy greens’ like never before.

    In the 15-year period between 1992 when Shane Warne debuted and 2007, when he retired from Test cricket, Cricket Australia gave out just over 50 baggy greens.

    In the five years since, over 30 players have put their hand up to play for Australia at Test level.

    On Wednesday, Australia played two games of cricket 8000km apart.

    This is not unprecedented but it does show a lack of respect to the T20 game that was played in Brisbane on Wednesday night against an almost full-strength West Indies team.

    It seems CA is prepared to de-value these games and stretch the players thinly across different continents.

    Gate takings and TV rights deals appear to be the only factor they care about any more.

    A very wise “man of the sleeve” once told me “don’t get bitter, get better”, and I am sure he stole it from somewhere.

    It’s a motto I try to adhere to.

    In the spirit of this I implore the under-siege selectors to come up with some radical selection policies.

    Why not open it up to the public to select an Australian XI online?

    It could be for the next one off T20 game. We all consider ourselves selectors anyway.

    The idea of the public choosing a national XI is not that wild or delusional.

    Fantasy sports have become incredibly popular and with the Twitter generation embracing new technologies, they now have high-volume public forums to voices their pleasures or discontent.

    Purists will laugh at this notion and say I am living in a fantasy world.

    Sounds fair enough, I’ll cop that, even embrace it by holding my own cricket match. I have selected my own teams, so let’s see who turns up.

    The match will consist of current players who are highly rated, well-paid, potentially brilliant cricketers yet to consistently live up to the hype generated over the last few summers.

    Their opponents are an unlucky bunch of talented men set out for vindication.

    HRSC XI (Highly Rated, Swiftly Capped XI)

    I am not going to say they haven’t deserved their Test caps, nor am I going to compare talent between eras.

    These players all have undoubted gifts and will hopefully fulfil their potential in years to come.

    They have been chosen for this fantasy match purely for the rapid rise to stardom they achieved and simultaneous baggy green they collected too early in their careers.

    Fringe XI

    In previous decades Australian cricket has gone through periods of dominance, one that will be hard to reproduce.

    In those years, fringe players had to fight and scrounge for a baggy green, some only getting one chance.

    I am not saying that some of the past era players haven’t had great careers, they are just the unluckiest cricketers to have played for Australia.

    If they were playing in the current times they would have cemented their spots this summer and now be tucking into a lamb saagwala in Chennai waiting to play the first Test against India.

    I am looking forward to hosting this game and seeing the talent on show. I expect an evenly fought contest with a close win to the Fringe XI.

    Players can ingest, inject or insert whatever they like to gain an edge as neither WADA, ASADA nor Lady Gaga are allowed over the Blue Mountains.

    This is an open invite to all the faithful cricketing public. Please drop into the clubhouse, have a neatly cut sandwich and a cold frothy or two.

    Most importantly, enjoy the match.

    The team lists are as programmed:


    Usman Khawaja (NSW)(QLD)
    Phil Hughes (SA)
    Rob Quiney (VIC)
    Tim Paine (TAS) (wk)
    Steve Smith (NSW) (c)
    Moses Henriques (NSW)
    Trent Copeland (NSW)
    Xavier Doherty (TAS)
    Clint McKay (VIC)
    Michael Beer (WA)
    Peter George (SA)
    Patrick Cummins (NSW) (12th Man)

    Fringe XI

    Phil Jacques (NSW)
    Matthew Elliot (VIC)
    Bradley Hodge (VIC)
    Stuart Law (QLD)
    Michael Hussey (WA) (wk)
    Darren Lehmann (SA)
    Michael Bevan (NSW)
    Tom Moody (WA)
    Andrew Bichel (QLD)
    Stuart Macgill (NSW) (c)
    Matthew Nicholson (NSW)
    Martin Love (QLD) (12th Man)

    Umpires: Dan O’Donoghue (Narromine) and Thierry Albouze (Dubbo)
    Match Referee: Nicholas Barnett (Kempsey)

    So, Roarers, over to you. Who wins here?

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • February 15th 2013 @ 3:02pm
      Johnno said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

      Love that Fringe 11.

      -I’d also add Jo Angel, Tony Dodemaide, Chris Matthews, Greg Rowell,Shane George,Phil Alley,Dennis Hickey,Duncan Spencer,Alan Mullaly,Martin Mcague,Craig White(all 3 were aussies first)David Freedman,Phil Emery,Tim Zoeher, Mike Veletta, Wayne Holdwsworth,Dean Hills,Jamie Cox, Jamie Siddons, So many unlucky cricketers of the 90’s.

      • Roar Rookie

        February 15th 2013 @ 3:18pm
        The_Big_Big_Show said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        Theres a couple names in that list I’d have to check out. Love it !!!!! Some obscure cricketers of the early to late 90’s. Theres gonna be quite a heated net session if they want to come onboard as net bowlers.

      • February 16th 2013 @ 2:08am
        AndyMack said | February 16th 2013 @ 2:08am | ! Report

        so johnno, which of the 11 players will you drop, to squeeze your 19 players into the 11…????

    • Roar Rookie

      February 15th 2013 @ 3:05pm
      The_Big_Big_Show said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

      I apologise to readers regarding the editing of this article. very dissapointed with the flow of the article after changes and blatant removal of chunks of my text. Please view

      NB: Moses Henriques yet to receive full Aussie cap.

      • Editor

        February 15th 2013 @ 3:22pm
        Chad Bennett said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

        Hi Chris,

        Sorry to hear that you’re unhappy with the edit. While we try and keep the article as close to the original as possible, The Roar do have editorial guidelines that we must follow. Please see the email I’ve sent off to you and we can try to resolve this.

      • February 15th 2013 @ 3:50pm
        Atawhai Drive said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

        Looks to me as though The Roar editors did you a favour, Chris.

        I’m a little surprised that a piece already published elsewhere under your own name would be submitted elsewhere under a pseudonym, and I’m also a little surprised that The Roar would publish it.

        Perhaps when you’ve got a few more runs on the board as a writer you’ll be able to start dictating terms to editors. But
        in my 38 years in newspaper journalism, I found the best writers were also the least precious about their copy.

        • Roar Rookie

          February 15th 2013 @ 3:56pm
          The_Big_Big_Show said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          No pseudonym buddy. Thats just my twitter handle. love your efforts and well stated experience. When your doing something for free, there should always be compromises not straight forward authority. I’d love to read an article of yours do you have a link i could view ?

    • February 15th 2013 @ 3:51pm
      Amith said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

      Hughes, Khawaja and Henriques are best in the list there. Surprised you put Peter George in there, he is a good bowler but just hasn’t got the opportunity he deserves.

      • Roar Rookie

        February 15th 2013 @ 3:57pm
        The_Big_Big_Show said | February 15th 2013 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

        Hi Amith i think you may have miss-interpreted the reasons for writing the article. It was to demonstrate how players of past eras had to fight a lot harder to get a spot in the Australian team. Thanks

        • February 15th 2013 @ 4:05pm
          Pope Paul VII said | February 15th 2013 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

          Perhaps only this recent golden era but maybe their was a dearth of consistent opposition.

          The era before that 1975-94 players had to fight not to have their heads knocked off by marauding West Indians.

          • Roar Rookie

            February 15th 2013 @ 4:10pm
            The_Big_Big_Show said | February 15th 2013 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

            Hi Pope Paul, Ive only recently seen a few of the classic matchs from that era on Fox sports. It’s brilliant. I’m 30 so its before my birth. I really only wrote about the era that i felt i had a decent grasp on. Thanks for the comment

            • February 15th 2013 @ 4:34pm
              Pope Paul VII said | February 15th 2013 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

              no worries, I need an edit – see “their” instead of “there”.

              When I were a lad in the 70s, the 60s let alone 30s, 40s, 50s seemed eons a way. Now 40 years ago seems like last tuesday.

        • February 16th 2013 @ 10:46pm
          Amith said | February 16th 2013 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

          Sorry mate, i misread the article, i agree with your statement that players in past era had to work harder to get a spot, no doubt about it. I would add to that its important we don’t give debut games to players who are on the later end 30s and above as we have to build for the future and the fact that its easier to get selected now means all these players in their mid 30s are pushing their case for test selection which isn’t the way to go.

          • Roar Rookie

            February 17th 2013 @ 12:49am
            The_Big_Big_Show said | February 17th 2013 @ 12:49am | ! Report

            I totally agree, but consistent form over time can’t be ignored. Mike hussey was 30 when he played his first test and Stuart Clark similar. It’s a tough call what is too young and too old, but I’d much rather back form over a longer timeframe then what they are doing at present.

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