Many cricketers have come and gone over the years. Some players make a huge impact before hanging up the boots, others don’t leave much of an impact on the game.
With yet another exciting summer of cricket beaming around the corner we have a very different and unique twist to the domestic one-day scene.
In May, Cricket Australia announced that the Matador Cup, commencing in less than a month on October 5, will include a seventh team – the newly created CA XI.
This new touch to the competition will see a team composed of bright up-and-coming youth and uncontracted state players.
This tournament will once again take place exclusively in Sydney under the carnival style it has adopted in the past two seasons.
And I think the introduction is a positive move for Australian cricket. This gives the young hopefuls a chance to fast-track their way to the top, and what better way to do it than playing against some of the best cricketers in the country. It will no doubt be a beneficial experience for them.
I think this is a really exciting tournament and it’s amazing how quickly it has come around again with only 28 days until it begins.
The composed XI concept will see these young men apply for higher honours in a bid to press their claims for international and domestic cricket. Have we found a new pathway for young cricketers to genuinely stake their claims? It would seem so given rookie or uncontracted state players tend to play very few of these games.
Concepts like this, along with the Futures League and Under-17 and Under-19 national competitions, are vital for harbouring talented youth in Australian cricket, giving youngsters incentives and desire to play at the top grade by creating a realistic pathway.
It’s an exciting way to commence an intriguing summer, and as we have seen in the last couple of years there are some top quality players that take part in the tournament. It makes for pretty good viewing, and coupled with the Test series in Bangladesh this October looks to give us a pretty good insight into the summer ahead.
We have seen a range of radical changes and concepts brought into the domestic 50-over game to inject some spark and excitement and ensure its survival, but unlike 45-over innings split into two, this idea might have some legs.
Maybe something similar could be introduced into the Sheffield Shield competition? It would provide a platform for youngsters to ply their trade in the longer forms and give them some exposure and experience.
Either way it could work to enhance the relevance and significance of domestic cricket to the way it once was, and will mean every single game has some bearing to the national stage.