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Paul

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I guess it depends on what they want the position to do. If they want it to manage games as badly as they were this season with a heavy dose of blame & ego, Gould & Harrigan are the picks. If they want refs to go back to basics and truly referee games but allow them to flow, Cecchin might be the go. There aren’t exactly lots of good candidates putting their hand in the air for the job.

Who could take the vacant referees boss spot?

Terry, I think the main problem isn’t the quality of the decision making, but rather the “instructions” or lack of them that are causing referees to let blatant errors go for the sake of game flow. This year in the NRL, there have been all sorts of messages flying around from Archer, Greenburg and others about what referees are supposed to be doing. No wonder these guys are officiating so badly.

When they’re given the chance, as happened in the Tests late in the season, they showed they were perfectly capable of making the correct decision nearly all the time. Forward passes and ruck infringements were called but the games still flowed because the ref and his touché judges had control.

The NRL has to go back to basics; one bloke’s in charge (the ref’s boss) and he directs how games will be managed. If Greenburg wants to make changes, he does it through the ref’s boss. Issues to with the refs are dealt with through the ref’s boss, who does not throw his guys under a bus if they make a questionable decision. Above all, the ref’s boss makes sure he has the best available decision makers in charge of games, regardless of their age or sex. If a 45 year old woman can effectively and correctly manage a game, she should get a run as ref in first grade.

Archer’s sacking doesn't fix the main problem

Another reason why the Dragons should be wary about taking on Hayne. Even if he’s innocent, the investigation is a distraction the red V doesn’t need.

Hayne's future clouded amid assault claim

Did she go to the NRL or did the NRL find out about it and decided to investigate?

Hayne's future clouded amid assault claim

Who said the NSW Police leaked the news? I got the impression someone else leaked it to 9 and the cops made statements to clarify what they were doing. If anything, they’ve acted professionally by making it clear Hayne hasn’t been charged.

Hayne's future clouded amid assault claim

No-one Emcie, if the criteria is so limiting to make the award meaningless. Can this guy be classed as the best international player in world Rugby League after 3 games? I’d rather they made it over a two year period where teams have to play a minimum of 5 or 6 Tests (preferably more) and play sides away from home

Confessions of a dreamer: I voted for Tommy Makinson

But IF they’re picked and IF they do a job on our roads, how do you drop them for England, where you know they’ll be found out by Anderson and co? Better to get rid of them now given all the chances they’ve had and get in ANYONE who can bat in different conditions

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

One innings shouldn’t offset his continued failures before that at Test level

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

“I have a dream”. Was that one of the selection criteria for the 2018 award, Steve?

If awards are going to be handed out, they need to have meaning to players & fans NOW, not in 207 when Russia plays the US in Italy in the Rugby League World Cup final. Right now, the criteria to win this award make it meaningless – the winner played THREE games in the qualifying period. It’s a bit like giving the mighty Dragons the 2018 premiership after 3 rounds because they won their first 3 games easily.

Please continue to enjoy your dream Steve, but stay away from voting on this award till it gains more meaning, which it can only do if way more internationals are played each year.

Confessions of a dreamer: I voted for Tommy Makinson

Hayne involved in yet another alleged incident in the past few days with a woman. He could be the most talented player in the game and I wouldn’t go near him for the trouble he seems to get into.

If Matt Dufty is the future, then why is Jarryd Hayne the answer?

Zac, the key point that Australia must decide is how it wants to play moving forward, because the approach it takes will dictate what players make up the WC squad. England & India have adopted the approach of belting the ball to all parts and relying on their bowlers to do just enough to get them across the line. This means their sides are stacked with batsmen or all rounders who can hit. Interestingly, when they played each other in an ODI series earlier this year, they went back to old fashioned ODI cricket, accumulating rather than hitting a score.

SA has a different approach with a very good bowling attack, balanced by a useful batting lineup, especially once Amla comes back. They are more likely to play traditional ODI cricket, accumulate a score for the first 35 overs, keep wickets in hand then go for it in the last 15. They can play like that because they know unless they make a really poor score, they have the bowlers who can win them games. Pakistan is similar to SA in that regard as well especially with Abbas in their side.

Australia should go back to what won us so many World Cups and play traditional ODI cricket. Our bowling attack is world class when on song and with Warner and Smith back in the team we can go back to doing what we used to do well; grinding out a score in the first innings then working hard to defend it, or bowling sides out and chasing down totals.

If we can get this right, the players in the squad should almost pick themselves

Major questions facing Australian one-day cricket

Jon, I was confused by your article. The first part gave very eloquent and clear reasons why the TV rights deal signed by CA should be investigated by Federal Parliament. The only problem there is gaining enough support to have an independent enquiry, otherwise if will fall back to Fifield to do the enquiry and he still thinks everything is hunky dory.

You then switched tacks and wandered into the penalties for the SA incident. I think you’re drawing a long bow to try and link CA’s behaviour with a TV deal to this issue. The cricketers all received minimal penalties for the actual ball tampering and rest of the penalties were based on Australian public’s expectation about the standards of behaviour for our Test captain, vice captain and player. Smith and Warner in particular made very good money, easily 7 figures as leaders of the nation’s sporting team and as I’ve said repeatedly, with great rewards comes great expectations and great penalties if those expectations are not met.

The departure of Sutherland, Howard, Peever, etc can be seen as a direct result of how they mishandled CA, even though Sutherland got to walk. I would have thought that any response to the Longstaff report has to be handled by the new Board, not the ridiculous rubbish that came from Peever. I also believe the response MUST be a joint effort between the Players Association and CA. Get these guys working constructively together so cricket can move forward in Australia.

Cricket Australia’s TV deal failed the public and brought the game into disrepute

I hope your gut is wrong about the Marsh brothers Ronan, especially MM. At least Shaun can point to some form against a very good SA attack, even though it was in an ODI series, but MMhasn’t done a huge amount since returning from a really poor series in the UAE.

Fir mine, assuming Renshaw and Burns do well against NSW,the Test lineup should be;

Renshaw
Burns
Khawaja
Finch
Head
Maxwell/S Marsh

If Harris gets a surprise callup, I’d drop Marsh/Maxwell and keep Renshaw to bat 6. I think this guy has the potential to bat anywhere in the order.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Brett Kimmorley – a master at stating the bleeding obvious

Kimmorley: Melbourne must re-sign Smith

Why the move?

Reports: McGuire set for immediate Cowboys move

It seems to me this issue around Hayne is completely missing the point. My namesake “Mary” and the Dragons board, should have conducted a really simple review at the end of the season and identified issues that need to be addressed asap. We had an outstanding first 60% of the year, then a less than ordinary next 30%, ending with an upbeat 10% where we played well enough to make the finals, won one game convincingly and lost the next by one point, mostly due to injuries to key players. The key issues from this MUST be managing our roster so we don’t have a slump and ensuring our coach is the right guy to keep the team fresh and competitive at the business end of the season.

Once these issues are identified the simple question is whether Hayne will help or hinder fixing these issues? I can’t see how he will help, given his track record of injuries over recent seasons. On the other hand, I think MacGregor should have gone at the end of last year, so bringing in Hayne will help achieve that goal for sure.

If Hayne joins the Red V, I’m positive we’ll miss the finals in 2019 and MacGregor will be gone. The trouble is, a good player like Dufty might also go first and that would be a real shame.

If Matt Dufty is the future, then why is Jarryd Hayne the answer?

As always, a truckload of comment sense. Thanks for these comments TB.

If Matt Dufty is the future, then why is Jarryd Hayne the answer?

Assuming Hayne hasn’t joined his mate Duggan on the sidelines

If Matt Dufty is the future, then why is Jarryd Hayne the answer?

“What was wrong with starting the Cricket season with five Test matches, moving to One-Day Internationals in January and then some 20/20 for the kids?” If only it were that simple TP. Somehow, CA has to squeeze everything you mentioned PLUS the Sheffield Shield PLUS the JLT Cup into a season that is only 6 months long.

I also have an issue with your statement, “The one thing the average punter can’t quite understand is when you pay top dollar, like Seven and Fox have, you have the right to choose what games you want, at whatever time-slot you desire. Do they? What about scheduling games because that will help players get ready for Test cricket? Or scheduling games because it will give us the best preparation to defend the World Cup?

You’ve highlighted one of the problems that came out in the Ethics Centre report; the old Board and the networks had the attitude to milk the game for all the money you can and if that means ignoring or killing off some parts of it, so be it.

Sooner rather than later, both CA and the networks will need to come back to re-examine their agreement. 59 BBL games is ludicrous, as is stopping the Shield season over January and squeezing in a “Mickey Mouse” 50 over tournament at the start of the southern summer. This is clearly creating guys who are not Test standard and as our ODI team is showing, they’re below par internationally as well.

New era in cricket broadcasting

David, CA and the networks have put a lot of eggs in one basket – the BBL, at the expense of other forms of cricket. I doubt greatly too many people will want to watch 59 games of this form of cricket. It’s following exactly the same path as ODI’s did on the 80’s & 90’s where CA decided to flog the golden goose and hold as many one dayers as they could each season. The end result was people staying away and switching off in droves.

I also question what the NEW CA Board will do? I realize they have a contract to honour, but the current season is not based on fostering cricket at all, but around getting as much money making cricket into us viewers as possible while playing lip service to other aspects, such as the domestic ODI series and the Shield.

The Board has to recognize that unless we have a strong Shield comp, we’re not going to generate strong cricketers in any format of the game? This means balancing the needs of the networks with those of the game itself; if we continue to kill off the Shield comp and pay lip service to the JLT, we’ll end up having mediocrity in all forms of the game.

Assessing Cricket Australia’s TV gamble

I forgot Clive Lloyd off my list. The big man could surely hit a cricket ball, was brilliant in the field a better than useful medium pacer and was not a bad captain.

The best Twenty20 first XI who never played

I’d heard the same, Maxwell.

Who should not make the Test XI against India?

I vaguely recall a Shell Shield final where basically Viv plus a few other WI batsmen were playing against a side that had at least 3 of the WI quicks. To put it bluntly, it was carnage – on the batsmen.

In saying that, Viv did face these guys in County cricket where there some other pretty handy quicks playing. He also got to face guys like Lillee & Thompson on a regular basis. I think he’d have been the goods in T20 if given the chance, his terrific record in ODI’s would suggest that for sure.

Brilliant belligerence: Remembering Adam Gilchrist's brutal Ashes century

Other guys who would have made a gazillion at T20 include

Sir Leary Constantine – great all rounder from the West Indies
George Headley – known as the black Bradman
The three W’s – Walcott, Weekes and Worrell
Rohan Kanhai
Wes Hall
Jeff Dujon
Gibert Jessup – held the record for the fastest century for years
Stan McCabe
SF Barnes – anyone who has a Test bowling record like his, has to be a show in T20
Martin Crowe from NZ would have killed it at his peak

The best Twenty20 first XI who never played

I believe you only bring guys like these into a side for two reasons; you are totally desperate for players, as Australia was in the late ’70’s when so many “defected” to play for the Packer circus. The other reason is when you have a stable lineup and you have a vacancy. This was the case over most of the last 30 years.

We’re killing our young talent by throwing them in the deep end and expecting them to bat like veterans, then discarding them when they don’t live up to expectations. I feel really sorry for guys like Maddinson who should have played at least another couple of Shield seasons, but was rushed in and just as quickly, rushed out of Test cricket.

Who should not make the Test XI against India?