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Joined April 2020

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Interested in stadium politics, competition programming, sporting administration, cricket history and trivia

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Hi Bernie,

I’d certainly read and comment on a future article “Bradman will be extremely lucky to make the 3rds for the tiered series against the West Indies. Most likely the 4ths to start off with, but no shame in that” !

I think this particular discussion has finally run its course. How about we move on to more recent ones.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Hi AMD,

CA’s constitution would of course cover that.

Bear in mind that no-one is directly representing say Tas on the CA’s board. All that happened is that Tas nominated a Tas resident for appointment by CA, which CA may or may not ratify.

That Tas resident then becomes just 1 of 9 independent directors, representing and acting in the best interests of all of Aus. So as Tas didn’t install a director to represent it, it can’t remove them either.

The rider being that if enough of the 6 states feel strongly enough, they can act collectively to remove that Tas-resident director.

'Appalling': Cricket Tas says CA's Paine treatment worst since Lawry was sacked 50 years ago

Hi Jeff,

1. It’s my understanding that the 6 “state” reps aren’t effectively a majority of the 9. They’re just the ones that have some sort of affiliation with a state. And they won’t do deals behind the scene solely to benefit their state eg “you vote for Tim Paine as captain, and I’ll vote for your city to host the first Test.”

2. I don’t know the length of CA directors’ terms. But note that while a state can nominate a “resident director,” CA is not obliged to accept that nomination. It might consider that they lack the necessary skills, or duplicate skills already there. CA then has to find an alternative to the state’s nominee.

Noting finally that if CA’s board pisses off enough states, they (as “shareholders” in Australian cricket) have the power to force change, but only by acting together.

'Appalling': Cricket Tas says CA's Paine treatment worst since Lawry was sacked 50 years ago

Just so I’m clear, Bernie,

Your claim that Bradman would have averaged just 27 against the WI during 1979-1994, is based solely on what he did head-to-head against Larwood and Voce in a handful of games during 1932-33 ?

Ignoring all other factors and evidence (both for and against him) from both 1928-1948 and 1979-1994 ?

PS- when you published your top seven Australian XIs just 4-5 months ago, why did you make Bradman captain of the 1sts ?

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

SCG, 1930-31 and then Lord’s, 1934. About once every 8-10 games.

“It tends to conjure up images of players that era fronting up to match after match throughout their careers to be continuously faced with diabolically rain affected pitches.” Your interpretation, not mine.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Not any more, Jeff.

Until about 10 years ago, the 6 states collectively appointed 14 of their own directors (often ex-players and Grade club presidents) to form CA’s board. Each therefore wore 2 hats at once, and of course always voted according to his (never her- no women !) state’s instructions. If he didn’t, his state would replace him. Which of course led to perceptions of back-room deals and conflicts of interest.

The states then agreed to give up power, basically for more money. Now-

1. no CA director is ever simultaneously a state director, instead all 9 are notionally independent and not owing their ongoing place to a state
2. while each state can still nominate 1 “independent” CA director of that 9, CA’s nominations committee can veto them if considered unsuitable
3. CA’s board must nevertheless ensure that its directors include a resident of each state, for “local knowledge”
4. the 6 states still have the ultimate power by acting collectively to remove a CA director or chairman, as happened with Peever and then Eddings

While the above is fine in-principle, it risks a situation whereby CA’s board has great legal, commercial, media etc expertise but no practical recent experience of grassroots and even elite cricket. (noting that it is the states, not CA, that develop the international players who then earn the revenue that sustains the entire cricket economy)

'Appalling': Cricket Tas says CA's Paine treatment worst since Lawry was sacked 50 years ago

I don’t agree that Bradman would have averaged just 27 against the WI sides of 1979-1994, as you claim. Literally dozens of that era’s batsmen averaged higher against them. Even modest ones like NZ’s Jeremy Coney and John Wright.

The limited opportunities to play in multiple countries shouldn’t diminish Bradman’s legacy, any more than that of say Trumper. His peers scored plenty of runs in Ind, NZ, SA and WI. For example Brown, Fingleton, Hammond, Sandham, Headley and Jardine. He would have too.

If batting conditions were so easy during the 1930s, that someone could average 99, then Verity’s strike-rate of 1 wicket per 77 balls and economy-rate are absolutely brilliant.

Let’s agree that today’s best batsman would probably have scored plenty of runs during the 1930s. And correspondingly, that the 1930s’ best batsman would probably score plenty of runs today. Each after first acclimatising to very different conditions.

I’m stating the obvious, but batsmen during Bradman’s era coped with- no covered pitches, power bats, protective equipment or roped boundaries; slow outfields; and no restrictions on leg-side field-placings and short-pitched bowling. Plus plenty of other things that admittedly impacted fielding sides too.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Cheers, matth

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

You’re welcome, Micko

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Ponting played 168 Tests, M Waugh 128, Bradman just 52. So clearly Bradman played innings like the 7 cited far more frequently.

Ponting debuted at 20 but played none of those innings before 28. M Waugh debuted at 25 when already an experienced first-class batsman. Bradman debuted at 20 and had played 4 of those innings before turning 25.

Bradman played no Tests during the ages of 30-38 when he should have been at his peak, and on resumption maintained his performances until the age of 40. Ponting underperformed (relatively speaking !) until the age of 27 and then after the age of 36. M Waugh likewise underperformed (relatively speaking) after the age of 36.

Not being critical of champions like Ponting and M Waugh. Just providing some relativity. Imagine if Bradman had played 168 or even 128 Tests, and the majority of them while aged in his 30s.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Depends on your criteria-

1928/29, MCG, responding to 519, he scored 123
1930, Lord’s, responding to 423, he scored 254
1930, The Oval, responding to 405, he scored 232
1931-32, MCG, first-innings deficit 160, he scored 167
1938, Trent Bridge, followed on, he scored 144no to draw
1938, Lord’s, victory target 315, he scored 102no to draw
1948, Headingley, victory target 404, he scored 173no to win

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

It was timeless, so he might still be batting now.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Saw that stunning pair of innings.

Up there with Katich’s triple-century against Qld as the best batting I’ve witnessed at the SCG.

Sheffield Shield match postponed due to 'possible COVID-19 case'

Hi DaveJ,

I suspect that today will prove to have been a bad day on which to have had an interesting article published…

Cricket vs baseball: by the numbers

Just read that the Hodge-Matthews Trophy is a real thing. Baffling.

Sheffield Shield match postponed due to 'possible COVID-19 case'

About 25 years ago a trophy was struck. It was named the Harvey-Miller trophy. Highly appropriate, given that each was an Australian great who represented both States.

It would be sad if subsequent administrators have forgotten about it, and it is now gathering dust on a shelf in a locked storeroom somewhere.

Sheffield Shield match postponed due to 'possible COVID-19 case'

Cheers DaveJ,

Knox also wrote a great book on Australian ‘keepers. You could even make a case for Jack Blackham, given his achievements over such a long period. He certainly would be on the shortlist, talent-wise.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

If elite cricket had stopped without notice in 1986, and not resumed for another 8 years, what would its standard have been like in 1994 ?

The best comparison I can draw is South African cricket between 1970 and 1992. But it doesn’t even come close.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Cheers Peter,

It’s still fundamentally the same game, with the same skill-sets.

But evolution over the course of 150 years applies as much to cricket, as to any other aspect of life.

I find it hard to conceive cricket virtually stopping for 6-8 years, especially in England, then re-starting at a high standard. 18 months of lockdowns is trivial by comparison !

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Cheers Bernie,

Impossible to objectively rate champion sides from such different eras. But fun to try.

How would the great recent sides have gone in 1946, immediately after 8 years of war and lost development, and with such contrasting conditions and resourcing both on- and off-field ?

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Cheers JGK,

Good pick-up. Although chasing 742 on a wet pitch in a timeless Test, a duck would have been no less meaningful than any higher score…

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Thanks Rowdy,

And on reflection I could have repeated the words on the back cover of Knox’s book-

“The Australian and English Test cricketers who fought and survived together in World War II came home knowing the difference between sport and war. They planned to resume the Ashes in a new spirit of friendship.

Australia’s legendary captain had something else in mind.”

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Plus 863 centuries by an Australian to date, compared to 884 by an Englishman.

Might take another era of dominance to overhaul the 21-ton deficit. Especially if the Poms keep playing 15-18 Tests annually.

Can Joe Root break the record for Test runs in a calendar year?

Katich and Hayden.

Can Joe Root break the record for Test runs in a calendar year?

Dravid

Can Joe Root break the record for Test runs in a calendar year?

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