The Roar
The Roar

Anthony Condon

Roar Pro

Joined November 2014







Writing a PhD on Cricket and the National Identity.



I say: More women and people of colour are getting into cricket, isn’t that great?

Cricket no longer so pale, stale, and male

It’s most illustrative that you saw this as an attack on you. You write an article showing how the demographics of cricket are becoming less monolithic and it’s somehow an attack on your race and gender. There being more women and non-white people in cricket should not take away from your enjoyment of the game. If it does then the problem is probably with you.

Cricket no longer so pale, stale, and male

Sport is politics, and politics is sport. They are irretrievably wrapped up in each other as people fight and struggle to define who they are, what they believe, what matters to them.

But sport can transcend politics. We can see two political enemies battle it out on the field, and then see the players praise and applaud each other when it’s over. Sport allows us to focus on our similarities, and to leave our differences to the politicians.

People say it’s just a pastime. It’s just a hobby. In the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter. I say it’s where we get to see our species at it’s greatest, meeting it’s fullest potential.

From London Bridge to Edgbaston, there's no separating sport and politics

Yeah, I mean, look at how terrible India are…

I think the problem is the attitude of the test team, not the short game.

Killing me softly: Why the short form is strangling the game we love

If it’s about money then it’s incredibly short sighted and moronic. Nothing brings bucks like success. If they take these kind of results into the next rights negotiation then channel 9 will throw 50c on the table and walk off.

Five talking points from Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test


It might be a mental problem, but it is certainly a tactical problem.

Maybe it’s lack of exposure to long form cricket, but the players don’t seem to be aware that sometimes scoring 20 off 100 is the best option. The Aussies can afford to have one Dave “it’s his natural game” Warner in the side, but not 11. Spots 2 and 3 should be going to a player the likes of Rogers or Cowan (or Bill Lawry for that matter) who could build a wall and not let a ball get through. We need someone to Make Australian Batting Great Again!

Five talking points from Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test

For the second test in a row the Australians have been offered the chance to prove they know how to play for a draw, and completely fluffed it. Draws don’t win test matches, but they win test match series. A more tactical team could be heading into the third test with the series 0-0 or 0-1.

Five talking points from Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test

“the remainder of the batting order offered about as much resistance as a house of cards”

I’d take Frank Underwood in a heartbeat… At least if he went out to a good ball he’d have the bowler killed.

Five talking points from Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test

James Faulkner gets no love from anyone! He’s a genuine bowling all rounder with a good first class record who is looking in some decent form this season.

Most importantly, he is proven to have the mental strength at the top level.

Rating the candidates to replace Mitch Marsh

The Australian attitude towards test cricket is that it’s just five days of ODIs it seems…

Mitch Marsh, the other kind of all-rounder

I think the Australians played pretty well, the South Africans just played better.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head though: “That is the blueprint for the way Australia plays their cricket – aggressive yet calculated with bat and ball, taking the initiative from the opposition quickly, and then burying them never to seize their grip.”

That’s a fine tactic when you have several batsmen at the top of their game and a tail that can bat almost all the way down. Even if you start to collapse a few will be able to string together a partnership and get the score to something defendable. But Australia don’t have several batsmen at the top of their game and a tail that can bat.

I think Warner’s run out shows the problem with Australian cricket perfectly. With over 500 to get in the fourth innings, and a day and a half left to bat, they were playing for the win. That’s just insanity, as all evidence suggests that you’re not going to do it, and if you do it will be a miracle. I appreciate David Warner only has one game, and that’s to belt it around the ground, but why oh why would you be going for quick singles when what’s needed is to last the day out. If you get to Friday lunch 2/300, then you can think about chasing down the win, but with a day and a half left, and more runs to score than you’ve scored in an innings for a long time, patience is what’s needed.

That’s what South Africa did this test; they played test cricket. The game gets its name from it being a test of all your skills, and patience and intelligence are amongst those skills, and Australia doesn’t have either.

This “always play for the win” is a hangover from Steve Waugh. The only problem is, he had a team that was always a good chance of doing the unthinkable. If the Aussies had managed to eek out a draw then there would have been two more opportunities to win the series, as it is, now there is only one – winning both the remaining games.

That was the most damning loss of them all

I wonder if, being the home of sports science, we’ve become so scientific with our pitch curation that there’s a tendency to now build perfect, unblemished pitches.

Who to blame for Australia's failure? It's not them, it's us

The Commbank viewers verdict is proof why you should bet against Australia if you’re playing with your own money.

The Liebke Ratings: Australia v South Africa first Test

“I know you bat 7, I know you bat 7, but pretty soon you’ll be a no wicket, walking back to the dressing room MoFo”

“What is the deal with a night watchman? What, is Shaun Marsh too stupid to not go out?”

Let's make sledging great again

My god, the image of Capper that comes up when I posted this to facey was frightening.

Backyard Australian Rules Football: Official laws of the game

The money for the lower ranked teams will better come from a better share of ICC income, not being thrashed by South Africa or Australia in a home series. That’s my opinion, anyway. Economic analysis shows the best crowds come to see strong teams in close matches. Having a weak test team thrashed doesn’t bring the crowds. Having better matched teams gives them a better chance to improve (again, in my opinion), as they’ll get to play a test match in test conditions, rather than just spend two days standing in a field getting thumped.

We need promotion and relegation in international cricket

Crowds are stable (and strong) in South Africa, they’ve never been good in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, and they’re growing in Australia and England. I can’t find figures for NZ, and the drop in the West Indies is a) not across all venues and b) possibly explained by a lack of quality test cricket being played (which is a board management issue IMO). There is a drop in India, as there is for all cricket.

When people say “Test cricket is dying” I want to see it come with stats, rather than just a rant about T20, because from my research (and I’ve put more hours into this this year than I can really justify) it’s not actually a thing.

We need promotion and relegation in international cricket

ODI viewership has dropped more in India (-20%) in 2008-2014, than Tests (-17.5%). IPL is down 4% and T20I 1%. So it’s a problem with cricket in general in India, not just Test cricket.

SuperSport2 in South Africa is almost entirely cricket. I’m not going to sit down and do the stats like I did in this article but it wouldn’t surprise me to see that cricket in South Africa is also not in the dire straits some people assume it is. It seems barely a week goes by when someone doesn’t write test cricket’s obituary, regardless of the fact that it’s getting stronger in Australia.

In England test viewership numbers have plummeted in the last decade. Not surprisingly, that happened at the exact moment when test cricket moved from free to air to pay TV.

All that is to say that articles about people not watching test cricket need to be taken with a grain of salt, because like almost everything else in cricket, people misremember about a “golden age” when things were better.

Having said that, I like the two tier system, because I think it offers a great opportunity to expand the game to more nations and to increase the quality of cricket being played. I think for those teams playing in the second tier, playing in competitive series will do more for team development than being thrashed by one of the leading nations (not to mention the number of test nations will increase by 3). I also think that it will be better for the spectacle of the game to not have heavily one sided series.

We need promotion and relegation in international cricket

And don’t forget for all your Sri Lankan tour needs!

Buzz checks out: Channel 9's cricket coverage can only improve from here

Having the ropes in is a safety issue though; not just for fielders barrelling into the fence, but also the amount of cameras, security, fireworks, etc. that now pepper the boundaries of a cricket field.

Ricky Ponting is spot on regarding smaller bats

George Bonner was hitting over the members at Lord’s in the 1880s (over 150m). Imagine the damage he’d be doing with a Kaboom!

Ricky Ponting is spot on regarding smaller bats

If you listen to Shane Warne commentate for overseas broadcasters you find him balanced and insightful. On channel 9 he’s the blokiest bloke who ever bloked (to quote Geoff Lemon). To me that says that it’s the direction that brings the terrible commentary. Hopefully we will see a change now.

Buzz checks out: Channel 9's cricket coverage can only improve from here

This highlights the value in sometimes persisting in potential. Imagine if he’d been dropped after his first home series never to play again. There would have been far less comedy in Australian cricket in the late 90s for one thing.

How Warne the loser turned into a respected spinner in Sri Lanka

You make a good argument, and I am swayed to your opinion. My criticism of Marsh has been in test cricket, where I still think he doesn’t have an automatic spot. Given his performance in the ODIs I would pick him for Sri Lanka, but I’d also want to see him having matches where he is doing his job with bat and ball, he hasn’t really done that in a test yet. But he’s young, and that means it’s worth putting time into him.

Mitch Marsh's critics are clueless

The Netherlands, Afghanistan and Ireland now have a real path to test status. I think that’s a good thing. Nations that value test cricket will put the resources into getting there; or at least, will prioritise limited resources in an attempt to. I think the tier system will give test cricket *more* prestige, as now there is something on the line for *every* test series (other than pride and an irrelevant ranking of course). Having said that, I definitely hear your concern that less resourced nations will get stuck in tier 2. Hopefully the big nations can find it in their hearts (and best interests) to subsidise the second tier.

The problem with tri-series is what if the local side doesn’t make the final? If one of the touring teams is India, you’re probably OK, but it requires careful planning. I think they could still be working well out here provided that either a) one of the teams was weak, ensuring Australia makes the finals or b) one of the teams is India, ensuring that no matter who makes the finals there’s going to be crowds.

There’s nothing more depressing than going to the MCG to watch an ODI with 8 000 people.

Ballr Cup shows there's still merit in the tri-series system