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The Roar

Lewis Atkins

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Joined October 2019

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Cricket and Manchester United

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True, but it’s better than the treatment recent touring sides have had in comparison. Considering the schedule this was the best that could be arranged

Formidable Australia A squad named ahead of Test summer

Agreed, but a contingency never hurts, and if Lyon rolls an ankle or breaks a finger we’re in a lot of trouble

Formidable Australia A squad named ahead of Test summer

Disappointing not to see a spinner named. However, very pleased that this is a proper second XI, rather than a collection of club cricketers. Ensuring strong preparation for touring sides improves cricket for everyone.

Formidable Australia A squad named ahead of Test summer

If you want the best cricket played most of the time then it makes sense for the wealthier nations to support the poorer. The strongest possible teams in as many nations as possible is good for every nation, people will get excited about a tour from Ireland, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh when the quality of cricket is guaranteed.

White South Africans make up around 8% of the population, yet have often made up more than two thirds of sporting teams. These quotas don’t just exist in cricket, they’re across all sports in SA. The reason South African cricket is struggling is because it hasn’t updated its infrastructures since apartheid. They still rely too heavily on the private school system, a system that overwhelmingly is accessed by whites, and has not invested the same capital in public systems and black communities. The quotas also include provisions for non-black ethnic communities. They are about redressing ghastly historical wrongs and making these structures move capital investment from dominant white communities, where there is already a large degree of affluence, to poorer black and other ethnic communities who lack the infrastructure and economic security to pursue their talents. The quotas are not anti-white, they are pro-black.

South African cricket, 2019's free fall and the way forward

The quality South Africa has lost to retirement/kolpak in the last few years is not dissimilar to the situation England faced after 2013/14 and Australia before them. It will take time to rebuild, in Rabada and Maharaj they have two players who they can build an attack around; Ngidi is very promising too. I think Bavuma may not be up to it. De Kock is a star and is obviously the next captain, Markram will be back and have a good career and Elgar can hold his spot for another few years, at least.

South African cricket, 2019's free fall and the way forward

Quotas aren’t the problem, they certainly don’t kill quality, and white South Africans have never faced exclusion. If cricket is losing the battle with football in black communities that is the fault of the cricket authorities. South African structures are failing to produce, and retain, players because of falling revenues and poor planning. They also relied too heavily on the private school system for too long. A fairer distribution of cricket’s global wealth, and taking T20 franchises out of private hands (where they are privately owned), will not only help South Africa, but also the smaller nations build/rebuild and maintain their domestic structures.

South African cricket, 2019's free fall and the way forward

I agree there are issues with the toss, winning the toss is now best predictor of victory (there was a cricinfo article on it last summer I think), but I’d prefer independent ground staff who are answerable to the ICC rather than national boards. I also think India would have won the series regardless. South Africa lost two matches by an innings. Truth is, it’s a side with a lot of wholes and they have lost too many of their best players to Kolpak and retirement

Number one starts at home

This is true, but New Zealand are always underrated and very few recognise how strong their current set up is; they don’t get play as much as they should so people just forget about them. Also, South Africa have generally struggled in India. That being said, these are the kind of fast bowlers India have never had before and everyone from 1-6 averages 40+ (maybe not Rohit). They have two tests in New Zealand in Feb. That will good gauge of where things are at, plus just great cricket

Number one starts at home

Very tough, especially if our batting hasn’t become more settled. Rohit will love the Kookaburra and our pitches, too. Looking forward to their next visits to SA and England, and New Zealand of course.

Number one starts at home

Our bowling is world class and there’s a lot of depth in the pace department; that we don’t have cover for Lyon is the only worry. Hopefully Warner performs this Summer and can tack a few more years on for some openers to emerge, but none of the opening candidates have really stepped up (not counting Vic’s first game for much, tbh). Batting is a worry, other than Smith and Labuschagne who’s an automatic start? Warner by default, I backed him during the Ashes but a bit worried now. I like Pucovski, but only if we fit him in at six and leave him there for a while. Head, you probably have him at five but he’ll need a 100 or two this season, preferably against NZ. Then Warner and Burns/Harris/Khawaja open, I guess

Number one starts at home

No, they haven’t won in England for a while, South Africa is tricky for them too. The results should start coming soon

Number one starts at home

Definitely. Everything went right for England in 2018, Buttler was incredible and Anderson had one of his best series. Woakes contributed too, as did Ali and Cook. They should win their next series there

Number one starts at home

I hope The Hundred works out, because any humiliation is bad for any sport and I want the best for cricket. I just think it’s a pity that it’ll be the only free-to-air option in the UK. It’s also worth noting that next season’s T20 final has already sold

Does anyone really care about The Hundred?

It’s a format invented for broadcasters, not fans. There was a place for one day cricket, and T20, but this exists only so the BBC doesn’t have push the news back by half an hour.
There also getting rid of their one day domestic competition in favour of this. Typical ECB: win Ashes ’05, put cricket behind paywall; win (kinda) the world cup, get rid of one day cricket; bring cricket back from behind the paywall, but only a format no has ever seen and was invented to placate broadcasters.
People will watch, because you’ll have Jos Butler and Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, but they should have made a franchise T20 comp.
Also, no Indian players, losing a pretty big audience there

Does anyone really care about The Hundred?

I’m new, but I’m sure they’d never do a major change. They add a linking sentence here or there but it’s mainly grammatical stuff, and it was probably my poor grammar that led to this mistake in the first place.

Anyway, gotta give them kudos for getting this up so quick, I only submitted last night. And they had changed the mistake within ten/fifteen minutes of my emailing them. So, no biggy really

Number one starts at home

Yeah “Ashes” wasn’t actually in my submission. Added by the editors for some reason?

Number one starts at home

Yes, I said generally. There was also Wilton St. Hill, in that era

The practice of reading cricket

Great stuff, scheduling is a huge problem. Just too many games in such short periods, start the tests November ten and play white ball late January-March.

Pitches are a pity too, the MCG is one of the best grounds and has possibly the most boring pitch in world cricket. It shouldn’t have to be a day/night match to give us entertaining pitches

Should Cricket Australia adopt the seven 'P’s instead of a bowling rotation policy?

Jhye Richardson would provide more variety to the attack than Pattinson, but I think Starc deserves to play. At least for the two tests against Pakistan.

Got the Ashes, now get the number one ranking

Fires of Babylon is great, Death of a Gentleman is a very good doco on cricket governance

The practice of reading cricket

Cheers mate.

I agree with you about professionals/amateurs, and there was a similar split in the colonies as well. The West Indies of the 1920s and 30s would generally have five or six white wealthy batters and then the WK/bowlers would be working class blacks.

And the story of the creation of the game, by pre-Victorian rural peasantry, versus its common understanding as a game of Victorian values and Empire is very interesting as well. Would recommend Bowland-Jones history of cricket and James’ chapters on WG Grace

The practice of reading cricket

I think Starc, like Warner, has earned himself a spot against Pakistan, given his overall record. Pattinson also averaged over 30 in England and Starc unfairly missed out at the Oval where he could’ve been used in bursts, with Marsh in the squad (I do not want Mitch Marsh selected).

New Zealand will be the tougher campaign so let Pattinson rack up wickets, confidence and prove his fitness in the shield. If he performs better than Jhye Richardson and Starc flops against Pakistan, then get him for NZ.

David Warner and Joe Burns should be the openers for the First Test

Pucovski, Patterson and Burns will be interesting to watch in the first few rounds. Khawaja too, maybe time for an extended run at the top with Warner.

Five players to watch in the Sheffield Shield