Showing posts with label west indies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label west indies. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Test Retirement

There was a time when players used to retire from cricket at the end of their career. However a new concept has begun to raise it’s ugly head; “Test retirement”. The second announcement in a week of a prominent cricketer came today when Chaminda Vaas announced that he was retiring from test cricket to focus on Twenty20 and Limited Overs cricket. This coming of course, off the back of the much publicised announcement from Andrew Flintoff of exactly the same thing.

It comes as little surprise for this generation of players. Test cricket is a long cruelling game of stamina and can quite easily take it’s toll on the body, so it’s natural to understand why players like Flintoff who has struggled with injuries throughout his career would clearly look to find a way of extending it. Having a long career in cricket can be very lucrative these days, with all the money from the IPL it has never been a better time to play cricket.

In fact, the pay difference between playing test cricket and Twenty20 cricket is so great, that it’s getting to a point where Test cricket is actually becoming a bit of liability.

Look at the recent turmoil currently taking place with West Indian cricket. Pay is the central problem at the moment in the dispute – one can easily speculate the catalyst for this dispute, or at the very least one of the major pain points for some of the high profile players. The Test series between England and the West Indies. It was not part of the Future Tours Program, and the Windies had just recently defeated the English on home soil in a war of attrition 1-0 series. With Sri Lanka pulling out because of their players commitments to the IPL, the Windies were a last minute replacement, and the impact of this meant that star players like Chris Gayle were suddenly out of pocket, significantly.

The reality of the situation is that, unless you’re Australian, playing Test cricket can actually cost you money. Only Australian’s have voluntarily omitted themselves from playing in the IPL, this year Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson were all high profile players that chose to make themselves unavailable for this competition – in fact Clarke and Johnson have steadfastly avoided even being a part of the draft process entirely. Is it really just a coincidence that these players are actually the top 4  money earners under lucrative Cricket Australia contracts?

It’s because they’re just about the only players who can afford it.


Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Sri Lankan Big Bash

With the seeming failure of the Southern Premier League getting off the ground, Australia's  Big Bash Twenty20 tournament is taking matters into their own hands with Cricket Australia allowing each state to recruit up to two international players to their teams. This is a great idea as the appeal of the Indian Premier League has shown that the lure of international stars is big business. Of course while the Australia competition can't compete in money terms with the IPL the timing of the tournament means that it's a good additional option for international players as it will never clash with the cashed up Indian tournament.

Without having a clear understanding of the touring schedules of the different nations it's interesting to see that just about every state has gone for Sri Lankan players. Ajantha Mendis for South Australia, Lasith Malinga for Tasmania and there's talk of Kumar Sangakkara playing for New South Wales and most exciting is the possiblity of Muttiah Muralithuran playing for Victoria. In fact, the only other international stars announced so far appear to be West Indian, with Chris Gayle for Western Australia and Dwayne Bravo for Victoria. Chances are they are the only nations who don't have conflicting tours during the time of the competition mind you there's also word that former Queenslander Brendon Nash is on a bit of recruiting drive for his former state in attempts to lure some of his West Indian tour mates to play for the Bulls, but it will be interesting to see what other players are announced in the coming weeks. A question I have, does Queensland want Brendon Nash? And if they do, does he count as an international player these days? And if they don't want him - isn't that a bit of an awkward situation?

I can just imagine the conversation between the Queensland Bulls rep and Brendon Nash:

BULLS: Hi Brendon, we're looking to recruit some players for the Big Bash tournament this summer.

NASH: Oh sure, I'd be happy to come back and play for you guys!

BULLS: Uh, yeah, um, that's great that you're keen, but, uh, we were kind of wondering if you could have a chat with some of your team mates.

NASH: Oh. Okay then.



Friday, 15 August 2008

A White Player in the West Indies?

It's been a long time since a white player has represented the West Indies - at least to my recollection, but with the announcement that former Queenslander Brendan Nash has been drafted into the Windies squad for the upcoming Tri-Series in Canada, that drought may come to an end. I've just been so used to seeing an all-black Windies side it will be almost kind of funny to see a white player in the team.

One of the things I've always liked about cricket is that as a sport, you can't knock it for not being racially diverse. You can't exactly look at it and go - it's a rich white man's sport for example, and I love that fact. That said, Brendan Nash playing for the West Indies isn't a bad thing at all, more power to him. I do wonder how the Windies feel about the notion - from cricketing powerhouse to picking Australia's dregs? Oh how the mighty have fallen.