Paul Keating once said "Never get between a premier and a bucket of money." You can apply the same general thrust, and pejorative colour, to sport: "Never get between a sports administrator and a chance at a premiership."
VICTORIA'S domestic cricket campaign will have a distinct subcontinental influence this season, with the Bushrangers to boast a champion Sri Lankan spinner as a player and an Indian property developer as their major sponsor.
I've played a lot of cricket here in Victoria, and know a lot of cricketers. It's fair to say that very few of us think Murali is legal.
Couple that with our recent spin summit:
"There was unanimous agreement that the off-spinner’s ‘other-one’, the doosra, should not be coached in Australia."
Throw in the long-held belief that English cricket – or Mike Atherton's English system - has suffered because it has too many foreign players.
So, what does Victoria do? It imports a player who most everyone thinks chucks; who is the very epitome of the doosra that the gurus have sought to ban; and who, to make it a hat-trick, is foreign.
Yer gaggin', right?
As a passionate follower of Victorian cricket, even the Big Bash - which, ironically, NSW won on the back of the efforts of their own chucker Aaron Bird - I've enjoyed the few wins, and sucked up the many losses. But it's been a long time since I've had my nose rubbed it in with such vigour.
Naturally, Tony Dodemaide was spinning it to within an inch of its bottom line:
"I think this has cracked the boundaries of what state cricket was conceived as being. It's very much now on the international stage … and international companies are interested in being involved with us."
No mention of stakeholders? Lift your game. Translated, what TD is saying is basically "There are pots of loot in it for us, so it's all good."
Not good here. I'll be all over the Shield, as usual, but the KFC Big Chicken can kiss my sharries.