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The CB series should go to a 'TT' format as of now (though the Australian top order are beating them to it as I type) - then this series would be over sooner.

Cowards article was excellent. I think Lalor has been the best writer this summer, but that was a real return to form for Coward. We are all a bit sick of the greed of the Aussie players.

I don't think it is 'greedy' to decide to be paid a motza for a cushy gig in preference to going to Pakistan for a few weeks. I wouldn't go to Pakistan, and I'm not a white Australian cricketer. These guys are the best in the world at what they do, and they have a limited time in the sun - they will obviously aim to make the most for themselves and their families.

Nick im no socialist, but it is hard for the average cricket fan making $40k a year, to reconcile why a player on a base of $1mil, would whore themselves out for a few weeks for an extra $200k. You are making it sound as if these guys need the money to put bread on the table which is utter crap.

'I'm no socialist, but'

Never a good start. Maybe I think your skills would be better utilised to my advantage rather than yours - would you feel the same way then?

Regardless, this is just market forces correcting the ridiculous future tours program. If players can make some extra money, and the Indian market (which is quite self sufficient) can pay for the product, then the ICC should get with the program. Let the players escape from unsafe tours, unwatchable tours, and less remunerative 50 over games, and let the ICC administer the quality games - the Tests, the World Cup, and so on.

The quality that we all want to see can be subsidised by the TT crap for the Indian market. However, if the ICC put their feet down, the players will vote with their feet and fill ther boots.

Just remember, these guys are the best in the world at what they do - if I was the best in the world at what I do, I would expect the same level of remuneration.

ps : I received a similar offer in my field a while ago - 2 years salary in cash, as a sign on bonus, on top of a 5 year contract, paying around what I earn now, but for a 40 hour week. Share options and other inducements were offered on top of this. I didn't take the offer. My existing working conditions were so good that the extra money didn't persuade me. But every man has his price, and the IPL seems to have found it.

Or as Kerry Packer said to the ACB 'there is a little of the whore in all of us'. Nick I don't disagree with the ICL tournament. I think cricket could eventually benefit from it. We need the odd revolution to shake up the cricketing establishment. What concerns me is the sanctity of Test cricket. If Pakistan is deemed to dangerous to tour, so be it. The series should be moved to an alternate venue. If players/managers/bloggers are using the political situation in Pakistan to benefit the ICL they should hang their collective heads in shame.


Now there's a TV show.

Everybody Loves Tony da Teach.

Can we get someone to buy Patrick Smith at an overseas Auction?

Brad, I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, but if the players don't want to tour Pakistan, for whatever reason, then you can't make them go. The Australian Government currently, I believe, has a travel warning advising Australian passport holders not to go to Pakistan. I also believe that the Pakistanis don't want to have a neutral venue, and are investigating some meaningless one dayers against India as a backup. I think the ICC needs to be pragmatic. This will happen, sanctioned or not, and they would do well to get in on the ground floor and get some benefits from it.

not all of us like 20/20. It's very silly.

In OT news, I don't know if you fellas are aware of the dramatic impact the AFL is having on Western Sydney.

I agree with MG, "An AFL tsunami is slowly building and it's going to swamp everything if we don't do anything about it," he said.

The AFL is everywhere out here with not a week going by without rep players visiting schools, gala days, banners all over major roads etc.

Penrith, Parramatta and Campbelltown are the major junior development areas in NSW. Every NRL club would have several players drawn from this region. Even the parochial Broncos just bought two of Penrith's finest while offlaying its own home grown loyal stars.

The AFL's strategy is brilliant and will swamp the NRL if it doesn't wake up. Forget Rugby Union, its days are numbered. By targeting mum's the AFL has definitely sussed out how to win over the real decision makers. The NRL has a big problem in that the junior game is getting swamped by Islanders who, on a weight for age comparison, far excel the white juniors. The risk in getting a life time injury, broken elbow, broken arm leg etc is too big a risk at this level and mums are worried.

Sadly, I am part of the drain having succumbed two weeks ago to signing my boy up with the Blue Mountains Kangaroos for the Auskick programme. It will be a mingled feeling I have when I see him for the first time running out in a teams colours and that code is AFL. And the only one who gets a badge for their troubles? My wife. She got the "I'm a footy mum" badge and was swamped by all the AFL spruikers at the local shopping mall. Sadly, poor old Dad just watched and payed for the registration, resigned to the inevitable.

You Vic's are smart bastards. Bastards being the operative word :-)

Sorry for all the typos and grammatical errors above. I'm too tired and emotional. Sigh!

Prof, 2020/TT carries the seeds of its own obsolescence. Tests and ODIs are where names are made - in 5-10 years, the players will just sell naming rights to 3D animated games featuring themselves. 2020 is just StickCricket with better graphics.

FX: I was pissed off Baum didn't write "Everybody Loves TT". I mean, Everyone Loves TT? Come on, mate!

For the record, I'm with all of Baum, Smith & Mysore:

T20 needs to be taken the piss out of.

It is crap compared to Tests.

I hope it doesn't cut into or compromise Tests.

There's a place for it in the calendar.

April/May seems as good a time as any.

Boxing Day would be a stretch.

The players are greedy.

They are allowed to be.

They are professional cricketers who deserve a hefty wedge for their services.

Hypocrisy in professional sport - now there's a shock.


By targeting mum's the AFL has definitely sussed out how to win over the real decision makers. The NRL has a big problem in that the junior game is getting swamped by Islanders who, on a weight for age comparison, far excel the white juniors. The risk in getting a life time injury, broken elbow, broken arm leg etc is too big a risk at this level and mums are worried.

That's the same fear Aussie Rules people have about soccer phoodboll.

I don't give a monkey's... sorry, a tinker's cuss about Aussie Rules swamping Union because Union is a complete bore. Apart from the odd international (Do they call them Tests?) it is virtually unwatchable. But I like League, especially in so much as I follow the Premiership Side, and I wouldn't like to see it disappear.

Although, you know, on reflection, maybe if everyone started playing Rules it would be good for football.

Cricketers only have a short career. If they don't make money, they end up sadly like this.
The Worst of perth

I was a bit startled when you called rugby union boring, Tone. It sometimes is, I suppose, but I've really come to appreciate southern hemisphere rugby while watching the rugby over here. France are entertaining, but everyone else in the Six Nations... I genuinely fall asleep watching them.

TWOP: I saw that the other day and just assumede it was the home of the person who owns Carpet Call.

Dave: I used to like Union, but the fact that I got no one to barrack for at a club level worked against my becoming a bigger fan. So with Straya only play a few matches worth tuning in for, I kind of drifted away. It's pretty boring, too, in the main.

I played both Union and League till injury prevented me from becoming a Dual International like my childhood hero Ray Price.

Union could be "the game they play in heaven" if they could do something about the rules. When it is played at its best it is reffed at its best. You could say the same thing about other codes but it isn't as hard and fast a rule as it is with Rugby.

Northern Hemipshere refs in general have ruined the game. Kiwi refs are far and away the best. The last World Cup showed just how ugly Union is when it is dominated by the laws of the game. Last years ARC comp showed just how good the game can be but sadly the whole thing is now over.

The laws are the most subjective and pedantic things one can imagine. What is considered staying on your feet, who is responsible for bringing down the scrum on your own feed, deliberate knock down not an attempt at intercept, not releasing, hands in the ruck etc etc. It's a minefield of legal minutae.

Re. Junior League, the NRL needs to put more funds into it and not rely on the clubs do it on their behalf. The junior comps need to go back to the old system that grades competition based on weight and age not just on age.

At first grade level they definately need to reduce the interchange limits, get rid of grapple by bringing back a contested ball i.e. it is legitimate to steal the ball even in a gang tackle and the play the ball also contestable. These would slow the game naturally, bringing out a reliance on talent to break the opposition not just a bench of giant robots wrestling each other around the ground.

Nick, you are correct in condemning 20/20 as carrying its own destruction within its format. One day cricket is the same. By contrast, first class cricket has required the intervention of international administrators to bugger up a good game.
The same could be said of rugby league (if we drop the reference to "international", which is irrelevant) ; a guy on the ABC radio had watched an old game from the 60s or 70s, and he made the comment: "Gee we've put in a lot of work to ruin what was a good game".
Pat, as a bit of a stickler, and old grump, I quite liked the adherence to the rules in the rugby union world cup. Too many players get away with too much in the southern hemisphere game ; I have complained about George Gregan's refusal to feed the scrum before, and George Smith's constant infringements at the ruck. The same goes for soccer ; when we get a few refs who give out free kicks and penalties for shirt tugging, and for the atrocious throw-ins at the last world cup, you'll get players who can throw in and can play without impeding other players. Sure, there will be a few slow games with a penalty count in the hundreds, but the players will get the message -- yes, I know it won't happen.

Watching Italy win the World Cup in 1990 while rolling around at the slightest touch was what stopped me watching soccer the first time. Watching them win again in 2006, after cheating to beat the Aussies (and after the Portuguese were almost as bad)has killed the sport for me completely. Rugby - can't get into it.

Prof, I agree with that ABC comment. Easily the best GF I've seen in the last 20 years was the 2003 Panthers/Roosters followed by the 2005 Tigers/Cowboys. As a matter of fact, I'd even go so far to rate the Panthers win the best GF I've ever seen for non-stop attack and defensive excellence from both teams.

I'd then have to go back to the early 90's and 80's for a quality contest. The Raiders 3 consecutive GFs 89,90 & 91 capped by the Tigers win is the last time I remember watching a truly brilliant team in action.

The last two GFs were absolute shockers (no slur on you Storm fans) and even The State of Origin is a pale shadow of its former self. It is remarkable to compare watching The Invincibles tour matches with the dross we get served up today.

I remember how we used to laugh derisively at the English play the ball "he didn't play that, he just chucked it under his legs!" Yet, that's the way it's played now. That was when a forward pass was defined as when the ball went forward of the player passing the ball not "his fingers were pointed towards his own goal line" as it drifts 2 metres forward to his winger. Don't get me started on f*cking knock ons!!!!

I take your point about the rules in Union. However, that the English almost (and probably should have) won with the team and strategy based around one man kicking field goals or penalties from 50 metres out is an indictment of the game as a contest of talent. Sure, you have to give the English their due, they played to their strength with an awesome discipline, but if that's what Rugby's about then...thank God for the French.

PS. Georgies only doing what the All Blacks got away with for years. That's one for Carozza's nose. How come the Kiwi's only ever remember our underarm's and not their forearms?

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