The cricket calendar is so jam-packed these days that there is little point talking of a “summer” of cricket as it is pretty much a non-stop year-long spectacle. Much is made of the impact this has on players. I would argue that it is starting to take its toll on the selectors who appear to have parted company with their senses in selecting the squad for first games of the one-day series against Sri Lanka.

Sorry, but you can only pick three. Photo: Phil Hillyard

As a format one day cricket is already in all sorts of strife, caught in a no man’s land between the strategic elegance of Test Cricket and the rock and roll of 20-20.

Its days have been numbered for a long time, and can probably be traced back to the many innings where blokes like Michael Bevan batted like accountants, working out that with ten overs to go at a rate of 3.9 runs per over they could get Australia over the line by taking three dozen singles and a four.

Sport is all about marketing and the selectors have done everything they can to trash a brand which is already struggling, if not doomed, by picking a bunch of no-names to represent Australia in the ODIs. It’s the silliest thing since the ill-conceived Australia versus Australia A experiment of the early nineties, except this time there is only Australia A. Just three of the current Test players will line up against Sri Lanka, with the most inexplicable omissions being Dave Warner and Michael Hussey.

Warner is exactly the kind of bloke cricket needs, and which our team now needs, light on as it now is for relentlessly attacking batsmen such as an Adam Gilchrist, the constantly aggressive captaincy of a Steve Waugh, or game-changing bowlers such as a Glenn McGrath or Shane Warne. Even at its best the current team is only mildly exciting compared to most of those from the past three decades and the selectors have picked what is easily the least exciting formation from those available.

Warner, who owes much to Hookesy in his belief that cricketers are there to entertain, not play themselves in or keep their spot, could give the selectors a lesson in the concept of value for money. If I had bought I ticket for me and the kids to either of these first two games I’d be toying with the idea of asking for a refund or putting them on Ebay.

As for Hussey’s absence, God only knows what was going through the selectors heads as they watched his final test at the SCG over the past few days. This was about the most energised crowd to have ever watched a Test, going bananas every time Hussey did anything, such as taking the ball for the final over before stumps on Saturday, or cheering Clarke’s dismissal late yesterday which brought our number five to the crease.

A spell on the sidelines could do a couple of these electors the world of good as the demands of this now-endless summer appear to be taking a toll.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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30 comments

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    • M.G says:

      01:34pm | 08/01/13

      Oh Harquebus, Im so glad you’ve taken the time out of your precious day to tell all of us mere philistines and ‘brain dead morons’ that our interest in sport is shamefully misguided. What does thou suggest we devote our time to instead good sir? We, the working class and uneducated, desperately need your superior intellect and cultural knowledge to guide us out of these dark times…...Help us!!!! .......I was going to mention the fact that you yourself are reading an article about australian test cricket selection (and so obviously have an interest in ‘spectator sport’) but I wont, because that would be facetious…..

    • Harquebus says:

      11:46am | 08/01/13

      We should rest spectator sport period. It’s only useful purpose is to provide emotional stimulation to brain dead morons.

    • jack gilbert says:

      09:36am | 08/01/13

      the game is stale, no one cares anymore the crowds are down in test cricket just boring, the big bash also has had small crowds, they are all overpaid and not one of them including the presenters have done a hard days work in there lives
      and for channel nine to promote slatts to the football show is a disgrace

    • Paul says:

      06:22pm | 07/01/13

      20/20 Cricket ... staged for those who can’t concentrate on the game of cricket for more than 3 hours.
      What a FARCE of a game it is!!

    • waynevan says:

      06:04pm | 07/01/13

      Have they really, as people have been saying, ended Hussey’s career? Isn’t the team they’ve picked only for the 1st 2 ODI’s against SL? There’s 3 more to come and 5 against the Windies he’ll be picked for.

    • 43 degrees celsius says:

      05:44pm | 07/01/13

      the Australian women’s cricket team would defeat West Indies and Sr Lanka !!

      Those two international teams, West Indies and Sri Lanka , are not even up to Sheffield Shield level !

    • Anna says:

      05:37pm | 07/01/13

      Not picking both of these players is an absolute travesty. Hussey is in amazing form and people would have flocked to games as a chance to farewell him and pay tribute to his career. Warner is a crowd puller in all forms. This move by the selectors is senseless.

    • 43 degrees Celsius says:

      05:35pm | 07/01/13

      Australia’s One Day team and Twenty 20 Teams will easily defeat Sri Lanka and West Indies regardless of who is in the team.

    • stephen says:

      05:24pm | 07/01/13

      Shane Warne’s behaviour during the latest Twenty/20 should announce its death-knell, once and for all.
      And it is that stupid game which is killing One/dayers, which is still exciting - especially the day/nighters - because it still has a semblance of proper cricketing technique.
      Twenty/20 is like tennis without the net, boxing without the count, and cycling with finish lines that are closer for the weaker riders.

    • Jeff says:

      05:14pm | 07/01/13

      It’s only for the first 2 games. The rest of the series will be back to full strength. A little bit of an over-reaction methinks. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see some new blood that will outperform and rocket into our everyday vocabulary, the same way Warner did.

    • Michael says:

      03:55pm | 07/01/13

      It’s a bit disingenuous to say that only 3 of the Test team have been selected, when 4 of the team are considered specialist Test players (or only just made it into the side through rotation).  Of the remaining 7, one is battling a hamstring injury and two others are considered so vital to the upcoming India and England series that they have been given a rest for a week.

      I agree that Hussey could have, and probably should have, been included.  Apart from the sentiment surrounding his retirement, he will not be needing a rest for upcoming series and he also provides a good deal of experience to a ‘new look’ side.  Perhaps the selectors are thinking that bringing in Brad Haddin will provide some experience (though I’m doubtful of the value his ‘experience’ will provide, if his recent efforts at digging the Sixers into a hole and letting the rest of the batting order try to clean up the mess is any indication).

      Perhaps the selectors are thinking that Aaron Finch’s 309 runs at a strike rate of 128 in the Big Bash will provide some entertainment.  Or that people will want to see Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja, who are set to be long-term members of the Test side, making their ODI debuts (both being in good recent form).  Or that David Hussey will have some interest, prior to the India squad being named.  Or Mitchell Starc, who has been raved about all summer - he’s suddenly not worth watching?

      I find it amusing that formats are now not worthwhile unless they have Test players involved.  I guess this backs up what I’ve been saying about Twenty20 for a while, though.

    • Female Cricket Lover says:

      03:49pm | 07/01/13

      The subject of “resting"bowlers is an interesting one. This year’s calendar is so full it’s rather absurd and the toll on fast bowlers especially is going to be immense. However, when a quick bowler is in form, greats such as D.K Lillee believe that continuing to play is the best method to avoid breakdown or injury because the muscles used in their run-up and action are kept at peak performance. Resting, often at the behest of sports scientists or physios allow those muscles to lose condition and therefore he believes making injury more likely when the return to the pitch. It makes sense, to me and he should know.

      As for ODIs, they mostly are the least inspiring form of the game. I will watch 20/20 for entertainment, however it isn’t cricket.That is a Test Match. Get rid of ODIs but keep the shortest form for those who enjoy slogging - next year though, cos I’m going to be in Edgebaston to cheer us on against the Poms in June!

      PS. Dunno Penbo. Loved the animated crowd in Sydney re Mr Cricket (Hussey)but as for the most ever? I recall the MCG crowd I was in going similarly nuts when Warney played his last match.

    • Ted says:

      02:58pm | 07/01/13

      I thought there was a review of CA and those so called experts who use the armchairs and drink the whiskey, amazing how quiet its been.  They charge like wounded bulls to get into the ground and expect us to watch second rate players - what a bloody joke and very much in keeping with the direction of the game at the moment.  The game needs some contemporary thinking in the form of Lehmann and co. and it desperately needs to rid itself of the oh so obvious parochial approach by certain TV and sporting identities.

    • DJ says:

      02:58pm | 07/01/13

      @Penbo - watch some state cricket aand you will realise they have picked some great young talent. Warner needs a rest after 6 tests, Hussey was going to miss these ODI’s to get ready for India and England, now he is retiring may as well blood someone new.

      Finch should be all the excitement you need this series, good to see him getting a go. Out of the test team Clarke is injured Watson is injured, Wade needs a break, Cowan is not an ODI player.

      To those complaining aboput Quinney if he had made more than 9 runs in 3 digs he might still be there. Ferguson was close but blew his knee out and hasn’t done a lot since despite batting on the easiest pitch in the country.

    • Gregnor says:

      02:32pm | 07/01/13

      More than rest them, it’s high time to retire some, if not all of them.

    • Clint says:

      02:21pm | 07/01/13

      I agree with Bear. Do we even need 20/20 cricket? Its so boring and pointless.

    • Bear says:

      02:00pm | 07/01/13

      And no Warner? That’s like leaving Boony out of the drinking comp. “sorry Boony we know you’re a fish but we’re going with Keppler Wessels on the VBs today”. You what!!?

    • Sundress In Sydney says:

      03:28pm | 07/01/13

      What a wonderful post!  I can just see the look on Boonie’s face! smile

    • Bear says:

      01:51pm | 07/01/13

      I’m not sure the public ever demanded 20/20 cricket. I think it was more forced upon us by people with pony tails and suit jackets and jeans who know better than you and who are trying to make and save money. Much like so called reality tv.

    • Kookaburra says:

      02:37pm | 07/01/13

      You hit the nail on the head there. It was the Indian version of Kerry Packer that turned T20 into the phenomenon that it is now. The fans there are going nuts over it, but somehow I don’t think it’s the same here just yet. It’s just that the pony tail brigade wants to cash in and is looking at Australia as their obvious target. I bet you that the majority of working class Australians still prefer Kerry’s brand of World Series Cricket over this circus, but greed always wins out.

    • Jay2 says:

      01:27pm | 07/01/13

      I’ve suspected for a while the ‘old boys’ club’ networking must account for their dubious selection choices at times (or lack thereof!) and internal politics that never reaches the light of day. Case in point and as David P. pointed out, what the hell were the selectors with Hussey??

      I use to be an avid watcher of all things cricket, much to my Husband’s delight, but in the last five or so years I rarely bother to catch more than five minutes worth.

    • bretto80 says:

      06:25pm | 07/01/13

      Zeke, Phil Hughes now plans for South Australia. Your theory that Quiney was brought in to protect him from RSA makes me think that you also think that NSW Cricket also covered up the Roswell incident and shot JFK…

    • Alex says:

      04:04pm | 07/01/13

      Zeke, Phil Hughes doesn’t even play for NSW anymore, why would they manipulate the test team to try and protect him?

    • Arnold Layne says:

      03:35pm | 07/01/13

      Ferguson hasn’t had a decent season with the bat in years.  If he has a sustained period of good form, he’ll get his name in the frame like Alex Doolan has.

      As for protecting Hughes, you probably don’t remember but almost 20 years ago the selectors did the same thing for a kid named Ricky Ponting.  They picked Stuart Law for the West Indies tests and then brought Ponting in to play Sri Lanka.  Law never played another Test but Ponting played a few more…

    • Zeke says:

      02:27pm | 07/01/13

      The NSW cricketing lobby has a lot to answer for. Channel 9 (especially Michael Slater and Brett Lee) are so parochial and untouchable it is way beyond humourous. What about the Robert Quiney selection in order to protect Phil Hughes from having to deal with South Africa? Disgraceful. He was never going to be selected beyond 3 tests. Why hasn’t Callum Ferguson featured in selections? Second in the shield batting, but was obviously born in the wrong state. I thought when Hilditch went it had all changed but slowly it is reverting to more of the same.

    • James Mathews says:

      01:17pm | 07/01/13

      I do agree in part with @Penbo but it is the selection panel I don’t blame it is the sponsors that have landed us in this messy undesirable place with money getting snuffed under the International Cricket Council as well as all the authorities around the world which is going to destroy the game of cricket. Although they need to get rid of the T20 competitions and scale back the ODI’s then it makes the year less crowded.

      Twitter: @BigJamesMathews

    • ODI tragic says:

      01:39pm | 07/01/13

      How can they scale back ODIs?  They are playing a total of 10 this season, whereas the 3 tests each against SA and SL totals 30!!

      All this for a form of cricket that I can’t watch while I am at work, and/or couldn’t be bothered watching for 5 days in a row.

      Scale back tests and up the ODIs a la late 80’s early 90’s.

    • Brent says:

      12:59pm | 07/01/13

      ODI’s are still the most watched form of cricket in the country, they get the highest ratings… but the team is terrible, even if you are going for actually winning the game or setting the team up for the future they haven’t done that. They picked a mixture of test prospects and cricketers who think 5-6 overs is an innings. It’s a disaster

    • Macca says:

      12:50pm | 07/01/13

      The gaps in logic are the most frustrating. Not picking Hussey on the basis they are planning for the World Cup, but still picking a 35 year old Haddin, is just ridiculous.

      For all the frustrations, the rotation policy has allowed Bird and Starc, two young growing pace bowlers, a real opportunity. Given Wade’s indifferent form with the gloves, it’s mindboggling a similar approach wasn’t taken for the keepers spot.

    • Jason says:

      05:10pm | 07/01/13

      I can only suppose that they didn’t like his springing his retirement on them and that is the reason why he’s been left out.  I can’t think of anything else, as their stated reason of ‘looking to the world cup’ is obviously false given Haddin and David Hussey’s selections.

 

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