Wednesday, November 22, 2006


The End Of The Road

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Much has been made of the ageing Australian Cricket team. The selectors and members of the team say that it is irrelevant as long as the team is performing, which is a very true statement, but age raises a very important question, what is the future of Australian cricket looking like?

Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Martyn, Ponting, Hussey, Warne, McGrath and Stuart Clarke are all over 30. Some if not most are near or more than 35, a very worrying sign. Yes all is rosy now when these great players are performing well for their country, but after an Ashes victory and another World Cup, I can see the majority of these players hanging up the boots, with nothing more to achieve in their illustrious careers.

Warne will stay on to play more Tests and McGrath will probably stay too, but is it worth having him when you have the likes of young guns like Tait and Johnson waiting in the wings. Won't it be more beneficial to blood these youngsters and future stars while the team is on top, rather then blooding them when all the top players have retired and the team is fighting to stay competitive in international cricket.

Australia should know best out of all countries about the rough times international cricket can bring. If not for the likes of Border, Taylor and Waugh, who were able to rescue Australia when they were the easy beats of world cricket, who knows where the team would be at the moment.

Although they might have some bright young pace bowlers coming through, there are also many causes for concern. There are no world class spin bowlers and please don’t try and tell me that Dan Cullen is any good, and the batsmen aren’t as solid as the ones of the past. In fact there are hardly any potential young batting stars. Time after time we see the old timers in Lehman, Symonds, Maher, Haddin, Bevan and Marsh propping up their respective sides in the domestic competition. Yes occasionally we see the likes of Travis Birt, Ronchi and Cameron White chipping in, but these are by no means consistent enough to gain a regular spot in a Test team.

Yes the current ageing players are performing but it is about time that Australia looks to the future they know how harsh the future can be if not planned for. It is time that Australia took some hard calls, like India did on Ganguly, and drop the likes of McGrath, who although superstar bowlers in their prime, are well past their time.

Yes they might give a good series here and there but the likes of Tait and Johnson also deserve to be given a chance. I am sure the Australian public don’t want these bowlers' most productive years pass them by, sitting on the side lines.



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