Gooey foundations and a lack of curse words

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Dirk Nannes has written about second XI cricket over at All Out Cricket. He draws attention to Greg Chappell’s decision to limit Australian state second XI teams to just three players over the age of 23 back in 2009.

Chappell’s thinking appears to betray a belief that older players who aren’t going to make it into Test cricket contribute pretty much nothing to the national side. This is clearly big swinging donkey balls.

Test cricketers don’t develop in hermetically sealed foil packages, waiting for the top to be ripped off before emerging naked and hairless, dripping some kind of embryonic goo. They are forged in grass crucibles under the heat of old men’s angry, over-competitive swearing.

To methodically rip all of the older players out of the system is a moronically confident vote in favour of natural talent that seems to almost entirely disregard a human being’s ability to learn.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Don’t we do similar to county first XI’s (though less drastically) through the ECB’s young player incentive payments, or did that get dropped?

  2. Nash, your punctuation implies that the big swinging balls belong to one particular donkey. This may well indeed be the case.

  3. I hope ‘Australia’s version of Loughborough’ is actually a copy of the town and not just a cricket academy.

    1. There is a (probably apocryphal) story of an Australian tourist in Leicester (clearly this story is made up) asking for directions to Loogaborooga.

  4. Wow. Greg Chappell should never be allowed within a mile of any cricket academy. The man’s ‘ideas’ are often destructive, and seldom based on observation and/or pragmatism.

  5. It is very magnanimous of you to put alternative viewpoints on your website, KC, and even to suggest you in some way agree with them. But as we all know, Australia’s problems are not down to a lack of experience in second team cricket, or to a lack of youth, or to under-preparation, or even to the aftershock of some stellar retirements.

    No, it’s what KC has been saying for years. Australia’s problems are societal. Australians are soft and metrosexual. Australians are not tough. They are not brought up wrestling pigs on outback farms. They are not brought up on a pie and a pint. Shane Watson doesn’t plant his left leg in the way of the ball because that’s how you hold a sheep properly for shearing. He does it because he is wondering whether it will need another wax before the weekend.

    Look at their facial hair. Find me a single manly moustache in this team, or even a single player capable of growing one without accidentally having it waxed off. David Boon didn’t need sun cream to protect his upper lip. His upper lip hadn’t seen the sun since he was seven, when he left school to work as a heavy boulder carrier on an outback boulder farm.

    All the real men play for England these days. Alistair Cook ain’t no choirboy, that’s for sure. Just look at their manliness – Matt Prior, Stuart Br… oh hold on, er, James Ande… no Ian Ronald Bell, oh for fuck’s sake. Anyway, it’s still true.

    1. I think you’re on to something with our society and it’s not confined to cricket. In one of the newspaper articles here relating to Rugby League someone commented that a gen x mummy’s boy looks like a warrior next to these gen y metrosexuals.

    2. Also agree wholeheartedly that Cook is hard as nails. It takes a certain ruthlessness to kill Bambi. The best one of our openers can manage is a glancing blow against a stationary target.

  6. Double split infinitive horror show in your final sentence there, KC. That has left me so discombobulated, I cannot even engage with the main content of this piece.

    As for you, Bert, your brave mini-essay on metrosexuality surely misses the point. It is of course possible to be a great national cricket team even if most of the members are soft; the point is that the Aussie selectors are now choosing players based on specious criteria.

    Watching James Pattinson and James Faulkener parading around at Lord’s, for example, was like attending a movie casting for the role of Tin Tin.
    Are the Aussie selectors using scale of hair gel usage as one of their main selection criteria?

  7. I thought you were emphasising your point rather cleverly as Churchill did when he wrote

    ‘this is the sort of writing up with which I will not put’

    on painfully correct work with no split infinitives and no prepositions at the end of the sentences.

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