Australia’s secret squad

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ICC: Hi Australia, could you possibly name your long list of 30 players for the Champions Trophy. You don’t have to name your 15-man squad yet, just a bunch of players who might appear in it.

Cricket Australia: No.

ICC: Er, why not?

Cricket Australia: Because that’s just what they’ll be expecting us to do. [Evil grin.]

ICC: Who’ll be expecting that?

Cricket Australia: Everyone. The media, the fans, the tournament organisers.

ICC: Okay.

Cricket Australia: We’re going to play by different rules this time. [Evil laugh.]

ICC: Okay.

Cricket Australia: [Continues cackling.]

ICC: You know you’ll still have to name your 15-man squad a few weeks before the tournament, right?

Cricket Australia: Yes. [Looks shifty.]

ICC: And you know that you don’t actually have any secret weapons anyway? It’s not like you’re going to put all your opponents on the back foot by suddenly unleashing some unknown genius.

Cricket Australia: We might.

ICC: You won’t. That player doesn’t exist.

Cricket Australia: He might.

ICC: You’re picking 30 players. Look at the last 30 guys you’ve capped in one-day internationals. Graham Manou’s probably the best of them.

Cricket Australia: Pat Cummins?

ICC: Okay, Pat Cummins is good, but just look at some of those names: Ben Laughlin, Shane Harwood, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood – they’re not exactly household names, are they? Of the last 30 players you’ve capped, Xavier Doherty has been the most successful selection. Why should we believe that you could identify a great player, even if there was one available to you?

Cricket Australia: You’ll be laughing on the other side of your face when we unveil our secret squad.

ICC: No, we’ll be entirely unmoved when you finally get round to confirming your 15-man squad in early May.


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  1. Australia haven’t named their 30 because they have decided to give up on pretending they have that many international quality players.

    1. You know what, that might not actually be too far from the truth. They might be worried that sub-standard players will become complacent if they feel they’re already international standard.

      For the record, England don’t have 30 international standard players either. The ‘probables’ thing is a farce. How can they even be probables if only half of them will make the squad? What kind of probability is that? (Rhetorical question.)

    2. I’m guessing the provisional 30 is another example of outstanding ICC marketing in an aim to get people talking about the tournament. Complete waste of time in real terms. England probably know 12 of their 15 already, with the only doubts being the fitness of Swann, Pietersen and Bresnan. That means they have to pick at least 10 “probables” that literally have zero chance of making the 15.

  2. Meanwhile, Ravi Bop is in the squad of England contracted players, proving that sucking up to the management and being a good little doggie is far more important to England than performance (Ben Stokes has been dropped).

    1. Getting sent home in disgrace from a tour will do that to you. Not the smartest move you can make. Does Stokes’ performance really merit an England contract, anyway?

    2. James Taylor, who hasn’t done much of anything except perform, has also been made a nonperson, and he was about the only good thing in that tour.

  3. Naming a provisional 30 man squad does seem to be a pointless exercise in form filling. The Australian team management clearly has no truck with pointless exercises in form filling. They haven’t got time for that shit. They’d never be seen dead just completing a pointless form filling exercises just because they’d been ordered to do it. No, the Australian team management will throw the forms back in your face and tell you to just get on with playing bloody cricket for crying out loud. Forms? Ha!

  4. Surely a provisional list of 30, by definition, is a combination of probables and possibles.

    In my day, there used to be matches between the probables and the possibles…

    …but perhaps that was Rugby…

    …or Canasta…

    …or some other extreme sport – you get my point anyway.

  5. Maybe they have dropped some very high profile player, such as Kane Richardson or Ben Cutting, but really don’t feel like calling them up and telling them right now because of how awkward it would be to tell someone that they are currently not even one of the 30 best cricketers in Australia.

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