This is a quote from Australia’s federal defence minister, Stephen Smith. And yes, you read that job title correctly.
“Well historically of course there have been a series of atrocities committed by the Australian Cricket Board or Cricket Australia or the Australian selectors against Western Australian cricketers but this one is extraordinary. This one is very high at the top of the list.”
Atrocities? You’d think someone in Smith’s line of work might hold words like that back for when he really needs them.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia’s head of cricket operations, Michael Brown, has seen fit to question the idioms used by Katich when complaining about losing his contract:
“I certainly don’t support the idea that you pay peanuts you get monkeys.”
We get the impression that Brown has taken that comment literally and while he’s resolute in public, behind the scenes he’s despatched some specialists to do a series of species checks on the selection panel.
Simon Katich went for Michael Clarke in the dressing rooms after Australia beat South Africa at the SCG last month.
You can’t blame him. If we were in the same team as Michael Clarke, we’d probably have drawn up some sort of schedule as to which days we were going to punch him square in his smug face. The punch-in-the-face days would be the ones when we could bear to be in the same room as him.
The argument was a hugely worthy one. Michael Clarke wanted the team to sing their team song earlier than usual. Simon Katich presumably didn’t.
Clarke wanted the song sung by 11pm, but only The Custodian Of The Song can decide when it is sung. Mike Hussey currently holds this sacred post and he decided that the song should be sung at nearly midnight. We’ve suddenly warmed to Mike Hussey.
All this is true, by the way. We should make that clear. We’re not averse to making stuff about the Australians, but on this occasion we’re innocent and they’re mental, rather than vice versa.
People who decide man of the match awards are stupid. If there are loads of runs in the match, man of the match adjudicators think the batsmen have all batted really well and pick the guy who scored the most. If it’s a really low-scoring game, they think the bowlers have done really well and pick the guy with the best figures.
That’s such shite. This Australia v New Zealand match featured four low scores. Out of 44 individual innings, only three were over 40. Simon Katich carried his bat for 130 not out and he wasn’t man of the match. Mitchell Johnson was for nine cheap wickets.
Simon Katich – remember him? – hit 306 for New South Wales against Queensland. Everyone cross their fingers that he’ll get back into the Australian team in time for the next Ashes.
Australia have any number of excellent batsmen and Katich is one of them, but at least he’s got a proven track record of getting all hot-and-bothered during crucial matches and throwing big hissy fits when he gets out.
In truth a mere triple hundred isn’t such a grand achievement on a pitch where even Matthew Hayden managed to hit 179.
With reference to yesterday’s post about too much cricket, we’d like to highlight the ongoing brilliance of Australian domestic cricket’s fixture list. Each state plays ten first-class games and as there are only six states, cricket followers can comfortably follow every single first-class match.
Mean-treating, keen-keeping brilliance.