In Australia, the old argument of playing too much cricket seems to have reared it’s ugly head again over the last few days.
First we had the retirement of Mike Hussey, and now we have seen George Bailey come out and defend Australia’s current rotation policy (without actually calling it that) ahead of the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka (despite Australia’s reserves playing, they are still heavy favourites in the betting).
Should cricket’s administrators be worried by the fact that Mike Hussey, a competitive bloke who likes to test himself against the world’s best, has decided to call it a day ahead of a mouth watering year of cricket for Australia, with an away series in India and back to back Ashes’ series to look forward too?
Too bloody right they should.
The question I find I ask myself now, is “Are cricket’s administrators really that bothered (about the fact that players like Mike Hussey would rather retire than continue flogging themselves on the international treadmill)?”
And it disappoints me that I believe the answer is ‘they are a bit bothered, but they aren’t bothered that much.’ If players like Mike Hussy wish to retire, then it is price they are prepared to pay. After all, they are bringing in that much money, they can live without the likes of Hussey.
That’s all well and good for the time being (not my view), but once the quality starts to get too diluted, will TV want to pay the big bucks any more? Of course it won’t. TV might pay something, as sports channels need to fill large schedules, but TV won’t pay big bucks to cover substandard crap.
A bloke like Mike Hussey prepared to quit ahead of a year of exciting cricket like Australia have, should be a wake up call. He might be getting on age wise, but he still looks good enough to cope with it all too me.
Put it another way, as an Englishman, I think it improves our chances of keeping the Ashes.
Putting aside team loyalties though, it’s a joke that we seem to be hammering our best players into the ground and pushing them towards retirement. I’d honestly rather see Hussey (getting beat) in England this summer.
As for Australia’s current rotation policy and the row with George Bailey….. They need to get used to it, people need to understand that Australia can’t expect the same 10-12 players to play in all the fixtures they have coming up over the next 12-14 months?
International cricket is now becoming a squad game…. personally, I don’t like it, but unfortunately it is the way it is becoming.
Maybe they don’t need to rest batsmen from a physical prospective, but they may need to rest them mentally. While the bowlers are going to need resting from both prospectives.
Already this year, I’ve read people on Twitter saying they are not going to the ODI’s in England this summer, that they are not prepared to pay big money to watch second XI’s playing.
Like most things in life, I expect that in the corridors of power where it really counts, the penny won’t drop until it’s too late.