Cricket, the game that I as a Delhi boy had to see being played around me is going through times it has not gone through in the recent years. The arrest and subsequent sentences given to the trio of cricketers who trampled through the innocence of many a fans and the improvements and the new found consistency of the MERCURIAL MEN from across the border .Then we also have a master sitting at the threshold of a landmark once even his staunchest supporters doubted he would be able to reach and at the termination last few innings more than a billion have just been left whispering YET SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR.
There are men from the Caribbean who with their military like discipline and natural flair are trying to make up for the absence of infrastructure in the nations. Not to mention, T&T their strongest domestic team has been threatening to break away from them and hence take away a considerable bunch of their players. And one of the greatest finishers Indian cricket has produced, the one who was the man of the tournament in the world cup has been diagnosed with lung cancer which now thankfully has been termed benign. But there is one thing that is making it difficult to take my eyes off from the beautiful game. CRICKET AUSTRALIA.
After the infamous drubbing in the last Ashes, a committee was set up to review their structure and the Argus review did suggest some measures and good one at those. And a lot has happened since the drubbing down under. Tim Nielsen is now Australia’s FORMER COACH, captaincy has changed hands in two formats of cricket with once deemed FUTURE CAPTAIN of Australia becoming their PRESENT CAPTAIN, not to mention the CA’s assent to the appointment of the coach of one of their nemesis as their HEAD COACH.
What’s more a modern great and by some distance, one who had made ONE DOWN position his own has slipped ONE DOWN in the batting positions. His ability, his reflexes and his technique which once seemed so good and impervious has been continuously called into question. In fact, some had said that the nail biting Jo’burg test was to be his last but the recurrence of a back injury to Shaun Marsh handed him a lifeline and mind you in just three tests he had shown great maturity. His replacement in the side, who is Pakistani by birth and is the first Muslim to play test cricket for them has grabbed his chances beautifully.
Then we have David Warner, the pocket dynamite about whom it was once said that he epitomises twenty 20 specialists has won a baggy green for himself. Is he now going to epitomise players who struck millions of dollars first through biggest of sixes in the shortest of formats and then went on to be million dollar babies in the eldest cricket form. Well if he does, he could definitely be the one pushing Ponting out of the team when Watto comes back. As of now, Ponting seems to be getting back to some form again. Is this his renaissance or just a blip in his overall low scoring record of recent times? Whatever it is, it certainly calls for interesting times. What will the selectors go for, youth or old hands fighting towards euphoria again? Or someone else would be beheaded in the future?
Pup as he is called, is said to have wanted his old man, Steve Rixon to be the head coach but his requests were overlooked and the board went for the man with steel behind the smile, MICKEY ARTHUR. Is this going to inject some turbulence into the situation which was once again looking set to become all rosy and serene? But Mickey Arthur is a man known for his work, how he fought the system in South Africa to make them look nearly invincible when playing test cricket Down Under.
He was so much respected by the men representing the rainbow nation that their captain asked him to deliver the speech on winning the test series against the Aussies in 2009. Also, his contributions to the developments in the Western Australia side have been significant. Is he going to be Australia’s messiah or is he going to prove a pariah at that.
Then there is also a new selection committee who been thrown into to arena and it would be interesting what their way towards rebuilding would be.
So, is cricket Australia going to RISE FROM THE ASHES like a phoenix or these winds which at least for now seem to have something different about them prove to be a hoax? This is question Late Peter Roebuck asked in his last article, and this is the question whose answer lies only in the sands of future.