Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Australian problems?

Respect or the lack of it in this case, could cause monumental problems in the Australia camp. For a minute let’s get away from the Aussie bashing that we are famous for and take a more serious look at why four cricketers are sitting out the next Test on the proverbial naughty step.

A lot of people are underplaying what these men did. Australia are in a rut. On field problems together with off field troubles are signalling an unhappy, almost divided dressing room.

Mickey Arthur wanted these men to take some responsibility, time away from the game, fans and most importantly each other to genuinely reflect on what they were bringing to the side as individuals and how they could improve their performances and therefore the team.

The feeling a lot of people had was that it was an over-reaction on the management’s part and a slap on the wrists would have been more than enough. Pattinson should be exempt from any punishment as he is the main wicket taking threat for the next Test? Ridiculous.

I have played at the lowest level of professional sport and a high standard of club sport and let me tell you, I have done my fair share of disrespecting. I have got drunk the night before a cup match and been found at the ground, early, naked, and asleep in the shower. I have been sent off a cricket field by my captain for having a heated argument with a team-mate and I have got in trouble with the league for urinating on the boundary when my skipper failed to let me leave the field.

On the football pitch I have walked off during a representative match because I was getting kicked and had a cup replay for my club on the Tuesday night. All of these misdeamenors led to me being disrespected by my peers and team-mates.

Happier days for the Baggy Greens

Shane Watson is the vice-captain of the Australian side and a senior player, and no doubt he would like to be respected. As a batsman he gains this by scoring big runs, as a bowler he gains it by taking wickets (although wanting to actually bowl would be a start). As a person all he has to do is produce something to his captain and coach that shows he cares about his team.

Pattinson issued an apology, he said of the need to produce ‘homework’:  “It’s part of playing cricket for Australia. You've got to do everything right. It wasn't hard for the other 12 blokes to get it in on time and they took the time out to really reflect and do what's best for the team whereas us four didn't. Right now I'm still hurting about it but in the long run I think it's going to make us a better team."

So the young fast opening bowler with his career ahead of him makes a mistake, owns up to it and strives to make himself a better cricketer and role-model. Anything, Shane?

Watto...came home

Pattinson is one of the better players in the side and one who was actually performing so I can see that he may have taken it lightly, just like I did. I knew I wasn’t going to get dropped so felt like I didn’t have to behave like everyone else. I learned my lesson, I hope Pattinson does.

Johnson and Khawaja haven't played yet, so "how can you improve your performance?" may not have made sense to them. Also what can they say when asked to improve the side? Maybe a simply: “Pick me boss” would have been suffice?

Arthur said in the aftermath: “I've not ever been in a position to doubt Shane Watson the person or Shane Watson the cricketer. Usman Khawaja is different. This will be the catalyst I think for Usman Khawaja to realise we're pretty serious in the Australian cricket team.”

Oh Usman you scallywag, don’t go down that path. First of all get yourself in the side, make some big hundreds and then stay there. Is it just me that thinks that $1.4 million dollars for a central contract is making a few average players a little bit big for their boots? When did Shane Watson last score a Test century?

I learned my lessons over time but then again I’m not an Australian international; I’m not even Australian. These players need to regroup fast, put egos to one side and bring their mother funkin’ A game over here in the summer.


Finally I read online that: “The West Coast Eagles (John Todd) demanded a written report from the players on why they lost a match against Brisbane Bears in Brisbane . This report was to be handed in as they got off the plane in Perth. Several of the players chose not to write at all thinking it puerile whilst some of the others wrote deliberate rubbish. The fallout of this exercise deeply divided the playing group into those that took this seriously and the others that treated it as a joke (and who obviously didn't endear themselves to the coach). This whole exercise ultimately cost the coach his job (because in the eyes of management he didn't have the support of the playing group) and the majority of those that didn't write their report ended up leaving the club”

Mickey, watch your back…

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