In the latest of our Cricket reviews, Jeff Vaughan reflects on the Cricket season thus far and gives us something to look forward to.
1• How disappointing was the Sydney Test due to inclement weather and how poor were the West Indies during the Test series?
The West Indies have been poor all summer and it is really sad seeing the current state of the game in this once very exciting team of quality skilled players. It must break the hearts of former players like Richardson, Ambrose and Walsh to be involved with and to see the current day players delivering so poorly. They show no real excitement, passion or enjoyment for the great game. It is a poor state of affairs indeed. The big question is, when, and if we will see the West Indies compete in another Test series in Australia? I really hope it is very soon and that they can once again be at the top of the game playing the cricket we all know they can deliver.
Also, I was incredibly sad for all involved in the McGrath foundation to see the entirety of Day 3 rained out and no ability to truly celebrate what a wonderfully giving charity this has become. No doubt people will still show support by offering donations and bidding for the Pink “Baggies” but unfortunately some supportive cash was definitely lost that day due to no play.
2• The Big Bash League has been potentially the biggest injection of excitement to Cricket for the public and the players ever!
It seems that it is at a perfect time of year for people to attend, everyone seems to be watching it every night on the TV, and it brings new people to the game every day. People who go 11 months of the year not really thinking about cricket really get into this format and enjoy all it has to offer. Well done to all involved for making it such a wonderful spectacle!
3• Is Chris Lynn the most unlucky player to miss selection for the Aussie One Day team?
Lynn is in scintillating form at the moment. He has hit more 6’s than any other player in the history of the BBL and seems to be getting runs every time he goes out to bat. Surely he will play a big part in our T20 World Cup team to be played in India in a few months time. I would have loved to have seen him in the middle order of the Aussie line up for the One Dayers’ but as is always the case, if you want to put another player in the selectors would need to leave someone out.
4• I hope everyone was able to see the Innings from Travis Head from the Strikers on New Year’s Eve.
If you haven’t yet seen it, do yourself a favour and have a look at the innings up online. Quite simply it was some of the cleanest hitting you could ever wish to see. The Strikers were completely gone from the match, not looking like they would get within 30 runs of the target that the Sydney Sixes set them. This was until Travis (along with some poor “length” bowling) stole the match quicker than a blink of the eye! It was some truly awesome hitting and it would be wise to keep your eyes on this young man. I have mentioned before that we will see Travis in Australian colours very, very soon and he will quickly become a fan favourite.
Trav is a very down to earth young man from the Gawler area North of Adelaide. He is laid back, loves chilling out with his mates and having a good time. What people don’t see underneath this laid back exterior is an incredibly gifted, extremely tough and driven young man who is honing his craft as well as his leadership qualities at great speed. Trav is on track to take the cricketing world by storm. Remember the name!
It is a a great result for Australian cricket to have players like Head and Lynn putting real pressure on the big boys for spots in the team. We will see a lot more from both of these players for many years to come.
5• The most exciting part of the summer is still ahead of us.
Whilst we have seen plenty of Test cricket this summer, there is still the One Day series as well as the T20 Internationals to come. India are very strong in the shorter form of the game so expect some stiff competition from them. Along with some quality opposition we also get to see some new names injected into the Australian team. Any time there are debutantes and youngsters around, we as spectators love to sit and watch them, learn about how they play the game, decide if we rate them and their skills and get excited about what may come in the future.
With the ball in the hands of names like Kane Richardson, Joel Paris, Scott Boland there will be plenty of that excitement over the next few weeks. Whilst I am very much keen for the One Day thrillers I am however looking forward to the Test series in New Zealand through February. For me, that is our real test and what I am most looking forward to for the remainder of the summer.
Enjoy the Cricket!