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Thread: Domestic cricket revamp.

  1. #1
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    Domestic cricket revamp.

    Archaic domestic system needs to be shaken up

    Darren Berry
    October 29, 2006
    Page 1 of 2 | Single page

    OUR domestic competition is the best in the world and the history and tradition that surrounds it makes it a very special part of Australian cricket.
    One point of view would be if it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. The other is if you sit on the train tracks satisfied with past achievements, you will get run over. In any business you must always be looking to improve or to obtain the competitive advantage.
    One option would be to expand the state competition by adding a second team out of Melbourne and Sydney and introducing the ACT and Northern Territory to make it a truly national competition.
    The state competition has history dating back to the 1890s and it is the cornerstone on which our powerful Test team is built. Most traditionalists will choke at any suggestion of change, but those with vision believe it could be time to revamp an archaic system. Present Victorian Institute of Sport coach Neil Buszard is one of a growing number of people who is prepared to look into the crystal ball.
    In Victoria we have more than 112,000 registered cricketers, yet only 12 at any given time have the chance to wear the navy blue Victorian cap. The percentage that makes it through the funnel is minuscule. Our pathway or elite system has talent identification programs set up across the state beginning at under-13 level with more than 1200 young players unearthed each year.
    The present under-age system does not miss many players. The problem lies at the pointy end of the pathway, with many talented cricketers lost to the game.
    Luke Ball, Luke Hodge, Jonathan Brown, Brett Deledio, Jimmy Bartel and Marc Murphy are just a few of the names in recent times who chose football ahead of cricket. The financial gains are significantly higher at AFL level than in state cricket but, just as importantly, so are the opportunities. Perhaps for cricket to compete with football, we need to provide more vacancies for first-class cricketers.
    At present only 66 players have the chance to play first-class cricket at any one time. Each state can now contract up to 20 players and eight rookies each year in addition to its Australian contracted players. This is a vast improvement on times past and provides a genuine career path for young athletes to aspire to. But why not add another four first-class teams across the country, providing another 44 players or 112 contracts to the top end? There is certainly enough young talent out there.
    Is it possible to break away from tradition and replace the state system with a club format such as the rugby league, basketball, soccer and netball models? Maybe introduce the Melbourne Lightning and the Sydney Sharks as second teams operating under the auspices of state associations.
    Archaic domestic system needs to be shaken up

    Darren Berry
    October 29, 2006
    Page 2 of 2
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    OUR domestic competition is the best in the world and the history and tradition that surrounds it makes it a very special part of Australian cricket.
    One point of view would be if it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. The other is if you sit on the train tracks satisfied with past achievements, you will get run over. In any business you must always be looking to improve or to obtain the competitive advantage.
    One option would be to expand the state competition by adding a second team out of Melbourne and Sydney and introducing the ACT and Northern Territory to make it a truly national competition.
    The state competition has history dating back to the 1890s and it is the cornerstone on which our powerful Test team is built. Most traditionalists will choke at any suggestion of change, but those with vision believe it could be time to revamp an archaic system. Present Victorian Institute of Sport coach Neil Buszard is one of a growing number of people who is prepared to look into the crystal ball.
    In Victoria we have more than 112,000 registered cricketers, yet only 12 at any given time have the chance to wear the navy blue Victorian cap. The percentage that makes it through the funnel is minuscule. Our pathway or elite system has talent identification programs set up across the state beginning at under-13 level with more than 1200 young players unearthed each year.
    The present under-age system does not miss many players. The problem lies at the pointy end of the pathway, with many talented cricketers lost to the game.
    Luke Ball, Luke Hodge, Jonathan Brown, Brett Deledio, Jimmy Bartel and Marc Murphy are just a few of the names in recent times who chose football ahead of cricket. The financial gains are significantly higher at AFL level than in state cricket but, just as importantly, so are the opportunities. Perhaps for cricket to compete with football, we need to provide more vacancies for first-class cricketers.
    At present only 66 players have the chance to play first-class cricket at any one time. Each state can now contract up to 20 players and eight rookies each year in addition to its Australian contracted players. This is a vast improvement on times past and provides a genuine career path for young athletes to aspire to. But why not add another four first-class teams across the country, providing another 44 players or 112 contracts to the top end? There is certainly enough young talent out there.
    Is it possible to break away from tradition and replace the state system with a club format such as the rugby league, basketball, soccer and netball models? Maybe introduce the Melbourne Lightning and the Sydney Sharks as second teams operating under the auspices of state associations.

    Perhaps even more radical would be to abolish the state associations and move to franchised clubs that can provide the infrastructure and financial backing to support a first-class team. The Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Tigers and Melbourne Victory seem to be making a pretty good fist of things.
    If we want to make our popular summer game truly national, then we need to introduce and totally support the ACT and NT. The Canberra Comets had a brief interlude in the domestic one-day competition in the late '90s before being thrown into the too-hard basket. Perhaps a passionate cricket person with significant dollars behind them could re-invent the Comets. They have the facilities at Manuka Oval to sustain a team in the national competition. The Northern Territory has an improving club competition and also an institute of sport cricket section.
    The NT/Cairns Crocodiles and the Canberra Comets along with the two new teams from Sydney and Melbourne make up a 10-team competition. Each team would play each other once with the top four sides playing in a final series in both formats of the game.
    For it to work, a well planned national draft would have to take place to ensure the new teams were granted priority picks both old and new so they could compete with the already strong state teams.
    It would take some brave people at Cricket Australia to entertain the idea but it would ultimately provide more chances and exposure for younger players, who often stagnate between the age of 19 and 23.
    The present system creates a bottleneck with older players such as Darren Lehmann, Martin Love, Andy Bichel and Michael Bevan, who will never represent their country again but are still valuable state contributors and are ideal leaders and role models. Introducing four more teams allows those players to stay on but also exposes more young talent.
    The administrators entrusted with moving our great game into the future may well turn up their noses just as they did in the mid-'70s when Kerry Packer gave the game an almighty shake-up. Perhaps it might take someone like Packer to step forward and rattle the cage once again.

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    International Captain Dravid's Avatar
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    Can someone please read that and sum it up for me?

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    International Regular oz_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dravid
    Can someone please read that and sum it up for me?
    It basically asks for more teams in Australian domestic cricket to accomodate for all the talented juniors so that they don't turn to other sports. It also talks about introducing a draft system.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    I'm not too sure it is needed.

    I wouldn't be against added the ACT and NT into the domestic competition, but to have franchises, I'm not too sure that's the way to go. Perhaps having an A league would be more appropriate, where say if Qld is playing NSW in Brisbane Qld A and NSW B could be playing in Sydney.
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Says that the current system, whilst successful, offers a too small a number of opportunities to play FC cricket. Makes it very difficult to 'make it' and many potentialy quality players are lost in the system.

    Wants the number of teams and players expanded to make a bigger talent pool and stop potential players being lost to other sports.

    I like tradition and would not want change for the sake of it. However, I think he has a point and it should be considered and discussed, even if it was not to be adapted.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    I don't see why we need to see more players in the competition. There are a minimum of 66 players for the selectors to chose from for a season for 11 spots. That's enough. His point about Lehmann, Bichel etc is valid, but it is important for the new comers to play against these seasoned professionals to test their ability.

    If you gave more game time to the 2nd XI players, it would be very worthwhile. Rather than playing grade cricket one day a week, if they were to play a full 10 FC games and 10 OD games a season it would give them good experience and a chance for state selectors to see how they are going. Plus, I'm sure that people would come to see the A teams play.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    To use a non-Aussie example. KP was lost to SA cricket as there were not enough places to give him games. We only know how good he could be as he qualified for England. How many others are lost that we dont know about?

    I see the problem though. A small, tight, strong domestic comp give Aus hardened, skilled cricketers but at the same time limits opportunities.

    Would broadening the comp weaken Aus cricket as it reduces "strength on strength" or improve it as more players can develop. I guess that question is the crux of the matter.

    A real "rent or buy dilemma"

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    State Vice-Captain mavric41's Avatar
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    Berry is not taking in consideration injuries, form etc Just look at Queensland atm. National team duties and a few injuries and we are struggling to put a team on the field. I would agree with one more team (ACT) and an expanded 2nd XI comp.
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    International Captain Hoggy31's Avatar
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    He wants us to make our system similar to the county system which has been so benefitial to England in the past. Great...
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    State Vice-Captain Poker Boy's Avatar
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    I reckon Australia will be weakening themselves if they expand the Pura Cup - more teams mean lower standards - look at England - we had to bring in two divisions to improve - or SA - they brought in the francise system there to cut the number of teams to the number that Australia have. How many FC cricketers have ACT/NT produced? Pre 1992 Durham produced a number that had to go elsewhere to play FC cricket that's why they were given FC status - and even in the pre-two division CC it took them years to compete.PS - and didn't ACT play in the domestic OD tournament in Australia and were dropped for not being good enough?
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    ACT have produced Bevan and Haddin, as well as quite a few other players who have/are playing FC cricket. (Aaron Heal, Jack Smith, etc.)

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    I think there is room for expansion maybe ACT now and the northern territory in the future.
    I see where berry is going look at basketball,look at rugby league or afl how they expanded,often more teams in sydney,adelaide,perth etc,its a more commercial friendly model.Does offer the CA some options and food for thought.
    The loss of players to union,league and especially AFL is a huge threat to cricket,how many promising cricketers have gone to AFL brad green for example.If a player is signed on a rookie contract thats 10,000 dollars nothing compared to what they would earn in league,AFL etc.Imagine if soccer australia had offered moises hernqiues a contract or he was signed by a english soccer club for 200 grand.
    I think managed right with money put in,players recruited overseas pros for a canberra side it could be up and running and competitive in no time.
    The format of 6 teams is a bit outdated.Fact is the comets should never have been sacked in the first place,the CA should have put big money into it rather than put in the 2 hard basket and canberra should have got a major sponser.

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    Sent darren berry's article to CA this was their reply.
    Thank you for your email regarding Darren Berry's suggestions for the
    Pura Cup.
    Darren has many interesting views and ideas on state cricket and while
    there
    are no plans to expand or change the format of the Pura Cup at this
    time, we
    welcome and encourage feedback and discussion on this topic and greatly
    appreciate suggestions or ideas that keep us moving forward.

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    State Vice-Captain slugger's Avatar
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    I sent a letter to Martin Sneddon to look into about getting 2 NZ teams into the Austalian set up North and Sth Is. that was back in 1998 I sent that letter.. he explained in his letter that it is something they have consided however it is a complex arrangement from both sides of the tasman with many elements from sponsorship to player payment for both parties to agree on. Its strange now because I really didnt think nearly 10 years later (give or take a year) it hasnt happen yet... while other codes just keep expanding.. netball is the latest.

    mind you: 20/20 is said to change that in a year or two.

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