> My answer is yes. See the bowling attack of Zaheer, Agarkar, Powar and
> Dhaval Kulkarni.
> Batsmen like Tendulkar, Jaffer, Rohit Sharma, Muzumdar.
> Surely they can give a fight to teams like West Indies, Sri Lanka,
> Pakistan at least.
Surely they can, just as half of the Sheffield Shield teams would
dispose of West Indies, Bangladesh or New Zealand nine times out of
The biggest loss in the sport over the last 20 years is the extended
tour, where an international side would play 3 and 4-day matches
against provincial teams. Australia on tour in England in 1993 played
15 first class fixtures and six Tests ... this year it will be three
first class games and five Tests. Even in the Caribbean in 1995
Australia played three first class games alongside the four Tests, but
in 2008 there was just a single three-day match.
I well remember attending NSW matches against touring teams where NSW
was at full strength, with Waughs and McGrath and Lee playing. Will
almost certainly never happen again, unless there is a change in the
philosophy at CA and other administrative bodies.
Properly promoted, any cricket match featuring players who are known
to the public *can* attract a crowd. In Australia it is even easier
than some other countries, because tour matches can be taken to venues
outside the capital cities - plenty of cricket grounds in regional
cities that have good facilities - and half of the population of the
surrounding area will show up. The obstacle is, of course, that the
primary revenue stream of cricket these days is television rights and
TV demands as much international cricket as possible. Only 4% of CA's
revenue comes from gate receipts, so a 4th and 5th Test against South
Africa would have been just as lucrative as seven pyjama games, but TV
demands contests which will hold the viewers through to the end of
play. As I said, it needs a change of philosophy. It needs a
Gorbachev-like figure to emerge from the ranks of cricket
administrators, who are all singing from the same discordant hymn
sheet at the moment.
I will be standing behind you singing
overthrow the powers that be. Onward to to the rugby headquarters after our
coup to return full tours to the game they play in heaven