Where’s Warner, ODI debts and the top job
The One Dayers and an Indian Interlude
Me: Steve, how are things going? You’ve been on the T20 and One Day circuit f or a while.
Steve Rixon: Yeah it’s been a lot of white ball cricket in the last 2 months. It’s been a hard campaign.
It started with us fare welling the Test players – ie the bowlers plus Rogers, Warner and Ussie. Well I wouldn’t call Khawaja a test player but he’s definitely not a one day player either. Warner didn’t make the one day sqaud because the 3rd ODI was in Birmingham – we just couldn’t take the risk of another Walkabout visit. First stop was Southampton – the Rose Bowl is like playing on a postage stamp and Finchy took full advantage blasting 14 6s in his 156. It was a great getting down to the south coast of England, what wasn’t so great was the 6 hour coach trip up to Durham in the north east the next day. Gee I hate Durham and that damn Chester Lee Riverside dump. Fuck! How does that ground have international status? It’s worse than that dump in Cardiff, Sophia Gardens, we were sent to on the last tour. Anyway we lost the T20 in Durham just to make me hate the place even more. What the hell is the point of 2 T20s? Play 3 and make a proper series of it. Then we had to go to bloody Scotland fro an ODI. Yep, Scotland.
These T20s and game against Scotland felt more tacked on than when we played both Holland and Denmark in two one dayers each after the 1989 Ashes . Fair to say we gave the Heineken and Carlsberg a work out on that leg of the trip and we did hit the Tennants pretty hard up and back to Scotland this time. Finchy and the ultimate flat track bully, Shaun Marsh, made big hundreds in the rout against the Scotch. I’m asking Cricket Australia to fixture England a one dayer against PNG when they tour Australaia next, they said they couldn’t but instead have slotted in a tour match for England against the Chairman’s XI in Alice Spirngs between the first and second tests. That will have to do I guess.
I’m hearing a lot of complaints in Australia that none of the Women’s Ashes was on free to air TV and only a couple of games were on Foxtel. It’s really poor from Channel 9, Foxtel and Cricket Australia to not get at least the 3 T20 matches on TV, the last two were played before the men’s matches on the same ground and they were broadcast by Sky Sports over here. There would have been no difficulty picking up the feed. I really wonder if Cricket Australia are genuine in growing the women’s game if they don’t insist on these games being broadcast, hell they could pick up the fee for the Sky Broadcast and give it to 9 and Foxtel for free. It was a good move increasing the Southern Stars pay but more needs to be done. I worked with the girls on their awareness over the T20s. Hmmm, I’m not sure it did them much good they lost the Ashes soon after I got involved….
Anyway back to the onfield efforts. Watto knocked up a couple of tons – white ball cricket is more of his go he really should just stick to the one day and T20 formats. It was great to see Squid McKay get a hatrick in Birmingham and it was great to actually win something on tour – we won the five game ODI series 2-1with two wash outs. The two washed out games were a bastard because Wadey was in the ODI squad and all he want to do was wicket keeping practice for 6 hours a day. Even after these intense sessions he was still pretty bloody hopeless – he just keeps dropping the ball. I’m not sure if he’s fine motor skills are up to wicket keeping. Also I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know the definition of insanity – repeating the same thing and expecting a different result. Anyway Boof has decided no more batting up the order for Wade he’s going to have to earn his stripes batting down at 6 or 7 like most keepers. Fawad Ahmed represented Australia for the first time and didn’t do a hell of a lot but didn’t look out of place – well save for the lack of VB logo on his uniform. The outrage was ridiculous, a storm in a teacup or perhaps more appropriately, a pot glass.
I missed the end of tour piss up after the last one dayer because I headed straight to India for the Champions League T20. Gee that tournament is crap but it’s a handy little earner as I hooked up with my IPL franchise the Chennai Super Kings for the second time this year. There’s some good pay going for a few weeks work and I don’t even work with MS Dhoni- long live the IPL and the Champions League.
Me: It must have been a bit of a surprise that Boof didn’t travel to India for the one dayers and you got to coach the team?
Look her you little runt I’m no stranger to the top job – I coached New Zealand from 1997-99 and I took over from Mickey Arthur in 2012 when he couldn’t be fagged going to the UAE for those one dayers and T20s against Pakistan we played in the middle of the night. Anyway I was already in India for the Champions League so it was just business as usual for me – I was head coach of the team as well as fielding coach and of course spin coach – it was hard on the head trying to wear all those hats but I managed. I’m a pretty tough customer you know.
The best part about being coach was I got to pick the squad. Well I had a phone hook up with Invers to pick the squad but he was having a “senior moment” and kept asking why Richi Robinson wasn’t keeping and Gary Gilmour wasn’t opening the bowling. I put Invers on mute and picked my own squad. The first thing I did was put a line through Wadey and get Hadds back in the team. Hadds has his fair share of dropsies but he’s a better bloke than Wadey so it’s fine.
On field, not much to talk about really except one of the highest scoring One Day series of all time and some of the most insane batting displays.Where do you start? The players developed an awareness that 350 is the new 250, an awareness that bowlers are cannon fodder, an awareness that basmen can just line up and tee off, an awareness that small grounds means lots of boundaries, an awareness that Kohli, Sharma and Dohni can bat a bit . Two games were washed but it was OK because Wadey wasn’t around thank goodness and overall we weren’t totally dissatisfied with a 3-2 loss as their were positives out of the series. George Bailey just kept churning out the runs as skipper, he’s really taken to one day international cricket raking up 1000 runs the fastest of any Australian batsmen. He averages 51 in ODI’s which is surprising given his domestic one day average is only 38. James Faulkner was the real find of the series, he bowled well and was destructive with the bat winning one game by himself and running up the fastest ton by an Australian in the last game. He does need to work on his technique though – his celebration technique after he poked Hadds in the eye with a misplaced high five. I look forward to the day we can put out an all left arm one day attack of Faulkner, Mitchy J, Starcy and Xav Dockerty – after years of all right arm attacks it’s important to have some synergy in your bowlers and all left arm provides that. He’ll we might even invite Doug Bollinger back. Nah stuff that actually.
Me: Why are we going to India again, for 7 one dayers with an Ashes test series just around the corner?
A very good question. Two reasons: first the IPL. We couldn’t play the one dayers after the tests in March there was the small matter of the world’s richest tournament to play over a bloated 7 week period . Second there is the not so insignificant matter of ODI debt. Cricket tours are meant to be reciprocal, you come to our dunghill for 3 tests and 5 one dayers and in two years time we will do the return trip to your dunghill for the same. Cricket Australia have run up a massive ODI debt over the years though due to World Series and triangular one day tournaments played here every summer for 30 years. When India last came to Australia they played 8-11 ODIs in a triangular tournament so we owe them that many in return . Despite this 7 game series we are still in debt to them – it’s hard work repaying ODIs.
Australia has big outstanding ODI debts to England, West Indies and Sri Lanka.
Ashes tours of England up until 2001 consisted of only 3 ODIs yet when England toured Australia they would play 8-11 one dayers. We toured England for 5 one dayers in 2010 and 2012 – in between Ashes tours – they were repayments on our ODI debt to England and had to be done so we didn’t go into default. It’s a complicated business because some ODI debts are more of a problem than others. Really we only repay debts to countries that have good TV rights deal – we pay back our debts to England but don’t bother with poorer nations like the Windies and Sri Lanka It’s like US debt to 3rd world countries – you never pay them back. Do you know how big our debt is to the Windies? Monstrous – they were over here playing World Series ever second season in the 80’s and 90’s. When the Windies toured Australia last February for another pointless 5 game ODI series with no tests we had to lobby the ICC and Future Tours Program to raise ODI debt ceiling otherwise it was looking like Cricket Australia would go into partial shutdown and some employees wouldn’t get paid, in fact it’s a little known thing that Belrive Oval & Adelaide Oval were going to be closed as the groundsmen couldn’t be paid – Nathan Lyon was put on stand by to fly in and do the pitch preparations. Thankfully a the 11th hour the Future Tours Program raised the ODI debt ceiling, the Windies toured and the grounds didn’t have to shut. It was a crisis narrowly avoided.
So Cricket Australia don’t have the same scenario again they successfully lobbied the ICC to start a ODI debt trading scheme. We can’t be farked going to the West Indies for a 7 game ODI series in between Test tours there so we are paying our debt off by playing 1 game against Ireland or Scotland every time we tour the UK. Makes sense doesn’t it? Out debt should be cleared by 2087. Sri Lanka – well we are still trying to broker a deal there.
Enough, I’m knackered – I can’t wait to get back to Australia and hand the coaching reigns back to Boof.
Me: No worries see you mate.