Cricket Australia’s latest idea has been a disaster

Date: October 9, 2015 / Posted by Glenn Mitchell

CACricket Australia thought it would be a good idea to include a team of young men in this season’s Matador Cup.

The result has so far proven to be a chastening experience for those thrown into the fire.

In its first two matches in this season’s domestic 50-over competition the Cricket Australia XI has been blown off the paddock.

In its opening fixture against New South Wales at Bankstown Oval the CA XI conceded 3-338 before being dismissed for 59 in the 25th over – a 279-run defeat.

Game two provided more of the same.

Sent in by Victoria at Hurstville Oval, the CA XI was shot out for 79 in the 28th over.

The Bushrangers lost one wicket in running down the total in the 12th over, achieving victory with 233 balls remaining in its innings.

In the loss to the Blues, South Australian Alex Gregory made 23, the only batsman to make double figures.

Three batsmen reached double figures against Victoria.

Through 61 overs the CA XI bowlers have gone for an average of 6.9 runs per over and captured just four wickets.

The idea behind the launch of a seventh team into the competition was to broaden the player base and provide experience to young players who missed out on selection in their own state squads.

The reality has shown it to be akin to Christians being sent into action against the lions.

For the likes of Mitchell Starc (6-25) and James Pattinson (4-18) it has been a glorified net session as they dismantled the opposition batting with the same ease as flicking a piece a lint off their uniform.

It is one thing to select a group of young men with the idea of providing them with experience.

It is another altogether to simply throw them to the wolves.

One of the major flaws in the concept is the fact there are no wise old heads on the field to guide the up and comers.

Each year a Prime Minister’s XI is selected to play an international touring team at Manuka Oval in the nation’s capital.

Most of that team comprises young men who have been identified by the selectors as having a possible international future.

In January this year the PM’s XI took on England with Chris Rogers at the helm.

In recent times the likes of Michael Hussey and Justin Langer have skippered the side after their state one-day careers had ended.

The CA XI has no such experience at the top.

The current skipper is 22-year-old West Australian William Bosisto, a former national under-19 captain.

Prior to this current tournament he had played a solitary one-dayer for WA and that was three years ago.

He has now played three games – the last two as captain where he has gone head-to-head with Matthew Wade (a veteran of 109 List A games including 53 ODIs) and a bloke named Steve Smith.

Neither showed the youngsters any favours.

One wonders what solace Bosisto and his teammates can take from being handed such hammerings.

Surely it is doing little for their future.

In fact, in some cases it may be doing irreparable damage.

Rogers, who has not been part of the Bushranger’s one-day line-up, would have been an ideal choice to lead the CA XI given his vast experience.

He has this week signed on to captain Somerset next year in the English county competition.

The cancelation of the Bangladesh tour has seen a trickledown effect at State level.

So much so that a player like Mark Cosgrove – a man with ODI experience and 119 first-class matches behind him – cannot find a spot in the South Australian team.

His experience would be invaluable in the CA XI.

The same for 34-year-old Ben Rohrer who has been squeezed out of the New South Wales line-up by the return of the internationals.

It can only be hoped that should CA continue to back this latest innovation it provides a little more steel to its XI otherwise it is largely a futile exercise.

First published on The Roar – – on 8 October 2015

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