Friday, August 26, 2005

IS THE AUSSIE MODEL RELEVANT?


As a student of Economics, I had to go through several models of economic development. Each model has its merits and demerits. There is no one universal model that fits all countries. Each country has to follow a development strategy based on its strengths and weaknesses.

Here my intention is not to talk about Economics; it is about cricket. Ever since Australia began to dominate world cricket, everyone is fascinated and enamoured by the cricketing strategy followed down under. Sri Lanka started the trend by getting the services of Dav Whatmore who is now the coach Of Bangladesh. Whatmore's tenure was marked by Sri Lanka triumphing in the 1996 edition of the World Cup. Since then the island nation has always relied on the talents of the Aussies and at present Tom Moody is in charge. India for the first time engaged a full time coach in the form of John Wright who comes from a country that is situated very near to Australia. Now India have, after a lot of hype and heartburn, entrusted the job to an Australian proper, Greg Chappell. Even the West Indies have an Australian to revive their sagging fortunes in international cricket.

It is not just the coach who comes from Australia, the support staff in the form of physios, the psychiatrists, and also the consultants all belong to Australia. Surely, this is one form of BPO that is rarely noticed.

Things went to such an extent that countries with diverse cricketing cultures as England and Inda jumped into the bandwagon to start Cricket academies modelled after the original one at Adelaide. Rod Marsh, the Australian is put in charge of the academy in England.

In India the craze for anything foreign is well known and well documented. An Indian author comes of age only when honoured with a foreign award or offered a hefty advance by an international publisher. Not that I am not in favour of having Greg Chappell as the Indian coach. What I am against is the belief that the Australians can do wonders with our teams. If that is the case, then why are John Buchanan and company are unable to come up with any answers on the present tour to England.

The post is in response to the interview given by Bob Simpson( a 'super coach' from Australia to cricinfo.com.(August 24,2005) .On being asked about the change in cricket culture since his days, he repied ”Even the Pura Cup players will play on until they are 38 years old. There are problems there because you need youngsters coming through. It used to be said in New South Wales that if you did not make the side by 20 you would never make it. But the old guys are holding on longer and the average of players going into the NSW team at the moment is about 26. That is a huge difference. If you look at the cricketers who are just below the test level, most of them are 30. If young players are playing beneath their level they may not develop the skills to go to the next stage.” Of course, like any other Australian he replied in the negative when asked about the older players in the present Australian team.

Even if Simpson does not admit it, the fact is that most of the present members of the Australian squad are just too old and the bench strength is also not consisting of talented youngsters. So everything connected with the Australian cricket system is not fit to be copied. Even innovations of today become obsolete by tomorrow.

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