World Cricket Weekly – 16 June 2011

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Well…a quieter week this week, with  the series in England having a bit of a break.  But the West Indies – India series is in full swing and Cricket Australia has taken more steps that require serious analysis….let’s get into it.

West Indies v Sri Lanka

In three of the more dreary ODI matches played, India captured a series win in the Digicel series against the West Indies. Fielding a veritable ‘A’ side, India strolled to the series victory, with great contributions from Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra and Suresh Raina. This result shows the unbelievable strength of the Indian squad at the moment. Most teams who lose the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Kahn, would probably struggle, but India’s youngsters are showing that they have quality, though it’s questionable whether the Windies provide much of a contest.

That said, the West Indies did manage to secure a victory in the fourth ODI, with strong runs from Ledl Simmons again. It has also been exciting to see Andre Russell in action, who is venomous with the ball and damaging with the bat.

However, what this series really highlights is the need for the ICC to provide some form of relevance to the myriad of ODI features played around the world. It is ludicrous that these games have no real meaning, and if this format is to survive the ICC must take action. Dwindling crowds and disinterested players surely tell us that this format needs a ‘shot in the arm’, but it is questionable whether it will be provided with it.

Cricket Australia

So, first there was the bizarre dropping of Simon Katich from the list of 25 contracted players. Then there was the fact that this list was made before an internal review came to its conclusion about the current selectors. Now, CA seems even more strange given it has now re-instated the once banished tri-series ODI competition.

India and Sri Lanka will now compete with Australia in a tri-series, which will see over 15 games crammed into about a month. This is on top of two T20 internationals and test matches against New Zealand and India. It wasn’t long ago that CA disposed of the tri-series as it was deemed too long and with too may irrelevant matches, but now it’s back. This back flip comes at a time when CA has already had a few too many changes of heart regarding the domestic summer.

The upcoming review must really be a fillip for some serious changes in the way CA works. James Sutherland seems to be someone who really does try and make the game healthier in Australia, but whether it’s a failure of his leadership, or just the people around him, CA is in some serious trouble and needs to break the trend and take a brand new direction. Cynics would say that the review is just ticking a box, and will be buried, but let’s hope that it will actually make a difference.

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