There is so much going on in Australian cricket right now

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While Australia find themselves competing in a 7 match ODI series in India and doing admirably against the World Champions, there is so much going on back at home. If you missed any of it (chances are you might have), here is a very quick run-down of all that’s going on.

1. Richie Benaud in stable condition after car crash in Sydney

richie benaud alpine sunbeam

There is very sad news that Richie Benaud has been involved in a car crash when his vintage 1963 Sunbeam Alpine collided with a wall.

He is ok and in true legendary fashion, Richie’s response was a classic.

“No-one was injured. I was more worried about the car than myself.”

According to his wife, “Richie is remarkable”. I think the entire cricketing world can say a collective amen to that.

2. Botha officially not a chucker

Johan-Botha

It’s official, Johan Botha’s “dodgy looking” action is not a chuck. The South African was called playing for South Australia and had to go under a biomechanical analysis to prove it was legit.

The analysis, conducted under the CA and International Cricket Council testing procedures, required Botha to bowl six balls from each of the deliveries in his repertoire; an off-spinner, quicker ball and flicker ball.

The testing found that Botha’s action for all deliveries is under, or equal to, the allowable elbow extension of 15 degrees, with an average extension of nine degrees.  Had any delivery in those 18 balls been deemed illegal, Botha would have failed the testing.

His action was captured by a 20 camera motion analysis system sampling at 250 frames per second, allowing for 3D measurement of human movement.

Commenting on the analysis, Cricket Australia Senior Manager Cricket Operations Sean Cary said:

“The process for dealing with these matters is an international standard testing procedure. The bowling action in question has been assessed and we accept the results from the testing. Johan is free to continue playing for South Australia and Adelaide Strikers,” Cary said.

3. Michael Clarke winning Ashes fitness battle

michael clarke bad back

It would appear that the Australian skipper is winning his fitness battle in the lead up to the Ashes. Whilst Clarke will never be completely rehabilitated from his back injury, noise from Alex Kountouris, the Australian physio, sound promising…

“Michael is progressing well and recently recommenced batting in the nets. At this stage we are aiming to have him fit to play the second round of the Bupa Sheffield Shield, but we have not ruled out the possibility of him playing the first round of the Shield season if he makes better than expected progress. We’ll continue to monitor him closely.”

4. David Warner smashes highest ever domestic one day score and earns NSW Ryobi Cup final place

david-warner

David Warner hit a record-breaking 197 at the North Sydney Oval and booked NSW’s place in the Ryobi One Day Cup final against reigning champions Queensland taking place this Sunday, once more in Sydney.

Warner’s mammoth century demolished the record for the highest one-day domestic individual score, which was previously 187 runs held by Jimmy Maher.

Warner fell heart-breakingly short of the double-century but he’s in the midst of a massive purple patch having notched up three centuries in seven days. By the time he was caught in the deep off John Hastings’ bowling NSW’s chase was never in doubt, the Blues winning by four wickets with three balls remaining.

Warner’s destruction (from 141 balls, including 10 sixes) overshadowed Dan Christian’s quickfire 117 from 90 balls and Rob Quiney’s supporting 89 earlier in Victoria’s batting innings.

5. Cricket Australia is winning from a financial point of view

Cricket Australia just completed their AGM. Whilst their test team is in a massive lull, it would appear that from a financial point of view, they are kicking goals.

Revenue grew 63 per cent to $684m over cricket’s four-year reporting cycle (2009-2012), up from $418m (2004-2008) and is projected to grow to $1.083b for the next four-year cycle.

Cricket revenue is recorded over the four year period due to annual fluctuations in income derived from teams touring Australia with the adoption of financial policy that allows for the smoothing of member distributions and player payments. This ensures the consistent funding of game development programs and activities.

The AGM was told that CA is on track to record strong revenue growth over the next four year cycle, achieving its strategic goal of having $70m in cash reserves by 2016-17 to future-proof the game against any unforeseen event.

Cricket Australia gets a lot of criticism for putting money in front of cricket. But one encouraging stat to report is that cricket participation is up overall. It reached a record 952,000 people, a 5 per cent/year increase over the last decade. Nevertheless, not so much was made of the Argus review…

“While the Ashes results were disappointing for the men’s and women’s teams,  the implementation of recommendations from the Australian Team Performance Review were intended to create a performance-based culture and achieve the long-term goal of producing the best teams, players and officials in the world.”

6. England have landed

England touch down in Australia on Friday and will compete against a WA XI next Thursday in their first game. Meanwhile, Australia aren’t even home yet. It looks like their pointless ODI series is starting to prove valuable. Surely George Bailey has to be playing his way into the Test team.


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