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Why are Rashid and Bopara not even in the performance squad?
but I can kind-of see why Bopara's been left out. He didn't exactly set the world alight in the one day or T20 games against Pakistan, and he was pretty hopeless in the last series against Australia.
I don't watch much county cricket, so I'm not really qualified to say what his performances for Essex have been like, but maybe there's still too many gaps in his batting.
we're going to get smashed.
understand the inclusion of Panesar, he offers absolutely nothing in the field or with the bat, and it is very unlikely we will play with 2 spinners in any of the tests. I kind of understand Bopara's omission, but surely Rashid is exactly the sort of cricketer i.e a bit raw that should be in performance squad?
rashid is phenomenal prospect but he is no way near experienced enough to debut as a loan spinner in an ashes series. it would be madness to put him in that situation and potentially damaging for his development.
panesar by comparison is a control bowler and is included in case, god forbid, swann get's injured. he may not be an all-round cricketer but he's has a great season for sussex and he has experience of playing in australia. he was the only logical choice.
as to bopara, if he's going to return to test cricket it has to be against someone other than aus. personally, i think both squads are exactly right.
and will be chucked over as soon as we leave the harbour
the home ashes series is for fair-weather fans and the away series is for the die hards. no one expects you to pay any attention to this series - it's really more for people who understand cricket.
Never, ever stop posting. I'd agree that the domestic game is dying on its arse. Even the T20 matches were poorly attended this season due to the overkill. For international fixtures it's doing as well as it ever has.
The whole business of Twenty20 hogging the cash and stopping Test cricket from withering away has been given a lot of coverage. And it's a bit pointless comparing anything to the football World Cup, since only the Olympics rivals it.
this years world cup was one of the least interesting in history. also, isn't international football generally regarded as being inferior to the club level game?
as far as i can see money has broken most sports. the nearest example i can see to one with a balanced club and international structure is rugby. the club level game is both prosperous and competitive, the international game is the pinnacle of the sport with minor leagues like the 6 nations and the tri-nations acting as excellent access points for casual fans, and a world cup that is competitive without being over long. it's biggest failing in the small number of countries playing the game at a high level, but you can contrast this with its success at bringing through new teams, with argentina coming third three years ago.
compared to most other sports that's a very stable model...
it's a bit silly of nikeshoes to compare the level of attention a football World Cup gets to a major cricketing event.
And the rugby World Cup isn't overlong? As good as it can be it's six bloody weeks!
the problem rugby has is by its very nature it's almost impossible to cram fixtures in short spaces of time, especially at the elite level where players need up to a week just to be able to train again after a match
but ironically i don't think the county game is even close to the worst of them. the correct balance of the 4 days, 1 day and twenty over games is still utterly elusive, but that really doesn't matter - international cricket makes barrel loads of money for the ECB and that can easily finance the clubs for the time being.
crickets problem is that there are only 7 major countries playing the game; one of them's in disarray (pakistan), another three are almost broke (sri lanka, new zealand and bangladesh), two have large draws but small revenues (australia and south africa), one that's the last bastion of test cricket (england), and finally an unopposed cricketing super-power obsessed with the 1 day game (india). there aren't enough countries playing the game and those that do have wildly different relationships to it.
the sport isn't dying on it's arse, but it's going through a massive identity crisis and that's mostly down to 'big daddy cash', and the tv networks who are offering it. the best thing that can happen to it. the best thing we can hope for is a proliferation of twenty and 40 over leagues across the globe, piggybacking off of the possibility of making cricket an olympic sport. that's the easy bit though - the hard bit is convincing people who start playing twenty20 cricket that they and their country should aspire to one day play test cricket. the only way to do that is to make sure that for the next twenty years all 7 of the current test playing sides keep repeating the mantra that test cricket is important, and at the moment india is really not sure it's on board with that.
they probably fit in all the above categories apart from 'last bastion of test cricket'
you're quite right. i'm blaming that howling gaffe on the fact that i'm ill.
i'd argue that the windies fall somewhere between the first three categories, though their biggest problem is more likely to be basketball than anything else i think.