Australia are cheating their punters
There has always been a lot to admire about Australian cricket. Right now though there is plenty to learn from them as they perplex their most important component.
Let's start with the first part. They have World Cup trophies, an extraordinary era of success in the 90's, outstanding 'once in a generation' players and a cricket culture that has energised a nation.
Now for the interesting part. Those very people who are enthusiastic and turn up to the Boxing Day test, those who were mesmerised by the brilliance of Warne and McGrath and those now entertained by Warner are being tested - big time. Remarkably, Cricket Australia is alienating their supporters.
A champion sporting team likes nothing more than a strong support base. This takes years to acquire and it makes a big difference on the park. Why throw that away?
Cricket Australia are currently not respecting their punters and have shocked them with constant sidelining of their best players, as well as scheduling conflicts.
Astonishingly, two different Australian teams are fronting for international contests shortly in two different countries. An Australian team is playing a T20 international series against Sri Lanka in Australia starting on 17 February and concluding on the 22nd, whilst the very next day Australia commences their test series against India in Pune. The likes of Warner, Smith, Starc, Hazlewood and Khawaja are in India and not entertaining at the MCG.
That is bound to dissatisfy the public. In fact, I am certain the three T20s in Australia will be a non-event.
How does this scheduling happen? All that, after the superb Big Bash received magnificent support with full houses in Australia as the one-day internationals basically became the poor cousins.
Last week New Zealand won an ODI series at home against an under-strength Australia as a host of key Australian players were rested. Remember also that recently Starc and Hazlewood were non-tourists to their non-victory tour of South Africa.
The Australian public are being cheated and are confused. It is as simple as that.
What a debacle! Other teams take note.