Academy an asset to Australia’s cricket

by R. L. Fernando
A Cricket Academy is vital to the game in any capacity and this quality has been reflected in the Current Under 19 World Cup Tournament in New Zealand following Australian’s record breaking win over Kenya in a match played at Dunedin.

A world record

In fact, Australia’s score of 480 for 6 wickets from the allotted 50 overs is a world record in the cowboy gave and their margin of victory of 430 runs is also a world record. Kenya in their turn scored 50 for 9 wickets in the allotted overs.

Australia has been one cricketing nation with the services of a Cricket Academy and it really means business. Former Australian wicket keeper batsman Rodney Marsh was earlier in charge of the academy and what he did was to pick up the youthful street urchins, confine them to the academy by providing both food and lodging and drain the best out of them. The system has really paid devidends as Australia’s present Test team contains a good percentage of them which includes Shane Warne.

The Australian Cricket Academy (ACA) is continuing its good work and even the younger teams produced by them have been powers to reckon with.

Nambia shocks the Lankans

Meanwhile, the Under 19 World-Cup Tourney has also produced some shocking results. Sri Lanka were toppled by Nambia by 4 wickets while Pakistan were surprised by Nepal by 30 runs.

Cricket fans will be wondering what this country Nambia is and whether they have been thought of in the least in the cricketing world. Nambia is a South African country and they have qualified to play in the World Cup 2003 tourney in South Africa for the ICC Trophy.

Neutral umpires will solve the problem

A controversial LBW decision given against England’s batsman Mark Trescothick in the first one dayer between India and England had robbed England of certain victory. Following Trescothick’s dismissal England lost its last 4 wickets for 28 runs and lost the match by 22 runs.

However, England came back to win the second one dayer by 14 runs. Whatever umpiring blemishes there may have been is the result of host umpires being permitted to officiate. The ICC will remedy this situation with effect from April this year when neutral umpires will officiate in every Test and One Dayer.

Murali in the wilderness?

Sri Lanka’s ace-spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan found himself in the wilderness in the Cricket Board’s Premier Division Limited Overs final played recently between NCC and Tamil Union at Sri Lanka’s Lord’s the SSC Ground. NCC’s top order batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva during their one and a half ton second wicket partnership simply toyed with Murali’s bowling and hit him to every corner of the venue and finally the bowler who normally ends up with a haul of wickets finished wicketless in giving away 60 odd runs.

Are wickets tailormade for Murali?

Several questions have been asked about Murali’s performance in that match. The SSC Curator is the same whether it be a domestic first class match or an international match. Very often it is found that Murali starts to take wickets in international matches from day one itself and at the end of the match he records a harvest of scalps. Is that possible because wickets are specially prepared to suit Murali’s bowling? But, why wasn’t the SSC wicket prepared for Murali in the NCC-Tamil Union match? Was the wicket that day prepared to suit the Maitland Place team and not the Wanathamulla team?

Uniform wickets

The preparation of wickets should be uniform to both teams during a match and in this instance too the ICC should step in to see that the host team doesn’t prepare surfaces to suit its battery of bowlers. Instead, provide a fair surface which would assist both batsman and bowler alike.