Cricket: State v State back again after the Big Bash Final


Usman Khawaja, for the Sydney Thunder, 8 Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Usman Khawaja, for the Sydney Thunder, 8 Jan 2013 (photo mine)

The bright colours will be gone next week from the Australian state scene, with domestic one-day cricket and first-class competitions kicking off after the furious Big Bash League.

Even with the quality of cricket on show for the better part of six weeks, it will be a welcome switch for a lot of the traditional cricket fans out there.  State cricket is by no means dwindling, and seriously needs to be the platform from where the next generation of cricketers are selected.

Now, I have nothing against the Big Bash; it’s fun, allows a whole heap of players to get a taste of top level cricket, and can draw some big crowds and new faces.

The one thing I have against it is the valuable time that it chews into, when we could be watching the cream of the crop of the state players possibly vying for a national spot.  The Big Bash does help in identifying potential long-term players; it does not, however, provide a definitive platform from which justifiable national selections can be made.

Crowds may also seem small, and the days and afternoons long, but the quality of cricket on display is second to none.

If there is an advantage that state (instead of city based) cricket holds, it’s the pull of the fans; even though the crowds are smaller, there seems to be a much bigger attraction to all the nuances and goings on of the teams.  And if you go to one of the matches, you will understand what I am saying.

With our national side seemingly under performing, now more than ever, we need to be bringing these players through so they gain experience for the top level.  I’m currently liking the looks of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alister McDermott and James Faulkner in the bowling area, while Nic Maddinson and Chris Lynn are starting to show their prowess.  They all need more of a build-up before being thrust into the Australian side (and this is ideal preparation), but unfortunately, the Australian team run of injuries is starting to send massive alarm bells into the state arena.

Now, these aforementioned players will soon have their opportunity in Australian colours, and soon.  However, their preparation is going to be rushed.  Which leads me back to why state cricket is such a vital part of the core in the Australian cricket scene.  The Big Bash is not just all colour and show; it has a brand of cricket that has brought new fans and created another strong following this summer, and it has been a bit lackluster yes.

Ultimately, though, it is hurting the scheduling of the one and four-day formats, and in the long run, I fear this could be detrimental to the potential players of the future.  I am welcoming the blue of Victoria back onto the MCG in the coming weeks.

 

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