CRICKET NSW Mid North Coast development manager Martin Garoni feels things aren’t quite as bad as some would have you believe in Australian cricket.
While the current state of play suggests there is a lot of work to do, Garoni believes there are a handful of ways Cricket Australia can do better.
But it will take time.
The development of players at a junior level is unlikely to reap the rewards at a senior level for at least five years, so Garoni believes it is important for fans to be patient.
A lack of players coming through the ranks was perhaps the biggest issue facing Australian cricket at the moment.
It was highlighted through the absence of David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith through suspension.
“When you take three of the best players out and some of our fast bowlers have had injuries as well, it doesn’t help,” Garoni said.
“We need to be a little bit patient and understand that some of these players (in the current squad) are still learning their craft and we need to be making sure they’re given an opportunity.
“I always find it amusing that when you bring new players into the side and they fail once we’ve got to get rid of them.
“That’s a simplistic view because you wouldn’t do that at your own cricket club, so why would you do that in the Australian team?”
Some believe a focus on Twenty20 cricket had played the most significant role in Australia’s modern-day struggles.
But Garoni didn’t feel that was the case.
“The best players are successful across all formats and at the moment we’re struggling in all formats,” he said.
“It’s a bit hard to point the finger at T20 cricket and say that’s why we’re not performing well because we’re not performing across the board.”
Garoni also felt there needed to be more uniformity across all states when it came to first-class cricket.
He said the gap between that level and players representing their country had expanded because of a “blockage” in some states.
“It makes it hard for players to be walk-up starters into test cricket or international cricket because a lot of players aren’t playing in that first-class environment,” Garoni said.
“We’ve had a blockage in first class cricket where we had players who were never going to play for Australia playing at state level.”
New South Wales are one of the few states who require players to show they have the ability to potentially play for their country.
Other states consistently pick the same players despite the fact they will never represent Australia.
“(That means) players who should be playing that level (first class) are not playing there,” Garoni said.
“They’re being plucked out of T20 cricket or other formats simply because that’s the only avenue they’ve been given to play.”
Australian cricket suspected dark days were ahead when the Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne era ended, but the country rebounded pretty quickly.
“This might take a little bit longer, but there’s still plenty to be excited about with what’s around Australian cricket,” Garoni said.
“We’re in trouble because we had a win-at-all-costs mentality and now they’re in trouble because they’re not winning.”
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