Colin Bryden

A mish-mash of an Oz tour

2011-05-06 10:44
Sport24 columnist Colin Bryden (FilE)
Colin Bryden
 
The itinerary announced for Australia’s lamentably short tour in October will disappoint many cricket followers.
 
A two-Test series may be suitable for Bangladesh or Zimbabwe but is hopelessly inadequate for a contest between two of Test cricket’s leading nations.
 
Once again, it seems that financial considerations have triumphed over cricket values.
 
A few years ago I wrote an article in which Gerald Majola, Cricket SA’s chief executive, revealed that from 2011/12 onwards there would be matches against Australia every season, alternating between the two countries.
 
At the time he envisaged a Test series during one tour and a one-day series on the next. This seemed eminently sensible, enabling the players to concentrate on one form of the game, with all the appropriate strategising and preparation that this entailed.
 
Instead we have a mish-mash of a tour, with two Twenty20 internationals, three one-day internationals, a four-day warm-up match and two Test matches, squeezed into five-and-a-half weeks.
 
Undoubtedly the matches will provide plenty of entertainment but at the end of such truncated series will either side be able to claim supremacy in any form of the game?
 
Time constraints are the excuse for not having a proper tour, which is fair enough – except that in the same period it would have been easy to have a proper three-Test series, or alternatively a longer one-day series.
 
We are told there will be a four-Test series in early 2014. In the meantime, trying to squeeze all formats of the game into one short tour threatens to be seriously unsatisfying.
 
Colin Bryden is a former cricket correspondent of the Sunday Times and current editor of the Mutual & Federal South African Cricket Annual.

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