warne’s offer

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Nov 2018 12:52:47

legendary spin bowler Shane Warne has offered to help in lifting up his country’s cricket team’s stuttering fortune which has nosedived with the exit of great players from the game in the last few years, but more so because of two recent unsavoury happenings. First, the Australian cricket suffered a major blow to its prestige and its ethicality came to be questioned and denounced when three of its senior players were caught tampering the ball during a Test match against South Africa in March. Senior players Steve Smith and David Warner have since been banned. Second blow came when Cricket Australia’s top executives were accused of nurturing a culture of arrogance which ultimately rubbed on players to behave in arrogant manner with opposition and indulge in unethical practices on the field, including unchecked sledging, bordering on indecency.

After these damning episodes the slump in the Australian team has been pronounced, so much so that when the team defeated the touring South Africa in the second one-dayer the other day it felt relieved that it had broken its seven-match losing streak. But that required a great effort to overcome the demoralisation that has lately overtaken the team, such is the blow the two recent incidents have dealt to the psyche of the players. Just like the top executive of Cricket Australia, the team too appeared to be in complete disarray.

It is this situation in which the Australian team finds itself that worries Shane Warne, especially when in the form of India the team would be up against a tougher challenge. If the team suffers at the hands of India badly, which likelihood is being expressed by many cricketing stalwarts, including former Australian greats, then Australian cricket would be in a very bad shape. Hence the suggestion by Shane Warne to the Cricket Australia’s management to make better use of other former top players is worth giving a thought.

Shane Warne himself has been lending a helping hand in building teams in various countries, including India and England. In fact Warne has been credited with the turn-around in the fortunes of one of the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams, Rajasthan Royals and turned the outfit into a front-runner. Like Warne, there are several former greats like Ricky Ponting, Waugh brothers, Adam Gilchrist, Jeff Thomson and several others who would be of immense help to the team in this hour of crisis.

Indian cricket team, on the other hand, is bubbling with confidence led by prolific run-getter captain Virat Kohli and an enviable pace and spin battery. Truly the Australian team would be up against a very tough opponent and it would indeed need some help from yester years greats.