March 27, 2018 by dixwah
Reading Brendon McCullum’s memoir on a trip home from NZ, two things stuck out. First, no matter how he spins it, he knifed Ross Taylor of the captaincy. Chapter after chapter about how much he respected Ross, how much it was done without him. Reading excuse after excuse, the bullshit-meter got higher and higher. All over it.
Anyway, the other thing that smacked you in the head was that this guy was big on culture. Culture culture culture. On and on he went about his team representing New Zealand, making New Zealand proud and playing a way New Zealand wants them to play. Knowing how the team played, you could see it. Anyway, McCullum discussed how the initial turning point came when they hit rock bottom. Rissoled by South Africa for 45.
Take it away Brendo!
We knew we had to make some changes, not just from an internal point of view but also externally how we are viewed by the public.
It was essential to all of us that we wanted the public support and the best way to go about that is to make sure you’re out there and trying to represent New Zealand with everything you’ve got.
What I’m getting to is that NZ were forced to look in the mirror and from there they developed a culture and a perspective that improved their performance and their national perception.
It’s in these areas that Australia has lagged in recent times. Oafish on-and-off field behaviour has seen a ‘gee he’s a good player, but to be honest I think he’s a fuckwit’ apathy come into the public view. We’ve become known as a team who bully when on top, and sook like crazy when we’re up against it.
Cape Town 2018 is the chance for our national side to reset, find some humility and create a culture representative of what the public wants, as well as what the public expects from people wearing the baggy green.
My query is whether Cricket Australia or the playing group are mature and brave enough to not only commit to it, but persist with it over the long-term.
Because you’ve got this far, other thoughts on this whole shemoz:
* I’m gobsmacked this has gone as far as it has. With match fixing at 100 and claiming a catch after half-volleying it at around 40, this is 16.48. Yes Smith’s leadership was untenable, but I thought he would have been able to ride the wave.
* Funny how Mickey Arthur, the man brought in as coach in 2011 to turnaround a posturing group of wankers and was player-muscled out at the first sign of discipline, was probably just what could have stopped this.
* Cricket – particularly at your Saturday standard – is full of incremental cheating. Balls into the fence not claimed, shonky LBs or non-LBs, claiming half-volleys, sunscreen on the pants. This stuff happens.
* This is representative of wider sport. Competitiveness compelling athletes/leaders to seek an edge that’s illegal and completely unethical? Athletics, cycling, deflategate, Russia, could be here all night. FFS, I corrected a 70 year-old golfer I was playing with 5 times around the course a few weeks ago. Na pretty sure you had 7.
* Please no Justin Langer. Same school as Uncle Boof, the little brown-nosed gnome has created a coaching career in the west around a siege mentality and bullying antics directed at anyone who leaves WA to take up opportunities elsewhere. We can’t reset with someone from within this culture.
* As much as Sam Perry’s dad is going to hate this, like most posturing involved in the current Australian Test team, Steve Waugh’s fingerprints are all over this. If AB worked on the principle of never giving an inch, it was Tug who took the next step and turned it to doing anything to win. Boof and JL are cut from that cloth. Throw in career cricketers – massive on competitiveness and a bit short on street smarts – and you’ve got today’s Corn Flakes.
* Cracking headline