x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Shane Warne gives his two cents on Australian cricket

Cricket legend Shane Warne came up with a "manifesto" for the improvement of Australian cricket but the team is doing better then he thinks, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

Australian spin bowling legend Shane Warne made some controversial comments on his website about how to improve the team for the future. Scott Barbour / Getty Images
Australian spin bowling legend Shane Warne made some controversial comments on his website about how to improve the team for the future. Scott Barbour / Getty Images

It is hard to keep Shane Warne away from the headlines. At the start of the year, he had a clash with Marlon Samuels in the Big Bash Melbourne derby. And now he has come up with a "manifesto" for the improvement of Australian cricket.

"The current set up is not working, as the results are showing!" the spin bowling legend wrote on his website. "What are our world rankings in all forms?"

According to the ICC lists, Australia are third in Tests and one-day internationals, and seventh in Twenty20. For a nation so used to lording over international cricket for the best part of the last two decades, this is not good enough.

Australia's slide, however, is not because of mismanagement. They have been through a process of rebuilding since the retirements of Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Warne himself. And with Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey also departing, it is bound to get worse before it gets better.

In truth, Australia's rankings have actually improved under the current administration of the high-performance manager Pat Howard, the national selector John Inverarity and the coach Mickey Arthur. When they took charge, Australia were fifth in the Test rankings and had lost three home Ashes Tests by an innings. Since then, they have won 10 Tests and lost two.

Warne's "candidates" are all revered names, but that is not enough to guarantee success. Greg Chappell's stint with India was a disaster and during Sir Don Bradman's administrative tenure, most of Australia's internationals were pushed into the arms of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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