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The v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame discussion thread - Part 4

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Mon 12 Nov 2012, 5:34 pm

First topic message reminder :

The thread to debate additions to the v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame

Current members:
https://www.606v2.com/t18388-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-inductees-graphics-included

FoF's original HoF debate summation:
Spoiler:

Previous debate:
https://www.606v2.com/t28256-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame
https://www.606v2.com/t17447-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-part-1


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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Jan 2013, 12:23 pm

Thanks, Alfie.

From memory, I do recall some unsavoury extra curricular (as Mike would say) allegations concerning Lock which would almost certainly keep him out of the ICC HoF.

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Post by alfie Wed 23 Jan 2013, 12:31 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Thanks, Alfie.

From memory, I do recall some unsavoury extra curricular (as Mike would say) allegations concerning Lock which would almost certainly keep him out of the ICC HoF.

Yes. I preferred not to mention them as I think allegations was as far as it went , at least in the public area...I seem to recall his death rather put an end to any official investigations. But clouded his memory , certainly.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 1:23 pm

alfie,
I'm among those who felt that, while Laker enjoyed his Annus miraculis, Lock was the more complete cricketer. Not entirely borne out by stats I have to say.
Strange that both should die so young.

guildford,
I'm one of the few that would place Sobers as the G.C.O.A.T., congrat's on your testimony for the prosecution. Interesting though that one seldom (in my case never) sees anything about the real cause of Collie Smith's death and Sobers' role in it. (Enjoyed seeing his locker at the old Sandy Lane golfcourse!)


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Post by ShahenshahG Wed 23 Jan 2013, 1:53 pm

Ive never heard of lock which is probably why people walk in on me taking a dump all the time. Could someone post his full name so I can look him up.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 2:01 pm

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/16331.html

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Post by ShahenshahG Wed 23 Jan 2013, 2:03 pm

Much obliged

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Jan 2013, 2:04 pm

Thanks, Kwini.

I was originally going to mention Collie Smith's death but in the end felt that I had already gone on too long and, in any case, was not confident of all the facts. I've read somewhere that Sobers was fined a tenner for careless driving - the small financial penalty (even then) suggests Sobers didn't do that much wrong although one obviously cannot overlook the death of his close friend and colleague. All rather odd from this distance.

I hope you don't feel I've excluded something that should have been there. It honesty wasn't my intention to airbrush anything unsavoury out. I particularly tried to be open in showing that Sobers wasn't ultimately a bowling great and that his captaincy was ''a mixed bag''.

Certainly not for me to say that others today are wrong but I don't think many people on the evening of 31 August 1968 would ever have foreseen Sobers losing out in a GOAT contest to an ice hockey player .... Shocked

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 2:11 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZUVL3SqqZo

'Course, Frank Hayes had Nash for 34 nine years later!



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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 2:14 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26mdmagrOTw

Dennis Lillee your second witness after Malcolm Nash?

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Jan 2013, 2:36 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZUVL3SqqZo

'Course, Frank Hayes had Nash for 34 nine years later!


Top stuff, Kwini.

Back in the mid '80s, I worked for an insurance company at their Surrey head office. Following his retirement from cricket, Malcolm Nash had a spell working for the same company as a salesman covering much of Wales. Unfotunately, he wasn't the best with his paperwork. I several times overheard the New Business manager at head office saying to him on the phone, ''Malcolm, I'm going to have to hit this application form for six!''. Somewhat predictable and a bit cruel? Oh, yes. Did we laugh? Oh, yes again!

For cricket buffs, I would strongly recommend a book by Grahame Lloyd - ''Six Of The Best - Cricket's Most Famous Over''. Lloyd (no relation to Bumble) looks back to the day and its impact together with comments from all the players still living (in 2008 when it was first published). There are particularly poignant comments from John Parkin who was the young batsman at the non-striker's end when Sobers produced his magic. That was the last first class innings Parkin ever played. After being released by Notts, he spent the best part of the next forty years as a builder.

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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 3:23 pm

The kind of innovation that happened during WSC and since through chanel 9's engagement with the game is huge. But there is a view that Packer was all about money. I have 2 reasons to considerhim very favorably.
First, he tried hard in the 1980s to prevent players from taking to rebel tours to Apartheid South Africa, and he did not by putting administrative barriers, but by spending his money on big contracts for young players.
The 2nd is a story.
"Through his extraordinary life (1937-2005), Packer was a paradoxical mix of hard-headedness and compassion. On the one hand he could be ruthless, on the other he often displayed a bedside manner that seemed incongruous in the extreme.

In Las Vegas one day a croupier kept Packer in a good mood during a game of Texas Hold 'Em. As Packer raked in a mountain of chips, the pretty young card dealer unloaded her tale of woe. A single mother of three, she had a huge mortgage. It was enough to make the tears well in the multi-billionaire's eyes.

"How much have we got here?" he asked the girl.

"Oh about $80,000," she replied.

"How much is your mortgage?"

"It is almost exactly $80,000."

"Right," Packer said almost inaudibly, in a tone of preoccupation. He signalled for the manager and whispered in the man's ear.

"But Mr Packer, an employee of the casino cannot accept tips of any sort."

"Okay," Packer said, pointing to the croupier. "Sack that woman."

Not daring to argue the point with such a high roller, the manager sacked the croupier.

Immediately Packer told the girl to cash in her chips, and as she walked off, he said to the manager, "Now re-employ that young woman."

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/546174.html

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 3:59 pm

Saying Packer was a force for good for cricket is a bit like praising Osama Bin Laden for services to the US Defence industry.
Was it worth the collateral damage?


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Post by ShahenshahG Wed 23 Jan 2013, 4:19 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Saying Packer was a force for good for cricket is a bit like praising Osama Bin Laden for services to the US Defence industry.
Was it worth the collateral damage?


But Osama conquered the Russians so for them it was probably worth it. That said - I agree with your point.

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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 4:22 pm

If you read the article I posted above, it becomes very clear as to how the players were illtreated by cricket administraters, and how the packer revolution changed it all around. It wasn't a case of being the right man at the right place, Packer had put his own money into it all, and in his own ways he was a man of integrity.

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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 4:26 pm

I understand Packer even today is not the most popular cricket figure, I hope people would spell out the reasons more clearly as to why he should be considered among the greatest evils associated with the game.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 4:36 pm

msp,
That's not clear at all - just one opinion as to how the lot of the professional cricketer could be improved. A bit like recognizing a piece of architecture in need of updating and choosing to blow it up rather than restore it.
Some people prefer revolution, others evolution - there will always be division on that point.

The game in England and Wales was evolving steadily and successfully from the early sixties advent of one-day cricket and was certainly not enhanced by Packer's actions, although some players might have benefitted financially.

Not in a position to judge the state of the game in Australia and if you say his actions were justified for the impact they had Down Under, you may be right. But, remember, a relatively small amount of money goes a long way in Australia, very easy for one person to manipulate to satisfy his/her own egos.

A bit like Stanford in the W.Indies, and look where that got us.


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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 4:48 pm

WSC benefited not only a few players from Australia, players from other countries took part, most of them were underpaid, and by opening up cricket the way he did the economic way, I feel the influence of Packer is not something limited to a few individual players. Perhaps some of the innovations that were on show through the WSC and channel 9 may happened in due course of time, but Packer brought about change at such a pace that the game hasn't seen such transformation in such a short time before or after.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 23 Jan 2013, 5:30 pm

Richie Benaud on Kerry Packer and WSC "It's because of what happened then, cricket is so strong now".

Mike Selvey on the same subject
"Kerry Packer's rival World Series Cricket circus was a ruthless move which was to leave indelible marks on the game, both good and bad. By recruiting the best players in the world - including England captain Tony Greig, Australia captain Greg Chappell and West Indies captain Clive Lloyd - for substantially increased rewards, and setting up in direct opposition to official cricket, Packer totally disrupted the international system. After winning a seven-week high court case that started in September 1977, he put on his first supertest, between Australia and the Rest of the World, in December, and subsequent matches also featured a West Indies side.

The following season came the floodlights, coloured clothing, white ball, black sight-screens and hype of cricket's first day-night game. Six floodlight towers were built around the Sydney cricket ground, and 50,000 spectators came. But after 1978-79 it was all over. By then, Packer had secured for three years the television rights he wanted, and then a 10-year deal to market the game in Australia: he had no further need of World Series Cricket.

Yet the influence remains. While upsetting traditionalists, one-day international cricket now makes the coins clink, attracting large crowds. Packer revolutionised the coverage of the game on television. And he provided the catalyst that improved the lot of the player in what had become an exceedingly smug game."

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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 6:48 pm

The legacy of the Packer revolution.
http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/325202.html

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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 6:55 pm

And this from Gideon Haigh.
http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/323297.html

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 7:25 pm

Blah, blah, blah.
I would be staggered if anyone in their right mind considered that cricket made more substantative advances in the 15 years post-Packer than it did in the 15 years prior, at least in comparison to other sports, the one exception being the difficulties with the apartheid situation in South Africa and the resultant exclusion of a major Test power.

Pity Packer didn't use his commercial acumen to get that sorted.


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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Wed 23 Jan 2013, 8:54 pm

Guildford - done my bit for Sobers thumbsup

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 9:53 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Richie Benaud on Kerry Packer and WSC "It's because of what happened then, cricket is so strong now".

Mike Selvey on the same subject
"Kerry Packer's rival World Series Cricket circus was a ruthless move which was to leave indelible marks on the game, both good and bad. By recruiting the best players in the world - including England captain Tony Greig, Australia captain Greg Chappell and West Indies captain Clive Lloyd - for substantially increased rewards, and setting up in direct opposition to official cricket, Packer totally disrupted the international system. After winning a seven-week high court case that started in September 1977, he put on his first supertest, between Australia and the Rest of the World, in December, and subsequent matches also featured a West Indies side.

The following season came the floodlights, coloured clothing, white ball, black sight-screens and hype of cricket's first day-night game. Six floodlight towers were built around the Sydney cricket ground, and 50,000 spectators came. But after 1978-79 it was all over. By then, Packer had secured for three years the television rights he wanted, and then a 10-year deal to market the game in Australia: he had no further need of World Series Cricket.

Yet the influence remains. While upsetting traditionalists, one-day international cricket now makes the coins clink, attracting large crowds. Packer revolutionised the coverage of the game on television. And he provided the catalyst that improved the lot of the player in what had become an exceedingly smug game."

Whilst Benaud is usually a hugely trustworthy source we must remember on this occasion that Richie worked for Packer until his death, and still works for his organisation.

Now to some of the innovations:

Helmets - We have seen that Hendren wore a kind of proto-helmet, and there are other similar examples. It wasn't that the technology wasn't around, but more that people didn't feel them necessary. I'd offer two theories for why they appeared more widely during WSC: 1/ The amount of bowlers that could take your head off 2/ Perhaps cricketers felt more free to try things out/ break with tradition away from the limits of official matches.

Floodlights - I'm pretty certain that these would have happened any way (as football had been played under electric lights for decades). Besides, I wouldn't say that floodlights have done a huge amount for the game to be honest.

Coloured clothing/ White ball/ Black sightscreens - All a consequence of one another, and all would surely have followed naturally on from floodlights.

TV coverage - I'll give him that one, although you could argue that that too might have changed naturally, albeit perhaps more slowly. Also, I feel Packer brought a sub-standard production up to scratch rather than doing anything truly revolutionary.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Jan 2013, 10:04 pm

I would actually say that Benaud himself did much to enhance the coverage of cricket as he became a world-class broadcaster, making the nuances of the game accessible to millions as TV moved from sixties black-and-white to seventies colour!

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:03 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Guildford - done my bit for Sobers thumbsup
Many thanks, Corporal. Although pleased that it seems Sobers will advance to the next round, I'm surprised and disappointed by the overall votes. I can't help but feel I haven't done justice to a true great of world sport.


Last edited by guildfordbat on Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : tears in eyes when typing first time)

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:20 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Guildford - done my bit for Sobers thumbsup
Many thanks, Corporal. Although pleased that it seems Sobers will advance to the next round, I'm surprised and disappointed by the overall votes. I can't help but feel I haven't done justice to a great world of world sport.

Nothing to do with you Guildford.

I feel that in general a lot of posters are (sadly) willing to dismiss anything pre, say, 1985. Even the likes of Borg got a rougher time than he deserved to have, and I thought Jesse Owens didn't get the support I'd have imagined yesterday. Of course, there have been exceptions but they are those names which everyone knows a bit about (Bradman, Nicklaus, Pele). I suspect somebody under the age of 40 who isn't really a cricket fan probably doesn't know much about Sobers. On the other hand, the likes of Lionel Messi and Usain Bolt got more support than I would argue they merit barely half-way through their careers...

I also think some people think there have been too many cricketers. I would agree to an extent (I couldn't vote for Murali), although the fact that Bradman, Warne and Lara were all good enough to get through comfortably suggests there weren't too many.

That said, today's result was a bit surprising: whilst a good case was made for Wayne Gretzky, I didn't find it to show him as much more of an Ice Hockey great than Sobers was a cricket great - and, of course, ice hockey doesn't really have much international competition.

Anyway, once the process gets to the knock-out it might be easier to build a case for him...

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:23 pm

To be fair Guildford, I think you have to be a cricket fan to appreciate that Sobers was better than the likes of Kallis, while Gretzky, a bit like Bradman, has such outstanding numbers that even none fans can see that he was ahead of his rivals in the sport.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 24 Jan 2013, 1:58 am

Don't you think cricketer fatigue is correct?

Lara clearly behind Sobers as best W.I. cricketer, Bradman always going to be ahead of Warne - don't understand why they were included.

I'd rate Sobers ahead of Bradman, on account of his overall contribution to any team he played in. Best batsman, best left arm seamer, best slow left arm, usually best fielder, clearly the best all-rounder of all time and leader of one of the iconic Test teams of all time.


As someone who first read about Gretzky as a 17-y-o phenom before even reaching the NHL, and following his career until seeing him twenty years and hundreds of records later, it is inconceivable that anyone has dominated a sport as he has dominated ice hockey. You had to see him to believe him.

The only question for G.O.A.T. is whether ice hockey is a big enough sport worldwide to justify according him the honour. Certainly ahead of Michael Jordan in my eye - can't be many candidates to better him.

Hate to tell guildford this but I voted for Gretzky - and I love Sobers.

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Post by msp83 Thu 24 Jan 2013, 9:05 am

Many of Packer led innovations may or may not have happened in due course of time. But to Packer's credit, he really helped the process pick up the pace.
But one point where he absolutely has to get the credit is in paying the players fairly. The smug establishment would have never done it on its own. It was Packer who proved the real worth of TV coverage for the game. Jagmohan Dalmiya took it to the next level.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 24 Jan 2013, 10:22 am

It's all very well thinking that money and glitz and glitter is the be all and end all, but at what cost?
Looks very much like lots of commercial tales wagging the sporting dog from here, just as it is in most sports round the world.

Still don't see cricket as having advanced more than other sports, relatively speaking, and there's certainly more filthy lucre in other sports.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 24 Jan 2013, 3:41 pm

"Hate to tell guildford this but I voted for Gretzky - and I love Sobers."

I did the same. Unfortunate for Sobers to land in a group with one of THE most dominant sportsmen in the shortlist.

There is a bit of cricket fatigue, and I would certainly say Lara and Tendulkar shouldn't have been included in the discussion (there is only one GOAT batsman...), and only one of Warne or Murali should have been included. However, Sobers clearly belongs on the list of the greatest 64 sportspeople ever (at least from a British perspective), and to progress to the next stage.

Glad to see we are at least starting to get in to discussions about Packer and his impact on the game. Clearly it has to be remembers that he brought his own agenda to things - it was all about getting the TV rights for Australian cricket, which in the end he got. However, to get there he either (depending on perspective) caused a near-fatal schism in the game or led to the development of the far more professional and lucrative international game that we now see.

Probably the most significant thing that WSC did was bring harmony to the West Indies team of the time - already World Cup winners and with several superstars, the two years of WSC toughened them up as a team and made them the lethal machine of the following decade. How much of this eventually leads back to Packer and his involvement, and how much just to putting a bunch of West Indians in front of a hostile Aussie crowd day after day is open to debate.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 24 Jan 2013, 4:19 pm

Well said dummy thumbsup

Still lots of diametrically different opinions as to whether he sandbagged his handicap to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (a very big deal for amateurs) with Shark a few years ago.

Either way, it's part of his sporting record and shows his burning/fanatical drive to win at all costs, damn the torpedoes (as Tom Petty might have described him).

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Jan 2013, 5:18 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:

Hate to tell guildford this but I voted for Gretzky ...
Kwini - so you are aware, it seems someone has hacked into your computer and is sending spoof messages in your name.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Jan 2013, 6:08 pm

As for Packer, my overriding feeling at the time was how secretive and underhand the process was to sign up players. I think Mike Selvey is partly getting at that in comments such as ''a ruthless move'' - thanks for providing that, Hoggy.

I guess it could be argued that the process had to be undertaken in such a way. However, I would need convincing on that and even then still might not consider it right.

I accept that the game has improved in some ways due directly or indirectly to Packer. However, unpleasant memories of how international cricket at the time was ''totally disrupted'' (as again confirmed by Selvey) still linger.

As Shelsey and Kwini have stated, Packer's motives were not the good of cricket and its players. It would be naive to suggest that was his driving force. His main interests were viewing figures and money. Like many a good businessman, one of his key strengths was surrounding himself with good people. I don't automatically condem him for any of that but equally would urge some restraint on behalf of others before portraying him as the saviour and patron saint of our game.

I'm more than willing to consider feedback in respect of Packer but consider it only right to say up front that I'll almost certainly need a full and convincing case to be presented if I'm to support his inclusion in our HoF. As has been said, his nomination is ''interesting'' and more than worthy of debate (which I definitely encourage) but that by itself is unlikely to be sufficient for me.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Thu 24 Jan 2013, 6:20 pm

I'm in same camp as Guildford. And am predisposed to vote No - while listening carefully to the arguments.

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Post by msp83 Thu 24 Jan 2013, 7:08 pm

Well, Packer was a businessman first and foremost. He did really want that Australia deal. Don't think he never projected himself in anyother way in these regards. Now had he been given the deal in 86-77, he may have introduced many of the innovations, and the increased quality of cricket coverage would have followed. Not only did the establishment not gave him the deal, but also they tried hard to actively prevent him, and like a good businessman, he countered with all his might.
Any of that can't most certainly make him a saint. But recognizing the worth of the players in realistic terms almost certainly would not have happened without Packer. To suggest that he was done after he got his deal is also unfair, as the kind of contracts offered to the likes of a young Steve Waugh happened a good 4-5 years after that. Today, someone like a Suresh Raina is thinking on lines of having a personal batting coach. Its not Packer's money, but the IPL money that is of help to him, but would something like the IPL have happened without Packer? I have my doubts.
If international cricket experienced a rift, the establishment was equally guilty it has to be remembered. Why did a highly respected and respectable person like Richy Benaud decide to throw his lot with Packer? And why the countless other finest of players.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 24 Jan 2013, 7:18 pm

msp,
I understand the IPL is some kind of tip and run game played for millions. Is that right?

Following "cricket" from afar, I really can't see that this is advancing the sport in any way, shape or form.

Sure the divas and galacticos will line their pockets and then say they're too knackered for the first class game, but even India is hardly benefitting technically, financially perhaps, but how many of these guys are better cricketers following their month in the sun?

Hate to be a traditionalist, very unfashionable on here I know, but the home-run derby doesn't make baseball a better game and I strongly suspect that international tip and run is the same.

Screw Packer, cricket was just a pawn in his game.

Sh1t, I've been hacked!

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Post by msp83 Thu 24 Jan 2013, 7:31 pm

The IPL and T-20 certainly has to be considered a mix bag. has had its fair share of benefits as well as problems.

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Post by Biltong Fri 25 Jan 2013, 8:50 am

If I may put my two cents in regarding Eddie Barlow.

Eddie Barlow on my list of greatest SA allrounders (To be put up later today) is third behind Jaques Kalllis and Aubrey Faulkner. although Kallis once he retires will be a certain candidate for the Hall of Fame, I somehow don't believe Eddie Barlow was good enough or made enough of an impact on cricket to be considered a hall of Famer.

There is no doubt that the Transvaal team of the era and the SA cricket team in the latter part of his international career were very strong teams indeed. And usually I would not suggest that a player's contributions should be dismissed because of it. But for me Eddie Barlow will remain a South African icon, but not so sure that he deserves to be considered an international hall of famer.

As an opening Batsman he was solid, had a few memorable innings (one of which his stand of 341 with Pollock in Adelaide probably his highlight.) As a bowler he only once had a 5 wicket haul, but when you consider that any Hall of Fame allrounder should at least make a team on either batting or bowling alone, he just doesn't cut it for me.

Perhaps he was an enigma in the sense that he was a good batsman, and he was a good bowler, but he wasn't magnificent in either.

So for me NO.
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Post by guildfordbat Fri 25 Jan 2013, 9:47 am

Following Biltong's post, looks like I will have to play the ''Edgar'' card. Wink

Meanwhile, private investigators have been engaged to track down 606v2's JDizzle who was coached by Eddie Barlow ....

PS Biltong - I'll be particularly interested to see where Trevor Goddard figures in your list of SA all rounders. Nowadays a pretty much forgotten if not totally unknown figure who deserves better.

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Post by Biltong Fri 25 Jan 2013, 10:29 am

Will be out soon mate, just finishing it off. thumbsup
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Post by Mike Selig Fri 25 Jan 2013, 10:35 am

T20 cricket is neither "tip and run" nor "hit and giggle" and it angers me when supposed cricket fans refer to it in such insulting terms. There is a lot of interesting cricket played in T20, and it has generated (or helped standardise) skills like switch-hitting (admitedly first seen by Mal Loye in a 45 over game), sweeps off the fast bowlers both sides of the wicket, slow bouncers, wide of the wicket yorkers etc.

Respected commentators including Shane Warne say it is ball-for-ball the hardest format of the game, because you have to be switched on all the time - even in between balls because the captain may want to move you.

I am certain of few things, but I am fairly sure that if 46,000 people, many of them kids turn up to the MCG to watch a Melbourne derby in the Big bash, then this can only be good for cricket.

My main criticism of T20 and some of the leagues we are seeing is that it seems the requirement to bowl your overs in 1h20 seems to have been completely abandoned. This is a shame as one of the main challenges of T20 is that everything is fast, furious, and with little thinking time. You get hit for 6 and you have to bowl again immediately, what do you bowl? You bat out a couple of dot balls, all of a sudden you need a boundary, what shot do you play? If you allow teams to slow the game down, then you are removing a lot of the challenge.

Richie Benaud says "T20 techniques will be to the benefit of test cricket"...

I tend to side with msp that Packer overall had a positive effect on the game in the long run.

Certainly that players can now make a secure living out of cricket is to the benefit of the game and standards everywhere. It means injustices such as Neil Harvey never being Australia captain, because he had to move to Sydney to find work, and as such wasn't captain of his state side when Hassett retired won't happen again. It means players can concentrate on their careers and practices rather than having to worry about their finances. A player who is only concerned with his performances will naturally perform better.

On the cricket side, I think WSC led to a number of innovations. Whether these would have happened anyway is the same kind of impossible question when we were debating Rhodes's impact on fielding, but you only have to look at how some of cricket administrators are still trying to fight change (day-night test cricket has only just been permitted, and never played) for the sake of it to conclude that sometimes you need someone to rattle cages to get things moving.

The point is, with notable exceptions, cricket at the time of Packer's revolution was still very much controlled by committee men in suits, with no real idea about the game, who thought they knew what was best for players, fans and everyone else, and were imposing their views. Fans enjoying a day at the cricket by cheering? Surely not! Things sometimes need a shake-up.

On the field for parts of the 60s and 70s, cricket was a war of attrition (Benaud's australian side a notable exception), and I think WSC's role in bucking that trend has to be considered. It drew in new fans from different backgrounds. Whether that would have happened anyway is debatable, but I think it is an important point. I love test cricket, and a good battle between bat and ball, but for every intriguing slow scoring game, there are matches such as the last test between England and India which frankly is a poor spectacle, and poor quality cricket. That these matches have tended to really be the exception now is something worth celebrating, and clearly the rise of the ODI format has had something to do with this (Waugh's Australian side deserve a lot of credit as well).

For all the good that WSC has ended up doing (IMO), there are still concerns from me about motive, and methods.

As I and others have pointed out, whilst the effects of WSC overall were (IMO) immensely benefficial, I don't believe for a moment that is what Packer had in mind when he started out - he was purely concerned about making money for himself, and the fact that the game improved or players were better off was probably just a useful side-effect. However, I do think his vision that cricket had to be entertaining, and the players had to be free to give their best has credit - had his product not been entertaining and of higher quality (arguably) than what was being offered elsewhere, it would surely have gone the way of the ICL and other rebel leagues. That his league managed to break through is testament not only to Packer's business acumen, but also to his delegation skills, and that he understood that to have a viable product he needed to make it more popular than the mainstream one.

I think his case has merit. I am not necessarily convinced immediately, but I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand.

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Post by msp83 Fri 25 Jan 2013, 11:11 am

Mike Selig wrote:T20 cricket is neither "tip and run" nor "hit and giggle" and it angers me when supposed cricket fans refer to it in such insulting terms. There is a lot of interesting cricket played in T20, and it has generated (or helped standardise) skills like switch-hitting (admitedly first seen by Mal Loye in a 45 over game), sweeps off the fast bowlers both sides of the wicket, slow bouncers, wide of the wicket yorkers etc.

Respected commentators including Shane Warne say it is ball-for-ball the hardest format of the game, because you have to be switched on all the time - even in between balls because the captain may want to move you.

I am certain of few things, but I am fairly sure that if 46,000 people, many of them kids turn up to the MCG to watch a Melbourne derby in the Big bash, then this can only be good for cricket.

My main criticism of T20 and some of the leagues we are seeing is that it seems the requirement to bowl your overs in 1h20 seems to have been completely abandoned. This is a shame as one of the main challenges of T20 is that everything is fast, furious, and with little thinking time. You get hit for 6 and you have to bowl again immediately, what do you bowl? You bat out a couple of dot balls, all of a sudden you need a boundary, what shot do you play? If you allow teams to slow the game down, then you are removing a lot of the challenge.

Richie Benaud says "T20 techniques will be to the benefit of test cricket"...

I tend to side with msp that Packer overall had a positive effect on the game in the long run.

Certainly that players can now make a secure living out of cricket is to the benefit of the game and standards everywhere. It means injustices such as Neil Harvey never being Australia captain, because he had to move to Sydney to find work, and as such wasn't captain of his state side when Hassett retired won't happen again. It means players can concentrate on their careers and practices rather than having to worry about their finances. A player who is only concerned with his performances will naturally perform better.

On the cricket side, I think WSC led to a number of innovations. Whether these would have happened anyway is the same kind of impossible question when we were debating Rhodes's impact on fielding, but you only have to look at how some of cricket administrators are still trying to fight change (day-night test cricket has only just been permitted, and never played) for the sake of it to conclude that sometimes you need someone to rattle cages to get things moving.

The point is, with notable exceptions, cricket at the time of Packer's revolution was still very much controlled by committee men in suits, with no real idea about the game, who thought they knew what was best for players, fans and everyone else, and were imposing their views. Fans enjoying a day at the cricket by cheering? Surely not! Things sometimes need a shake-up.

On the field for parts of the 60s and 70s, cricket was a war of attrition (Benaud's australian side a notable exception), and I think WSC's role in bucking that trend has to be considered. It drew in new fans from different backgrounds. Whether that would have happened anyway is debatable, but I think it is an important point. I love test cricket, and a good battle between bat and ball, but for every intriguing slow scoring game, there are matches such as the last test between England and India which frankly is a poor spectacle, and poor quality cricket. That these matches have tended to really be the exception now is something worth celebrating, and clearly the rise of the ODI format has had something to do with this (Waugh's Australian side deserve a lot of credit as well).

For all the good that WSC has ended up doing (IMO), there are still concerns from me about motive, and methods.

As I and others have pointed out, whilst the effects of WSC overall were (IMO) immensely benefficial, I don't believe for a moment that is what Packer had in mind when he started out - he was purely concerned about making money for himself, and the fact that the game improved or players were better off was probably just a useful side-effect. However, I do think his vision that cricket had to be entertaining, and the players had to be free to give their best has credit - had his product not been entertaining and of higher quality (arguably) than what was being offered elsewhere, it would surely have gone the way of the ICL and other rebel leagues. That his league managed to break through is testament not only to Packer's business acumen, but also to his delegation skills, and that he understood that to have a viable product he needed to make it more popular than the mainstream one.

I think his case has merit. I am not necessarily convinced immediately, but I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand.
Think I agree with every bit of it.
For me Test is still above T-20. Doesn't mean I don't like T-20 at all. The newest format of the game has made its own fair share of contribution to the game,in terms of skill and otherwise.
I do agree making money was Packer's first motive, but he had a vision about the kind of product he want to put forward, and he smartly chose the people who had to take a lot of responsibility. In the process he did a world of good to the game, and we should come out of the establishment mindset and give him a fair go.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 25 Jan 2013, 4:28 pm

Mike,
"Tip and run" was intended to be satirical - having said that, is there evidence that T20 garners sufficient support or interest to stand alone as a sport? Probably not and surely any sport should be designed to prepare participants for the pinnacle of the game? Not sure that T20 does that. But I will change my vote on Packer from No! to Never!

Which is neither here nor there.

I'm surprised to find so little on my bookshelf to provide more insight on Eddie Barlow. Barlow came to English cricket followers with a reputation as a fierce competitor. Top class opening bat, but as Biltong says perhaps not HOF class, and a bowler who would give nothing away, topped off by the fact he was a super close fielder. He came to County Cricket far later in his career than the likes of Proctor and Richards, and had mixed success as player and sometime Captain with Derbyshire.

(Comment if you like Biltong, but there's a straightforwardness about so many white South African sportsmen that doesn't necessarily go down so well in other parts of the world. I love it(!), but not everyone's cup of tea, and Barlow was not the flavour of every month in Derby.)

His batting average at Test level was almost seven points higher than his first-class record as a whole and one doesn't doubt that he'd have been one of the first names on the teamsheet in a World's Top XI of his day, though not necessarily as an opener. His bloody-minded competitiveness would have more than made up for any statistical deficiency.

A top player but probably not HOF calibre and he'll likely receive a reluctant No! from me.
(A little discussion above on S.A. all-rounders: I would place Proctor the best I ever saw, a match-winning bowler obviously and entirely capable, and afeared, of playing a match-winning innings. Perhaps Kallis is as good a bowler as Proctor was a batsman? Dunno, never seen Kallis. Purely as an all-rounder, I'd probably place Trevor Goddard above Barlow, but as a cricketer I'd have Barlow every time.)


As for McCartney, not sure it does his case any good when at least 25 other cricketers, some demonstrably not HOF calibe, were chosen ahead of him for the Aussie Hall Of Fame. Found some amusing quotes about him which I'll relay in a future posting.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 25 Jan 2013, 4:51 pm

Shelsey - can I please ask if Eddie Barlow gets a mention in CMJ's Top 100 Cricketers? My guess would be that any initial scribblings made about Eddie won't have found their way into the final book but would appreciate your confirmation or otherwise. Thanks in advance.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri 25 Jan 2013, 4:52 pm

Must admit that it's rather strange that Macartney was elected relatively late to the Aussie HoF. especially given the reverence accorded him in most Australian writing on cricket. However, there seem to have been a number of strange decisions with regard to the Hof. Ian Chappell and Lindsay Hassett elected ahead of Clem Hill or Richie Benaud? Really? Monty Noble not elected until 2006?
Don't know exactly what criteria the selectors are using, but there do seem to be a few odd choices. IMO at least.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri 25 Jan 2013, 4:56 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Shelsey - can I please ask if Eddie Barlow gets a mention in CMJ's Top 100 Cricketers? My guess would be that any initial scribblings made about Eddie won't have found their way into the final book but would appreciate your confirmation or otherwise. Thanks in advance.

I'll answer while I'm here if that's OK. Barlow doesn't make the final 100, and doesn't make the list of all-rounders that CMJ reluctantly left out either.

Charlie Macartney's in the 100 though Wink

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Post by JDizzle Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:19 pm

http://bangladeshcricketlive.com/eddie-barlow-a-person-who-will-always-be-remembered-in-bangladesh-cricket/

The surface has has only been skimmed on Eddie Barlow. Check out what the view of him was in Bangladesh. And remember that he was only coach there for a year. Quite an impact.

Not to mention an already fine Test record, which as Guildford alluded to, would only be better if the RoW Test matches hadn't been stricken from the records.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:19 pm

Mike Selig wrote:

... sometimes you need someone to rattle cages to get things moving ...

... had his product not been entertaining and of higher quality (arguably) than what was being offered elsewhere, it would surely have gone the way of the ICL and other rebel leagues...

Mike - that was a good article on Packer. You come across as sympathetic but not overly so.

I've no problem in general with rattling cages and agree it's sometimes needed. However, you also need to be aware as to what is in the cage and the damage that a severe shake might cause.

Similarly, I agree with you as to what would have happened to Packer's product if it had not cut the mustard. What then would have happened to Packer himself and cricket? Well, Packer was a gambler (as msp well illustrated with the casino story) and so I feel he would have accepted things philosophically and moved on to his next venture. Cricket meanwhile would have been left to pick up its shattered pieces which would have been far from easy.

Let me emphasise that it is very difficult to judge from this distance. Even though many of the direct and indirect consequences of Packer are now clear and, probably on balance, positive, it's still incredibly difficult to feel comfortable about the man's methods and motives. [To use an msp type analogy - your kids digging up buried treasure is not something to celebrate if you got them to do it in a mine field!] Even at the time, it was incredibly hard to form a rational view and probably even more so then! Packer's actions were shrouded in secrecy and, when any did come to light, they were totally condemned by the British press.

The above isn't to completely slate Packer but to show that I find it near impossible not to have at least some doubts and concerns. As with any HoF nominee, it would be wrong for me to vote YES whilst they remain.

It will be interesting to hear from Alfie about the take on Packer in Australia.


Last edited by guildfordbat on Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 25 Jan 2013, 6:24 pm

JDizzle wrote:http://bangladeshcricketlive.com/eddie-barlow-a-person-who-will-always-be-remembered-in-bangladesh-cricket/

The surface has has only been skimmed on Eddie Barlow. Check out what the view of him was in Bangladesh. And remember that he was only coach there for a year. Quite an impact.

Not to mention an already fine Test record, which as Guildford alluded to, would only be better if the RoW Test matches hadn't been stricken from the records.
JD - great to have you back (even if only for a bit although I hope for longer!) and to read your support for Eddie. I'll be backing him. There's a few stats already on Biltong's Greatest SA All Rounders thread that he posted today.

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