Around the Wicket - The Roy Symonds EditionHad to find some time to blog about Big Roy. I feel like he’s been set up to take a fall by Cricket Australia, and more worryingly – some of his team mates. Big Roy is not a cricket nerd. He does not eat, sleep, and breathe cricket. So when he was informed of an optional training session – he did what quite a lot of us would do, especially straight after a long, intense training camp. He got away from the game and went fishing.
As I said – he’s not the sort of bloke who’s enamoured with the nuances of the game. Could he really care less whether we should have a third slip or a second gully? I highly doubt it. Does he go to bed at night dreaming up ways to get Sachin Tendulkar out? Probably not. But does he possess something that 95% of cricketers around the world would kill to have. You bet he does. He has flair, and the ability to reproduce it on the cricket field successfully, time and time again.
Is it Roy’s fault that the team “leadership group” on Friday morning very hastily arranged a “team meeting” while he was probably 50 clicks off the coast of Darwin? Make no mistake – they knew Roy went fishing – and they still went ahead and called a team meeting. To me, that smacks of a setup. I would not be surprised to learn that they called the meeting specifically to discuss Roy while he was away.
The word is that Simmo is developing a bad attitude towards his team mates and the game. More likely, it’s that he’s just not the same as them, and they can’t understand it. Michael Slater was the same, and so was Shane Warne. It takes all sorts of people to make a team work, and individuals must be respected. You cannot make a square peg fit in a round hole. It seems that with all the “sports scientists” and “leadership groups” in today’s game – international cricket boards are determined to ensure that all players fit exactly the same, boring, monotonous, media friendly, politically correct, robotic mould. There is slowly becoming less and less room for an individual, or a character in world cricket. Cricket boards all over the world are trying to whittle down the edges and corners of the square pegs, and they’ll get them through that round hole, no matter what. They must make everyone the same.
It’s the wrong attitude. Flair cannot be taught or coached – it is something that only a few people in the world have – and it should be encouraged, not hidden. Imagine if Warnie started his career today. He wouldn’t play 5 test matches, because the “leadership group” wouldn’t appreciate his on field antics, and tell him to “tone it down” on the field. Dougie Walters goes out and gets on the turps the night before he goes out to bat? Well he must be suspended. Doesn’t matter that he made 200 the next day – in the eyes of the “leadership group” that’s not showing commitment or professionalism to his team mates.
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