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Around the Wicket - The Roy Symonds Edition

Had 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.
Mon 01/09/2008 Dave Bremner 138 views

8 Comments about this article

  • Cricket authorities are like this everywhere. Even the Hornsby Kuringai Assn. Due their own incompetence in losing grounds to other sports we are being forced to play some of cricket on Sundays. How does relate to Roys dilema? Well it is a typical case cricket administrators thinking that we will all fit into their own schedule. So if it happens down the bottom I could imagine it 80 times worse at the top level. Cricket administrators at every level take a good look at yourselves.

    Posted by John Campo Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:37pm AEST
  • John, part of me thinks that it's society in general that is to blame for the attitude. It's not only cricket administrators that pander to minorities, and try and ensure that every tiny little group has it's way. Australia suffers from bleeding heart disease if you ask me.

    Posted by Dave Bremner Tue Sep 02, 2008 09:42pm AEST
  • Interesting thinging about Warnie, it's almost like the selectors waited so long for him to retire so they could clean up the attitude of the team, and having Roy now showing some "attitude" spoils their plans. I wonder if keeping him away from the India tour is to save face with an "there's so racism in our sport" kind of idea, if Roy's not there, there'll be less racism talk.
    I encourage Roy to write another book and dish the dirt on his team 'mates' and the 'leadership group'

    Posted by Sara Dup Wed Sep 03, 2008 07:34am AEST
  • brem, I think that we gotta know what symonds' attitude problems have been before this fishing trip...

    but even then, if they purposely planned a meeting knowing he was away on a day he didnt have to be in, that's pretty low

    Posted by Udara Wis Wed Sep 03, 2008 07:36am AEST
  • It seems to me that even if Roy was getting a little bit of head wobble (ie a bit too big) about himself, there are better ways of dealing with it. Maybe they've tried? I don't know. It just seems like this hastily arranged "team meeting" was one designed to discuss what to do about Andrew Symonds, knowing full well that he wouldn't be there.

    Posted by Dave Bremner Wed Sep 03, 2008 08:29am AEST
  • I don't know brem, but it must be serious for them to drop one of the best players in the test side just before this tour of india. Maybe they will do a martyn and recall him?

    Posted by Udara Wis Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:58am AEST
  • Australia has a long history of treating players who are 'different' with distain. Douggie Walters should have gone to England in 1981, Slater should have played more ODI's, Matthews should have played a lot more Test Cricket, Fat Cat should have scored 2,000 more Test runs than he did, and SCG MacGill (wanker that he is) should have played 20 more Tests than he did.

    Roy is a better player than all of the above. Lets hope they treat him better.

    Posted by Barry Mackenzie Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:08pm AEST
  • Don't forget Boof Lehmann either. He should have played way more tests as a young bloke, but was considered a little bit too large.

    It does seem as if there is a FIFO (Fit In or F*** Off) mentality within the Australian cricket team. The one exception I can think of is Warnie. With good reason.

    It's like Cricket Australia encourages individualism, but the minute the player has a form slump, or upsets the wrong person - CA uses it against them.

    Posted by Dave Bremner Thu Sep 04, 2008 09:29pm AEST

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