Lankan tour a debacle? - John Lonnergan
See also Sri
Lanka Defeat Australia
I'd contribute to the Soap Box thanks to the current debacle of
a tour by the Aussie Mens side. Please print on your web site
if you feel appropriate (ICW: For this forum, all such articles
are appropriate, so we've published it):
would just like to voice my concern over the AICF's decision-making
in regard to the current tour of Sri Lanka by the Mens' Australian
Extreme team. The tour was originally supposed to happen last
year, but was postponed due to political issues in Sri Lanka.
Since that time, 3 of the original 12 players have had to pull
out, leaving only a squad of 9.
I have it from a reliable source that the people in charge of
the tour enquired with "about 4 or 5 people" to see if they would
be able to tour, but they didn't have any luck. However, rather
than going through a due diligence process and contacting each
State delegate and asking them to try and find suitable candidates,
the decision was made to tour with just the 9 players.
As Murphy's Law is alive and well in areas where you take risks,
2 of the players clashed heads in a game against Sri Lanka 'A',
and are unavailable for the 2nd Test. Therefore, with only 7 fit
players, it is likely that one of the touring staff who did not
compete at the Open Nationals will pull on an Aussie shirt and
In defense of the AICF, there were difficulties in finding more
players in that:
1. You would have needed to be able to get time off work at quite
2. You would have needed $3000 handy to spend on the trip
3. You would have needed a current passport
4. You would have needed to have competed at the Open Nationals
to be considered as good enough
5. In past years they have found it difficult to get replacements
(although not impossible) when people have pulled out and there
is only a couple of months notice.
This is a difficult set of criteria to meet, however the AICF
need to understand that in order to keep at bay the wolves who
constantly criticise their actions, they need to implement processes
and visibly demonstrate their management skills and reasons for
decisions. People will still complain, but at least the AICF can
point to the process they implemented and their reasoning, and
if anyone has complaints then they can offer advice to improve
the process so it is constructive criticism.
I for one am able to qualify for all 4 criteria above (except
number 4 as I had to pull out this year, but I have played enough
to warrant at least a bench berth), and I am sure there are at
least a handful in each State who would also have qualified, and
given their right arm for the chance to represent their country.
It would also help the players in the 9 that have gone if they
were part of a full squad, and therefore felt they had the backing
of the AICF in representing their country in a fully fledged tour,
rather than what might be conceived as a "friendly" tour.
A cynic might even suggest that the AICF saw only sending 9 players
as a way to possibly allow Sri Lanka a win or two so that they
become more involved in events like the World Cup (ICW: A Cynic?
Around here? Wash your mouth out!!). God forbit a political
motive would ever move into the pristine sporting arena.
I trust that my efforts to show both the pro's and con's to the
decision, demonstrate that I am merely trying to offer constructive
criticism in order to improve the organisation of our sport.
Southern Cobra's (Open) and SA Monkeys (Masters)
24 January 2002
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