As long as there has been professional sport discontented players have attacked their bosses verbally so the outburst by Shane Warne about “the muppets” running Cricket Australia this week is hardly a surprise.
Just another moan?
Or is it? On the surface Warne’s warning seems to be just another moan that the men who run cricket don’t know what they are doing but hidden in the sub text are constructive ideas and a cast list worth considering.
In the past Ian Botham had a similar outburst in which he called some of the England administrators “gin-soaked old dodderers” while the greatly admired Will Carling, thinking all the microphones were turned off, used undiplomatic language to describe the men who selected the England Rugby Union side while he was captain.
Little notice was taken of either the Botham or the Carling rants mainly because of their lack of a substantial alternative to the current regime but if Warne had his way there is no doubt that the game would be worth anyone’s close attention.
Warne suggests that the coach Mickey Arthur, John Inverarity, the Chairman of selectors, and Pat Howard, Rugby man turned cricket’s boss of bosses should go and that Darren Lehmann, Rod Marsh and Mark Taylor should take their places.
I particularly like the idea of a place for Taylor, not only one of the best of Australian captains but also a skilled diplomat and a straight shooter.
It’s my belief that Taylor saved the name of Australian cricket at a press conference after Warne and Mark Waugh were caught getting too close to a bookmaker in Sri Lanka.
There are plenty of cynics among the England press corps but everyone listened with respect that afternoon.
Taylor has a lot to offer and I would not be surprised if one day he was chief executive of Cricket Australia.
He understands the game as any long-serving captain must, he respects its traditions — he declared when he was just short of a world record score and he marked his retirement from the game by wearing a Baggy Green throughout his final Test — and he stays cool under stress.
In my opinion he is a special guy but there is a question mark against his name as there is against anyone who earns a dollar commentating.
They have been ignored for the great offices within cricket because of that background in the commentary box.
They have chosen to work for the big money and so ruled themselves out of the coaching and administrative jobs.
What is fascinating about this Warne attack on the mediocrity within Cricket Australia is his clear intent to preserve traditions.
It is hardly credible from the lad who started his Test life as a beach bum in shirt and trousers that did not match, had scrapes with authority along the way and is still in the game as an argumentative skipper in the Big Bash League, the consort of a leading actress and a commentator both in England and Australia.
As he must be well aware, there is no chance of his fantasies coming alive and there will certainly not be a shout of “Good idea, Warnie” from the men he is trying to sack.
However, there are cricketers, most of them now retired, in this country who think that the days of ice baths, rotation, big squads and a coaching staff bigger than the player party should come to an end and that old-fashioned cricket, in which the captain was a godlike figure who ruled every aspect of the game, should be restored.
I’m afraid that is not very likely either.