Sydney: Former Australia cricketer Dean Jones has said Cricket Australia (CA) needs to lay out a clear cut policy on how many days a national team player should play cricket in a year, and also slammed CA’s decision to recall Shane Watson from the ongoing Champions League.
“Why are the selectors so concerned about finding an all-rounder? Why is Watson being treated with kid gloves while others are not getting the same treatment?” Jones wrote in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Don`t get me wrong, I think Watson is a wonderful player, especially in the one-day and Twenty20 formats. But let us not forget that Watson is first picked as a batsman, and has delivered only two Test hundreds in 35 Tests” he added.
“I nearly laughed when I heard that Cricket Australia had ordered Watson home from the Champions League due to workload. Why isn`t Michael Hussey coming home? Surely he has played more,” he wrote.
Jones further wrote: “In 2010, the Australian top cricketers played a total of about 130 days, including Tests, one-day internationals, Twenty20, first-class matches and domestic one-day matches. In 2011, they played a total of about 133 days.”
“From November 1, 2012, to November 1, 2013, Australia will play 15 Tests, 20 one-day internationals, five first-class matches and four Twenty20 matches. That is a total of 114 days. So why rest Watson if they are playing less?” he added
“Looking back to Australia`s glory days of 1989, I played 11 Tests that year, 18 one-day internationals, 18 first-class matches, five domestic one-dayers and three club games. That`s a total of 141 days. How can the players of today say they play too much compared to us?” he said.
“My problem is that the selectors send out mixed messages. As Watson is being sent home, we have the Australian captain, Michael Clarke, playing club cricket. This is unheard of in modern times. I loved it when I heard it. Clarke just wants to play more cricket at any level, and the game will be better for it,” he concluded.
First Published: Saturday, October 20, 2012, 12:32