Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Cricket Australia defends scheduling of Big Bash Twenty20 tournament immedately before Boxing Day Test

Cricket Australia yesterday defended their scheduling of the Big Bash Twenty20 tournament immediately before the Boxing Day Test by saying no player out of the picture could have forced their way in.

Cricket“The point we have reached, the selectors know exactly where we are … we know which players we want,” CA spokesman Peter Young said.
“There is no conjecture about the scheduling here, the planning has been very, very careful and deliberate.
“The planning was always that players would arrive for the first Big Bash game and then beyond that develop their individual planning.”
The next Sheffield Shield match is not until February 2, by which time Australia’s four-Test seriesSo regardless of injuries and form slumps over the course of the series, no player beyond those in current peripheral considerations can make a claim because they will only be playing short-form cricket.
But the situation will be far worse for any Australian player who is dropped from the side between now and the fourth Test, because no amount of Twenty20 runs would convince selectors of recalling them for the five-day game.
Test prospect Ed Cowan was yesterday pulled from a Chairman’s XI match against India on Thursday to play Twenty20 instead. Cowan was named in a different Chairman’s XI side to play India in a three-dayer, but with Test incumbents Phillip Hughes and David Warner also named in that team, Cowan may not have the opportunity to open the batting, where he has been most successful of late.
“At this stage with the individual development that each player has, playing a Big Bash or Chairman’s XI match is neither here nor there,” Young said.
Meanwhile, injured paceman Mitchell Johnson believes he can return to the Test side after his six-month layoff due to a foot injury, despite the emergence of young stars James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
“This gives me a good chance to work on a few things,” said Johnson, 30.
“I haven’t been really able to do that for the last few years because of the scheduling.
“It gives me a great opportunity to get my fitness back up, my strength and then work on some technique stuff with my bowling and batting.
“(Age) 28, 29, 30 is meant to be at your peak as a bowler.
“Brett Lee performed at that age and he was unbelievable. I don’t think age should have anything to do with it.
“For me I’ve learned a lot about my game and experience for me over the last couple of years is a good thing.
“I’m not really too worried to be honest.”

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