Tag Archives: damien martyn

#blamepat – how Pat Howard ruined cricket for Australia

“I’m sorry Australia but test match has very quickly slipped away! I wonder how many test matches Pat Howard played in India @warne888,” said Damien Martyn as @Dmartyn30 on Twitter.

In case you were wondering Pat Howard, Cricket Australia’s general manager of team performance, has played no Test Matches in India. Rugby Union, the sport Pat Howard played, is not that popular in India. But had Pat Howard played Test cricket in India, would Australia have had a better day today?

Hugh Morris, England’s managing director, also never played Test cricket in India. His three Tests were all in England. But unlike you or me, and most importantly Pat, he knows Test cricket.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have played Test cricket, and those who haven’t. I assume, unless you are Ray Bright or Venkatapathy Raju, you haven’t played Test cricket. That means, for some people, you are not qualified to have an opinion on Test cricket. You can simply not understand what it is like to have played the game at that level. The pressure, the conditions, the fans, the stress and the constant post game interviews where people ask you, “how did that feel”. You have never dealt with any of them.

Hugh Morris’ England team beat India in India. And perhaps those three Tests he played were enough to help him guide a team to victory, but it’s probably more to do with the two Test quality spinners, the best swing bowler on earth, a captain who doesn’t sweat, KP, a brutal meticulous coach and the resources the ECB have put into their team being as well prepared as they can for big Test series.

Hugh’s job is not to teach anyone how to play cricket, but ensure that the team has the right coaches, equipment, backroom staff and “structures” in place to win cricket matches.

That is what Pat Howard is there to do as well. It’s a radical appointment, and for those who believe only cricket people understand cricket, it’s hard to understand how a rugby player can help. But think of Pat Howard as a fixer. Mickey Arthur, Michael Clarke or John Inverarity come to him with a need, and instead of them overseeing it, making cold calls or sending out hopeful emails, Pat Howard does. He also speaks to experts to try and find solutions to Australian problems, deals with player management, is involved in organisation and development, yet has very little impact with what happens on the field.

Howard doesn’t coach, select or bat.

Cricket Australia realised through the Argus report that it was no one’s job to do all that. So they made it one and gave it to Howard. Someone at the top of the tree, to oversee all aspects of Australian cricket. Clarke captains. Arthur coaches. Inverarity selects. But no one was really looking after the whole package. Someone to bring everyone together, to have a cohesive plan, and for someone to be blamed outside of the coach, chairman of selectors or captain when things go wrong. That is Howard’s job.

I’m no Pat Howard apologist.

I’m not even saying it’s a real job, or that he is worth his salary, I am definitely not sure how effective he is, or whether someone else could do his job better. I am not sure whether this job wouldn’t be better as just a fixer rather than as a grand title of GM.

But I fail to see how Pat Howard’s non-existent Test record in India, or his non-existent Test record anywhere, is the reason that MS Dhoni started putting cricket balls over the fence.

Of course, I am no Test player. So maybe I see this different than someone who has made a Test century in Chennai, but there are certain things that seem obviously not Pat Howard’s fault.

Pat Howard did not drop Dhoni, or even fail to run him out when given the opportunity. It also wasn’t Pat Howard who dropped Bhuvneshwar Kumar when flinging himself for a tough catch. That was Ed Cowan.

 

At no stage did Pat Howard demand that Michael Clarke only bowl Pattinson for six overs on the second day. Sure, he might have been involved in the informed player rotation management, but Pattinson’s under bowling seemed more to do with the bizarre inner team thinking than anything resembling a mid-match rotational process.

 

Pat Howard was not on the field to drop his shoulders as the Dhoni-Kumar partnership took hold. Not one mis-field was perpetrated by him either.

 

It was Moises Henriques’ ugly, across-the-line swipe that gave India a total they could pass on day three, giving them the upper hand in this Test. Howard has never played a shot that bad in India.

 

Australia haven’t played spin well, or in India well, well before Pat Howard worked for Cricket Australia, and realistically, before he even played rugby for Australia.

 

There is nothing Pat Howard can do to suddenly make Nathan Lyon better. Sure he can gets coaches, and invent a software package that can expand his mind, but unless he invents bionic spinning fingers or does and arm transplant with Warne, Lyon’s progress from handy spinner to good enough to run through Kohli, Tendulkar and Dhoni consistently isn’t really in his hands. You can enhance performance, you can’t play god.

 

It’s also no fault of Howard that Jon Holland and Michael Beer are injured, that Australia don’t quite believe in Xavier Doherty, or that Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith aren’t close to Test quality spinners. All Howard can do is get Fawad Ahmed a passport and hope Adam Zampa is a slice of magic.

 

Australia have fast bowlers, and this pitch does not help them enough. However, Pat Howard does not control Indian groundsmen, even the BCCI can’t always control them.

 

Even the selection of the team isn’t Howard’s fault. Test cricketers John Inverarity, Andy Bichel, Rod Marsh and Michael Clarke picked this side. They decided on Moises instead of Maxwell.

 

Australia just aren’t that good at the moment, Don Bradman as GM, coach, chairman or tsar wouldn’t change that.

Better Australian teams than this have been embarrassed by far worse batsmen than Kohli, Tendulkar and Dhoni travelling to India. It happens.

 

I suppose most importantly, had Clarke caught Dhoni, had Australia taken a run-out, had Cowan caught Kumar, or if Dhoni had been given out with a dodgy lbw, and Australia might have had a lead, or be 80 for 0 at stumps with a small lead, would Pat Howard get credit for that?

 

Probably not.

 

Pat Howard’s job seems mostly to be blamed by former cricketers for poor performances. If something bad happens in world cricket it’s the fault of the #bleddybcci. If England lose an ODI, it’s #trottsfault. And anything and everything bad that happens in Australian cricket means that we #blamepat.

 

And what happens if Pat Howard is fired due to the pressure from Martyn or Warne.

 

The blame will just move to Mickey Arthur, who also didn’t play Test cricket in India, or anywhere, and also, shockingly, as Jeff Thomson once brilliantly noted, is not even an Australian. If Mickey is fired, we can blame John Inverarity, after all, he only played six Tests, and that’s not really a career. And then James Sutherland, another outsider who never played a Test in India, or anywhere.

Currently Damien Martyn is a mosquito repellant entrepreneur. Martyn has never been a mosquito or a candle. And unless he was sent into the wilderness unfairly after that shot in Sydney and studied science, I doubt he’s an entomologist. Yet, there he is, selling these candles using his fame as a former cricketer, his charismatic smile and his skills on social media.

Sure, I bet there are some experienced old timers from inside the mosquito repelling business who think he shouldn’t be there. They probably believe that he doesn’t know what he is doing. That he could never understand what it is like to be a real mosquito person. Can’t understand the pressures of the mosquito business. They probably know of many people are more suited to the mosquito set up. In fact, if the mosquito repellant is made properly, it doesn’t even need a salesman. They just see Martyn as another hanger on in the mosquito world, using modern methods to confuse people when the simple old school ways have always been the best.

I think they are wrong, and I think that Damien Martyn should be given the chance to sell mosquito repellant candles. If he shows over a prolonged time that he can’t sell the candles, even if the candles just simply aren’t that good, he’ll either step down will be simply replaced. If the candles do sell, people will just claim they were good candles, and that anyone can be successfully with a good product.

Luckily for Martyn, there is no mosquito candle press to heckle him. Unluckily for Pat Howard, whether he is successful or not in his job, there are some people he will never win over.

Although, as it seems like the main part of his job is to be blamed when Australia fail, he is actually doing it rather well.

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kanye’s cricket biographies

Because of the draw today, my mind started to wander.

Here is a list of Kanye West songs and the Cricketers or hangers on they remind me of.

Gold Digger – Shane Bond

“I aint saying she a gold digger, but she aint messin with no broke niggaz”

Jesus Walks – Adam Gilchrist

“I aint here to argue about his facial features, or here to convert atheists into believers”

All falls down – Marcus Trescothick

“She’s so self conscious, she has no idea what’s she’s doin in college”

Touch the sky – Virender Sehwag

“Before the day I die, I’m gonna touch the sky”

My way home – Imran Khan

“Might not be such a bad idea if I never go home again”

Crack music – Sunil Gavaskar

“I throw a little sumtin simtin on the pulpit”

Roses – Damien Martyn

“can you sign some t shirts, bitch is ya smoking reefer”

Diamonds from Sierra Leone – Sachin Tendulkar

“Forever ever? Forever ever? Ever, ever? Ever, ever? Ever, ever? Ever, ever?”

Hey mama – Channel 9 commentary team (except Richie)

“You’re like a book of poetry, Maya Angelou, Nicky Giovanni, turn one page and there’s my mommy”

Late – Me (to Bhaji and Haydos)

“Little girls please stop you’re crying”

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the three test series (no affiliation with the mobile phone company)

There are 3 series starting in the next little while.

The most important one for world cricket is the Damien Martyn less Australia taking on the Kumar Sangakarra less Sri Lankans.

The second one could be the most enthralling. Pakistan takes on India.

And the third one is the Evil South Africans take on Harry’s New Zealand.

I have already given a simply stunning synopsis of the Australia v Sri Lanka series.

But I didn’t give my series result.

Without Kumar I think Australia will win the series. Probably 2 zip.

Pakistan in India will be interesting, Pakistan are missing a good fast bowler in Asif and have gained on pain in the a$$ in Ahktar.

India aren’t a great side, but things are looking good, can’t see them losing this series. Unless Imran takes charge of Pakistan and sends one of those American style pre retaliation first strike type attacks into the heart of Delhi. In that case Pakistan could win the series 2-1.

However if Imran stays under house arrest 2 zip to India.

South Africa as boring and evil as they are, have already beaten New Zealand. Sure New Zealand don’t know it yet, but they will work it out soon enough. I haven’t checked how many tests there are, cause it doesn’t really matter, New Zealand can’t win them anyway.

Here is a picture of Scarlett Johannson for Daniel Vettori, good luck son.

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