Players respond in the best possible way

Alistair Nicholson | 04 Apr 2019

Al Aeticle

Victoria lifted its 32nd Sheffield Shield title last Sunday, which also signalled the end of the 2018/19 First-Class season of cricket.

Congratulations to Andrew McDonald and the Victorian team who were dominant throughout the season - it has been quite an exceptional year for Victorian male squad with titles in all three formats.  Meanwhile, the Queensland vs. New South Wales rivalry is alive-and-well in the women’s domestic competitions with honours split between 50 and 20 over cricket.

At the national level, Meg Lanning and Matthew Mott have developed a team that has taken all before them.  With individual stars throughout the line-up, it is their team culture and cohesion that is the pride of Australian sport.

And despite the mixed results for the men’s team throughout the summer, the recent performances are a credit to the resilience and determination evolving under both Aaron Finch and Justin Langer’s leadership.

With two new broadcasters providing unprecedented access to our stars, the players are to be congratulated for being so open with reconnecting to Australian cricket fans.

The UK summer ahead provides an exciting time for our national teams to continue the upward journey they are on.

The current narrative emanating from the men’s camp certainly appears to be one of accepting these challenges together.  This was evident earlier this week with a strong statement from the bowling unit in support of David Warner.  Steve, Dave and Cam have done all that has been asked of them during their very harsh penalties.  It is now time to move on and give them all the support they need to return to international cricket.

During the off-season, the ACA will continue to play a pivotal role for many of our current players.

Whether it is a chance to unwind after a jam-packed calendar, or the upcoming announcement of the contract lists; players can go through a vast range of emotions.

The Player Development Managers under the guidance of Justine Whipper, together with the transition support from Carla Dziwoki, ensure the players are well supported throughout this often-uncertain period.

As far as Australian cricket administration goes, the ACA has an important role to assist Cricket Australia (CA) on their journey of transformation.  It has also been a long-held view of the ACA, that the State Associations play a vital role in the strength, competition and accountability of Australian cricket; their role in this process cannot be underestimated.

Change of any type can be challenging, but the long-term sustainable cultural change being asked of CA will require ongoing support from all parties to ensure meaningful outcomes are achieved.

For the ACA’s part, Tim Cruickshank will work alongside CA’s own people to look to implement The Ethics Centre recommendations that have been accepted by CA.  Tim is a former NSW Blue. The 2018/19 Manly cricket coach and has worked at the ACA in various roles for almost six years.

So, as the 2018/19 season draws to a close, just as the players have done so on the field, all cricket must now take up the baton for the ongoing betterment of the sport for the coming years ahead.