This is a throwback to a post from an earlier blog of mine – originally posted 5 Mar 2015, the day after I watched Australia v Afghanistan in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Happily, David Warner has grown up dramatically since then. I still wouldn’t put it past him to come out with a clanger like this though. And things are still not much better for the Associate cricket nations.
“… not sure what the guy’s name is, but he got up to about 140/145 clicks and was bowling yorkers, and um, it surprised Smithy a bit, but I thought he bowled pretty well towards the end of the power play …”
Another example of David Warner in full flight, this time in the press conference following Australia’s game against Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. To be followed up shortly afterwards by a half apologetic but mostly dismissive “look I can’t say his name, I don’t know it – it’s too hard to pronounce.”
It would be easy to just dismiss it as another Warnerist moment, shake ones head, and move on. However the reaction of his captain sitting beside him – always telling I find when duos tackle press conferences – underlines why Associate teams are always going to be pushing the proverbial uphill as they battle to improve their performance and prospects.
Credit to Clarkey – it can’t be easy sitting next to Warner at times like this. Clarke knew how wrong his words were, but the shake of the head and smile and show of embarrassment to me had a subtext of “we’re all thinking that mate, but you can’t just go ahead and say it, not here”.
Why should Australian players know the names of a team they played once previously, in 2012; who they might play once more in another 2-3 years? There simply is no imperative for a team like Australia to spend too much brain space on a team like Afghanistan. Lucky for Warner.
It’s symptomatic of the amount of exposure that up and coming, ambitious and deserving Associate teams like Afghanistan get to top performing international teams – the kind of exposure that could help them to lift their game, raise their standard, and to feel more comfortable in arenas like the World Cup.
More regular exposure to top tier teams would surely result in more competitive games, more followers for those Associate countries, and the growth of international cricket. What’s not to like about that?
It seems however that it’s all just a bit too hard. Like pronouncing foreign names. What a shame for the world of cricket.