Fancy a Beer Warnie?

8 12 2010

Shane Warne has put the cat amongst the pigeons by calling for West Australian left arm spinner, Michael Beer, to be called up to the Australian team. Apparently this would be a ‘horses for courses’ selection as he knows the wicket in Perth and would be able to do a job. If his sole intention was to garner headlines then he has clearly succeded, yet, if he is serious – then this is yet another indication of the depths to which Australian spin bowling has sunk.

Back in the heyday of English mediocrity, startling collapses, woeful fielding and such inspired selections as Mike Smith of Gloucestershire, Ronnie Irani of Essex and Richard Dawson of Yorkshire were commonplace, many on the basis of a ‘horses for courses’ selection policy. Smith, a willing medium pacer, was picked at Headingley almost entirely out the blue in 1997 against the all conquering Aussies on the basis that he swung the ball and was exactly the sort of bowler England needed at the Yorkshire ground. Inevitably this selection backfired horribly and he went wicketless as Australia won by an innings.

Now the boot is firmly on the other foot and Shane Warne, a man who is frequently applauded for his cricketing brain (best captain Australia never had etc) and has in the past always said you should stick by your best eleven players, is now calling for what would be one of the most extraordinary selections in history.

“What? Even more than Xavier Doherty?” We hear you all cry… Well, yes! Even the man Shane Warne wants playing at the WACA, Michael Beer, must have blinked and rubbed his eyes in disbelief if he saw this headline. To be entirely fair to Beer, on the face of it, his record is actually slightly better than Doherty’s and even Hauritz’s, averaging as he does a shade under 40 and with a strike rate of a wicket every 66 balls in first class cricket.

However, and this is an enormous however, closer inspection shows he has only played five class matches and one senior limited overs game. If a man with this sort of record can get close to an Australian team at the age of 26, then the spin bowling barrel has not so much been scraped as demolished.

Alternatively, perhaps this is simply yet another example of Warne’s mind games and he is trying to coerce the selectors into what would be an enormous ego boost by asking him to return. We don’t for a minute believe he would be foolish enough to do so, whatever various pundits are saying, as there are too many cases in history of old champions returning only to re retire with their tails between their legs – yet he would probably love the attention!

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One response

8 12 2010
Jonathan

It’s a scam I tell you. Warne is deflecting the attention away from himself while he gets into training with a six pack of tinnies and a pack of fags, so he is in shape to be rolled out at Perth!!

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