Mike Brearley, the former outstanding English captain who was considered as one of the best captains for his intuitive, resourceful, sympathetic and clear-thinking approach to the game, is not impressed with England’s Ashes win. He said it is “excesses of home win”. Brearley said everyone is demanding a suitable pitch to take the home advantage, there is nothing wrong. But, he could not cheer up for England Ashes win at home. He said, “Australia have done better than most to have lost only 3-2.”
He said, “it will be unfair to say the pitches of this summer “rigged”, but I have come aware such pressure from people close to the England side”.
Former England captain Mike Brearley’s five reasons: Why England’s Ashes win is manufactured?
He said “home advantage is an interesting phenomenon in itself” and “cricket is bound to be particularly prone to this” as climate and pitches are the biggest factors in the nature and often the outcome of the match.
He asked, but why is this a present trend? And is there a danger that home wins will become a forgone conclusion? He thinks “the trend may reflect broader issues in cricket.”
He pointed the reason of modern ear cricket’s decline along with why England won the Ashes.
2. A Few practice match:
He said none of the country tour one country for a long time. “Tours are shorter now, with fewer practice matches before and between the Test matches.” As a result, visiting teams have less time to habituate. The attitude of Australian batsmen in this Ashes series is less competitive. They did not play a state said, played one warm-up match against a county side.
3. The effect of the excessive shorter form of the game:
Nowadays every cricketer has to make a speedy recovery “one form of the game to another.” So they find it difficult to acclimatize in the longest format of the game, particularly on foreign shores.
4. County cricket:
In 1970-1980 cricketers from every Test playing nation used to come to England to play for county teams. But, now, cricketer plays commercial T20 league at their home and across the world as a result, they don’t have to time to play county cricket. As a result success on English soil has become surreal. “For tours to England far less overseas Test players have had substantial experience of county cricket than 1970-1980.”
5. The question is why favourable home pitch?
But, Mike Brearley raised the question about the most contentious issue in modern days Test tour-pitch. “ Are home pitches made to favour the home side”? He further asked, “is there an expectation that this should and will be so?”
He cites the example of the Lord’s Test, where Australia scored 337 for 1, next morning an England player complained, “This pitch has draw written all over it.” England subsequent were proved wrong as Australia defeated them by record 405 runs. Brearley is worried about the demand of that man who entitled to find home pitches better suited to England’s bowling skills.
These days cricketers are getting involved in management, as a result, they are demanding suitable pitches for job security. “As more and more become involved in the team management , and in the planning of how to win each series, there is increasing reliance for job security on short-term home success, for which media demand to seem insatiable, especially in home series.”
And the remedy
Brearley said pitch should be prepared to the overall interest of good Test cricket in mind rather than based on the strength of the home and away teams.
He welcomed South Australian Cricket Association Ian Mclachlan, who asked Perth ground’s man not to listen to anybody. He also mentioned the 2012 incident where Eden Gardens, Kolkata curator Prabir Mukherjee complained about the pressure on him put by former Indian Test captain MS Dhoni for the spinner to Test England. Prabir Mukherjee said, “then why are selling tickets for five days”.
Brearley gave general guidelines for an excellent pitch for a Test match. “ A good pitch will give some chance to all skills of the game, there will be an opportunity for batsman to play strokes, for quick bowlers to get some some help, and for spinner to come into the game at least towards the end of the game.”