EXCLUSIVE: Cricket's to entertain at Calliope Country Club
CALLIOPE Country Club will host cricketing royalty next Friday when the One For The Road Well Polished Tour rolls into town on Friday, November 16 at the Calliope Country Club.
Ex-Australian champions Doug Walters, Len Pascoe and Jeff Thomson will be the guests with many a yarn to tell where the trio will take part in a sports trivia, sports talk, raffles and more.
The Observer sports editor Nick Kossatch faced some home truths from the man they call 'Thommo' about his thoughts about the state of Aussie cricket in a Q and A 'net' session.
Thommo's deliveries had to be played with the full face of the bat as he spoke during a break from his tour, currently in Tasmania.
NK: I'm just after your thoughts on the state of the current game especially with the Aussies and your thoughts on the cultural review?
JT: Well the whole trouble is that the players I think have lost the plot a little bit and the obviously get paid a lot and have to play a lot.
But the whole point of the matter is it's just a game and what has happened is that it's become a business off the field and they're trying to make it a business on the field rather than just allow them to play.
We used to go out and play hard and enjoy ourselves and the guys now still try to go out and play hard, but I don't think they enjoy themselves.
Too many people get hounded like you got to do this, you got to do that. That's rubbish.
NK: It's probably too politicised do you think?
JT: Yeah, you know it's just sterile. Justin Langer was batting coach for Australia and we were batting terribly and I'm talking about recent times and then Darren Lehmann would leave the (coaching) job, first rat off the tip, and bloody low-and-behold, Langer gets the whole job. How does that work out? He couldn't do his batting job properly and now he's the whole coach. That's just an example.
NK: What are your thoughts on pay TV, broadcasting cricket and obviously that and also the T20 format - do you think that that is having an adverse effect on the game?
JT: Yeah, yeah. Pay TV want people to pay and they pay the players so they want the product for the money. It's a feeble circle. Then there's T20, it's a hit and giggle game. Don't get me wrong because I don't mind it, but it manages to get the wrong perspective of a proper match. The blokes who do alright at T20 aren't too good to be real players.
NK: I guess Dave Warner's an exception.
JT: Yeah, there's a couple of exceptions and the rest, they go out and flash in the pan because the fields are not where they're supposed to be. They get away with with a crap shot and think they're heroes.
NK: What do you think needs to change like from grass-roots cricket and Shield cricket?
JT: You know the biggest problem is that Cricket Australia do know nothing about cricket in the country areas and all that. It's dying and it's unfair where the numbers drop off. Put money into where the kids come from. All this mob have been on about the last 10 years is the top echelon of players and they pretend they care about the rest. But they don't. They think they'll (the players) will just turn up and it's not just turn up.
NK: I guess the Baggy Green cap has to be earned and back in your day, you have got to produce runs and take wickets for one or two seasons before earning the Baggy Green. I guess that's the difference between your era and now.
JT: It's same for the state cap and even if you got a cap for your first-grade is a big honour. You know that's the way it should be and that's how you should think of it. It's your right to get it and think about all the people that have had that cap on before you. If you want one, I can get you a replica one...(laughs)...they look pretty good.
NK: Who's the most promising cricketer, batsman and bowler, who are best equip to make the Australian team?
JT: I don't know mate. I don't get around watching and I mean I couldn't even tell you the Queensland team and how bad is that? You used to know everybody and this is the trouble. I'm an ex-cricketer and not some mug off the street. If you ask a kid who the Queensland side was, I bet you they couldn't name any players. If you ask them who's in the Brisbane Heat side, I bet they could tell you 90 per cent of the team.
NK: So the way you take it is that the shortened version of the game is promoted a lot better and a lot more than Sheffield Shield?
JT: In Sheffield Shield nobody turns up and I mean you wouldn't even know it's on because it's glorified club cricket and it's really what it is.
NK: Last question mate, I saw the clip of you bowling to Dave 'Bumbles' Lloyd and it was an in-swinger and tell us about that. Did you feel any compassion when the ball crashed into his box?
JT: I didn't feel a thing, but he did (laughs).
One For The Road Well Polished Tour
$80 for 4 x person Ambrose golf, dinner, entertainment - limited availability - 12pm shotgun start - BBQ lunch + 6.30pm dinner buffet
$45 for dinner and entertainment only - 6.30pm dinner buffet
$40 golf and lunch only
Contact Calliope Country Club for bookings on 49757454