Just last week on Melbourne radio, Cameron White handed down a grim judgment of Cricket Australia.
“Right now, it seems that the Australian team at some stages is a development team,” White said.
“For me, playing for Australia isn’t about getting the chance to develop. Domestic cricket is where that happens.”
The focal point of which White’s opinions are likely born from is the recent selection of 21-year-old Sam Heazlett for the Australian one-day international team, after not even having made his domestic one-day debut.
White also has a proverbial dog in this fight – himself.
He was recently named Domestic Player of the Year at the Allan Border Medal a fortnight ago, off the back of a 76.16 average for Victoria in the Matador Cup.
However, the 33-year-old all rounder was snubbed for the one-day international tour of New Zealand in favour of younger players such as Heazlett, Hilton Cartwright, Moises Henriques and Chris Lynn, all of whom have less impressive domestic records.
There seems to be no real rhyme or reason as to why White was left out of the touring party, and despite Chairman of Selectors, Trevor Hohns, hitting back and reaffirming the importance of domestic cricket to selectors, Victoria’s vice captain certainly has a point.
Heazlett is no doubt an enticing prospect, but being picked for an ODI fixture before even making your domestic one-day debut is a case of selection frenzy gone absolutely berserk.
In fact, Cricket Australia honouring White at their official awards ceremony, then proceeding to leave him out of any further honours on the pitch seems almost a conflict of interest of sorts.
White also voiced his concerns about the influence the Big Bash League may be starting to have on national selections.
“You can get picked to play for Australia in any format out of Big Bash, really. It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said.
What White likely refers to here is Chris Lynn’s fast-forwarding to the one-day international side off the back of an impressive BBL campaign with the Brisbane Heat.
This is definitely what we do not want to see in Australian cricket – form in one particular competition or in one form of the game dictating international selection in another.
“I’m a little worried, to be honest, about the importance the selectors are putting on [the Big Bash League]. It worries me for the future of Australian cricket,” White added.
When we begin to not recognise the best in each individual form of the game with higher honours in that particular form, it worries me too.