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Cricket

That old guy in the nightclub

During my youth one of the rites of passage was going to a night club, or as my father would fondly refer to it a “discotheque”. I guess that part of the thrill involved being out (at night) with mates, and have the chance to try to chat up some girls and to partake of a couple of illicit alcoholic beverages. Interestingly enough, the beverages were not as important as the girls at that stage. When you reached the club there would be a large majority of your friends and acquaintances to socialise with, but there would also be a smaller number of older chaps in there as well who were a cause of some consternation.

Part of the problem would be that the guys would try to dress “young” wearing the fashion of the day (baggy jeans, replica baseball shirts etc) although we could easily spot they were much older. The problem with these more mature fellows would be that they had money to burn and would try (with some success) and lure some of the very same lasses we were trying to chat up. Inevitably they would generally be driving (their own car!) and not car pooling like us youngsters, which added to this air of superiority.

We would constantly complain about the “old timers” not knowing that their time was up and how they should just gracefully retire to do whatever it is that people “their age” should be doing like playing bingo or staying in to watch the Friday night film whilst sipping on a cup of hot cocoa.

It seemed, to us, that these chaps simply did not know when to call it quits.

This brings me to Ricky Thomas Ponting.

Ponting was the steadying influence in the Australian middle order for over a decade as described here by Michael Filosi. A simple mechanism used to justify Ponting’s inclusion in the team – namely, he scored runs and plenty of them. As Filosi explains, now that his primary purpose for being in the team – the ability to score runs – is not being met, there are other reasons used to justify his inclusion in the team such as passing on experience to the younger generation.

Despite his solid 62 runs in the nerve-wracking second Test win over South Africa recently, Ponting has now gone 28 innings without a century. Ponting has been full of bluster recently claiming that “Someone’s going to pay at some stage” and “I’m working too hard for someone not to pay. That’s the way I’m looking at it, but I’ve been saying that for a couple of months.” Positive statements to be sure, but the statistics tell a different story – in the past 12 months he has averaged 20 runs and seen his career average fall below 53.

There is always the possibility that Ponting will rediscover his best form and proceed to have a glorious swan song before calling it quits. However, it is also possible that Ponting’s decision may be made for him by the selectors and then he will not leave on his own terms.

For your sake, Ricky, I hope you don’t become that old guy in the club.

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About Ticha Pfupajena

I'm beginning to get the sense that my career as a professional footballer may not happen. As a result, I'll try write about football and sports instead....

Discussion

7 thoughts on “That old guy in the nightclub

  1. I guess I can not comment ” as I am now the old guy in teh club!!!! lol” but in Ricky’s context , yes the dude has had his chance and I think its time for him to go , as simple as that!!!!

    Posted by Thet Nkala | 28/11/2011, 13:09
    • Thet, you are in good company. Snoop is 40 this year and still rocking out so you’re still fine. As long as you don’t try and wear skinny jeans!

      Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 28/11/2011, 13:32
  2. There’s a lot of this kind of thing going on in major sporting codes. Chelsea/England comes to mind with regard to football. The Springboks in terms of rugby. The Indian cricket team are going to have a major crisis when Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman (combined age of 108) retire.

    Posted by ghettogladiator1 | 28/11/2011, 13:13
    • Agreed. Look at individual sport codes as well – Schumacher, Mike Jordan and Greg Norman. All world beaters and then faded into retirement and not on their own terms.

      Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 28/11/2011, 13:34
  3. I take your point but in the Australian selectors defense if you look at the Aussie opening pair they are hardly vintage you really need an old hand to come in early if you have a problem upfront.Yes he has had bad year at the crease but hardly any of the Aussies have been outstanding. I went to the Wanderers for that last test and it was extremely difficult to bat on that knock was definitely worth a hundred if not numerically then definitely emotionally.

    Posted by Phiwani | 28/11/2011, 19:46
  4. To reiterate ghettogladiator1, add Sachin Tendulkar (39 yrs), VVS Laxman (37 years), Rahul Dravid (Age: 39 years). Tendulkar has been playing test cricket since he was 16 yrs, of course you going to have the most runs and most hundereds in the world.

    If Australia has the same mentality as India we’d still see Warne, McGrath, Langer, Hayden, Gilchrist. And Pontings time is up for sure.

    Ps. This Boucher fella is also over the hill…

    Posted by Sanjay Naran | 05/12/2011, 09:38

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