On the Front Foot: Aussie empire crumbles as lots fail to get picked for IPL

Nothing so embodied Australia's fall from grace than what happened on Friday. No, not their one-day defeat by New Zealand. That was a commonplace event, it being their fifth consecutive limited-overs reversal. No, what really told the story was what happened in Goa, hippy hangout and scene for the second IPL player auction, the two not being one and the same thing. A year ago, Australians were plucked for the inaugural IPL like grapes from a Barossa Valley vineyard. But of the 17 Australians who made themselves available to play in this Twenty20 tournament, only two were recruited. It spoke volumes about a crumbling empire. True, the marquee names were signed on three-year contracts in 2008 and others, such as the freestyle hitter David Warner, had already been enlisted by individual franchises before the auction. But that cannot disguise the fact that Australian cricket has taken a hit after a string of poor results by a clearly struggling national team. The only pair signed were Shaun Tait (who now has a hamstring injury) for $375,000 (£254,000) and the unsung George Bailey for a mere $50,000 (£34,000). Stuart Clark and Brad Haddin were unsigned. That this happened on the day the Kiwis beat them again to take a 2-0 lead in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy was grist to the doom-mongers' mill. And there was more. It emerged that Simon Katich and Michael Clarke were engaged in a scuffle during the Sydney Test at new year about singing the team anthem, 'Under The Southern Cross'. Since the song is the glue that binds the team together and leading the singing of it is a job almost as esteemed as the captaincy itself, the issues are beginning to run deep. Can't play, can't sing either.

Pietersen bows to Master

It is beginning to seem that Kevin Pietersen utterly dominates England's batting. He was top scorer again in the first innings of the First Test in Kingston. Wasn't it ever thus? Actually, not quite. Although Pietersen has been top scorer in England's innings a commendable 19 times in his 84 Test innings, it by no means makes him superior in this regard. It means he has been leading run-getter in an innings on 21.69 per cent of occasions, behind 15 other batsmen who played at least 20 Tests. Jack Hobbs, known as The Master, was top scorer 31 times, or in 31 per cent of his innings, still well behind the most dominant of all, George Headley, who did it 15 out of 40 times for West Indies, or 37.5 per cent. But Pietersen has scored 16.1 per cent of the team's runs in his career, behind only six other players in England's history.

No mention of Headley ton

Speaking of Headley, there is a feeling the West Indies Cricket Board, not for the first time, has missed a trick at Sabina Park. This is the centenary of the birth of the great man, their first legendary batsman, who scored 10 centuries in 22 Tests. He was born in Jamaica, but so far not a mention.

In memory of Bob

Wandering into the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, a few yards away from England's quarters, was an eerie experience. The last time was during the 2007 World Cup, when Bob Woolmer died in his room there. As his death was pronounced wrongly as murder, sparking an uncontrolled media storm, no cricket person will ever be able to enter the hotel again without thinking of him.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments