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
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil