A local junior cricket coach has expressed his concern over the Twenty20 influence on the traditional breeding ground for Test cricketers: backyard cricket. Kelvin O’Donough, mentor to an Under 12s side in the local competition, questioned whether kids these days had the grunt and determination to see out an hour’s play in backyard cricket.
Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, O’Donough said, “Back in my day, I once batted for three days straight in a patient and mature innings in which I forced my younger brother to chase the tennis ball around the backyard as I amassed 76* before Mum declared my innings closed. Nowadays, kids are just trying to hit a six every bloody ball!”
O’Donough also said that it was common knowledge in cricket circles that backyard games lay the foundation for the next generation of cricketers. He said, “Ask anyone who knows anything about the game and they’ll tell you that backyard cricket is vital in the development of young players. So what hope do we have of winning the Ashes in the summer of 2041-42 if little Jimmy is spending all afternoon in the backyard trying to perfect his ramp shot?”