Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Bran Biscuit Sheffield Shield

Lord Wheatbix Sheffield must be turning repeatedly in his grave at the knowledge that he stands along side the great Aussie breakfast cereal as the symbol of all that is cricket in Australia.

All we need in the ensuing few years is the Orchy One Day Cup and Yoplait Twenty20 in domestic cricket and past, present and future sponsors would make the complete breakfast. In Tony Greig parlance, they'd be a great start in defeat and won.

After being Pura than low fat milk, CA was supposed to making the domestic four day competition - if you'll indulge my ABC speak - purer and hence the return to the original name of one of cricket's oldest and most enduring symbols. That resolve has crumbled in bran dust, almost as soon as Jimmy Sutherland boldly went where no corporate head had gone before ... into a venture with no major sponsor.

Couldn't we have had the Sheffield Shield ... pause ... sponsored by Wheatbix instead of the single phrase, The Wheatbix Sheffield Shield? I think I'd be afraid to let Brett Lee hold up the Shield when NSW win again this year, for fear he might crush crumble it between his fingers or spread vegemite over its back or take the rolling pin to it to make a pie base ... well, perhaps that's taking imagination a tad in the too far direction but the implications are still worrying. Have all our cricket administrators gone to the Sanitarium?

Just as well you're dead, your Lordship. In this post-Packer, sub-continental cricket world, tradition is no Shield from the sponsorship dollar.

How many Sheffield Shield's have NSW won? No idea, but Brett Lee does 9.