New cricket rules

THE Australia Cricket Board must really be hating the fact we have such a great team at the moment. None of the scheduled five Test matches this summer against New Zealand and Paki- stan have gone into the fifth day as the Australians treat their rivals like a cat playing with a mouse, never giving their opponent the chance to get away. No wonder the first day of Third Test in Sydney has sold out, fans must be worried they won't see any action on the other days so they have to get in quick. The lack of opposition for Australia has been a huge blow to the ACB coffers and Channel Nine are left with showing fill-in programs to make up for the shortfall. Maybe instead of the 20/20 limited overs fixtures we could have three-day Test matches, let Australia bat once and give the other teams three turns batting just to even the odds. We could always come up with a set of new rules for the Australian players. Australia can only pick eight players, only four can bat and only two can bowl. Each batsman must retire at 20 and if a bowler takes a wick- et they can't bowl for another two hours. Instead of using bats, the Australians will be issued with tennis racquets and while bowl- ing we have to use a tennis ball. Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden will open the bowling while Glen McGrath and Mi- chael Kasprowicz will open the batting. Hitting boundaries would be

banned and the opposition would get two runs for every run they scored and two wickets for every wicket they take. Australian will order all their players to the pub for the first session and start playing after lunch, at least that would give opposing teams the chance to get off to a decent start. For the final session they will all venture off for a game of golf because the match will probably be over anyway. Umpires could be given the power to rule players out when they don't hit the ball or give totally ridiculous lbw rulings ? hang on, they are already doing that now so scrap that one. While the Australians are in rare form, they can't play forev- er and we might as well enjoy it while we can. Many of the current Test side are nearing their use-by date and there aren't too many others leaping onto the shelves with similar ability. Imagine an Australian side without Langer, Warne, Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath and Gillespie, once they retire the cupboard is looking pretty bare. England are looming as a huge hurdle next year, I hope we give them a royal hiding.

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