A dejected Swifts player (right) slumps over his bat after being dismissed against Strollers/Raiders.
A dejected Swifts player (right) slumps over his bat after being dismissed against Strollers/Raiders.

Survival of battlers up in air

THE Ipswich cricket community is split over the merits of Swifts' participation in the Division One competition.

Brothers captain David Richardson believes the talent pool is too shallow to sustain six teams and Swifts are the team that shouldn't be there.

“There are 80 players out of the whole competition (from last season), from first grade to the Sunday cricket that the comp doesn't have,” he said.

“There are not enough talented players to fill the gap.”

That was evident when Swifts batsmen had to face Brothers fast bowler Steven Heise earlier this season.

“I've never seen batsmen walk away at the crease like they were doing,” Richardson said.

“With under 16s playing on the next field, they look over and wonder ‘is that what I'm aspiring too?'.”

Richardson said a five-team competition with a bye each round was preferable to a six-team competition where one team is getting constantly flogged.

The problem with that is it could be a month between bats for some players at times, but Richardson believes there's ways around that.

“They could change the structure of the competition, with some one-dayers so the break doesn't seem so long,” he said.

While the intention might have been good to encourage a new club to develop, Swifts' promotion could do more harm than good to the club in the short term.

Last season's wooden spooners lost a number of players before the start of this season and it could get much worse with captain-coach Jacob Sarra leaving due to a new job.

“If they keep losing games, their players could be lost to cricket,” Richardson said.

Swifts were brought into the A grade competition after Colleges Crossing folded before the start of the 2009-10 season.

However, Richardson said administrators failed to learn from the Colleges lesson.

“They threw Colleges in there under the same pretences (as Swifts) and they folded,” he said.

“To me it seems they're not getting out and looking at what's going on.

“There are guys sitting at meetings making decisions but are they getting out and watching games?”

Not everyone shares Richardson's view, however.

Central Districts president Darion Parise is one of many who see the long-term future of the club and believe that outweighs its immediate shortcomings.

“Being at the bottom end of the highway to Springfield is a growth area,” he said.

“Maybe we just have to give them time.

“They should be a boom club.

“They are in a prime position.

“In 10 years time there won't be too many paddocks between Springfield and Yamanto.”

But Parise recognises the possible repercussions of throwing Swifts in too early as well.

“Their players obviously can't be enjoying getting beaten,” he said.

“It is difficult to see where their players are going to come from (in the short term).”

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