“When you receive your ‘Baggy Blue’, your ‘Baggy Green’ is in the same bag!”
This phrase is in reference to the high number of New South Welshmen who progress up the ranks to represent the Australian side at international level. This high percentage is often the topic of hot debate however, with many people questioning the merit of previous New South Welshmen to represent Australia.
Since the turn of the millennium, 36 men have debuted for Australia in Test Cricket, 13 of them are New South Welshmen. However despite this high number, I believe that instead of criticising the selectors, fans must focus on congratulating the powers that be in NSW Cricket for continually producing Australia’s most talented youngsters. The systems which are in place are clearly producing results and the talent identification process needs to be installed into other state associations.
In addition to the Test debutantes since 2000, a handful of youngsters have more recently burst onto the international scene in the shorter formats of the game. Players such as David Warner, Moises Henriques, Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc and Stephen O’Keefe have all proven themselves on the domestic scene whilst wearing the famous blues and given their young age, have progressed into the Australian side as the selectors look for the future stars of Australian Cricket.
Further evidence of the talent coming through the NSW cricketing ranks was seen just last week when 17-year old Patrick Cummins tore through Queensland’s top order, taking 3/24 and clocking in frequently at over 145kph. He was also ably supported by 18-year-old Sean Abbott to also took 3 wickets whilst only conceding 15 runs. Throw in 24-year-old speedster Trent Copeland who has 60 First Class wickets at just 19.16 in 11 games, and it’s clear to see that the abundance of talent coming out of NSW is far better than rival states.
With an aging Australian side producing their worst results in over a decade, changes are inevitable after the World Cup concludes at the end of March. The critics out there claiming bias towards New South Welshmen will once again voice their concerns, however as Australia look to blood some fresh, young, talented players into the national side, it seems that New South Wales will continue to feature heavily.