It's just not cricket

“….you may not like each other, but you have got to go ahead as a partnership if you want to take the game forward.” Sage advice from Ian Chappell, former Australian Cricket Captain, for Cricket Australia and the players (ABC 7.30 Report 30 October).

I’m not a fan of cricket but I do know that partnerships are key to getting runs on the board.

Google ‘partnerships’ and ‘cricket’ and you open up an encyclopedia of terms to describe a batting partnership. Wicket-pedia tells me that batsmen in an opening partnership are ‘largely free to play to their own style’. The nature of the partnership changes as lower order batsman joins another who has been at the crease for longer, but this stage is just as important as the opening. It’s when the more experienced batsman might go for the big strikes while the less experienced just needs to try and stay on the pitch.

Sounds like Cricket Australia need look no further than a batting partnership as a model for its relationship with the players. So often the answer is right under our noses.

The cricket legend also highlighted that partnerships can’t be taken for granted.

“….I played in the time when it was master-servant relationship and it seemed to me that he (David Peever, former Cricket Australia Chairman) is trying to take it back to that level. Ridiculous!”

This got me thinking about those partnerships that are often involuntary, due to context, urgency or as required by government or other funder.

Just like the batsmen, partners might disagree and differ, but they’re out on the pitch together. If one partner has all the power, the partnership won’t work.