Cricket versus League

Well its summer once again, and time for most Aussie sports fans to turn their eyes away from winter sports, like rugby league, and Aussie rules, and back towards cricket, swimming and other fair weather sports. But its not all doom and gloom for us league supporters. Sure cricket is played with a little round ball, they us bats, its non contact and there?s no goal posts (in fact apart from the ball, they are completely different), but we can still identify with the champions, characters and personalities in the game. A lot of the players we see running around in summer really aren?t so different from those who ran around last winter. Allow me to make some comparisons.

Ricky Ponting versus Darren Lockyer
Both are captains of their national team, obviously, but the similarities are more than that. Both are the best in the world currently and just received awards proving so. Both are such good players everybody anywhere wants to find some hole in their game, so they can prove to the world that their not the best, but the best they remain.

Shane Warne versus Andrew Johns
These two players are indisputably the greatest players in their position in a long time-if not ever, both have re-invented the game they play, and are joy to watch. Unfortunately for us, both players know this, thus making them very arrogant, and have very torrid reputations off the field. Great blokes I?m sure, to sit down and talk, but both are definitely able to seek more respect off the field than on it.

Michael Clarke versus Benji Marshall
Here are the young guns. These blokes are the new generation, both of whose nation?s expectations for the future rest with. These guys are exceptional talents, both showing that in their debuts, and regularly afterwards. Unluckily, both have a bit of trouble staying in the top side, albeit for different reasons.

Brett Lee versus Matt Bowen
Two words, excitement machines! These guys are full of raw pace and attacking energy. Both are known to leak a few points (or runs), but can be devastating when in form, scoring points (or taking wickets) in a hurry. These two have their places in the top representative sides questioned regularly, but there is no doubt, that players like these bring the crowds with them wherever they go.

Andrew Flintoff versus Ben Hornby
The everywhere men. These guys play in every role and every position, whether it?s bowling, batting or fielding, or playing halfback, fullback or hooker, the utility, or all-rounder is a valuable player to have. Neither players? team would be particularly successful without them, and they both hold a leadership position within the team.

Damien Martyn versus Trent Barrett
I feel sorry for both of these players. Both extremely good players, but both are crucified in the media, and often treated unfairly by selectors. Although both are great players, not too sure how missed they will be now that they are gone.

Shane Watson versus Sonny-Bill Williams
Another set of all rounders. Playing in the forwards or back, batting and bowling fast. So much potential in both of these players, but unfortunately, both are regularly struck down by injury. Both are young, so who knows how great they could become, if they can just stay fit. They have the same initials too, funnily enough.

So take peace in the knowledge, that although you may not be able to watch any new league games for a few months, the drama and characters that we love, can still be found. The ups and downs of teams can still be followed. And the joy of watching a competition, and all that comes with that remains. Enjoy cricket season, but be excited, because footy season ain?t to far away.