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  Issue No 82 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 December 2000  




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Letters to the Editor

The Greatest Team Ever?

Jim Marr makes a number of perfectly valid points in refuting the notion that Steve Waugh's teams over the 12 Tests past are the best ever. There are other reasons as well.

Leave aside the quality of the respective oppositions in 1948 or 1920-21 or what Lloyd faced - as a rule of thumb, one suspects that an all-conquering side is what it is because no other team is within cooee of it. Even if you consider that 12 on the trot is a statistic that clinches the argument in favour of Stephen's lads, there are other objective factors operating today that make results more likely. Those factors include the following.

1. Global warming: sustained spells of rain deprived Benaud in 1961 and Border in 1989 of certain wins. Or compare 1968 where the rain saved Lawry's team three times.

2. Scheduling the Tests to be over by the first week of January, getting Brisbane over and done with by November, means that the series has a reasonable bet of avoiding unseasonable rains.

3. Groundsmen have somewhat more integrity than days of yore. They do not readily prepare wickets to suit the home team or blunt the visitors.

4. The science of pitch preparation makes it more likely that the pitch is designed to deliver a result to the team which possesses either (a) a well-balanced attack or (b) a batting philosophy which buys time for the bowlers to dismiss the others.

5. The third umpire has eliminated the "benefit of the doubt" for the close decisions, hence far more dismissals on run outs and stumpings.

6. Weather reports available on desk-top computers at the grounds mean that curators have the ground staff hovering well before the first drops fall. Have you ever timed how long it takes the SCG staff to cover the wicket?

One suspects that Bradman's side might have rolled up 20-straight if they were playing under these conditions against these sorts of oppositions.

Jim Marr is dead right about a benign scheduling. The real test comes when they play on the sub-continent - where my comments about pitch preparation do not apply - and South Africa.



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*   Issue 82 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Being Michael Costa
Labor Council�s secretary on the 2KY sell-off, the Olympics and his plans for the future.
*  Unions: Millennial Milestones
In a year of highs, some trade union stories stuck in the collective consciousness. Here's ten of the best.
*  International: Eric Lee's Year in Review
The editor of Labourstart looks back on the global issues that mobilized labour in the past 12 months.
*  Organising: Dispatches from the Field
Despite the 'Botsmanesque' critiques which have been levelled at Organising, it would be hard to deny that the year 2000 has seen more and more unions in NSW latch onto the approach - at least in principle anyway.
*  Economics: Who Gets Gold??
At the end of this Olympic year, Sydney Uni's Frank Stilwell charts the winners and losers in the new sport of redistribution of income.
*  Politics: Election 2000: The Winner is Gridlock
In the last in his series on the US Federal Election Campaign, Michael Gadiel, our roving reporter, gladly signs off.
*  Satire: Chaser Launches Book
In the great tradition of repackaging old material to cash in on Christmas, the team from The Chaser & Silly 2000 has produced its first book.
*  Review: Cultural Wasteland
The spotlight was on Australian culture in 2000. But was it a missed opportunity, asks Peter Zangari.

»  Mad Monk's Secret Union Past
»  New Life for Trades Hall
»  Top Cop is Our Organiser of the Year
»  All We Want for Christmas
»  Summer for Social Justice
»  Unions Return to Mosh Pit
»  Unions Head West
»  Big Bastard Censors Dissidents
»  South Coast Labor President Steps Down
»  As a Died in the Wool Westie Steps Up
»  Dying Workers' Asbestos Plea
»  Workers at Centre of Turn Of the Century
»  Truth about S11 Starting to Come Out

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  The Greatest Team Ever?
»  ABC Online Did Strike
»  Why Nader Vote was not Wasted
»  John Scrooge's Christmas Gift

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