National Talent Manager and former Test captain Greg Chappell offered the insight this week during a presentation at the AFL’s national talent forum in Melbourne, where he identified the Red Sox as one of several world sporting bodies achieving best practice in the field of talent identification and development.
The system ranks over 500 players from under-17’s right through to state and international cricketers on a sliding scale from 20 to 80. Players assigned a rating of 60 or above are those deemed talented enough to play at Test level, while state-level cricketers earn a minimum rating of 50.
The highest level, a rating of 80, is reserved for exceptional talent the calibre of past legends Don Bradman and Shane Warne.
Players are ranked across different categories such as batting, bowling, fielding and wicketkeeping, as well as character and attitude.
Each player is assigned a current rating and a projected rating, thereby identifying the future stars of Australian cricket from an early age.
The projected rating figure assists CA with initiatives such as succession planning, and where to focus training and development resources in order to achieve the most beneficial outcomes.
Attributes such as game awareness, execution of plans, athleticism and anticipation are key elements across the four game-sense categories, with character and attitude the only measure that does not contain a projected rating.
The rating tool prioritises performance and attributes, rather than simply focusing on athletic prowess and technique.
Players are rated a minimum of three times a year by state talent managers and the National Selection Panel, which provides a quick reference of all the players in the Australian cricket system in order to help prioritise talent resources across the country.
Chappell said the rating system is not only a guide for today, but a look to the future in recognition of the fact the game is always evolving.
“They (Boston) get their scouts to rate them on today but also project where they think they could be in a few years’ time,” said Chappell.
“The players that we’re dealing with day by day are not going to be playing for Australia for four or five years. The game will move on.
“We need to be able to work out which players will be able to adapt. We need adaptable players, not adapted players.”
Chappell spoke at the forum that included representatives from the 18 AFL clubs, state bodies and the AFL Players' Association, and he covered subjects as varied as his time as India’s national coach, the challenges Twenty20 cricket has thrown up since its inception and the pathway system that Australian cricketers now follow.
He also identified the Brazilian soccer team, New Zealand’s All Blacks and Australia’s hockey program as world leaders in discovering talent and developing their athletes to perform at the highest level.