The 2016 cricket wish list

01 January 2016

We want more Meg in 2016! // Getty Images

Our voices

From Maxy to monster sixes, here's what we want to see in the next 12 months

With the New Year as fresh as daisy most people can still keep a straight face when talking about their resolutions. 

They can look squarely in the mirror and persuade themselves this year, more so than any year before, they are definitely going to stick to their list of well-meaning intentions. 

Not me though. I’ve never really been into the annual grand delusion game. 

I’d rather focus my attention elsewhere.

Here’s what I want to see in the BBL/WBBL (and cricket) in 2016.

1. Klinger in the World T20 squad 

WATCH: Klinger's T20 masterclass

Call me a bleeding heart but I’ve never really recovered from Paul Reiffel’s decision to declare with Michael Klinger stranded on 99 not out – one (cruel) run short of his maiden first-class century.

No other batsman in Australian cricket history has suffered that fate. Nor should they.

But if there’s one word that sums Klinger up it’s resilient. 

He’s played for three states – Victoria, South Australia and now Western Australia – and only two men in world cricket (Steve Smith and Kumar Sangakkara) have scored more runs than Klinger in the past 12 months. 

At 35, time is running out for the uncapped journeyman of cricket but his recent form for WA, the Perth Scorchers and Gloucestershire can’t be ignored.

His 90no from 58 in the Scorchers’ 10-wicket win over the Renegades was superb.  As is his record of five tons and 19 fifties in 100 T20 innings.

Australian selectors have shown us in the past they’re not averse to picking a veteran so surely there’s a spot in the World T20 squad for Maxy?

2. Wonderful not woeful West Indies 

WATCH: The Super Tests

I want to go back to the way it was in the eighties. 

When I could dress like Madonna in the gondola (and get away with it), when I could run like the wind, when I could steal a kiss behind the tech studies building, when I found horror movies really scary and when the West Indies were good. Seriously good.

In backyard cricket we were all Viv Richards.

Sadly, things have changed. Former West Indian great Michael Holding says there are “a myriad of reasons” as to why West Indies cricket is where it is today. Some blame Twenty20 for promoting self-interest and enticing players away from representing their country. Others argue the issues run much deeper than that.  

Wherever the core of the problem lies, we can all agree on one thing: cricket is more vibrant and interesting with the West Indies at the top of their game. 

Let’s hope they can get the balance right so we can see the best players playing all forms of the game. 

3. Women’s cricket thriving 

WATCH: Lanning stars in historic WBBL win

People are watching and talking about women’s cricket. 

While the rebel Women's Big Bash League has moved the players a step closer to professionalism, real and meaningful change will only come with a shift in the national consciousness.

We have to challenge crusty old perceptions about girls, women and sport – from the playground through to the boardroom. 

There’s no reason why we can’t see the sort of change that’s occurred in the UK – the England women’s team turned professional in 2014, Sky Sports screened every ball of the 2015 women’s Ashes and cricket is one of the fastest growing team sports for girls. 

Inroads were made here in 2015. This year must be about building on that momentum.

4. More monster sixes 

WATCH: Christian hits one on the Gabba roof

As much as we all love a fearsome spell of fast bowling, spectacular catches and spinning wizardry – let’s be honest, for most of us lovers of the KFC Big Bash League and the WBBL it’s the big hits that get us excited.

On a night famous for fireworks Adelaide Strikers’ batsman Travis Head produced his own with seven sixes off his last 14 deliveries to bring up his century – the most spectacular innings this season so far. 

Hobart Hurricanes batsman Dan Christian hit the biggest six in Gabba history in his side's win over the Brisbane Heat. It sailed for an incredible 117 metres. Even curator Kevin Mitchell, who’s seen a few balls fly in his thirty odd years tending the ground, was impressed.

More of that please. 

Over to you, Gayle, Sammy, Lynn, and Lanning.

5. A mediocre England 

WATCH: Mitchell Johnson's 37 Ashes wickets in 2013-14

So England has beaten South Africa in Durban.

Good for them.

Let’s hope the England cricket team remain at a standard where they are entertaining – and can carry a Test into the fourth/fifth day - before bravely/hilariously capitulating…

Now that would be good for cricket. 

Not to mention my own situation of living with an Englishman.

Happy New Year!

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