McGrath primed for Casino
HE was known as one of the fiercest sledgers on the field, but out of his cricket whites Glenn McGrath is quite the opposite.
Visiting Casino in his role as ambassador for Elders at Primex,a reserved and quietly spoken McGrath took time to get among the kids at Queen Elizabeth Park yesterday.
Dozens turned up to emulate their hero in the nets, though the man himself wouldn’t roll the arm over.
But the veteran of 124 Test matches spared a moment to discuss some of the big issues in the game at the moment – Australia’s Ashes attack, the captaincy, the future of 50-over cricket, and the cricket tragic who is aiming for the biggest job in world cricket.
With the Ashes less than six months away, McGrath is non-committal on the make-up of the Aussie pace attack.
Mitchell Johnson will be the first fast bowler picked, he said, but beyond that is anyone’s guess.
“I love the way (Peter) Siddle charges in,” McGrath said.
“Dougy (Bollinger) was great in the summer; then you’ve got Hilfy (Ben Hilfenhaus) to come back from injury.”
And that’s before you throw in Ryan Harris, Clint McKay and the newly promoted Josh Hazlewood.
But the king of the quicks would not be drawn into making a choice.
“You will never get me to say I prefer one over the other. Whoever they pick will do a great job,” McGrath said.
The man they call ‘Pigeon’ was quick to throw his weight behind Ricky Ponting when asked if he thought Michael Clarke was the man to lead Australia into the next era.
“Rick does a great job; as long as he is still playing he should have the job,” McGrath said.
“But Michael Clarke does a good job in the Twenty-20.”
The spearhead of the Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural IPL thinks that the shortest form of the game is here to stay.
“It’s a great concept because it has the potential to take cricket to non-cricketing nations,” he said.
“It opens up a market in places like the United States and Europe where cricket hasn’t had much of a run in the past.
And he fears for the limited-overs form of the game where he took 381 international wickets.
“We need to do something with the 50-over game if it is to continue to move forward,” he said.
And looking to the future, McGrath is content that former prime minister John Howard is set to take the reins of the International Cricket Council in 2012.