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Cricket news - It's going to be a different World Cup for Australia: Kasprowicz

"I liked the uniqueness of Bumrah and the way he has been encouraged to do it his way" - Kasprowicz

Former Australian pacer Michael Kasprowicz has a special connection with Bengaluru. The M Chinnaswamy stadium is among his favourite grounds in the world. Australia have won both the Test matches he has played against India. While in the first one in 1998, the pacer claimed a five-for, he gave the visitors crucial breakthroughs in his second and last Test match at the venue in 2004.

Kasprowicz, 46, a non-executive board director of Cricket Australia, conducted a net session for age-group women cricketers at the KSCA on Monday as part of an Australian Consulate-General initiative. On the sidelines of the event, the Queenslander spoke to TOI on the turmoil of the past year in Australian cricket, the new crop of pacers and managing fast bowlers' workload in the run-up to the World Cup.


Has the past 10 months been the toughest for Cricket Australia?

Yes. Absolutely. Tough, because of the changes. We had to look internally on what was happening. We had a look at the situation and worked on improving it. We are rebuilding components of the sport from the culture and performance side.

What did the sandpaper scandal do to the cricket culture in Australia?

The vision of Australian cricket is to be the country's favourite sport and spread it wide. So, when you are Australia's most popular sport, you're exposed to opinions because people are investing emotions into the sport. They do that through various channels like participation, buying tickets, sponsorship. Through the period, everyone questioned what we are doing and how we were doing it (the change). The realisation led to rebuilding and recalibrating of Australian cricket.

How will you work on the players tiding over its emotional and psychological impact?

In a high-performance sense there was a lot of work (after the incident). The players and a group worked with former Australian cricketer Rick McCosker (director, Centre for Ethical Leadership). The group put some things in place and the players came up with a players' pact on how they would like to be remembered from the players point of view. That's the thing about (sporting) culture. The change must come from within the dressing room.

Have you all thought about how Steve Smith and David Warner will be initiated back?

It has been an ongoing process. I think it is just not a matter of coming back, it is about a process and acceptance. Both the players are world class. If they are available, we would like to see them comeback and prove to (themselves) everyone on and off the field.

How do you see the team's prospects at the World Cup?

It is a different path for Australian cricket. They have always gone into the contest as a favourite. But this is going to be different. They have a new coach and a few new players as well. It is up to them to create their own environment and path.

Your thoughts on the pace attack beyond Mitchell Starc?

I think it is a great pace attack. Pat Cummins has showed that he is world class. He is a high-impact player who can build pressure in both Test and limited overs cricket. Josh Hazlewood is super consistent. We also have a lot of young bowlers coming into the Test team and still playing one-day cricket.

Your thoughts on balancing the IPL workload and World Cup?

The players will have to watch their form going into the World Cup. That said, the best players adjust their skills not only to conditions but also to the requirement of the game because you have to be able to switch between formats. A lot of sports science goes into managing workload but it is up to the individual player. I would want to see players take up that little bit of the onus because they can decide what's best for them. .

During India's tour of Australia, which Indian bowler impressed you the most?

They are exciting and their skill, not just the seam position but also the movement and execution, is very good. That said, I liked the uniqueness of Bumrah and the way he has been encouraged to do it his way.

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