OPPORTUNITY: Australian batsman Shaun Marsh.
OPPORTUNITY: Australian batsman Shaun Marsh. AAP IMAGEDAVE HUNT

Injuries open doors for players with Test team aspirations

HOW often does an injury give another cricketer an opportunity?

In the Australian cricket team, an injury to Usman Khawaja gave an opportunity to Shaun Marsh for two Tests and he has made the most of it.

Khawaja scored centuries in the first two Tests but his Queensland Bulls teammate Joe Burns might lose his spot in the Test team for the Melbourne and/or Sydney Tests depending on Khawaja's recovery.

I like the way Burns plays and he is my new favourite after the Test retirement of Shane Watson.

It seems to me the selectors were happy to persevere with him, particularly after his first Test century and because they like his aggression.

But an injury to a third player could cost him his spot.

While they might be saying Burns or Shaun Marsh, I don't fancy they will drop Shaun after he was part of a partnership with Adam Voges which broke one record set by Bill Ponsford and Sir Donald Bradman.

If I was a selector, I would consider dropping the other Marsh, Mitch, at least for the rest of this series but with so many pacemen breaking down, that doesn't seem to be part of the discussion.

Four bowlers and a bit of extra spin from Steve Smith and Dave Warner, if needed, should be enough to dismiss the West Indies, in fact any side if the bowlers are good enough on the day.

Commonwealth Games

IT MUST be a long time since they changed the name of the Commonwealth Games from the Empire Games.

When Warwick diver Graham Deuble won silver and finished fourth in diving in Perth in 1962, the event was definitely the Empire Games.

For more than 40 years, the event has been the Commonwealth Games and in 2018, we can drive down the road and take in the fun at the Gold Coast.

As a community, we have the chance to cash in on the games by hosting some teams for pre-games training.

Sports where we are a good chance include shooting, hockey, gymnastics if Warwick secures funding for an international arena, swimming in the 50m pool at Stanthorpe and endurance events like cycling, marathon running and triathlon.

It was interesting to talk to Stanthorpe businessman Jon Hendry the other night about the chance to attract some cyclists, triathletes and runners to the Southern Downs.

The Granite Belt has the advantage of altitude compared to Warwick but then Warwick is more similar to the Gold Coast.

Before you question about the Jon Hendry bit, there are two of them at Stanthorpe: one, with an H in John, is well known in cricket and rugby league and the other, without an H, is more likely to be with endurance athletes than at C.F. White Oval.

It is great to see Jon part of a Southern Downs Regional Council-formed group helping our council push for events in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.

Cowboys for premiers

HERE is a long-range forecast if there ever is one.

The Warwick Cowboys will win the TRL reserve-grade premiership in 2016 and give it a good shake in the other grades.

I hear a few names bandied about for the Cowboys reserve-grade side under coach Tim Doyle who won't mind being on the phone making sure he has a committed team on the field each week.

Warwick finished third this year under Craig Mullaly so the basis is there for a good 2016.

Peter Locke coached Warwick for the C-grade (second-division) grand final this season and would love to go one better in 2016.

All this is just words without commitment, hard work and consistency from the men who wear the Cowboys jerseys.



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