Alec Swann - The madmen are running the asylum

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Sporting administrators must sometimes wonder whether it’s all worth the hassle.

Time after time their good intentions are held open to ridicule by those who just want something to whinge about and have spotted an easy target.

Why’s this game here?

Why’s that tournament being played there?

He should be available.

He shouldn’t be available.

This is nonesense.

That is nonsnese.

I could go on and at some stage I probably will, but’s that’s for another day.

However, every now and then, a sporting body decide upon a course of action which demands criticism and can’t really defended in any particular manner.

Step forward Cricket Australia.

Those in charge of the game down under haven’t really covered themselves in glory in the recent past, be it sacking their coach without warning, hijacking their first-class structure in the chase for the almighty dollar and kow-towing to the Indian Cricket Board when they threatened to pull the plug on a tour to name a few.

Well add to the list the current one-day international tour to India as yet another act of lunacy.

You may have noticed that in three weeks time the Ashes gets underway in Brisbane.

An opportunity for the home nation to put three consecutive series defeats behind them and get their hands on the prize that, for much too long if you’re of an English leaning, was in their possession.

For such a scenario to unfold, you would think that a robust period of preparation would be necessary, girding the loins so to speak for the challenge that awaits.

But no, why go down such a route when there is the chance to play a virtually meaningless contest in foreign conditions against an opposition who couldn’t emulate what is on the horizon if their lives depended on it?

For the Gabba in November, don’t read Jaipur in October.

And don’t confuse 25 days of attritional fare, which the tourists will attempt, with three hours of being flogged by bottom-handed Indians with a penchant for non-bouncing surfaces.

It almost, I say almost because they’ve got form, beggars belief that the Australians are on the sub-continent at this moment in time.

And the fact that Mitchell Johnson has just been sent home from the aforementioned to prepare for the Tests - “Mitch has performed very well in India, however, we believe it is best for his preparation ahead of a busy summer to have him return home to increase his bowling loads in preparation for the Ashes Test window,” said Pat Howard, Cricket Australia’s general manager team performance - merely highlights the stupidity of their schedule and shouted the question ‘what are they doing there in the first place?’

From reading between the lines, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, George Bailey and Jason Faulkner could all be involved in Brisbane yet they are being asked to prepare by doing anything but.

Meanwhile, England, despite starting in mediocre fashion in Perth, are getting ready for the event that features right at the top of their agenda by seeking to acclimatise in a professional and thorough manner.

Should half of the hosts’ side look undercooked come November 21 and the result is an unwanted one after the fifth instalment in Sydney in January, it won’t be any more than Cricket Australia deserve.

You can’t legislate for idiocy.