Ex-batsman Benaud says 'struggling' Oz cricket on verge of withering like Windies

Sydney, Mar 11 (ANI): Ahead of the third Test against India in Mohali, starting on Thursday, former Test batsman John Benaud has claimed Australia's current struggles in this series is evidence of some of the ills he believes are eroding their status as a cricketing superpower, adding Oz cricket is on the verge of going down just like the great West Indies team.

Australia's Sheffield Shield has long been considered the best domestic competition in world cricket, but Benaud now believes it is an ailing imitation of the format that produced champions such as Warne, Steve and Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Mark Taylor, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath in the 1980s and '90s, News.com.au reports.

With Australia facing a daunting Ashes mission in July, Benaud believes complacency and a flagging strategic vision has left Australian cricket in danger of collapsing like the mighty West Indies.

Benaud said he is sorry, but the Sheffield Shield competition has gone backwards, adding the game has gone right off the pace and the cricket administrators should be worried.

Benaud further said cricket in Australia is in trouble, adding you can have your Argus Review (a sweeping probe of the game conducted after Australia's Ashes loss in 2010-11), but unless someone does something and you get some experienced, knowledgeable cricketers back in the scene, they are going to keep struggling.

Benaud added England has got their act together, but they haven't got ours together, adding county cricket (in England) has now overtaken Sheffield Shield in terms of quality.

The former Test panelist said they are like the West Indies, they got comfortable whacking everyone and lost sight of the grassroots and the importance of bring the next generation through, adding unfortunately, they got complacent and now it's biting them on the bum. (ANI)

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