Australia is the outstanding Test team of our time, there can be no doubt. They have a batting lineup whose depth and talent is of historic proportions. Matthew Hayden demonstrated amazing staying power with his world record 380 against Zimbabwe at the WACA, while Adam Gilchrist is an extraordinary player to be coming in to bat at seven. The bowling, however, does not have the same immense depth to draw upon.
There's been a lot of friction in Zimbabwean cricketing circles over "black quotas" in team selection. I believe that an "affirmative action" policy is important for the long-term development of the game in Zimbabwe. It's a pity that the ZCU is not being open and transparent about its motives.
It is clear that there has been a lot of dissatisfaction among some of the country's leading white players in recent years. Murray Goodwin stated it in a rather unsubtle fashion the other day when he said that black players were getting a "free ride" into the team without having to "perform as well as the European guys to get a game". (It looks like he's in trouble with the WACA over those comments, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Sussex CCC, his northern hemisphere employer, has words to him as well.)
Imagine purchasing a nice new copy of the Bible, and flicking through in search of the Ten Commandments only to find that they had been removed "for space reasons". Such is the problem with the 2003 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.
Known widely as "the bible of cricket", the annual - now into its 140th consecutive year of publication - is regarded as the most comprehensive reference work on the game. Yet the 2003 edition, a record 1760 pages in size, has no room for one its most fundamental and valuable resources.