Home > Bermuda, Cricket Development, General Cricket, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland > Spurring the Cricket Industry [I]

Spurring the Cricket Industry [I]

Looks like for once, some great news came out for the associates. The ICC announced a schedule of ODIs for the 6 new nations (well, Kenya is not new, but reborn). There are going to be 64 games in all involving the minnows. Kenya will play 28 (thats a lot of cricket), Bermuda 20, Canada 17, Netherlands 15, Scotland 14 and Ireland only 11. However, both Ireland and Scotland are included in this year’s C&G Trophy, where they will each get 9 limited overs matches against English County sides. So even if they are playing 1/2 and 1/3rd of the cricket that Kenya is playing in terms of ODI, they will still get around 23 and 20 good cricket games respectively.

The good thing is that 55 of the games are all going to be in some associate country. So there will be oppurtunity for the people IN say…. Bermuda to see their stars in action.

Now the cricitical question comes up. Will people in Kenya, Canada, Ireland, Scotland etc come to see these matches? Will these games get the attention in the media, and (I am allowed to dream) even on local television? If that doesnt happen then the ICC has a serious problem. I am a little skeptical because the intercontinental cup games hardly caused anyone, barring a few, to go and support their team. Is it that even in the second tier, the interest is only when their team plays a big name team? Some big name matches are still on the card as Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland will take on Pakistan, Srilanka and England respectively in the summer. But then again, I am positive because unless you ask the question, you will never know the answer. A regular calender was extremely important to start off the process, and the ICC has done that well. Hopefully, it will not just be till the next world cup, and they will also get another 64 games AFTER the world cup for that year. I think thats the ICC plan, otherwise what was the point of giving them ODI status for 3.5 years.

But I really want that people in these countries come to the stadiums to watch these games. That way the associations will make money. And that would make it possible for the players to think about switching professionally to cricket. That move in turn would make them play even more, and almost always at full strength, and their chances of entertaining the crowd, and also the chances of victory will be much higher. Eventually, it would make it viable for the production companies to start showing the games on TV in these countries, and the cricket industry would get spurred in them. Once that happens, then more and more kids start watching and taking up the game and the standard automatically keeps going higher.

If you read my blog below, you will notice that this was the only way the ICC could change things. There is no other way. ODI cricket is serious business. Records are well kept, the whole world is following. Screwups stay with you forever in history books. Umpiring is of the higest stadard, grounds and pitches are inspected properly and approved. And there is just a tremendous oppurtunity to make a name at least amongst the test nations. All of these statistical analysis that are done on cricinfo start showing up names of players from these countries as well. I for one dont know of any south asian newspaper that does NOT carry the scorecard of ANY ODI immeditely the next day in their edition. Hence the exposure through an ODI is a lot lot lot more than playing limited over friendlies with other nations.

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