Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: Cup versus League….. again

Opinion: Cup versus League….. again

The Americas Region Championships are more than half way through. It all started off in Div III with Suriname, Turks and Caicos Islands, Chile and Brazil participating (listed in order of final standing in the Div). Suriname hence qualified for Div II. In Div II, Argentina, Bahamas, Panama, Suriname and Belize participated (listed in order of final standing). Suriname hence has become a Div II team, while Belize has been relegated to Div III for the next tournament. Argentina has qualified to Div I in August, which will also include Canada, Bermuda, USA and Cayman Islands.

This american region qualification was a different one. It had the divisions, but the promotions were for the SAME year, while the relegations were for the next year. The european model is the conventional model, where both the promotions and relegations are for the next year. The African model is totally different, where the affiliate countries first play each other in a pooled tournament. The winner of that tournament will play the associates, perhaps also in a pooled tournament. Asian qualification is a totally different one, with a single ACC Trophy, having 18 teams, being played out with 4 pools and crossover quarterfinals. Asian region has cited the lack of availability of the teams on a more regular basis as the reason for why they have a single tournament over a couple of weeks.

In many ways, I like the american model the best. That model would also be a great thing if they want to hold something similar every year, so that all countries have a regular calender. But the problem with this model is that there is excessive strain on the countries that actually win a division and are expected to go ahead and play again. Suriname had a problem in getting their team together for the Div II tournament after promotion, and when they finally made it belatedly, they had to play a match a few hours after their arrival, which off course meant lack luster performance. One should not expect normal working people, who work 9-6, to be able to take off a couple of weeks again and again.

Hence what makes most sense for Asia is the European model, perhaps with 8 teams in every division. I do not understand what advantage it would be for Brunei to play UAE, or China to play Nepal, or Iran to play Afghanistan. It would be better if the better teams faced off other good teams, so that they are tested further and improve. The weaker teams should not be exposed to team that will thrash them with 300 runs and make a mokery of everything. Who was it again who made 400 and then dismissed Brunei for 11 runs? Such matches are in no way good for development.

8 team division would have 28 league matches, and 4 ranking matches. thats 32 in all. At 4 games a day, the tournament can be over in 8-9 days. At 3 games a day, the tournament can be over in 11 days. So we will take a 2 week timeframe. Promotion and Relegation can take effect the next year.

The biggest problem in creating an industry for cricket in a new country is the amount of cricket that is played. Test countries see their teams in action for about 6 of the 12 months in a year. The period between tours is one of anticipation and cricket is still in the news. The new countries will see their teams in action for perhaps a week in the year. After which they are expected to wait for another year to get any more info. I think that by itself goes to dampen the interest level. How can you expect a person, who suddenly built appetite for the game, to then hang on and wait for a while year to get any further action. Especially since the ICC has no TV policy for new countries.

Categories: Cricket Development
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