Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: Nations that will make it…..

Opinion: Nations that will make it…..

So which nations do I think have a really really good chance of making it past the associate tag?

Scotland: They have everything going for them, money, govt backing, 2 hrs to a test playing country, playing numbers, 3 ODI standard grounds, 4 players in English county circuit….. they are ready to play, and give the test teams a decent competition ………

Bermuda: National sport and pastime, tremendous public and govt backing, playing numbers are very high in terms of percentage…. their main problem is population, only 62000….. and that shows up in one way or another somewhere….. but they are trying to professionalize their circuit, the players are becoming semi pros, they are getting a high number of games, they are making a high number of tours to play domestic sides of west indies and england…. cricket is on tv as well…… but population is at some point in time going to catch up, because they just cant find the 1 in a million player….. they may become a champion side, but will probably not be able to do so consistently….. one thing to take note is that Bermuda is the only country in the carribean, or close to it, that has a positive net immigration….. so that means their population is growing….. one can expect the population to perhaps go up to 100K in 10 years, but you have to take the size of the island into accoutn as well and this may not materialize….. They are not there yet, and with a population like that, it is difficult to predict when they will do what……

Ireland: Seems that they get a reasonable amount of cricket on tv as well…… their team is pretty decent, but their biggest problem seems to be holding onto the player and not losing him to England….. they have already lost Ed Joyce to England, and are now on cards to lose Eoin Morgan as well as he has intended to immigrate to England as well to play at a higher level….. govt backing is decent, playing numbers are on the high side….. 2-3 years of experience will polish them out……

Nepal: Numbers dont tell the correct story…… there must be close to 20-30K cricketers in Nepal though the official number is around 10K…. street cricket is pretty popular….. their U19 team is better than a few test teams colts….. this means that their main problem si getting the good youngsters to play cricket for a living i.e. contracting good players for the national team….. cricket is on tv all the time in Nepal, as they get the same feed as India and Pakistan do…… an U19 ACC cup final against Malaysia got 20K people to show up in the stadium to back the team….. govt backing is as good as any small sport can be in south asia, but some organizations are now trying to hire cricketers for the purpose of playing cricket ….. talent wise they are ok, probably need experience……..

Afghanistan: This country probably has a million cricketers, and no ground or facilities….. forget grounds and facilities, they need to invest in other more important infrastructure and security apparatus….. no team would want to tour them if the current situation prevails….. 3-4 million afghans lived in Pakistan between 1980-2001, and are only now returning back, and they have a very high level of talent, but very little experience….. cricket is followed on tv/radio, and even the team that beat MCC recently was given a grand reception on returning home….. simplest thing for them to do would be to play in Pakistan domestic circuit, making Peshawar as their home ground…… cricket is the number 1 sport in Afghanistan….. technically they can be ready in 2-3 years if given the experience, because they already have the talent and a tough selection pool…….

Maldives…. very weak team, and low playing numbers, but I dont think thats going to be the case for long…… cricket crazy president of the country, cricket on tv all the time, and a lot of govt and industry backing…… their recent 20 20 cup was sponsored by 3-4 sponsors….. and the final was also shown live on tv…… so things are definitely picking up over there, but i feel it will be 10 years for them starting now……

Malaysia: The highest number of juniors playing hardball cricket in the world, Malaysia went about development of the game in the classic manner….. teach under 10 kids the game and wait for them to grow up….. well, they havfe grown up now, and their U19 team was 80% indegenous malaysian boys….. their U15 team was totally indegenous…… and their U19 standard is pretty high as well, they have only lost to Nepal in the U19 ACC trophy in the last 2 editions…. govt backing is not that high, public interest is quite low as well….. institutional backing is high, and looks like the main reason for development of the game is the cricket association and their head, Tuanku Imran, working tirelessly day and night…. 5 years should see their U19 kids transition into adults……. the other thing that they have done is that their national team is contracted, and they are perhaps the only associate country to be doing that……. one of their players, Suppiah, also plays for Somerset in English County……

Thailand: Very high number of kids getting into the game…… but they are still at the U13-U15 level, which means that it will be about 10 years for them……

Uganda: has 30K cricketers overall, and cricket apparently also has a snob value in that country….. They somehow are never able to perform in the tournaments though they are super stars at home….. this may have to do with quality of pitches, or if they play on pitches at all…….. I think we are looking at 5 years with them as well……. Kenneth Kamyuka is their best player who plays professionally for SA clubs and also some clubs in England …….. govt backing is minimal, but NGO backing is very high, and the ICC grants translate into millions in Uganda…… so they have no problem with money………. their cricketers can also try to find market for professional contracts in Bangladesh, like Tikolo did……… as they remuneration would be relatively quite high ……… cricket is not on regular tv, but it is on super sport, which is shown all over southern, east and west africa……. Uganda is probably a matter of 5 years…….

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Cuen Lucas
    May 13, 2006 at 1:32 am

    No Netherlands?

    One of the things that will prove problematic is this, it’s an excerpt from the full member requirments PDF

    “Special events
    To be able to stage Test, ODI and first class cricket at various venues in accordance with requirements of ICC

    The problem of getting grounds to a first-class and international standard is the biggest and unfortunately the most expensive of the steps to going from Associate to Full member. Some of the countries can overcome the financial barrier because of a favourable exchange rate, but it still takes time to develop these standards.

    Of the countries listed, Scotland is the most likely to progress, as you said at the top of your article, they are the ones who have the most going for them and the World Cup will most likely be the yardstick that they’ll use to see just how far they are from the test nations performance wise.

  2. May 14, 2006 at 1:41 am

    well….. after finishing the entry, i realized that i had also missed out Kenya…… but the thing with Neterlands and Kenya is……. Netherlands does the things perfectly, but have a very small player base, around 5000 total cricketers……… but yes, they have a good domestic structure, they hire test players to come and coach them and play in their domestic, they play on turf pitches, they make sure they develop their age level squads and try to give them good experience through test country tours……. but they lack the player base, esp at the junior level…….

    Kenya is an enigma…….. they produced Tikolo, Otieno, Odumbe, Suji, Odoyo……… but they produced them in 1997 and these guys are still their only players…… their new generation does not seem to be able to emulate their steps……….. so I am not sure if Tikolo etc were the exception or the rule ??? Nick Deverell think they are the rule….. but its debateable…….. perhaps the best time for Kenya to keep playing a lot of cricket was in the last 3 years, but they have had internal problems which may have taken the game 10 years back over there……….

  3. May 16, 2006 at 7:03 pm

    Hey Nasir,
    I think your take on the countries you listed was pretty accurate, but do think you undervalue Kenya.
    In terms of positives, we have 4 ODI venues in Nairobi, and Mombasa Club are working hard to get that status as well.
    Don’t forget Tikolo et al. taught themselves the game. Cricket Kenya has a stated aim of introducing a nationwide youth league. That will make a big difference to bringing new talent through.
    Internal problems have set the game back a lot, but things are now definitely moving in the right direction.
    Sponsorship is still a stumbling block, but some progress is being made there, and with the full schedule of the next two years, I expect this to pick up.
    Climate is also on Kenya’s side. Really, there are only about 1, maybe two months a year that cricket cannot be played.
    Next World Cup will not be great, but by 2011, watch out.

  4. May 17, 2006 at 12:01 am


    I dont undervalue Kenya…… I have tried, as a fan, to watch all of their games which were ever shown live on TV…….. it just gives me a lot of pain to see the brightest associate country of 4-5 years back run cricket the way htey have been doing in recent times……..

    However…… you know about Kenya Cricket about a 100 times more than I do…… so I will take your word for it 🙂 I hope that things are looking up over there……

  5. June 5, 2006 at 1:47 am

    actually….. i should have had Kenya and Netherlands in this list as well…… my reservations might have been ill founded about their non inclusion……

    One look at the ideal Netherlands team today would show that there are a lot of players there who have at least 5-10 years of cricket left in them, even if one assumes early retirement at 35. In fact, Alexei Kervezee, Pieter Seelar, Peter Borren all have around 15 years or more of cricket left in them because they are very very young. Kervezee is only 16 at the momment. Only Tim De Leede, Darron Reekers and Captain Van Troost and Jerome Smits are quite old, but recently none of them have been performing except the captain. In fact, Smits is blocking Atse Buurman from being in the team who is not only as capable a keeper, but a top order full fledged batsman as well who performed reasonably in the Euro Asia tournament. Billy Stelling was another player who is quite old, but at the momment, he is not getting selected either in Netherlands national team, nor their A team.

    So Netherlands probably are well set at least for the next 10 years. In that timeframe, it would be a matter of whether they can produce more and more such cricketers to at least see that their standard does not fall.

  6. June 6, 2006 at 3:01 am

    There is a mistake in this post that I learnt about today. Arul Suppiah plays for Somerset in the English county, and he is not the Malaysian player Rohan Vishnu Suppiah. So Malaysia does NOT have any players in the English county circuit.

  7. Nishadh Rego
    August 11, 2006 at 7:03 am

    Arul Suppiah is Rohan Vishnu Suppiah’s brother and has also represented Malaysia when present in the country. I don’t know too much about the non-Asian countries, but Malaysia, China, Thailand, Nepal, Afghanistan, and possibly Maldives are the countries that will make up the strength of Asian cricket in the years to come, simply because the majority of them have large populations and immense scope for development. Playing numbers in Thailand amongst the U-13s U-15s and U-17s throughout the country are about 10000+, which augurs well for the future as Nasir stated. Malaysia is already a force to be reckoned with just needs that extra bit of professionalism in its domestic structure. The other problem with Malaysia is that alot of players quit the sport after the U-19 level because the only international cricket after the U-19 level is the senior team. There isn’t an A team, no academies, and no high performance programs, and this bridge from the U-19 level to Seniors is something the Malaysians desperately need to look at.

  8. May 9, 2007 at 6:36 am

    interestingly, nothing has changed much in a year……. i would still generally have the most of the same teams up there and say that they are serious contenders for the development of the game……..

    I would probably take out Thailand and Bermuda…….. Thailand has some kids playing, but their numbers this year were not that impressive…… and the fact that they were unable to qualify for the elite u15 asia level tournament, tells me that we are looking at 15 years……. perhaps the same amount of time as China 🙂

    I would like to add Namibia…… but the more one looks at the zim situation, the more the question comes up upon the viability of a game played by whites in a predominantly black country……. however, Namibia is trying to get colored players into their domestic ranks, at least at the age level……… so I would put them in there as well…… plus their performance was very good against the SA provincial sides…….

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