Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: Why associate countries are weak?

Opinion: Why associate countries are weak?

I thought I will just list out the points here at the momment, and then delve into the details of every point in individual blog entries. Ofcourse most of my readers here would not need any explanation of the points, because they are fairly straightforward to understand. However, the weight that I will be giving to every point is probably going to be different in other people’s opinion, and I would like to know what they think.

  1. 27.5% – Infrastructure and Training Facilities i.e. Getting best 100 players in the country to play against each other, regularly over a couple of months in the domestic competition. Holding age level tournaments to identify talented players at a young age (U19, U17, U15, U13, U11, U9). By training facilities I mean coahing, nets, bowling machines, playing equipment, grounds, pitches, video analysis, curators, sightscreens, wicket covers, mobile nets for center practise, portable pitches for nets etc. 
  2. 25%Lack of games against better opposition (i.e. Friendlies against test teams, against better associates, against domestic test sides etc.)
  3. 20%Lack of playing numbers (born and bred players)
  4. 17.5%Amateurism (i.e. Lack of time dedication to sport, lack of time dedication to fitness, worrying about earning a living, players not being able to get time off from work, losing players to professional outfits)
  5. 5%Ineffective coaching for national team
  6. 5%Lack of fitness (short of being injured)
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Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Ram
    June 21, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    I would also like to include: Inherent lack of public support (includes media coverage) and/or a poor national economy resulting in lack of sponsorship!

  2. June 21, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Good article.

    I think you reasons are pretty much spot on, but would give much greater weighting (+10%) to the lack of facilities (especially if you include infrastructure). Certainly for those Associates from the third world.
    Amateurism I think is too heavily weighted ÍMO by about 10%,
    ditto Lack of quality opposition by 10%.
    I’d give each of 3 & 4 an extra 5% – certainly in Kenya’s case, this would make a big difference.

    Also, I think the weighting of these reasons would vary quite a bit from country to country.

  3. Cuen Lucas
    June 22, 2006 at 5:09 am

    I’d like to take point 3 a step further and say that a lack of a first-class system could also play a hand,
    I might have mentioned this on this before but James Anderson was saying how big the difference between first-class cricket and international cricket is, so it’s safe to assume that the jump between club cricket and international cricket must be huge.

    Ram touched on a good point, public interest and decent media coverage not only encourages sponsors to come forward, it also ecourages people to step forward in participate in various aspects.

  4. June 26, 2006 at 1:21 am

    Cuen,

    I think it is unrealistic to have assocaite countries play 3 day, 2 innings games. Already, you are pushing the amateurs who take out a whole weekend to play their One day domestic game. 3 day game is just not possible given that all of them have to go to work on Monday.

    Secondly, do we consider the Hoofdklasse in Netherlands or the Elite Division in Denamrk to be domestic system? or Club system? Because these are clubs playing the highest level of domestic games in those countries. They arent regional teams.

  5. July 5, 2006 at 1:37 am

    Cuen/Ram,

    Lack of media coverage is only a factor of lack of playing numbers I think. But Ram, you mentioned the term ‘inherent support’ which would make my statement be ‘… only a factor of lack of INDEGENOUS playing numbers’….

    All in all, media coverage can only get more people INTO the game, and that can increase the playing numbers, hence indeirectly leading to a raised standard in the national team. Otherwise, if the media coverage does NOT lead to increased playing numbers, how exactly is the playing standard going to go up just by extra media coverage? Media coverage can also help in getting sponsorship for the team, hence leading to an increase in money, hence indirectly leading to all of the top 3 points mentioned.

    What I listed here were reasons WHY the associates are weak. These can also be construed as things that need to be taken care of to improve standard. Media coverage would be the HOW TO part in that discussion….. at least thats how I understand the whole cycle.

  6. Ram
    July 5, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Nasir,

    By lack of inherent public support, what I meant was the public’s attitude towards the game is by itself an important factor. For example, while Scotland, Ireland and other European countries have been exposed to cricket for more than a century as against Afghanistan or Nepal where cricket is a much newer phenomenon, the playing numbers (and in turn media coverage and the game’s following) over there are lower than what it is in these Asian countries. I hope you get the drift here..

  7. July 25, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    After Bermuda’s great performance these days, I think that I may have weighed in the lack of playing numbers too lowly. Bermuda have had a tour of UAE, West Indies, and also England. In addition to that they have had a triangular series against Zimbabwe and Canada. They just on getting worse. Thsi may mean that lack of inherent public support does not really matter that much if the numbers arent there to show it, and also that the facilities or professionalism cannot improve the players that much if they are low on talent to start off with, and the team cannot improve much because the lack of playing numbers doesnt allow more talent to show up.

    Open to discussion on this.

  8. Ram
    July 26, 2006 at 7:31 am

    I think Bermuda’s low cricketing standards seem to stem from lack of proper training on turf wickets, not to mention the public attitude..I tend to think that their fans are contended with whatever they can achieve, even if that’s a thrashing in a 20/20 game against Jamaica..For such a small country with little sporting achievement, I guess their fans don’t set high standards for their national team..Probably, I should also add the “lack of right public attitude towards the game” to my earlier comment about “lack of inherent public support”..

  9. July 28, 2006 at 4:25 am

    I have made a change in the numbers in this post. i realized that the lack of grass pitch experience, which I had mentioned with a weight of 7.5%, was essentially covered in the LACK OF FACILITIES which I had weighed at 5%. So I have combined them, and now the LACK OF FACILITIES is weighed at 12.5%.

    I also realized that the lack of playing numbers is much more important than the 12.5% that I had weighed it at. I increased that to 20%. Without the numbers, there is little chance of unearthing potential and talent to be nurtured, and without the basic potential, ability or talent, you can have all the facilities and arrange all the matches you would want, but the team is not going to improve beyond a certain level. Bermuda is a good example of this theory.

    In order to complete the total of 100, I then had to take out 5% from LACK OF GAMES AGAINST STRONGER OPPOTION, and had to take out 2.5% from AMATEURISM.

    Please go ahead and give your comments on these changes.

  10. August 11, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    btw…. I would like to clarify that when I say INEFFECTIVE COACHING, I mean the coach for the national team……… coaching at the age levels is extremely important….. but that I think comes under facilities……….. however, you have to take into account that the kids in Pakistan, most on them on the streets, hardly receive any coaching…… its mostly al lot of cricket being played, and the kids learning from every experience…….. in some cases though, elder kids teach the younger ones how to play the game, but they are not qualified coaches……….. majority of the kids learn a lot after watching game after game on tv……..

  11. September 11, 2006 at 4:22 am

    Rego….. do you have a comment for this blog entry?

  12. rego
    September 11, 2006 at 7:01 am

    There are series of processes a country has to go through before it can reach test level or even the top of the associate level chain. First and foremost, you have to have a large player base with locals involved. Without this you’re only going to reach a certain level. Once you have this, the money should come in from corporate groups, the government and other interested public parties. Once this happens, the facilities, coaching, development programs, games against better opposition should cease to remain a problem.

    I think each country has to be viewed different because everyone has their own unique problems. However, there is one inherent trend present in every test country that isn’t present in a single associate nation today except for maybe Nepal. The public masses have to be aware and knowledgeable of the sport, and have to be supporting their players.

    This worked in Bangladesh where it was the people’s interest that brought money into the sport there, improved facilities, coaching staff, professionalism etc, ultimately bringing them test status. This is what is ultimately needed for an associate to improve consistently and be competitive. Bermuda seem to be on the right track in every aspect and it remains to be seen whether they can use the money they have to improve the domestic game and consistently produce quality players with the small population that they have. Nepal, Afghanistan, and Uganda have the numbers, the coaching staff, the professionalism, but lack the exposure, and facilities to make that next step. This is a problem that can be solved easily with more Money!

    Let me round it off with a few sentences. Associates are weak primarily because, as of now, the majority of the population doesn’t play, or even know about the sport, in these countries. Once this happens, the money comes in, popularity surges even more, and the country automatically improves. It all about getting the money and using it wisely. Nepal, Afghanistan, and Uganda seem the closest to the jackpot. With the right money in the right hands, it will take them less than 5 years to become test nations.

  13. September 11, 2006 at 11:32 am

    Just a comment that I would like to make…… Uganda is an extremely poor country….. they have average monthly household income of $20……. the $50K that the ICC gives to Uganda every year, its like giving $9mil to the US……… what US can do with $9mil a year is what Uganda, given their economy, should be able to do with $50K……..

    I think they are not managing their senior team properly……. it would not be difficult for them to make a professional, paid squad of 16 and pay them even 5 times the average household income in Uganda by only using a portion of the ICC’s associate grant.

  14. rego
    September 11, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    ARe you sure USA still gets $9 million after the internal fracas that took place there? Don’t compare USA with Uganda because if the ICC got USA to embrace the game, its popularity would increase ten fold, financial resources would increase ten fold, and a whole host of massive benefits would come world cricket’s way

    Uganda need to get more financial support from corporate sponsors and affluent members of the Ugandan or South African public. Ireland and Scotland have reached where they are without any special ICC help.

  15. September 11, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    I am not comparing Uganda with USA……. I am only saying that $50K in Uganda ‘is like’ $9million in USA, just to get a perspective on what can be achieved with the ICC basic funding in African countries.

    No, USA is NOT getting any funding except for the associate funding from the ICC at the momment…………..

  16. September 13, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    I have made another change to the post…… I have combined Infrastructure and Facilities into one point, and since they had weightage of 15% and 12.5% respectively, the combined point now has 27.5% weight and is number 1.

    I made this change, because it is difficult to seperate facilities from infrastructure. A good infrastructure INVOLVES good facilities, it involves talent development USING those good facilties at all age levels and senior teams etc. etc. Also, a good infrastructure will have the facilities easily accessible. There is little point in having a facility which is 100 miles away from the main town center. A good infrastructure will take all these things into account.

  17. September 13, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Rego,

    I am not 100% sure, but I think that both Ireland and Scotland were getting a special funding or around $100K, or maybe pounds, each year from ECB for cricket development. ECB has recently stopped that, perhaps because they are also spending extra money in incorporating both these countries into the C&G Trophy.

    Again, I am not 100% sure on this statement, I just remember having read this somewhere……..

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