Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: Some more conglomerate teams

Opinion: Some more conglomerate teams

The ICC should also think about allowing 2 more, West Indies like conglomerate teams to be formed. They would be :

Channel Islands consisting of Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man
Pacific Islands consisting of all the Pacific Islands. This would include Fiji as the main center, and also Vanuatu, Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands etc. PNG will NOT be part of this conglomerate team.

Additionally, the ICC should perhaps think about adding Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Caymans and Bermuda into the West Indies, because frankly, thats the only way they can aspire to test status. I am actually surprised that these countries were not part of the original West Indies. I think Bermuda was perhaps part of it till the 1970s, when there was a fallout.

The two new teams should be fairly competitive, much better than what the countries can put together as individuals. There will also be consistency in standard because the player base is wider. Plus, the money can be better spent in perhaps not replicating basic administrative stuff implemented in all countries.

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Ram
    July 26, 2006 at 7:49 am


    1) Will Channel Islands, inspite of combining the 4 territories, have a significant population?…How about combining Wales as well into this given that Wales may also follow Scotland’s and Ireland’s way of separating from the UK?

    2) I think the Pacific Islands, if they do come into existence, should be able to field a pretty competitive ‘indigenous’ team since they’ll now have a bigger population implying decent playing numbers to choose from.

    3) Apart from the above mentioned countries, I also think Suriname, Belize and Panama should be added to the WI..

  2. July 26, 2006 at 10:25 am

    1) It will be a higher population than the countries individually….. i think perhaps a net population of 240K.

    Combing Wales!!! Wales, if it was to be a seperate country, has a population of 3 million people. Why would it need to be combined with anything? I am not combining countries to make them stronger, I am combining countries which are too small to go forward individually.

    3) Panama is big by itself. About 3 million people. No need to integrate them with anything. Belize and Suriname will find it difficult to integrate into the West Indies cricket structure. Suriname at least is socially a totaly different country, with different language, and even different ethnicity for their population. I think Belize and Suriname can be left as they are. And in any case, they are not in any reckoning at the momment.

  3. Bruce Gaskell
    July 26, 2006 at 11:54 am

    The Channel Islands only consist of Jersey and Guernsey (plus a few tiny islands) They have no geographic or historical tie to the Isle of Man, other than their strange semi independent status. I can’t imagine people associating strongly with such a conglomerate team.

    Obviously you could say the same about the Pacific Islands, although I think they are a more natural geographic grouping. I know they play a strange version of Cricket/rounders in Samoa and other places in the pacific. You can’t help but wish the real thing was more popular! Some Polynesians are brilliant sportsmen, though in stature and culture they are more suited to Rugby.

    Wales is too weak to be a top team but too strong to be messing around with associate nations. Its present status is OK for now.

  4. July 26, 2006 at 1:43 pm


    You can also say the same thing about Bermuda, that does not consider, and in fact isnt, part of the Carribbean in terms of culture. Turks, Caymans and the Bahamas are EXACTLY like the west indies cricketing islands so I dont know why they were not part of WI cricket federation. It would be really funny, if Turks or Caymans were not allowed in the west indies islands because they were too small :):). Now they are aspiring to be test countries and the ICC seems to be excited about it too.

    It is in fact the lack of association with the conglomerate team that made the ICC ban such moves in the first place. ICCs point of view was that in a conglomerate team, nobody takes interest in developing the game. I think the ICCs stance was ratified by Bermuda giving $11 million for cricket last year. They would not even have given 1/2 million if they were just part of the WI. The WI by itself as we is a good exmaple of how no individual country takes the frontline in terms of development and everyone looks at everyone else…

    But I feel that it is a painful waste of time to expect a tiny country to produce a world class team. It can happen, but it would be an exception. If it happens, then you can promote the country. But it is not possible to force the issue in a limited time of 3 years. They just dont have the talent or the numbers. They are good enough regional teams, but ODI or Test team with a player base of 2000 people is a joke.

  5. Ram
    July 26, 2006 at 8:34 pm


    1) Do you think a conglomerate team that’s representative of just 240K people can produce competitive teams consistently?..I feel they’ll lose out on the numbers game sooner or later..And, while Wales may be able to produce a competitive team of its own, combining them with these countries can make them stronger though I agree that identity crisis may be a problem..

    3) Panama, if I’m not wrong, is comparable to Jamaica/T&T when it terms to population and/or the size of their economies, which is quite small to survive as an independent country in the long run..

    Now..why am I so much into combining countries into one team?..While Suriname and Belize may be culturally different from WI and may not be in the reckoning at the moment, we must remember that they also eat into the ICC’s development money, which is being wasted on these countries simply because they don’t offer much potential…So, the ICC should look to combine these countries into one team so that not only their money can be used for other developing countries but also the conglomerate team may become competitive and stay competitive by NOT losing out on the numbers game..

    As I said earlier, even if the ICC were to exclude these countries from their development program, it will NOT hurt them in any way in the long run..so why bother?..If that sounds callous, then the ICC HAS to combine these small nations into one unit and then help them out..The ICC must remember that it’s not FIFA to be spending thousands of dollars on such countries..

  6. July 26, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Panama is about as big as New Zealand…. its bigger than Jamaica and about 3 times that of T&T.

    Random countries, unless they are very very small or something, cannot be combined into one team. Why should they be? If the country is bigger than a million, it should not have any trouble in getting to the 30-40K players mark, and that should be able to produce a decent team.

    By the way, a larger country does not mean that you will have a better team. You just need to have more than a certain number of players, and then after that it about other things. Your guess is as good as mine about what this magic number is, but I think 50K players is perhaps a good enough pick. India would have beaten New Zealand everytime they would have played if population was the main reason for a team being stronger.

    Wales cannot be combned with anything. If they want to seperate from England, then they should be made into a full associate, like Scotland.

    Random conglomerates would mean that West Africa, Middle East, East Africa and all sorts of other things would start showing up as well.

    I only included very tiny countries in my conglomerates.

    Regarding ICC money, Affiliates dont get any money, so I dont know how much Suriname or Belize are eating away.

  7. Ram
    July 27, 2006 at 4:18 pm


    It’s not just about the playing numbers we need to be worried about..It’s also about the size of the economy and getting people to the stadiums consistently in about 4-5 venues across the country because ultimately that’s what is going to take the game forward in any country…While Panama may have a population comparable to NZ’s, their economy is about a seventh of NZ’s and about the same as that of T&T, which means an economy much smaller than that of WI..When established Test nations like WI and NZ suffer from relatively low populations and/or smaller economies and are therefore dependent on the ICC for survival, I guess a country like Panama will only be a lot worser, even in the long run..

    About the showing up of entities like Middle East, West Africa etc, I think that would have to be based on the populations and economies of the countries making up the conglomerate..

    I know the Affiliates don’t get any ICC money but I don’t think it’ll be long before a Suriname or Belize becomes an Associate, given the number of countries that’ve graduated to Associate status in the last 3-4 years..I think that’s because on-field performances of the senior and age-group teams isn’t a criterion for graduating to Associate status; it just requires a full-time national board and an expansion of the existing domestic structure..

  8. July 28, 2006 at 2:31 am

    Nepal’s and Uganda’s economy is about 1/2 that of Panama.

    I dont think that size of economy matters that much if it is more than a certain number, just like playing numbers. If there are 50K people in the country patronizing the game, then the players in that country can easily make decent money, though it would not be what they would ideally like to make. If there are 50K people in 5 cities each patronziing the game, then the players would be all set. Thats only domestically. Internationally, if the team is good it should be able to make good money because it would be in a reasonably higher demand. But I feel it has to first be the domestic earnings, and only then will the results be good enough for the profile of the team to be raised as an international option.

    WI, NZ or Sri lanka should NOT ideally be dependent on the ICC for survival, especially Sri lanka. WI board has probably done a lot of mismanagement to be in the debt that it is in today. The problem is that none of these countries, nor the remaining ones, make much money from the domestic game, only internationals. Now if you dont get internationals scheduled in a particular year, like Sri lanka did not get much home cricket in the last year, you are not going to be able to make money. I think NZ is not dependent on ICC. Only WI, Zim and Sri are at the momment.

  9. Cuen Lucas
    July 28, 2006 at 5:06 am

    In the case of larger countries, a conglomerate team is still a got idea, becuase it allows countries to build up a cricket following to the point where that country can then be competitive on it’s own.

  10. sandeep
    July 28, 2006 at 7:01 am


    the ICC does not give any money to the test nations like srilanka,west indies etc. its the duty of the cricket boards of these countries to be viable themselves.
    new zealand cricket board is not in debt and it is in surplus .
    in case of westindies they lost 15 million dollars in 1999-2000 stock market bust and from then on are deep in debt trap . recently they laden with 35 million dollars in debt (most of it world cup expenses)which they r hoping to play off with receipts from world cup.
    regarding srilanka i dont think they are in debt . the main problem in srilankan cricket is the group fighting among the members.

    no cricketing country makes a profit from domestic cricket .
    ECB gives something like 1 million pound to each county as a grant to prevent the counties from becoming bancrupt. ditto cricket australia.
    however twenty20 cricket has changed the equation and is helping counties to stand on its own feet and ECB has substantially reduced funding to counties and is using the money saved to increase the profile of cricket in UK and broaden its appeal

  11. July 28, 2006 at 11:38 am


    I am 98% sure that WI and Sri depend upon the ICC’s profits for survival. When India was about to pass the law about free cricket to air a couple of months back, the ICC mentioned that it would “significantly reduce ICC profits, and dependent board LIKE Sri and WI cannot survive without their share”.

    I know the individual bodies are theoratically responsible, but at the moment the ICC is carrying Zim, Sri and WI.

  12. Anonymous
    July 28, 2006 at 11:59 am

    Actually, the point is all the 4 boards, namely Zim, Sri, WI and NZ are dependent on the ICC funding for survival, albiet in their own way..While Zim and WI are TOTALLY dependent on ICC funding for any substantial income, Sri and NZ make money only when they host Eng, Aus or Ind because these are the only 3 countries where TV rights are worth a good buck; the money SL and NZ make from annual sponsorships, ticket sales etc. is minimal which is why they struggle to break even over a 4-year cycle..So, ultimately they are dependent on the ICC funding for carrying out development programs or for miscellaneous expenses…With Ind playing in SL for 3 consecutive series in 2004, 2005, 2006, SL board is expected to turn into a profit-making organization very soon but the point is ALL these 4 boards struggle to stand on their own legs in a long term period..

  13. Ram
    July 28, 2006 at 6:50 pm


    It was me who, by mistake, posted as Anonymous above…So, you can address your response to me.. 🙂

  14. sandeep
    July 29, 2006 at 3:01 pm


    just analyzed new zealand cricket financial results from 2002 to 2005 . As RAM has pointed out they operate on 4 year cycle.
    from NZ website
    “NZC operates a four year cycle to cope with the fluctuating nature of revenues recieved between worldcups .in some years revenue is significantly higher due to NZC participation in international tournaments and in other years revenues are significantly reduced due to lower overseas broadcasting income from inbound tours”
    ICC gives each participating team 5 million dollars for world cup and 2 million for taking part in champions trophy.
    i have read a times of india article explaining what will happen when free telecast bill is passed it say cricket revenues to other cricketing bodies will drop by 15 to 20 % and that will effect zimbabwe the most as it depends entirely on indian tv rights and icc money due to tournment participation .
    less effected will be west indies,srilanka and new zealand in that order.

    to cut the long story short the article says the ICC doesnt give money to test nation execpt for participation in major tournments and its indian tv rights which keep the national boards running

  15. Jerseyman
    August 10, 2006 at 6:34 am

    As someone previously said Gibraltar and the Isle of Man aren’t part of the Channel Islands.

    One possible way of incorporating the Isle of Man with the Channel Islands is to group them as the Crown Dependencies.

    I personally wouldn’t mind a CI team if it took the standard up to Euro Div 1.

  16. August 10, 2006 at 11:02 am


    Crown dependencies would include other teams as well….. like Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands……. actually even Scotland 🙂

    I think Channel Islands is a better name……. they are also close to each other so it makes a domestic competition possible….. I dont think Gibraltar or Isle of Man would mind being incorporated in a CI team….. as you said, if it takes the standard higher….. and it would take it perhaps even higher than Denmark………..

    But its never going to happen…… ICC loves numbers……. it will not reduce its members by 3……

  17. Bruce Gaskell
    August 10, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    Scotland is a constituent country of the UK, like England, lets not belittle them. Just thought I’d get that in before an irate Scotsman does!

    Anyway, as regards the Channel Islands, let’s get the REAL channel islands playing together before we worry about any other arbitary grouping

  18. August 14, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    Over at Beyond The Boudary (http://btb.caughtbehind.com/) we have an interview with the chairman of the Guernsey Cricket Board, who gives us the reason why these combined teams would not only be disadvantagous to all parties, and are actually impossible.

  19. August 14, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    Oh, and Crown dependancies would only include Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, as they are the only Crown dependancies.

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