Opinion: Professionalism debate heats up in Bermuda
Well….. I dont think it is going to help them that much because they dont seem to have the high talent level…. but it is good nonetheless that they are trying to enable full time players, at least for the short term. This is inherently a flawed way of going about it, to ask the player to take a leave of absense for a long period of time till the world cup and then return to it afterwards. When the person comes back to his job, he would find it difficult to start off from where he left off, at least if he is in a regular 9-5 job (not a problem if he is in manual labor!). Also, essentially players have to choose right now between their careers, and cricket for the next 10 months. I think if the decision is between cricket AS a career, or a regular career, it is different, but putting your job on the line for the sake of just playing cricket in the next 10 months so that they can give a decent performance in the World Cup is a tough ask.
Which is why, one of the most important things that the ICC should have done to enable the associates was to give them visibility for their future tours, both home and away. ICC should have set that up for them for the next 5-6 years or so, just like they were doing for the full members. That would have enabled the players to have something in his foresight beyond the world cup. I understand the ICC cannot do that because a new team may come up in the next ICC Trophy. That is why I mentioned that the 12 teams below Test level that have the most potential, namely the 6 ICC Trophy qualifiers and another 6, should be given a full calender to matches through tours etc, and it should have been planned out for the next 6 years.
Without a calender, without visibility on the events that are stacked up for the next year, and the year after that, people cannot be expected to give up their jobs for something else. Will you give up your job to play on tours, which the national body is going to try and arrange AFTER you become pro? Or tours that are not even there, but the national body is trying to work on it. Intercontinental cup is good, but 4 day games will not help in raising interest in the public to come out and back the national team. ICC’s calender for the assocaites is not packed enough for them to get the puclic interested, or to get a major sponsorship, or to get the players to think about becoming professional cricketers. ICC always responds that it is still a better situation for the associates than it used to be in the past, but better than before doesnt mean its good.