Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: On the new ACC Trophy format…

Opinion: On the new ACC Trophy format…

It is a shame that lousy ACC needed a farce like the Myanmar 10 all out match to act….. but at least they have made the right choice……. in Urdu, there is a saying “Dair Aye par Durust Aye” roughly translated to “Better late than never”…..

According to my sources, the ACC is thinking of the Champions Cup, which will be the 8 team premier tournament, to be initially a 2 group set up, with cross over semi finals and the final…… my question is why?!?!?!? Why cant it be a league….. the league will only have 28 matches, no need for semis or the final…… the laegue can very easily be finished in 14 days (like ACC Trophies of the past) if 4 games are played every alternate day…. that way, teams will get the adequate rest as well…….. and it will be a true league match up, avoiding disgruntled teams like Nepal is likely to be this time around…..

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Categories: Cricket Development
  1. rego
    August 24, 2006 at 2:24 am

    an 8 team league? Nepal better not be disgruntled!..If they are to go anywhere with their cricket, they have to start beating teams like UAE. It really annoys me how everyone keeps saying that Nepal is going to win the ACC Trophy, and how all the Nepalese fans go crazy on all these blogs saying that they have the best team in the tournament, and then when they lose, start to blame the system. I think I warned other people on one of these blog sites not to overestimate the Nepalese team. They lost to Qatar in 2004, which was an unacceptable perfomance. You can’t just blame the system after losing to UAE by 9 wickets! A pathetic performance. Everyone just has to acknowledge that Nepal just aren’t good enough! Why?

    Its the same problem as Malaysia have. There are too many U-19 players in the senior side who lack the necessary experience. U-19 cricket is a whole different ball game to senior cricket. UAE are a seasoned side that are probably much better than most sides that played in the U-19 world cup. You can’t have 9 U-19 players in your team and expect to win the damn trophy!. I know Nepal have the best Non-test U-19 team in the world and thats whats brought them this far. But you need seasoned, and experienced campaigners to stand up in matches like these, and the problem is that Nepal just doesn’t have many. Its about time, Nepal started thinking more of the huge gap between their senior and U-19 teams and start to Implement A team programs, more tours, a national academy, and better facilities to match the interest of the sport there. Some of the Nepalese players are easily good enough to be playing Ranji cricket in some of the weaker states, or playing in the Bangladeshi National League Why in the world isn’t this happening?? Just look at Scotland and Ireland. They play county teams, county 2nds, university teams, cricket excellence teams, week in week out. What in the world is stopping Nepal from doing the same?

    I’m sorry to say this, but this is simply highlights the fact that Nepal are simply quite not there yet, and Roy Dias or not, if they don’t look into aspects of the sport domestically, they are going to keep Losing!@

  2. August 24, 2006 at 2:36 am

    Didnt Nepal just beat Hong Kong 5 days ago? I think they have every right to be disgruntled about the system if the system sends up Hong Kong over them after that…… this is unless ofcourse, Hong Kong were to go ahead and beat UAE as well…… then everyone would be quiet……. including myself………

    The thing is not about losing to UAE by 9 wickets……. they could have lost by 1 wicket and still it would have been as bad…….. the reason for that is the system……. it was supposed to find the best team in the asian region AFTER UAE and Oman, and it pitched arguably the second best team in the semi final against UAE……..

  3. rego
    August 24, 2006 at 3:30 am

    oh Nepal is definitely up there…they are a good team with a great future, but I don’t think they have the right to blame anybody but themselves for losing to UAE so badly. I don’t think we need to be talking about whether Nepal beat Hong Kong 5 days ago or not. Thats not the point. The point is Nepal were thrashed by UAE today and I don’ think that should be happening. This simply proves that Nepal is not ready to play the top associates. I think when you get to the semi finals of a tournament such as this, any team will be good. Hong Kong have proved this today by giving Afghanistan, who all of you have said are a wonderful team and are capable of beating county sides bla bla, a fight!

    It pitched ARGUABLY the second best team in the semis against UAE. I don’t think we can say for sure that Nepal have the second best team in the region. Fine they beat Kuwait, Bahrain, and wow, even Hong Kong, but alot of the praise for Nepal comes beccause of the sucesses of their junior teams. Nepal have never proved to anyone that they are the second best team in this region. They lost to Qatar last time around in the quarters, and ended up 5th in the competition. They couldn’t beat Fiji or PNG, and only narrowly beat Kuwait in the WCQ. Fine they beat UAE in the FAst Track tournament, but thats mainly because the UAE were without Khurram Khan Arshad Ali Saqib Ali Fahad Usman Ali Asad and a couple of others. That was more like a UAE A or B team. They haven’t been able to beat Singapore, Malaysia, or Hong Kong in three day games over the last year or two and many a time have struggled against them. They barely even beat Bahrain in the quarters!

    Bottom line! If Nepal really deserve to be playing against sides like USA, Uganda, and PNG at the WCQ, they certainly didn’t help anyone’s opinions today.

    If Nepal had played Hong Kong, you would’ve complained about Afghanistan,”arguably the second best team” in the competition, playing UAE. If Nepal had played AFghanistan, you would’ve complained about the best two teams after UAE playing each other.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a system like this. Jersey thrashed Norway in the group stages of the ECC div II but lost to them in the finals. but hey! did anyone say anything then? What are we going to start blaming next to cover up Nepali disasters? bad pitches? rain? bad hotel service? bad lunch time meals?

  4. August 24, 2006 at 4:17 am

    If Nepal had played Hong Kong, you would’ve complained about Afghanistan,”arguably the second best team” in the competition, playing UAE.

    I would have…… for the same reason that I am complaining now…..

    If Nepal had played AFghanistan, you would’ve complained about the best two teams after UAE playing each other.

    Uhhh, no I would not have complained in this case ……

  5. rego
    August 24, 2006 at 4:36 am

    oh haha. yeah srry..would have been acceptable for the best “two teams apart from UAE” to play in the semis. However, I happen to think Nepal have a bit more to prove before I become convinced they are the second best team in the tournament. The Nepal senior team has been overrated in the last couple of the years. They have developed immensely, but they aren’t there yet. They keep losing when it matters. Whose to say they wouldn’t have lost to Hong Kong today? they lost to Qatar last time! The system is somewhat flawed in the sense of having a 16 team tournament, but that doesn’t condone Nepals performance. If Saudi Arabia can stretch UAE to the edge, and Qatar can score 240 odd against them, 103 is not a score from the “second or third best country in the tournament.”

  6. August 24, 2006 at 5:02 am

    Latest news is that Hong Kong 157 beat Afghanistan 108-7 by 18 runs (D/L method) …. no more updates at this point in time……

    Rego…… as I said, even if Nepal had lost on the last ball of the match against UAE, the system would still have been flawed……..

    Here we are talking about a tournament at the finals stage, and nobody is sure of whether Nepal is better than Afghanistan or not, what Afghanistan would have done against UAE etc……. to me, what the system threw up was that Nepal ONLY lost to UAE in the tournament, and hong kong, that was second to Nepal is in the finals…….. it could have meant that Nepal was stronger than Afghanistan, it could have not, but the system didnt help in figuring it out…….

    Thats fine if you are looking for the best team in the region…… but it is not fine if you want the top 3-4 rankings accurately, which is what THIS ACC Trophy under the world league set out to achieve…….

  7. Noire
    August 24, 2006 at 5:22 am

    Rego mate, I sure do agree to u! We might not be there yet…but we are never overrated!! We have been robbed many times already..n we have more reasons than any other country in this region to be disgruntled! And the biggest by far is not being ablr to play Asia Cup..and why in the hell we werent invited to play afro-asian u-19, and the selection for WC 2003 when only Namibia went thru from our group where as there were two supposed to be going from each group! We have been robbed everytime!

    Let me diverge from the topic and converge again. When a movie is good, whole the cast n crew is acknowledged for that…but when its a flop, only the director is to blame!! So coming back to the topic again…when our team does well, we have the team, coach administration and all the fans behind to thank to…Players try hard, so its only the administration to blame to when we lose!! No ones goes onto the field, thinkin rite…I will stand here for 3 hrs..free lunch, free tea..I dont care how we lose or win! I am sure even Myanmar didnt think that..But who is to make sure the team does well and provide with equipments n facilities..its the adminsitration..so they are to blame.

    Yeah its easy to brag on abt how the Irish and scottish player make into the County. Its mainly becoz of the ECB and ECC putting effort into it. Scotland and Ireland play in the CnG trophy..they have players in the county..and its all becoz of the Council. But wut does ACC do to help our players…or even players from other competitive teams like Malaysia or HK . They take no incentive at all… And our most revered president of CAN, who is also the VP of ACC let them rob us of our Asian cup spot. Now that wud b a platform to perform. And rego, pls stop with, they wud/wudnt have performed against the big guns of Asia!! We wud def have…the fans, the players everyone wept when we wre robbed of our chances. And how do I know we wud have performed better?? We wud have got money for preparation. Perhaps our ODI status wud b better too, and we wud b in the top 8 and b playing in the Intercontinental Cup instead of Namibia. ANd this situation of losing to UAE by 9 wickets wud have been easily avoided.

    Dont misjudge small things in life. That can bring the full thing down. We respect our players coz we know they try hard. So its the system CAN works in that’s flawed. But then again wut wud u know abt almost being there, but not being able to finish it off. Thailand still has a long long long way to go!

  8. rego
    August 24, 2006 at 5:22 am

    I don’t think there is ever an accurate measure of who is 3rd and 4th especially in a region like Asia where there are so many competitive teams. I did say that I thought Nepal, AFghanistan, and UAE were well above the rest of the teams in terms of quality but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Nepal won narrowly in the quarters and afghanistan lost today. I don’t think I’m sure of anything looking at the results we had today. Nepal beat Hong Kong. Hong Kong beat Afghanistan. Does that mean that afghanistan is worse that Nepal? Not necessarily. In the same way you cannot say that Nepal is better than Hong Kong even though they might have one a group match against them.

    My point is that whether you have a league system or a knock out system, you are always going to have upset losses, and close matches especially with the quality of teams in Asia, barring UAE. Even if you had a league system between the top 8 teams in this tournament. You might have Hong Kong losing to Bahrain, then beating Afghanistan, then beating Qatar, and Qatar beating Bahrain and losing to Afghanistan. I don’t think there is an easily definable No. 2 or No. 3 in Asia.

    We saw this with the European Division 2 tournament with a whole flurry of contrasting results in the group stages, which saw most teams win and lose. Just because Norway happened to win that final against Jersey and not lose it like they did in the group stages, are you going to tell me that they are the clearly the new number 5 team in terms of quality in Europe? If Jersey had won that final, would you have thought differently?

    This is synonymous with the test world where you can’t really differentiate between Australia South AFrica England India Pakistan Sri Lanka. Some might be playing better in the present, but there is definitely no set number 1 and number 2 and number 3 in world cricket.

  9. Noire
    August 24, 2006 at 5:28 am

    thats why rego, a league system home and away based is the right thing..one can make up for its bad from last time…end of!!

  10. dr gul khan
    August 24, 2006 at 7:27 am

    You want the best teams to progrss..and in my opinion a league system is the only right way..then teams have a chance to recover from an upset..the knock system suits weaker teams who by virtue of an upset can get forward.This keeps weaker teams interested and that is one of reasons why acc keep continuing with such system.
    The gap between european ascoiates and asians will grow unless acc chnages things.

  11. Cuen Lucas
    August 24, 2006 at 9:14 am

    Nasir, I agree with your opinion that a league is the way to go, it might not produce an exciting, climactic final, but you do find out who the best team is because they have squared up against EVERY one of the other teams. As opposed to being able to sidestep at least two teams from the other group.

  12. Hossain
    August 24, 2006 at 9:42 am

    One thing is for sure- the Asian region is too competitive and crowded right now. In my opinion, ICC should either increase the number of slots for Asian countries in WLC Div 3 or should make Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei join the EAP region for world cup qualification purpose.

  13. August 24, 2006 at 11:51 am

    What Rego is saying is also valid…….. the thing is that these expat based teams, including UAE, are no higher in standard than a Pakistan B team…. in fact, for kicks you can call UAE, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Singapore and Kuwait as Pakistan C through I :)…….

    The thing is that for the teams to be competitive and work towards a global scale, they have to at least be better than a Pakistan C standard….. Nepal, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Maldives all have to work harder look OUT of league from the expat based teams……….

    The only thing going for indegenous or born and bred teams is that expat based teams are unlikely to improve beyond a certain standard…..

    Nepal and Afghanistan should look to anhilate the other teams in the region, and that kind of an attitude will ensure victory in every match……. there is no slip up allowed……..

    What one does have to cater to is the fact that unprofessional teams WILL have off days…… they WILL be inconsistent………. even professional teams are inconsistent…….. I do not think that a home and away series is possible…….. player availability, time and costs perhaps dont allow……. but who knows…..

    What can be done is that Nepal plays a lot with Afghanistan, and both of them play a lot with UAE ON THIER OWN……… if Nepal cannot beat UAE, then that should be their first target……… if Afghanistan cant beat UAE, then that should be their first target……… UAE being the champion team, should at least get an A team tour from one of the test countries every year to improve further……..

  14. August 24, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Well, it is to say that ACC must give chance the teams to play against each other to understand their weak points and to realize their quality and it as I think that there are not so much differences among the teams in this level of cricket. Through this league system the teams will get chance to face the each section of cricket. For example, a team is weak against spin bowling and they have won their first three matches against the teams who have not good spin bowler or have some fast bowler and after the three matches everyone would think that the team is very strong but at the fourth match when they will face against a team who are very strong at spin bowling the actual performance of that team will be brought out.
    So, I do not find any problem if ACC rule out a system where the best sides will play for the championship. This kind of matches is required to examine the temperament of the players as there are lots of pressures in the semi-final and final stages because these players will be next Pointing, Muralitharan, Tendulkar…….
    It is not unusual to think that Nepal is favorite in the tournament as they have done very well in the age-based tournament and also their National team is doing well. Nepal has a good infrastructure of cricket which is prerequisite for long term success.

  15. Noire
    August 24, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    I dont see a league based system in a long time…but I so wish ACC proves me wrong!! And as for good infrastructre in Nepal..Let me asure u Mr Ahemd, its as rubbish as any other country..no league, no money! The ony thing that is keeping us going is the craze!! Now if someone cud nurture that well!!

  16. August 24, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    Actually….. I just realized that there will be the 3rd place playoff between Nepal and Afghanistan……. that should clarify at least one point about who is stronger than whom…….

    Nepal has the right to be pissed IF and only IF:
    1) Nepal beats Afghanistan in 3rd place play off (meaning Nepal is better)
    2) UAE beats Hong Kong in the final (meaning Nepal was better than Hong Kong and that Hong Kong are still playing at the same level as when they faced Nepal in the prelimineries)

    if either one of these conditions is not true, then Nepal should not blame the system……

    Afghanistan cannot blame the system…….. they had a golden oppurtunity to get into the World Rankings……. but they bungled it………. now wait for 2 years ………

  17. August 24, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    I think there is one possibility that we have all ignored……. the tournament format doesnt matter whether it is league of knock out cup, if all that is needed is the best team………… so perhaps, ACC should not be playing teams that are already in World League…… in this case, UAE and Oman should not have been playing, and the others should have competed to find the next best team…………. then ACC could have arranged for a triangular between these three to give Oman and UAE some experience….. Africa is currently doing that……. none of Namibia, Kenya or Uganda are playing in their regional qualifier…….. there will probably be a seperate tournament scheduled for these 3 and the winner of their regioanl qualifier……

    I mean…… doesnt anyone else find it odd that Nepal cant qualify for Div THREE, because they were knocked out by a Div TWO team?

  18. Nishadh Rego
    August 24, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    Noire..I agree there have been times that Nepal has been “robbed” of a chance in the next round of tournaments, but you also have to understand that if Nepal wants to be the best or second best in Asia, it has to rise beyond the expat teams. You can’t keep losing to qatar or having close shaves with bahrain. Afghanistan can’t be losing to HOng KOng. Its just not on!

    I think what we have all established is that the system is flawed in some way or the other, but also that Nepal and Afghanistan failed when it mattered the most.

    I think the question of excluding Oman and UAE was out of the question, because it was always going to be interesting to see how Nepal and Afghanistan matched up to them and whether they could beat UAE. For a time during the tournament, I thought they actually could. I guess Oman destroyed the balance of the tournament alot. They proved that they were a fluke last time and that, I agree, is simply the fault of the knock out system. I think we need to see some sort of league system, but again the question arises of how we are going to divide the teams. I don’t any team in Asia, apart from UAE has proved they are consistent enough to prove to us that they are up there with UAE. I go back to my statment that apart from UAE, you have 7 or 8 teams capable of beating each other and because of this, a league system would be ineffective as well.

    Noire my man, I am not launching an assault on Nepali cricket. Nepal cricket has great potential however:
    I don’t think it is entirely up to the ACC to arrange a simple Nepal tour of Northern India or Bangladesh. The board simply has to ring up the Bangladesh Cricket Board and request a few matches with them. UAE have had so many tours by Srilanka U-23s, Sri Lanka A, and some of the Bangladesh development teams in the last couple of years. The onus is on CAN to arrange some of these tours.

    PS: Noire, Thailand has a loooong way to go before they aim for WCQ Div. III qualification…probably another 7 years…don’t even bring them into the picture yet

  19. dr gul khan
    August 25, 2006 at 12:46 am

    Does a third palce finish have any future advantages?….

  20. August 25, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Dr Gul…… no, the third place has no advantage…… except for the fact that perhaps in the next ACC Trophy in 2008, they will get better seeding than the 4th place team……

  21. Noire
    August 25, 2006 at 8:38 am

    Perhaps tougher competion is wut we need..then we start building resistance! I am glad AFG has broken into the scene…and they beat us for 3rd place..perhaps its a wakeup call for us..and hopefully things will only go right for us and everyone…

    I agree its not upto ACC, but hey they are the governing bodies of asian cricekt…and if they dont kick in the development plan I shud think they shudnt exist. Country’s own council can handle everything..everytime! But again I am not telling them to be biased only to Nepal or AFG or Malaysia. everyone should have equal opportunity to develop…and I just wish ACC was more like ECC. Also CAN is to blame, coz its taking no positive step wutsoever.

    Nevermind, I m just happy this fiasco is over…and hopefully the negative result will give some positive outcome in our cricket association, CAN that is.

  22. August 25, 2006 at 11:38 am

    Afghanistan beat Nepal……. hence no more blaming of the structure of the trophy by Nepal is acceptable…….

  23. Noire
    August 26, 2006 at 3:29 am

    Its not bad to defend own country…nways it wud b more relifing if we had lost properly instead of the D/L method..we still had two very good settled batsmen in the crease and few more to come..tho we had less hopw of winning! But its sad it had to end that way!

  24. Ritesh
    September 2, 2006 at 9:50 am

    i think the problem with nepal is all about the finance.if we go through the financial condition of some of the players of nepal we will find that some of them even don`t have their own home.they are not payed well due to which they don`t give whole concerntration on the game.they always are busy in some part time job for earning money.this has resulted into the reduction of qualitative and experienced players.moreover a new techinques of practice and exercises should be taken into process by them in order to get a better results.

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