Home > Scotland > News: Scottish govt might get interested….

News: Scottish govt might get interested….

I think this is really good news. I believe that Scotland is trying to get around $500,000 (about 270K pounds) per year from the govt if they get incorporated as an elite sport in sportscotland. That would be a huge jump, from the current level of around $80K (50K pounds) per year.

This money is only for the elite level, as the junior programs already get a lot of money from the govt. Now at the elite level, does that mean that it also takes the national league into account?? Or are we talking only about the natioanal squad of 14?

Either way, after Bermuda, looks like Scotland govt is taking the step up as well. While Bermuda is not doing too well, and that has many reasons, if the govt recognition for cricket comes through, I think we are looking at pretty much the next permanent ODI member in Scotland.

Ireland perhaps also needs to take the step up. Both these countries have enough population interested to get the govt to start backing them seriously.

So…… for Scotland……. the standard of the team is quite high, players are experienced, sponsor is there, govt is getting interested, grassroots programs are well funded and well attended, they have the highest (senior + junior) playing numbers in associates, facilities are quite decent with 2-3 ODI grounds……….

There are only 2 issues that they need to look at. First, their calender is not well packed. They should be taking the initiative to organize more of the Bangladesh (Dec) type tours. They should look to play West Indies, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh at whatever oppurtunity they get. The second point of concern for them would be their age level teams. Not a very strong U19 team, losing to Netherlands in the overall standing in EU championships, and finishing last in the U19 WC in Feb 06 (below Uganda and Nambia, and USA).

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Categories: Scotland
  1. October 26, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    This is great news. Scotland has more cricket players than rugby players, and more cricket fans per capita than England. Thank god we’re seeing this input now, when our country is on the verge of its second world cup. I remember one MSP slating that we had cricket on the telly, saying it had nothing to do with Scotland. There can be a great deal of prejudice and ignorance about cricket north of the border, but it is our second national game.

  2. October 26, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    I remember reading something once about how sky sports tv audience in scotland for the 2005 ashes was touching 400K !!….. it surprised even the most knowledgeable of cricket pundits……….

    so Scotland definitely has a following for the game…… what they lacked was their own product, and it is good to see that that is coming along well………

    I think there IS a market if Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Holland are thought of in a set……. More and more games between these teams will not only improve their standards, but also create interesting matches and rivalries…….

    Scotland needs to think beyond Zim’s political situation as well…….. England by itself tours Zim, so Scotland should also take the initiative…… it would be dead cheap, and the competition would be against full test opposition….. at least in name, and would help in raising scotland’s cricket image if they can come away with victories…..

  3. Peter Snyman
    October 26, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Two things;
    (1) where do you expect Scotland, or anyone else, to find the money to carry out this program you keep advocating? Where do the players get the time? Cricket is still light years away from becoming a proper professional sport in Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, or wherever.
    (2) has the moral question about visiting Zimbabwe been conveniently forgotten – as the iCC would like it to be?
    All this home spun theory about Associate nations doing this, that, and the other is just pie in the sky stuff and you are once again simply rambling on. You need to visit some of the leading Associates and see how terrible their domestic cricket is, and how poor their administation is, to realise that they are simply not geared up for international cricket at the higher levels. Then you will see that the long term feasibility of them joining the leading nations is next to nil.

  4. Bruce Gaskell
    October 27, 2006 at 3:21 am

    Peter,
    Surely the whole point of this development is that Scotland can introduce a degree of professionalism with this extra money? Especially as it seems targeted towards the elite level.

    With regard to the quality of Cricket/administration in associates, well Bangladesh were probably pretty dire in this regard when they got Test status, but all but the most elitist think they are worth taking a punt on.

    I don’t know why the Scottish domestic leagues should be particularly poor, but someone else can probably comment on this.

  5. Peter Snyman
    October 27, 2006 at 6:36 am

    The cost of professionalism is very high – even a meagre 20,000 dollars per annum amounts to something huge for a squad of 15 players, say. And you need more players than that given that you need constantly to be bringing in young players to any squad. It’s decent opponents and television coverage that you need before you can get real bucks – and where are Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland going to get that from? Ireland v West Indies, Scotland v India, that appears to be your lot for 2007- and will they even be on TV?

  6. October 27, 2006 at 10:48 am

    Scotland is trying to get about 300K pounds per year for their team…… it is quite easy for them to professionalize at least 5-6 players with that money (why pro the whole squad at the beginning?)….. the rest of the money can go into tours…… if scotland were to beat Bangaldesh in Dec, then you are looking at possible future invitations……… at least more than Zim…….. Scotland v India is likely to generate something close to $1million for Scotland………

    The whole point of getting the govt involved is to get some money for all the professiolism of the sport…… it is possible to start off a chain reaction from there onwards…. improve standard, be competitve, get some following, get sponsors (domestic or foreign)…..

    No country can go from amateur to pro in a matter of months…… even countries like Nepal, who have 1 million cricketers, cant do that…….. Netiher can Uganda that seems to be having 10 sponsors, UN money and ICC extra money going into cricket….. Pakistan’s first test team, that actually beat the English pro side in 1956, was a team of amateurs, with Fazal Mehmood, the chief destroyer at Oval being a policeman in service……. even all the way till the late 80s, these guys were just amateurs…….

    Regarding the ‘moral’ question about Zim….. Peter, you are living in a dreamland…. first of all, the ICC is NOT a seperate entity from its members….. if there was a moral question about Zim, and the ICC’s members voted on it with a majority, ICC would have implemented it…….. but it appears that only England have a ‘moral’ problem with Zim….. Aus sends its teams over there, South Africa backs Zim all the time, and the subcontinental teams are fine with them as well…….. Should FIFA ban Serbia from playing soccer playing some countries question its morality? Or even Israel??

  7. October 27, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    And Peter, your comments are very funny given the topic of this post. It is KNOWN that the cost of professionalism and improving standard is very high, which is why when Cricket Scotland, which has been doing whatever it is so far with 50K pounds, tries to get 300K pounds and gets some support from the govt, it is positive news.

  8. Ram
    October 27, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    Nasir…you said that no country can go from amateurism to professionalism in a matter of months….As a general rule, that may be true but I don’t think Scotland or Ireland are that far from having their national teams professionalized. They’ll be getting participation fees from the ICC for WC 2007, which is huge….Just imagine Scotland/Ireland were to then host India for a 3-ODI series each in the summer of 2007…Don’t you think Cricket Scotland or ICU would then be close to professionalizing its players?…Not only that, you also have the Twenty20 Championships in SA, for which Sco and Ire have more than a good chance of qualifying…And, All this would’ve come within the space of 6 months!!!…The point is: In both these countries, it’s just a case of exploiting the existing market potential for cricket which is possible only by getting to play these 2 countries as much as possible…

  9. October 27, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Well….. its not been months….. Scotland and Ireland have been working hard at it since at least mid 2005….. and they are likely to bear fruit somewhat by mid of next year…… so 2 years……..

    So you need to give the country some time to get up and running in the big league……. the only thing that you have to start off with is potential…. and Ireland and Scotland have plenty of it………

    btw….. how much of a participation fee is Scotland going to get from the WC? and its not decided as yet about who is going to be playing the 20 20 WC next year from the associates………

  10. October 28, 2006 at 10:01 am

    This money, or potential money, is great news. Currently, the Scotland team players have full-time jobs, so they have a tough time getting off for games.

    The trouble with the domestic set up, is a) the weather, and b) we have a tradition of a soft game.

    It’s a social pastime with cake and sausage rolls more than anything. It’s not a cut-throat Aussie outback testosterone release. Most players, myself included, are shite compared to players from Test nations.

    I go down to my club in Glasgow, and bowl wobbly full-tosses against a Scotland opener. He then has to go and play Worcestershire the next day. There’s no way players can adjust in the current climate.

    But professionalism, or a degree of it, is good. It can pool the top players together, and ge them training seriously. It can drive up the standards of youth development.

    Regarding Zim, the place is a nightmare. No one in their right mind would want to go there, certainly not the wee Scottish cricket team. Look at this fact, when England toured there last time, it wasn’t even on TV!

    Zim is a humanitarian disaster, with very little coverage now, because all independent journalists have been imprisoned, killed, or expelled. There are hundreds of thousands starving to death. No country, not Aus, Eng, NZ, or anyone else wants to go there. The ICC wishes it would just go away. But because of contracts, no team can pull out without facing massive financial penalties. Look how OZ flew back within a few hours when Zim was stripped of its Test status. Every cricket board wants its govt to publicly forbid them from playing, but the govts will only tell them privately, so they are not faced with the pullout bill.

    Zim coming to Scotland is a different matter.

  11. October 28, 2006 at 10:26 am

    did Aus send their academy team to zim 2 months back? They were under no obligation to send this team there….. and the series that SA just arranged with Zim was not from ICC calender either…….. plus SA has overtly backed them in the past…… not just because they were scared of damage costs …….

    and when eng last toured Zim, it WAS on tv, i know because i saw all 4 ODIs live…….

    If the majority if ICC test nations vote that Zim is humanitarian disaster and should just be avoided and kicked out, then that will be the rule…… there are no 2 ways about it…… if it is a rule, then everyone has to live by it…….. but if only 1-2 teams have a problem with them….. then it cant be a ‘humanitarian’ issue can it?…..

    Bangladesh just toured Zim 1 month back without any incident…….

  12. October 28, 2006 at 1:38 pm

    England-Zim wasn’t on the TV in the UK, and that speaks volumes. Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain’s biggest complaints of their careers are over Zim tours and their handling. They are furious about being made to go there. The players were forced to take the decision to play, at the last minute, because the UK government, the ICC, and the England and Wales cricket board were spineless, because of contract issues. The England team has no problem playing Zim anywhere outside Zimbabwe.

    Remember the first game of that awful ODI tour was cancelled because Mugabe – head of Zim’s cricket board – denied British journalists access? How the England team stayed in South Africa? How four of the top players refused to tour in the first place, making the cricket a lesser standard? Michael Vaughan said if Mugabe tried to shake a player’s hand, the whole team would be leaving the field and going home without looking back. Mugabe was using the cricket to try and make himself more popular, while murdering his own people. I have friends whose families have been driven off their farms in the night, beaten and shot. They lost everything.

    Remember how Henry Olonga and his family were threatened, and they had to flee the country for wearing an arm band? How the captain, Taibu, had to flee his home and country with two hours’ notice, because the authorities were coming to get him?

    Zim is in an awful, awful situation. After Iraq, Sudan and Congo, it is the worst place on the planet right now. It’s not on our news screens, because Mugabe and his thugs are torturing and murdering journalists, jailing them, and keeping them out. Hundreds of thousands of people are literally starving to death, making for an extremely volatile situation. There is no way, NO WAY, a senior England cricketer’s security can be guaranteed there.

    You have to remember the political and historical pressures, too. Zim was in the Commonwealth. At the head of the commission who suspended it is John Howard, Australia’s Prime Minister. The Zim authorites HATE England. They hate white people. Minnows Bangladesh making a tour is a completely different scenario. South Africa also, as they are much closer to Zim, politically, economically, and geographically. It is not out of the question that a member of an England touring team could be kidnapped or killed in Zimbabwe. It is being torn apart by black, goverment-backed gangs.

    I do not want to see Zimbabwe not playing cricket. I want them to continue developing and playing top level international cricket. It is vital. They are victims in this, like everyone else in their country, bar the thugs. Shutting them out would only make matters worse. Cricket is about their only link to the outside world.

    But the fact is, 14 of their top white players quit the game indefinately because of racism and threats to their families, and they cannot remain playing Test cricket after that.

    This is a complex situation, where few parties are willing to make concrete public stances, for fear of being slapped with a million-dollar bill, or facing the wrath of Mugabe. So in the end it comes down to Jimmy Anderson and co. to make the choice on whether to play. Players should not be faced with that dilema. They are there to play cricket.

    Zim must continue playing. If Bangladesh wants to go tour, they can. If SA wants to nip across the border, they can. But No Way should England and Aus be going to Zim. It is dangerous.

    You are right. I would love to see Zim playing Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, UAE, the US and Canada, etc, more often. It would be of huge benefit to the newcomers. But it has to be outside Zimbabwe. No player wants to be standing in the Harare field, between tea breaks, while down the road, gangs are battering people to death, and a whole nation is starving.

  13. October 28, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    doesnt matter WHERE they play Zim….. they can play in UAE for all I care….. or Sri Lanka….. or Kenya……… but the point is that the Scottish team has to play Zim…….. the last time I checked, Scotland was not that much interested in a tri series between Kenya, Zim and Scotland IN KENYA!…… so now are we saying that the whole continent is not safe for England? When the tour eventually got scrapped, there was talk in the Scottish press about how Scotland has avoided a ‘potentially slippery issue’ !!

    And I am 99% sure that Aus Academy team just toured Zim…… unless they have all aboriginies in their team, I would like to know why they didnt have a security problem while England does……..

    But ok…. getting back to the point about whether the ICC should should think about the ‘morality’ of the Zim situation……. India, Pak, Ban, Sri, WI, SA dont have a problem in touring Zim….. I think Aus doesnt either…. dont know about NZ……… I dont think in the other 3 voting members Kenya or Malaysia have a problem…….. so that leaves the majority saying that they DONT have a problem with Zim….. and the ICC is just following a democratic practise…… if majoirty of the members say that there is a moral question, then the ICC will not incorporate Zim….. its as simple as this……. so people need to start realizing that there are other countries with their own points of view OUTSIDE of England, and not all of them think like England….. hence if England wants to be part of a cricketing fraternity, it needs to take the account of the majority in question, and stop blaming the ICC for not patronziing England’s stance……… ICC can only patronize the stance of the majority of members…..

    England;s refusal to tour Zim was not on security grounds, but on moral grounds…… on security grounds anyone can wish not to tour………. the question here is whether there IS a moral question that EVERYONE needs to adhere to regarding going to Zim, and I dont think that is the case……. so why should the ICC force it on other members?

  14. November 1, 2006 at 7:28 am

    Hi, Nasir. Just saw this story on Cricinfo, about a fire in Zim. Very sad. When your chips are down…

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/zimbabwe/content/current/story/266481.html

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