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Reforming Asian Competition

To my knowledge, the ACC and ICC are bloody bloody rich, and spend less than 30% of their revenue on development. The ACC have been doing a fantastic job by bringing in new members into the region, while helping existing members develop with their huge array of development initiative, study visits, umpiriing programs, administrative courses, curatorship courses etc. While this is all well and good, and should be continued, possibly in higher capacity, the national teams of most of the countries in the Asian region are dormant. Most Asian countries have 5 or 6 month leagues where players play on the weekends and practice once during the week, and then once every two years, national teams are banded together 2 months before the ACC Trophy so that the country can compete. While some of the Gulf countries have year long corporate club leagues with hundreds of games in 5 or 6 divisions, these are played on concrete and are usually 25 overs long. Furthermore, Bhutan, Maldives, Thailand, Nepal, Brunei, and Singapore have shorter leagues with fewer teams, fewer match days, and less practice.  The obvious long route is that each country continue with its development program, and create the player base to expand their domestic system into a truly National Competition, with multi day competitions, and corporate funding, however this takes long, years if not decades. On many occasions, the leagues are present and run all year long, however just dont have the depth and even spread of quality. The ACC can do its bit to provide some of these countries with more international competition throughout the year, giving players more of a cricket life, expanding interest in these countries, and  improving the quality of these countries’ teams at the same time.  The Asian Premier League is proving to be a great success, with all five participants making strong appearances at the ACC Trophy. Players from these countries train, and play regularly against very good opposition, and the depth of players in the national teams of these countries is also improving.  Is it time for the ACC to start an Asian First Division Competition with Kuwait, Afghanistan, Maldives, Thailand, and possibly Bahrain or Qatar running over 2 or 3 days? Is it time for a South East Asian one comp. with Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, China? A more regular middle east comp. which would include the UAE, and possibly have two divisions? A South Asian comp. with Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, and possibly Afghanistan?  I think something like this would be a great benefit to the players, and associations in the region. Countries like Afghanistan, Thailand, Kuwait, and Maldives should not have problems with player availability as they are either associate members, or have indigenous populations playing the sport with full government support.

 The ACC could easily fund competitions like these……this should be the least of everyone’s worries.

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. November 11, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    My thinking last year was that the Premier league competition, at that time called FTCT tournament, is something for the asian associates……… i thought that after Kuwait and Thailanad also became associates, they too will join in the premier league competition…… but they didnt….. perhaps because it was thought that the standard of these two was much weaker than the rest……..

    I would like to see what and Afghanistan v UAE match would be like…… just to clarify the notion whether the loss to Hong Kong was a fluke or not in the ACC Trophy……..

  2. rego
    November 11, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Yeah Thailand especially is too weak to be playing in the Asian Premier League yet..especially in the ability to remain fit and healthy throughout the three days..fitness levels are CRAP..I think Kuwait would be alright though..they have been consistently strong performers in the ACC Trophy.

    I think UAE should beat them..they have deficiencies against good quality spin..and Hong Kong had that..so yeah..

    Another move could be to chuck Malaysia or Singapore out of the Premier League and replace them with Afghanistan..They could have a second division with Kuwait, Thailand, Singapore, Maldives, and another Gulf Nation..I think this has to commenced if the big boys of Asia are ever to come close to the Big four in Europe…

  3. sobhit Man
    November 11, 2006 at 8:05 pm


    what do u think about UAE denied visa nepalese inform player, ‘man of the match’ of last match Mehboob Alam to win against Nepal?
    now a days u are not so active, u r not postin any acticle about asian premier leauge, which is going to be interesting day by day.

  4. November 12, 2006 at 2:35 am

    I feel that the 4 south asian test countries should help out 1 south asian associate/affilite each. the following pairing makes a lot of sense:

    Pakistan – Afghanistan
    India – Nepal
    Srilanka – Maldives
    Bangladesh – Bhutan

    what i would like to see….. and this is all doable….. that the associate plays in the domestic competition of the paired test team…….. and that the squad of 16 from the associate team, is a paid squad BY the test team…… the payment can be the average household income…….. nothing more, nothing less…….

  5. November 12, 2006 at 2:40 am

    UAE denying the visa to Alam was weird….. but I cannot understand how someone can call it a deliberate sneaky move by UAE officials to improve their cricket chances….. I dont think the UAE immigration offficials could care less about cricket…… and I dont think UAE as a whole, arabs or the desis, could care less about whether they won or lost to Nepal………..

    perhaps Alam had at some point in time also applied for a work visa in UAE, and the visa had been denied? Once you get a denail on your record, immigration officials at times will rescrutinize your case, and sometimes deny yoou entry based on past record…….. I dont know, but I have difficulty believeing that it was a deliberate act to weaken the Nepalese team………

    The game was fairly close, so Alam may have made a difference….. no Chugai either, so Nepalese team was definitely not what it CAN be……..

  6. rego
    November 12, 2006 at 3:03 am

    The full members couldn’t care less. The initiatve has to come from the respective boards and ACC. Bhutan and Maldives could participate in first division cricket in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Afghanistan has been participating in the Quaid E Azam tournament in Pakistan, which is good for them.

    Nepal certainly need to have stronger cricketing ties with India. Both ACC and CAN seem to be wasting a golden opportunity to fine tune the hottest prospect in World Associate Cricket today…Nepal can easily be encorporated in the Plate Division of the Ranji Trophy. I reckon they would easily beat teams like Goa, Assam, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir…or at least compete compentently with them..

    The question is how about the other 14 members of the ACC?
    China will get funding and support at a drop of a hat…so that shouldn’t be a problem…

    The Gulf countries could also benefit from more interaction with Pakistan, however I don’t think anyone is too keen on any association with expat dominated sides that are not interested in development.

    Oman have been in close contact with the Mumbai Cricket ASsociation through Sandeep Patil..they’ve even been there for a couple of tours..that could be a potential target for them..Times Shield..Iran with their strong development program, and locals-only policy should be given more support by the ACC…I think they are one of the fastest developing teams along with Bhutan..

    I feel Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand also deserve alot more than they are getting. Would the subcontinental teams be interested in the helping these teams? I know Singapore and Malaysia have strong associations with the Mumbai Cricket Association, and Cricket Maharashtra (Pune), Hong Kong with Tamil Nadu (through Robin Singh), and Thailand with Karnataka…These avenues have to be exploited in some way or the other…The other move ofcourse would be to send players to Australia!!..The problem is always MONEY with associate cricket..Would the test nations be willing to give up anything? Would ACC be willing to give up anymore? How much do the associates have to spare? What role to the corporates play in all this.?? All these questions are vital to the whole thing…bloody messy..I don’t see anything happening in the near future though…

  7. November 12, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    of course the initiative has to come from the associate boards….. but if the initiative does come, i see that there is a reason why the south asian test teams would be interested in at least these 4 south asian countries…..

    plus this the pairings that I have done, the travel costs are minimal…… if UAE were to be incorporated in the Pakistan domestic setup, there would be huge travel costs, and in any case, Pakistan cannot provide annual household income for the UAE people, its too much…..

  8. rego
    November 12, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    yeah the travel costs are minimal…why would the South Asian Teams be interested in the Associate countries?

  9. November 13, 2006 at 12:41 am

    Well….. for starters, Pakistan would be interested in helping out Afghanistan…….. a huge majority of Pakistani people do have interest in an Afghan team doing well in sports……. ethnically about 20 million people in Pakistan are the same as Afghans, and also have links with the people in there…………. regarding good will, I think both PCB and also the govt of Pak would be interested, but they have done whatever they have in the past as well (at least promised), on the basis that it will create good will……………

  10. rego
    November 13, 2006 at 3:35 am

    Bangladesh and Bhutan?
    India and Nepal?

    I see no reason for them to help out!…Sri Lanka do have close ties with the Maldives..and considering the fact that the Maldives President is an ardent cricket fan..all he has to do is put in a request for something…and its given.

    I dont think Bangladesh want Bhutan in any of their leagues..Nepal should be able to work something out if they tried hard enough..

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