Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: How the world cup went for the associates…..

Opinion: How the world cup went for the associates…..

I would like to rank how the world cup went for the 6 associates. I will not talk about Ireland. It is a given that it went best for this associate team by a margin, getting them in the world headlines, getting a lot of press for Trent Johnston, Rankin and the O Brien brothers.

I think next in line was Canada. They lost to Kenya, but they ended up making a match out of the games against NZ and England, the latter being quite interesting till about the 35th over of the second innings.

Kenya would be third. They were in with a chance to make the super 8s and needed a victory against England to do so. They were not able to put up a good total, thanks to some sloppy running. But they did take some early English wickets, and then dropped some crucial catches to lose the game. Their game against NZ was forgettable, and I think that the 2003 semi finalists didnt really want to come to the World Cup to just beat Canada. So they get edged out by Canada.

The other 3 had a terrible outing. It is difficult to rank them, so lets do what we can.

What is clear is that both in terms of perception, and in terms of performance, Scotland had the worst time. Not only were they never in any game even for 10 mins, but that included the game against Netherlands, their fellow associates. So they would get the last spot. This is also because Scotland were considered to be, arguably, the best associate around.

Between Netherlands and Bermuda, its a toss up. Both got anhilated by the strongest teams in their group. Bermuda’s third group team was also a test team, and as luck would have it, they had 1 billion supporters for that match. Saleem Mukaddem bowled as well as you would see any ODI bowler bowling on that day, and did get Bermuda in with a realistic chance. They eventually lost the match, but they did make it into an interesting one. One should remember that it was a 20/20 game. I would say that Netherlands probably edges Bermuda out in this case. At least Netherlands beat another team.

Final rankings about how they fared in the WC:

Ireland
Canada
Kenya
Netherlands
Bermuda
Scotland

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Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    April 27, 2007 at 3:48 am

    Nasir,

    I can’t believe you rated Scotland lower than Bermuda. Scotland was up against some pretty stiff competition compared to Beremuda.

    However, I guess you are right if you are basing this purely on statistics.

  2. April 27, 2007 at 4:31 am

    I rated them lower because they are the only one in the lot who achieved absolutely nothing from this tournament……. as opposed to Bermuda who at least made a match out of 1 game for a few overs……

    Bermuda team sucks overall though…….

  3. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    April 27, 2007 at 6:28 am

    Nasir,

    Actually now that I think about it, your rating of the associates in this World Cup is fair.

  4. swetal
    April 28, 2007 at 2:40 am

    I AGREE WITH NASIR BECAUSE SCOTLAND GAIN NOTHING FROM WORLD CUP.BERMUDA HAD LEVEROCK ALWAYS IN NEWS HEADLINE IN WI.BERMUDA HAD 3 TEST PLAYING NATION PLAYING AGAINST THEM,WHILE SCOTLAND HAD HOLLAND ALSO?

  5. April 28, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Kenya beat Canada convincingly yet you rank Canada higher. Perhaps you should work for the ICC!

  6. April 28, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Nick….. from semi finals in 2003, are you saying that Kenya’s objective was to beat Canada in 2007!

    I have made it pretty clear above……. Canada are probably happier with their outing in WC2007 than Kenya is ……..

  7. neel
    April 30, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Reading some of the comments, I am convinced that Cricket will never grow beyond the Test playing Nations. The reason is lack of initiative by Associate Boards to organize more matches. Also the ICC has no vision. And someone commented 32 test playing nations being a chaos – I THINK THE ICC SHOULD TARGET 128 TEST PLAYING NATIONS IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS.

    Also, someone said that the Associate Boards cannot organize more matches since players cannot take Time Off from work. In the first place the Boards should contract 20 players whose LIFE IS CRICKET AND NOTHING ELSE. I do not understand how players can concentrate on Cricket if they have full time jobs. Playing on Weekends wont improve since it is taken as a time pass and nothing serious. The only way to improve is moving to a professional set up right away and backing the players even if they lose their initial matches.

  8. April 30, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    I think we have discussed all these things on this blog over a course of time……. contracting is not possible without money…….. money is not possible without following/sponsorship/capability, or ICC grant…….

    Kenya and Bermuda have contracted players….. Kenya has had them contracted for quite some time now…………

  9. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    May 1, 2007 at 3:58 am

    Neel,

    I am a dreamer as I have already mentioned, but if you seriously think that the ICC should target 128 Test Teams within the next 5 years you take the cake.

    Get real!!!

  10. neel
    May 1, 2007 at 6:47 am

    We all know the ICC gets trillions and trillions of dollars from Sponsorship and TV rights. The game is a Religion in the Subcontinent and the no 1 sport is most Test Playing Nations and the Sponsors are willing to even add more money so money is not the problem, WILLPOWER IS.

    I wonder where does this money go? Maybe in the pockets of the Adminstrators only and not for the Development of the game. Surely the ICC with all this money would be able to grant Associates ATLEAST ENOUGH MONEY TO CONTRACT JUST 20 Players if not more. Nasir aand Frank I would really appreciate if you could let me know where all this money goes.

  11. May 1, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Due to the inconsistent and unstructured international schedules there will always be argument on where associate countries relate to each other on a ranking table. All these nations, excluding Bermuda, (Kenya, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands and Canada) could beat each other on any given day and are very close in ability.
    I feel that the way I have listed them here is an accurate reflection of their standing. I know it is subjective and based solely on my own observations of their performances, both winning and losing, but given the lack of any real accurate way of ranking these countries I think that personal observations are the best way. Although it will always be up for debate. I feel that all these countries could beat both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe on a good day and Kenya and Ireland stand the best chance to do so on a more consistent basis.

    And Neel, as Frank says GET REAL!

  12. neel
    May 1, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Ok guys, can someone please update me about state of Zimbabwean Cricket currently and when they intend to start playing Test Cricket.

  13. May 1, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Neel….. ICC does not make trillions and trillions of dollars……… ICC makes in the 100s of millions over a 4 year period….. majority of that goes to the test nations, which is correct since they generate it as well….. a small amount goes to development, and an even smaller amount goes to HPP…….

  14. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    May 1, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Neel,

    BTW, it’s not about money. Most countries do not have a cricket culture. As such, in these countries people don’t even know what cricket is.

    E.g. Italy is rated (I think) 6th in Europe. This is quite high when you consider that Denmark is 5th. I’m an Aussie of Italian background & having been to Italy – I can tell you that although cricket is played there (by a relative few) most of people don’t even know what it is & they don’t care to know. This is even despite the fact that football clubs like AC Milan & Genoa were originally also cricket clubs.

    So again…get real.

  15. May 2, 2007 at 12:32 am

    i think we have to also get one point clarified here…… would it be ok if the country had passion but no standard? Would it have been ok for Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives etc to feature in the World Cup? Bermuda is ranked number 16th in the world, and these teams are not even in the top 25. But they have the kind of passion that apparently people, esp those writing on Cricinfo, want.

    So we have some countries that have passion but no standard, and some that have a standard but no passion….. which one is the better pick? Or should we discourage all of them and say that you have to be everything before you can even be considered for a world cup spot?

  16. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    May 2, 2007 at 2:19 am

    Nasir,

    A you make a very good point and have posed a very good question.

    Personally it should be about passion – although I’ve stated previously that Bermuda should play as part of WI they certainly have this. That said however, Nasir I think countries like Afghanistan & Nepal (also possibly Uganda, Namibia, Malaysia, UAE, Maldives)should definitely be priorities for the ICC as cricket in these countries is a mainstream sport and reported on by local media. These are genuine cricket nations regardless of the standard. The standard in these countries in the long term could improve because they have an ingrained cricket culture and exposure to the game and therefore many people (particluarly young people) are playing it.

    Many countries in Europe & South America do not have this and I think it would be banging your head against a wall trying to push cricket in these countries as cricket is one of the most esoteric games that exists and would not stand a chance against other sports like football (soccer). To further illustrate this point, I mentioned earlier that some football clubs in Italy were also cricket clubs. This is the same in South American countries (e.g Brazil & Argentina). In countries like Italy, Brazil & Argentina the British introduced both football & cricket at the same time, but locals took to football but not to cricket. Why? Because they found the game difficult to understand & somewhat boring because they did not have a cricket culture from birth. The game faded in Canada & America also because continenatal European immigrants preferred baseball. Again, easier to understand and more fast paced.

    Canada & US now have decent teams but the sport is not mainstream & is played mainly by WI/Ind/Pak/Bang/SL/Aus/NZ/SA/Zim expats. This further illustrates my point.

    For us enthusiasts, we know that cricket is in fact the greatest game in the world, but not everyone appreciates it and we must accept this fact, move on & devote greater time and money to developing the game in nations where people are genuinely interested in it (i.e Afg/Nep/Maldives/UAE/Uganda/Nam/Mald).

  17. May 2, 2007 at 4:45 am

    I do not think that either Malaysia or UAE are genuine cricket countries. In fact, UAE we have discussed individually many times………..

    I think the best bets are Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives, Uganda, and maybe PNG and Fiji. In addition to these, I dont think that Ireland and Scoland are in that bad a shape. One should compare the numbers in Ireland vs the numbers in Zimbabwe in the 80s and see what the situation was.

    But my question is still unanswered. If in people’s opinion the current set of minnows were not good because they dont have passion, then would people prefer, or not criticise, the inclusion of minnows furhter down the ladder? I think a more identifiable question is, would people have prefered 6 teams worse than Bermuda in standard if they had passion? I think the critics would still have had a field day……… that would have been similar to the line of criticism that was going on in this world cup before Ireland defied the odds; the most common criticism was, what is the point of having these mismatches and minnow thrashing at the world cup………

  18. Cuen Lucas
    May 2, 2007 at 5:32 am

    Nasir, I think passion should be an important consideration (but by no means the only one) when looking for teams that are
    good development prospects, you can be sure that a national authority and mainstream public that are passionate about cricket will make better use of any ICC development money, and stand a decent chance of producing a capable side over time.

    However the ICC does not see it like this. They are more concerned with “breaking into markets” these days, so passion isn’t as high on their agenda as it should be.

  19. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    May 2, 2007 at 6:32 am

    Nasir,

    I forgot to mention PNG but must state that Fiji cricket has waned over the years – it’s a shame because it’s more popular there among the indigenous population than it is among the ethnic Indians (suprising) and historically they were one of the very original “associates” (ditto Malaysia).

    I didn’t mention Scot/Ire/Neth b/c they actually played in the CWC as opposed to Afg, Nep etc….

    I rate UAE as a genuine cricket nation because of the disproportionately high number of people of subcontinental background living there and the fact that in their local papers (e.g. Khaleej Times) cricket is as much a focal point as Football (Soccer) & can thus be deemed to be very mainstream.

    Furthermore (may be relevant or not) the ICC HQs are now in Dubai.

    In terms of who should be in the CWC, the current World Cricket Leagues will in the long term hopefully sort the true cricket nations apart from the pretenders. I believe that within 10 years or so, countries like Afghanistan & Nepal in particular will arrive on the scene.

    The only nation that I think may succeed as an artificial yet genuine cricket nation within the next 20 years is China b/c (so rumour has it), the governmment is pushing it in schools & hey they have more than a billion people. Let’s wait and see about China – their future development should be interesting to observe.

  20. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    May 2, 2007 at 6:48 am

    Nasir,

    I don’t think I answered your question. I t would be more preferable to have countries with passion in the World Cup despite what critics think (especially Aus critics who are very narrow minded in their views and many still question Ban’s presence even though they beat us in an ODI and almost beat us in a Test match!).

    I would rather see Afg & Nep in the World Cup instead of Canada or USA (I know this is harsh to North American cricketers & supporters and I apologise to them because esoterically they are very passionate). However, the reality is that in Afg & Nep people would be over the moon & dancing in the streets if their country was in the World Cup. In stark contrast, if Can & USA were in the World Cup most people wouldn’t even know and probably wouldn’t care if they did.

  21. Ram
    May 2, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Nasir,

    I suppose that the ‘ok’ in your question in #15 above is with reference to those critics on Cricinfo and elsewhere…I don’t think it quite matters to them what the exact problem (whether lack of passion or lack of standard) in each Associate country is..I think the biggest issue for them more than the quality of these Associates is their quantity…I think all of them feel 6 Associates in addition to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is too many and is consequently compromising on the quality of the tournament…Try explaining it to them that the 5 Associates (barring Bermuda) can defeat each other on their day, I don’t think they’ve the answer or the reasoning power to come out with a good number for the number of Associates to be included in a World Cup…It’s seemingly evident that they don’t want to understand the system, rather just criticize it for the sake of it…

    Btw, the ICU is starting to reap the benefits of its team’s WC performance with the confirmation that Irelamd will be playing an ODI each against SA and India in the end of June…this is in addition to the one (and possibly 2) ODI against WI…

    Another (more) interesting news can be found here: http://www.cricket.com.np/new/2007/04/27/nepal-selected-for-icc-program/

    It remains to be seen how many countries have applied for the program and how it will benefit individual nations, and why the ICC is maintaining secrecy on such developments…

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