Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: Lack of benchmarking tournaments……

Opinion: Lack of benchmarking tournaments……

The ICCs regulations for full member criteria clearly define that they would be looking at the performances of a country at 3 levels. The national level, the U19 level, and the A team level (this should be the second XI level rather than the strict A team definition).

While there is always talk of the lack of oppurtunities for teams to display their mettle in the full national level, I believe the structure is non existant for the A team level. Taking the example of Kenya, Ireland, and Scotland, there is hardly any tour for their A teams to be taking on the A teams of other countries, if for benchmarking purpose if nothing else. Full tours at the A team level may not be possible under the current ICC budget, but at least an annual tournamanet featuring the A teams of 3 weakest Test teams (Zim, Ban, WI), and 3 strongest associate teams (Ire, Sco, Ken) can definitely be done.

The U19 level is better, though it can be improved. What the ICC is missing, and I have mentioned this before as well, is an ICC Trophy type 10 team event from where 6 associates actually go through to the U19 World Cup. It would first of all, ensure that the top 6 teams in the associate world are going in the world cup (no wondering by Malaysia if they were better than the Europeans, and no wondering by Netherlands if they were better than the Africans). Secondly, it would also give the oppurtunity for the stronger regions at the U19 level to get more of their teams through, as opposed to the current structure which is regional based.

Btw….. lot of people have mentioned the fact that the Kenyan team sucks at the u19 level because Uganda and Namibia, 2 teams that did not light the U19 WC on fire either, qualified over them. I would like to point out that both these teams finished the U19 WC over Scotland. So kenya can technically argue that they may be better than Scotland U19!.

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Ram
    May 28, 2007 at 8:53 am

    What’s the problem with Nepal, Afghanistan and Malaysia?…I mean Nepal’s U19 exploits don’t get transferred to the senior level while Afghanistan suddenly arrived on the scene due to their immigrants coming back from Pakistan, yet don’t seem to have age-group teams as strong as Nepal despite having the passion and the playing numbers…Malaysia, on the other hand, seem to have the near-perfect model with everything in place, yet their standard and public apathy continue to be disappointing…Similarly, there doesn’t seem to be much talent coming through from Sco and Ken while other nations like Ire, Neth, Ug, Nam who’re all below or on par with them, are now in a position to overtake them…

  2. May 28, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    One thing which people need to realize a bit….. the requirement for a multi day (3-4 day) tournament in the country, that has at least 6 teams, essentially means that the country in question needs to have about 66-90 cricketers professionally employed……. there is no way that 3-4 day cricket season can be played by people who are amatuers…….. Kenya and Bermuda have professional squads, but isnt it too much to ask them to professionalize 90 players?

    I think the Pakistan model of the 80s is probably the only way forward……. get your player numbers up at the U19 level, get the talented u19 cricketers into the national team based on talent, then train them on the job……. its no system, but it is a a possible working model….. national team and second 11 can play multi day cricket against other professional teams from test nations……..

    The U19 and U17 tournaments can be made in multi day tournaments if needed, especially, if the tournaments are being held during the school holidays……….

  3. May 29, 2007 at 3:28 am


    I think you have the model correct. No way a building associate can afford the costs of a bonafide domestic competition, Bangladesh could because of the high popularity of the sport in that country, this could also apply to Nepal, they also have the craze for cricket, if Mr Pandey continues with the direction he is taking the sport commercially. But for all the others your model would be the best way. Concentrate on junior development, contract around 20-25 senior players to fill one national team and one “A” team and promote U19 level players through the “A” team and into the seniors side. The domestic scene would then consist of existing club structures with a short multi day, one day and 20/20 season based on 4 regions within the respective countries. This should be Ireland’s focus now as well as Kenya, Scotland, Holland and Namibia. Canada have travel problems as their country is so vast therefore their best strategy would be to plough resources into junior development and getting the game into the national psyche. Bermuda have such a small population base that they should concentrate on forming regional cricketing relationships with their neighbours with the goal of improving their standard by regional competitions.
    There does need to be a stepped program for improving nations to follow and it should include a definite geomap of continuing improvement as they progress through the stages. The ICC should be driving this process and begin giving prospective nations a clear path to achievement with respect to their entry and current level of penetration of the game. At the moment they are working towards something but is adhoc and haphazard although it has improved recently, they seem to be more focussed on, and satisfied with quantity rather than quality. They need to move on from this rather immature mindset.

  1. October 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

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