Home > Cricket Development > Opinion: Looking at the U19 WC 2008

Opinion: Looking at the U19 WC 2008

Sun 17
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group D – England Under-19s v Ireland Under-19s
Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur

Possibly the best match for an upset for an associate. Interestingly, it will take place on the first day of the WC. Ireland have 2-3 guys who have played ODIs for their country, and England is traditionally not a super power at the U19 level. I have seen Greg Thompson play against SA(or was it India) and he looked like a compact player with a lot of confidence.
Mon 18
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group A – New Zealand Under-19s v Zimbabwe Under-19s
Johor Cricket Academy Oval

I dont know why I am pointing out this match, except for the fact that NZ is usually the weakest team at U19 among the test teams, so if Zim U19 cannot beat them, their future doesnt look too rosy either.
Mon 18
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group C – Nepal Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s
Penang Sports Club
Nepal will have a very tough ask this time around. I would think that their team is not as strong as it was in 2006, plus they had a much easier  pool last time with England in it (they should have won that game). Chances of beating Sri are remote, but I would have to say they are higher than beating Australia…… and Nepal has to beat one of them in order to go through to the quarters, which is their goal this time around.
Tue 19
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group C – Australia Under-19s v Nepal Under-19s
University Sains Malaysia, Penang
Tue 19
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group D – Bermuda Under-19s v England Under-19s
Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur
I guess this would just be funny to see if Bermuda actually has some talent, or do they suck at this level as well.
Wed 20
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group A – Malaysia Under-19s v Zimbabwe Under-19s
Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim, Johor
We know that Malaysia is not the second strongest team in Asia, but as far as their games in U19 are concenred, this and the game against NZ has to be their best bet.
Thu 21
10:00 local, 02:00 GMT  Group A – Malaysia Under-19s v New Zealand Under-19s
Johor Cricket Academy Oval

For this world cup, you would have to put your money on Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Australia to make the semis

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Efaz
    January 26, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    BD U-19 Vs Nepal U-19
    BD U-19 302/4 Over -50; Mithun 142, Nadimuddin 118; Paras 2/40, Amrit 2/53
    Nepal U-19 191/8 Over -50; Anil 48, Paras 36, Gyanendra 27; Saikat 1/18, Kibria 1/18, Dollar 1/24
    Bangladesh Under-19 won by 111 runs (First one-day; Venue-NOS; Toss-Nepal U19; Date-24 January 2008)

    Second match got washed out, third match is on Monday.

  2. Efaz
    January 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Namibia U/19 captain Dawid Botha made back to back centuries in last two FC matches for Namibia, looks like an exciting prospect.

  3. January 26, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I think Namibia and Ireland have good chances of doing well and Papua New Guinea have a very strong bowling line-up.
    The Nepal squad looks good but not quite as good as previous ones.

  4. January 27, 2008 at 1:30 am

    I am not surprised that Nepal lost, I am a little surprised at their approach to the game and also that they lost by such a huge margin.

    We have to keep in mind that Bang U19 toured Pakistan a while back and beat them in the series. Even in the previous WC, they were the only team to beat eventual champs Pak, and pretty much just had one bad day in the series in the quarters.

  5. January 27, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Agreed. Bangladesh are producing very good junior players. At this level they stand as good a chance of winning as any of the other sides.
    India look pretty good to me for this one.

  6. Ram
    January 27, 2008 at 4:46 am

    I actually don’t think Zim will have to defeat NZ for them to prove their competitiveness at this level…Even if they are the weakest test team at this level, NZ are still a pretty strong team…

    Malaysia have been complaining of the qualification system and how Nepal’s strength has been to their disadvantage…they would need spirited performances to push their cricket further….In fact, I think of the 16 teams participating, this tournament can benefit Malaysia the most because this is their first exposure to competitive international cricket….

    Nepal need strong performances to keep their fans in good spirit and prevent their game from falling off….I don’t think PNG or Bermuda have much to offer apart from embarrassment though I would like to see if PNG can manage something of note against WI…Namibia should be competitive against Nepal but otherwise they may have a tough time against SL and Aus….Ire can have a good time but must be careful of slipping up against Ber to avoid a disastrous campaign….

    On the whole, the 4th team in every group is still weak to be able to compete against the best and I would like to see the percentage of mismatches in this tournament….

  7. Fumbaloney, Melbourne Australia
    January 27, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Just heard that the 2013 CWC will only have 4 associates.

    Where does this leave the aspiring associate nations?

    Especially since it will also mean that only 4 associates, not 6 will have ODI status.

  8. January 27, 2008 at 6:31 am

    The hosts of the 2011 World Cup have proposed a format with only four associates, but it has not been approved by the ICC.

  9. Tom Lewis
    January 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    This Under 19 World Cup could be very interesting from an associate point of view. I think the 3 teams to watch could be Papua New Guinea, Namibia and Ireland. I have read Papua New Guinea have a very strong, quick bowling attack which could mean a surprise for them. Namibia have a number of quality batsmenin Sean Silver, Dawid Botha and Raymond Van Schoor but their bowling attack is very medium paced orientated with the exception of Morne Englebrecht who is pretty quick. They could have done with the injured Floris Marx who has genuine pace to unsettle quality batsmen. Ireland have a number of exciting prospects however their only problem is exposure against better players. Paul Stirling looks a fantastic prospect, whereas James Hall and Shane Getkate have been with Warwickshire and Richard Keaveney was the leading wicket taker in Leinster last season. The other associates will struggle i feel.

  10. Fumbaloney, Melbourne Australia
    January 27, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Andrew Nixon,

    According to Martin Williamson, chief writer at Cricinfo, it is likely to be approved.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

  11. January 27, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I know that there are a number of ICC representatives who do not want to see any reduction in associate teams.
    The vote is going to be awfully tight and last minute appeals are going to count for a lot.
    I have sent an e-mail to the ICC and the newspapers, commented on cricinfo and have written an editorial piece on my blog.
    Make your feelings known. It all helps.

  12. Art
    January 27, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I am seriously beginning to question most of the recent ICC decisions or perhaps should I say knee jerk reactions to the directions of unseen cricket power brokers.

  13. Tom Mather
    January 27, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    If the number of associates in the 2011 CWC was reduced to 4 would that automatically mean that only 4 associates would have ODI status from 2009 onwards? Whilst it wouldn’t be fair for the 2 countries which were left out, it would still be beneficial for them to be playing ODIs for 4 years.

    If the number of associates at the top level increases, which hopefully it will, that would put increasing pressure on CWC, Could it really accommodate 18 or 20 teams? Splitting ODI status from CWC participation by having a prequalification tournament might solve both problems. I’m not saying that’s what I want to happen, but it’s preferable staying with just 4 ODI teams.

  14. Tom Lewis
    January 28, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Nepal appear to have pushed Bangladesh a bit more today on a difficult pitch, although they still appear weak without Sharad Vesawker in the batting department. Does anyone know why he isn’t playing? Could it be something to do with his actual age being over 19 after the debacle at the Under 15 level?

  15. Nishadh Rego
    January 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I suspect that is probably the case. Nepal will still be a tough side to beat given their excellent bowling and fielding, however batting wise, they have to focus on playing 50 overs.

    If they bat first and score 170 – 200, I would put my money on them beating anyone bar say India or Pakistan.

  16. January 28, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Nepal v Bang U19s

    3rd ODI, BKSP, Jan 28
    Toss: Nepal, 39over match
    Nepal: 109 (38.1o)
    Bangladesh: 113/7 (36o)
    Nepal lost by 3 wkts, series 2-0

    I dont know about others, but I think this is a very good performance. In my opinion Bangladesh is very very strong at this level, but there are WI U19 games coming up against them as well, and we will find out if that is really the case…..

  17. January 28, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Yes, a good competitive performance by Nepal.
    At this stage, I confident that Namibia, Ireland, Nepal and PNG will do well.
    I’m concerned about Malaysia and Bermuda, particularly now that Stefan Kelly and Lamar Richardson are unavailable.

  18. January 28, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    I dont think PNG will do anything…… 2 years back they were ranked 4th in a combined Africa/EAP U19 qualifier, behind Kenya……. and Namibia and Uganda did not exactly light the world cup on fire either in 2006.

    So far, this time around, all that we see is that they have beaten Vanuatu and Cook Islands !!!

    I think Malaysia is 2 times as strong as PNG.

  19. Nishadh Rego
    January 29, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I do find it unfair that just for the sake of including teams from every continent, we include a team like PNG who have only beaten Vanuatu and Cook Islands to get to the World Cup, when teams like Scotland, Afghanistan, UAE, and Kenya aren’t able to qualify.

    Malaysia have some good spinners and a couple of good batsmen, however will rely heavily on these 5 or 6 players.

  20. Nishadh Rego
    January 29, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    On a different note, I was at Manuka today to watch the Sri Lanka vs PM XI game. This was the first time i’ve seen an “international match” in Australia and I must say that the behavior of the Australian fans was abysmal and quite pathetic really. From chanting many different things (the details of which I won’t get into) against the Sri Lankan players, to starting scruffs with Sri Lankan fans, to tearing up Sri Lankan fans’ posters, I don’t fail to see why people like Arjuna Ranatunga, and some of the Indian players find it very very ironic that the Australians are harking on about racism!! I haven’t believed what I’ve heard about the Australian fans in the past, but today I saw it first hand, and that too from a supposedly more refined and knowledgeable Canberran crowd. The alcohol din’t help as well!

  21. January 30, 2008 at 12:42 am

    I would like to see the Under-19 world cup increased to 20 countries.
    The five regional winners would qualify.
    The second and third placed regional teams would then go into a world cup qualifying tournament to determine the final five places. This would enable each region to be represented and it would give a strong region like Asia the chance to have three associate reps instead of one.
    Imagine the qualifier with Afghanistan, UAE, Vanuatu, Fiji, Uganda, Kenya, Scotland, Holland, Canada and Cayman Is.

  22. Jim Williams
    February 1, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    “I guess this would just be funny to see if Bermuda actually has some talent, or do they suck at this level as well.” A quote from Nasir Khan.

    From Mr Khan who found Rod Lyall’s well-justified language to be “objectionable”, this is actually quite a disgusting and patronising comment.

  23. February 2, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Pak U19 won a tri series featuring Sri U19 and Eng U19…….. they beat Sri in the final by 8 wkts……..


    England were very weak in all the games, except the one that they won….. Sri lanka is not that strong given that these were home conditions and that bangladesh U19 beat Pak recently before going down to India………

    Nepal vs Sri…… who knows…… I do think that Sri will be able to sort things out till then, but Nepal have to be looking at that game as their only shot……..

  24. February 7, 2008 at 1:36 am

    The WI team is acutally not that weak…… they did lose to bangladesh, but I was expecting a complete dominance, which WI did not allow, and in fact, they also won a game in the series……..


  25. Noire
    February 8, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I am an adherent Nepal supporter being a Nepalese (of course) but I will probably agree to Tom and Rego saying Sharad is over 19..and they are afraid of the same fiasco happening over again. Its a shame really! But I hope we will do well as we have been in the past! Maybe this time round qualify to the next round. I dont see why we cant proceed..we cud beat Sri Lanka or even AUS! Bring on the World Cup!

  26. February 17, 2008 at 2:31 am

    DAY I results….

    Eng beat Ire by 10 wkts…… so much for an anticipated upset. I am not sure if we went by reputation and throught of Eng as being too weak, or Ire as being much stronger. It was basically the simple manner in which Ireland disposed of their opposition in the European qualifiers that made us think that they were capable of putting up a much better fight than this….. but so far they have lost to Eng, NZ and limped over PNG…… so it is not very encouraging…….

    The other results were predictable, Aus thrashing Namibia by 149 runs, although the Namibia middle order played very well, not exceptional, but well…… Ind PNG was a mismatch, India winning by 195 runs….. Pak lost 2 more wkts than they would have liked in their 8 wkt victory over Malaysia, who were dismissed for 75.

    Hopefully, tommorrow, Nepal can put up some sort of a show against Lanka….. otherwise this world cup is becoming very predictable………..

  27. amit
    February 17, 2008 at 5:47 am

    1 of the associate hopes has gone down the drain today with ireland. the only hope now seems to be nepal who have kept the associate flag flying high in the last 3 u-19 world cups & hope that they get to qualify for the quarter-finals. nepal, after being very competitive against zim, lost it in the last 4-5 overs in the warm-up

  28. Ram
    February 17, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Ireland have been pathetic in Malaysia so far and need to fast show improvements if they’re to push their exploits from last year’s World Cup further…..I don’t think they’re as bad a team as they’ve portrayed themselves to be…

    Otherwise, Malaysia, PNG and Nam were as bad as were thought to be…

    Hopefully, Nepal should be able to do much better tomorrow, otherwise this tournament can become irrelevant for cricket development….

  29. February 17, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    right now…… SL is 13/2 in 4.4 overs against Nepal…..

  30. February 17, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    SL 60/4 v Nepal in 15 overs
    NZ 41/3 vs Zim in 16 overs
    Ban 68/1 vs Ber in 14 overs
    WI 79/2 vs SA in 14 overs….

    Looks like Nepal is doing better than the rest at this point in time…….
    Even Bermuda is not getting scathed in the manner we thought they would be in this game……

  31. February 17, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    SL have recovered to 133/5 in 31 overs…..
    not good news for Nepal….

    However, Bermuda doing really well against Bangladesh…… almost the same situation…… not sure how in one case its a good situation while its a bad one in the other 🙂

  32. ajaya
    February 17, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    well, sl finish at 236 in their alloted 50
    that, im afraid, is proly enough for them to go on and win
    oh how i wish to be proved wrong tho

    sl win by 30 odd runs is my prediction 😦

  33. February 17, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    nepal 37/0 in 8.2 overs…..
    good start, and hopefully, it will not become another Nep v Eng from 2006…….

  34. February 17, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    nepal 60/0 in 15……

  35. February 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

    82/2 in 19.4
    ominous signs for Nepal……

  36. ajaya
    February 18, 2008 at 12:46 am

    105/3 in 27 and asking rates close to run a ball
    need a great partnership right now to pull this off
    but damn it, why do i feel so pessimistic about our chances?

  37. R. Ghai
    February 18, 2008 at 12:54 am

    There is still hope for Nepal. Paras and Aakash are both very capable batsmen, and Nepal is a fighting team. Even the no. 11 batsman will put up a good fight.

    However, the results from the other Associate teams really makes me wonder, would it have been better for Afghanistan and UAE to qualify in place of Bermuda, Namibia and Ireland?

  38. February 18, 2008 at 1:15 am

    looking very bleak now……
    136/6 in 38 overs……. bascially 100 needed off 72 balls with 4 wkts left

  39. ajaya
    February 18, 2008 at 1:19 am

    well, 136/6 and 102 required in 75
    the fat ladys warming up her vocal chords……

    looking back, id say that it was the 50-odd runs added on by the 8th and 9th wickets (in pretty good time too) for the sri lankans that really did nepal in.

    big difference between 236 and 199…….

  40. Noire
    February 18, 2008 at 8:33 am

    I just cant believe how 58/4 was churned into 236 and how 60/0 in 15 turned to 175 all out! I must say we played well and threatened to take the game away couple of times…but at the end of the day what mattered was experience and all the technical support the other team had…well of course given that they have been a test playing nation for long now! O well hope for the best for the game today, and I m still hoping for Nepal to make it to the super league.

  41. amit
    February 18, 2008 at 9:15 am

    nepal have to finish in the top 10 this time, not just for their own benefit that they will qualify directly without 2010 without playing in the acc u-19 tournament, but also for the benefit of other asian non-test teams like afghanistan & uae giving 1 of those teams a chance to win the acc u-19 tournament & qualify for 2010.

    as of now looking at some performances, there could be some talks as to if afghanistan & uae could be better than ireland, bermuda, namibia & png at u-19 level.

  42. February 18, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I still think Nepal did ok today.
    We all have to remember that for the time being, the associate nations, including Nepal, are choosing from a much smaller playing pool than countries like Sri Lanka.
    In time, that situation will change hopefully.
    But in the meantime, we will need to be patient and hope that the various cricket boards are devising ways to increase participation rates.

  43. ajaya
    February 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    another day, another disastrous performance from bermuda…

    nepal has had another decent outing so far, aussies 170 odd for 5 after 43. heres hoping we can restrict their scoring in the death, maybe in the 210-220 range.

    we’ll then need malla to make some runs. hes the one that has the capacity to score quick

  44. ajaya
    February 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    australia 206 all out
    is this the one we’ve been waiting for????
    first upset in the making……

    GO NEPAL!!

  45. Noire
    February 18, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Ajaya do we Nepalese boys have fanclub running as well…I just cant find the site where the scores are updated and lots of ppl comment on! Apparently there was one for SL vs Nep as well but didnt know until next day!

    Another Giant in the killing? I hope we dont fuck up today and SL doesnt fuck up when they play Aus. Mental note, the same thing has happened for the last 2 world cup…we beaten a test team and they go on to lose to the team that beat us!

  46. ajaya
    February 18, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    theres some activity on the cricket.com.np u19wc special page, but not that much

    their updates are pretty much derived from the icc site. idiots being idiots shut down the chatroom on hearcricket. i was quite distressed about that

    but yeah, if we go on to win this, sl HAS to beat australia…

    namibia really aint a pushover either, we have to win that one.

  47. Noire
    February 18, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Yeah absolutely gutted abt the hearcricket chatroom! That idiot called ‘me’ or sth was well annoying! Why cud the moderator not block just that person!

  48. ajaya
    February 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    chatrooms back on bud

  49. Art
    February 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hmmm, I enjoy reading this blog and one of the outstanding features has been the lack of bad language, until now that is. Save it for your ‘chat room’.

  50. Chris
    February 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Well Australia 206 beat Nepal 110 by 96 runs so I guess Nepal will have to wait for that upset. It could have been worse since the last wicket fell after 40+ runs. If it the last wicket hadn’t lasted so long Nepal would have ended up with a score more in line with Bermuda’s recent track record (both senior and youth) and the loss margin could have been well over 100+ runs.

    Bermuda…well, their match didn’t even last 40 overs in total.

  51. amit
    February 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    i cant understand why were nepal given a ranking of 11 instead of 9 when they finshed 9th last time, not by forfiets or rain, but by beating south africa & new zealand. a ranking of 9 would have placed nepal in the same group as pakistan & zimbabwe and a win over zimbabwe would have taken nepal to the quarter-finals

  52. dr gulkhan
    February 20, 2008 at 2:17 am

    malaysia beat zimbabwe!!! an upset

  53. February 20, 2008 at 2:33 am

    finally!!! the upset is here……. it was listed out as a game to watch in this posting, but after their performance against Pak, I thought malaysia was too weak……. now it is upto them to beat NZ and go through, a little unfair on Malaysia is the fact that they are in a pool where there are 3 test teams, so there is no easy picking match up………

  54. February 20, 2008 at 5:12 am

    Absolutely magnificent performance by Malaysia.

    Some days something good happens for associate and affiliate cricket supporters and that makes it all worthwhile.

    I’m a bit disappointed in Ireland though. So many of their squad are already involved in the county set up and others will be down the track.

    The people who watch Irish cricket day in day out, reckon this was as strong a batting side as they have sent to a World Cup.

    Still, opportnities in the plate division to score some runs.

  55. February 20, 2008 at 6:27 am

    It was really wonderful performance by Malaysia.

    It shows how strong asian teams are, then what would happen if uae and afghanistan are in this worldcup

  56. February 20, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Some days something good happens for associate and affiliate cricket supporters and that makes it all worthwhile.

    Unfortuantely, as you probably know by now, something has been announced today that sours the sweetness of this victory somewhat.

  57. amit
    February 20, 2008 at 10:47 am

    icc should hold a global u-19 qualification tournament & give nepal direct entry for future editions looking at the strength and depth of the asian nations. it wont be surprising to see 8 asian teams out of 16(incl test teams) in the next u-19 world cup. afghanistan & uae have claims to be better than zimbabwe, ireland, bermuda, png & namibia at u-19 level

  58. February 20, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    well…… Malaysia are 47/9 right now against NZ, so I think it is safe to assume that they will not be going to super league!

  59. Ram
    February 20, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Not only that, Nepal are struggling against Nam, 150/6 off 47 overs….And, Ber surprisingly 175/5 off 41 overs against Ire…It looks like Ire are trying to be as pathetic as possible in this tournament….

  60. Noire
    February 21, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Bad win for Nepal! At one stage they were cruising 33/0 in 5 overs! Positives.. gd batting from Mahesh and disciplined bowling.

  61. February 21, 2008 at 4:27 am

    And Bermuda has beaten Ireland ……
    And I am speechless….. a little with disgust, a little with shock……..

    What the hell is up with Ireland !?!?!

  62. Nishadh Rego
    February 23, 2008 at 3:19 am

    “a little with disgust”

    That sounds a bit harsh towards Bermuda..What have they done wrong?

  63. February 23, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    disgust was towards ireland’s performance throughout this world cup so far……

  64. February 24, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Nepal beat Zim U19 today by 99 runs…… dismissing Zim for 59 runs…….. Zimbabwe used to have a strong U19 team, so I dont know what happenned to them this time…… they did well on both the previous occasions, beating Aus, Eng etc.

    Nepal now need to knock out Namibia to ensure a top 10 finish…….

    The other upset today was SA beating Bangladesh U19, the team tipped to be the champs, by 201 runs……. SA made 240, and dismissed Bangladesh for I think, the lowest total of the tournament…..

  65. ajaya
    February 24, 2008 at 8:29 am

    i guess the decline in zimbabwean cricket is now showing at all levels. if recent reports on cricinfo are to be believed, there is hardly any organized cricket being played in zimbabwe any more. i guess its not really surprising to see them lose this way

    as for the nepal/namibia semis, i think thats not the case. the two teams were in the same pool, dont make sense for them to meet in the semis. i know the icc website has them scheduled to meet, but the cricinfo fixture list has them listed in different semifinals. im inclined to give cricinfo the benefit of the doubt here.

    heres hoping that nepal get to play the winner of bermuda/png in the semis and not wi/ireland 🙂

  66. February 25, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Ireland went down to WI today, and now they are officially on their way to be classified as the worst team in this tournament…….

    Bermuda got a thrashing against PNG today……. despite Bermuda beating Ireland, I think that the ICC should have given 0.5 spots to both these regions, and only 1 team from Americas and EAP should have come to this world cup……. looking at the performance of the African and Asian associates, it is unfair that teams like UAE, Afghanistan and Kenya sat out from this tournament…….. ofcourse, even better would be to have the U19 WC global qualifier……..

    From my 4 semi finalist estimates today, Aus also went out, although they went down to Pakistan, who were also in the list……….

    Namibia vs WI should be a game coming up soon…..

  67. Tom Lewis
    February 25, 2008 at 6:22 am

    Nasir i think you are being a bit harsh on Ireland. They have a very young side with at least 8 players who will be eligable for the next tournements. They should have beaten Bermuda yes, but they also beat Papua New Guinea with key players missing in the warm ups and Papua New Guinea destroyed Bermuda today. I know i keep making excuses for Ireland and the bottom line is that they have performed no way near to their potential which is very disappointing. You only have to look at the fact there is six players on the books of county sides to show that these boys have talent. I am going to put my neck on the line and say that Ireland will go on to win the next couple of games. Either way this tournament is about development and improving the players games, not just about results.

  68. February 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm


    The reason to be harsh on Ireland is precisely because they had the potential to do much better than what they have done……… this is actually a better Irish side than last time…….. but if they cannot make things happen at critical junctures consistently, then there is a problem………..

    PNG and Bermuda are very very weak, and Ireland should have managed not to get categorized in their league………

  69. Noire
    February 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    What happens if the match is rained off? Is there a provision for reserved day, or does the team with best rates go forward?

  70. February 25, 2008 at 10:09 pm


    Considering that you’ve seen neither Bermuda nor PNG play, I think you are being more than harsh.

    I saw a lot of these PNG boys beat Malaysia u/19’s 2-1 and most of the judges in the region that have seen both teams, rate them about equally.

  71. Nishadh Rego
    February 26, 2008 at 3:48 am

    you saw alot of these PNG boys beat Malaysia U-19s 2 -1??? What do you mean by that?

    Its true that most of us haven’t seen Bermuda or PNG play, however the fact that they’ve been trashed by Nepal, Malaysia and probably would be thrashed by Namibia makes it quite unfair on teams like Afghanistan, UAE, Kenya, Uganda, and even some of the middle east teams.

  72. Tom Lewis
    February 26, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Nishadh… Ben is probably refering to the East Asia Pacific side that played Malaysia last year and featured a number of the Papua New Guinea side that is playing in the World Cup. I’m very sceptical over whether the African sides would have done much better as Uganda were convincingly beaten by Namibia, although Kenya and Namibia were very similarly matched. In terms of the Asian sides, Nepal and Malaysia are by far the most used to the Malaysian conditions, and have hardly set the world alight either against the full nations with exception of a poor Zimbabwe. With this in mind i wouldn’t have expected too much from Afghanistan or UAE. The fact is that the gap between the majority of full member is widening at this level.

    Nasir, although the general consensus from the Irish camp is that this may be a better side than last time, the squad in 2006 featured Eoin Morgan who averaged 60+ and he played a massive part in their success. Don’t forget that Ireland only finished 13th last time out and still have a chance of finishing in that position this time.

  73. February 26, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Yeah, A PNG/EAP development XI played Malaysia U/19’s in a series in Australia a couple of months back, which the EAP’s won 2-1.

    That’s when I first saw Tony Ura trying to pull balls on a length over square leg.

    Colin Amini took 4-6 in one of the matches.

    The Malaysian players had more correct batting techniches I would say but the PNG boys had a lot of flair.

    The Malaysian spinners looked very good to me.

    PNG have played three full members and only one associate in this tournament. They were in the group with India, south Africa and West Indies. In their only hit out against an associate they won easily.

    So let’s be fair about this and try and give support to all the associate sides instead of running some down and not others.

  74. Noire
    February 26, 2008 at 7:59 am

    On the note of supporting the associates…and big a Nepali fan,

    Paras Khadka is well into contention for the player of the tournament with 8 points, just one behind the New Zealander Southee. Though Southee is got one more match to play…and being a consistent performer could easily run 3-4 points clear off Paras.

    Also on the wicket keepr front, Mahesh Chettri has a good standing. He has had 15 scalps so far, the most by any keeper. Suprisingly he is also the pick of the batsmen for Team Nepal with 127 runs so far. Though again the close second has another game to go and is 4 behind. Not sure how many runs he has scored though…so will have to check that out. But a serious contender against Mahesh wil be Ali Asad from Pak, as he has 8 scalps (with one more game) and a massive 181 runs total with the same average!

    I think Mahesh is more likely to win in his category than Paras…But heres wishing them both gd luck.

  75. February 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Considering that you’ve seen neither Bermuda nor PNG play, I think you are being more than harsh.

    I have not seen Bermuda play, but PNG is all that I have seen in terms of associates in this world cup….. yes lot of flair in a couple of shots by 1-2 batsmen, but thats about it…..

    Nobody is discouraging any associates….. but I would like to know, why some associates need to be given any special attention as compared to others? The whole argument here is that there are stronger teams than Bermuda and PNG in other regions who are not playing because of a bad qualification system. Malaysia is not the argument, because they were hosts, they could have been 10th ranked in Asia for all I care. But there is no point in giving Bermuda and PNG any special attention when there are at least 3 teams sitting outside who are “arguably” stronger. This is a development tournament, its not an the senior world cup; the theory about representing all regions equally, when they are not equal in terms of strength, is flawed for such a tournament.

  76. February 26, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I would think that in a youth world cup it is far more important to have all five regions covered.

    I mean the idea of junior sport is to learn, improve and take something from the tournament that can benefit your long term development.

    This tournament isn’t about who wins. It’s about developing players for the future.

    Yes, I am a big fan of Afghanistan and I would love to see them play in a under-19 world cup. But having said that, the Asian region receives roughly 7 times the funding that the EAP region receives and this doesn’t count China’s special position. India insisted on this some years ago as the major earner. The Asian region doesn’t have 7 times as many members it should be noted.

    Asia already has the exposure, much more regular tournaments, the specialist coaching visits, the funding and the resources.

    Personally, I believe in the ICC’s mandate of cultural diversity. I don’t want to see one region dominate all others because of superior funding. But this what is happening. If the funding situation continues, all six associate qualifiers will come from Asia in 10 years from now.

  77. Ram
    February 26, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I believe cricket development is about identifying and aiding more and more Associates capable of bridging the gap with the top 8….Consequently, it shouldn’t matter which part of the World the Associates come from, ICC should at least ensure that the best get to play the top 8 so that they can step-up the ladder with exposure….If PNG or Bermuda can get in in the name of development simply because of their favorable location, we can as well field China or Japan…

  78. Noire
    February 26, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    To be totally honest, with ICC recent developments and the progress in cricket world, I dont think bridging the gap crap is happening. Since the rise of Sri Lanka in 96′ I havent seen a proper development of a underdog team into a strong power house. Bangladesh is far from it. Teams like Holland, UAE (having played WC) still retain the same position. So I m not sure what ICC is doing to “Globalise’ the game.

    I am also quite disheartened that the 3 days games have been cancelled and been replaced by 20Twenty in the Asian region. Is a game like 20Twenty suppose to develop our cricket? Okay it was laregly ACC’s decision, but I cant help to think why ICC didnt intervene. I wudnt mind an extra Cricket tournament..but why cut back on something we have, something we rarely get. This, given that most Test team players complaining they are burning out with too many games to play!

    Also why are ICC being so short sighted? If profit is what drives them..they should know well they have to invest as well. But they seem to be more than happy to churn the Test Team as Cash Cows to earn their money. U reap what you sow. I am sure if they invest heavily into some top performing team, with in atleast 2015 WC we can have some Associates really threaten few/most Test teams. More interesting games, means more revenue…more team means more match…which will generate revenue!

    Its really sad to see only 10 Full members in the ICC for the last decade…and ICC actually claiming that they are glaobalising the game. I am sure most of us Associate just want a chance, not their Pity. Teams like Ireland in the senior WC and age levels teams of Nepal have proved that associates can be a bit of a handful given an opportunity!

  79. February 26, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    No Ram

    The current situation is about aiding Asian cricket at the expense of others.

    Of course the Asian region is getting stronger and it will continue to do so as long as the funding imbalance continues.

    Why do you think Indonesia want to join the ACC?

    It seems also that there has been some talk of a further increase in funding to the Asian region. If that happens it’s goodnight for the other regions. They will never compete.

    But yeah, if you guys think having six associate teams from one region is fair and reflects the globalization ideal, then fair enough.

    You will get your wish I suspect and I will continue to support the countries like Nepal, Afghanistan, Thailand (To name a few) which I feel have great potential. But a part of me will be disappointed knowing that countries from less financial regions will never catch up and never get a chance to play in an under-19 World Cup.

  80. February 27, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Is the u19 world cup supposed to reflect globalisation? or is it a development tournament? Is there any advantage in giving a team an outing against a much much superior opposition at the u19 level? do teams learn more when they get decimated, or when they get some meaningful cricket?

    those questions, are much more fundamental, and I think first we need to get an answer to these first………

    secondly…… about all the teams from asia……. who knows, maybe scotland could have qualified, maybe kenya could have qualified…….. I belive that both these teams were also stronger than Bermuda or PNG…….. despite what Ireland has done here…….

    and about the funding going to asia……. lets be very clear that Nepal and Afghanistan are not stronger at U19 level because of ACC funding…….. Nepal has been very very strong at this level since 2000………. Afghani boys play on roads……… they are strong because of the number that plays, and the passion they have for the game……… and the lack of any infrastructure and serious investment is also apparent from how low their senior teams are ranked amongst the associates, despite a high u19 standing………

  81. February 27, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Yes that is true….Nepal and Afghanistan would have developed with or without ACC assistance.

    But as Taj Malik Alam pointed out in my interview the ACC did fund the construction of new turf pitches and an academy. This is not something you’ll see happen in most other regions.

    The fact that a nation like Brunei receives more assistance than most associate and affiliate countries around the world is worth noting.

    Check the ACC website and you’ll see the number of coaching clinics and visits from ACC development officers during an annual period.

    Speak to any development manager in any associate country around the world and they all wish that they had funding comparable to what nations in the Asian region receive.

    This advantage will without doubt, filter through to senior level as time goes on and players mature.

    But my point is this.

    If you want to see the best associate under-19 teams play in a World Cup using a qualifying tournament, then in 2 years, 4 years, 6 years and 8, all six qualifiers will be from one region as long as that region receives 50% of the total funding.

    I’m all for a qualifying tournament as a lead up to the Under-19 World Cup. I agree with that process. But only if all every region is funded proportionately. That way we’ll have a level playing field and countries from all regions will be able to truly invest in their junior initiatives.

    If this matter is not attended to, I fear you’ll see more and more countries from other regions turn to the expat method at senior level, if they cannot produce good homegrown cricketers via their under-19 and junior programs.

    Like you Nasir, I’m a great believer in development in the true sense of the word and the last thing I want to see is countries propping up their national side with expats and passport holders.

    Like I said, I’m a great fan of Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Malaysia, Thailand etc. But I’m also a fan of African, European, South American and EAP nations.

  82. Tom Mather
    February 27, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I suppose the ACC doesn’t see why money originating in Asia should go to developed countries in Western Europe and the Americas, who have enough of it themselves. Though of course that doesn’t help the EAP and African regions much.

    By the way, how does anyone decides where Asia ends and EAP begins? Brunei for instance which is geographically part of Indonesia. Is this just a historical quirk?

  83. Ram
    February 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I think we should not lose perspective here….Globalization of the sport ultimately boils down to how many and how fast Associates can bridge the gap with the top 8…All moves by the respective organizations should be geared towards achieving that goal…It is obvious that the only way to do this is to have global tournaments that help identify teams of similar standard…Support in all its forms should be based on a country’s potential to bridge the gap….

    We must remember that priorities and what exactly constitutes support will vary with time as more money and exposure get to the game and more teams become competitive….Ten years back, when the ICC started its development program, it made sense to pride about stats that reflected growing playing numbers from Associates/Affiliates….But now the priority should have evolved to identifying at least 4-5 Associates that can, along with Ban and Zim, quickly bridge the gap with the top 8 over the course of the next 5-7 years so that there are 12-15 top teams by the time 2015 comes around…On the other hand, 30 years down the line if cricket becomes as popular as what soccer is today, then it makes sense to place special emphasis on an under-performing region like say South America or EAP…

  84. February 27, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    30 years down the line?

    Cricket will be dead and buried in those places by then. Baseball will have made it’s move into South America. In fact, it already is making it’s move. Rugby, soccer and AFL will have won the hearts and minds of EAP citizens.

    If the sole criteria is to identify those nations which have the best chance of bridging the gap in the next 5-7, then shouldn’t Europe get the bulk of the funding? They did afterall, provide 3 of the World Cup qualifiers.

    At the moment the funding is roughly broken up like this.
    Asia 50%
    Europe 14%
    Americas 14%
    Africa 14%
    EAP 6%

    I think it would be far better to fund countries on a need be basis regardless of what region they are from.

  85. Ram
    February 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm


    It doesn’t matter to me what region a country belongs to…As of today, support should be based on its potential to bridge the gap with the top 8…If there are 6 countries capable of that and all 6 happen to come from one region, be it Europe or Asia, I still think ICC should provide all the assistance it can to enable these countries to step-up….And that doesn’t mean other countries should be ignored…It sounds inappropriate that PNG and Bermuda are playing in this U19 WC in the name of development when there are many countries like Sco, Afg, Ken, Ugan whose development is being hampered because of a flawed qualification system…

  86. February 27, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I understand that but what I am saying is: If the bulk of the funding goes to one region, then it is fair to assume that over time only countries from that region will be in a position to challenge the status quo.

    We are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the Imperial Cricket Council, where they gave great assistance to some, little to others and ignored the rest.

    We all know the result of that.

    All I am asking is for proportionate funding. Then we can go ahead with a qualifying tournament played on equal terms and if all six under-19 qualifiers come from Asia then so be it.

  87. February 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    By the way, I forgot to mention, that individual countries aren’t funded by the ICC.

    The ICC gives the aforementioned allocation to each region and it is left to them how they use it.

    So in other words, Asia gets 50%, Europe, Americas and Africa 14% and EAP 6% regardless of the needs of each region in any particular year.

  88. February 27, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    btw ben, the funding should be proportionate to what?

    Asia has 2 countries, and I am sure that each one of Afghanistan and Nepal have more players individually than all of EAP ……… or for that matter Europe or even Africa……..

    Also, the entire funding is generated from Asia……

    what should it be proportionate to? population? funding generation? geography? I think that whtever formula you apply, EAP will still get only 6% of the funds…….

  89. February 27, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Say what? I’ve interviewed a representative from both Afghanistan and Nepal and can assure you their total players in all three categories adds up to 23,944.

    Europe has 99,849
    Asia 77,231
    Africa 70,527
    Americas 69,543
    EAP 32,408

    I don’t think you could say EAP only deserve 1/7 of what Asia receives based on those figures and yes I added the figure Taj Malik Alam gave me to the Asia total.

    Proportionate would be to my way of thinking.

    1. Players v Facilities: If there is a sharp rise in participation rates and not enough grounds and equipment to meet the demand.

    2. Distance between regions where cricket is played: IE Canada, USA, China etc

    3. Areas where the game is threatened by new competing sports: IE Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Suriname in regard to baseball.

    4. The countries ability to raise sponsorship: IE This would require a special needs application for more impoverished countries such as Nigeria, Afghanistan, PNG, Tanzania, Indonesia etc.

    By the way, I can’t say too much just yet but I think the ICC might be considering an option that would please all of us in regard to future Under-19 World Cups. All I can say is barring a very poor run of form in the ACC Championship, Afghanistan might just have a spot cemented, as well as one other from the region plus Nepal as an automatic qualifier. ssshhhhhh!

  90. February 28, 2008 at 12:58 am

    And let me assure you that just the number of people playing some form of cricket, any cricket, and watching cricket, in Nepal AND afghanistan EACH is close to 0.5 million…….

    what you are talking about are registered numbers……. in South Asian countries, the registered number is a pointless number, the actual numbers are seen on the streets………

    registered cricketers in Pakistan are 20K……. and I think the actual number of players is 1000 times more than the oficial registered numbers……….

  91. February 28, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Well, I can’t do anymore than quote to you the figures that were
    given to me by officials of both countries.

    When it comes to unofficial cricketers you could just as easily say the same thing about PNG. They have thousands of cricketers that play in villages that aren’t registered and they have thousands of people who watch every ball of Australia’s VB series on Television.

    But of course, you won’t accept that because it’s PNG right?

  92. Art
    February 28, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Well there is a lot of ‘unofficial” cricket played in PNG I can sure vouch for that just as there is a lot of ‘unofficial’ rugby league played there.

    PNG has a great future in cricket but like many things the ‘official’ status of things is somewhere way back on the back burner.

    I can still remember playing a village match where the legs pinner had at least 8 different deliveries or so i thought and bowled with his ninth.

  93. Nishadh Rego
    February 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    the fact is that both Afghanistan and Nepal as nations have hundreds of thousands of people who idolize famous cricketers, follow the game closely, and play it at any junction in their lives that is possible. I think the fact that 15,000 people filled a Nepalese cricket stadium for an U-19 match, and the fact that 3000 Afghans watched each of Afghanistan’s 20/20 games in Kuwait, can vouch for that. I haven’t seen or heard of the interest for cricket in PNG being anywhere near that magnitude. Colin Amini himself said in an interview that the ongoing U-19 tournament that cricket is overshadowed by rugby and soccer. That is not the case with NEpal and Afghanistan.

  94. February 28, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Yes, Nishadh, I agree with your assessment of Nepal and Afghanistan completely and I have written such things on my blog.

    You could say the same thing about Australia because football codes are more popular than cricket here also.

    What I am trying to convey here is that PNG is a cricketing country with a lot of promise.

    * Free to air cricket coverage on television
    * Mainstream interest
    * 100% homegrown players
    * Semi-professional contracts for domestic competition players
    * A massive Liklik kriket development program
    * A successful Kriket Sumong Bilatin schools program
    *Turf wicket feasibility studies due in 2008
    * The new appointment of a Cricket Manager to oversee all areas of development
    * A new Development Manager appointed to oversee all areas of junior development
    * The close proximity to a cricket powerhouse
    * A partnership with Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence
    * High levels of ambition and intent

    Of course, the next ten years will prove one way or the other if this promise can be turned into something more.

    But in the meantime, I wish people wouldn’t treat them as no hopers. They played an associate only once in this U/19 World Cup and won it easily. They restricted India to 280 in 50 overs which is far from a disgrace. They’ve finished in 12th place, which is ahead of four others.

  95. Chris
    February 28, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Strange how discussions get recycled.

    It was only last year that the whole issue of funding was being debated, with many points for and against the current system.

    I agree that cricket is very popular in Nepal and Afghanistan, but despite that proportionally it might still be more popular in places like PNG where cricket faces stiff competition from rugby and football (soccer) (unlike in Afghanistan and Nepal). Note that I only say “might”. And the reason I say might is this:

    Comparing countries with vastly different populations is inherently biased unless the comparison is proportionate. People berate Bermuda and sometimes seem to like doing so, but Bermuda has 66,000 people and 1,590 senior/junior players. Right now, I would be willing to bet any money that Bermuda is the associate/affiliate where cricket is the most popular on a per capita basis since the registered senior/junior players (which doesn’t represent overall figures I imagine) represents 2.4% of the population!
    Afghanistan and Nepal together have a combined total of 23,944 registered players but a combined total population of 60,791,713. This means about 0.039% of their total populations are registered cricketers. Individually, Afghanistan has approx 12,000 players (0.038% of its 31,889,923 people) and Nepal has 11,944 (0.041% of its 28,901,790 people). Papua New Guinea by contrast has only 5,887,000 people and 0.039% of that would only be 2,296 registered players. As it PNG has 2,837 players or 0.048% of its population (and this is down from the 2006 total of 5,150 players or approx . 0.087%). A drop of 2,313 cricketers in a year is alarming, however at least some of those 2,000 probably still play cricket on an irregular basis and I doubt any ICC figures include many Trobiand Islanders who are most certainly not registered but do play cricket in some form.

    Now we can cite unofficial figures of 500,000 in Nepal and Afghanistan and note how difficult registration is, but the fact is that only registered players go through the system to make it to the national team (or at least that is the way it is supposed to work). And how reliable can unofficial figures be since there is now way for the ICC or any of us to even prove it unless we take a large sample of cricketers and determine the number of registered v. unregistered in a given area? That in itself would at least be a citable figure that can be extrapolated to determine how many unofficial players might be in the country, but as any statistician will tell you it will likely have errors unless it is a very large sample. Afghanistan could not have any registered players at all and have 74 million unregistered players (2.4% of its population like Bermuda), but at the end of the day what do they count for since none of them could (or should) be selected by the ACF to represent Afghanistan?

    And is it really that hard to register cricket players that only 4.8% of the cricket playing population is registered (or put another way 95.2% of the cricketers are unregistered)? I appreciate that life is extremely hard in Afghanistan and Nepal, but I doubt any other activities that require registration (e.g. voting, obtaining passports, visas (for which passports are needed), or even soccer) would have such dismal registration rates.

    Finally, Nasir made a point in passing which had also been debated before: that most of the money for cricket came from Asia. As Andrew and myself and some others at BTB have noted, most of the money for cricket comes from what I term “Test Asia”. I can almost guarantee that the money coming from “Non-Test Asia” is miniscule (as it is for the Non-Test World in general). The money that goes towards associates and affiliates in Asia is separate from the money that the ICC gives back to Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (and far smaller in comparison). Most of this money was never generated in the associates and affiliates from Asia, so they can’t be getting back what they never contributed in the first place. If India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh wish to fund ACC associates and affiliates extra, the proper way to do it would be through the ACC, not the ICC. The ICC should be trying to develop cricket worldwide, not primarily in Asia with the rest of the world as an afterthought. The current funding system would be akin to countries like Albania, Colombia, Moldova, Andorra, Venezuela and Slovakia getting far more funding from FIFA for football than countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, China or Guatemala simply because most of the money in football is generated in Europe (UEFA) and South America (CONMEBOL) by countries like England, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil and Argentina. That would be condemning countries from other regions to suffer permanent under-funding despite whatever impressive results they achieve or how much development they have undergone by themselves simply because they happen to be located on another continent through no fault of their own (i.e. are on the “wrong continent” which is uncomfortably close in concept to other “wrong” features that are used to discriminate). Uganda cannot help being in Africa since its position there is as a result of the movement of the continents hundreds of millions of years before there were any Ugandans or even humans at all. Uganda can’t help that long ago Africa and Asia split apart (from Gondwana), so why should they be underfunded because some countries from Asia generate most of the money from cricket? Nepal and India are in Asia, but Nepal isn’t a part of India so it doesn’t inherently deserve money generated from India, just as how Namibia doesn’t inherently deserve money from South Africa (despite Namibia being basically a colony of South Africa and de facto part of South Africa for many years).

    Well, long piece and I hope it doesn’t throw people off.

  96. Chris
    February 28, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Oh, by the way Ben, could you elaborate some more on the competition posed by baseball in Suriname, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil? I would like to know about Suriname especially give that they have one of the largest increases in player figures for cricket and feature high in overall players (mainly junior/kanga/kwik I know).

  97. Noire
    February 29, 2008 at 4:51 pm


    Good write up…and this debate will ever continue!

    Let me just correct u on one thing…Football is more popular in Nepal than cricket! A football player, for the last five year can actaully take it up as their proportion..if they are good enough…it doesnt mean they have to be in the national team!

    Football in Nepal has a proper league which runs over half the year. And the winner of the league goes on to play a ‘Presidential Conference Cup’ (forgot the name), which is like Europe’s Champion’s league where the winners get $100000 as prize money. Besides this the National league winners now get Nepali RS 2 million. This figure has been doubling every year. And the ANFA president has vowed to double it every year.It started with a sum of Nepali RS 500000. The best player of the tournament gets a Car worth RS 2 million. And few others get motorbike. Also gd players can get upto RS 20000- RS 30000 a month. And that is more than enought for basic living in Nepal. There must be about 4-5 players in each A div club who get this kind of money.

    Now compare this to cricket. Where players hardly get a salary. And tournament are scares. There is virtually no prize money.

    So cricket is not as popular in Nepal as football is. Orelse that kindda money would have been in cricket, not football!

  98. February 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm


    Wow, I didn’t know Football (soccer) was so big in Nepal. In Australia soccer has the highest rate of participation and now has it’s season in summer alongside and competing with cricket. AFL is the most watched sport and then there is Rugby League and the Rugby Super 14’s as well. I didn’t even see a single paragraph about the under-19 cricket World Cup in the papers here.


    Yeah, I was looking at some figures of registered baseball players in Central America and parts of South America and they were astonishingly high. Cricket needs to get in fast or it will miss the South American boat. Baseball seems to really pump a lot of money into new markets.

  99. Noire
    March 1, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Yes Ben, football is growing from strength to strength in our country. Specially in the last 5 years. This is mainly I think because their president was a past player and is very proactive in its development. But this has not necessarily helped to strengthen our FIFA ranking. It was around 170th or so before..well really low to lower 170s and now its come up a bit. We still lose most of our games, but the goal difference is now reducing significantly. . Like when we played an Asian power house Oman, we just lost to them by 2-1 at away game and 1-0 at home. Whereas before 5-6 years a 5-0 or sth big like that wud be guaranteed. Also our age level in football is very good. And with all this development, I am sure, the senior and junior side difference will bridge up slowly but surely!

    I quite liked the new CAN president when he came in first. Very proactive..got deals, restarted building the academy themselves (if u guys remember ACC was going to have this built for us!), and promised more league games and tournament. But since then its died down a bit.

  100. amit
    March 1, 2008 at 6:57 am

    looking at the u-19 world cup, the associates + zim would rank as –

    1. namibia – came very close to beat nepal twice
    2. nepal – although they beat namibia, but get 2nd place as they performed much lower than their expectations
    3. malaysia
    4. png
    5. ireland
    6. zimbabwe
    7. bermuda

  101. Noire
    March 1, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I know we performed lower than our expectation….but I wud still put Nepal at no 1. We have won more matches than few countries including Australia (tho they have played one less game). Afterall a win is a win..and winning it by 3-4 runs means that Nepali boys have strong mentality. Also I wud argue that PNG wud be above Malaysia as they played most of their matches with Test nations and did okay for themselves. Well Zim lost to everyone (almost) they played. So I wud say..

    2> Namibia
    5. Ireland

    It will be nice to have a go at this U19 Zimbabwean player (who was reserves but cudnt go due to exam commitment). We play together for our Uni team. Last time I had a go at him…saying U guys lost bad. And that they would have lost even badly if he was there…Friendly banter!

  102. ajaya
    March 1, 2008 at 11:27 am

    well, even before the tournament started roy dias said that our batting was rather thin this time around and so it proved. full credit to the bowlers for keeping nepal sorta kinda relatively (thats a lot of qualifiers, innit) competitive against the bigger teams.

    as of the moment, there are 4 nepali bowlers in the top 12 wicket takers for the tournament,

  103. March 1, 2008 at 8:30 pm


    arent these the official rankings of the plate?

    Zim has to be the only test country’s U19 team to lose to 3 associates in 1 tournament. They were consistently bad…….

  104. Chris
    March 2, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Noire, thanks. And:

    I also didn’t know football was so popular in Nepal. It’s good that Nepal is actually seeing some sort of results especially for that kind of money (The Nepali Rs 2 million is about US$ 31,000 right? – That’s a great sum, but believe me there are countries out there throwing around bigger sums and hardly getting any kind of improvement performance-wise). I wouldn’t look at the rankings too much, people put too much importance into rankings anyway (it’s mathematically impossible for every country to be ranked #1 or to be in the top 10 or top 15 or top 20 for football). What’s more important is that the difference in quality between teams should be as small as possible thus providing the spectators (and the teams themselves) with competitive matches (whether cricket or football or anything else). If the difference between being ranked #1 and number #30 is only a small number of points (with many teams being differentiated by decimals) then that means all those teams are close in quality to each other (hopefully high in quality) and that any match between #1 and #30 could end up with either team having a good chance at winning.


    You should brace yourself for soccer football to start trying to compete with cricket in the summer. Soccer does so with cricket in just about every other place and I think Australia was kind of lucky in having many other football codes (2 rugby codes and AFL) to compete with Soccer and thereby give cricket (and the other football codes) some breathing room to develop. I like football (soccer), but I think its dominance (over-dominance) impedes other sports. Taking Australia as an example, it is good at cricket, rugby league and rugby union. Australia is also fairly good at soccer. Then look at Brazil. Great at football. Not noted for any other sports really.

    So, Ben there are more registered baseball players in places like Suriname and Brazil than cricketers? You said the figures for Central and South America were astonishingly high, but that depends on how you look on it. Baseball has almost always been the dominant bat-and-ball sport in Central America (outside of Belize and small parts of Panama and Costa Rica). The American influence there (plus the various American military interventions and occupations there) have all contributed to baseball there. So for me, there would be nothing astonishing about any figures coming from Central America. In South America, baseball is popular in Venezeula (I think it might just be more popular than football) and in Colombia (where football is still more popular). So any figures that lump Venezeula and Colombia with Brazil, Suriname, Argentina and so on will look very high. But even with Brazil I expect baseball to have high registration rates simply due to the Japanese-Brazilians (Brazil has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan with something like 1.5 million). The combined influence of Japanese-Brazilians (who would have brought a love of baseball just like West Indian and South Asian immigrants bring a love of cricket to the USA) plus contacts with Venezeula and Colombia and some relatively minor influence from the USA should mean that baseball would have a fairly decent registration rate in Brazil. Even then, baseball (much less cricket) would face a MASSIVE uphill struggle in trying to get attention (most of which is focused on football). Were you looking at the figures for registered players on the internet or in printed material? If the internet would you mind providing the link?

  105. Noire
    March 2, 2008 at 11:04 am

    No worries Chris,

    Yeah I completely agree on u there. And $1=65NRS roughly…so the figure sums upto $31000. I think we are lowly ranked mainly we dont get enough matches!

  106. March 2, 2008 at 10:21 pm


    The IBF site used to have most of the figures for each country on it’s site.

    I checked just a minute ago and it looks as though the whole site has been revamped and updated. The site looks better but it doesn’t have the number of clubs and players as it used to.

    I do remember a few things. Mexico had player numbers in seven figures yet Canada had just over 120, 000.

    Check out the site. It seems baseball is making a better fist of becoming a global sport. In fact they have a mandate to do just that.

  107. Noire
    March 3, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Baseball is gd too. Lol. I play both baseball and cricket for my Uni.

  108. Chris
    March 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Ben, I’ve been to the IBAF site (before they revamped it and after). I never looked at the playing numbers, but the fact that Canada had just over 120,000 seems a bit odd. That might have been a reason why they revamped and got rid of the figures. I don’t see Suriname listed in its drop-down menu for countries although Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile are there (I expected those 4 to be listed since the interaction among Latin American countries is almost certain to introduce baseball among those four).

    If you want to look at what the site (or any other site) was like before recent changes use The Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and just put in the url/address of the site you want to look at ( I think the IBAF changed their url though).

  109. March 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Cheers Chris

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