Home > Cricket Development > The minnow bashing starts …

The minnow bashing starts …

And with the performances of Canada and Kenya on the second day of the world cup, the minnow bashing has started.

To be fair to the critics, at least Kenya played into their hands. It was the most woeful performance against NZ, who are by no stretch of the imagination a strong ODI side. Even if you need to be dismissed cheaply, 69 is not what people have in mind. Now the discussion is all about how it is great that the ICC is cutting out the associates from the next edition.

First of all, I would like to remind everyone that it is pre mature. Out of the 4 qualifiers, Canada and Kenya were the weakest, having taken 5th and 6th positions in WCL Div 1 last year, behind Scotland and Afghanistan. Not only should we let Ireland and Netherlands play their games before reaching a judgement on Associates in general, but we should also let all teams at least play out all of their games. We should remember that only 1 associate has to beat a full member for the entire participation to be vindicated. So lets wait till then. I am quite sure that Ireland and Netherlands are going to perform better against WI/Ban/Eng than Kenya and Canada in the other group. However, we still have Canada vs Zim and Kenya vs Zim games left to see what exactly the situation is.

The main culprit, and everyone seems to be missing this, is the schedule. It was COMPLETELY DOABLE to have 2 games in a day, one day game and one night game. The 2 hours of the first game, which are sometimes not even needed, can be cut off while switching to the second game. It is not the end of the world to do that. And it will prevent a situation where people wait for all day for a game, only to see Kenya being dismissed for 69 and the game finishing in 30 overs. Even today, we are awaiting the game between Aus and Zim, which might be a shortened affair.

My orginal thinking on ICC suddenly coming out to say that only 10 teams will be in the next world cup was to think it was a gimmick. That they are saying this so that if associates perform embarrasingly, then they are not blamed, and if they perform well, then the decision can always be reconsidered. If you pay attention to what has happenned after a terrible day for the associates, no one has blamed the ICC. Everyone has just blamed the associate teams for playing like this. It might be a masterstroke by the ICC to avoid degredation of their brand, but I might be giving the ICC too much credit for being able to think up such a far reaching scheme.

We should remember that the world cup is not just about the game of cricket. It is also about the cricketers of the world. It is also about showcasing why cricket is a great game, that others should play. A kid in Kenya or PNG or Ireland can pick up a bat and ask why he should play this game, at least we should not take away the dream. He wont make any money, and he will not be able to play cricket at the highest level, but he can dream to play and win a world cup, that always has its charm.

Finally, I havent as yet seen any comment from the ICC that associates will be kicked out of the next world cup. The only thing they have said is that there will be 10 teams. I dont think ICC will revist their WCL structure, they are likely to have a qualification tournament, maybe another league on top of WCL Div 1 where you have 4 strongest associates and the bottom 2 full members fighting for a qualification. While being an unfair fight, it still has the possibility of qualification.

Lets not jump the gun. Let the first round finish, and lets hear the ICC plan for qualification in the 2015 world cup.

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Categories: Cricket Development
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