Home > Cricket Development > More on mercenaries in Associate Cricket …

More on mercenaries in Associate Cricket …

I came across this  article by Rod Lyall at CricketEurope. Its a good article to read.

I have usually been at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to major publications on this topic. People have almost always talked about how I am  politically incorrect. But it seems that after almost 8 years of ranting, finally, things seem to be making sense to others.

Let me make one point. Every single country on this planet has 11 cricket players, and can hence form a national team. Take the example of some south american country, like Paraguay, and I am sure there are 11 eleven players in that country who play cricket in their backyard. The high performance program is not just about getting someone to play cricket, it is about helping associate countries, maybe the top 10, to be competitive with the top 8 test teams.

So how does someone get into the HPP? By being in the top 10. One would assume that you are in the top 10 because you have a lot of things going for you:

1) Cricket can attract and sustain the attention, interest and imagination of a kid in that country below the age of 10. There are some facilities available where he can realize his passion, and this is happening for enough kids for this to be a competitive exercise. Given the lifestyle, the kid is not losing the interest to other sports or activities. The culture in the country is one that is at least somewhat supportive of him playing the game.
2)  Same as (1) but for the kid from age 11-19
3) After that age, whether cricket is marketable, organized enough for them to at least get to semi professional level, whether the standard of the domestic cricket can maintain some reasonable amateur standard (read Ireland level from 2007). Whether the “appetite” for cricket is for it’s own team, or some other country’s team.

If you have this setting, and the associate is performing in the top 10 consistently, there is a real shot at identifying the growth areas, meaning that there is some plant that can be watered.

Now break this setting. Take the example of UAE, Canada or USA. Are the showing that cricket can survive in that country if you look at (1) – (3)? Is Netherlands showing that? Or Hong Kong? Oman? Italy? They are not.

Lets just get UAE out of the way. Waqar Younis grew up in UAE, but I didnt see him tearaway through associate ranks for that country. Tanvir Ahmed, a recent Pakistani test bowler, was born and grew up in Kuwait, but as soon as they realized he was actually a high standard player, guess who he represented. I will probably never forget the second biggest joke that was Ather Laeeq (Pakistan) bowling to Arshad Laeeq (UAE), and they were brothers, both living in Pakistan. Just that one brother was not really international standard, so he decided to turn out for UAE instead, before he returned to play for his domestic team in Pakistan. I call it the second biggest joke, because the biggest joke is when cricket writers refer to the UAE team as the Arabs. Errr ….. anyone with an iota of brain would know that they reason NONE of the Pakistani, Indian or Sri lankan kids born in UAE have a nationality is becuase they are NOT considered Arabs (Emirati) by the UAE government themselves. The Arabs DONT play cricket in UAE, and even if some do, it is not of HPP standard, and there are not many of them. So there, thats the answer to whether UAE should or should not be in HPP, or World Cup or not.

A kid who goes to College in the US or Canada for education, can at the end of this four year degree, qualify to play for these countries in a world cup qualifying event. Cricket has in it’s history a few things that differentiates it from other sports, and one of them is the perpetual international nature of the contest, which brings with it a lot of things that perhaps shorter international sports dont. For example, you do get to learn a lot about other countries when on an away tour. This kind of a tradition should probably not be nullified so easily, and if all that we care about is standard, and not who is playing, then perhaps giving Australia A ODI status should be the way forward !

Who is showing (1)-(3) above? The answer is simple, and it was the same 8 years ago: Ireland, Afghanistan, Nepal, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Scotland and Papua New Guinea.

So if the ICC can only invest in 6-8 countries, how is it a good idea to support a country whose claim to fame is that they are able to get 6 domestic players from Aus/SA/NZ/Pak/Ind to come and play for them? If you have to parachute players in, in my book that means you are in the wrong league, and not ready for the funding that you are getting. If you put up a false face, and show some high level of achievement with the national team that does not reflect the state of cricket in your country, then at least the ICC should not be blindly giving you any funds for showing progress. Unless off course, googling, sending emails, and finding loopholes in ICCs playing regulations is considered development effort.

And lets also spare the talk about England also having KP, Morgan, Trott etc in their lineup. At least if they leave, there are still other players who can keep England floating in the Top 8 teams in the world. It would not be that losing four imported South Africans would throw England to affiliate status. And really, England was in the inventor of the game, its not really a developing associate to worry about this stuff now.

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Kim Dae Yeon
    April 6, 2012 at 1:47 am

    What about South Korean Cricket?

    • April 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      What about it? I don’t believe anyone plays cricket seriously over there

  2. Dae Yeon
    April 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks for reply me.Well…That you said~you don’t belive that nobody plays cricket seriously over in korea.So let me know~How many Cricket Leauge over in Korea Every year??How many Professional cricket Player in Korea.I just asked that,what about Korean cricket because,look at the this Blog on the “Categories:.Here is lot of Country name but Nothing about South Korea.So i am Little bit Disoppointed.Actually i am cricket Crazy.You can called me Mad”.Thats not matter for me.I like cricket and my Dream is a cricket Player.Lets talk about Proffesional cricketer !!! I think in Korea,here is Lot of Foreginers,they can be play well,they know well about cricket,But thats not mean they are Professional crickter and Trainer.Becuase they have a Occupation and thats can be a Teacher or Worker.I think Cricket is Just Hobby for them.I am not a Professional trainer but i am Professional Cricket Player and i am Playing Since 10 Years.I played on National Level in my Country,so its generally i know well about cricket and cricket Skills and rules.So Korea Just start cricket,its definetly,they don’t know well about Cricket.Maybe 90% People are don’t know that what is cricket.is that Right??So i want to Publish cricket on to the Korean People and want to help them.Is it my fault?I know here is lot of person doing really hard work for Improving South Korean cricket.They are really Great Person.Nice to talk with you Mr.Nasir Khan.Have a Great day for you and always good luck for you.

  3. Jemmy Lee
    April 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Hello Friends! Well talking Mr Nasir Khan and Dae Yean.. I am just heared that South Korea will be play cricket at 2014 Asian game in Incheon.Is it truth?Korea have any Cricket National team?

  4. Ka Singh
    July 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

    On Ireland and Afghanistan – Currently on the right track and need to pull more upsets to increase their fanbase.
    On Netherlands – I think though the Dutch are using imports but in the long run they actually want to develop the local indigenous players as shown that they have fielded 6 Dutchmen against UAE in the ICC intercontinental cup match tat is currently going on. Their A sides, and under age teams are predominantly Dutch. Perhaps, by using the imports they want to prevent relegation.
    On UAE – Unless you get Emiratis in the cricket it will not succeed. The South Asians though contribute more than 50% of UAE’s population. But I still don’t see stadiums packed when the current UAE team is playing because the expats support their original teams. UAE (country) is just like a club with expats the temporary members and Emiratis the Admins. I think the Asian games can be good platform for the Emiratis to participate and I hope that they are given proper training for the Games.
    On Canada and USA – Same old, same old. No local development and the youth is not indigenous but just expats and children of expats. The Canada is last at the WCL championships table tells us the story. Even expat dominated sides like Germany, Belgium, France etc. have achieved better local indigenous youth development.
    On Scotland – Though they are wobbling now their next generation of players look good to me. Recently ICC has allowed Scotland to import players with Scottish parents which shows that ICC is a joke and a pet-dog of Full Member boards.
    On DEnmark – Really sad now of what they have become. They are in the grave.
    On Italy – Nasir bhai, I have read your one of your older posts in which you have said their are 70% local Italians in their domestic circuit. But now I see 90% of players are Sri Lankan.
    On teams like Hong Kong, Singapore, IOM, Gibraltar etc. – These are very small teritories and I don’t care too much about them. But alteast in Gibraltar and Guernsey teams you get to see Italians, Frenchmen, Spaniards etc.

    In future we will see teams like Nepal, Uganda and P.N.G in the top tier and getting local support.

  5. Manu
    November 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I agree with you nazir almost fully.Only 3 or 4 expats should be allowed in top associate teams.If a team is unable to field a team with most players born there,it shouldnt be among top ranked associates to be fair to other associates.If eligiblity rules are strict as they should be, countries like PNG,Nepal,Uganda would be ranked high and will receive all funding from ICC they deserve.By fielding artificial teams,nations like Holland,UAE are able to get a short-lived success and wont develop in long term and also hinder devolpment of homegrown teams like PNG,Nepal.If a nation cant field a team with mainly home developed players,it should be still allowed to play but only in lower divisions of regions like Asia,Africa,Europe with no promotion to higher divisions or WCLs even if they finish in top.That would ensure deserved associates to remain high as they should be and also nations with imported players will gradually change composition of their teams because they will get low funding if they play with only imports as they are in lower divisions.Perhaps, only 1 area where you made mistake is I think in case of Canada,HK and Denmark.Their teams are a team with majority players developed by them but of foreign descent.That might excuse them are they are not trying to achieve higher rankings by importing players developed by test nations.Still I say unless they take game to mainstream population,cricket couldn’t reach much heights there.I hope ICC stricten rules so that global rankings and funding associates/affiliates receive are a real measure of strength of cricket among native citizens in the country.

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