Actually….. its not Bermuda….. its essentially Bermuda A…….. most of their big players from the world cup were missing, but Kevin O Brien was there, who being their best bowler was still left out from the World Cup squad due to disciplinary issues……
If you think of it as Bermuda A, then Denmark did not do anything special…… I dont have access to the scorecard, so I am not sure exactly who played for Denamrk and whether all of those who played actually qualify for Denmark either……
Still it makes interesting headline 🙂 I think both Ireland and Holland will eat the Bermudans for lunch…… and then dinner too……
Both Denmark and Namibia have been added to the High Performance Program by the ICC. 2 more teams will be added, but they will NOT be from Asia, and will be chosen from the WCQS Div 5 next year. It seems at the momment that Uganda and PNG might be the forerunners to get those 2 spots.
I am a bit surprised at the ACC decision that the asian teams should not be part of the global HPP, but rather ACC will take care of them itself. I am sure that they are likely to contribute less money towards ICC HPP as a result of this. More of a decentralized approach. The reason why I am surprised is becuase I think UAE/ Nepal/ Afghanistan would have benefitted more playing in the global HPP instead of one between each other, especially since Afghanistan actually does not even play in the ACC premier league. UAE keeps getting these games against weaker teams in the ACC region, and ends up losing to Namibia within 2 days. ICC HPP would have been the way to go for them, not sticking to ACC.
So, what does getting incorporated into HPP mean?? Well, for one thing, more funding. How much is a good question. Perhaps a one time investment of $500K? That was the amount given to the top 6 HPP countries last year, but that may have had the additional amount for the qualification for the WC 2007. I am not sure about the exact amount at the momment, but it looks like Namibia will benefit a lot due to the $500K or so transalting into a lot of money in their economy.
The HPP Training Camp in Pretoria is another advantage. This has been helping players a lot.
The 3rd thing is the calender. It will depend upon what kind of a calender the ICC can create for these teams. African region can benefit a lot if Uganda also gets through, because then there will be Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, all from that region and they can play a lot of cricket with each other. Perhaps, since the number will only be increased to 10 total teams, and 2 of them are already in the intercontinental cup, the other 2 may end up in the Intercontinental cup as well, which opens up a lot of touring possibilities. I was thinking that perhaps Namibia has missed a trick in the current SA/India series but not getting a warm up game against India. With their current performance in the SA domestic, they may have warranted a game, at least as a warm up for India.
The coaches are never provided by ICC to HPP countries. But the additional funding always helps in getting a better coach. However, the ICC did a few training sessions for the coaches of HPP countries, with which the new countries would benefit.
The main thing is the calender, and then the amount of funding. A stable calender will help the country finding domestic sponsors. ICC pays for the international tickets of the tours that it sponsors, so that takes away a chunk of the costs. It all depends upon how these 4 teams will be incorporated in the HPP calender for the top 6.
If someone can think of other advantages of being in the ICC’s HPP, please share.
It seems that associates are stuck in some kind of a time warp and there is no way out of it…. except for luck.
Denmark’s Amjad Khan, who while playing for Denmark was half their batting and bowling, has just qualified for England on the 4 year residence grounds, and is tipped to be good enough to break through into England ranks within a year. The guy is just 25 years old, so he still has a bit of time.
Now here is the well known dilemma. Associate teams are not good enough because…. well, they dont have players who are test level. But every time a player of test calibre comes up, someone who could thearatically break into aany test team today, he ends up going to an existing test country instead.
This has happenned to Ed Joyce, Amjad Khan, Eion Morgan has talked about his intentions. I have heard rumours about Kervezee being so good at this age, and that he may even be interested in moving the England way if he matures up to that level. Ten Doeschate mentioned that he is currently not thinking about it, the word ‘currently’ being the important one. Not to mention the 2 current Scotsmen who ended up playing test cricket for England i.e. Hamilton and Dougie Brown.
In the past Zimbabwe has had similar problems. Hick we all know was a class act, but so were Kevin Curran etc. All these guys being in the team would have made Zimbabwe a much stronger team, and would have given Andy Flower a lot of respote had Hick also been in the team sharing the burden. Zimbabwe cricket board eventually convinced the ICC after Hick’s migration that the game will stagnate in the country without true international competition and that the situation was ripe for a test status.
What is the way out of this situation? There are 2-3 ways forward. One is that the country keeps on producing these guys. Sure, one Joyce got picked up by England, but what if there had been 4 guys like that with Ireland? The loss of 1 guy would not hurt them that much, but what is the gaurantee that all 4 would not try to move to England? In any case, it is not possible, or at least not easy at all, for an associate country to produce players of such quality quickly and in a bulk. Zimbabwe did not have 5 Andy Flowers !!
The second way forward is to give the serious outings to the associates. This is pretty much what the ICC is doing, but I feel it is not enough. The money, the top opposition, the big crowds, the job security, the recognition….. none of that is there, or at least as much as the player would like to have. Hence the movement towards an established test country will continue. People quote Gavin Hamilton and say that he ruined his career by getting the solitary test outing for England and then going into wilderness before coming back to Scotland. I think on the contrary. What would Hamilton have achieved playing for Scotland? A few games against county opposition? That he managed playing for his county anyway, and much better. He got a test cap and tried his luck, and certainly was a better playing than his pair showed in that game. The point is that at the end of it all, I dont think that Hamilton would be too displeased about his choices, he would probably do the same thing all over again if he could go back in time.
While the recognition part is something that comes from playing numbers etc. the money part is something that cames from an uplift in standard and scheduling of proper high profile games. The ICC is trying to fix that, but can that be done with having only associates play each other? Surely, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have to be involved much more in this scheme of things than they currently are. Specifically the former.
Perhaps Ireland’s gland slam of European tournaments, and Greece’s goof up managed to overshadow one thing…… Denmark were very competitive in the Euro Division 1……. they lost to both Scotland and Netherlands on the last ball of the match, while the Scotland game was one where they fought back from nowhere to get into that position…… they achieved both of these things without the services of Thomas Hansen, who is their top bowler, though recently Henrick Hansen is challenging him for that title.
Lets for a momment ignore what is happenning in the youth leagues and youth national teams from Denmark, because it seems that 6 of the current players, Klokker, M Pederson, Z Shah, Hamid Zaman, MJ Hansen and Yasir Iqbal are all below the age of 23, so they have a good 10-12 years of cricket in front of them……. so if these guys mature during that time, they definitely have the talent to take Denmark higher up the ladder in associate countries…….. the future doesnt really hold up for Denmark, because their youth teams were not only pathetic, but it looks like if only minorities are playing the game then the standard and playing numbers may be reducing as well in the juniors……. but for the next 10 years, I think they are ok………
The trick is not to go in the wilderness…….. organize games against County seconds, or against the associates…… keep playing strong opposition to imrprove the standards……… But I am afraid that I would not consider them to be a future force, because of the regression in their junior teams…….. a good idea would be to ask one of the counties to play the warm up tour in Denmark…… certainly Denmark can provide as good an opposition to the county as UAE or Oman can……. and that too in similar conditions to what the county is likely to face in the season…….. plus I think the cost of the tour would not be an issue either………….
Denmark needed 4 off the last ball with Zishan Shah facing, but it ended up being a dot ball……. However, the Danes fought very well in this game, and they need to think about why Thomas Hansen was not playing…….. The scottish team however has perhaps found their permanent opener in Watts, who scored 171* today, the highest score by a Scotsman in any one day game.
The other game between Netherlands and Ireland got abandoned due to rain. Chasing 274, the Dutch were in pretty bad shape but ten Doeschate started hitting out. When the game abandoned, the Dutch were 125-5 in 19 overs. In my opinion, they still had a chance, becuase Kervezee and ten Doeschate were playing, with Borren and Van Troost to come.
Netherlands have been the unluckiest regarding ODIs this year….. first their 3 ODIs v Kenya got knocked out…… then their ODIs v Scotland got cancelled…… then their ODI v Scotland 2 days back became a 20 over game (they would have probably beaten the Scots in the 50 over encounter)…. and today their ODI got abandoned……. I think, come the World Cup, and Netherlands will be the least prepared team……. KNCB should probably look into this and try to setup some home games against the associates for the players to gain confidence…… Right now, they are either losing, or their games are not getting completed……
After the big story from Euro Div II vis a viz Greece….. I am not following it anymore, because I think Jersey will win it easily…….
But it was a 20/20 match, so I would not read too much into it….I think the game was inconclusive, although, it asks the questions about what is happenning…… Scotland beat 3 counties in C&G Trophy, Ireland only 1. Ireland have now beaten Scotland, and Scotland and Netherlands seem to be at par with each other…………
In the other game in Div I, Denmark beat Italy with Klokker failing once again……. Though, I would have to say that Italy did not look that far behind Denmark, and it was not a total outplay like one would have expected…… time to see what the difference is between the top team from Div II and the last team from Div I….. hopefully ECC can find out the answer to that question fairly soon through some tournament and we dont have to wait till 2008 Euro Div I….
Bigger surprises have come in the 2nd Division….. Greece has thrashed Guernsey by 9 wickets, which once again puts Bermuda’s standards under scrutiny………… what I really liked about Greece was that the wickets were taken by Goustis, Tousis and Kontarinis…… while the runs were made by Koutsofis and Maraziotis…. all mainstream Greek players……in fact today they even dropped one of their expat players to make their team stronger…… you dont see that happenning too much in European associates…..
Jersey beat Norway, the favorites…… and this makes me think that Greece may have a tougher semi final than the final…… Israel beat France…… and Gibraltar bounced back to beat Germany….. so all 4 games ended up being upsets…… I dont remember the last time I saw a tournament with so many upsets in the first 3-4 days…..
I am not surprised at either result, but I am surprised at the pathetic manner in which the losing sides played.
First, Netherlands beat Italy…… expected…… by 140 runs…… not expected……
Netherlands made 317 runs, and Italy could muster only 177 in reply, out of which 51 were extras. Something for the Netherlands to think about, because even Italy gave only 18 extras. Secondly, Stelling…… what the hell….. 7-0-51-0…… I think his time has come, Netherlands should not take their policy of holding on to old horses all the time. 2 of them are enough in the team at the momment in Van Troost and Smits…… cant have a 3rd liability as well…… If the other pace bowlers are never going to be tried, then they will never improve………….
Italy….. Scuderi was not playing, but I thought they were a better team than this….. Highest score coming from Puccio, who, if I am not mistaken, is an Australian who is of Italian origin, pretty much like what John Davison is to Canada……. There is nothing to say about their performance, it was comprehensively pathetic…..
Ireland smashed Denmark by 99 runs….. firstly, Denmark’s bowling was quite sharp….. 10-0-36-2 for Thomas Hansen, and good efforts by both MJ Hansen and Z Shah as well. Plus they managed to bowl out Ireland, something that even England could not achieve 2 months back, in 45 overs for only 209…… good performance and they must have thought they were in with a chance at that point….
But they got dismissed for 110….. Carston Pederson made 65*, last man Kanaiya made 11, and none of the others could get past 6 runs. Thats absolutely crap. This was the full Danish team played, with only Borcherson getting injured so they played with 1 batsman less, but Borcherson is not their top player, so I dont know what he could have done anyway. The only person missing from this lineup was Kopperholdt, but he is a bowler, and Danish bowling was pretty good anyway….. I think they can also drop Baljit Singh for the next match now that Klokker is keeping wickets….. Rasmussen or Hamid Zaman may need to be tried out.
Denmark….. with all its limitations has at least one thing going for them….. their best players, or at least those considered to be so before this match, are all 23 years old or less…… this includes Klokker, Z Shah, M Pederson, Hamid Zaman, Yasir Iqbal and Malcolm Johan Hansen……..
Of course, they have to at least start putting a better on field performance than this…….