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Archive for the ‘General Cricket’ Category

Opinion: Ramblings on the ICL issue….

August 22, 2007 1 comment

I understand that the Pakistani players are professional cricketers, and that they have the right to take the decisions that are in their best interests….. but I have a question in this regard…..

Lets say that the ICC did not have any player qualification criteria for the national teams….. anyone could play for any country. In that situation too, the players would still be professional cricketers…… the same logic should apply. Would it then be ok for say, Afridi to play for India against Pakistan if the BCCI gave him much better money? Should we only be judging cricket, which involves representing your country, and has a crazy following in Pakistan, in terms of finances?

I mentioned this before that the associates are different in this regard. Pakistanis playing in the ICL, effectively stating that would ‘rather’ play for ICL than for Pakistan cannot be compared with Ed Joyce, Morgan or Coetzer. In the case of the associates, it is all or nothing comparison. In the case of the test countries, you are talking about a difference of money, and the money that the Pakistani get by playing for Pakistan is still one of the best paying jobs in the country, nearly 20 times the average household income of the country.

For Azhar Mehmood and Inzi, I agree with their decisions because their chances of selection for national team now are close to nil. Imran Farhat, one can at least understand, he wasnt a definite choice in anything. But Razzaq and Yousaf, esp the latter, who are confirmed selections in the squad for almost any tour….. should one shrug off their decision on the logic that a man has to do what a man has to do?

Categories: General Cricket, Pakistan

News: Kolpak agreement killing Cricket – Majola

July 24, 2007 3 comments

 Looks like this issue of losing national players to counties, and then to England is not only affecting the associates, but South Africa as well…… in fact, for some reason it is particularly affecting South Africa, and not England or New Zealand that much.

Gerald Majola has made a statement that Kolpak Agreements are killing Cricket…. and that we may see a situation where the best players are best county cricket trying to qualify for England, while only the second stringers are playing in the national teams………

Why are South Africans trying to qualify for England? Is it because of the quota issue? Why didnt the ICC talk about these things in the AGM? Why did they waste time in making stupid rules like ‘free hits’ for ODIs? And on that note, if they wanted to try something like that, they should have first tampered with Twenty20 games rather than ODIs……….

Categories: General Cricket

Opinion: Thinking beyond the rain…..

July 14, 2007 4 comments

This post is not about associates. This posting is about test teams.

Shouldnt the test countries, especially those that make $5million per match (e..g Pak v Ind game), do something about the rain? The simplest, and most expensive solution is to have a canopy in the stadium. Yes it will cost a lot of money, but look at how much money is lost when games do not take place due to rain, and also how much inconvenience there is for everyone involved, especially the crowd, when the rain delays games.

Australia already has a covered cricket stadium. Other countries, especiall the South Asian ones, should follow suit.

The US plays baseball during the summers, when the chance of rain is close to nil. Basketball and Ice Hockey are indoor sports, while NFL is played during the winter season, but the sport overall is not affected due to rain, just like Soccer.

Categories: General Cricket

Opinion: A better world cup format……..

May 15, 2007 8 comments

I remember reading the original format for the world cup 2007 2-3 years back. It was the one that was also used in the MLB World Championship in 2006. The first round would be the same as it was this year, followed by a second stage. The second stage would be 2 groups of 4 each, these being the top 2 teams of each pool. They carry the points forward against each other, hence only 4 games need to be played for each group in round 2. At the end of this, you can have the semi finals and the final. The total number of games, combined for both second round groups, would be 8. The world cup can be finished within 30 days, like the football world cup.

Of course, there is no way to gaurantee that teams like India and Pakistan do not get knocked out in the first round :):) Apparently that was a ‘problem area’ for many in the current format……

Categories: General Cricket

Opinion: ODIs in 2006

December 15, 2006 1 comment

This is a bit interesting. Bangladesh being more successful in ODIs, behind only to NZ and Aus than the rest.

What I find to be very odd is that NZ, despite being #2, played only 12 ODIs!!!! Thats less than Kenya, and about 40% of Both Zim and Bangladesh. Surely, NZ would have liked to have some outing rather than nothing. It would have made sense for them to be available for touring Bangladesh, or the more willing associates like Scotland, Kenya etc. Same is the case with England, and to some extent Pakistan, not enough games.

People look at the following table and say that it is a skewed table because the associates dont play the Big 8. Thats something worth thinking about, but I have a question. Isnt the table ALWAYS skewed? I mean, some country can play Australia most of the time, while another can play a weaker lot, like England. And in any case, this is not a rankings table, its just a statistics summary total. Good thing is that every team has at least 1 victory, and Bangladesh is getting the correct tag of being the 9th best team in the world, instead of the ‘worst’ that they used to get with only 10 teams.

Team                 ODIs      Won     Lost     Tied       NR      Win %
Australia              29       20        8        0        1      71.42
New Zealand       12        8        4        0        0      66.66
Bangladesh          27       17       10        0        0      62.96
South Africa        24       15        9        0        0      62.50
West Indies         32       18       13        0        1      58.06
Sri Lanka             34       18       14        0        2      56.25
Ireland                   3        1        1        0        1      50.00
Pakistan               22       10       10        0        2      50.00
India                     30       13       15        0        2      46.42
Kenya                   16        7        9        0        0      43.75
Netherlands           8        3        4        0        1      42.85
Bermuda              12        4        8        0        0      33.33
Zimbabwe            29        8       20        0        1      28.57
England                20        5       14        0        1      26.31
Scotland                 4        1        3        0        0      25.00
Canada                 10        2        8        0        0      20.00

TOTAL                 156      150      150        0        6

Categories: General Cricket

Thailand’s and Bhutan’s Preparations for the ACC U-15 Cup in Dec.

November 4, 2006 10 comments

Rashid Khan’s appointment as coach for the China U-15 team to play in Bangkok in December has been to focus of all attention in the run up to the tournament so far, however two of the other participating teams, namely, hosts Thailand, and Bhutan have also been preparing hard for the tournament where the top two teams will play in the Elite division next year.

Sixteen players from all around Thailand (mainly Bangkok, Khon Khaen, and Chiang Mai)  were selected to participate in a seven day training camp at the Prem Tinsulanonda School Cricket Academy at the start of October. To my knowledge, the boys have been going through nets sessions, fitness, and fielding drills, and a couple of practice matches against a CMSCA (Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance) Select XI. The squad will be trimmed down to fourteen before the start of the tournament which starts on the 14th of December. I will be back in Bangkok from the 19th of November and will be helping with the squad….so I should have more comprehensive updates closer to the start…i will also be a liason officer..during the tournament..for one of the teams..which should be interesting..can provide detailed updates each day..

 That said, Thailand as the only ICC associate in the tournament needs to stamp its authority and win it comprehensively. Its good to see the association putting effort into preparing the squad for the tournament. I know its a talented squad with about 7-9 ethnic boys (to my knowledge), so it would be good if we came out on top..especially against Oman, Saudi, and Qatar.

 Bhutan have selected 45 schoolboys from a recent school boy tournament to undergo selection trials for their U-15 squad. Bhutan are developing extremely fast, and even have their own full cricket ground with a few artificial center wickets and nets. According to the site, www.bhutancricket.org, the squad are training weekly, and a shortlist of 14 will be selected for the tournament. Apparently there are 2 or 3 national team players who are 14 or 15, who will be playing the tournament. Should be interesting to see how they perform against Qatar, Oman, and Maldives. I happen to think they will give these sides a fight if not more.

Categories: General Cricket

Opinion: How much did the ICC goof up?

October 18, 2006 2 comments

One of the most glaring things that stands out in the current ICC Champions Trophy is that the first round was not really needed. ICC could have very easily picked only the top 8 teams from the rankings and held this tournament. If the first round was necessary for some reason, and Bangladesh may have a view on it, they could have held the first round as “Champions Trophy Qualifying” tournament about 3-4 months in advance, or even in April. Alternatively, they could have tried to have the Champions Trophy qualifying as a 6 nation event, also allowing the top 2 associates to particiapte and get their ‘events’  against test nations. The only problem would have been which associates were the top 2 in ICCs eyes?? If last year’s rankings are to be followed that would have been Kenya and Scotland. If current rankings are to be followed they would have been Kenya and Bermuda !!. I think the best thing would be to look at the WCQS Div 1, and the top 2 from there would particiapte in the Champions Trophy qualifying.

Lets see if this makes sense…… WCQS Div 1 would be in 2007……. Champions Trophy qualifying can be held in May of 2008 between 6 nations……. and the actual Champions Tophy in Sept/Oct of 2008. Sounds like a good plan, except for the fact that so many world events are likely to diminish the value of the World Cup….. but that problem will be there until the ICC is able to get at least 16-20 pre-exodus Zim standard teams in the world…..

Categories: General Cricket