I am jumping the gun, but the 2 semi finals have been decided in the ACC U19. It is Malaysia v Nepal, and Afghanista v UAE. The match ups are courtesy of Afghanistan’s upset victory over Malaysia on the opening day of the tournament.
Now lets say Afghanistan and Nepal make it to the finals, then Malaysia would still get qualification while one of the others would get left behind. While this is unfair, I am still ok with the fact that Malaysia being the hosts of the U19 WC should be featuring their team. What I am not ok with is that the fact that one of Nepal or Afghanistan may be left out, while Bermuda and PNG have made it through to the World Cup. I would think the standard difference is just too much in that case, and there should be a second shot for the losing ACC team by playing Bermuda or PNG.
Additionally, the funny thing is that Scotland will have a go at the qualifying ACC team. Why has that special consideration being made?
Malaysia U19 is quite strong…. they have only been beaten by Nepal in the finals of the ACC trophy in the last 5 years…… they have good infrastructure, good funding, good organization, good system, good facilities, and a good touring program. In that light, it was quite interesting to see Afghanistan U19 beat them, albiet by 4 wkts, in their recent match in the ACC Trophy U19 qualifiers. Afghanistan ofcourse, have unfortunately created a notorious reputation for fielding overage players, so hopefully they didnt do it this time, and the ACC had enough checks in the system to avoid what happened once before.
See, to me it does not make sense that we do not have a global league for the qualification of the U19 teams. PNG and Bermuda should, in my opinion, not have gotten entry into the world cup just because they belong to different regions. It is better for everyone involved if the 6 best teams represent the associates, rather than 6 from the regions. We could have had a 10 team global league to select the final 6 for the World Cup (or final 5 now that the host has automatic entry). In my opinion, Uganda, Namibia, Bermuda, PNG, Afghanistan, Nepal, Malaysia, Ireland, Scotland…. and one other country (either Canada or Kenya) should have battled to find out the best 6 to go through….. that tournament would have also helped in understanding the U19 stature of the associates a lot better than the regional set up right now……
It would be interesting to find out if the associates who are currently struggling in getting the players to convert to professionals, are thinking about the franchise model seriously, and what are the pitfalls of such a system.
SA is currently using a franchise model for the domestic teams, with a sponsor fielding their own team, instead of sponsoring a regional side.
There are at least 4 countries that can make use of such a model at the momment, as their main problem seems to be in the amateur to pro transition for their players….. Scotland, Ireland, Nepal and Uganda……..
In such a system, the sponsors get to name the team, e.g. Pepsi stars etc. Or the team can just carry the sponsor’s name. 4-5 such teams can be made which will at least professionalize a pool of 50-60 top players in the country…….. I am sure that all of these countries can get hold of 1 airline, 1 auto manufacturer, 1 soft drink, and a couple of others to field their teams in this league……….
This model comes in handy when the cricket board is not making money from international commitments, and at the same time, the domestic/ club games are not something that gets patronized by the public. Pakistan has had such a system till the late 90s, where instituitions and banks etc were fielding their teams………………. there are pifalls of this system, in that only the talent from a couple of major centers is unearthed, but it should be a workable model for countries who are in the chicken and egg type situation regarding standard/money……….
There were reports that Malaysia may be trying this model out…… It is strange that Malaysia is looking to have a better infrastructure than a few test countries yet nothing is showing up………… their planned structure consists of club cricket, then the talent from there getting pooled into a state side, then the talent from there getting pooled into a franchise side, then the best 14 getting picked for Malaysia…….. I guess we can take this as an example that infrastructure alone is not the answer…………
btw…… while we are talking about Malaysia……. I could not help but watch the final of the Azlan Shah Hockey 2007 between Australia and Malaysia, with Aus winning 3-1……. Pakistan, India, Korea, Argentina were all in the tournament…….. I remember 17 years ago, sitting and watching what was perhaps the first edition of this tournament…….. Pakistan was unbeatable, and teams like Malaysia could not even stand up to them…….. I guess this is a prime example of how something will eventually come out of exposing your men to the highest standards……….
Here is the full deal. Asia will have 2 spots, Europe and Americas will have 1 each, while there will probably 2 spots going to a combined Africa/EAP tournament.
I would have thought that ICC would also think about giving Nepal an Automatic spot, perhaps even Ireland. Nepal finished in the top 10 this time, beating a number of test teams. The tournament could easily have been increased to 20 teams without too much expenditure, and without too much of a change to the 4 pool system. We have discussed possibilities for this before on this blog.
The other thing in the newspiece is about Nepal NOT getting the ACC academy, but instead getting $100, 000 for the development of infrastructure of some sort. I think given the close proximity of all these academies, if an ACC Academy has to be made, it would make sense for it to be made in Malaysia, just to get a decent geographical spread around.
Finally, the ACC has come to it’s sense, and it introducing a ranking system for the teams in the region (associates only?). This will help everyone, but I would like to see these rankings updated on their website after any match takes place which affects them. Are these going to be seperate rankings for the age levels and senior teams, or one combined ranking? The combined ranking would be confusing.
Looks like the Tri series did help Malaysia through this $150K, and also the $500K that India put in installing those floodlights in Kinara Oval…….
Malaysia always has the adminsitration, the facilities, the infrastrucutre, and they have mainstreamed the game as well…… and they have done it all through internal means using a lot of hard work…… but they dont have the talent……I wonder why? People will say that they have a very strong age level team….. well, actually they dont…… they have the second best team in Asia at the U19 level, but the way Nepal has always thrashed them in the finals, there is a world of a difference…….. I believe that Ireland is probably stronger than Malaysia at the U19 level……..
Malaysia has decided that they will, from next year, hold a national league featuring 6 franchise teams. This is probably on the South African model, with sponsors giving their names to teams and fielding them……. Malaysia has also indicated, after a meeting with the state associations, that the inter state competition would stay as a feeder system to this franchise league….. All in all, Malaysia will be having 4 types of tournaments……… the age level tournaments, the inter club tournament, the inter state tournament and finally, the national franchise league…… the franchise league, since it will field pros, will probably also be able to play multi day cricket, though there is nothing certain on that at the momment…..
All in all, this is a unique move by an associate…… even before, Malaysia had contracted their players which was a unique thing for associates…….. After this 6 month long domestic set up, the other 6 months will be focussing only on the national teams (senior and age level) to provide them with the exposure and experience………….
This is not a sarcastic or suggestive question…… its just a simple question…..
I know that Abu Dhabi Cricket Association was given a million dollars for the 2 ODIs between India and Pakistan this year…… Is Malaysia Cricket board expecting something like that? Australia and WI are going to be given $1million each for every game they play….. The ground which is hosting the ODIs is going to be given floodlights, all expenses paid by BCCI, so thats one thing…… I am not sure how they can install a floodlight system in a couple of weeks though…… gate money, tv rights etc all belong to India, so I am not sure what Malaysia Cricket Board is getting out of this? There is a gala dinner that the Malaysian cricket association is hosting and they are pricing those tickets for RM500 ( about $136) …. Malaysian national cricketers will be able to meet the test teams…… the event is likely to create some buzz as to cricket being a big money professional sport (though television can also do that…)
Also, look at this kind of money…… $1million to 1 team for playing 1 match…… the associates need to realize that if they are able to raise their standards to be able to beat India, they CAN have a windfall of money….. perhaps not this kind of money but decent money can be earned even if they can become strong enough to challenge the other test teams…..