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Posts Tagged ‘ICC’

Not Really Invincible But Definitely the Strongest

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

It is not surprising to see an Australian team emerge as the winner in an ICC Cricket tournament; however, the way this Australian outfit bounced back after their dismal Ashes campaign is peerless. They have got the perfect combination and the perfect replacements, though it won’t fill the shoes of the former greats.

Australia struggled terribly in the ICC World T20 and this was followed by an abysmal effort in the Ashes series which made them look pretty ordinary. An almost white wash by Australia in the ODI series against England was just a beginning. Even then, there were those who believed that Australia did not have the arsenal to defend the Champions Trophy they clinched in 2006.

In the initial stages, Australia’s performance justified the skeptics and they were almost on the brink of another oust. After winning that nail-biter against Pakistan, Australia peaked at the right time by winning the semi-final and the final matches comprehensively.

So we might see another strong team in the next World Cup that is not so far from now. This will intensify the battle for the World Cup as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa have strong bids for the next World Cup.

Too Much of Cricket Will Spoil the Game

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

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There have been a lot of heated discussions prevailing in the cricketing world to ‘control’ the game. What does this ‘control’ imply? Is this to control the T20 matches to make the traditional versions alive or to truncate the Test matches and the ODI matches to increase the gush of money to cricket? ICC, at the helm of cricket is in a dilemma to choose the best for cricket; to make it popular at the same time not diluting it.

FIFA – the perfect example

So, what is the real concern? There are lots of wise men at the helm; however they couldn’t come to a conclusion to find the resolution for this ‘concern’. There are many things which cricket could learn from Football.  Being a game of small-duration, spectators endorse the brevity of Football, which perhaps is the main reason why it has roots across the globe. Being played in over 200 countries, football hardly has any crisis which threatens its existence. FIFA, the governing body of Football has the last word in football, when it comes to a decision. They continuously improve the game by applying new rules that would entice the spectators at the same time won’t kill the soul of the game. ICC should come up with new revenue models so that they stay on the top of the national cricket boards. Currently, ICC hardly has any power to stand against the power houses – India, Australia, England and South Africa. BCCI, the Indian cricket board stands tall due to the chunk of revenue coming from India.

Too Many Matches

‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ is perhaps 100% correct in the case of cricket. Let’s take the example of India – Pakistan matches before 2005 and after 2005. Though the matches played after 2005 were in front of a full house, the intensity plunged due to matches played often between them. The 80’s and the 90’s experienced lot of high-voltage contests between the two and never lacked the exuberance. Contrary to the current scenario is the Ashes series, which is not played very often, attracts lot of spectators and never lacks the intensity. It is the dream of every Aussie or English player to win the Ashes urn more than a World Cup simply because of the legacy it carries. Downsizing the number of bilateral series and implementing more 3 nation or 4 nation tournaments is also another solution.

Fortifying the grass-root level

The respective Cricket Boards should strengthen their domestic structure to form a good pool of potential players, who could represent their nation at any point. If the domestic structure is robust then, the team won’t lose its momentum when a senior player retires. Apart from this effort, the ICC should conduct the U-19 World Cup and other junior level ICC tournaments in more serious ways as these tournaments are the stepping stone for the youngsters to the International cricket.

All the efforts will go fruitless, if the member nations won’t participate actively. ICC could only formulate plans, which should be carried out by the member nations, who should not show their financial arrogance when decisions concerning the fate of the game are made.

BCCI Flex Muscles Yet Again

Monday, August 31st, 2009

In what is said to be a controversial revelation, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) chief Julian Hunte has told reporters that India, the financial super power of cricket has dismissed the proposal by ICC to setup a World Test Championship around the four year cycle. Being a full-time ICC member, Hunte’s disclosure will wallop the cricketing world that is already rocked by several controversies.

According to Hunte, ICC was considering a Super League – a four year structure resulting in a World Test Championship as a part of changing the structure of the Future Tour Programs (FTP) after 2012. Hunte exposed the decision-making power of 4 commercially valued members headed by India in the ICC meeting. Though Hunte hadn’t revealed their names, it is well understood that the other 3 super powers are England, South Africa and Australia.

Hunte also revealed that a few members of the ICC are skeptical about the motives of the IPL team promoters. He told that the ICC should take reasonable steps to take hold of the game as it’s in a crucial juncture.

The main reason for BCCI’s rejection is the sharing of broadcasting revenue from a central pool, which would not be profitable for them unlike other tournaments. As 70% of the ICC’s revenue comes from India, it makes it difficult for the ICC to stand against India.

Back to the ODI carnival

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

After some heart-stopping T20 matches and quality test matches, cricket is back to its foremost shorter-version to take the spectators by storm- The Champions Trophy 2009.Following the draggy World Cup at the Caribbean, the cricketing world would be keen to see how this event performs, as there are lot of expert opinion to cut back the no of ODI’s and retain test cricket.

Australia, the reigning winners will be keen to resurgent in the world of cricket after some abashing defeats in the form of World T20 and at the Ashes. They have lost the dominance since the retirement of their great players and the infusion of new blood hasn’t proved effective yet. Australia is pondering different options like splitting the captaincy to reduce the pressure on Ponting, who is the backbone of the Australian batting order. Brett Lee has missed the bulk of the season due to injury and would be keen to make an impact as the Aussie bowling struggled in his absence in the Ashes.

South Africa and India are the strong contenders who’d be bidding for the title. South Africa’s dismal performance in the crunch matches has been a conundrum that they would like to crack this time around. India on the other hand, is more confident and would like to keep aside the grim at the World T20 as an aberration. They have performed consistently since 2008 and would like to get the silverware that slipped from their hands several times.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England are also unavoidable due to their volatile nature and the unpredictable nature of cricket itself.  The tournament promises to be a belter, if it lives up to the hype.

Cracking The WADA Code

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

The Signing of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code has triggered another confrontation between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI). The tension has now stepped up after the Federation of International Cricketers (FICA) warned the ICC for giving any leeway for the Indian players.

The International Olympic Committee too has initiated WADA as a part of its continuous endeavor to wipe out doping from the world of sports. The signing of this code which started off with the athletes from the Olympic events later spread across events outside Olympics.

The main constraint in this code is revealing the whereabouts of the players to WADA, which is unacceptable for the Indian players. Due to their tight match schedule and security issues it will be tough for them to reveal their details in advance. Though several other celebrity players have signed this code including Roger Federer and Usain Bolt, the level of security threats against the Indian players are quite higher.

FICA’s intervention in this clash is not really related to any player’s concern but to voice against the Indian players, who are not part of them. ICC has begun talks with BCCI to sort out this issue, however WADA has made it very clear that there will not be any leeway for the Indian players as several other players have signed this without any hesitation.

Commercialization of the Gentleman’s Game

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Since the first cricket test played in 1877, cricket has evolved drastically and diversified into three main formats and other local formats. Test cricket remains as the heart and soul of cricket, while one day cricket and now T20 are tagged as the popular versions of the game. Cricket has been generating billions of money from the sub-continent, especially from India, where people keep cricket close to their heart and celebrate every cricket match as a national festival. Advertisers pour in to be a part of every cricket carnival where cricketers are considered as demigods. Corporates are behind them for making them brand ambassadors of products, because of their superstar value and it is no wonder that cricketers are amongst the highest paid sports professionals now.

IPL has helped several international and domestic players to secure their lives through its lucrative pay packages and helped them to get priceless experience through its generic flavor. The IPL has contributed a lot to team India’s current success, with players like Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Abhishek Nayar and several others being the beneficiaries. It has also amplified the flow of money into cricket. The prize money, sponsorship, players’ salaries and all other attributes have outdone the prevailing trend and IPL became the benchmark in the world of cricket.

Notwithstanding its attractiveness, arguably, IPL has resulted in the premature retirement of several great players like Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and the latest update to the list is Andrew Flintoff. Can the players alone be blamed for this especially when West Indies players boycotted their series against Bangladesh due to contract issues? We can argue that the players should give preference to their country first than any other commitments. However, the fact is that, at the end of the day money matters!

Salvaging The Vintage Edition

Friday, July 24th, 2009

There has been lot of discussion across the globe pertaining to the saving of test cricket from becoming obsolete. Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the lawmakers of cricket, have been brainstorming on this issue for a while and come up with several solutions including ‘Day-Night’ matches.

The lack of interest for test matches has been being prevailing since 2004, after the introduction of T20 matches. The huge success of the Indian Premier League has fastened the demise of Test cricket. Andrew Flintoff’s retirement from test cricket has brought the spotlight again on IPL that provides a lucrative income stream for the players. It is rather apparent that the opulence provided by the IPL is resulting in the premature exit of several great players. Let’s see some solutions by which we can keep the test matches alive.

Starting the matches on Wednesday

This will increase the revenue of the match, since the last couple of days will fall on Saturday and Sunday. People will be quite happy to spend their weekends to support their home team.

The 20-20 Intervals

Currently there are 3 sessions, which are Lunch, Tea and Post-Tea. The mandatory overs bowled per day can be reduced from 90 overs to 80 overs. This would help to create 4 sessions of 20 overs each, which will avoid the ‘bad light’ issue, which happens very often these days. This will also help the players to charge up as they would be getting sufficient breaks. By reducing 10 overs everyday, the pace of the game will also improve.

Mandatory sporting wickets

An ICC committee should review each turf before the matches to ensure that they are made without any bias to the home team. It will make the match more competitive as the ‘home advantage’ factor is eliminated.

Test World Cup

The concept of a World Cup for test matches is quite a complicated topic, however there are few ways by which this concept can be applied properly. In the preliminary stage, the 8 test teams will face each other in a home and away match. There will be 40 match days in this round (8 matches * 5 days) followed by 20(4*5) in the semi finals and 5 days in the final. Altogether there will be 65 match days and this can be stretched to the whole season like the football leagues are conducted.

Above all, the cricketing fraternity that includes players, boards, officials and most importantly, the spectators should love and favour this version of the game. If the test matches are overlooked, the coming generation would find it hard to understand the feats by the great legends like Don Bradman and Garfield Sobers.

World Cup matches moved out of Pakistan

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Pakistan has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup because of the “uncertain security situation” in the country, the ICC said.
“It is a regrettable decision (but) our number one priority is to create certainty and…deliver a safe, secure and successful event,” ICC president David Morgan said in a statement.
The ICC added that Pakistan was unlikely to resume hosting any cricket at all until 2011. It also said the World Cup secretariat would be moved out of Pakistan to a location to be decided by the organising committee. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the other co-hosts, will now share the 16 matches that were to be held in Pakistan.

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