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View Poll Results: Should minnows play top teams?

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  • Yes. They can learn from experience

    6 35.29%
  • No. They should be ready for them first.

    10 58.82%
  • Can't say.

    1 5.88%
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Thread: The minnow issue

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    The minnow issue

    This was discussed on a television show on a local channel, and the comments made a lot of sense.

    Bangladesh have only won five out of 95 ODI's that they have played. They only have one centrion, and have been shot out exactly 7 times for less than 100, and have only got 250 or more four times. Their Test record is even worse. They have not won a single Test, and have lost 28 out of 31. Worse, two of the three matches they saved were due to the intervention of rain, and they may not have been so lucky had the West Indians held on to their catches.

    Ever since Zimbabwe lost their best players, they have been a laughing stock of international cricket. An out-of-form Lankan side rolled them over, and shot them out first for 136, then for 35. Their batting seems to be dependent only on a man or two, and none of their bowlers are of strike bowler quality. Doube tons are scored quite often, with two double-grabbers in the same XI! Even Marvan Atapattu has smashed them- he actually hit a few sixes! Kenya, as a team, who were not too far from Test status, are going downhill rapidly. The less said of the old West Indian extras playing for the US, the better.

    It brings back the annoying, but crucial question- is the minnow issue handled properly? Is the game benefiting by giving these teams chances? Do they really deserve to play in the big league? Should there be a two-tier system? Should the ICC try its best to shed the elitist image of cricket by getting more raw teams?

    Those who feel for the minnows think that they need the international experience, at this level, to improve. They need to get more contries interested. Even some of the top teams took some time to win their first Test- India took 31, while New Zealand took 44. Even the performance of the Zimbabweans and Lankans has been very good, and better than theirs, as improving teams. Maybe it is 32nd time lucky for Bangladesh. They may be right.

    But for how long? After all, those teams were improving. They learnt from their mistakes, their experience was helpful only because they put in more effort. But the same cannot be said of today's minnows. Bangladesh, in particular, are not getting better. In fact, they're only getting worse. The purpose of the discussion is not to ridicule minnow teams. Look at the number of innings defeats. Or even defeats by 10 wickets, or 200 runs. Why big league teams, they are even losing to A-teams, and other teams that are not even playing Tests. Former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu asked loudly on NDTV 24x7's "Cricket Controversies", where this issue was discussed- can they even defeat club sides?

    In fact, when asked by ESPNSTAR's presenter, Wasim Akram had given up on them, saying that they're consistently playing badly, so you cannot do anything but criticise them. Even with the revolutionary coach Dav Whatmore, who took the Lankans to victory in the 96 World Cup, they're not improving, and Akram had again got it right when he said that coaching this team is really, really tough.

    It adversely affects the image of the country's cricket, so much that jokes may be made on them. The people of Bangladesh may not even be supporting their team anymore, given their nonexistent chances of winning a match. That's not good for a team at all. Even sponsors would shy away from a series involving them, since nobody, not even their supporters, would watch them play.

    But relegating these teams to a second tier would be too negative. Rather than cure the problem, you're running away from it. More practical but less drastic moves are required. A possible solution would be to make them play more against A-teams, and against other developing nations. Sidhu said that they were believing their doubts and doubting their beliefs. They have to get used to winning matches, or at least performing better- scoring more runs, taking more wickets, saving more runs and taking catches that matter. They should be kept away from the top teams, and should play only once a year against one of them, if the calendar demands it.

    But a lesson well learnt is that you shouldn't promote a new team because of just one good result, as it was with the Banglas' victory against Pakistan in 99. As Sidhu would say, this is a case of a fly sitting on a chariot and say, "My, what dust I have raised!" when the chariot raised all the dust! Kenya will definitely have to wait a little longer.
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  2. #2
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    I am not sure if there is an option for this, but I think any new team should first play a series of matches against the A teams of all the test playing nations and the decision of whether to give them Test status should depend on how well they play against the A teams, both at home and away. It is a simple yet effective way of doing this.
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  3. #3
    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani
    I am not sure if there is an option for this, but I think any new team should first play a series of matches against the A teams of all the test playing nations and the decision of whether to give them Test status should depend on how well they play against the A teams, both at home and away. It is a simple yet effective way of doing this.
    I think this sounds like a very good practical way of determining it.

    While one sympathises with Bangladesh for their woes (ie. Weather not suitable for cricket, lack of resources etc.), they were brought into Test arena very very prematurely.(or was ICC lobbied into giving it to them by some of the other Test playing countries and individuals.)

    If the standards applied to Bangladesh had been applied to Sri Lanka for instance, SL would have been playing Test cricket for at least another 15-20 years.

    It just seems different criteria were applied for Bangladesh and even Zim in giving them Test status, even before they were ready for it.

    The result is a devaluation of Test status.

    Having said this, and having given Bangladesh test status so blatantly prematurely, it would seem ICC is now back tracking on Kenya. To me this is unfair to the Kenyans who seem to have none of the major Test playing countries arguing and lobbying for them at ICC level!
    Last edited by JASON; 25-10-2004 at 01:27 AM.

  4. #4
    International Regular bryce's Avatar
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    there is no arguing that they were given test status too early and a new method of gaining test status needs to be devised, but at least they are improving all be it very, very slowly


  5. #5
    International Regular shaka's Avatar
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    The best idea would be to have a second level of test nations and play the "a" teams in that category, and in that category, the minnows / border nations would play the "A" teams of the better invested countries.

    However the problem with this is that the "A" team for Australia is so good in comparison to most other cricket playing nations, and so might make it a one horse race. Australia's "A" team would be selected from so many former and upcoming star, and they have a huge range of players to choose from (in comparison to other nations numbers who play cricket)

  6. #6
    School Boy/Girl Captain Western Warrior's Avatar
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    I have a far fetched idea which may assist in preventing nations from entering the test arena too soon and it is based around the fact that quite a few international players gain some sort of training and experience at the Australian Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy.

    Rather than using the resources of one nation, the ICC should instead establish an international cricket academy which is sustained in part by the television revenue the game generates and by equal contributions from all testn playing nations.

    The role of the academy is to accept suitable players from nations such as Bengaldesh, Kenya etc with the aim of providing them with the experience (both as players and coaches) necessary to enter and survive within the test arena.

    As I said this is far fetched and I am thinking out loud but I believe such an idea has merit. No one wants to watch total white washes when nations such as Australia, England or India play 'minnow's such as Bangaldesh and severely depleted sides such as Zimbabwe. With such an academy we can at least see a more even contest in the future.

  7. #7
    State Vice-Captain mavric41's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western Warrior
    I have a far fetched idea which may assist in preventing nations from entering the test arena too soon and it is based around the fact that quite a few international players gain some sort of training and experience at the Australian Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy.

    Rather than using the resources of one nation, the ICC should instead establish an international cricket academy which is sustained in part by the television revenue the game generates and by equal contributions from all testn playing nations.

    The role of the academy is to accept suitable players from nations such as Bengaldesh, Kenya etc with the aim of providing them with the experience (both as players and coaches) necessary to enter and survive within the test arena.

    As I said this is far fetched and I am thinking out loud but I believe such an idea has merit. No one wants to watch total white washes when nations such as Australia, England or India play 'minnow's such as Bangaldesh and severely depleted sides such as Zimbabwe. With such an academy we can at least see a more even contest in the future.

    I think its an excellant idea and accompanied with the A team idea would really help develop the skills of the minnows. The A teams of the strong countries may be restricted to U/23 players with maybe one or two senior players for guidance and advice.
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  8. #8
    School Boy/Girl Captain Western Warrior's Avatar
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    I think it may also provide an additional role for retired players who aren't ready to enter the commentary booth. An academy with coaches such as Wasim Akram, Steve Waugh, Jonty Rhodes and Chris Cairns would have a lot to offer students.

  9. #9
    First Class Debutant SquidAU's Avatar
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    There is nothing worse for a spectator than seeing a team like Australia or India absolutely thrash a minnow team. There is no excitment in it.

    All the ideas expressed above are excellent but it remains to be seen whether these kind of ideas will be thought of by the ICC and agreed to by the minnow nations will ever see the light of day. It all comes down to money and who would get the most recognition from it.

  10. #10
    School Boy/Girl Captain Western Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidAU
    There is nothing worse for a spectator than seeing a team like Australia or India absolutely thrash a minnow team. There is no excitment in it.

    All the ideas expressed above are excellent but it remains to be seen whether these kind of ideas will be thought of by the ICC and agreed to by the minnow nations will ever see the light of day. It all comes down to money and who would get the most recognition from it.
    A sad but true statement. The ICC has made procrastination into an artform. Their ability to dither and dally over every major issue, whether it be Muralitheran 'throwing' or whether Zimbabwe should/shouldn't have its test status revoked is becoming embarrassing.

  11. #11
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Clive Lloyd suggested that retired players should play for Bangladesh- for instance, Mark Waugh opening the bowling and batting. What happened to that?

  12. #12
    School Boy/Girl Captain Western Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun
    Clive Lloyd suggested that retired players should play for Bangladesh- for instance, Mark Waugh opening the bowling and batting. What happened to that?
    Something I wouldn't mind watching but in the end its a 'pie in the sky' suggestion. I don't think Bangladesh would have the funds to pay for retired players such as Mark Waugh. Also, a nation should excel in test/ODI cricket based on the merits and talents of players that, that nation has fostered and developed rather than imported from overseas.

    In the end I think an ICC sponsored international cricket academy is the best solution.

  13. #13
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    I'd like to get some clarification as to the criteria for gaining Test status.......

    my understanding was that this included such things as player base; quality coaching & facilities; revenue generation via local support; quality domestic competition to enable the international players to impact upon etc..........

    with reference to the article re BAN I referred to on another thread I'm not so sure the above has been applied.............

    while I support many of the ideas put forward so far, my main suggestion would be that there needs to be some sort of time frame introduced for any team (min 3 - 5 seasons), during which they must meet certain criteria each year & maintain a level / standard of improvement across all the criteria b4 being nominated for Test status...........final criteria could be incorporated to include / coincide with consistant performance / improvement at WC level, in conjunction with 'A' Tests etc..........

  14. #14
    Dar
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    The A team idea seems pretty good. One thing is for sure, there is no point Bangladesh continuing to be humiliated in every game they play in, particularly test matches. Its a waste of time and energy for the opposition as well as hindering the progress of the Bangladeshi players who are playing against teams that are far too good for them.

  15. #15
    Tim
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    It's ridiculous to compare NZ's run of 44 losses.

    A) The 44 losses were spread over 24 years. Bangladesh have lost 33 over just 4 years!
    B) Technology is far greater & Bangladesh also have far far more players playing right now than NZ ever did back in the 1940's/50's.

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