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Thread: Two cheers for the Champions Trophy?

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Two cheers for the Champions Trophy?

    The ICC Champions Trophy has had an often-troubled existence. Yet it is a tournament that potentially offers an unbelievable amount to the game of cricket and which perhaps quite a few people need to start taking more care of.

    Two cheers for the Champions Trophy?
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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    A well-written article Richard.

    The fact is, though, that the backbone of international cricket has always been the bilateral series. I'm not a particularly big fan of ODI cricket unless it's taken in moderation, but a quick series of (ideally) 3 games before a Test series can be an enjoyable appetiser for the summer to come. You get to know the players from the opposing team, you get to see early psychological blows being struck, and you get the appetite for the Tests to come.

    The only worthwhile exception to the bilateral rule is the World Cup which has generally been successful.

    However I don't see there being room in the calendar for another 50-over world-cup-that-isn't. And given the half-heartedness of cricket watchers and players around the world, I don't think I'm alone.

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    International Captain stumpski's Avatar
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    I dunno ... can't say I really missed it this year. Perhaps it means more to people in countries where ODIs are bigger than Tests, but from a personal point of view it allowed me to focus more on the climax to the domestic season (which I'd have done anyway, except when England had a game, but the CT would have been a distraction); also, I wanted the England players to have a good break before the Stanford nonsense and the India tour (so they couldn't all moan about burnout).

    Also, once the English season is over I feel a bit 'cricketed out' and quite like to have a couple of weeks' break before we get into the serious business of the winter series. One reason why I won't get involved in predictions for India - Australia and the like.

    But absolutely agree with holding it midway between World Cups, and giving it a proper slot, not trying to shoehorn it into a slot when no-one wants it.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    I dunno ... can't say I really missed it this year. Perhaps it means more to people in countries where ODIs are bigger than Tests, but from a personal point of view it allowed me to focus more on the climax to the domestic season (which I'd have done anyway, except when England had a game, but the CT would have been a distraction); also, I wanted the England players to have a good break before the Stanford nonsense and the India tour (so they couldn't all moan about burnout).

    Also, once the English season is over I feel a bit 'cricketed out' and quite like to have a couple of weeks' break before we get into the serious business of the winter series. One reason why I won't get involved in predictions for India - Australia and the like.

    But absolutely agree with holding it midway between World Cups, and giving it a proper slot, not trying to shoehorn it into a slot when no-one wants it.
    Agree with these wise words from the medway valley.


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    U19 12th Man JackPot's Avatar
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    Have they figured out if they would allow English team to play in the event? They were denying them initially citing that the county team has players from ICL
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    International Captain stumpski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackPot View Post
    Have they figured out if they would allow English team to play in the event? They were denying them initially citing that the county team has players from ICL

    You're thinking of the Champions League, aren't you - one of these Twenty20 shindigs?

    No county teams in the Champions Trophy, it's contested by international sides.

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    U19 12th Man JackPot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    You're thinking of the Champions League, aren't you - one of these Twenty20 shindigs?

    No county teams in the Champions Trophy, it's contested by international sides.
    yea, you are right....
    gotcha...this is the one that got scrapped outa pakistan....

    thanks for the info...!
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    A well-written article Richard.

    The fact is, though, that the backbone of international cricket has always been the bilateral series. I'm not a particularly big fan of ODI cricket unless it's taken in moderation, but a quick series of (ideally) 3 games before a Test series can be an enjoyable appetiser for the summer to come. You get to know the players from the opposing team, you get to see early psychological blows being struck, and you get the appetite for the Tests to come.

    The only worthwhile exception to the bilateral rule is the World Cup which has generally been successful.

    However I don't see there being room in the calendar for another 50-over world-cup-that-isn't. And given the half-heartedness of cricket watchers and players around the world, I don't think I'm alone.
    It all depends, really, on what you think the point of ODIs is. For me, there'd not be much point playing ODIs if there was no multi (and by that I mean more than 3) team tournaments. I don't treat them as Test warmups at all - the formats are notably different and I always ensure to keep everything that happens in ODIs separate from Tests (much as certain pyschological battles which can have impact in Tests are occasionally fought there).

    I treat bilateral-series ODIs as prep, not for the next Test series, but for the next big multi-team ODI tournament - what I'd regard as "meaningful" (in terms of the result) ODI cricket. And the point I make in the article is that 4 years is a hell of a long time to have between such tournaments, and with the Champions Trophy in its current state it's hard to say it's remotely meaningful. I think 2 years is a much more suitable period between such "meaningful" ODI tourneys, and if the World Cup is to remain quadrennial, then for mine there needs to be another good ODI tournament that resides long in the memory in between. And I reckon if the Champions Trophy was given full attention, it could be just that.
    Last edited by Richard; 08-10-2008 at 02:53 PM.
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    U19 12th Man anoop4real's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    You're thinking of the Champions League, aren't you - one of these Twenty20 shindigs?

    No county teams in the Champions Trophy, it's contested by international sides.
    Nice
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    U19 12th Man JackPot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anoop4real View Post
    Nice
    mishteek
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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    It all depends, really, on what you think the point of ODIs is. For me, there'd not be much point playing ODIs if there was no multi (and by that I mean more than 3) team tournaments. I don't treat them as Test warmups at all - the formats are notably different and I always ensure to keep everything that happens in ODIs separate from Tests (much as certain pyschological battles which can have impact in Tests are occasionally fought there).
    I agree that it depends on what you think the point of ODIs is. A very good question! I was brought up on (pretty much) one touring side per summer. Part of the enjoyment was getting to know that team in detail throughout the summer, in all forms of the game. You'd have a few county warm-up games which you'd follow in the press. You'd then have 3 ODIs where you would get to know the other side's players. The promise of a "psychological advantage" would add some lustre to these games, as would the fact that the main course was yet to come. And because these were ODIs you might have some Test hopeful getting a try-out in the ODI team first.

    Bilateral series which follow the Tests by contrast tend to have a distinct feeling of "after the Lord Mayor's show". And bilateral series that stand alone - ie where the touring team arrives simply to play an ODI series - seems to me pointless.

    I can understand your point about ODIs being preparation for the World Cup, and this is one way in which they are indeed looked on by the powers that be. However, at least from my perspective as an England supporter, this always has an air of complete unreality about it. England's selectors rarely seem able to select a consistent side for ODIs, and are usually blindly groping for rabbits from the hat a matter of weeks before the World Cup. Besides, I feel that focussing too much on a far-off World Cup, where the stages which matter are in a knock-out format and therefore inherently unpredictable and governed to an uncomfortably large extent by luck, is unwise.

    But to return to your point about the Champions Trophy: your point seems to be that ODIs need a purpose, therefore we should have something in addition to the World Cup for them to be the build-up for. This seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse, particularly given that the CT has proved to be as unpopular as it has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    The ICC Champions Trophy has had an often-troubled existence. Yet it is a tournament that potentially offers an unbelievable amount to the game of cricket and which perhaps quite a few people need to start taking more care of.

    Two cheers for the Champions Trophy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    A well-written article Richard.

    The fact is, though, that the backbone of international cricket has always been the bilateral series. I'm not a particularly big fan of ODI cricket unless it's taken in moderation, but a quick series of (ideally) 3 games before a Test series can be an enjoyable appetiser for the summer to come. You get to know the players from the opposing team, you get to see early psychological blows being struck, and you get the appetite for the Tests to come.

    The only worthwhile exception to the bilateral rule is the World Cup which has generally been successful.

    However I don't see there being room in the calendar for another 50-over world-cup-that-isn't. And given the half-heartedness of cricket watchers and players around the world, I don't think I'm alone.
    I am exactly the opposite. I would be happy if all bilateral ODI series were scrapped, we went back to the older format of tours with Test matches interspersed with first class games and had a tournament like the WC and the Champions Trophy once every four years. Making it an ODI tournament involving everyone, once every two years.

    I know, I know, this is not what makes economic sense but I am just saying what I would love to see

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    The thing is, such ODI multi-team tournaments need "prep" series for it. For mine, we need some (nowhere near as many as currently) bilateral and tri-series, else these World Cup and Champions Trophies will feature merely players groping around trying to find the alchemist's formula, rather than purveying their skills which have been honed.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    I agree that it depends on what you think the point of ODIs is. A very good question! I was brought up on (pretty much) one touring side per summer. Part of the enjoyment was getting to know that team in detail throughout the summer, in all forms of the game. You'd have a few county warm-up games which you'd follow in the press. You'd then have 3 ODIs where you would get to know the other side's players. The promise of a "psychological advantage" would add some lustre to these games, as would the fact that the main course was yet to come. And because these were ODIs you might have some Test hopeful getting a try-out in the ODI team first.

    Bilateral series which follow the Tests by contrast tend to have a distinct feeling of "after the Lord Mayor's show". And bilateral series that stand alone - ie where the touring team arrives simply to play an ODI series - seems to me pointless.
    I agree entirely that a bilateral ODI series (a tri-series can sometimes be different) played after a Test series is woeful planning. I always, always want to see a ODI series played first when a tour composes of Tests and ODIs. With the exception of series' between subcontinental teams, as this generally ends-up working the other way around - the Tests have no appeal to most fans as the ODIs are generally far more popular.

    Nor do I really like to see Test and ODI series' not being played on the same tour. Strikes me as making needless journeys and adding further complications to the calender.
    I can understand your point about ODIs being preparation for the World Cup, and this is one way in which they are indeed looked on by the powers that be. However, at least from my perspective as an England supporter, this always has an air of complete unreality about it. England's selectors rarely seem able to select a consistent side for ODIs, and are usually blindly groping for rabbits from the hat a matter of weeks before the World Cup. Besides, I feel that focussing too much on a far-off World Cup, where the stages which matter are in a knock-out format and therefore inherently unpredictable and governed to an uncomfortably large extent by luck, is unwise.
    Again I agree entirely that England's selectors' attempts at long-term planning have been fruitless in the last 3 tournaments (the only ones I really remember the build-up to) and I thought exactly that at the time of each of them. However, to me this is not because the idea of the planning has been wrong but simply because the execution has been poor - the wrong cricketers have been picked, repeatedly. And matters obviously haven't been helped by the fact that good English OD cricketers in recent times have been pretty scarce.
    But to return to your point about the Champions Trophy: your point seems to be that ODIs need a purpose, therefore we should have something in addition to the World Cup for them to be the build-up for. This seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse, particularly given that the CT has proved to be as unpopular as it has.
    Well... I'd look at it as more that giving the horse a journey with no cart is pointless and an expense of effort for no gain. I (as I say in the article) feel that the Champions Trophy is unpopular because no-one has taken the time to organise it properly. I feel that with enough effort, the Champions Trophy can indeed fulfill a purpose which, in my view, badly needs fulfilling.
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