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Thread: Rank the world's first class competitions in order

  1. #1
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    Rank the world's first class competitions in order

    I suspect this will be difficult to do as most of us are only familiar with one or two competitions at best and have no real basis for judging the other ones. However I'm hoping it'll be possible to put together a league table of sorts based on things like national team depth, youth development, performances of individual players in tests measured against their records in FC, as well as anecdotal evidence (opinions of experts expressed in articles and the like)

    Is it safe to assume that the Sheffield Shield is still the number one first class comp in the world? Franchise cricket in South Africa must surely be of a very high standard too?

    I'm particularly interested to see how people rate County cricket and what the general consensus is re: Indian first class cricket. I know it's traditionally been an administrative shambles and a bit lacking in intensity, but on the other side of the coin, I'd have thought that with an increasingly huge cricket-loving middle class having had access to the game in the last 15 years or so, and with generation after generation of superb U/19s players having come through, their first class comp would at least be loaded with good cricketers?
    Last edited by Aritro; 26-02-2010 at 07:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    18 teams in England is far too much. I'd be interested in comparing the cricket playing populations of both countries.

    In India, if all Test players were available for the Duleep Trophy, I think you'd have a rival to the Shield in terms of strength.

  3. #3
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    CC has the best payers generally but is diluted by sheer numbers
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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    CC has the best payers generally but is diluted by sheer numbers
    Read that as cricket chat. Funnily enough, applies all the same.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    The idea that there are too many competing teams in English domestic cricket is wrong-headed and based mostly on instinct, with very little actual consideration of relevant factors. The UK has one of the largest active cricket-playing populations of all cricketing countries - substantially higher than any of South Africa, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka. I wouldn't have a clue about what the situation is like in Pakistan and I suspect in India the active cricket-playing population is probably higher than the UK, but in the context of the population it's infinitessimal - about 90% of India's population is so poor that they will never have the remotest of chances to play anything approaching real cricket. Still, the country is so cricket-crazy that a decent portion of that 10% who can, do.

    As to the order of calibre in domestic cricket, my guess would be something along the lines of...
    Indian zonal cricket
    Australian state cricket
    South African franchise cricket
    Indian state cricket
    English county cricket
    West Indian territorial cricket
    New Zealand district cricket
    South African provincial cricket
    English minor county cricket
    Pakistani whatever-it-is-this-season cricket
    Sri Lankan whatever-it-is-this-season cricket

    That is, I emphasise, a guess - and naturally there's no fixed order to it, there'll be season-on-season variations.
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  6. #6
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    The idea that there are too many competing teams in English domestic cricket is wrong-headed and based mostly on instinct, with very little actual consideration of relevant factors.
    Interesting Rich. You are quite outspoken in the amount of players who have county contracts and should just give up...so why don't you believe numbers should be reduced?

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Without wanting to sound controversial, Id rank CC ahead of SA Franchise.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Interesting Rich. You are quite outspoken in the amount of players who have county contracts and should just give up...so why don't you believe numbers should be reduced?
    I believe 18 teams is the right number, and that any fewer would lead to too few cricketers playing too little First-Class cricket. However, I don't believe that county squads need be anywhere near so large as they presently are. Fewer full-time pros would benefit, well, almost everyone really.

  9. #9
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Without wanting to sound controversial, Id rank CC ahead of SA Franchise.
    Really? Surprised at that TBH, but don't know the ins and outs well enough to be able to comment with real authority - any strong reason?

  10. #10
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Really? Surprised at that TBH, but don't know the ins and outs well enough to be able to comment with real authority - any strong reason?
    Leaving aside the quota issue which still dilutes the FC game, one big reason is the lack of quality players in the game. Of course now few England players play much County cricket but the South Africans play even less. The County game also has overseas pros, Kolpaks and a host of EU passport holders that brings talent in from around the world. With the exception of a small handful of players, those that play in Franchise cricket are 2nd tier (and lower) South African cricketers.

    Basically, it lacks the top end talent that overseas players can (though not always) bring and some teams still often carry one or two passengers.

    Also the CC is a more intense, demanding and important competition. Winning and losing in SA Franchise is not as important overall as it is in County cricket due to the nature of the system (ie Counties are their own beast and not subservient to the national body).
    Last edited by Goughy; 26-02-2010 at 01:02 PM.

  11. #11
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Well, the counties are all completely reliant on the ECB and without ECB handouts none would survive as professional entities, but what you say about the fact that winning in the CC really means something whereas it doesn't really mean much in the franchise division is very true.

    I suppose, thinking about it, that county cricket probably is of a better quality given all the overseas-players (of whatever route) who get brought in - I was more considering of those who are home-reared. I'd be surprised if the run-of-the-mill home-reared SAfrican domestic cricketer wasn't a bit better than the run-of-the-mill home-reared England domestic cricketer.

  12. #12
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Well, the counties are all completely reliant on the ECB.
    The counties run the ECB not the other way around. That is the distinction.

  13. #13
    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Australian Domestic Cricket is probably at it's weakest point now compared with at any time in the last 20 years. With the number of Test retirements, injuries and domestic players stopping playing at least one of the formats, there are a stack of largely unproven cricketers who are getting picked quite comfortably for their states, but are not putting any pressure on the Australian players.

    Of course, it's very likely that the level will go up in the next couple of years as the average age particularly with the batsman gets higher and the talented under 19s who won the world youth cup, start making teams consistently.

    BTW, I still think the domestic comp is exciting, because their are lots of close matches.

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    The counties run the ECB not the other way around. That is the distinction.
    Although that's true, the trend is being - mercifully - slowly reversed.

    The ECB was created weak by the counties that controlled it, but for all the inadequacies of various ECB executives, some of them have realised that the game must move forwards and have acted to initiate it.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    English CC 2003, 2006, 2007




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