View Poll Results: Strongest First-Class Competition

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  • County Championship

    13 31.71%
  • Sheffield Shield

    17 41.46%
  • SuperSport Series

    3 7.32%
  • West Indies Regional Four Day Competition

    0 0%
  • Ranji Trophy

    2 4.88%
  • Plunket Shield

    2 4.88%
  • Sri Lanka Premier League

    0 0%
  • Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

    1 2.44%
  • Logan Cup

    0 0%
  • National Cricket League of Bangladesh

    0 0%
  • Darwin and District Junior Cricket Association U15's

    3 7.32%
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Thread: Strongest First-Class Competition

  1. #16
    vcs
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    I think the IPL produces cricketers (basically batsmen!) that are generally more confident in their abilities (see the likes of Raina, Yusuf Pathan etc.), but it's hard to see how it would help groom cricketers' technical skills for the acid test of Test cricket.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    Indian stuff tbh, when they do those North Zone vs. South Zone style matches. Easily the highest quality.

    The next tier down would be Saffa first divison, English first division and Aussie stuff.
    Yeah, if you just take the Duleep Trophy part of Indian FC cricket (just the five zonal teams playing), it is the strongest FC tournament in the world. However, it consists of just a few games; a minuscule fraction of the total number of Indian FC games.

    Indian FC cricket is primarily the Ranji Trophy, with twenty-seven teams and close to a hungred games. IPL notwithstanding, it remains the source of living for the majority of Indian professional cricketers. Also the biggest stage for aspiring players to showcase their talent - the Duleep Trophy is typically played by those who are already established.

  3. #18
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    I have nfi tbh.

    On the Duleep Trophy: India has several rubbish test seamers, so wouldn't the seam bowling quality be a disappointment at lower levels? The spin and batting would be awesome, but how much would the seam bowling hamper the competition?
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  4. #19
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    And yet some seam bowlers still amass pretty awesome records in the Duleep Trophy.

    It's definitely the Duleep Trophy if it can be counted as a standalone entity; it certainly weights the highest in the CPL database for those who know that is.

    The Shield is probably still second but I doubt there's much difference between it SuperSport these days at all. The top few counties are strong are would probably go well in the best competitions in the world but the lower end of Division 1 and Division 2 as a whole drag it down IMO; the mean standard overall would be lesser.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    On the Duleep Trophy: India has several rubbish test seamers, so wouldn't the seam bowling quality be a disappointment at lower levels? The spin and batting would be awesome, but how much would the seam bowling hamper the competition?
    It is difficult to say. The likes of Sreesanth, RP Singh, Unadkat, etc, do not take as many FC wickets as other seam bowlers who have less speed and therefore are not considered for Tests. These bowlers with less speed may perhaps get punished at Test level and would also be 'rubbish test seamers', but I feel it is worth noting that Sreesanth, RP Singh, et al. do not top domestic wicket takers lists. If you are looking for the top domestic seam performers in recent times, look at the likes of R Vinay Kumar in the IPL.
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  6. #21
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgieb View Post
    Shield is probably still #1. Too many gun Saffies don't play in their domestic comp, and the Pommy one is propped up by overseas players.
    But that adds to its competitiveness. Criteria isn't why it's the strongest, just whether it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    Indian stuff tbh, when they do those North Zone vs. South Zone style matches. Easily the highest quality.

    The next tier down would be Saffa first divison, English first division and Aussie stuff.
    Yea, I wrote a long post back in my halcyon days of posting in this subforum about how I think the Duleep Trophy should include more games and should become the premier FC competition but due to the political nature of such a move, I don't think that's going to happen. Would be fantastic though, the quality is very high.


    As it is, I'd go county cricket.
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  7. #22
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble One View Post
    It would be interesting to hear more about the impact of the IPL on the Indian first-class competition.

    An expected outcome of having the best young cricketers in India exposed to some of the worlds best coaches, the wisdom of some of the worlds best cricketers and the pressure of playing in front of packed crowds would have a flow on effect into the Ranji Trophy.
    Unfortunately, what it might do is just marginalize Ranji trophy as people don't feel like adjusting to the longer format or adapt their games for it. This is doubly true as it seems that the selectors seem to be prioritizing IPL over Ranji trophy as the competition to feed the national side.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble One View Post
    It would be interesting to hear more about the impact of the IPL on the Indian first-class competition.

    An expected outcome of having the best young cricketers in India exposed to some of the worlds best coaches, the wisdom of some of the worlds best cricketers and the pressure of playing in front of packed crowds would have a flow on effect into the Ranji Trophy.
    If one goes by what has happened in the last 4 years, the point has some merit. Many of the IPL younglings who blasted their way into public imagination, indeed have gone and done reasonably well in the domestic setup as well. Though one has to admit they are mostly batsmen. India still easily leads the tables in churning out top quality batting talent, but are somewhere near the bottom of the pile when it comes to bowlers, especially pace bowlers. Not sure whether the stats are skewed by the pitches.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Yea, I wrote a long post back in my halcyon days of posting in this subforum about how I think the Duleep Trophy should include more games and should become the premier FC competition but due to the political nature of such a move, I don't think that's going to happen. Would be fantastic though, the quality is very high.
    In each of the domestic seasons from 2003/04 to 2007/08, the BCCI had invited a sixth 'guest' team for the Duleep Trophy - England Lions (twice), Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka 'A'.

    Sri Lanka 'A' (with Vandort, Samaraweera, Mubarak, Chamara Silva, Herath and Prasad) actually did quite well in 2006 by reaching the Duleep final. England had sent a decent contingent in 2003/04 (included Lumb, Pietersen, Prior, Napier, Tredwell, Mahmood and Jones), and an even stronger one in 2007/08 (Yardy, Trott, Kabir Ali, Carberry, Steve Davies, Denly, Hildreth, Joyce, Onions, Panesar, Plunkett, Rashid, Alan Richardson).

    I think it would be a very good idea if BCCI expanded the Duleep Trophy to, say, 10 teams and in addition to an 'A' team, invited teams from associate nations. (And picked up the tab for their participation.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bun View Post
    India still easily leads the tables in churning out top quality batting talent, but are somewhere near the bottom of the pile when it comes to bowlers, especially pace bowlers. Not sure whether the stats are skewed by the pitches.
    TBH, the dearth of good spin bowling is much more of a worry for me. India has never been good at producing great fast bowlers, the strength was always spin. Indian FC cricket used to generate a never-ending procession of good spinners. Now with shortened boundaries, non-Indian wickets, extensive video analysis of bowlers, high tech bats, the interest of most fans diverted to limited overs versions of the game, good spin bowlers are just not to be found.

    True everywhere in the world, I admit. So much so that I look forward to watching Swann bowl these days; a bowler who would have been considered distinctly average just a decade back. If the umpires were as reluctant to give lbws as in the old days, spin bowling would have been extinct by now.
    Last edited by Borges; 16-04-2011 at 11:11 PM.

  10. #25
    International Vice-Captain Howsie's Avatar
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    Looking at the poll so far I'd be really amazed if the County Championship was the strongest first-class competition in world cricket, far too many piss weak teams surely?
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  11. #26
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    I'd like to hear a convincing argument as to why the county championship isn't the premier competition in the world. It is really the only tournament that features international players a consistent basis. People like to knock it off based simply on the fact that it hasn't provided the kind of talent that some of the other countries have provided but AFAIC, there is and has never been a better and more competitive circuit. English pitches and conditions are more sporting than any other country in the world and there is simply no reason why batter or bowler cannot succeed there.

    As far as Ranji/Duleep Trophy is concerned, any person that has spent any time in India or has actually followed cricket in India should be familiar with the kind of services and facilities available to their local players. It is a bit of a joke to be honest. If you aren't an international player then you aren't really considered to be anything in India. The IPL has perhaps changed that a bit, but the IPL isnt an 'FC structure'.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooextracool View Post
    I'd like to hear a convincing argument as to why the county championship isn't the premier competition in the world. It is really the only tournament that features international players a consistent basis. People like to knock it off based simply on the fact that it hasn't provided the kind of talent that some of the other countries have provided but AFAIC, there is and has never been a better and more competitive circuit. English pitches and conditions are more sporting than any other country in the world and there is simply no reason why batter or bowler cannot succeed there.
    Because it includes the 2nd division.
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  13. #28
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    If you look at the 18 counties as a whole then the weaker ones inevitably dilute the standard but in the first division, and those counties only play each other of course, then of the nine only Worcestershire look out of their depth - County cricket is not what it was - the average age of the players must be considerably lower than it was even a few years ago and you just don't get the honest toilers waiting for a benefit as you used to and mediocre players just can't survive any more.

    That said the answer really ought to be India - just noticed what that Valthaty bloke has achieved in the IPL on the back of a career of one List A match and no First class cricket at all - there must be some strength in depth out there for a 27 year old to do that

  14. #29
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    Be interesting to see what cricinfo says about this when they "pick up" the story in a week or two.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Be interesting to see what cricinfo says about this when they "pick up" the story in a week or two.
    So true.

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