Wednesday, 21 January 2009

many levels to a playing field

I heard on my drive in to work this morning that Afghanistan have been very competitive in the ICC World cricket league and aiming to get up into the qualifiers of the next world cup!

What a turn out that would be! A country in a state of turmoil, conflict and constant combat, making in roads into such a large world sporting event.

I've had a good read of the involvement and structure of these ICC competitions and i must admit it looks like they (ICC) are doing their best to really develop this second and third tier of the game.

One thought i had was, why doesn't the bottom (2) teams of the top competition spend more time playing the next level down? It is blatantly clear that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are having their spirits crushed playing at this level, so why is there clear delineation between them and the next level down?
Surely teams such as the Netherlands (top of Div 2 table), Canada, Scotland and Ireland would get a lot out of playing Zimbabwe and Bangladesh more regularly, as well as these two teams getting a much needed moral boasts from a few wins! I'm sure we would see less of a gulf between the top of Div 2 and the bottom of Div 1 than we currently see between the more competitive test nations and Bangladesh and Zimbabwe!

It is good to see that they are playing each other at the moment (instead of boasting Sri Lankas stocks again...and again!) and i hope more of this continues. At least one team will accumulate some points from the encounter.

stoph verismo


  1. Iraq and Iran have been competitive in soccer for quite a while - it's always amazed me how countries riddled with problems somehow produce national sides in sport capable of beating developed Western countries.

    While Bangladesh are (I believe) improving, Zimbabwe have done a u-turn. I find this so sad and perhaps this is directly related to Mugabe. I'm not sure about 'dropping' the minows though - it may be great for Holland etc but how could it improve the standard of cricket the Deshis and Zimbabwe play? The ICC would better serve developing nations by investing in infrastructure; academies, tuition, equipment etc.

  2. I don't know much about soccer myself, save to say that I believe you can play a whole game, not score and have BEEN very competetive!
    I also hear that the Iraqi Womens soccer team have defeated the UK Army team in a "friendly" at Basra. Score: Burkas 3 d Berks 0.

    I realise this isnt cricket related, its just that I took Stophers lack of antidisestablishmentarianism to be a joke and though I'd try to be funny too.

    Also pretty stoked to have been able to finally post a post that contains antidisestablishmentarianism in it, not once but now twice.

  3. it surely is the Mugabe thing... they cannot improve when life its self is so hard there.

    i don't want to drop these teams down to L2, i just think that there shouldn't be complete seperation between the level outside of world cup games; extra cross-over between WC comps can only be beneficial to all concerned... although i can see little value of the top L1 sides playing L2 sides.

    i don't think playing top L2 sides will improve Zim and the Bangas, but it might be closer competition for them and help build confidence instead of being shelacked all of the time... maybe!

    of course LRO, infrastructure, acadamies etc is the way to go, but what beats actual match-play?

  4. Absolutely - match play is a must; hard to do if you're busy protecting yourself and family from a military regime after starving for the previous 6 years though. Really until there's some human rights issues resolved any efforts around peripheral stuff like levels is wasted.