Posts Tagged ‘BCCI’

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Every now and then, maybe quite far, a question always pops up in the cricket community. ‘Should cricket be included in the Olympics’. It usually gathers steam, when the Olympics is near and forgotten no sooner than the Olympic Closing Ceremony. To be honest, I’m a supporter of Cricket to be included in the Olympics, but what I really want is cricket to be played in more than just the traditional 9 and a half countries where test cricket is played now(Zimbabwe being the half country and I’m sure nobody would oppose me in counting them as half).

The ICC and the member boards have constantly opposed to Cricket to be included in the Olympics. I could quite understand the reason for this – the lack of profit from revenue to them, and the fact that the member boards must be answerable to the Government. These are reasons enough to make the think not just twice, but as many times as possible, for not only does it lose its money, but it needs to go through blatant redtapism, both of which are dreadful to the cricket boards and the ICC.

One of the first question that pops onto your mind whenever there is a topic about Cricket’s inclusion in Olympics is the concept of a global game i.e. can Cricket be considered as a truly global sport, considering the fact that it is just played in a handful of countries. As an ardent supporter of Cricket, I find the fundamental reason for the lack of spread of the game globally is the over reliance on a few countries be it for either commercial reasons or the imperialistic viewpoint. Once we move away from the pretend democracy that is prevalent from the time cricket originated i.e. Imperial England in the post war period or the Packer Cricket of Australia in the early 80s or the more recent “The Big Three Takeover”, and have an actual working democracy, the global popularity of the game takes care of itself.

So how do we popularize Cricket, thats a question that does not have an accurate answer, but if we can raise the quality and standard of cricket in the associate levels and getting them to play more and more cricket with quality opposition, cricket will have newer horizons. By quality opposition I dont mean and restrict only to the international sides, rather, their A teams, their domestic champions and of course the out of favor cricketers who have just passed their prime. These facts are not rocket science and or is it a something out of the ordinary. The quality of cricket increases when there is a clear structure, both domestic and international, complimented by an organised club cricket.

So how do we implement it to have a better structure, please look no further away. There are tried and tested formula with actual results. Still have a doubt, ever wondered how Zimbabwe still has world class players who have proved time and again that they are worthy of their play only to give up on their international career just to have a secure future for them and their families? Or how could an associate nation like Kenya reach the semi final of a World Cup? The answer lies in their domestic and club structure. Zimbabwe have been playing in South Africa’s domestic competition long before they were granted test status. Kenya had an excellent club structure with the likes of Sanjay Manjrekar, Sandeep Patil, Brian Lara playing and coaching various clubs. These two countries are also prime example of how corruption can ruin, not just cricket but the economy of their country as well. Hence, in order to ensure that the associate nations cricketing standard and skill set improves, The ICC and the member boards should take a collective step by allowing the associate nations to play the domestic structure of their neighboring countries which would have not just similar pitch conditions, but have a near identical weather.

The ICC in its efforts to ensure that the associate teams do have a better track record in the World Cup had invested heavily in them and ensured that they had good match practice and they did reap in the benefits when the associate nations showed capability to beat better teams, be it Kenya in the 1996 World Cup or all the associate nations in the 2015 World Cup. Whats more puzzling is the fact that, why does the ICC restrict these investments only for World Cups and not the rest of the time? This could not only be of valuable experience to the associate nations, but would go a long way in drawing talent and popularity to the game.

In retrospect, there is no harm in trying these concepts when the ICC has tried tried radical concepts like ‘Supersub’, which was more confusing than helpful. As the world is evolving, there is definitely nothing wrong in holding on to traditions, but at the same time, embracing change is how you get to survive. Agreed you will be bruised, but you would emerge more successful and more mature. Ultimately, The Game of Cricket would be able to survive in this ever changing world, if and only if we have more countries play cricket and have equal say in the administration.

With the recent change in governance in the ICC, the hope that Cricket expands to newer horizons has never seemed so bright, while at the same time with the changes being brought into the game, Cricket seems more exciting and engrossing to both the players and the audience. With crossed fingers lets hope that Cricket could find newer countries to call it as its home…