Posts Tagged ‘icc


A truly global England

 Watching the England cricket team play is like watching an IPL team play. Six of their players from the T20 World Cup have foreign roots. Here is a list of ‘foreign’ players in the England T20 squad.

  • Kevin Pietersen – Born to an Afrikaan father and English speaking mother in Durban, South Africa
  • Ravi Bopara – Born to Indian Punjabi parents in London
  • Dimitri Mascarenhas – Born to Sri Lankan parents in London
  • Adil Rashid – Born to Pakistanis in Bradford, England
  • Owais Shah – Pakistani born in Karachi
  • Eoin Morgan – Born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and even played in the 2007 World Cup for the All Irish team. 

In the 2007 cricket World cup, seven players in addition to coach Duncan Fletcher were either of foreign origin or born outside England. Andrew Strauss who is the current ODI and Test skipper was born in South Africa off Afrikaan heritage (I’m not entirely sure, but his surname is of German origin and hence my conclusion). Monty Panesar is a Sikh of Indian origin while Sajid Mohammad is a second generation Pakistani. Jamie Dalrymple was born in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Since the 70s England has been represented by many an outsider. Most were cricketers from South Africa, which at the time was barred from International cricket, who turned up in England colors. Tony Greig, Basil D’Oliviera, Robin Smith, Allan Lamb, Derek Pringle to name of a few. The 90s and the new millennium saw a lot of other ‘countries’ in the team, especially Asians. Graeme Hick, Philip DeFreitas, Chris Lewis, Nasser Hussain, the Hollioake brothers, Robert Croft, Kabir Ali, Vikram Solanki etc were England regulars. 

Now although this trend does reflect the diversity in the British society, the inclusion of players like Eoin Morgan and Gavin Hamilton of Scotland in the past is not commendable. Both these players are easily the best in their own country. Associate nations like Ireland and Scotland need players like these to prove a challenge to the big boys. Morgan has of course stated his desire to play test cricket but his priority should be for his homeland for whom he has played internationals. ICC should also do something for this. Morgan was playing in green not more than a year back. It is not ethical for England to choose such players. Like in other sports, ICC should bring laws to prevent players from being poached. In fact Hamilton played the 99 world Cup for the Scots, later represented England in a test in which he failed miserably and now he is back playing for his home nation. Why can’t cricket have a rule like in Olympic sports where a player has to wait for 3 years or so before he can switch national sides?


Why the ICL is better than the IPL

It may not have the cheerleaders from the Washington Redskins; the glitter that comes along with a Sachin or a Ponting may be absent; the stadiums may not have jam packed crowds of over 50,000; Shah Rukh or Preity Zinta may not be cheering from the stands; India Inc may not be queuing up to buy stakes in the teams, but still as far as cricket is concerned The Indian Cricket League is a resounding success. In my opinion it has scored over the ‘official’ T20 tournament of the BCCI, The Indian Premier League. . I have nothing against the IPL. The IPL definitely has created a sort of revolution in the outlook of cricket in the country. But one should not forget it was the creation of ICL that led to Lalit Modi and the BCCI forming the IPL. It is no secret that that the BCCI is only interested in making money and not developing cricket in India. One funny incident was when ICL ads started appearing on the official website of the IPL. It has since been removed but when contacted, the BCCI were quick to deny and put the blame on the site developers. 

For most, the first picture that comes to your mind when you think about the ICL is a bunch of ‘old’ people over 35 play along with club level cricketers. If that is the case why has players like Shane Bond, Justin Kemp and most recently Mohd. Yousuf, who are at the prime of their careers decide to join the so called ‘rebel’ league and put their international careers in jeopardy? And the reason why domestic layers from India joining the ICL is just because of the apathy shown by the BCCI. Whereas the contracted players in the national team earn crores of money, the domestic players were left in the lurch, waiting for upto months to receive match fees. If the BCCI were so keen in developing cricket, why were many talented domestic players not awarded stints in the IPL. Just because a few players like Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja or Abhishek Nayar managed to gain recognition, it doesn’t mean the IPL has done anything for the development of the game. If you look at the stats, you’ll see that it was the foreign players who mostly overshadowed their Indian counterparts. All the centuries scored were by foreigners. The top wicket taker was a Pakistani. The top run getter was an Aussie. Now this is where the ICL has pipped the IPL. The most consistent players in the ICL have been Indian players. Guys like T.P. Singh, Ganpathi Vignesh, Ali Murtaza, Abbas Ali etc are true match winners and definitely national team material. In the ICL World series event, it was the Indians who won despite the fact only Rohan Gavaskar, Thiru Kumaran and T.P. Singh had any international experience, at a time when their counterparts from Pakistan and the rest of the world were filled with players loaded with years of experience. The fact is that despite no kind of recognition or help from BCCI or any state association, the ICL has come quite a long way.

The BCCI is at present in no mood to recognize the ICL. The BCCI had in fact wanted the ongoing season to close for talks between the two sides to take place. This only shows that they don’t give a damn about ICL or development of the game, because as long as the IPL is there, they’ll be raking in the cash. Even the ICC has remained mum on the issue, leaving the matter to the BCCI. They should intervene so that many talented players don’t miss out on showcasing their skills to the world because of hypocrisy from the Indian board. Even the other boards should do something. Pakistan has just lost their best batsman, Yousuf because of the unfair ban on ICL players. The truth is the other boards are scared of the money power of the BCCI. Even the upcoming Champions League T20 is just an event for the BCCI to bring in more cash. Kent Spitfires who finished runners up in the English T20 Cup were denied entry into the competition because of their ICL links. It is sad that the ECB did not protest and instead has allowed the Middlesex Crusaders, who won the Cup, to play in the Champions League. Also why is the event limited only to India, Australia, South Africa and England? ( Pakistan was given a spot only because the Spitfires were ineligible) What about T2O teams from other nations? Again the answer is obvious, the boards of the other countries are ‘poor’. 

The BCCI could work out with the ICL and they could exist simultaneously. A model similar to the Major League Baseball in the US could be followed, where two different leagues, the National League and the American League exist simultaneously and a in a season ending World Series the top team from each league face off.  This idea has existed for more than a century now, since 1903 to be precise. The BCCI could take a cue from the MLB and devise a formula such that the top teams from both the leagues could play each other. But first, the BCCI should at least remove the bans on the players.


ICC’s double standards again

The ICC is back at it again. An Indian captain was banned for six ODI’s by cricket’s ‘governing’ council. Well, this time around, it’s not quite the same for a similar offenderI. I’m of course talking about Ricky Ponting being let off after being found guilty of a repeated offence of slow over rate by the ICC. Back in 2005 Sourav Ganguly was banned by ICC Match referee Chris Board for six ODI’s after found guilty during an ODI against Pakistan. In fact, it was not the first time Ganguly was in the dock for the same offence. In 2004, Dada was banned ofr two Test matches by referee Clive Lloyd, after India’s slow over rate during an ODI against Pakistan. However the ban was later withheld after an appeal. 

The ICC rule book says that a repeat offence of slow over rate would result in a ban of two tests or four ODIs. Punter was already aware of the slow over rate when he decided to use part-time spinners so that he could possibly escape a ban. This however earned him the wrath of Aussie greats like Jeff Thomson and Allan Border after he lost the test match. But despite his efforts, he still couldn’t get the over rate back on track and was found guilty by referee Chris Broad, yes the same Chris Broad who had banned Ganguly for the same offence. Mr. Broad had the tenacity to let Ponting off the hook with just a fine, but ban Ganguly for six ODIs.  Under normal circumstances, the ICC gives an explanation for their decisions. And just as the Aussies would like it, no sort of official clarification from the ICC or from Mr. Broad as to why Ponting is a free bird.  Double standards, anyone?