"Cricket is rotting away"

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"Cricket is rotting away"

Postby raja » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:43 pm

"Everything worthwhile about it is being destroyed."
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/ ... st-matches

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby raja » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:30 pm

Among many things that are eating away at cricket's attractiveness is its scheduling.

It is just too random and confusing now - totally lacking context, except for the Ashes, which are thankfully still played every 2-3 years, with a home-away concept.

I love the home-away concept and a consistent frequency of contests between two sides.

Staying with this, I'm thinking of how scheduling could be better.

Let's start with the English calendar.

Summer (English cricket season) when international cricket is played, is usually from end-May to early Sept. You might have some cricket outside this window but let's keep it to this now. That's about 100 days of cricket.

Importantly, by end-May, the IPL would be well and truly completed. The 2017 final was on May 21st.

Last time (2015), the Ashes started on July 8 and ended on Aug 24.

So that's about 45 days for 5 Tests.

Using this, if we allow 9 days per Test, we could host about 11 Tests in an English season.

To make it more diverse / multi-format, let's say we stick to 8 Tests (72 days) +18 days (6 ODIs) + 12 days (6 T20Is).

This allows England to host, EVERY YEAR.
- a 5-Test series against one of Australia / South Africa / BCCI / (another country it considers worthy of a 5 Test series)
- a 3-Test series against one of the other sides (NZ / Pak / SL / BD / Windies etc)
(this is just illustrative.
- 2 3-match ODis against the two visiting sides
- 2 3-match T20Is against the two visiting sides
- Every 4th year, England could host 2-3 teams not being one of Aus/SA/BCCI.

That way, England would host every team in a period of 3-4 (maybe 5) years for at least a 3-Test series.
And the international calendar for the English summer would be rich, varied and predictable.

You could even pin every match down to specific dates well in advance. Like Wimbledon does - you always know which Monday Wimbledon starts.

Need to go now - will resume discussion on this later - but similar calendars could be worked out for every country.

It really shouldn't be SO difficult to do.

You can have you domestic league AND predictable international tournaments.

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby raja » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:41 pm

I don't know the dates for Aussie cricket, but I suspect they could have a similar window of 100 international cricket days - and therefore squeeze in 8 Tests, 6 ODIs and 6 T20Is? Is there a BBL issue?

If no issue, Australia could also host one of England / South Africa / BCCI every summer (Aussie summer) for a full 5-Test series, while hosting another team for a 3-Test series.

I suspect BCCI could do the same, as could South Africa.

BCCI, for sure, has a very long winter window - right from Nov to Feb. (T20Is and ODIs could easily go into March, if day-night).
So BCCI could even host far more ODIs and T20Is, if that would please the Indian crowd & sponsors.

This way, everyone is happy.

- Players get to play a fair amount of international cricket, without compromising on their leagues. So good money for them. At the same time, they get enough rest too - you have decent breaks between series & matches, even if players are multi-format.

- Boards should be able to make good money too, I would suppose. Nothing prevents a Board from adding more ODIs/T20Is to its schedule if it can stretch the calendar. What I have proposed is basic. With day-night cricket now (and T20s being a 4 hour game anyway), there's a lot that can be added. I just don't want this to happen at the COST of a basic framework/schedule.

- Fans should be happy too. Games & series will have much more context. If you lose one series, you will be raring to go for the next one. Like happens with Ashes all the time. Also, scheduling will be much more predictable - which can only be a good thing. We want matches to be unpredictable - not schedules to be unpredictable.

- Teams will play each other in a fairly systematic/organised manner. We won't have a gap of 6 years and then a rushed back-to-back two series in the space of 6 months, type of scenario.

- Domestic cricket will continue too - without surprises. Today, domestic competition sees players pulled out randomly from first-class teams. Now this can be planned better.

What do you guys think? Am I making it sound too simple?

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:16 pm

Too simple? A bit.

England already cram a lot into their home season.

In 2015 for example they hosted the Ashes and odis/t20 and did play 2 test series and full odi series with NZ. England was still playing well into September having started in May. There was IPL overlap with NZ test players missing the tour games and abandoning the IPL finals for qualifying teams.

NZC fans would have loved another test - but when the series was scheduled NZ was in the duldrums.

This year England has managed full series with South Africa and the West Indies while hosting the Champions Trophy. England regularly host the Champions Trophy as they can make it profitable, something the rest of the world struggles to do. They also had a few ODI's to play against Ireland. So that was 7 tests, (they norm play 7 or 8 tests each home summer) and a stack of limited overs matches, more than you suggested, albeit at the expense of an 8th test.

In two years time England will host the World Cup. The England season is pretty much at capacity, and typically has been for a long time. England are more than happy to meet their host responsibilities as the custodians of cricket and schedule time for countries like Bangladesh to tour in the main season.

Australia overlaps its season with NZ and SA. This impacts on scheduling as SA and Aus both want to be playing at home on Boxing Day. (NZ is happier to be touring then their Cricket Boards). WI's season often clashes (like India they seem to have many more months to play cricket in) but Australia normally goes there after finishing its home season.

There's no BBL issue as the BBL overlaps entirely with Australian test matches and means there is cricket on almost every night, after the test. The scheduling is very smart meaning an abundance of cricket, with next to no clashing.

I'm not sure England and Australia (nor India) need more matches. Australia does has some scope to fit them in though without the ODI tri series, but Australia seems to welcome the start of the domestic summer to sort out its upcomming international selections. Australia has very busy away schedule, like England do. Pak and NZ def need more hames scheduled, home n away. SA some years need more cricket, not if you ask ABDV, and not this home summer with an impressive host list despite Indian cancelling a 4th test. I think SA has been on a scheduling boom with their success in tests in recent years including two series wins in Australia. Its made them in higher demand. Or this summer is some cetennial celebration.

Australia play 6 tests at home typically (excluding any Darwin or North Queensland series outside the typical Aussie Summer), and 5 in an Ashes year. The Australian formula used to be worked around the much loved odi tri series - but that became less profitable and was done away with. I miss it myself. This year, Australia and NZ will host England in a tri series T20 with the vision of trying something new.

For me the issue is when the players are playing so many games that the seam bowlers (or even batsmen) are being rested, if the gulf between them and the replacement is significant, it mires the series, if even a tad. This has to be a factor in wider scheduling for Australia. Its one thing to want more supply, but we want supply of the best players playing.

Personally I think the Big 3 have been playing enough games, just look at their career matches over a period of time compared Shakib, Ross Taylor, or Younus Khan.

In NZ we get the Indian home season, the Australian home season, and the England home season broadcast. We must get them for nix cos we don't even televise our domestic ODI comp bar the final. I'd certainly welcome getting all broadcasts of internationals. It would have been nice to see Bangladesh win against Australia, but not having the South African and Pakistani broadcasts is a shame because they are so often involved in interesting cricket, be it an ABDV whirlwind, a Stokes dbl century or Yasir Shah on a turner. Personally I think if we want more cricket, its time to look beyond England to supply. Tho I think Australia could put an extra test in somewhere years they don't tour NZ/SA for a long duration - but there would be a massive contest between states as to who hosts it.
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby squarecut » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:13 am

I think top four (England, Australia, South Africa, India) play sufficient number of matches. Others do not play that many for their own reasons - for cricketing reasons (their team being too weak), or non cricketing reasons, viz. incompetence of their board/ policy of the rulers of that country etc.

Personally I would only like to follow competitive high class cricketing contests, and that are mainly provided by the top four teams.

I cannot be bothered to watch contests between West Indies and Zimbabwe, or between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:27 am

squarecut wrote:I think top four (England, Australia, South Africa, India) play sufficient number of matches. Others do not play that many for their own reasons - for cricketing reasons (their team being too weak), or non cricketing reasons, viz. incompetence of their board/ policy of the rulers of that country etc.

Personally I would only like to follow competitive high class cricketing contests, and that are mainly provided by the top four teams.

I cannot be bothered to watch contests between West Indies and Zimbabwe, or between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


To take a counter view - its becomming near pointless to watch Asian teams outside Asia bar Pakistan in England and non Asian teams touring Asia or WI anywhere. I don't know whats worse - Brits & colonials falling over to spin on dusty bunsen burner surfaces, or watching Bangladeshi, Indian and Sri Lankan seamers try to bowl well on grass or fast wickets, the Fizz excluded. Further, British & colonial spinners oft leave a lot to be desired as do Asian bats to swing n seam.

Noone wants to watch NZ - even when we're ranked as high as 3rd and 4th. NZ is currently 4th in tests. 1st in T20. Australia at 5th in tests and 7th in T20 but obviously holds more global appeal as the greatest cricketing nation in terms of success and longevity.

But Pakistan was #1 less than a year ago in tests and in red hot form in odi currently post ICC Chps Trophy win, so the "top" teams are not all playing enough cricket - even if NZ is ignored as a "top 4" team forever.

Hopefully for the global game we lose the effects of the Big 3 scheduling soon.
Last edited by Paddles on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby squarecut » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:45 am

Pakistan was number 1 in tests only for a few hours (or may be days) and that was because Indian test against West Indies was rained off. Pakistan is number 7 at present which is their rightful place for them. They surprised everyone, including themselves when they won the Champions trophy defeating BCCI in the final (after losing to them may be 10 times in a row in ICC tournaments including in the gropu match in that tournament). It was a fluke win against BCCI.

If few teams want to play Pakistan and no one wants to visit Pakistan then that is because of the policy of the rulers of Pakistan. Others cannot help them.

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:50 am

squarecut wrote:Pakistan was number 1 in tests only for a few hours (or may be days) and that was because Indian test against West Indies was rained off. Pakistan is number 7 at present which is their rightful place for them. They surprised everyone, including themselves when they won the Champions cup defeating BCCI in the final (after losing to them may be 10 times in a row in ICC tournaments). It was a fluke win against BCCI.

If few teams want to play Pakistan and no one wants to visit Pakistan then that is because of the policy of the rulers of Pakistan. Others cannot help them.


I don't recall if it was months or hours, but they were #1 which is well within the top 4.

Dubai has grounds for Pakistan to play at. Pakistan can tour as well.

You seem very anti- Pakistan. But a lot of people globally want to see Yasir Shah, Mhmd Amir and Hasan Ali play. They're stars of the game with grand profiles.
Last edited by Paddles on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby squarecut » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:53 am

Indians are anti Pakistan because Pakistani rulers (Army) are using terrorism as their policy against their neighbours, including India. Terrorism is a very serious matter, far more serious than playing cricket. And Indian government has rightly forbidden BCCI to have any bilateral matches with Pakistan in cricket.

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:57 am

squarecut wrote:Indians are anti Pakistan because Pakistani rulers (Army) are using terrorism as their policy against their neighbours, including India. Terrorism is a very serious matter, far more serious than playing cricket. And Indian government has rightly forbidden BCCI to have any bilateral matches with Pakistan in cricket.


I'm here to talk cricket talk as a cricket fan, not Indo-Pak politics.

I do however remember the helcyon days when the civil war in Sri Lanka would take a break whenever SL was playing cricket on the field somewhere in the world.

Shame sports does not bring everyone together peacefully.
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:47 am

It was month/s, they toured NZ as #1 (and lost).
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Boycs » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:59 am

I quite enjoy watching the mid-weights play each other as a neutral sometimes just to watch some good cricket. Trouble is West Indies don’t play good cricket hugely often nowadays. I’d watch New Zealand play against anyone though.

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:21 am

Boycs wrote:I quite enjoy watching the mid-weights play each other as a neutral sometimes just to watch some good cricket. Trouble is West Indies don’t play good cricket hugely often nowadays. I’d watch New Zealand play against anyone though.


Windies decline is a concern for many. And SL's decline is not at all good for the game and Herath isn't getting younger.

But Bangladesh at home seem very watchable, as much as any Asian team, and this Pakistan bowling arsenal is not only watchable, but starting to generate hype. Sad it coincided with the retirement of 2 of their batting legends.

Zimbos have Taylor back, maybe they can lift? Ireland will prolly take a while but the Afghans already have 3 global stars in Negi, Shezhad and Khan.
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby raja » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:35 pm

Oh, I'm not suggesting the top 4 don't play enough cricket. They do - it's just that, except for the Ashes, there doesn't seem to be much context to their contests. And the scheduling also seems to be somewhat random - squeeze in a Sri Lanka tour here, or play a one-off against Bangladesh - that sort of thing.

Why is it SO difficult to have clean scheduling, instead of this random stuff? What I've suggested will probably result in as much cricket (or can be tuned to this effect) while keeping the scheduling clean. You would know that if BCCI tour South Africa for a 5-Test series in 2017-18, South Africa would return the favour for a 5-Test series in say, 2020-21. BCCi would then return the favour in 2023-24 and so on. If BCCI visit SA I want a proper 0-5 humiliation. :-)

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:03 pm

raja wrote:Oh, I'm not suggesting the top 4 don't play enough cricket. They do - it's just that, except for the Ashes, there doesn't seem to be much context to their contests. And the scheduling also seems to be somewhat random - squeeze in a Sri Lanka tour here, or play a one-off against Bangladesh - that sort of thing.

Why is it SO difficult to have clean scheduling, instead of this random stuff? What I've suggested will probably result in as much cricket (or can be tuned to this effect) while keeping the scheduling clean. You would know that if BCCI tour South Africa for a 5-Test series in 2017-18, South Africa would return the favour for a 5-Test series in say, 2020-21. BCCi would then return the favour in 2023-24 and so on. If BCCI visit SA I want a proper 0-5 humiliation. :-)


Meaningful context isn't able to be easily generated outside of regularly held tournaments. Even then - the Champs trophy and WT20 has far less than the World Cup due its prestige and history.

Aussies care about the Ashes. They couldn't care less about a series with South Africa for the mace, India, NZ, WI or any reciprocal billateral tours. Some of them give an increased significance to winning test series in India but they couldn't care less when India tours there.

NZ cares about beating England (esp in England) and against Australia anywhere. Nothing else really. Not even South Africa.

Poms will watch England play Afghanistan, but the Ashes is their guage of test performance and success. But they do want the World Cup.

India and Pakistan was developing a nice history until the nations stopped playing one another.

For Bangladesh it may be a big deal to play Pakistan or India but its not vice versa. Ditto for SL.

Who does India care about playing? England? Australia? India touring Australia is typically a one sided contest that is not that enticing for a nuetral.

Like NZ, crickets not really big in South Africa and they're not even that visibly excited when they win series in England let alone Australia. England is prolly their biggest series after finally knocking Australia off since readmission.

WI has fizzled since their superstar team and then the likes of Lara retired.

Has the Asian cup really captivated Asian cricket fans? As a neuetral I'd like to see more high quality World XI tours.

Its not like rugby where a North / South geographical divide keeps generating interest in neigbouring tournaments and rivalries as well 'outsider' tours. Maybe if Britain relocated down under an Asia vs Brit Colonial divide could enhance rivalries.

Its not also like the old days of the Ashes plus anyone pushing up the undisputed best to lose - be it WI or Straya. Now number 1 changes all the time and its home/region dominated. Altho Pakt can be very enthralling series in say England but they'd prolly lose to NZ or Sri Lanka on the way which takes the gloss off them.

Last year Aus and NZ were ranked 1 and 2 and played an odi series. Ashwin was at pains cos it wasn't even broadcast in India.Takes more than rankings to create global context. This year in the reciprocal series - Australia rested Warner - hardly a big deal to them (altho Davey prefers to play NZ at home than away). And Indians seem typically to be more obsesed with the IPL than global cricket.
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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Boycs » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:02 pm

Maybe your test wins give you points, and the points can be spent to earn the right to host a World Cup :P

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Re: "Cricket is rotting away"

Postby Paddles » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:03 am

Boycs wrote:Maybe your test wins give you points, and the points can be spent to earn the right to host a World Cup :P


Nah - I genuinely think more World XI tours is what will foster more excitement. A complete team of stars in all play departments. Start giving the host teams more a nudge than what is happening of late.

There is of course issues for remuneration of players, as well as the International Boards - not to mention countries releasing their fast bowlers to play especially. Indo Pak politics may also be an impediment to many scenarios.

The teams don't even have to be just World XIs, they could be Asia XI, or Southern Hemispere XIs. Don't quite know how to fit England and WI into the mix, but there must be a way. Maybe, Brit and colonials? Altho, the differing season is a further impediment to England doing much with the South outside a World XI. The Lions tours (Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales) are hugely successful, widely supported and well looked forward to in rugby, where NZ, SA and Aus get one every 12 years. Asia v Rest of World would be a interesting series, but the R.O.W outside of touring Asia would prolly have to play home matches in England to draw a crowd, even then most of them would be prolly be of Asian descent.
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