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    February 13, 2008

    Crisis time for cricket?

    It doesn't seem like a great time to be a cricket administrator, especially if you aren't an Indian cricket administrator. I'd say this is a pretty testing time for cricket and I really hope the powers-that-be recognize it and fix the real problems.

    New Zealand cricket could really do with some help. Shane Bond's NZ Cricket contract was terminated since he wanted to play in the Indian Cricket League. Scott Styris retired from test cricket to focus on playing limited overs cricket. He'd only played 8 tests in the last 3 years, compared to 49 ODIs and 13 Twenty20 games in that same period. I just don't understand exactly how playing 3 tests a year stressed him out. Most other players play between 8 and 12 tests a year on an average! Stephen Fleming may retire from test cricket less than a year after retiring from ODIs after the 2007 World Cup. A whole bunch of Pakistani cricketers, including Mohammad Sami and Naved-ul-Hasan Rana, have joined the ICL.

    Update on 14 Feb: Stephen Fleming has confirmed that he will retire after New Zealand's upcoming test series against England.

    The Indian Cricket League isn't the only reason why players are retiring. The Indian Premier League (website) is also likely to result in several cricketers in the twilight of their careers retiring to earn a lot of money for a few weeks of effort. Adam Gilchrist is possibly only the first of a long list. Australia's star players are at loggerheads with their cricket board over potential sponsor clashes in the Indian Premier League. Simon Taufel is indicating that he may not renew his umpiring contract with the ICC. Given the umpiring cock-ups we've seen recently and the number of umpires available/eligible, this is a huge problem for the ICC. I'm fairly sure quite a few English county sides are worried as well, since the star overseas players they have signed up, at huge costs, would miss a few weeks of their county commitments to play in the IPL. There was a suggestion by an administrator (possibly from the IPL committee) that the ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP) could be changed to accomodate IPL tournaments.

    But is it fair to assume that the BCCI is the only one which will be sitting pretty? I'm not so sure about it. As various commentators have observed, given the amount of money the franchise owners have pumped in, they will eventually demand that their players be more frequently available to them. Even if they agree to priority being given for international cricket commitments, the owners could insist that the players join the teams late and play IPL games instead of playing in warm-up games. Alternately, they could insist that players play for their IPL sides when they're rested or in-between tours. Will the IPL cannibalize the BCCI's domestic cricket tournaments? Eventually, could the IPL cannibalize international cricket per se to the extent that players will opt for the IPL over an international tour?

    So what are the problems here?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:00 PM |
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    4 sledge(s):

    It was 2 lng for me 2 read..but all dat i read was fantastic..will continue the same wen i get time..' 1 morfe ting..i've started a cricket blog 3 mnths ago named:

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    By Blogger cricketahead at yahoo dot co dot in (14-Feb-2008, 6:48:00 PM)  

    This situation cannot continue. The sheer number of players going over to the Dark Side will force the ICC to accommodate the ICL.

    It’ll become normal part of life soon.

    By Blogger The Atheist (14-Feb-2008, 10:54:00 PM)  

    I think thats the drawback of this much money offered by IPL....earlier retirements...and automatic lowering of the quality in the game of cricket...

    I just hoep IPL brings more good than bad to the game...

    By Blogger The Sporting Spirit (23-Feb-2008, 2:41:00 PM)  

    I think the game of cricket has got to move with the times and with these games being played in the evening time in India means there will virtually be a global audience watching. This can only be good for the game long term.

    The T20/20 World Cup was everything the 50 Over World Cup was not and I believe it should be a huge success.

    Pete Nordsted

    By Blogger Trade on Cricket (26-Feb-2008, 5:51:00 PM)  

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