Monday, 28 March 2011

We need to have regional tournaments.

ICC recently went ahead with proposals to reduce 2015 WC to 10 nations. While all sports are for increasing the no of teams, in cricket we still have our colonial mindset and went the opposite way. As a sop to the new nations ICC offered them a 16 nation World T-20 and that will be held twice before 2015 WC in 2012 in SL and 2014 in BD. If ICC is so serious for a 10 nation CWC then what about the exposure to Associate nations.

To ensure that we give right exposure to the lesser nations we should go ahead with regional tournaments to be held once in 4 years replacing Champions Trophy. We know Champions trophy brings in revenue. To ensure that these regional tournaments also bring in revenue we should have them in the shortest format i.e T20. Asia will surely give revenue's to ICC via ACC while the others may take some time. The closest to earning a revenue would be ECC. These tournaments would go ahead as per present ranking like this

Group A:-Ind, BD, Afg, HK
Group B:-SL, Pak, Nep,UAE
Top 2 from each group go into semi finals and then finals

League:-SA, Zim, Ken, Nam, Ugan
Top 2 go into finals

League:-Eng, Ire,Scot, Neth, Wales & Italy. Wales though a part of eng would field a seperate team here
Top 2 reach the finals. This tournament can be played in Ireland or Netherlands

League:-WI, Can, USA & Bermuda
Top 2 reach the finals

League:-Aus, NZ & PNG
Top 2 in Final

The tournament should go ahead to create compact scheduling. On a weekday 2 matches and weekend 3 matches should be played. The longest of this tournament would be the Asia Cup. Let us show an sample schedule of it

Day 1 (Sat):-
1 PM:- BD V Afg
5 PM:-SL V Pak
9 PM:-Ind V HK

Day 2 (Sun)
1 PM:- Nep V UAE
5 PM:-SL V Nep
9 PM:- Ind V Afg

Day 3 (Mon)
5 PM:- BD V HK
9 PM:- Pak V UAE

Day 4 (Tue)
5 PM:- Afg V HK
9 PM:- Ind V BD

Day 5 (Wed)
9 PM:- Pak V Nep

Day 6 (Thrus)
Break /Reserve day

Day 7 (Fri)
5 PM:- SF 1
9 PM:- SF 2

Day 8 (Sat)
9 PM:- Final

And this is the longest of all schedule. The shortest ones can be finished in 5 days. I hope ICC goes ahead and gives exposure to the lesser teams

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Chapter 1:- Africa Div 3 (T20) Chanpionship, 2011, World Twenty20 Qualifier

The path to 2012 World Twenty20 started its first leg with 7 nations of Africa fighting it out in hope of reach the ultimate pinnacle. The 7 Nations played in WCL Africa Div 3. These nations were:- Mali, Gambia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Morocco, Seychelles & Rwanda. The winner of this tournament would qualify for Africa Div 2

Gambia have a cricketing culture with they being former member of the West African team and a former British colony.
Rwanda has been going really strong on cricket development with their schools regularly taking part in Uganda. This has lead to decent levels of development
Seychelles is a former British Colony with a cricket legacy. They regularly played a triangular tournament with Maldives & Mauritius until the 1990's. They were the 105th member(Latest) member of ICC and this was their first tournament
Morocco:- They are also new to the cricketing spectrum. They however had the credit of hosting ODI at the stadium between South Africa, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
Lesotho are completely surrounded by South Africa and hence does not leave any doubt where cricket comes from
Mali and Cameroon are teams on which I don't have much information

The teams were divided into 2 groups
GROUP A:- Rwanda, Lesotho & Cameroon
GROUP B:- Seychelles, Morocco, Gambia & Mali

The tournament favorites Rwanda virtually had no competition in their group. They simply thrashed both the teams and qualified for finals. Cricket influence of South Africa helped them defeat Cameroon and come second

Group A
Team P W L T/NR Pts
Rwanda 2 2 0 0 4
Lesotho 2 1 1 0 2
Cameroon 2 0 2 0 0

In other group the teams were new to each other but West African experience had made them the favorites. However it was the newcomer Seychelles that rocked the world and won all their matches. Morocco with good infrastructure managed to come second while Gambia third, not making much use of their past experiences. Mali came 4th in group and hence last overall in tournament as they would not play any playoff.

Group B
Team P W L T/NR Pts
Seychelles 3 3 0 0 6
Morocco 3 2 1 0 4
Gambia 3 1 2 0 2
Mali 3 0 3 0 0

The final match was between Seychelles and Rwanda. The winner would go into the Div 2 and rest would have to play it out next time after 2 years. However Rwanda kept to their tag and won the tournament qualifying for Africa Div 2.

1. Rwanda (Qualify for Africa Div 2)
2. Seychelles
3. Lesotho
4. Morocco
5. Gambia
6. Cameroon
7. Mali

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Journey to 2012 ICC World Twenty20

Cricket new rising star will be held in Sri Lanka in 2012. The process of qualification of the same has already started. We would be following the qualification process very closely here. First to start with we will have a complete understanding of the process.

What is Twenty20?
Twenty20 is the latest format developed in cricket. It consists of both team batting or balling for 20 overs. The match lasts for 3.5 hours much comparable to other sports like Baseball, Football etc.
It involves explosive form of cricket with much higher ratio of 4's and 6's and is entertaining for the crowds. ICC (International Cricket Council) has made it the guiding vehicle to introduce cricket to new markets.

How many teams will be playing World Twenty20 and what will be the format?
16 teams will be playing in the world cup. The format has not yet been decided. Most likely it will be 4 pools of 4 teams each. Then top 2 teams qualify to Super 8's with again 2 groups of 4. Then we will have a Semi Final and a Final.
Whenever the exact format comes I will definitely update the same

How many similar world cup have happened and who are the winners?
This would be the 4th World Cup. The previous 3 have been as follows
2007, South Africa:- India defeated arch rivals Pakistan to win the first World Cup
2009, England:- Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka
2010, West Indies:- England defeated arch rivals Australia to lift their first ICC trophy

What is the qualification process?
To understand the qualification process we need to understand the structure of ICC.

ICC has got 3 level of membership.
Test Nations:- These are the highest level of members who are officially allowed to play Test Cricket (5day matches). These nations only have voting rights. Presently there are 10 Test Nations:- Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies (A combination of 20 Caribbean nations) & Zimbabwe
Associates:- These are countries where cricket is firmly established, but yet not at a level to play Test Cricket. In simple words, cricket is one of the major say 15 games with a proper structure to manage it. There are 34 Associate Members.
Affiliates:-These are nations where cricket is in developing stage and has got regulation to play it as per ICC regulations. There are 60 Affiliate Members.

ICC manages Associate and Affiliate through 5 regions. These 5 regions are:-Asia, Europe, Africa, Americas & East Asia Pacific

The Top Associate and Affiliate from these regions form a part of the World Cricket League. There are 8 Divisions of World Cricket League. Division 1 to 7 have 6 teams each. Division 8 has 8 teams. The rest of the nations play in the Regional Division i.e WCL Africa or WCL Europe etc.

The World Cricket League runs over a period of 2 years. It is in 50 Over format. Since a world cup (50 Over) is after 4 years, hence for a 50 Over WC, 2 cycle of WCL happen.
From previous Division 8, the top 2 teams would have qualified for Div 7. The 3rd stays in Div 8. From previous Div 7 the bottom 2 are relegated to Div 8. Hence 5 slots left. These slots are filled by 1 team from each region. At the end, again top 2 teams go to Div 7, 3rd stays and rest 5 go back into regional tournaments.
For Div 3 to Div 7, there are 6 teams. Top 2 qualify to higher Div. Middle 2 stay and bottom 2 are relegated to lower Division.
In Division 2, the Top 4 qualify for 50 Over WC Qualifer. Bottom 2 are relegated to Div 3. This Div happens once in 4 years. The 4 teams in Div 2 are the teams rank 7 to 10 from 50 Over WCQ and 2 more come from Div 3
Division 1 are teams ranked 1 to 6 in WCQ. Like Div 2 it also happens once in 4 years. All teams in Div 1 get ODi status i.e there 50 overs and 20 overs matches are recogonized in official records
Finally happens the World Cup Qualifers. It has got 12 Teams. 6 teams from Div 1, Top from Div 2 and Top 2 from Div 3 form a part. Based on ranking Top 6 again go into Div 1, 7 to 10 in Div 2 and 11 & 12 in Div 3.
Hence in Div 3 for the first cycle in WC qualification top 2 teams reach the Div 2. Then Div 2 is played. Top 4 into WCQ and bottom 2 back to Div 3. In the next cycle the top 2 teams go into WCQ directly

Hence this was the complete ICC structure.

Coming back to the qualification structure for 2012 World Twenty20.
As expected the Test Teams directly qualify. Hence 10 slots gone. Left are 6.

For these 6 slots there will be a 20-20 WC Qualifier. It will also consist of 16 teams. The 16 teams will be decided as follows:- 6 teams of Div 1 (Because they have official ODI and 20-20 status). Rest 10 slots will be filled as follows Region (WCQ Slots):- Asia (3), Europe(2), Africa(2), Americas (2) and EAP(1). Hence from 16 teams 6 will go into World Cup

The 6 teams of Division 1 are Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands & Scotland

Now next questions comes into mind, how will regional teams be decided
The regional tournaments of 5 regions have all been scheduled. These are as follows

Europe Div 3 (Slovenia):-Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey
Europe Div 2 (Belgium):-Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Hellas, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, winner of ICC Europe Division 3
Europe Div 1(Jersey/Guernsey):- Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Norway, Spain, Winner from ICC Europe Division 2

Africa Div 3 (Ghana):- Cameroon, Gambia, Lesotho, Mali, Morocco, Rwanda, Seychelles
Africa Div 2 (South Africa):- Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Nigeria, Botswana, winner from ICC Africa Division 3
Africa Div 1 (Kenya) also known as African Premier League:- Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa Emerging, Zimbabwe Emerging, Winner from ICC Africa Division 2

Kenya, are already in qualifiers. South Africa and Zimbabwe are Test Nations.Even if they win the Divisions tournaments the next highest ranked teams will qualify.

ACC (Asia Cricket Council) makes a ranking of Asian teams based on the performance in Senior, U-19 and U-15 tournaments. The teams which perform good across all age groups will get higher ranks. This is to encourage overall development of cricket starting right from children. Based on these ranking the top 10 teams have been given a chance to play for qualifiers out of 18 teams in Asia

ACC T20 (Nepal):- Afghanistan, Nepal, UAE, Oman, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bhutan, Kuwait, Maldives, Saudi Arabia

Afghanistan are part of WCL Div 1. If they come in top 3, then the next highest rank would qualify.

Americas Div 3 (Costa Rica):- Belize, Chile, Peru, Mexico,Costa Rica, Falkland Islands
Americas Div 2 (Suriname):- Bahamas, Brazil, Panama, Suriname, Turks and Caicos Islands, Winner of America Division 3
Americas Div 1 (TBC):- Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, USA, Winner from ICC Americas Division 2

Canada are part of WCL Div 1. If they come in top 2, then the next highest rank would qualify.

East Asia Pacific
EAP Div 2 (Samoa):- Indonesia, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Philippines, South Korea
EAP Div 1 (Papua New Guinea):- PNG, Fiji, Japan, Vanuatu, Winner from ICC EAP Division 2

The race has already begun with Africa Div 3 already over and Americas Div 3 going on as I type this blog. I would be updating each and every division. Stay here to be tuned to all the action. This is truly going like Football qualification with the best 16 making, only difference is test teams have a direct entry which they surely deserve. Keep tuned for all the action. I am excited.