October 3, 2007

Uganda

No increase in number of ODI countries

Martin Williamson

The ICC has said that there are no plans to extend the number of Associate members who will gain ODI status.

On a visit to Uganda, Cassim Suliman, the CEO of the African Cricket Association, was reported as saying that he would push for more countries to be added to the six Associates that currently have one-day status. But an ICC spokesman told Cricinfo: "There is no intention at this stage to increase the number of teams playing ODIs.

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Posted by Nathan on (October 18, 2007, 22:46 GMT)

I wish you guys would read up on Kenya and some of the other Associations you mentioned and then you'll see the reality as to why they aren't all Test Nations ;) . Even if soem Chairmen *sough* The Canadian Cricket Chairman* sprout airy fairy ideas of being a Test Nation by such and such, most of the time, it's not backed up by the degree of substance and practicality required.

While I agree with the sentiments that these nations should be given all the support possible to help them develop, there's not a money tree about. There's a number of major reasons why countries like Kenya have not yet been granted Test Status, while Bangladesh have. Kenya's administration was a corrupt shambles circa 2003. The players were constantly threatening to strike, due to not being paid and there was all sorts of internal friction in the game and not much progress being achieved in the game's development because of it. Recently, with help from the Kenyan Government's intervention, some reforms were undertaken and a completely new constitution and administration sworn in, Cricket Kenya. This relatively new administration has made great strides so far, after inheriting a large debt and bad reputation from the previous admin. But they still have far to go and have alot of stumbling blocks, including remnant behaviour lasting from the old regime, inside Kenyan cricket and some remaining infighting and disorganisation in Nairobi etc...

We can't help some of these places till they help themselves. There's a level of balance here. A practical reality. But certainly a national like Kenya is on the way, albeit slowly and have made great strides administratively from the regime back before 2005.

Zimbabwe are very lucky in a way, to still be considered a Test Nation and there fore receive than 11 Million US Dollars it receives Annually from the ICC. So keeping the likes of Zimbabwe in mind aswell, it may not be all that practical, or wise even, to suddenly include more nations, who quite frankly are far from ready and most of them to be honest, never will, because cricket is just not popular enough in those countries.

Kenya will eventually be a Test Country, it just depends on when they can sort out some of these internal issues and then be able to get on with establishing these formative kind of 'unofficial' first-class competitions and expanding the reach junior development programs nation wide.

Kenya also is a real proposition when compared to some of the other countries people mention.

Basically longer term real deals, in regards to markets that can truly have potential to foster Test level cricket are at this stage:

Kenya China Nigeria And Possibly Ireland Netherlands Malaysia

That's over several decades and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised if by then, they modified the game again and modified Test Cricket into 2 divisions, rather than cap the amount of Test Nations. They already play too much cricket these days.

Anyway, others like Canada, who could have potential, have ALOT of work to do and a long way to go, to even impress to be a proper ODI side, in the old school sense. The fact they've relied on guys like a 40 year old Anderson Cummins for the World Cup, was not a great sign for indigenous participation, bringing up young talent, wide reaching selection process etc..

One has to be realistic and even people involved with cricket in some of these countries will be the first to tell you, that their country may not be cut out to be a Test Nation. Market as in 'Can Cricket become one of the leading/Top 3? Team Sports in the country' So this question trickels down into questions of Wide Indigenous Participation and hence Representation, Domestic Organisation, Extensive, National Junior Schools and Club cricket programs. There's the looking at if that nation, given those other factors, has the capacity to support a Professional set up and league, as in essentially a First Class Competition, complete with sponsorship, media interest etc.. Be able to build the necessary, International Class facilities etc... People should notice a cycle here, a snowball effect.

I guess you get the idea. For a country to be able to be a Test Level Nation, the game of cricket must be a National Game, a Game of the Nation. Be not too different from some of our Nations essentially, though may'be not quite as obsessed :p . Anyway, while certainly many Nations have the potential capacity to achieve some of these things, some are light years away, while others are well on the way. But others don't even qualify, as the conditions are just not there to support cricket at that level, even sadly in some smaller places where they truly are quite keen on cricket. Cricket today is a big business and reliant on wide public and there for media interest.

Posted by tushar naik on (October 8, 2007, 6:11 GMT)

i totally disagree with the ICC, four more countries namely Denmark, Namibia, Argentina, UAE, Nepal, Uganda should be granted ODI playing status along with t20 . this is the only way we can move a step forward in globalising the game, or else the ICC will find itself in doldrums.

Posted by Steve on (October 8, 2007, 3:12 GMT)

I think 2 issues need to be addressed. First issue is nationalism. If we want cricket to be strong across the board internationally, then we need to develop the best players from the associate nations. For example, give them exposure in the Pura Cup and give them a year or two in our cricket academies.

The second issue is the need for the associates to develop international standard match-play. I think that if we keep the associates away from the top six (only meeting at World Cup events) then they will never develop the skills necessary to compete at this level and are doomed to remain as nothing more than cannon fodder. Perhaps the international schedule needs to completely revised so that rather than allowing tradition or TV ratings (eg an Ashes series every two years) determine the international schedule, each of the top six play at least one of the associates every couple of years.

Posted by Cuen Lucas on (October 7, 2007, 13:44 GMT)

That's a top notch idea Shayed, allowing these countries greater T20 participation will really boost the interest in cricket in those countries.

Posted by Shayed Hasan on (October 7, 2007, 10:58 GMT)

I Think ICC should give 20/Twenty status to all the associate countries. Because most of the associate countries are playing cricket just for fun. they are not serious about the cricket. if they get at least 20/twenty status than they will be able to play international cricket and they will be more serious to establish strong structure in domestic lavel too. And all the associate country will start to take this game in professional way. Also ICC should try to get olympic status for 20/twenty cricket. At this moment 16 country is enough for One day cricket. 8 country from Europe, 8 from Asia, 6 form America, 6 from Africa and 4 country from Australia, a total of 32 country should play 20/twenty cricket in international level.I think Cricket will become more popular game if many country involve in that game.

Posted by Cuen Lucas on (October 5, 2007, 14:13 GMT)

100% Agreed Jon.

Personally I think that the ICC should re-introduce the permanent ODI status and make it a true membership level. That way the top Associates can gain get used to dealing with the big guns of the sport before they get promoted to test level, thus minimizing the amount of mismatched test games.

Posted by Jon Othitis on (October 5, 2007, 8:55 GMT)

I totally agree with Mr Mookerjee. Kenya is quite a competitive cricket nation in my eyes and should've been made a member of the ICC years ago so they could play tests and one-day internationals. It just makes you wonder whether the ICC want this great game of ours to expand or not. If they did then they would grant teams like Kenya ICC status as well as promote nations like the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland and Canada to play one-day internationals at least. But I also think Canada, Scotland and Ireland are just about ready to play Test cricket too. The only way these teams are going to improve is if they are granted ICC status. Sure there might be a few lop-sided matches to start but within 5-10 years these teams will become competitive. Look at Sri Lanka in the mid 1990s for example. Winning the world cup and also becoming very competitive at test level. It only took them around 10 years. Cricket is the best game in the world comfortably and it's more than time for the number of test and one-day playing nations to be expanded.

Posted by Aditya Mookerjee on (October 4, 2007, 12:51 GMT)

I believe that Kenya, should have been made a member of the ICC, so that they could be deemed a permanent one day international side, soon after the 2003 World Cup. Under Mr Sandeep Patil,who was then, their coach, they made giant strides, and why were they not allowed to play against the established teams more than they did before? Perhaps, their position as a playing team, would have been better, with that encouragement.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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