New Zealand cricket October 24, 2010

A trans-Tasman T20 domestic tournament

Cricinfo
From Alan & Philip Sutherland, Australia
24

From Alan & Philip Sutherland, Australia

The recent four-nil drubbing of the Black Caps by an improving Bangladesh, while good for cricket generally, must shine a spotlight on where New Zealand are heading with their domestic game.

The simple fact is that New Zealand is not a large country and cricket is not its national sport. In the hearts of most New Zealanders, cricket will always come a distant second to the All Blacks rugby team. With just over four million people, New Zealand has a smaller population than three of the six Australian states. Therefore, the task in running a quality domestic competition is so much harder for New Zealanders than it is for their Trans-Tasman neighbours.

In other sports, like netball, rugby, soccer and basketball, New Zealand has solved this problem by joining an Australasian competition. This could well be the future of Antipodean domestic limited-overs cricket too.

The main argument for such a move is an improved competitiveness for player development. During the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 tournament, the Central Districts hardly set the world on fire. They were easily a class below South Australia and Victoria. In a joint competition, two New Zealand teams (rather than six), possibly representing either of the two islands, would face the six current Australian states.

The other sports have shown that crowds will come to watch a local team play an Australian one, especially if they can reasonably be expected to see their side win. Home matches scheduled in a number of venues on both islands would help strengthen the local spectator base.

That is not to say that one would want to see the end of the Plunket Shield. There is no great merit in joint first-class arrangements, but one would hope that an increased exposure to tougher competition in the shorter versions would feed back into the Plunket Shield and, therefore, into the Test team. Playing under diverse Australian conditions will do up-and-coming New Zealand cricketers no harm at all. Neither will it harm Australian cricket, for the benefits flow both ways. Scheduling would become tighter, yet there is so much to gain that it must, at some point, be considered.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • danoz on July 6, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    syed anwar hussein fiji and papua new guinea should start a combined pacific island comp(like the west indies)

    have fiji,tonga,samoa,new caladonia,vanuatu,solomon islands,nauru,cook islands and papua new guinea compete in a domestic comp the best players play in a combined pacific islands team that can try to qualify for world cups

    how the side may look is 3 from fiji,3 from p.n.g,2 from tonga,1 from vanuatu,1 from samoa,1 from solomon islands and so on.

    instead each country trying to qualify for world cups individually(fiji played in the 1975 world cup) in which they have no chance, as a combined team they would qualifying alot easier and have a chance.

    if they pooled thier funds rather than get individual funding they could do alot more with thier money.

    japan are currently in the pacific island division(why i dont know they would better off in asia) and each year they have a combined team,my idea is a combined team minus japan

    you would need a airline company to sponser it

  • danoz on July 6, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    i originally hated the concept of 20/20 cricket and thought it would attract poor crowds like domestic 50/50 over cricket,it still my least favourite form of the game,but fans love it i must admitt i was wrong on 20/20,you get crowds of 10000 people per game,unbelivable crowds for domestic cricket(i think thier was 35000 to a international 20/20)

    i think you could add 2-3 new zealand sides(auckland,wellington and christchurch) into the 20/20 bbl to help new zealand cricket,australia used to play new zealand every year when 20/20 was still hit and giggle(ricky ponting hit 98(n.o) i remember)

    as some points out australia has 3 states with bigger populations than new zealand you could easily add 3 new zealand states to the sheffield shield(auckland,wellington and christchurch),i reckon the new zealanders would lift to play australia,

    in the a-league thiers a kiwi team,in the nrl thiers a kiwi team,in the netball thiers a kiwi team,in the basket ball thiers a kiwi team so it can be done

  • Andrew on August 16, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    NZ are a good limited overs unit, only non-asian team in the WC semis, maybe Australia should join the NZ league for that and our blokes could play in the Sheffield Shield - the longer game is what they need more competition in.

  • harryboys on April 25, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    this is a good idea, but 3 teams from New Zealand would be more beneficial. The 6 current domestic teams should be divided into pairs to make t20 teams. Auckland with Northern Districts, Central with Wellington and Otago and Canterbury join for a Southern Team. This would allow for New Zealanders tendency to support regions and the area they are associated with, rather than a straight North/South cut which may not draw as much support. This would also give NZC a bigger pool to select from for limited overs. Keep the Plunket Shield as it is. Churrr

  • huge kiwi fan on February 15, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    sad fact is a full strength nsw or vic team is stronger than the blacks caps. Therefore the number of nz teams would need to be limited - 3 max though 2 would be good. It would work best for t20 as crowds in aust average around 20K

  • emerson mcleod on January 5, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    New Zealand will benefit greatly from this....not 2 teams but two pools of six, with a semi and final... it has benefitted aussie rugby with super 12/14/15.. and kiwi league with nrl, kiwi basketball with nbl, kiwi soccer with A-league...... kiwis can get imports like gayle, rana, pollard, etc, and it will be huge....it will re-ignite some old rugby rivalries, auckland vs nsw, canterbury vs qld....i love it, bring it on aussie

  • harshit singh on November 2, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    happy birth day mitchell johnson i m big fan of your.s

  • Omar on November 1, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Oz what are you on about?? The Australian Premier League?? I assume you are writing about the extended Big Bash League which will feature 8 city based teams. This will be a T20 competition, in which crowd numbers have experienced a massive growth over the last few years. More like 15000 at a match not a few 100. I think 40000 between vics and nsw last year.

    Anyway I think 2 New Zealand teams will eventually join this extended Big Bash League. But I doubt they will ever play 1 day or 4 day cricket here.

  • Laxman mehta on October 31, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    A great rivalaray between these two countries!!!

  • Meety on October 30, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    Another point I'd like to add re: Franchises, if I had the money to buy a stake in a T20 Franchise, I would want a guarantee from Cricket Oz, (& NZ if included), that there would be NO International cricket scheduled for OZ & NZ players for the duration of the competition. This is the main reason why Domestic cricket is poorly attended in Oz. It has been many years since a Shield Final was played when all Internationals were available. If all players were available, + one import rule for Oz teams & say 2 imports for NZ, there is no reason why the comp could be played with around 12 teams. Ithink that the playing list NSW has accumulated could easily account for 2 teams, I would like to see a top end franchise made up of local talent + a few recent retirees (Haydn, Martyn, McGrath & Gilly), play out of a duel base of Darwin & Townsville + maybe a Port Morseby game to spread the game. Ultimately no guarantees for International players involvement = low return on invest. = unviable event.

  • danoz on July 6, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    syed anwar hussein fiji and papua new guinea should start a combined pacific island comp(like the west indies)

    have fiji,tonga,samoa,new caladonia,vanuatu,solomon islands,nauru,cook islands and papua new guinea compete in a domestic comp the best players play in a combined pacific islands team that can try to qualify for world cups

    how the side may look is 3 from fiji,3 from p.n.g,2 from tonga,1 from vanuatu,1 from samoa,1 from solomon islands and so on.

    instead each country trying to qualify for world cups individually(fiji played in the 1975 world cup) in which they have no chance, as a combined team they would qualifying alot easier and have a chance.

    if they pooled thier funds rather than get individual funding they could do alot more with thier money.

    japan are currently in the pacific island division(why i dont know they would better off in asia) and each year they have a combined team,my idea is a combined team minus japan

    you would need a airline company to sponser it

  • danoz on July 6, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    i originally hated the concept of 20/20 cricket and thought it would attract poor crowds like domestic 50/50 over cricket,it still my least favourite form of the game,but fans love it i must admitt i was wrong on 20/20,you get crowds of 10000 people per game,unbelivable crowds for domestic cricket(i think thier was 35000 to a international 20/20)

    i think you could add 2-3 new zealand sides(auckland,wellington and christchurch) into the 20/20 bbl to help new zealand cricket,australia used to play new zealand every year when 20/20 was still hit and giggle(ricky ponting hit 98(n.o) i remember)

    as some points out australia has 3 states with bigger populations than new zealand you could easily add 3 new zealand states to the sheffield shield(auckland,wellington and christchurch),i reckon the new zealanders would lift to play australia,

    in the a-league thiers a kiwi team,in the nrl thiers a kiwi team,in the netball thiers a kiwi team,in the basket ball thiers a kiwi team so it can be done

  • Andrew on August 16, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    NZ are a good limited overs unit, only non-asian team in the WC semis, maybe Australia should join the NZ league for that and our blokes could play in the Sheffield Shield - the longer game is what they need more competition in.

  • harryboys on April 25, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    this is a good idea, but 3 teams from New Zealand would be more beneficial. The 6 current domestic teams should be divided into pairs to make t20 teams. Auckland with Northern Districts, Central with Wellington and Otago and Canterbury join for a Southern Team. This would allow for New Zealanders tendency to support regions and the area they are associated with, rather than a straight North/South cut which may not draw as much support. This would also give NZC a bigger pool to select from for limited overs. Keep the Plunket Shield as it is. Churrr

  • huge kiwi fan on February 15, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    sad fact is a full strength nsw or vic team is stronger than the blacks caps. Therefore the number of nz teams would need to be limited - 3 max though 2 would be good. It would work best for t20 as crowds in aust average around 20K

  • emerson mcleod on January 5, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    New Zealand will benefit greatly from this....not 2 teams but two pools of six, with a semi and final... it has benefitted aussie rugby with super 12/14/15.. and kiwi league with nrl, kiwi basketball with nbl, kiwi soccer with A-league...... kiwis can get imports like gayle, rana, pollard, etc, and it will be huge....it will re-ignite some old rugby rivalries, auckland vs nsw, canterbury vs qld....i love it, bring it on aussie

  • harshit singh on November 2, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    happy birth day mitchell johnson i m big fan of your.s

  • Omar on November 1, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Oz what are you on about?? The Australian Premier League?? I assume you are writing about the extended Big Bash League which will feature 8 city based teams. This will be a T20 competition, in which crowd numbers have experienced a massive growth over the last few years. More like 15000 at a match not a few 100. I think 40000 between vics and nsw last year.

    Anyway I think 2 New Zealand teams will eventually join this extended Big Bash League. But I doubt they will ever play 1 day or 4 day cricket here.

  • Laxman mehta on October 31, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    A great rivalaray between these two countries!!!

  • Meety on October 30, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    Another point I'd like to add re: Franchises, if I had the money to buy a stake in a T20 Franchise, I would want a guarantee from Cricket Oz, (& NZ if included), that there would be NO International cricket scheduled for OZ & NZ players for the duration of the competition. This is the main reason why Domestic cricket is poorly attended in Oz. It has been many years since a Shield Final was played when all Internationals were available. If all players were available, + one import rule for Oz teams & say 2 imports for NZ, there is no reason why the comp could be played with around 12 teams. Ithink that the playing list NSW has accumulated could easily account for 2 teams, I would like to see a top end franchise made up of local talent + a few recent retirees (Haydn, Martyn, McGrath & Gilly), play out of a duel base of Darwin & Townsville + maybe a Port Morseby game to spread the game. Ultimately no guarantees for International players involvement = low return on invest. = unviable event.

  • Meety on October 30, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    Following on from the Champions League... I would allow Non-Test playing nations to field their National squads @ the Champions League, in a field of 32, 6 Associates, then franchises from Oz (3), India (3), Sth A (3), Eng (3), Pak (2), SL (2), WI (2), NZ (2), Bang (1), & Zim (1) - all prequalifying, the remaining 4 spots could be fought out by the next qualified of the Test Nations. Also T20 - would be good @ the Olympics & Commonwealth Games, Test Playing nations would have to field a squad under say 23 years of age, to make it a more even comp.

  • Meety on October 30, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    It really needs to be considered for both limited over formats, T20 being franchised based & then a regional 50/50 comp, which could have 4 NZ teams vs the Oz 6. The NRL (Rugby League), is a great example as well as the onew mentioned above where this could work. Travel costs would not be much more - given the distance of Sydney to Perth. NZC needs help, and this could raise some revenue streams, for both Oz & NZ, as sponsors of the event would be having a direct international exposure. @Oz - interesting idea re: Top End, probably won't be commercially successful though. On another matter - I think the split innings idea is not a great one, but could work if it is over a 50 over duration. I think 50 overs is the best format for deciding world cups, (Tests are the pinnacle), T20 is too much towards entertainment & not enough cricket. I think the 50/50 over champions trophy & T20 World Cup be axed for the Champions League in an expanded format. T20 would be great a regional level.TBC

  • oz on October 30, 2010, 2:07 GMT

    the australian premier league will be a huge failure,if you look at the domestic crowds the is lucky to be a hundred people at the ground,how will a 8 comp team draw crowds.

    the will have to make attendance free to draw a crowd,

    i would like to see the act get a team in the domestic comp and play test matches thier.

    i would like to see a top end comp with 4 teams broome,alice springs,darwin and cairns to play in winter for up and coming players who carnt get a contract in england or india in the australian winter.and make attendance free.this will allow australians to host winter test series and summer test series.this will encourage the development of cricket in the top end(the biggest growth area in australia)

    fans can see the top end of australia and watch cricket.and players will enjoy the life style.

    i would like to see 2 day cricket,90 overs a game with 4 bowlers that dont bat and 4 batsmen who dont field.

    and a 30 over game with 2 bowler who dont bat,6 overs per bowler

  • Eliot on October 26, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    Any competition with Australia will get us steamed up and the crowds in. Nothing better than Seddon/Eden Park/Caketin on a steamy/freezing Hamilton/Auckland/Wellington evening, packed to the brim and a big run chase underway. The ideas you've mentioned aren't new, but they certainly need to be looked at. I suspect the financial side will need to stack up before anything happens.

  • Aaron on October 25, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    Excellent Idea, I've heard this idea before but only in other comments sections so well done for getting this idea on to the Cricinfo homepage.

    Alarming that it's a couple of Aussies that have done this though. You'd like to think that NZ Cricket would have been promoting an idea that has been so obviously successful for other sports.

    I hope that some journalist somewhere takes this up and starts asking NZC some questions because the Champions League has made it even more obvious that our domestic competition can't deliver international quality players.

    Peter Roebuck said recently that NZ batting averages are typically 5 points below everyone elses because of the extra time our players need to adjust to the international scene, take a look at Styris's cumulative one-day averages to see what I mean, it took 40 odd matches before he started to come good. Martin Crowe's another good example, then there's Richard Hadlee who had a bowling average of 35 after 17 matches. He came good too

  • Walking Distance on October 25, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    A fantastic idea. As a devoted, if not sometimes disillusioned Kiwi supporter, I think this is the best idea to get our domestic players exposure to a tougher level of cricket as well as experience on the different types of pitches Australia has to offer. Both of these would create a much steeper learning curve for our teams and I am sure would really benefit us in the long term.

  • matthew on October 25, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    I, along with many NZer's, have constantly suggested this as a solution to NZ cricket's problems. I think the way foward for NZ is to try and convince CA to allow a North and South Island Team play in all forms of the game, with our current 6 domestic team structure operating underneath this, feeding the North and South island teams. The problem is convincing CA there would be anything for them to gain out of this merger, especially economically. NZ sides would seldom make the champions league, and therefore the 500,000 participation would be lost on our provinces development, and Australia, quite rightly, doesn't see it economically viable beyond 20/20. Also, while this would benefit NZ cricket to no end, in terms of playing quality opposition, and fast, flat decks, for Australia the only potential benefit is that they could gain some practice in early November conditions where conditions are similar to England.

  • Benn on October 25, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    It's about time really. I've been talking about this around the cricket shed on a Saturday.

    It takes 4 odd hours to fly from Sydney to Auckland, and it takes longer to fly from Perth to Sydney. Sure it will make it a longer haul for Western Australia to play in New Zealand, but it makes sense.

    2 teams, North and South Island would be ideal and would provide a great springboard for improving NZ cricket.

  • pitha on October 25, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    The idea that small population is one of the reasons for not producing good cricket teams is without logic, infact small population gives a distinct advantage as more resources can be spent on improving cricket. For example the general logic is BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world, in total $ terms it might be the richest but in terms of the amount of money spent on improving cricket it is the poorest because it has to support a billion people. Sri lanka is considered the poorest cricket board and bcci is bailing it out but in reality sri lanka spends more resources per capita because it has only 20 million people. on a per capita basis India is the poorest cricket board and the results show in terms of resources like stadiums, training facilities, contracts given to domestic teams and as a result very few people play cricket in India at club level compared to sri lanka and even new zealand.

  • Lukesh on October 25, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    While I agree New Zealand should forge a domestic competition with Australia I think more than just 2 NZ teams sould participate. If you limit it to two New Zealand teams you're only pushing down New Zealand criket more and more.

  • Anonymous on October 25, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    This seems reasonable, but two teams does not seem enough. How can enough players gain exposure and hope to break into the national side, if there are only two NZ sides in the competition?

  • Raj on October 25, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    This is a great thought. The USA and Canada have teams participating in the Stanley Cup Ice Hockey.If Brendon mcCullum can play for Queensland and Brett Lee for Wellington,it's a superb way to have a KFC Big Bash!

  • Anonymous on October 25, 2010, 9:33 GMT

    Good idea! That's all I have to say sorry. New Zealand cricket needs to be publicised because frankly, no one gives a damn about the domestic competition. If it were to be in conjunction with Australia, maybe they would get broadcastings on TV.

  • Syed Anwar Hasan on October 25, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    I think this is very perfect & best idea. It will also be granted as australian champions league (APL). This way newzealand cricket will be benefited. I would like to say number of team has to increase. 6 team from australia 4 from neazealand and 2 more team has to include from PNG & Fiji.Thus criket will get popularity in PNG & Fiji too. 12 team (devided into 4 group with 3 team in each group and home & away match) ausrtalian champions league can create competition with IPL. Thanks to Alan & Philip for their good thinking and discovering magnificent idea.

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  • Syed Anwar Hasan on October 25, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    I think this is very perfect & best idea. It will also be granted as australian champions league (APL). This way newzealand cricket will be benefited. I would like to say number of team has to increase. 6 team from australia 4 from neazealand and 2 more team has to include from PNG & Fiji.Thus criket will get popularity in PNG & Fiji too. 12 team (devided into 4 group with 3 team in each group and home & away match) ausrtalian champions league can create competition with IPL. Thanks to Alan & Philip for their good thinking and discovering magnificent idea.

  • Anonymous on October 25, 2010, 9:33 GMT

    Good idea! That's all I have to say sorry. New Zealand cricket needs to be publicised because frankly, no one gives a damn about the domestic competition. If it were to be in conjunction with Australia, maybe they would get broadcastings on TV.

  • Raj on October 25, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    This is a great thought. The USA and Canada have teams participating in the Stanley Cup Ice Hockey.If Brendon mcCullum can play for Queensland and Brett Lee for Wellington,it's a superb way to have a KFC Big Bash!

  • Anonymous on October 25, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    This seems reasonable, but two teams does not seem enough. How can enough players gain exposure and hope to break into the national side, if there are only two NZ sides in the competition?

  • Lukesh on October 25, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    While I agree New Zealand should forge a domestic competition with Australia I think more than just 2 NZ teams sould participate. If you limit it to two New Zealand teams you're only pushing down New Zealand criket more and more.

  • pitha on October 25, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    The idea that small population is one of the reasons for not producing good cricket teams is without logic, infact small population gives a distinct advantage as more resources can be spent on improving cricket. For example the general logic is BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world, in total $ terms it might be the richest but in terms of the amount of money spent on improving cricket it is the poorest because it has to support a billion people. Sri lanka is considered the poorest cricket board and bcci is bailing it out but in reality sri lanka spends more resources per capita because it has only 20 million people. on a per capita basis India is the poorest cricket board and the results show in terms of resources like stadiums, training facilities, contracts given to domestic teams and as a result very few people play cricket in India at club level compared to sri lanka and even new zealand.

  • Benn on October 25, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    It's about time really. I've been talking about this around the cricket shed on a Saturday.

    It takes 4 odd hours to fly from Sydney to Auckland, and it takes longer to fly from Perth to Sydney. Sure it will make it a longer haul for Western Australia to play in New Zealand, but it makes sense.

    2 teams, North and South Island would be ideal and would provide a great springboard for improving NZ cricket.

  • matthew on October 25, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    I, along with many NZer's, have constantly suggested this as a solution to NZ cricket's problems. I think the way foward for NZ is to try and convince CA to allow a North and South Island Team play in all forms of the game, with our current 6 domestic team structure operating underneath this, feeding the North and South island teams. The problem is convincing CA there would be anything for them to gain out of this merger, especially economically. NZ sides would seldom make the champions league, and therefore the 500,000 participation would be lost on our provinces development, and Australia, quite rightly, doesn't see it economically viable beyond 20/20. Also, while this would benefit NZ cricket to no end, in terms of playing quality opposition, and fast, flat decks, for Australia the only potential benefit is that they could gain some practice in early November conditions where conditions are similar to England.

  • Walking Distance on October 25, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    A fantastic idea. As a devoted, if not sometimes disillusioned Kiwi supporter, I think this is the best idea to get our domestic players exposure to a tougher level of cricket as well as experience on the different types of pitches Australia has to offer. Both of these would create a much steeper learning curve for our teams and I am sure would really benefit us in the long term.

  • Aaron on October 25, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    Excellent Idea, I've heard this idea before but only in other comments sections so well done for getting this idea on to the Cricinfo homepage.

    Alarming that it's a couple of Aussies that have done this though. You'd like to think that NZ Cricket would have been promoting an idea that has been so obviously successful for other sports.

    I hope that some journalist somewhere takes this up and starts asking NZC some questions because the Champions League has made it even more obvious that our domestic competition can't deliver international quality players.

    Peter Roebuck said recently that NZ batting averages are typically 5 points below everyone elses because of the extra time our players need to adjust to the international scene, take a look at Styris's cumulative one-day averages to see what I mean, it took 40 odd matches before he started to come good. Martin Crowe's another good example, then there's Richard Hadlee who had a bowling average of 35 after 17 matches. He came good too