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Australia are doing their best to ensure their young batsmen learn the art of building innings. Former England batsman Graeme Hick, has taken up the position of a consultant at the Center of Excellence for the winter, and Cricket Australia are hoping their emerging batsmen can benefit from his experience. In the Courier-Mail, Hicks says that flashy cricket is a symptom of a society that moves fast.
"A few of the young players now like the flashy stuff and are probably more concerned about playing the reverse sweep than batting a long time."
With a large immigrant population, Cricket Australia is devising a 'diversity strategy' to assimilate and attract more players from Asian backgrounds. In the Age, Jake Niall believes this can benefit the game with effects that go beyond the playing field.
The cricket diversity strategy needs a specific subcontinental bent, because Australian cricket's future lies with the subcontinent - and with the subcontinent within Australia. It should study carefully what the AFL has managed with indigenous Australia, albeit Indians et al are coming from a very different place.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan introduces the concept of a two-tier Test cricket system with greater financial rewards in the Telegraph, suggesting it could be a way to save Test cricket and improve the quality of the game.
If the incentives do not change then Test cricket in 15 years' time will be under huge threat. You have only to look at the May Test series in England that clashes with the Indian Premier League. At the moment there is no incentive for visiting players to skip the IPL and play Tests for their country in England. The prestige of playing a Test at Lord's only goes so far when weighed against a big IPL contract.
But that could change if we have two divisions. Just imagine if New Zealand have to come to England and win one out of three Tests to stay in the first division or win promotion. If there is a proper financial incentive to playing in the first division, like there is in football's Premier League, then players would be less likely to choose the IPL instead.
Another Chanderpaul is on the rise, in club cricket in the Caribbean at least, and the teenage Tagenarine is learning his trade by batting with his accomplished father, Shivnarine, West Indies' highest run-scorer in Tests.
Playing for Gandhi Youth Organisation against Transport Sports Club on Saturday, Chanderpaul and his son, Tagenarine, bludgeoned the opposition attack, as GYO piled up 312 for 2 from the allotted 40 overs. Shivnarine led the onslaught with an unbeaten 143 that included 10 sixes and seven fours, while Tagenarine was not far behind with an unbeaten 112, which included six sixes and seven fours. The father-son duo put on an unbroken 256 for the third wicket to lay the foundation for a 125-run win.
Earlier in the week, Chanderpaul anchored Tiger Sports to a 94-run win over Unity with an unbeaten 68. Once again Tagenarine provided solid support with 35.
Cricket is growing in India at such a rate that it is not inconceivable that the top-paid sportsman in the world ten years from now will be an Indian cricketer, Rick Westhead says in Toronto's Thestar.com. He analyses what the Indian Premier League has done for the sport in terms of increasing its potential to make money and predicts that 13-year-old Armaan Jaffer, who recently broke the record for the highest individual score in Indian school cricket, could one day earn more than the $75 million a year Tiger Woods makes.
The Indian Premier League has just wrapped up its fourth season and player salaries are higher than ever. A recent survey reported the average salary on some teams, which play 14 regular-season games, approached $90,000 a week this year during the frenetic six-week schedule. Then there’s corporate cash. Seizing an opportunity for a toehold in a country whose economy has charged ahead over the past decade at a 9 per cent annual clip, sponsors are signing cricket’s top stars as so-called “brand ambassadors” to contracts worth as much as $3 million a year.
Kieron Pollard is at once a struggling cricketer and hot property. His experiences will help to determine whether Twenty20 is a breakthrough, as supporters insist, a popular form of the game capable of unleashing exciting new talents or a distraction creating not greatness but its illusion, writes Peter Roebuck in the Hindu.
Pollard is still learning the game. His Test and ODI returns are modest. He has abundant promise and spasmodic delivery.
And yet Pollard can become a formidable cricketer. He has a rare gift. Just that he needs to tighten his technique. And that means working on his back foot game not his 'dilscoop'.
The exclusion of the associate countries for 2015 was down to TV money and turkeys understandably not voting for Christmas writes Mike Selvey in the Guardian.
Do not underestimate the significance of this second decision to come out of Mumbai this week, or the diplomacy that went into arriving at it, for it could mean that Zimbabwe do not qualify, or perhaps Bangladesh, or possibly even West Indies. Each, it is reported, fought their corner vehemently to protect their position but in the end were forced to concede the ground. Somehow the turkeys really have been persuaded to vote for Christmas.
The ICC's decision to restrict the number of teams in the 2015 World Cup to its ten Full Member nations, is a decision that shows no consideration for the good of the game, writes Greg Baum in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The reality is that the game desperately needs to expand its horizons, and Ireland and the Netherlands are frontiers, and the ICC has abandoned them.
The ICC says the door remains ajar for minnows in the 2019 tournament. That is a sop. One-day cricket will be dead by then.
Australia has just become host of cricket's Shame Games, writes Malcolm Conn in the Daily Telegraph. The showpiece 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, now carries the unmistakable stench of rampant cronyism.
There is no logical reason why Zimbabwe should have gained preference ahead of Ireland for the next World Cup, but then there is no justification for Zimbabwe maintaining the full voting rights and entitlements of a Test-playing country.
The Belfast Telegraph blasts the ICC decision to exclude Associate nations from the 2015 World Cup, and wonders whether Ireland will be able to retain their best talent in the absence of one-day cricket.
George Dockrell will be only 26 in 2019 and Paul Stirling in his prime at 28 but will they still be Ireland players by then? Will a biennial Twenty20 World Cup and the occasional ODI be enough to keep them in Ireland colours or will England come calling for the country’s finest?
What is fair about denying the team ranked 10th in the world - Ireland - any chance of a spot in a 10-team World Cup asks Dave Tickner, writing in Sporting Life. The 2015 World Cup has been replaced by a 2015 ICC Invitational, he says, as no tournament that denies an entry route to all but a select few has the right to the title of 'World Cup'.
What is 'just' about telling every other cricketing nation outside your protected elite that they are not welcome at the game's biggest global gathering? The ICC have cancelled the 2015 World Cup. No tournament that denies an entry route to all but the select few has the right to that title.
The World Cup has two main problems: it's too long, and has too many meaningless matches. Simply reducing the teams solves neither. You could increase the number of competing teams to 16 and polish off a neat 31-game tournament with at worst a handful of dead rubbers through four groups of four, followed by knockouts from the quarter-finals onwards. But in the 2015 ICC Invitational, the 10 teams will play each other in a round-robin first stage followed by semi-finals and a final. That equals 48 games. The World Cup just finished had 49 games.
Richard Lord in the Wall Street Journal writes that while all sports want to expand their geographical footprint, cricket needs to tread very carefully if it wants to preserve the things that made it popular. The aim is to narrow the gap between nations with established and new teams, but it could be causing that gap to widen.
Playing with a Twenty20 mindset, with 20 overs a side, can damage your technique in longer versions of the game. Test matches can last as long as five days, while one-day Internationals are up to 50 overs a side. If smaller nations' main experience is of games that last three hours rather than five days, the possibility of them ever attaining Test status recedes even further into the distance.
Matthew Syed is having a hard time keeping up as sports evolve at a dizzying pace - the many rule tweaks in Formula 1, the switch-hits and scoops of Twenty20, the changes in the badminton scoring system. He writes in the Times that sports which fail to adapt to the demands of the Xbox generation will be consigned to the backwaters of village halls.
There is little point resisting the logic of the global market, unless you want your sport to be dependent on the subscriptions of half a dozen members. I happen to love the tempo of Test cricket, its soothing rhythms and evocative associations, but I would be foolish to suppose that my preference counts for more than one vote in the democracy of the market.
Those who proclaim that there is something “wrong” with Twenty20, or that administrators should somehow resist its march, do not recognise how capitalism works. Either the existing governing bodies (the ICC, ECB and so on) embrace what the fans want, or they leave the door ajar for others to take control, able to purchase the best players and the biggest stars with money the traditionalists can never match.