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Another ICC Rant by Adam Hollioake

 

I had barely put down my pen, and I am certain the ink hadn’t dried on my last blog about the referral system when the unbelievable announcement from the ICC came that Ireland had been omitted from competing in the next WC. Am I hearing things? Who is making these decisions? Am I going nuts or are the cricketing heirarchy going insane? Very rarely do I rant and never will you hear me “having a go” without offering a solution to my rant. I really dislike it when people criticize others opinion without being prepared to put their alternative opinions on the line. A classic example is when people blast selectors and say someone should be dropped from a team without putting their neck on the line as to who they would replace them with.

So hear goes I will offer my opinion and encourage people to shoot me down if they believe I am wrong. My coach when I was young always said Adam Hollioake keep your mouth shut and go under the radar, but that would be boring ;-)

The 2 most successful world cup formats are the Rugby Union and Football world cups? These both offer an opportunity to smaller nations to compete yet remains interesting throughout and is completed in a decent time frame.  Why wouldn’t cricket adopt this format? This format actually has more teams involved and gets it over and done with in under 4 weeks. The main complaint people had with the cricket world cup was it was to long and didn’t feature enough big games.

Is it because of the recovery time required between games? No, cricket requires less recovery time for players than both football and rugby! So why can’t we get it complete in a similar time frame? Simple! TV! Football and Rugby are short 2 hour games (including intros and wrap ups etc) so therefore 2 or even 3 games are possible per day on TV. Cricket unfortunately is 8 hours in duration and therefore it is only possible to have 1 game featured on TV per day/night.

This is where the ICC has to make a decision and the decision is simple. Is the game entirely about immediate money, by this I mean can’t we put something back into the smaller nations? Or do we have to televise every single game live? Can we not have 2 games played on the same day and the top ranked teams game is featured on TV, with the lesser game featured later on or in a highlights package? This could be sorted via the seedings. We have rankings now, why don’t we use them for something useful other than just as an opportunity to mock teams that aren’t number 1….. So the top 8 teams go into the the top 2 positions in 4 groups and the remaining 2 positions are filled by the remaining teams. The dead rubber games can be scheduled to be played on the same day  as the game between the 2 top seeded teams, so as to condense the schedule.

The affiliate teams would then be playing not just for a place in the WC but also for a higher ranking so as to find themselves on TV more often. I think affiliate teams will be disappointed that not all their games will be shown live however it is better than them not being there at all and is an incentive to get higher up the rankings.

It is a real concern for me that this WC was deemed to be too long, as it was supported so well by the Indian public (the best fans in the world). I remember the West Indian WC as being the worst I have ever seen as it was equally long but the ticket allocations were terrible and no fans turned up. I remember not watching a game and then seeing on the news the semis were on and thinking, wow is that WC still going! I had almost built a house in the time it took to play that WC.

 For me we want as many teams around the world to have the opportunity to play our great game. It seems like yesterday that Sri Lanka were accepted into Test cricket and the complaints back then were as big as when any other new team is given a go! Well Sri Lanka played there 3rd WC final last week! More than England and South Africa put together! Let’s expand our game, yet keep our game watchable by not having to show every second of every game live! It is a small investment in the future of the game, we need to keep expanding if we are to compete with other sports, reducing its involvement to smaller nations is not the key, and is crickets equivalent of an overly classist society, something our great sport should not be, it should be available to everyone who embraces it.

 I am certain that the ICC have the best interests of the game at heart but it is amazing the decisions that are made when you get groups of individuals together. Everyone leaves the room with a decision that no one likes in an attempt to meet middle ground. It takes me on to my next blog which will be called “The Dangers of Committee’s.  I am certain that if you spoke to any 1 member of the ICC committee you would hear that they weren’t happy with the decision to reduce the WC to 10 teams.

 So what is the answer? I really have no idea on how to successfully run the game, there are so many people with vested interests it is hard to work out a way that we will ever come to the correct decision making process. I will give it my best effort to digest and comment in my next blog.

 As for now “Viva Ireland” or was it “Ireland for the WC 2015 sure to be sure” either way lets give Ireland and Mexico a go (joke)

 

Lots of Love

Adam Hollioake

 

To read Adam Hollioake’s blog on India’s Win in the 2011 World Cup click here

 

Adam Hollioake with the 1999 County Championship Trophy

 

[caption id="attachment_390" align="alignleft" width="160" caption="Adam Hollioake 99"]Adam Hollioake 99[/caption]

Adam Hollioake

[caption id="attachment_395" align="alignleft" width="237" caption="Adam Hollioake"]Adam Hollioake[/caption]