The Cricket discussion thread

Discuss sports leagues, put together fantasy leagues, brag about your team winning a championship, etc.
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Legend_Killer
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:33 pm

Haha, well we will see how lucky I feel when I am trying to get to and from work on game days :) Seriously though it is a pretty exciting time here, especially since we have been starved of so many major sporting events here since the quakes. The fact that the rugby season is starting here this week end also and no one cares about that (especially it is World Cup year in that as well) is a good indication of how psyched people here are for the cup since we are usually so obsessed with rugby.

I think Saturdays match with Sri Lanka is really important for us. Despite beating them well recently they will be a different beast in the World Cup and they are a bogey team for us in these tournaments. For us to do well we really need the public support to carry us through the tournament and that will start happening with a good win on Saturday. Really worried about the return of Malinga, he has ripped us to shreds more than once.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:46 pm

[quote="TheLyontamer" despite the fact that Ireland likely won't be there due to the ICC's recent announcement that future tournaments will be reduced to ten teams.[/quote]

Just on this. I am in a tough spot here because you are an Irish supporter but I think there needs to be a change to the format of this tournament. Pool play in this tournament is awfully predictable, with the major teams basically assured a place in the quarters unless they get upset by a minnow. I think it takes away a lot of the excitement because the first few weeks aren't THAT important. I guess, for us, we want to finish near the top of the pool to avoid the likes of South Africa in the quarters but still.

I personally all the teams should just play each other once in a round robin format like they did in 92. It would make games feel more important and there would be more matches between the big teams. Maybe they should have a tournament beforehand with the smaller teams with the top 2 getting into the main draw. I know that is tough on you Lyon being an Irish supporter but I do feel the tournament is too long.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:24 pm

I totally see where you're coming from, LK. And I agree. The format of the tournament is terrible. Two groups of fourteen makes no sense, and I can only assume that the point of this is to maximise commercial revenue. It would be very possible to include minnows in a tournament AND make it more compact. Surely a system of three or four groups would work, with the top two from each qualifying.

What frustrates me is the fact that the Associates aren't getting any better due to the ICC actively hindering their progression. I personally don't care much for a ten-team tournament. There are so few big teams in cricket, and they already play each other so often anyway, that I wouldn't find a tournament which only includes those nations very interesting. As well as that, when I can see so much potential for the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan to join the big boys, it disappoints me that the exclusive club of full members has such little interest in developing our cricket. Of course it's all got to do with money, but I am so fed up of watching England vs Australia after the ten Test matches and countless ODIs that they've played in the last eighteen months. And they play again later today. Then, in July, what do we have to look forward to? Another Ashes series. While this kind of thing is worrying for the minnows, the smaller full members like New Zealand should be a bit concerned by the commercial connection that England, Australia, and India are forming.

It might sound like I'm going off topic, but it's all part of the same problem with cricket today. I honestly believe that any sport that tries to shrink its audience rather than grow it is in big trouble in the long term.

This move to restrict automatic qualification to the top eight teams wouldn't be such a problem if the ICC provided an opportunity for Ireland or Afghanistan to actually break into the top eight. This would be achieved by putting a system in place by which each of the top eight teams has to play at least one ODI series against us in the next two years. The reality is that games against minnows are organised at the discretion of the full members. If they don't want to play us, they don't have to. Why, then, would the likes of Bangladesh or West Indies have any incentive to play against us if a defeat puts their ranking at risk? Since the last World Cup, I believe Ireland have played eleven ODIs against full member nations. That's nowhere near enough for us to progress. Additionally, regular games against top teams is the only way for us to improve to the point that we can actually compete at the tournaments, rather than just exist to make up the numbers.

A tournament with eight good teams and six bad teams isn't much fun. A tournament with fourteen good teams benefits everyone. It would lead to the aforementioned big three teams taking a financial hit in the short-term, but would surely do wonders for the game's long-term future.

We have the players. We have the structure. We have the ambition. We don't have the necessary support from those who have the power to make a change. That's what bothers me.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:40 pm

I agree about the big three (Australia, England, India) starting to take over is a worrying sign for world cricket. It kind of sucks NZ never gets a 3 test series against these teams, simply because we aren't a "big" team. I mean, I am sure we probably would have put a better fight than India and England have against Australia in recent times and South AFrica is probably a better team than all of them but even they are on the outer a bit.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:59 pm

Yeah, it's really very simple. Australia, England and India have figured out that they make the most money from playing each other. Quality and growth of the sport be damned. It's all about generating quick cash. There's no way that model can be sustainable.

This is a fantastic article on the topic that was published in 2013, after the Champions Trophy in England. An insightful read that, while humorous in parts, discusses some very real problems.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/conte ... 44299.html

NZ took Malinga for 84 runs. That was a very entertaining innings to watch.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:47 am

Man I am so happy and relieved we won today. I had a feeling Sri Lanka could trip us over but we were too good. Good to see a lot of our batsmen seemed in good nick, even though none went on with it. We have Scotland than England on Friday, I like to think we can take wins in both of those matches.

Can't wait for the Australia game. It will be the biggest game in this country for a LONG time and the atmosphere will be amazing. I would love to see us take them down but there will be more important games later.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:41 pm

The first four games all followed the same trend of the team batting first racking up a big total, before bowling out the opposition cheaply.

Game number five? Ireland stuck WI in to bat and have them 93-5 after 25 overs. We are bowling and fielding wonderfully. Gayle used up 65 balls for his score of 36. I'm really liking our chances from here.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:06 am

The second half of that innings was an absolute disaster. Our spinners bowled beautifully, but the medium pacers took a hammering in the last twenty overs. WI somehow made it to 304, before Ireland pulled off a run chase that the best teams in the world would have been proud of. The fact that this feels more like a job well done than a huge upset says as much about the sorry state of West Indies cricket as it does about the quality of the Irish team. With our next game against UAE, we have a golden opportunity to make it two wins from two. A place in the last eight is now beginning to seems like a very real possiblity. Not to get carried away or anything, but having seen Pakstan play against India the other day, I'd even fancy our chances against them. Their current one-day side looks very ordinary.

Oh, but the ICC definitely made the right decision to reduce the next tournament to ten teams. The smaller nations clearly aren't good enough to play with the top eight, despite our victory today and Zimbabwe's spirited performance against South Africa. West Indies will be there, though. They're obviously deserving of automatic qualification. :roll:

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:30 pm

Man that was awesome from Ireland. Everyone over here is LOVING that victory. It was needed also as most of the games so far as been so one sided. Ireland seem to have a pretty dangerous batting line-up. It will be interesting to see how they go against the better teams. I heard a stat that a score over 300 has only been chased down successfully 6 times in World Cups (or something very similar) and three of those times were by Ireland.

We are playing Scotland. Hopefully Irelands victory will ensure there isn't any complacency amongst our guys.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:57 pm

Yeah, I don't think you have too much to worry about there. I'm just hoping Scotland manage to get to at least a mildly respectable total. The performance of every Associate nation reflects on us all, and a massacre today would just give the people who want to shun the smaller countries more ammunition.

You'll definitley need a few more than 300 if you want to beat Ireland. I would love to see us qualify and get a quarter final against New Zealand or Australia. A knockout game in a packed house against one of the in-form host nations would be a momentous occasion for our team. On the other hand, if we played England or Sri Lanka, we might actually have a chance of winning. There's still work to be done before we get to that stage, though.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:20 pm

Well, NZ certainly made very hard work of that run chase. I understand wanting to knock off the runs quickly, but that was a pretty careless innings. The Scottish bowlers were a lot better than the New Zealanders gave them credit for. Still, job done and points in the bag, along with a significant NRR boost.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:55 pm

Yeah they are getting a bit of heat from the public for that display. I see it as a positive if anything. It just reminds them that they need to be on their game all the time and hopefully gets rid of any of any complacency they might have had. Looking forward to the England game, they will be tougher than their recent matches have suggested.

Wish the NZ games were on weekends though! I am missing a large chunk of them when I am at work.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:50 pm

Yeah, it's a bummer. I'm off this week, so I've been staying up late and watching most of the games, but will be able to watch very little of the cricket live next week, as the games start at bedtime and finish as my alarm is going off in the morning. The day-nighters are even worse. They start at 3.30am. I pulled an all-nighter for the Ireland-Windies game, and plan on doing the same when we play Zimbabwe and Pakistan on weekends. Other than that, it'll be mainly highlights for me from Monday onwards.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:26 pm

Wow.
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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Dram » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:41 am

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Apparently Southee has an excellent legal team.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:32 am

Oooh, a new contributor to our thread!

Just to be clear, I almost certainly won't get to see my team play in the next World Cup, because the ICC sees fit to reduce the tournament to ten teams. The official reason given is that less Associates means a reduction in the number of one-sided games, thus resulting in a more even and exciting tournament. It was something that you also alluded to last week, LK. The 2019 World Cup will not only include, but will be hosted by England. We're a week into this tournament, and if it wasn't for the games between Associates and Full Members, we would still not have had a single close match. I hope every game at the next World Cup is a one-sided 10,000-run hammering.

Well done, New Zealand, on a very professional job. You can look forward to another easy game against England in 2019, and rest assured that the useless teams like Scotland, who actually made you work hard to chase down a low score instead of rolling over without a fight, won't be there.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Dram » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:35 pm

You won't find any arguments from me, Lyontamer. It is such a short-sighted decision and will hurt the development and expansion of the game across the globe.

I think that there are problems with the current tournament format, but I would rather see a solution that involves the number of teams being increased, if anything. Bump it up to a 16-team tournament, with four groups of four. Less games. Shorter tournament. Of course, there is still the need to address the underlying issue of a lack of matches between Full Members and Associates. Unfortunately this is all moot, as the ICC (which has got to be one of the worst examples of an old boys' club in world sport) has made it quite clear that is content to sit back and protect its established television markets rather than take on the risk of building up new audiences.

Imagine if any other sport was seeking to shrink their largest global spectacle. It is unthinkable. How can you call a tournament with ten teams a "World Cup"?

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:25 pm

Without a doubt, a very sensible format would be four groups of four, followed immediately by knockout games. 2007 started off well, but instead of going straight to quarter-finals, they decided to go for the convoluted Super Eights, dragging out the tournament unnecessarily.

It's all financial, and these decisions are taken primarily with the Indian market in mind. The 2007 format was conceived with the idea that it would guarantee India at least nine games, which would generate huge TV money in that market. Of course, the ICC didn't bargain for Bangladesh eliminating India in the group stage and Ireland dumping out Pakistan. That was a considerable blow, so to compensate they came up with the current format, which absolutely guarantees India a minimum of six games. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the next World Cup just features one big group of ten.

The problem with putting all their eggs in the subcontinental basket is that if cricket ever loses popularity in India, there is no backup plan. The BCCI already has far too strong a hold over the cricket world. The fact that these global tournaments are being planned with its best interests in mind (and Australia's and England's to a lesser extent) can only hurt the game in the long-term. It's hard to take a sport seriously in which teams are prioritised based purely on the amount of money that they can generate, rather than the quality of their play.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:44 pm

Anyway, that's more than enough moaning from me. The manner of England's defeat just struck a nerve.

That's a fantastic modified version of the classic Ashes obituary. Very creative. To make matters worse for England, it looks like Bangladesh are going to take a point from the Australia game, as the forecast in Brisbane isn't looking good. If that does happen, it would spell big trouble for England.

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Re: The Cricket discussion thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:22 pm

With the format of the World Cup, it really sucks we have to wait an entire week for our next game. Especially after playing 3 games in a week.Just a terrible format.

Saturdays game v Australia will apparently have the biggest crowd ever for a cricket game in this country. The atmosphere will be something to behold. Another reason why the current format sucks is that the game doesn't mean all that much overall. The only result of it really is the difference of playing Ireland or Pakistan most likely in the quarters. MUCH rather play Ireland (although that game will still make me a touch nervous) due to our history with Pakistan and World Cups. Basically they always beat us, no matter what.
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