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Sight Screen

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

To give, and withhold

Sriraj, responding to an earlier post on Bangladesh, has an interesting question: 'Why can't we strip a nation of its test status? Keep in mind, though, that, any existing stats and records of that remain do not become null and void if/when a nation is stripped of its status.
'B'desh is not yet ready to hit it big time. Thanks to that jackass Jaggu-bhai, the standards of international cricket are getting diluted and somehow, some of our cricketers having averaged greater than 50, does not seem to be as big a deal as it was with previous generations of cricketers. I would submit to you guys that in today's day and age, an average of say in the late 50's should be the new benchmark for determining consistency.'
Trouble is two-fold: The ICC's stated aim is to increase the number of serious cricketing countries; to now take away Test status after granting it could send the wrong signal.
More crucially, I'd think, the problem will be, where do you stop? If you argue that Bangla should be removed from the Test roster because of its results, do you then extend the argument and say a team on the skids (Zimbabwe, say, or, horrors, the West Indies) should qualify for similar treatment?
If you say this should apply only to newbies, fairness takes a beating -- what if, say, Zimbabwe's results over a two-year span become worse than that of Bangladesh?
It's the heck of a mine-field, really -- like you, I wish Jaggu Dalmiya hadn't led the ICC onto it by granting Test status to the country for reasons that had nothing to do with cricketing merit.


  • Prem,

    I thought of what you had to say -- my emphasis would be on quality and not quantity. I'd hate my heroes to score centuries against, say, Nigeria and Fiji tomorrow and artificially pump up their respective individual scores.

    What the ICC could do is to have a two-tier system, just like the English County system and I believe, the Ranji system too (I'm sorry man, I've not been in India for a while -- so I do not exactly know what's going on there. Rediff is my main connection to India, I might add). Back to my main point -- the first tier has the top five or six nations only. Only the matches played b/w any of these nations will be accorded Test status. Once you drop to the second tier, any matches played witll be accorded first class status.

    So, at the end of the year, the bottom two nations of the first tier get relegated to the second tier and the top two nations of the second tier get pushed up to the first tier. This will really make Test cricket exciting. I know this sounds radical but only by thinking out of the box, can one arrive at better solutions.

    It also means that centuries scored against second tier nations (assuming there's a series b/w a first tier and second tier nation) will not be entered in to the record books under official Tests. They will, though, be given first class status.

    The system is fair and square -- you perform, you survive; you poop, you're scooped.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:12  

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