Apr 152014
 
South Africa Rewarded For Leading Test Rankings
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presents the cheque to CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presents the cheque to CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat

© ICC

Cricket South Africa (CSA) have been awarded US$ 475,000 by the International Cricket Council for topping the Test rankings at the 1st April cut-off date.

It is the second year in a row that the Proteas have received the award, presented to CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat by his ICC counterpart David Richardson.

They have now held the ranking since August 2012, and are the fourth side, after Australia, England and India, to achieve the distinction.

Australia claimed second place and a prize of US$ 370,000 while India and England received US$ 265,000 and US$ 160,000 respectively for ending the cycle in third and fourth.

“I congratulate South Africa for topping the rankings for the second successive year in our pinnacle format,” Richadson said.

“To retain the top Test spot in a season that saw some very interesting, competitive and high-profile series is an achievement to be proud of.

“With the top eight Test sides closely matched, and every side aiming to claim the coveted number-one Test position, I’m looking forward to another exciting, challenging and competitive season, which will go on to strengthen Test cricket’s reputation as the most enduring and respected format.”

Lorgat, who also received the symbolic mace that is held by the leading Test side, said:

“I am truly honoured and humbled to receive the Reliance ICC Test prize money, not just on behalf of the players and the team management but on behalf of all South Africans.

“The players appreciate the enormous privilege of representing our country and taking on the responsibility that goes with it.”

© Cricket World 2014

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Apr 142014
 
Mohammad Amir will not play World Cup 2015

Mohammad Amir will not play World Cup 2015. Mohammad Amir Pakistani Fast Bowler is very good bowler and Chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed said that the PCB was not hopeful about the ICC clearing the pacer to play international cricket until he completed his five-year ban, which would end around August 2015.

Ahmad said: “What we have tried to convince the ICC to do is to allow him to be back into domestic cricket by reviewing his ban period so that he is ready when the times comes for him to play international cricket,”

Aamir told ‘Geo Super’ that he was not thinking about when exactly he would be able to resume playing cricket.

“For me that is not important now because I believe when God clears me to play then no one can stop me from playing. But for me it is good enough that the PCB Chairman has done so much to raise my issue in the ICC,” Aamir said.

Mohammad Amir born in 13, April in Gujjar Khan Punjab he current age is 22 year his bating style left hand bat five-year ban which will be ending on August 15, Aamir was 18 when the spot fixing scandal broke out while Pakistan was touring England in August, 2010 which eventually led to the imposement of bans on Aamir and his senior teammates — Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif, so Pakistan cricket board try best but they have no chance to played in World Cup 2015.

Apr 142014
 
Royal couple picks up bat and ball in an event in their NZ and OZ Tour

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have this morning attended an ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 event as part of their visit to tournament host city Christchurch.

The Royal couple was informed on the role of Christchurch in the event, it is the venue for the opening ceremony and Hagley Oval will host three pool matches, including the opening game and cricketing legends joined them along with 28 local school children for a game of cricket.
 
They were hosted at the event by ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Head of New Zealand Therese Walsh and Lee Germon, CEO of Canterbury Cricket.
 
The school children represented seven primary and intermediate schools from across Christchurch namely Bromley Primary School, Cashmere Primary School, Christchurch South Intermediate, Fernside Primary School, Kirkwood Intermediate, Our Lady of Fatima Primary School and St Albans Primary School.
 
The New Zealand and Canterbury cricketing legends were led by the only two New Zealanders to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame: Sir Richard Hadlee and Debbie Hockley.
 
Commenting on today’s event, Ms Walsh said, “This has been an amazing celebration of cricket and Christchurch’s role in the ICC Cricket World Cup. We’re delighted to have this opportunity to explain the city’s role to their Royal Highnesses.

Image Credits: Getty Images/ICC

Apr 132014
 
Comment - ICC Test Challenge Not Enough
Does the ICC Test Challenge do enough for Associate nations?

Does the ICC Test Challenge do enough for Associate nations?

© International Cricket Council

That the winners of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will now receive a shot at Test cricket on the face of it represents significant progress for the development of Associate nations, yet digging a little deeper reveals a decision that smacks of half-heartedness.

Firstly, the mere token gesture of two series against the lowest-ranked Full Member once every four years and nothing more is hardly an approach that will generate sustainable development.

With that ludicrously prolonged gap, whatever benefits a side may gain from experiencing the Test arena will have long evaporated by the time the next chance comes along.

Granted the carrot of Test cricket adds value to the Intercontinental Cup and in theory a window for the successful nation to showcase their Test credentials, yet in practice it is difficult to see anyone gaining full membership through such limited opportunities – particularly combined with the alarming lack of limited overs level exposure that Associates currently receive.

Further to that there is nothing within these proposals to suggest victory in the Test Challenge will result in anything other than merely returning to the Associate circuit with heads held high.

If The ICC is genuinely serious about the development of the game then the disparity between Full Member and Associate must be reduced, rather than the current closed shop situation.

Fixtures must to be played with more regularity between those at the bottom of the full member table and top Associates, for as beneficial as the learning curve of facing off against the top teams is for the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe these fixtures do little to ignite self-belief.

Persistently losing can place the lower ranked full members on a cycle of demoralisation, whereas a more balanced schedule that mixes in a significant proportion of fixtures against the highest ranked Associates would allow for confidence and momentum to bread – in turn standing these sides in better stead when they do tackle the elites of the game.

For the gap between Full Members and Associates to decline there must be an overlap between the pair, not only for development but to keep those at the lower end of the full membership on their toes.

For example if the lowest two or three ranked Test sides were forced to face a certain percentage of fixtures against the leading Associates it would heighten competition to avoid being ranked in those positions.

The four-year window of this plan is in itself not conducive to success – one of the reasons why the World Twenty20 qualification format works convincingly is the two-year cycle it operates within.

Four years is not only an incredibly extensive period to maintain consistent cricket, especially when one poor day can terminally damage a sides chances, but also to preserve a strong side. At the same time should a nation narrowly miss out on qualification, four years is an excessively long and disheartening period of time to wait for another crack.

Even if increased game time at a higher level is not feasible there are other alternative routes that could be explored, such as utilising ‘A’ team tours. Developing players also need acquainting with international cricket; therefore such fixtures would kill two birds with one stone.

Any qualms regarding Associates not being a significant standard of challenge could be distinguished by simply turning ‘A’ series between full nations into tri series by involving an Associate side.

It is not just the ICC that holds a responsibility with regards to worldwide development but also the individual national bodies themselves, whether that be through such ‘A’ tours or invitations for Associates to take part in domestic competitions – after all the growth of the game is in their best long-term interests.

On a more positive note in the same announcement the ICC also revealed the next Twenty20 World Cup will follow the same format as the recently concluded tournament in Bangladesh – with the preliminary group stage system widely received as being beneficial the Associate.

If the ICC is, however, genuinely serious with regards to spreading cricket then Associates can’t just be picked up for tournaments and then dropped; a long-term investment needs to be made that ensures regular exposure against full members at least in Twenty20 cricket.

That the Netherlands, who won so many hearts in Bangladesh, now have a virtually empty international calendar for the foreseeable future is not only a crying shame, but yet another missed opportunity.

As we’ve seen with countries such as Kenya in the past, success at tournament level doesn’t result in a lasting legacy, it requires following up with persistent cricket. It will be argued that international calendars are already heaving yet a Twenty20 fixture here and there at the expense of a One-Day International or two is surely worth the overall benefits this would help the development of the game.

In reality Twenty20 cricket is the most viable format to develop Associate cricket, given its short and snappy nature in comparison to the numerous days of consistency and high levels of discipline that Test cricket requires.

At the same time creating the infrastructure and maintaining interest for Twenty20 games is less of a challenging proposition than for first-class games – it would not be a lie to suggest certain nations will simply never be in a position to boast the structure required to play consistent Tests but that is not to say they could not be extremely competitive over 20 overs.

These latest proposals once again highlight the ICC’s lax approach to spreading the game, with this latest vision more of an attempt to ease all parties rather than provide solutions of any substance.

These changes don’t threaten any Full Members but also offers the Associates what they crave – crucially though in such a minor degrees that it is difficult to see any lasting significant impacts they will bring.

This news may make it appear the ICC are making steps to advance the game but if they are seriously committed to this task a greater level of exposure is imperative across all forms of the game, specifically in the Twenty20 format which has the potential to take cricket into new realms.

© Cricket World 2014

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Bangladesh cricketers

Apr 112014
 
PCB Gives Conditional Support To Reforms
Pakistan v India

A restoration of bilateral ties with India would see Pakistan support key ICC reforms

© REUTERS / Action Images

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed it conditionally supports wide-ranging reforms to the future governance and financial structure of the game.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved a raft of proposals in February although Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstained from the vote.

The reforms will see a pathway for Associate and Affiliate Members to play Test cricket and significant changes to governance and financial models.

Following the ICC board meeting in Singapore in February, ICC president Alan Isaacs said, “There were eight Full Members who were in a position to support the resolution today and the two who abstained have pledged to further discuss the issues with an aim to reaching unanimous approval over the coming weeks.”

Today, the PCB revealed that their support for the reforms is conditional upon them playing mutually beneficial bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, particularly against India.

“We had completed the discussion, consultation and negotiation phase with regard to the revised resolutions,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi said.

“It was important for us to get assurances on bilateral cricket with all Boards, especially India, which we have now received.

“The detailed Future Tour Programs are now being finalized with all, especially India.

“The fact that the resolutions have been diluted considerably from when these were first presented, and are now unobjectionable encouraged us to support these.”

© Cricket World 2014

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Apr 112014
 
Associate Cricket: Associates to Play Tests Soon

The Associate sides have received a boost in the arm for their cricketing future as the ICC Board has approved an ICC Test Challenge that will mean the best Associate side will get to play some amount of Test cricket every four years.

The approval by the board means that the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will face the bottom-ranked Test side for the inaugural ICC Test Challenge sometime in 2018. The two sides will play four five-day Tests on a home-and-away basis with the Associate side getting two Home Tests. However, the ICC has clarified that these matches are not meant to be a relegation or promotion event and the Associate side will not be given permanent Test status for an extended period. The initiative is meant to give Test exposure to the Associates as well as to give a context to the Intercontinental Cup.

The ICC Intercontinental Cup is the premier first-class tournament played by the Associate sides and is played over a two-year period. The next Intercontinental Cup will run from 2015 to 2017. It is the winner of this tournament which will face the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, for the inaugural ICC Test Challenge.

ICC Chief Executive elucidated the significance of the Test Challenge by saying, “The ICC Test Challenge now opens the door for Associate Members to play Test cricket and in doing so gives even greater context to the ICC Intercontinental Cup which will now be a pathway to Test cricket.” The ICC also clarified that even if the Full-member side was defeated in the contest, it will not lose its Test status or its voting rights. The ICC Test Challenge will now be passed through following at the ICC’s annual conference.

Going by form and historical performances, the favourites for hoisting the Associate flag at Tests are Ireland, having won four out of the six tournaments held so far. However, the Irish side have received tough competition from Afghanistan in their recent campaigns. Afghanistan won the title in their maiden attempt in 2010 and finished runners-up last year. But regardless of which side wins the title in 2017, it is certain that all Associate sides and their fans world-over are more than happy with the development.

Associate sides have welcomed this move unanimously. Ireland Cricket’s Chief Executive Warren Deutrom expressed pleasure at the initiative and remarked, “The first thing to say is that we’re pleased, and that’s speaking on behalf of the Associates as a whole and Ireland in particular. For us it was never so much about the threat of relegation, it was having that opportunity to be able to get up into Test cricket. Now we have that, and after winning four of the last five Intercontinental Cups, obviously our goal is now to do that again and get into the play-off.”

Other Associate nations like Scotland, Afghanistan, and the Netherlands also welcomed the move. The initiative will give chance to some of the most talented cricketers from outside the Test world to showcase their talents at the highest level, even if for a short period of time.

Image: The Independent

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