Thursday, May 11, 2006

Promoting the game

Two articles highlight the biggest problem with the ICC's new FTP. This one mentions the glut of Ind-Aus matches, which is understandable given the financial gains that both countries would expect from these. But the problem is that India does not tour Bangladesh even in this FTP. Which means, as the report mentions, that test cricket's youngest members would be atleast 11 years old before they get to host the financially most lucrative side in the world. This is, simply put, ridiculous.

In the other article, we get to know the further imbalance that the new FTP has towards Bangladesh. They don't have a single test for the next 12 months! Any person who even remotely believed that Bangaldesh showed signs of improvement (yes, despite the Gillespie mauling) should be disappointed with the schedule. Since a gap of 12 months would wipe away a lot of those advancements they have made, and they wouldn't be able to build on it to reach the next level. Whatmore and Bashar are obviously not very happy.

I think the ICC needs to seriously deliberate on Bangladesh. You can't keep complaining about their inabilities at test level, as Ponting and many others have done in the past, and then pull them down when they were finally showing signs of maturity. Talks of 'development of cricket' and 'promoting the game' etc cannot be taken seriously, if they are actually working towards harming the game in places where its desperate to thrive. They should rather hand over the funds allocated for 'development of cricket in new avenues' to greedy boards like BCCI and others who force the ICC to make such lopsided schedules.


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