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12 April 2005 @ 04:57 pm
Split test cricket into two divisions?  
"Shane Warne has called on cricket authorities to split the test nations into two divisions to rid the game of cheap wickets and cheap runs."

And what exactly would this division be?

Division one: Australia, India
Division two: everyone else

But, seriously, this is such an amazingly short-sighted idea, that simply wouldn't work for cricket.
Why not?
Because, as invincible as we think the Aussies are, in a few short years we're going to start losing a lot of our key players to retirement.
We could find ourselves being in the uncomfortable position of being in the top of the competition but being low on form.

Okay, maybe that's not likely to be the case, but it could happen to any country, and indeed it could happen the other way around.

And test cricket simply doesn't have enough turnover to quickly relegate and promote teams on a season-by-season basis.
It's not like football (in its various codes) where a single year will see each team play each other team at least once, possibly many times.
Each year of test cricket will see each team play only some of the world's test-playing nations.

So how can a premier league style relegation system possibly work?

And would it even benefit teams in the long run?
 
 
 
sjlsjl on April 12th, 2005 09:13 am (UTC)
Who, in all seriousness, would listen to Shane Warne anyway? He has shown, time and time again, that he will not learn from his past mistakes. How many times has he been up against allegations of philandering? How many times was he caught smoking when he was supposed to be on nicotine patches? I'll grant you that it's something of a double standard -- we hold players to a level that most people in the general public won't manage themselves -- but consider Ponting: one major indiscretion at the nightclub, and he's cleaned up his act (at least from the public's point of view.)

No; they're seeing the immediate problem and seeking a way to fix it quickly. This is an old rant for me: people want quick fixes to complicated problems, and either won't, or can't, understand that this simply cannot happen.

The other question I'd have, from the other side of the coin: yes, ok, we'll lose key players like Warne, McGrath, and Gilchrist to retirement eventually. But that's not what's important -- what's important is whether there are those coming up through the ranks to replace them. I don't follow the Sheffield Shield (or whatever they're calling it these days) much, so I don't know.

Assuming the problem of Australia's dominance is an ongoing one: my solution would be to look at the domestic competitions in the lower-ranking countries. Not just first class, but the lower classes as well, through to, and below, Division cricket (or equivalent). Fix the problems there, and the results will flow through to the international team. It won't happen in a year, or even five, or possibly even ten. But it will happen, and it will be sustainable. Quick fixes won't be. (I'm speaking generically; I know nothing about problems in the UK; in Zimbabwe; in Bangladesh; etc., etc.)
Robet Éivaayvah on April 12th, 2005 10:34 am (UTC)
Or, to put it succinctly:

"Who, in all seriousness, would listen to Shane Warne anyway?"

He's not exactly the brightest man in sport.
Jacobyak_boy on April 12th, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC)
Who, in all seriousness, would listen to Shane Warne anyway? He has shown, time and time again, that he will not learn from his past mistakes. How many times has he been up against allegations of philandering? How many times was he caught smoking when he was supposed to be on nicotine patches? I'll grant you that it's something of a double standard -- we hold players to a level that most people in the general public won't manage themselves -- but consider Ponting: one major indiscretion at the nightclub, and he's cleaned up his act (at least from the public's point of view.)

I'm very strongly of the view that no matter who you are (politician, celebrity, sportsperson) your private life is your own, and none of the public's business. I really hate all the bullshit about sports stars being "role-models", when really they're just people who happen to be very good at sport. Like that's meant to automatically put them above domestic problems.

However, I will concede that Shane Warne is not the most credible spokesperson for the game of cricket.

Assuming the problem of Australia's dominance is an ongoing one: my solution would be to look at the domestic competitions in the lower-ranking countries. Not just first class, but the lower classes as well, through to, and below, Division cricket (or equivalent). Fix the problems there, and the results will flow through to the international team. It won't happen in a year, or even five, or possibly even ten. But it will happen, and it will be sustainable. Quick fixes won't be. (I'm speaking generically; I know nothing about problems in the UK; in Zimbabwe; in Bangladesh; etc., etc.)

Absolutely.

The only way for any country to improve at sport is to spend money developing it at both a grass-roots and an elite level. And if the individual nations can't afford these programs the ICC should be chipping in.

Seriously, money is the key to sporting dominance.

Whenever the Olympics roll around a big deal is always made about Australia's amazing performance on a per capita basis. But the real issue is money. I'm almost certain that the absolute number one factor in how well a country will perform in sport is not population, but funding.

Think about the sports that Australia is traditionally no good at, but is starting to improve at substantially. The best example I can think of is soccer. In the past Australia would have spent no money on soccer, but now we spend heaps on it. Expect Australia to be up there with the world's best in a few decades.
sjlsjl on April 12th, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
I'm very strongly of the view that no matter who you are (politician, celebrity, sportsperson) your private life is your own, and none of the public's business. I really hate all the bullshit about sports stars being "role-models", when really they're just people who happen to be very good at sport. Like that's meant to automatically put them above domestic problems.

I tend to concur. However, having said that, like it or hate it that's the way things are. Those who play sport at an elite level should know this, and be prepared to adjust their behaviour accordingly. It's political bullshit -- you won't find me quibbling on that point -- but short of doing the equivalent of solving world hunger and war, it ain't gonna change.

Ricky Ponting learnt this lesson. Warne didn't, and shows no sign of doing so. (IMO, he was bloody lucky to only get a year's suspension for his sheer stupidity in taking that masking agent; I really believe he should have received at least two ... but that's another story.)

Money -- definitely. People will go where the money is. Look at Australia's soccer stars. Where are they all playing? Europe -- because that's where the big money is.
Robet Éivaayvah on April 13th, 2005 01:40 am (UTC)
Role models or not, they represent their industry. Where they fail, the sport suffers.

When Shane Warne makes himself hated, people stop cheering for him.
Jacob: devilyak_boy on April 13th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
But I think the media makes a much bigger deal of his private life issues than the fans do.

I doubt there are too many fans not cheering for Shane Warne because he's less than faithful to his wife.
Robet Éivaayvah on April 13th, 2005 02:07 am (UTC)
Probably not many. Probably only few.

I don't think it's so much about tickets sold, but about sponsors who want to support a team that is deserving in the public eye. They want people to feel like they're doing a service to society.
Jacobyak_boy on April 13th, 2005 02:24 am (UTC)
No, sponsers want to support a team that will give them the best coverage, with the flow on effect of making them the most money.

So, in reality, the biggest concern of sponsers is ticket sales (which is why women's soccer teams have to resort to nudie calendars).

The only issue really becomes if a sportsperson is so tainted by controversy that it reflects badly on the sponsor, which could easily have been the case with Shane Warne's drug charge, but I think he did a good job of playing the innocent fool on that one (it suits him after all).

Another reason sponsors desert sportspeople is if the sportspeople are seen to be acting contrary to what they are promoting, which can run the gamut of wearing the wrong shoes (which some American basketballers got in trouble for), smoking cigarettes (which caused a stir over Warne's Nicorette sponsorship) or drink-driving (which caused the TAC to dump the Richmond Tigers just recently).

Anyway, my point is, that you are being naive to suggest that sponsors care about anything other than the bottom line (and that even includes the TAC who have a financial interest in preventing road accidents).
Robet Éivaayvah on April 13th, 2005 03:41 am (UTC)
Public image is a lot of it. Companies like Nike already get a lot of exposure, so they're left trying to get the best possible kind of exposure. Something that says, "quality".

You're winning half the war when people think "shoes" and then think "Nike". But the name will also have to stir up good feelings to have the powerful effect they want.
Jacob: devilyak_boy on April 13th, 2005 03:53 am (UTC)
Sure, but I guess my point is that an elite cricketer like Shane Warne has so much positive from being the leader in his sport, that most off-the-field infractions can be safely ignored.

Although, all that said, you don't see a heck of a lot of ads featuring Shane Warne.
Jacobyak_boy on April 13th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
Money -- definitely. People will go where the money is. Look at Australia's soccer stars. Where are they all playing? Europe -- because that's where the big money is.

And the only reason we have any soccer stars is because the government is starting to spend some money on soccer at a grass-roots level.
Jacob: zombieyak_boy on April 13th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC)
Oh, and the drugs thing is an entirely different kettle of fish.

That has everything to do with being an elite sportsperson, and I agree that they should throw the book at any infraction. What they should not do is listen to bullshit excuses from people who get paid enough that they should bloody well know better.
sjlsjl on April 13th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
Yup. I bring up the recent masking agent episode to illustrate Warne's stupidity (every damn elite sports player should know better than to throw a random pill into their mouth without knowing what it is, and that simply should not be acceptable as an excuse.)

I get the feeling that he got off lightly because the ACB felt they'd not be able to do as well without Warne -- so he got a wrist slap. Makes a mockery of the whole damn set of rules in the first place.

I have all the tolerance in the world for somebody who suffers a blowup from a minor indiscretion. It's when it gets repeated many times over, and they don't learn from it that I start getting irritable.

Meh. I've been a lot happier since I stopped watching broadcast TV :) (free to air and cable.)
Robet Éivaayvah on April 12th, 2005 10:37 am (UTC)
The picture of Shane Warne in that article reminds me of Milo from Full Frontal.


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