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  #1  
Old May 29, 2004, 11:56 PM
ZunaidH ZunaidH is offline
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Default 3 tier test cricket and Bangladesh

I have sent the following letter to ICC. Perhaps we shoud begin a campaign using this site:

May 29, 2004

Mr. Ehsan Mani
President, The International Cricket Council
The Clock Tower
Lord's Cricket Ground
London NW8 8QN
England

Fax: +44 (0)20 7266 1777

Dear Sir;

I am writing in response to an article recently published in cricinfo.com regarding a possible plan to create a multi-tier test cricket pool. This article below talks about building a relegation league, which I strongly oppose.

Possible move to preserve the standards of Test cricket
Three-tier system for Test cricket?
Wisden Cricinfo staff
May 28, 2004
With so many leading cricketers clamouring for a two-tier format for Test cricket, the International Cricket Council may finally put such a system in place. According to a report in SuperSport, a South African sports website, Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager, is currently presiding over discussions on a proposal to restrict Test cricket to eight teams, while the next two rungs would consist of 12 teams, split into two divisions of six each.
Teams in the elite group would be required to play each other in home and away series – comprising of two or three Tests each – which would ensure that a full round of Test series takes not more than three years instead of the current five, with every team playing 14 Tests a year.
The report also says that the second-division matches would be four-day games, played on a home-and-away basis. The winner of the second division would then take on the team which finished last in the elite group in a one-off Test. Victory in that match would promote the second-division winner into the elite group. So, as per current standings in the ICC Test Championship table, West Indies will be battling Zimbabwe or Bangladesh to avoid relegation.
For teams not good enough to make it to the top 14 but still harbouring hopes of climbing the rungs, there is also a proposal to include a third tier as well. As with the second division, the team topping the third tier will also get an opportunity to move up the ladder with a play-off against the wooden spooners of the second division.
An ICC spokesman said: "Malcolm Speed [the ICC's chief executive] announced a review of the structure of international cricket in June 2003. This review is on-going and will not be completed for several months. Until it has been completed it is impossible to speculate what the outcomes or recommendations will be."
The need to separate the top teams from the rest has been felt especially strongly of late, with Zimbabwe weakened considerably by the absence of 15 of their best players and Bangladesh struggling to make an impression.



The examples this article refers to are poor performance of Bangladesh in test cricket and the current crisis in Zimbabwe. I have also noticed over the past few months that there are few arguments that are used to support this relegation or multi tier test cricket. I would like to take the opportunity to express my opinion on how these arguments are wrong and biased.

1) Player’s like Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly seeking competitive standard in Test Cricket: The point Ganguly and Ponting are trying to make is absolutely harmful to the future of cricket. The issue on standard is certainly a relative term. Test cricket is a mode of the game where a consistent effort is only achieved over time. Ganguly should be the last person talking about standards as India has began to produce some competitiveness in the test arena only in the recent years. For over decades, they have played defensive test cricket and had the reputation of being successful only at home ground. In the 60’s, 70’ and 80’s the “standard” of Indian cricket was significantly lower compared to other test playing nations. It took them a long time to learn the trick to be successful. However, they have learned. A few good batsmen and quality pace bowlers have come to the scene and Mr. Ganguly is riding high. The key however, I believe is not lack of talent but sponsorship that has poured into Indian cricket in the recent years. Bangladesh has started playing cricket in the test level only recently. The sponsorship in the game is slow given it is not the most prosperous country, economically speaking, in the world. I personally believe that Mr. Ganguly and the likes of him are scared about the fact that Bangladesh has the potential to rock the sub-continent because of a fan base larger than Pakistan. Despite the fact that Bangladesh is a new country and not the strongest economy in the sub-continent, the team has shown relentless improvement in the international arena of cricket. We are a few steps away to take our place in the test playing world. It would be unfair to deprive us of that opportunity
2) Mr. Ponting can speak of “standards” as he is a member of the current Australian team. Everybody appreciates the fact there are teams like Australia playing test matches and the rest nine test playing nations have an opportunity to compete and learn from them. Just a point to ponder, Bangladesh significantly improved the quality of the game after playing Australia in a test match. The more we play teams like Australia the faster we climb up the ranks. I was of the impression that Mr. Ponting is equally helpful as his skills in the field to help developing test nations as Bangladesh. Australia has lot more money pouring into the game compared to Bangladesh. The test team Bangladesh is staging right now is the first generation of test players. The first generation of test players is bound to get a bit of humiliation. If one can recall the difficult times Sri Lanka went through in the 80’s, the truth is obvious that Sri Lanka suffered in their 5 day matches. It is completely unfair to point fingers at Bangladesh to relegate them to a second tier test playing nation.
3) Andrew Miller, a Wisden staff, is a strong critique of Bangladesh speaking of drop in TV rating and sponsorship for the sport as countries like Bangladesh play test cricket. I think he is solely considering the fan base that the 9 test playing countries that had test status before Bangladesh. Although I agree there are fewer people in England watching or following a Bangladesh vs. England test match , the number is slowly increasing on the Bangladesh side watching and following cricket (from Bangladesh or Bengali’s all over the world). The bulk gain that Andrew Miller or the likes of him are completely unaware is the Bengali’s worldwide following the match. For example, Cricinfo.com (probably the most popular cricket related website) was selling the India-Pakistan matches on recorded video. However, they weren’t selling the match video that Bangladesh won against Zimbabwe recently. The world is unaware of the passion that the fans of Bangladesh cricket. The fan base the tigers are building is large, and is gaining mass everyday as we get closer to our first test victory. To drop Bangladesh to a second tier would be to deprive people like myself all over the world and a fan base that have been eagerly following Bangladesh test team and growing in volume everyday. People like Andrew Miller could best be described as having tunnel vision.

I, on behalf of millions of Bengali all over the world, would request ICC not to look at such short sighted views as dropping Bangladesh to a second tier in test games. We are a revolution waiting to happen in the test cricket world. Zimbabwe did have a better result in the beginning part of their test games probably because of the fact that their “white” players had exposure to English cricket and in general strong ties to South African cricket. Unfortunately, Bangladesh had to build everything from scratch and the process is ongoing. The current situation with rebel players in Zimbabwe is temporary and will probably be gone in a few months with proper and constructive intervention from ICC. People like Heath Streak will soon play test cricket.

I would like to end my letter with one last point with the number eight. Why is this the “magic number”? If there are nine test playing countries or ten or even eleven playing competitive cricket then there should be 9, 10 or 11 countries playing test cricket. I see this number as totally an irrational concept. Given the right opportunities and chances, Bangladesh can supersede any test playing nations in the very near future. The least I can say is Bangladesh is on the right track to win their fair share of test matches. We have struggled and will probably struggle a bit more to get the rhythm in place along with more money and sponsorship poured in the game. Even if there is an idea of multi-tier test playing, Bangladesh should be in tier 1 where Australia plays test cricket. Belonging to any other tier would simply retard our pace of growth. I am hoping we start our winning stride at St. Lucia on the first 2 days of June 2004 and once and for all shut out the “nay sayers” .
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  #2  
Old May 30, 2004, 12:06 AM
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good job. i was posting somewhere that bcb should start a opposition campaign about it. well, i like the idea that we can do it too. if not bcb, why not we. we can ask bcb to "sponsor" our campaign and our fans here can flood cricinfo and related websites with emails and posts opposing it.

and as we have an on going match to talk about, we will not sound empty.
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  #3  
Old May 30, 2004, 12:14 AM
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ghor jamai ! you have raised a very very valid point. We, as Bangladeshi fans, must think hard about what such a step by the ICC would mean for the development of cricket in Bangladesh. A strong, fact-based, and coordinated campaign should be launch by us to make the ICC aware of the disastrous consequences of such an action for the development of the game for us.
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  #4  
Old May 30, 2004, 12:15 AM
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ghor_jamai:
Welcome to the forum.

You have done a wonderful job indeed. May be others will follow. There is no harm in voicing our opnion before ICC takes any step. Excellent letter.
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  #5  
Old May 30, 2004, 12:27 AM
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This is a move to ensure, teams like India or Australia dont lose to teams like Bangladesh, Kenya. As long as they can keep the other teams away from 5 day cricket, those nations will never learn true cricket, thus the supremecy of the elite 8 will be presurved for ever.

Way to go ICC, this is a masterplan(!).
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  #6  
Old May 30, 2004, 12:41 AM
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Very well written time honored letter. May be we can consider this to be published in our special article (or column section for now).

Thanks and welcome to the ghor, ghor_jamai.
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  #7  
Old May 30, 2004, 01:32 AM
sage sage is offline
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I have posted the following in international cricket section. I think it is relevent with this thread.

Australian like ponting and shane are singing this downgrade song to take Zimbabwe out of the test status. This is the vengance for suspending 15 white cricketer in Zimbabwe. Before that incident only big mouth Ganguli floated that idea. Ganguli thinks they have reached nirvana in cricket like Australia. Well they did not,they are far from it. It was not long ago when Pakistan would humiliate them in both day and night cricket. I would say Masri will crack his forehead open like Srikant next time we meet him.

Zimbabwe's action is deplorable. Zimbabwe should be delt harshly for it. That doesn't give them the right to axe Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a good team and improving in right direction fast in Dav's guidence. They can wait for NewZealand to come around for 26 years and they cannot give BD 6 years. ICC need to stop behaving this way.
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  #8  
Old May 30, 2004, 03:05 AM
billah billah is offline
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ICC can expect to be sued in English courts for trying to do this. This will constitute deception.
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  #9  
Old May 30, 2004, 04:56 AM
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al Furqaan al Furqaan is offline
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good letter...we must stand up to these tyrants.
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  #10  
Old May 30, 2004, 07:02 AM
ZunaidH ZunaidH is offline
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Thanks for the support. It is a fact that the fan base Bangadesh has is stronger than Australia. We should pour in more statistical facts regarding India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Because these three countires have struggled in test arena. I remeber growing up in the 80's in Dhaka around Abahani club, how Sri Lankan test players used talk about their frustration in test cricket. Fernando and Ranatunga used to talk about their difficulties openly to players at Abahani club.

Perhaps the moderators in this group could lead the way in driving this campaign. We should start right now. I think a group effort would work for us.
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  #11  
Old May 30, 2004, 08:18 PM
sujon sujon is offline
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Ghor Jamai,

A great start indeed. Its really a matter of concern for us. I think you better send your letter to crickinfo and hope they post it. Its the biggest forum to reach the cricket followers around the world.

If there is gonna be multy tier system in cricket it should be like this:

tier1: Australia

tier2: The rest.
period.
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  #12  
Old May 30, 2004, 08:27 PM
IanW IanW is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sujon
If there is gonna be multy tier system in cricket it should be like this:

tier1: Australia

tier2: The rest.
period.
Hear hear.

While we're at it, reform the system so that new Test Playing countries (including the 2 latest ones) get Candidate status.

After 5 years, Candidates are reviewed, so they either get promoted to Full status, kept at Candidate, or dropped to Associate status.

Each Test-playing country is assigned an Associate, which they have to assist to develop, including an International tour each way each two years, and a written, public report on how their Associate is going.

For example, the RSA gets assigned Kenya. It would be expected than each 2 years a RSA team (not neccessarily their full team ; an A team may be more appropriate) would tour Kenya, and a Kenyan team would make the return trip. RSA coachers and players could be sent to Kenya, and promising players brought back to the RSA to play in the Capetown club comp and train with the national team.

This method has support matched with accountability.

Such a scheme would be a damn good home for US$10m a year from World Cup TV funds.
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  #13  
Old May 30, 2004, 09:08 PM
ZunaidH ZunaidH is offline
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IanW;

I like your plan. Is it original? Can you put it through to ICC? It sounds reasonable. The only catch I see is that the full members like RSA have nothing much to gain from it in the days of sponsorship. I think that is the point some of the folks that are pro-multi tier are suggesting. Ganguly and Ponting are coming from strictly financial point of gain. Not too many in their respective countries follow the game when they are playing BD or Zimbabwe. Therefore, a reduction in sponsorship. They are looking at it from an opportunity cost point of view. For example, India would rather play a tri-nation series in Holland (with Pakistan and Australia) than play Test match with BD during that time frame. This is eventually a greedy world. Indirectly, the likes of Ganguly and Ponting are basically saying we don't give a damn about the folks who watch cricket in Bangladesh because at the end of the day it does not generate enough interest in our country, until it does generate some interest we don't want to play you.

In reply to Sujon: I have sent this letter to ICC. Hopefully, we can knock a few punches showing past statistics of India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Perhaps we can have discrimination or intent of discrimination to our defence. I request every "able bodied" fan write letters to ICC. CricInfo is useless. It took me at least a dozens letters to stop Andrew Miller to write anything about Bangladesh. In my opinion Andrew Miller is bad news for BD. He covered the Engand series in Dhaka and started the clamour to kick BD out of Test cricket.

Thanks.

P.S. I am not a lawyer.
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  #14  
Old May 30, 2004, 09:32 PM
IanW IanW is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ghor_jamai
IanW;

I like your plan. Is it original? Can you put it through to ICC? It sounds reasonable. The only catch I see is that the full members like RSA have nothing much to gain from it in the days of sponsorship. I think that is the point some of the folks that are pro-multi tier are suggesting. Ganguly and Ponting are coming from strictly financial point of gain. Not too many in their respective countries follow the game when they are playing BD or Zimbabwe. Therefore, a reduction in sponsorship. They are looking at it from an opportunity cost point of view. For example, India would rather play a tri-nation series in Holland (with Pakistan and Australia) than play Test match with BD during that time frame. This is eventually a greedy world. Indirectly, the likes of Ganguly and Ponting are basically saying we don't give a damn about the folks who watch cricket in Bangladesh because at the end of the day it does not generate enough interest in our country, until it does generate some interest we don't want to play you.

In reply to Sujon: I have sent this letter to ICC. Hopefully, we can knock a few punches showing past statistics of India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Perhaps we can have discrimination or intent of discrimination to our defence. I request every "able bodied" fan write letters to ICC. CricInfo is useless. It took me at least a dozens letters to stop Andrew Miller to write anything about Bangladesh. In my opinion Andrew Miller is bad news for BD. He covered the Engand series in Dhaka and started the clamour to kick BD out of Test cricket.

Thanks.

P.S. I am not a lawyer.
As far as I know, it is original.

There is absolutely nothing in it for established countries ... except to grow the game of cricket.

If India get assigned Nepal, I'm not demanding Sourav Ganguly goes touring there, but I would expect an Indian team goes touring there - and if India A loses in Nepal, then the Nepalese can probably expect the next team to have more Test players in it.

And of course, a million screaming Indians will regard Nepal as 'theirs' next time the World Cup rolls around.

The key is the support - coaching clinics, players assigned and so on. If Australia is in charge of Kenya, then I'd expect to see an Australian coach in Kenya, 2-3 Kenyans in the Academy, and about double that playing Club cricket in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. When Australia toured RSA/Zim, I'd expect a touring party to go play a 3 day game in Nairobi, and a couple of Kenyan players to travel with the Australian squad and hang out at the nets.

If after 4 years of that, Kenyan cricket didnt improve, I'd be really surprised.

Test status isnt the end. The end is having a core of 5-7 Test class players.

It's enough. Just ask New Zealand *grin*
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  #15  
Old June 1, 2004, 05:08 PM
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S Waugh on multi-tier system : link
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  #16  
Old June 1, 2004, 05:48 PM
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Just to quote here directly:

Quote:
Waugh, who retired in January as the second highest scorer in Test cricket behind compatriot Allan Border, also shot down Indian captain Sourav Ganguly's proposal to have a two-tier system for Test cricket to make it more competitive.

"It's a good idea for one-day cricket because there are more sides playing that, and they're looking to inject more sides all the time," Waugh said.

"For Test cricket though, I'm not so sure. There are only 10 sides, so if you split them up into two tiers the teams will get sick and tired of playing the same opposition year in and year out.

"I'm not sure how the teams in the lower tier will improve enough to move up.

"If you look at the history of Test cricket there have always been weak sides. Remember New Zealand took 26 years to win a Test match. I think we're getting a bit carried away because a couple of sides aren't doing too well."

The proposal to have a two-tiered system for Tests was mooted due to the lop-sided contests featuring the severely-depleted Zimbabwe and Bangladesh's inability to win a Test match since being admitted to the fold in 2000.

"I think Test cricket is in a pretty healthy state," said Waugh.

"The cricket that's being played at the moment is among the most aggressive that has been played in the history of Test cricket. There are results almost all the time and it's exciting."
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  #17  
Old June 1, 2004, 06:08 PM
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If a three tier system IS achieved, then WI should be relegated, not BD:P
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  #18  
Old June 2, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AsifTheManRahman
If a three tier system IS achieved, then WI should be relegated, not BD:P
let me guess what would happen, the country that loss this series between WI and Bangladesh will be relegated to second tier!
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  #19  
Old June 2, 2004, 11:13 AM
crazyisland crazyisland is offline
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This is great. May be we need to start another campaign which includes other test playing countries/ players who oppose this 3 tier idea.

Ganguly is just trying to avoid the embarrassment of being defeated by BD team in coming years.
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  #20  
Old June 2, 2004, 10:20 PM
Tehsin Tehsin is offline
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We should all just ignore Ganguly and his sometimes outlandish comments. The man is not well liked and this gives people another reason to see why Gangs will never be Mr. popularity. In our case, what's really sad is an Australian is speaking out for us (in a manner) while a Bangali Babu is bending over backwards to destroy our test cricket future.


Not a big surprise though. In cricketnext, Canada's win over USA is highlighted in the top stories while BD's draw against WI (which included 3 hundreds) was listed in the tour section down below. Some people only read the headlines and you will find that those who always question BD's test status don't even know our results because they are bright enough (or willing) to take a closer look at all our results. If you rely on cricketnext and similar site for all your cricket news, you won't even know that BD almost beat Pakistan, Zimbabwe and have actually drawn West Indies in the carribean.
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  #21  
Old June 3, 2004, 12:58 AM
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did u guys imagine how far danguli's elite feeling will take him? now, he's feeling that not all test playing nations are elite enough for him to play. well, another capatain of this thinking is ponting. because none of the other team are thinking like that, ganguli-ponting will thank that those team are not elite enough for them. well, they will start to play against each other only.

u think thats the end of the story and they will be happy that they are playing elite cricket? u are wrong.

pretty soon danguli and ponting will feel that not all players in the team are elite enough for cricket since they are not getting 50's, or 5fors in each innings. so, they will think that cricket is not a game of 11 players, only those who are elite can play cricket. 8, 6, 3... the number of player who they think are elite will soon be the least, namely danguli and ponting. they will keep playing against each other in the ultimate form of elite cricket. the rest of the world? they will play the non-elite cricket as of now, and will forget these two very soon.

[Edited on 3-6-2004 by AgentSmith]
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  #22  
Old June 3, 2004, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
pretty soon danguli and ponting will feel that not all players in the team are elite enough for cricket since they are not getting 50's, or 5fors in each innings.
Hahaha. Nicely put. Creative to say the least. Bravo.
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  #23  
Old June 3, 2004, 02:47 AM
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Just checked with ICC, no more tier idea. the whole thing will stop when Australia goes to India and give them a white wash on their ars. Saurab is not walking on the soil lately after recent terrible performance by Pakistan against them. when he starts walking on the ground again he will forget about all these and stop whining. India, huh! their bowling attack is perhaps a bit better than Bangladesh if Masrafe is back in. that is why Bangladesh could almost beat Pakistan in Multan
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  #24  
Old June 3, 2004, 05:06 AM
ZunaidH ZunaidH is offline
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I got a reply back from ICC. Following is the reply, which is not much but they have acknowledged the letter. Hopefully, more of these from other fans would make them re-think.


Thank you for your email. The ICC appreciates receiving feedback from
cricket fans around the world and appreciate you taking the time to
write your thoughts.

The ICC is conducting a review on the structure of cricket, and this is
something that will be discussed in detail by the Executive Board and
Chief Executives at the annual meeting later this month.

Yours sincerely
ICC Corporate Affairs
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  #25  
Old June 4, 2004, 04:01 AM
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"If you look at the history of Test cricket there have always been weak sides. Remember New Zealand took 26 years to win a Test match. I think we're getting a bit carried away because a couple of sides aren't doing too well."
-Steve Waugh.

Admirably enough, this really is the difference between Ponting and Steve, which makes Steve Waugh a real personality in the history of sports (I think even AUS haters will admit that). I still remember reading about the encouragement of Steve Waugh when BD was, for the first time visiting AUS after Whatmore came to coach BD. There is even a rumor that Steve Waugh has been conspired out of the game as he was approaching the All time records of Allan Border and looked to threaten his top rank.

One curiosity arises in mind: Is ICC being run by 'Elitists' like-minded to Ganguly or Ponting only and not by Responsible Masterminds like Steve ?


[Edited on 4-6-2004 by crickethorizon]
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