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Old December 23, 2004, 06:25 PM
oracle oracle is offline
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Default Cricket\'s great divide-Article from Telegraph(UK)

Cricket's great divide
By Mark Nicholas

-inserted as whole article as the source requires registration.

Cricket is a game fighting for its credibility. Amid the euphoria of England's memorable, record-breaking year and of Australia's continued brilliance, there are major causes for concern. Players lurch around the world fulfilling fixtures that frequently mean nothing against countries who are no good. Neither Zimbabwe nor Bangladesh would cut it against an average state or county team.

It is unarguably awful for the credibility of the game worldwide that Australia are winning Test matches so easily. It is worse still that John Buchanan, the Australian coach, felt obliged to come out in defence of his players the day before yesterday. "Our job is not to mark time and wait for other teams to catch up. Our job is to keep improving, individually and collectively. It is upon the other teams and the ICC to work out ways to accelerate their progress." That he had to say as much, reflects the frustration in Australia. Australians love a contest and they are not getting one.

Pakistan were a disgrace in the Perth Test. They expected to lose and duly did so with embarrassing ease. Their captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, moped around, batted feebly and spent much of the third day off the field with a stomach bug. And to think, his job is to inspire. Bob Woolmer, the coach, said he would seek psychological help for the players. What he needs is a miracle.

All this is part of a malaise that began infecting international cricket about a decade ago. Its effect has been a worry, now it is becoming extreme.

West Indies thought they had the formula bottled until lazy, overpaid cricketers replaced the marvellous ones who had set a standard that was taken for granted. There was no provision for the future and Brian Lara has carried the can. South Africa deserve sympathy because their future was always uncertain but claims that reverse racism is killing the game have nothing on the racism that preceded it and excluded the majority of the country from playing the game meaningfully.

England have had no excuse. Administration of the game has been painfully weak, shrouded in-house, short-sighted and selfish. To a degree, it still is. For a while the brilliance of Ian Botham and David Gower papered over the cracks but the English game had been an anachronism long before their tenure.

Of the major nations, only in India does cricket continue to convince, and even there the crowds for Test matches are shrinking and the power-brokers invest more in themselves than in the game for which they stand. Sri Lankans are in love with cricket but everyone wants a piece of everything, so the key figures play musical chairs and no one is left alone to embrace the wider picture and lead the advance to the next stage of development and quality.

The International Cricket Council have done untold damage by allowing Zimbabwe and Bangladesh Test-match status. Their presence lowers standards and diminishes an already fragile product. Test-match performances have been cheapened and do a disservice to those who have gone before. True, there have been other eras when series have been uneven but never to this extent.

Sachin Tendulkar made his highest score against Bangladesh the other day. Stephen Fleming did so a couple of months back but, be assured, both these fine cricketers would rather have their marker elsewhere. Lesser players than Tendulkar and Fleming can hide behind performances against these poor teams and begin to believe in them. Their records stand up even when they fail against Australia, so they are not motivated to take on the world champions and instead collapse, waiting for the horror of it to go away until the next easy ride when they fill their boots again. This is cheating the game they play, never mind the rich history they are inheriting.

Why can cricket's administrators not see this? Why is the greatest and most noble game being allowed to free-fall into mediocrity? Why on earth does this Australian team have to answer to their own country for being so damn good? It is a joke, and a very dangerous one.

Cricket is available on television just about everywhere and just about all the time. The less-is-more principle has long gone. Many matches are without frisson but still the producers and networks treat this old-fashioned sport with deference and care, striving to improve their product while the game fritters it away. Soon, they will wonder why they bother.

For the moment, thank heaven for the sheer bravery and optimism of Graeme Smith, who at least challenged England with a weakened but politically correct team. Thank heaven for Lara, who, four years ago, made a double hundred in Jamaica and a near unbelievable 153 not out in Barbados to single-handedly draw a series with the Australians.

These were his greatest hours and yet, admirably, he has stuck with it since, hoping, perhaps even believing, that West Indies cricket will come again. Thank heaven for the way in which India have resisted Australia with their mix of flair and confrontation.

Thank heaven, most of all, for Michael Vaughan's England who have transcended their masters and shown the necessary desire to improve. The thought and commitment which has gone into their play, the smile that comes with it, and their formidable results this year, mean that English cricket has its brightest face since that golden era of Botham and friends. Indeed, as Adam Gilchrist said yesterday: "England are shaping up to be formidable opponents." There can be no greater compliment from an Australian.

Of course, the global development of cricket is crucial and yes, real opportunities must be given to the emerging nations who require enormous help, financially and practically, if their potential is to be reached. But by compromising standards and devaluing performances, the future of the game is further threatened at a time when it is hardly on the lips of the world's sporting community. The ICC must understand this and act upon it however cleverly England and Australia are pulling the wool over everyone's eyes otherwise they are not fulfilling their responsibility.

Source: Telegraph

The article speaks for itself. You do the homework & crits and I will stiffle my scream. OK.

'My question and amazement is this short phrase: -"cricket is fighting is for its credibility"-where?

Edited on, December 23, 2004, 11:47 PM GMT, by oracle.
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Old December 23, 2004, 09:56 PM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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Pathetic imbecile, this Mark Nic. Somehow got to capt. the English A team in the 80s and now he is mouthful of sh**

Where was he in the 80/90s when Viv Richards was re-writing every record at their expense. Oh, quite forgot, he was leading his eternally losing team to the bottom-less pit.
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Old December 24, 2004, 12:13 AM
fab fab is offline
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Why is the greatest and most noble game being allowed to free-fall into mediocrity?
It's funny how as soon as England start performing well, this type of dribble starts coming out of the UK on a regular basis.

The Torygraph is nothing more than conservative hogwash. This is typical language for them. This article should be torn to shreds and thrown in the dustbin where it belongs.

Anyhow, not to worry. They may have invented the game, but the morons still haven't won the WC

NB: Can't wait till the Ashes tour starts and England get their butt kicked off the planet.
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Old December 24, 2004, 01:27 AM
tpusltn tpusltn is offline
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This clown (Mark Nicholas) suddenly singing a different song as soon as England started to perform well.

Why didn't he mension the Englands' trip to Bangladesh & they had very hard time to defeat this resilient monow, if they are so great. Why didn't England use that opportunity to score some Test or ODI world record.
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Old December 24, 2004, 03:14 AM
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Spitfire_x86 Spitfire_x86 is offline
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IIRC, Flintoff alone destroyed Bangladesh in the ODI series.
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Old December 24, 2004, 04:36 AM
Shish Ahmed Shish Ahmed is offline
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When was the last time England won the Ashes they keepp talking about. Oh will win it this year, i've been hearing that for the past 10 years.

Mr Nicholas maybe we can show you some clips to bring you back down to the Earth as you seem to be on another planet. Hope you get the message
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Old December 24, 2004, 05:15 AM
shovon13 shovon13 is offline
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Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
IIRC, Flintoff alone destroyed Bangladesh in the ODI series.


i just pictured you sitting there on your computer, waiting for the chance to demean bangladesh cricket. lmfao. sorry man just had to say it. every thread i go to, there's you saying something like "bangladesh sucks!" (well not exactly...but you know what i mean)
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Old December 24, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Spitfire_x86 Spitfire_x86 is offline
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Is it true or not? Bangladeshi cricket is ordinary, but I'm a fan of our team anyway.
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Old December 24, 2004, 07:18 AM
Tintin Tintin is offline
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>> Is it true or not? Bangladeshi cricket is ordinary, but I'm a fan of our team anyway.

True, but as someone else said, you seem to be looking only for the empty half of the glass while the others (even SS !) are looking at the other half

Edited on, December 24, 2004, 12:19 PM GMT, by Tintin.
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Old December 24, 2004, 08:53 AM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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He still holds a grudge against BD. Ershad had his team's tour to BD booted wanting to bring in a team full of racist pygmies.
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Old December 25, 2004, 12:55 PM
deshpremi deshpremi is offline
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hey, stop knocking England, they are my favourite team (after Bangladesh of course)
with regards to Mark Nicholas, i am very disappointed with these remarks.
i think that the reason why he is saying these things are for one reason alone and that is the Zimbabwe issue.
everyone knows that Mugabe wants to kick the asses of all the white people in Zimbabwe (and to a certain extent, that is exactly what he is doing, wether they are white farmers, or white cricketers etc..)
now the stiff upper lip white middle classes of this world are not enjoying this humiliation in front of the whole world...)
so the only way to have a dig at them is by having a dig at their depleted cricket team and to do that they have to look fair handed in their cricticsm, so Bangladesh will naturally have to come in to this equation.
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Old December 25, 2004, 03:55 PM
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Dhakablues Dhakablues is offline
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There is a saying.. when an elephant is stuck on the mud then...." Well, Bangladesh is not an elephant ( maybe the board, white one) but maybe a mosquito who can drive the team nuts and cause some dengue...

Gpne are the days when matches ended in 3 days and teams declares..Give the team 20 more matches and lets see what we discuss about then
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