Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cricket World Cup - talking points

ICC associate nation
Hybognathus Hankinsoni
There are 2 major talking points so far in the Cricket World Cup that have come to Fantasy Bob's attention.  Well, there are 3 really but since information about the favourite biscuits of the leading players has been subject to a draconian news blackout, FB is unable to discuss that most important issue.  Instead he turns to other relatively minor matters.  At this point, FB would like to make it clear that he is confident that decisions on both these issues are being guided only by concerns as to the continuing health and development of the game with no referecne to the financial considerations of broadcasters.

The first issue is the fate of the associate nations, the so-called minnows and the reduction of the size of the CWC next time round.  FB has thought long and hard about this.  Extra biscuits were required. Notwithstanding the mismatches he thinks it wholly undermines the point of world wide cricket development for the associates not to have the opportunity to play in CWC - the challenge is not to eliminate them but to bring their standards nearer to the big boys so that they can compete.  There is no substitute in this for playing the big boys however uncomfortable big defeats are.  Giving them a place at T20 is fine, but it would achieve nothing if it distorts cricket development in the associates to T20 style. 

Godard -
not attending CWC 2011
The second issue is the fate of the 50 over game and whether this is its last hurrah, its excitement having paled as its sexy sibling T20 takes all the attention.  This problem is focused on the middle overs which are seen as an unnecessarily boring bit in between the crash bang thrill of the opening and closing overs.  Deeply conservative on these matters, FB thinks that this discussion is pretty pointless.  FB remembers when limited overs meant 65.  Some genius will shortly find middle overs in T20. There should always be a beginning middle and end in cricket as in everything.  Part of the charm of cricket is the different pace at different points in the game - it has a genuine narrative.  If this is not to be tolerated, we might as well have one ball innings.   A beginning a middle and an end is essential - although  FB accepts radical French film-maker Jean-Luc Godard's observation that they don't have to be in that order. 

But in a rare foray as an original thinker, and fueled by yet more biscuits, Fantasy Bob presents his solution to these problems.  It will keep everyone satisfied.   The big boys don't want to play the small boys.  Fine. The big boys don't like the middle overs.  Fine.  The powers-that-be want only T20 for the small boys. Fine.

Here is the new competition structure he proposes for CWC 2015 which matches all the objectives, at the same time bringing all the cricket nations together.

Each tie will be comprise 50 overs.
First innings

First 15 overs - Big Boy A will bowl at Big Boy B

Middle 20 - Small boy X will bowl at Small Boy Y

Last 15 overs - Big Boy A will bowl at Big Boy B

Second Innings

First 15 overs - Big Boy B will bowl at Big Boy A

Middle 20 - Small boy Y will bowl at Small Boy X

Last 15 overs - Big Boy B will bowl at Big Boy A
In later rounds of the competition the scores will be aggregated so that A+X will be compared with B+Y and the higher aggregate wins.  This will force Big Boys to nurture the skills of Small Boys.

Test match Quality thinking!  FB is available for any strategic consultancy assignment.

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