Friday, March 4, 2011

Menacing Minnows

The India Vs Ireland encounter on Sunday is already getting the attention more than it needs. Thanks to Kevin O Brien’s heroics against England. It was simply stupendous. Honestly I’m running out of words to explain the innings. The sheer determination to take his side to victory reflected in his batting style. The innings was not all about power. The moment he sighted victory, he immediately changed gears and played with lot of head. You can check out the stats of that innings. You will be surprised to see far fewer boundaries or sixes towards the end of his innings. Also chasing the target is the specialty of this victory. If you had paid attention, most of the minnow’s victory would have come against defending a target or chasing a smaller total.

Especially chasing a target of 300+ runs is no joke. You require a lot of mental toughness to do it. Now try to recall any 5 good games that you witnessed. I bet, 3 out of 5 games you liked it because of the team successfully chasing a target than defending a target.

This is the reason the England-Ireland game will go to Hall of Fame and Kevin O Brien will carry a special place in the heart of cricket lovers. I’m sure many franchises would be cribbing now for ignoring him in the auctions. I’m positive that he along with Darren Bravo would be a taking guard in IPL 2012, if not already in 2011. For people like us, he will sure find a spot in our Fantasy team.

If you get a chance, please do watch his post match interview after the England game. It should be in youtube. He did mention that taking batting power play changed things. Now you must have guessed where I’m taking you. Few posts before, I had mentioned about Batting Power Play, an “X” factor to this tournament, is being underutilized. That Irish chase is a classic exploitation of the “X” factor. Ok. I know you did not like this piece of self appreciation. 

Coming back to the subject, almost every World Cup, we see such menacing performance from the minnows. Like 1983, India won the World Cup. Kenya upset Sri Lanka in the 2003 World Cup. Bangladesh upset Pakistan in one of the World Cups. Ireland and Bangladesh upset Pakistan and India respectively in the 2007 World Cup.

The point is, except for India and Sri Lanka, other teams like Kenya, Ireland, Netherland, Canada, UAE etc did not go on to become a big cricketing nation. They had everything in making when they first upset a major cricket nation. Because of the poor domestic infrastructure, political situation etc these teams are not there, where they are supposed to be now. Infact the situation of WestIndies is even worse as they keep falling in the ICC rankings.

As an outsider we can always blame these minnows for not taking required initiatives and improve their infrastructure.

When India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh can become a force to reckon... what halted the rest to follow?
We have to agree that not every country is Bangladesh, Srilanka or India. After all, these three nations are known better for cricket than any other sport. The public of these countries have a liking for cricket. So the natural liking for the sport allowed the sport to grow in these countries.

The same is not the case of Kenya, Ireland, Netherlands or Canada. I’m sure public in these countries have a better liking for a different sport. So the encouragement for cricket would be lot less in these countries.
I think this is where ICC should chip in to encourage cricket in these countries. After all, the talent is demonstrated in the world stage. It will be heartening if Ireland after this victory get to be seen only in the next world cup.

ICC must come out with a strategy to promote cricket in these countries. There must be one already. In my opinion the bigger cricketing nation should adopt the smaller cricketing nation. Like Kenya should be a part of the South African Domestic Circuit. An Afghanistan or a Candian team should be playing in the Ranji Trophy. I’m just throwing some random thoughts that pop in my mind. More brain storming sessions would yield better strategies.

Bottom line: The Minnows need more encouragement to keep Menacing.

Cricket Lover

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...