Monday, August 25, 2008

Consequences of a correct decision

As everyone knows, the 2008 Champions Trophy has been postponed. Probably the right decision (IMO) when everything is taken into consideration, but it does come with some consequences.

Here are a few thoughts...

  • The five countries to pull out have set a poor precedent - that countries can unilaterally pull out without fear of punishment. If it applies to teams like SA (who, btw, safely and successfully toured Pakistan more than any other non-Asian team in the recent past), it should apply to everyone else. I understand the concerns over security, but then other countries can have their own concerns too in the future, maybe not limited to security (political, logistical, financial, etc). Can ICC define security as the sole acceptable reason to meddle with a tournament/series? Or are we just opening up a Pandora's box?
  • Is the Champions Trophy even worth it anymore? I know this is kinda of a rehash of the same ol' T20 vs ODI discussion. But even logistically, we have a Champions Trophy scheduled in April 2010 in West Indies. So two CTs in the span of six months? That won't happen. Something will have to give.
  • ICC has basically given a blank check for any team not to tour Pakistan at any point. I can completely understand the fears of the players. And I know comparisons to Ashes/London bombings, or IPL/Jaipur, etc. may not be completely warranted, but it's something to think about. IMO, nothing would ever have happened to the players. But the overall climate resulting from any untoward incidents in Pakistan off the cricket field would have made things quite uncomfortable for all involved.
  • For Pakistanis, I think it is very disappointing. Cricket is a diversion for the ordinary citizen and it would have felt good for Pakistanis to host the entire cricketing world. But, I think there is one other reason that led to the CT postponement - the lack of attendance in Pakistan's matches. It may not be an immediately obvious cause, but the near empty stands in recent matches (even some involving Pakistan were very poorly attended) makes it easier for the authorities to make decisions without taking into account the fans. Pakistanis have to start working on this. Many matches are basically free and still attendance is abysmal.
  • I'm confused by countries' earlier willingness to send weaker teams. I would not feel too great if I were a "weaker" player, knowing that my life is not as valuable as others!
  • A month of no cricket is way too juicy for teams and boards to ignore. While it's a good time for a rest for players, it's also a great time to make money (like it or not, that's the way things run). Expect some interesting ad-hoc series and tournaments in the next few weeks.

Make your pitch on this post...

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8 Pitched:

  1. A P Webster said...

    What will us cricket bloggers do if there is a month without top-level cricket?

  2. jazzup said...

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  3. Trideep said...

    Its really sad that CT got postponed. What is worse that now it really becomes difficult for Pak to host it in '09. At a time when PCB is going thru such a turmoil, ntn could have been worse.

  4. SledgeHammer said...

    Tough time for Pak, as a country and as a cricket team. Let's hope it passes by quickly.

    I know it's far away, but Pakistan's involvement in the 2011 World Cup could also be in jeopardy. Think about this - Australia have not toured Pakistan for 10 years now! With that in mind, it's not very hard to imagine.

    And any decisions on the WC will have to be made well in advance, around 6 months to a year (for tickets, travel purposes, logistics, etc). So you're looking at about two years from now for teams to be completely comfortable visiting Pakistan. With the postponement of CT, ICC can't ignore this possibility.

  5. Trideep said...

    In the WC, Pak is not the only hosting country. Hence there won't be a chance of the tournament getting postponed. But yes, the teams may not tour Pakistan. That is a possibility.

  6. SledgeHammer said...

    @trideep: That's what I was referring to - "Pakistan's involvement in the 2011 World Cup".

    I know that India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh can easily incorporate Pak's portion of the tournament. But if it comes to that, Pak should refuse to play. If ICC can't punish the five teams for pulling out the CT, they better not try to punish Pakistan for doing the same.

  7. Q said...

    This is really sad.. The champions trophy was the only thing I was looking forward to on my return from the USA but now I don't think I ever want to come back!

    I can't believe only 10 days of my trip are left... There's been plenty of drama in pakistan during this time which I've followed only in glimpses but the cancellation of the champions trophy is probably the saddest..

    It has set a precedent of the ICC not fining teams for not participating and it will definitely have repurcussions on pakistan as a host of the 2011 world cup.

    As u point out, hopefully an interesting tri series to replace the champs trophy would be an ideal welcome back to the crkt world for me.

  8. Naked Cricket said...

    Hi Sledgehammer & Q,
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