Many thanks to those of you that voted on my latest poll. It’s clear that Nepal are your tip to be Cricket’s next Test nation…
The Rhinos received 44% of the vote, double that of second placed Singapore. Nepal possesses a population of in excess of 26 million people, has a national cricket team consisting of mainly indigenous players and clearly has a hunger for cricket.
Nepal currently sit 12th in the T20I rankings and are playing ODIs against USA and Oman at present. Star player Sandeep Lamichhane recently expressed his desire to play Test cricket for Nepal.
Papua New Guinea are ranked 18th and have been on the fringes of major tournaments for the past decade or so.
Singapore are in 21st and have been one of the success stories of recent times. They’ve defeated a Test nation in the form of Zimbabwe and have soared up the T20I rankings.
USA has always seemed like an untapped market and it’s hard to fathom that cricket can’t really take off stateside.
Nigeria, an exceptionally populous nation, and Japan, have both made encouraging strides at under-19 level.
Whether or not the transition from T20I to Test cricket will remain relevant in the years to come is an interesting thought. How do amateur players prepare to play multi-day multi-innings cricket. Can these nations implement First Class leagues and afford them and the players?
If they can and the Test world does expand then who do you think will be cricket’s next Test nation?
The results are in and there’s not much to choose between opinions…
60% of voters feel that the option should be there for men and women to play on the same team at the highest level. 40% of voters are totally opposed to the concept. Some of you voiced ‘Spirit of cricket’ concerns and that’s understandable. Obviously cricket isn’t a contact sport but some statistics suggest that men average towards 10-20mph quicker than women when it comes to pace bowling. That’s a big step up but then so is transitioning from domestic to international level in either men’s or women’s cricket.
Tennis is probably the most direct comparison. Men and women share the court for mixed doubles matches where the gulf in speed between serves by different genders can be greater than cricket at around 30%. It’s a non-contact sport but is a tennis ball capable of killing someone? Sadly, we know all too well that a cricket ball is!
It’s easy to think about women potentially slotting into men’s sides but what about the reverse. If men are perceived to be a bit quicker and stronger what if they were to slot into primarily women’s teams? Should all teams be mixed then? Would there need to be an even split in the playing XI? Questions, Questions, Questions.
I think that the fundamental question and one that I’ve seen those in the women’s game ask is “Is it necessary? Why can’t the game for both genders simply stand on their own? More questions!
Personally I think that the option should be there but I don’t expect it to happen en masse anytime soon.
Disclaimer: Information sourced from the following article…
The results of my latest poll are in and… errr, we’re none the wiser!
To be fair to Joe Root, he’s tied at the top so possibly deserves to retain his place. Most of the votes were submitted in between the first and second Test in Aotearoa, so after England lost and before Root struck 226 as England drew the second match. I’m not convinced that this should effect whether or not he retains the captaincy. Of course Root was never likely to be stripped of the role mid-winter but with such a cramped international schedule the seasons almost role into one. Could a hiding in South Africa result in Root being out of a job (Or at least one of his roles) come Spring?
The alternatives are limited though. I backed Jos Buttler (As a player not to be captain) for the New Zealand series but South Africa may be the right time to get behind Ben Foakes as gloveman with Ollie Pope returning to solely batting duties. Is Ben Stokes fit enough to assume the role? Is Rory Burns proven and, not meaning to be rude, but respected enough by his teammates just yet to take on the burden? Would it really help Stuart Broad and the team to make him skipper?
Of course the system doesn’t really allow a player to be groomed as captain. The best players make their respective international sides when still young before domestic captaincy opportunities have presented themselves. If a player lingers at county or state level and does well as captain then they’re playing catch up in regards to proving themselves as international cricketers once selected.
Root will lead England in South Africa and likely for years to come. I’ll back him but like many I’m not convinced that leadership comes naturally to him. Just because his teammates like him isn’t really a good enough reason for him to remain captain, particularly when the side isn’t in the habit of winning!
Following a heavy defeat in the first Test in New Zealand the question marks over Joe Root’s captaincy are now firmly written in bold font and possibly in red ink! Root registered his lowest Test aggregate score, dropped out of the top ten batsmen in the world for the first time in five years (I’m surprised that it’s taken that long!) and was once again lacking inspiration in the field.
Does the Yorkshireman remain the best man to lead England or would he and the team as a whole be best served if he returned to being just one of the ranks?
Such a move has the potential to rid Root of the additional strain of leadership and allow him to thrive as the high quality batsman that we know he can be though in turn it obviously burdens someone else… or possibly brings out the best in them. Captaincy certainly isn’t bringing out the best in Joe Root.
Ben Stokes is currently vice-captain, Jos Buttler has stood in for limited overs matches, Stuart Broad has captained England in T20Is and Rory Burns is a County Championship winning captain.
Thanks for voting on my latest poll. Let’s take a look at the results…
Well it’s unambiguous then. 83% of voters feel that the one-year ban (Nine months suspended) applied was appropriate.
Numerous people have had their say on the matter and I do have some sympathy for Smith but ultimately naivety, casualness or lack of professionalism (Call it what you will) can’t be used as an excuse. That may seem harsh but once again please don’t forget the extreme monetary value that rides on WBBL matches. Women’s cricket may still be playing catch-up to that of their male counterparts in regards to many aspects of professionalism but Smith is old enough and experienced enough to have avoided all this.
I think that there’s little doubt that there wasn’t any sinister motive related to the Victorian born’s actions and ultimately I’m sure that we all want to see Smith back on the cricket field as soon as possible, ban considered. I know that I do.