As I was falling asleep last night, my brain was swimming, SWIMMING, with topics to write about this morning. I must have used them all up in my dreams as I am utterly empty headed right now.
One bit of news yesterday from the ICC meetings in Hong Kong, the number of teams in the t20 World Championships (I think that’s what it is called) was reduced from 16 to 12, which means only two of the associate or affiliate nations will be able to compete in the tournament this fall.
One would think that the ICC would know better: don’t tick off the Associates. They are already planning a protest.
There was really no explanation behind the move. It probably was simply a trade off for increasing the teams participating in the 2015 World Cup from 10 to 14. But I seriously do not get it: why is the ICC so hell bent on limiting the growth of the game? We are are global society, and for cricket to compete, in needs to globalize itself. This means allowing non-test countries to compete in all ICC events.
What’s really bizarre is that Associate Qualification is already well under way. Only now there are only two spots up for grabs, instead of six. Imagine if FIFA, halfway through a world cup cycle, changed the format of the tournament? The world would end! Furthermore: they would never do that! Because that would be insane!
Last night I was watching the first few episodes of Two Pricks at the Ashes, the precursor to The Chuck Fleetwood Smiths (aka, the Two Chucks). These were from late last year, before the show was gobbled up by the Worldwide Leader. Very entertaining, if a tad rough.
It seems the two guys simply met while covering the Ashes in Australia and started making a video podcast which, not a few months later, was acquired by ESPN. It’s wild to think how all of that can happen so fast. I mean, I realize these guys are not superstars or anything, but it is, well, inspiring.
Oh, and one of the Chucks has another book coming out this summer. I am looking forward to it. I am judging a book by its cover here, but it looks like Hunter S Thompson is alive, well, and writing about the Ashes:
Now here is a topic to write about, now that we are nearly done: entire libraries have been filled with books about cricket. And as such I have been having a terrible time picking one to read, so I have read none of them. I think the above might be my first one. I also was intrigued by A Last English Summer. More than anything, I want to read about the county game, but I don’t want to slog through 500 pages of county history. I will figure something out. Or maybe I will write my own.
On the pitch: rain in Bridgetown, semi-finals in Pakistan (hey, ball by ball!), and a full slate of county games to follow.
(It is positively crazy that Cricinfo has ball by ball for Pakistani domestic t20, but not for English county games. It must be a copyright issue).
And two more things: the Future Tours Programme (PDF, big file) was ratified by the ICC yesterday. Loads of interesting things to talk about going forward (it is seriously crazy that the next decade of international cricket is for all intents and purposes already planned), but I will save that discussion for another day.
Quickly though, it looks like Pakistan is, interestingly enough, slated to host England next year, I am assuming that is going to be at a neutral venue though, unfortunately.
Why, unfortunately? Because for some reason I get a ton of clicks when I mention Faisalabad stadium.
It does look like international cricket will be returning to Pakistan soon, however, as Bangladesh are scheduled for a test series there in 2012.
Finally, it looks like there is going to be a World Test Playoff in England, in 2013. I think I am going to make a real effort to get there.