Thursday, May 11

on a bad length

I find the ICC ruling on pitch standards a trifle worrying. It could well turn out to be just a measure to ensure that sub standard, one-sided or pitches that are plain dangerous aren’t found anymore (which is what its purpose should be).

According to the ICC's parameters, the perfect pitch for Test cricket should
have "good carry, limited seam movement and consistent bounce throughout, little
or no turn on the first two days but natural wear sufficient to be responsive to
spin later in the game."

It’s the way it is worded that puts me off a bit; it defines how a ‘good’ pitch should be. In my mind, the ICC need only define what is a not good pitch. As long as a strip meets those conditions, there should be no further interference. A good pitch in cricket can mean many different things and I just hope the ICC has the purpose of this pitch ‘standardisation’ sorted out clearly. Next thing you know they’ll want standardise the cloud cover.

In other irritations, this overdose of cricket is becoming truly maddening. A glance at the ICC’s FTP for the next six years, and you’ll see a liberal dosage of 7 match ODI series- especially involving India. Some of the statistics regarding free days/weeks and playing days in a year are startling. I can see the most ardent fan just tiring of endless, relatively meaningless matches.

And what do they do in the midst of this debate? They issue a curt gag on the Indian vice-captain. Bah!


drsundeep said...

Hi shakester!
Gone are the days when you used to eagerly look forward to cricket matches, which used to be for a limited period every year. I remember waiting for months together for the 1983 India's tour to windies, followed by the Prudential WC in England. I also remember seting my alarm to wake up at 5 am to watch the matches in the Benson & Hedges mini WC in 1985. There used to be a proper cricketing season those days which was from october to may. Nowadays you find cricket 24x7 which is ultimately killing its excitement, hence you find twenty-twenty format etc. I feel cricketers have every right to complain about overdose. Its rather hypocritical that Javagal Srinath is "advising" our boys not to bother about overdose, that its your duty to turn in.......blah, blah! If I remember right he used to miss so many ODIs simply in order to play test matches! He was in fact pulled out of semi retirement to play the WC in Proteas!

Nanda Kishore said...

In my mind, the ICC need only define what is a not good pitch.

Excellent point, AKR! There's a lot of misguided energy in the ICC...the best thing they can do is not do anything, the way they're going.

shakester said...

dr sundeep- welcome here. I know what you mean. And sometimes I get a bit put off by the ex-players pretending (or believing?) that excessive cricket is an illusion

NK- thanks. I am surprised it has not found any dissenting voices though, this move. Admittedly, i am a bit out of the loop in the web world and blog world, but i dont think there has been much comment on it?

Salil said...

Mon dieu! Another cricket aficionado like this in Singapore - thought I was alone for a while.

Meanwhile, there's no definition for a *good* pitch that everyone can agree upon. Either there's too little in it for spinners, or too little for the seamers, or the batsmen are at a disadvantage, etc. The ICC should realise though that a lot of the beauty of the game comes from the variety - slower seaming wickets in New Zealand and England, quicker tracks in South Africa, dry turners in Asia, etc. It takes a certain level of skill for a bowler or batsman to perform in all those conditions, and it's that which puts people like Tendulkar, Marshall, McGrath and Waugh at another level. Make all pitches the same with the ICC's template, and that factor of players adapting goes right out.

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Manish Kumar Pandey said...

certainly yes... world cup cricket in west indies should be a better one to start one..

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Anand Ramachandran said...

Well said. And, if a sub 150 wicket is deemed unfit for cricket, then why is a 350-plus wicket not similarly censured? Batsman's game my ass - I want to see a fair contest. That's what makes for good cricket.

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