A mockery of cricket (2)

As earlier mentioned, all T20 matches between ICC members now have T20I status. This has led to highly one-sided results, though there have also been surprises such as the Thai women’s team winning against Sri Lanka.

We now come to the case of non-local players in a national team. Some teams such as the UAE have been doing this for years, But one should remember that more than 50% of UAE’s population are expatriates, many of whom are from cricket majors such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Oman and Hong Kong have followed a similar policy, as have other potential “major market” teams such as the USA and Canada. Some African teams such as Kenya have  Asian players whose families have lived there for generations, similar to the Kallicharans and Chanderpauls of the West Indies.

China, to its credit, has stuck to indigenous players in spite of suffering heavy losses.

Countries of the British Isles have (in recent years) been dependent on “imports” from various sources such as Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and South Asia. Admittedly, many of those from the “white Commonwealth” (such as Trott, Strauss, Pietersen and Caddick) are those whose families had migrated FROM Britain one or two generations ago.

And there are weird cases such as Andrew Symonds (born in Britain to West Indian parents, grew up in Britain, played for Australia). Another is Dimitri Mascarenhas (born in Britain to Sri Lankan parents, grew up in Australia and finally played for England).

And there are those of Asian origin such as current players Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and others from the recent past such as Ravi Bopara and Monty Panesar who have lived in Britain all their lives.

Dependence on foreign players (even if they are from former colonies) seems to be important in some major soccer teams, a good example being France. But there have been critics of this from within France, particularly when they won the World Cup in 1998 (when Zidane scored the first two goals in the final). Politicians such as Le Pen had nasty things to say then.

Now we come to the western European countries. Apart from the Netherlands, there is little tradition of cricket and most teams have to depend on imports (especially from South Asia, predominantly from Pakistan and now Afghanistan).

To prove this point, we look at the recent 3-match T20I series between Belgium and Germany. Belgium met its Waterloo, losing 3-0 in the matches played at (where else?) Waterloo.

You can see details of this series here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/scores/series/19254/germany-in-belgium-t20is-2019

Let us take the scorecard of any of the matches, say the second one:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19254/scorecard/1183921/belgium-vs-germany-2nd-t20i-germany-tour-of-belgium-2019

We can see that the German team has 10 of the 11 members clearly from South Asia, certainly from India and Pakistan and perhaps Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. There is one with an Anglo-Saxon name called Daniel Weston who was born and brought up in Australia (Perth) but NOT Germany. Presumably all are citizens or permanent residents of Germany, but what is it doing to popularize cricket among the average sports followers in Germany? Not much.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Weston

Now look at the Belgian team.

All 11 in the team appear to be of Pakistani or Afghan origin. (Possibly some are from India, but I doubt it). And both Germany and Belgium do NOT have a tradition of immigration from South Asia as Britain has.

What good is this doing to develop European cricket if the match between Germany and Belgium includes 21 South Asians and one Aussie? Particularly when practically all of these players would be unlikely to make any decent team in their own country?

And the German and Belgian sports fans would stick to watching their soccer, hockey or tennis players rather than cricket.

Tail piece: In the 3rd T20I Weston did not play so  the match could well be described as German South Asians vs Belgian South Asians.

 

IPL 2019 at the three-quarter mark

On Apr 24, the 42nd match was played which brings us to the three-quarter stage of the league matches. The story so far:

IPL 2019 after 42 matches

We look back at the final tables of the past 3 tournaments. Note that each team plays 14 matches.

2018: In descending order 18,18, 16,14,12

2017: 20,18,17,16,14

2016: 18,16,16,16,14

Conclusion: To qualify for the semis, you need 16 points (or 8 victories) to be assured of a place. If you are very lucky (as RR was in 2018) 14 points maybe enough to scrape through.

Now see what your favorite team needs to qualify.

It appears that the top 4 teams above are the ones which will go into the last 4. After that it is a lottery.

 

IPL 2019 at the halfway mark

On April 13, the 27th and 28th matches were played which brings us to the halfway stage of the league matches. The story so far:

IPL after 28 matches

We look back at the final tables of the past 3 tournaments. Note that each team plays 14 matches.

2018: In descending order 18,18, 16,14,12

2017: 20,18,17,16,14

2016: 18,16,16,16,14

Conclusion: To qualify for the semis, you need 16 points (or 8 victories) to be assured of a place. If you are very lucky (as in 2018) 14 points maybe enough to scrape through.

Now see what your favorite team needs to qualify.

The fine art of minnow-bashing

The term “minnow-bashing” was often heard in World Cup cricket matches where the non-regular teams often came to grief against the major teams.

Now the women’s T20I teams of India and Pakistan have shown that they are better at minnow-bashing than their male counterparts. The occasions came in the course of  the ongoing Asia Cup which is a T20I tournament in Malaysia. As we will see, the Malaysian team have been very gracious hosts.

The 6 participating teams are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. As the last 2 are not regular teams, their matches are not counted in women’s T20I records.

India started the process by dismissing Malaysia for 27 and thus winning by 142 runs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1148042/scorecard/1148048/malaysia-women-vs-india-women-1st-match-womens-twenty20-asia-cup-2018/

Pakistan did almost as well, dismissing the hosts for 30 and winning by 147 runs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1148042/scorecard/1148058/malaysia-women-vs-pakistan-women-11th-match-womens-twenty20-asia-cup-2018/

Thailand has also done quite badly, without ever crossing 100. But they did beat Malaysia by 9 wickets:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1148042/scorecard/1148055/malaysia-women-vs-thailand-women-8th-match-womens-twenty20-asia-cup-2018/

The league matches continue on June 9, which features Ind v Pak, SL v Th and BD vs Ma.

The final on June 10 will probably be between India and Pakistan.

No 2 always tries harder (IPL)

Comparing the league table position with the final result of IPL from 2015 to 2018:

2015: The winner MI had come second in the league

2016: The winner RCB had come second in the league

2017: The winner MI had come first in the league

2018: The winner CSK had come second in the league

Reminds one of the famous advertising slogan of Avis which ran for a few decades:

https://othmarstrombone.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/we-are-number-two-but-we-try-harder-the-underdog-narrative-of-progressivism/

and

http://www.adwomen.org/2012/05/we-try-harder-technology-vs-ideals/avis2/

 

IPL 2018-Looking forward to the playoffs

First the 2018 league table:

IPL League Table 2018

And the corresponding tables of 2015, 2016 and 2017 (in that order):

2015 IPL League2016 IPL league table2017 IPL League table

Note that the 2018 table shows a slight departure from the past. From 2015 to 2017, 16 points was a clear demarcator for qualifying for the playoff rounds. In 2018 RR has qualified with 14 points.

Does the position in the league table give a clear indication of the final winner?

In 2015: Winner MI (2nd in league), runners-up CSK (1st)

In 2016: Winner RCB (2nd), runners-up SRH (3rd)

In 2017: Winner MI (1st), runners-up RPS (2nd)

We see that in recent history the 2nd-ranked team in the league has slightly better chances – so CSK can be said to be the favourite (if one is superstitious).