More Cricket Anyone?

11 01 2010

Just when you think there cannot be any more cricket packed into the international cricket calendar, the ECB announce that England are due to play Pakistan in two 20/20’s in the UAE during February. Following this trip England will then fly to Bangladesh to take part in a test and one day series there.

Unusually, the ECB had shown common sense and empathy for the players in the original scheduling. There was to be almost 6 weeks at home for the players to rest and see their families in between the South Africa tour ending and flying out for the Bangladesh trip. With this new announcement, this has been cut to under 4 weeks as the clarion call for more gate receipts was heeded. From a playing point of view any benefits will be negligible although the match scheduled between England Lions and the full England team should be interesting.

For the full schedule go here.

Coinciding with the senior England tour, the England Lions team are also due to be playing a series against their Pakistani counterparts, Pakistan A. This trip comprising 5 20/20’s and 3 ODI’s is to be captained by Andrew Gale of Yorkshire and overlaps the senior parties trip to Bangladesh. Notable within the Lions squad is the selection of Ian Bell as no mention has been made with regard to the Bangladesh trip. James Tredwell of Kent has been selected for the Lions squad yet it has been highlighted that he will travel to join the full squad in Bangladesh after the first four games.

Look out for the performances of James Taylor from Leicestershire and Craig Kieswetter as both are highly rated and promise a big future in England colours.

On a more general note regarding scheduling of matches the ICC and national cricket boards have to take action soon. Cricket used to be a game with definite seasons and competitions that mean something. With the constant pursuit of dollar signs the cricketing public has been subjected to increasingly pointless tournaments and series. The England Australia 7 match series in September was a classic example of this – after all, who really cared? Attendances are down, interest is down but yet more matches are scheduled. The boards responsible (notably the sub continental teams although all are guilty) need to take a step back and realise that that old cliche ‘less is more’ holds true in cricket too.

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