Black Caps Prepare To Fall On Their Own Sword…

1 11 2010

This is the schedule for New Zealand’s upcoming tour of India.

1st Test: India v New Zealand at Ahmedabad
Nov 4-8, 2010 (09:30 local, 04:00 GMT)
2nd Test: India v New Zealand at Hyderabad (Deccan)
Nov 12-16, 2010 (09:30 local, 04:00 GMT)
3rd Test: India v New Zealand at Nagpur
Nov 20-24, 2010 (09:30 local, 04:00 GMT)
1st ODI: India v New Zealand at Guwahati
Nov 28, 2010 (08:30 local, 03:00 GMT)
2nd ODI: India v New Zealand at Jaipur
Dec 1, 2010 (14:30 local, 09:00 GMT)

So what we hear you say! Well we’ll tell you so what… This is the ENTIRE schedule – i.e. no warm up games, no match practise – no preparation at all.

The Black Caps are coming off a 4-0 ODI thrashing against Bangladesh and haven’t played any first class cricket for some time. Their upcoming opponents are India – currently the number one side in the world and a side who recently disposed of Australia 2-0. According to many seasoned judges, cricket in the ‘land of the long white cloud’ is not in good shape and, due to the lack of results from the national team, is in danger of becoming a second rate sport in the country.

Clearly with all this in mind – as you do – the NZ cricket board have arranged a series with the BCCI that starts this Thursday after a total of zero warm up games. Going to India to play test cricket is never easy; forgoing any chance to acclimatise and get used to conditions is downright ridiculous. Quite frankly the NZ cricket executive (presumably Roger Mortimer) who ok’ed this decision should be shot.

Scheduling is a problem that most boards seem singularly ill equipped to deal with, going as they do for the dollar rather than giving the players and their needs due consideration. The BCCI, so often involved when we write pieces about the over crowding and general organisation of fixtures, have then arranged an away series against South Africa that apparently starts only 5 days after the New Zealand tour finishes – and its away. The cricketing world seems to be gripped in a collective madness that can only harm the game in the long term by alternately not helping the smaller nations such as New Zealand and causing a real sense of ennui to develop amongst cricket fans.

We’ve said it before and no doubt we’ll say it again – an international cricket match used to be an event, and importantly, an event between two well prepared teams. Not anymore – certainly not on the latter part but increasingly not even the former at all.

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