My Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘CLT20

MPL (Mumbai Premier League) is the latest addition to the ever growing T20 leagues in India. This one is being launched by the Mumbai cricket association (MCA) to cash in on the popularity of the T20 format and the success of IPL. The worst part is that this league is supposed to follow the IPL next year and Sachin Tendulkar is expected to play in this league. Since this league is organized by the MCA even Rohit and Zaheer would be expected to play in the league as well.

We already have IPL, CLT20 and a corporate T20 league which hogs our calendar and most of the Indian national cricketers play in them. We all know what excessive cricket can do to a player … Ishant is a fine example. We are just a year and a half away from the 2011 WC and India does not even have a settled pool of players decided yet.

If every other state decides to have such a league then the players would not have time to play for the country. India is trying to become the best side in the world and unfortunately the biggest hindrance for that is coming from the home board. It seems like BCCI does not care how the team performs; instead they are more worried about the players being available for the IPL.

It seems very funny when the players complain about overdose of cricket as they are the ones signing up to play in the various leagues around the world. Including the Australian T20 league, which is already in place, there are going to be at least three leagues every year where international players will be participating apart from the International games which absolutely doesn’t leave them with any rest.

If the Indian team aspires to be the best in the world, the players have to stop appearing in every league they are invited to play in. The players have to pick and choose the leagues they would be representing so that they are fit and available when the National team requires them. MCA has set yet another bad precedent in India and I hope that the rest of the state boards don’t follow suit.

Dhoni - During his hundred against the Aussies
Recently there have been calls in the media to scrap the 50 over format to accommodate the rising number of T20’s played around the world. There have been various theories like reducing the number of overs to 40, playing ODI in a two inning format etc. ODI cricket has been around for a long time now and definitely needs an overhaul but I guess it still has a place in the hearts of a cricket lover.

ECB recently scrapped their domestic 50 over tournament and replaced the same with a 40 over version. We did see in the media recently where the ECB has suggested the same to the ICC. We cannot fault the ECB for doing so as their National team has been pretty poor in the 50 over version. I hope that the ICC dont follow that route.

One thing I have to agree is that there is too much of ODI cricket played these days adding up to the numerous T20 leagues going around. This is where ICC needs to step up and do something about the ever growing T20 leagues. Having IPLT20 and CLT20 in the same year is ridiculous. Now since Australia is starting their own T20 league which might leave players no time to play International cricket, it’s the right time for ICC to step in. They should bring some sort of a regulation which would reduce the number of ODI’s and T20’s played in a year to sustain interest among the fans. I am not sure why the Test championship is not taking wings as it is an interesting concept. It will for sure induct lots of interest among the viewers for the oldest format of the game.

The 50 over format provides a great variation to the fans from the bang bash T20 format. The teams are allowed to strategize, plan and execute over a 50 over format. Even though IPL and CLT20 have become so successful in India, people still love the ODI’s. ODI matches in India still play to packed houses. The major problem though which needs to be addressed immediately is the player burnout.

Too many ODI’s are played these days and most of them are meaningless. A 7 match ODI series is a tad too long I feel. I guess a bilateral ODI series should be limited to no more than 5 games. The champions Trophy and ODI world cup need to be the premier multinational events. Limit the amount of other tri series which are played around the world other than the above two major events.

ICC also has to work towards reducing the number of T20 leagues which are going around these days. The ODI cricket format itself needs an overhaul to make it more interesting and reducing the number of overs isn’t the way to go. The 2 innings format is something which the ICC can look into. They have tried couple of innovations in the past which haven’t worked like the “Super-sub”. More thought needs to be put in towards that line.

ODI cricket has a rich history and has been around for a long time. ODI World Cup still remains a special event for every cricketer around the world. Test cricket as every International player would agree is the pinnacle of cricket and will remain for a long time to come. The format which needs preservation is the ODI. Players still prefer this format over T20 any day. The advent of T20 has cast some doubts over the future of this format but with some innovations, the 50 over format can hang on. Reduce the number of games played around at the moment and make some changes to the existing format and we might have a winning formula. The short and sweet Champions Trophy breathed some life into ODI’s and we hope that the ICC can learn something from this. I am a fan of 50 over format and would not want to see it die.

India Red captain badrinath with the challenger Trophy

India Red captain badrinath with the challenger Trophy

The challenger trophy featuring three teams comprising of the best talents from the Indian domestic scene ended in Nagpur over the weekend. India Red beat India Blue to claim the Challenger Trophy. The challenger trophy, once the primary competition to showcase the talent of best players from the Indian domestic scene in the limited overs version was totally overshadowed by the CLT20. I am not even sure if any selectors or the viewers expressed any interest on this year’s tournament.

I don’t understand the logic of having both the competitions at the same time when the BCCI knows that India is due to play Australia in an ODI series. As MS Dhoni himself does not consider T20 as a yardstick for ODI selections, the BCCI could have had the probable Indian players to participate in the Challenger series instead of the CLT20. It would have been better if Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and others had played in the challengers rather than the bang bash CLT20.

Since challengers Trophy is a short tournament, the players could have been back for the second round if their respective IPL teams had qualified for the same. Anyways that aside, the tournament itself was interesting. There were lots of youngsters in view and few of them impressed with their performances. India Red was amazingly the strongest of the three teams this year as traditionally India blue used to be the better side comprising of the current Indian players. But unfortunately the Indian seniors were either injured or were playing in the CLT20.

Batting was not that easy in the challenger trophy except for one game in which the India blue scored 350. The batting in the tournament threw some new names like Abhinav Mukund and some known names like Shikar Dhawan, M Vijay, Badrinath, Aniruddha S etc. It was great to see players like M Vijay and Shikar Dhawan playing well as they are considered to be the future of Indian batting. M Vijay especially showed that he can bat in the shorter format of the game too. Tamil Nadu all rounder Ravichandran Aswin also impressed with his bowling in the competition. He was very economical in all the games and also picked some crucial wickets but did not receive too many chances to display his batting capabilities.

He could be an option for the Indians in the upcoming series against the Aussies. It was baffling to see that Pujara never got a game in spite of him being in fray for the selection for the past year or so. He seems to be scoring heavily in the domestic cricket but doesn’t seem to be in the mind of the selectors. The bowling was the strong point for India Red with Munaf and Tyagi being the chief contributors. Munaf was excellent in the series along with Tyagi but Ishant was once again disappointing. Ishant picked up wickets but was very expensive throughout the series. I think that he needs a break from cricket to get back his pace and accuracy. Getting bashed around in every single game cannot do any good for his confidence. Munaf has been bowling pretty well in the recent times and Tyagi even though started badly finished very well in the last couple of games.

It was a good tournament and threw some interesting names for the selectors to look at when they sit down for team selection on the 15th of this month. I am hoping to see some new names in the squad for the upcoming series against the Aussies.15 or 16 selected for the first few games but we have to wait and see.

Sehwag will be playing for Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming CLT20 (Pic Courtesy Cricinfo)

Sehwag will be playing for Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming CLT20 (Pic Courtesy Cricinfo)

The CLT20 starts in few days and no one is excited about the same. India’s early exit from the CT has barely evaporated our minds and we have this meaningless tournament from BCCI. CLT20 is money making venture from BCCI to cash in on the success of IPL. It has domestic teams from other countries too but I can care less as to whom they are. Deccan Chargers (IPL Champions), Delhi Daredevils and Bangalore Royal challengers will participate from the IPL in this event which is set to begin in few days time.

India’s exit from the CT and also the World T20 has left people questioning their rankings and I hope that the players take this time to work on their weakness. India is going to take on the Aussies at the end of this month and this extravagant circus cannot be an ideal preparation. I am happy that Ishant and Bajji aren’t a part of this. I would have been happy if the Indian players hit the nets and practice harder on developing their skills rather than participate in this meaningless tournament.

No matter what Amit Mishra says, the Indian bowling has been a disappointment over the past year and Dhoni was right to criticize the same. No matter how good your batting is, you cannot expect them to score 300 every time they walk out to bat. Ishant Sharma has lost his pace and seems pedestrian and so does RP Singh. It seemed as though the Indian bowlers are just going through the motions thinking that the batsmen would dig them out of the hole as they have done often in the past. When that does not happen, the Indian bowling gets shown pretty badly.

Bowlers have to be rotated especially in a busy season like this. We cannot keep going back to the same bowlers again and again. If RP was injured, he should have played domestic cricket to prove himself before making a comeback into the Indian team. He looked pretty listless in the CT. The selectors have to get Sreesanth back into the team and have to try out Sudeep Tyagi in the X1 against the Aussies. It seems like Munaf also looked good in the recently concluded Irani Cup game. If kick on the backside is something what the Indian bowlers are looking for then the selectors have to give it to them. It has been proven in the past that the Indian bowlers start well but within their first year lose their effectiveness.

Does money and adulation play a part? Yes it does. Ishant Sharma gets paid $950000 to play 40 days of cricket in the IPL, so why will he work on his fitness and improve? If getting bashed around for 40 days can earn you that much why work on your bowling and improve? It seems like only the players who want to make a comeback to the Indian team take even IPL seriously. India has a long season ahead of them and just a year and a half away from the WC. I hope that the selectors take the hint from the captain and blood some youngsters in the team.

Dhoni’s comment of IPL not being the gauge to pick players for the longer format is not far from the truth. Yusuf has proved the same over the past year. India needs to do something with their bowling otherwise they will be left behind in the race. I hope that India becomes the number 1 team in both the formats but for that to happen, we need a good bowling attack. Sudeep Tyagi, Sreesanth, Ishant, RP, Nehra, Munaf, Zaheer, Mishra, chawla and Bajji are the bowlers for India for coming few years and we have to identify the right combination by rotating them often.


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