Improving the domestic system

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secretzimbo
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Improving the domestic system

Post by secretzimbo »

secretzimbo wrote:
Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:36 am
TapsC2 wrote:
Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:17 am
secretzimbo wrote:
Thu Jan 27, 2022 7:59 am


Apart from maybe attracting a few more Overseas, how can we go about making it much more competitive, in the short term, without spending too much money?
They need to make the money available. Instead of hosting 2 token test matches a year we might be better off ditching that format and using that money to make sure domestic players earn a decent wage.

If they do go back to getting 9 million from the ICC then I actually think the money is there. Especially if they did clear the legacy debt like they say they did.

Let's put it this way. Let's say those domestic players are on $300 and that each team has 15 contracted players. That's 75 guys. $22500/ month. Almost how much they were paying their premium player. BT retiring can literally double the wages to $600. Put a maximum salary cap for admin to 5k and cut a test match which they claim costs 500k. Maybe cut 1 franchise to make them 4 and you can get players earning betweem $1500 and $2000. Competition for places gets stiff with that kind of money on offer. The quality increases.

That's all it takes. The money is there. We want a Matigimu, Welch or Murray to come home and be fine with playing just domestic cricket. It it possible. It needs leadership. The problem is $300 is probably the base salary for the majority of the population so they think its ok. Its not.
Yeah they are receiving the full amount from the ICC again already.

The problem is that the franchises have way more than 15 contracted players. They have in some cases, e.g. Eagles, about 25 players on contracts, and yet a lot of them never play a match or play 1 or 2 matches per season. So that's quite a bit of wasted money.

Money obviously is an issue. Also interested to hear what non-monetary ideas people have for improving domestic quality. Around selections, pitches, formats, schedules, etc. Probably a whole separate thread really!
Probably better to start a new thread or else people will complain we are off topic again.

Let's hear realistic ideas on how to improve the domestic game. So without spending fortunes or overthrowing the board etc.

TapsC2
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by TapsC2 »

I think foreign players coming for some fun in the sun is the first step. So it's a good thing that we are seeing new names because they also test our national team players. Hopefully we can get some fast bowlers coming for a few weeks. So it's key ZC can stick to a schedule. I know COVID has complicated it this season but hopefully next season we don't have the same issues

Having a couple of county teams tour as well will really show us who in our domestic system is up for it or not. Dave Houghton is key in all the mentioned plans so far.

I have always believed Namibia being involved would be good for both of us. A Namibia select would be nice but I think they already play in SA so they won't do a long term commitment. What COVID has shown us is that we can complete the limited overs stuff in a few weeks. Adding Namibia to a week long T20 competition or 3 week List A competition is possible and I don't think it would be too expensive.

The rising stars idea was good and ZC sponsored it before so I think they are capable of doing it again. Maybe in SA might be cheaper but a pathway is definitely needed. I also believe a scholarship system for the very brightest talents can be worked with ZC and CSA. I don't think that would cost a fortune. The rugby boys are registering a development team in SA this year for the Currie Cup. They don't have ZC money so it's possible. They will probably lose all their matches but they will learn. If cricket can do that the guys coming back would really improve the system.

If you saying some teams have 25 players then cutting down a franchise team might do damage but I believe we are 1 franchise too many from a quality perspective.

My main idea is for us to develop an identity. I believe green pitches and fast bowling is the way to go. So I believe the pitches should cater for that. We are playing Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh most of the time. You can never outspin them. Fast bowling is the way to go.

Half our guys are absolutely hopeless against spin. Look at Kaitano. He looks so comfortable against any pace but can't face spin at all. Imagine what Afghanistan will do to him. How many potential world class spinners do we currently have coming up? Even history tells us that besides Ray Price most of the Zim bowlers the average cricket fan can name are pace bowlers. Let's curate pace friendly pitches and let our guys learn from that. Over time they will improve.

secretzimbo
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by secretzimbo »

TapsC2 wrote:
Thu Jan 27, 2022 9:32 am
I think foreign players coming for some fun in the sun is the first step. So it's a good thing that we are seeing new names because they also test our national team players. Hopefully we can get some fast bowlers coming for a few weeks. So it's key ZC can stick to a schedule. I know COVID has complicated it this season but hopefully next season we don't have the same issues
Yeah genuine quicks would be good but I suspect counties are much more concerned about fitness and injuries to pace bowlers than they are for batsmen. That's why our overseas are always batters unfortunately.

I have always believed Namibia being involved would be good for both of us. A Namibia select would be nice but I think they already play in SA so they won't do a long term commitment. What COVID has shown us is that we can complete the limited overs stuff in a few weeks. Adding Namibia to a week long T20 competition or 3 week List A competition is possible and I don't think it would be too expensive.
The problem again is cost. Effectively if you go down this route you are flying in an entire squad of players plus coaches and staff....up to 20 people. And accommodating them, feeding them and paying them all for however long they are here. Remember Namibia as an associate get a minuscule fraction of the funding we get, so I doubt they can afford it. The problem for ZC is, if they pay for it, they are effectively funding the development of another country, whereas that money arguably should be spent on Zimbabwe.

The Namibians are an easy get though. I don't think it's financially possible to include them as a whole team, but we definitely should have a few of their best here playing within the existing franchises as Overseas players. We should invite them.

My main idea is for us to develop an identity. I believe green pitches and fast bowling is the way to go. So I believe the pitches should cater for that. We are playing Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh most of the time. You can never outspin them. Fast bowling is the way to go.

Half our guys are absolutely hopeless against spin. Look at Kaitano. He looks so comfortable against any pace but can't face spin at all. Imagine what Afghanistan will do to him. How many potential world class spinners do we currently have coming up? Even history tells us that besides Ray Price most of the Zim bowlers the average cricket fan can name are pace bowlers. Let's curate pace friendly pitches and let our guys learn from that. Over time they will improve.
Yeah I would agree with this. I guess the immediate problem is the pitch curators and groundsmen, and do they have the requisite knowledge/training and equipment to consistently produce those style of pitches? HSC and OH pitches are done by ZC groundsmen so in theory they should. If we go back to playing at the out-grounds then it will be hard to produce anything specific as a lot of the ground-staff there are just random blokes and club cricketers with a 40-year old mower and a roller.

Pace is definitely the way to go though.

secretzimbo
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by secretzimbo »

For me, there are some relatively easy or cheap things we could do:

- Overseas Players. There should be two in every XI in every game. If this means sometimes they are guys from Namibia/Uganda/Kenya/Botswana/literally anywhere on short 1 or 2 game deals to fill any gaps then so be it. And then when available, preferably County players. There is a huge market for this: Several Zimbos are here anyway at this time of year. County players don't like spending six months training indoors. African players would jump at a chance of playing in a first-class setup. Irish/Dutch/Scottish national players have literally nothing to do in their winter. There should always be two in every single Franchise XI. They don't cost much. It's just a case of organising it.

- Squads. Squad sizes should be capped at a maximum of 16 contracted local players per season. A few of the franchise squads are too big. The cuts should allow the remaining contracts to have a slight pay increase. Anyone outside of the 16 who gets a game for whatever reason should see it as an audition, not an easy paycheck. But 16 + 2 overseas should be more than enough. This equates to 80 local players across the five franchises. That is a very big number still - there should be a requirement that each franchise should have a minimum number of Under 23's in their local 16. Perhaps a minimum of 4.

2 X Overseas
4 x Local U23's
12 X Local Players.

Also this system makes it clear that by 23 you've got to have been able to impress by now, kick on and earn one of the more hotly contested over-23 contracts. At 23, unless you are a hot prospect, a national team player, or a really consummate pro with decent stats who is contributing on and off the field to the franchise, then sorry but it's time to go and try something else.

- Formats. It's nice that we are playing a lot of Logan Cup games this season, and I think players do improve and develop a lot from playing 4-day games. However the cost of this is really high. If we are only playing 1 or 2 Tests per year, is this quantity of domestic red ball cricket a luxury, rather than a necessity? By contrast this season we have 1 week of Domestic T20 scheduled....in a T20WC qualifier year!!! We need to play a huge amount more in the shortest format. There has been talk of having the NPL as a T20 Winter League. That might be nice. But the franchises need to play more too. If you want to have it in quick one-week bursts, then just have two or three T20 tournaments per season instead of one. Maybe one right at the beginning of the season, one over Christmas, and one right at the end. Spring T20, Christmas T20, Autumn T20 or whatever. Then have the Logan fixtures in the windows between.

- Zimbabwe Red & Green. This would be the biggest thing I introduce. basically Northerns/Southerns but without the inaccurate names. I'd introduce an annual season-ending series between two Select XI's - Zim Red and Zim Green. This is the bridge between franchise and international cricket. We take the best 26 local players of the season, divide them up and play a big season ending series, maybe across formats (Something like the Women's Ashes - with points for each match/format?), market this as the showpiece event, try and broadcast it properly if possible online - could attract sponsorship. With the right effort, marketing and media it could grow big if done every year for a few years. Make it a real event.
Have guys proving they can perform against attacks consisting solely of Ngarava/Blessing/Chatara etc rather than just the weekly Logan attacks of Chimhamhiwa/Nyumbu/Ziwira.
Oh and the selections should be based purely on the domestic season. If you haven't performed, you aren't getting picked in this season ending series, no matter who you are. This should motivate guys to put some effort in for their franchises.



Interesting to hear your thoughts.

ZIMDOGGY
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by ZIMDOGGY »

A few mention the rising stars but I am not a fan.

We may or may not have the quality for that extra RS team but moreso I don’t think they learn that much as they are still the same kids playing alongside each other.
The kids need to be dispersed in existing teams so they can rub shoulders with and train alongside our best like Ervine, Raza, Williams and John Nyumbu.
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Googly
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by Googly »

Here's the first chance at sponsorship.
The Nyaradzo Vultures.
The big boss gets to choose his coach and I help choose the team. Nobody over 23.

BostonZimbo
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by BostonZimbo »

I think the big thing will be getting the UK based zimbos back for a bit of fun in the sun during the winter. There's a handful of zimbos sitting on county contracts with slim chances of ever making England squads, they could certainly improve the standard over here. Curran, Welch, Snater, Compton and now Gubbins have all come over in recent years and then there's guys like Schadendorf, Melton, Gilchrist and possibly now Ballance who could definitely head over for the winter. Also unless Gubbins has some connections to Zim he's just a random Brit who's come over for a few weeks so there's no saying that others won't follow suit

Googly
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by Googly »

This is where there's a proper opportunity for reciprocity.
ZC need to get some kind of deal going with ECB where they offer 10 slots here for 10 county Two's slots in their summer.

Googly
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by Googly »

That would just be such an opportunity for 10 up and coming cricketers from here to go and play multiple games against good opposition in tough conditions. We'd struggle to find 10 good guys that would cope, we'd get away with 5 bowlers and 5 batters. We could find 5 batters.
Giving away 2 slots per team here is a lot but would be so worth it.

ZIMDOGGY
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Re: Improving the domestic system

Post by ZIMDOGGY »

Target the right kinda player and it’ll be worth it.
The ex zimbos can build a reconnection.
Get competent county players with international experience (like Compton) to pass on standards and you could even get the cream of the crop up amd coming county seconds player who would probably come for next to nothing. There’s enough to work with.
Like Googly said, you only need ten and half of those could be diaspora Zimbabweans chilling with their fam and snorting likes with their teammates over summer.
Cricinfo profile of the 'James Bond' of cricket:

FULL NAME: Angus James Mackay
BORN: 13 June 1967, Harare
KNOWN AS: Gus Mackay

'The' Gus Mackay.

Hero.
Sportsman.
Artist.
Player.

**
Q. VUSI SIBANDA, WHERE DO YOU HOP?

A. UNDA DA ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE*

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