Do we really matter?

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zimbos_05
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Do we really matter?

Post by zimbos_05 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:01 am

Was having a chat with a mate today and he made a point which got me thinking, do we matter?

As a cricketing nation, Zim was once quite strong, on the up and looking like they would become a regular contender. Now we are nowhere near that.

The big nations don't really want to visit us for tours and they don't really want to host us either. We have no grassroots structure or development programme. We have an incompetent board that no one hold accountable. We have wasted money, squandered talent. Friends only look out for friends, and we have deep unjustified racial issues that refuse to never go away. Talent and quality are not rewarded, but rather who you know and are you willing to sell out everyone else. Our players are only able to get gigs in leagues not exactly lighting up the world stage but also because those leagues don't really have the money muscle to get in much bigger players. We can't even get a look in in the BBL, yet players from Afghanistan, Nepal and even PNG have had players in the set up. The sad thing about the BBL or even SA leagues is that we do not really have any cricket on to have an excuse to not be involved in these leagues.

I'm highlighting BBL for example, but also because I am in Aus and this was something that came up in our chat today. Zim players were not playing during the whole comp. Players of international standard were sitting on the sidelines. BBL sides were happier to sign up untested players from Afghanistan even if only for a 3 game stint than get a player who would be available for the whole comp. Quality spinners do well in the BBL, so why maybe is Cremer not considered, or even Raza who would provide the batting skills as well.

Beyond that, we went a whole summer without an International game. Everyone in the southern hemisphere was playing series. They were playing at least 2 series, and sometimes more. Zim couldn't even get 1. Are sides just no longer interested in touring Zim? Are we not of the standard they need? Perhaps they look at us and see us as inferior. Money is obviously a big issue, but a lot of teams will make something work if it means they can get meaningful cricket particularly in a world cup year.

The ICC have for a long time also known how incompetent the ZC board has been, yet they have never done any serious intervention to get things changed for the better. Zim cricket had to suffer a self imposed test exile and since their return, they have not really been regulars or shown any real progression. Odd glimpses, yes, but consistent progression and winning is the name of the game. So do the ICC really care? Or are we their 'jobbers' if you were. The side that they use to let the lower teams play against and get better. Improve their game. There is no doubt that Afghanistan, Ireland and even the likes of Scotland and UAE are looking at us and thinking that we are whipping boys and they can overtake us in the rankings. So do the ICC keep propping us up to build a narrative that they give the smaller teams a chance against a test nation and when these teams do well they can turn around and say that the sport is growing and that the smaller teams are getting better.

Within Zim, nothing is of note. No grassroots. No genuine structure. No serious ideas or any idea about the national team. No administration that genuinely cares for the team, the players, the fans, and the game. We just need to look across the border to see how having all of these in place and well run leads to success. SA has it's problems too with race, but they have produced genuine world class non white players because they have a grassroots programme. They have a proper development structure. They have a functioning domestic league. They have an administration that puts money in to the game rather than their pockets. On a side note, I'm no stranger to how Africa works, so they may be taking money in CSA but they are obviously not doing it the way ZC does. And in saying that, SA wants nothing to do with us. The last time they played us in a test, they were reluctant to do so and even asked that the test be reduced in days because they were that confident they would beat us and because they did not want their players to be overworked in a game which was not as meaningful. They were right. They smashed us and made us look silly.


So do we really matter? Outside of the hardcore fans such as us, do we really matter? Perhaps we should just accept that the glory days will never ever return and we are destined to a fate similar to Kenya. Lost to the wilderness and never to be talked or cared about again?

Googly
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by Googly » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:37 am

Heartfelt article, must have hurt to pen that, certainly hurt to read it.

Googly
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by Googly » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:51 am

I’d have to disagree with your summation of SA cricket. Their policies are so biased that they’ve broken the back of their system, but they don’t know it yet. They’ve certainly produced a couple of world class black bowlers, but that elusive Lara is but a wet dream. Their age group cricket looks like their racist policies are working because they have the numbers, but it’s just a veneer over the massive irreparable cracks.
They cannot even find a world class all-rounder for the first time in their history. Watch when Steyn and Amla retire after the WC, and there may be at least one other retirement. Of course they won’t sink to our levels because of their numbers and infrastructure, but that’s all. I’ve seen some monumentally talented white boys passed over and just throw in the towel. You reap what you sow...always, without exception!

sloandog
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by sloandog » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:45 pm

Googly wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:51 am
I’d have to disagree with your summation of SA cricket. Their policies are so biased that they’ve broken the back of their system, but they don’t know it yet. They’ve certainly produced a couple of world class black bowlers, but that elusive Lara is but a wet dream. Their age group cricket looks like their racist policies are working because they have the numbers, but it’s just a veneer over the massive irreparable cracks.
They cannot even find a world class all-rounder for the first time in their history. Watch when Steyn and Amla retire after the WC, and there may be at least one other retirement. Of course they won’t sink to our levels because of their numbers and infrastructure, but that’s all. I’ve seen some monumentally talented white boys passed over and just throw in the towel. You reap what you sow...always, without exception!
I think we'll see a couple of retirements as you rightfully said, googly. Steyn I doubt will retire though. He's had about 4 interviews these past 12 months or so about how he feels young and energised again; i reckon he'll be here for a while yet.
The guys I see retiring are Du Plessis and Amla, certainly from either ODI cricket or test cricket. Amla must be feeling the pinch, and Faf I just have this gut feeling he'll use this as a final hoorah.

However I think the system is still producing some very talented batters, and all rounders clearly. Muelder I see being a real bright spot over the course of the coming 2 years; Kallis took forever to kick off at the bginning of his carreer in the mid 90's.
Hamza and Malan are two others to really keep an eye on, coupled with the top order quality of Aiden Markram.
Ngidi, Nortje, Rabada and Olivier are going to carry the pace front for some time. I don't think their cricket on the edge of that cliff just yet, although their depth in batting has been tested this summer.
When in doubt, listen to Oasis chaps....

Googly
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by Googly » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:52 pm

I was reading about the abysmal turnout to watch the Super 15 (or whatever it’s now called) and the cricket and the locals were speculating as to the reasons. Only a few were prepared to say it as it is- their quota system, their absolutely savage, state sponsored blitzkreig on the farmers and their collapsed gov structures is driving the whites out in their droves, and the outlook for their country is much the same as ours. It’s not dissimilar to a dog chasing a car, they have no idea what to do with it once it’s caught. Those old inter-club and inter-provincial rivalries have been systematically dismantled, there are virtually no pathways for white players and the reallly good kids with outside options have no choice but to go.
Nobody thought it would happen in SA- I’ve had so many arguments with South Africans who say- we’re too big, too rich, it can’t happen to us. But it is happening and it’s in fast forward for all to see.

As far as our cricket is concerned-
I think much depends on what countries like Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland receive from the ICC compared to us. Their largesse towards us seems to not be dependent upon us playing cricket, which is utterly bizarre. The pressure is going to come from these other countries who are making progress and yet receive less than us. ICC money has to be finite and the question is will they increase the money to those countries at our expense? They’ve put us on notice a few times now and we’re not heeding their warnings.

foreignfield
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by foreignfield » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:34 pm

Googly wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:52 pm
As far as our cricket is concerned-
I think much depends on what countries like Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland receive from the ICC compared to us. Their largesse towards us seems to not be dependent upon us playing cricket, which is utterly bizarre.
I'm not sure it's bizarre when you think about in which way Zim cricket really matters to the ICC (ignoring politics and votes): The ICC clearly doesn't want us to fold completely, not necessarily because they are so fond of Zim and concerned about the good of the game etc., but simply because it would constitute a massive failure on their part: To lose a Test playing nation would be a disaster PR wise and in the way the ICC likes to view and portray itself, expanding the game blah, blah, blah. Let's not forget that cricket's reach worldwide, in terms of countries actually interested in the game, is tiny. We already have more Test playing nations than countries with a strong cricketing culture. To lose a country which has produced world class players for a century would reflect so badly on the ICC that in my opinion nobody there wants to see this happen in his tenure of office.

In a way, the elevation of Afghanistan and Ireland to Test status (with others possibly following suit) makes it easier for the ICC to deal with the problem that is Zim. By making the club less exclusive it becomes less of an embarrassement when an existing member falls into disrepute. And once the rabble is stowed away in the basement (be it "Tier Two" or "Test Cricket Third Class") it becomes easier to cut the losses (i.e. the funding).

Googly
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by Googly » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:32 pm

Point taken, but they could justify it because they are replacing one test nation with two. UAE and Nepal are improving all the time as well.
I do agree that their goal may well be a Tier 2 test set up, in which case it’s not in their interests to discard us.
ICC themselves are a cloak and dagger outfit and no one is really sure what their plan is for us. They’ve extended us the lifeline and we need to swim as opposed to just float with only our lips above the waterline or they will reconsider our position really soon.
I live in hope of our cricket improving, but it’s just not happening, the opposite in fact- we’re playing less and less cricket and in the most dire economic circumstances.
I’m just not seeing the way forward, no matter what the spin doctors have to say.
There was so much talk of some Zim A stuff, u19 tours, improved age group stuff etc etc and so far we’ve not seen anything constructive. Eeeish things are bad.

Mueddie28
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by Mueddie28 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:20 am

foreignfield wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:34 pm
Googly wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:52 pm
As far as our cricket is concerned-
I think much depends on what countries like Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland receive from the ICC compared to us. Their largesse towards us seems to not be dependent upon us playing cricket, which is utterly bizarre.
I'm not sure it's bizarre when you think about in which way Zim cricket really matters to the ICC (ignoring politics and votes): The ICC clearly doesn't want us to fold completely, not necessarily because they are so fond of Zim and concerned about the good of the game etc., but simply because it would constitute a massive failure on their part: To lose a Test playing nation would be a disaster PR wise and in the way the ICC likes to view and portray itself, expanding the game blah, blah, blah. Let's not forget that cricket's reach worldwide, in terms of countries actually interested in the game, is tiny. We already have more Test playing nations than countries with a strong cricketing culture. To lose a country which has produced world class players for a century would reflect so badly on the ICC that in my opinion nobody there wants to see this happen in his tenure of office.

In a way, the elevation of Afghanistan and Ireland to Test status (with others possibly following suit) makes it easier for the ICC to deal with the problem that is Zim. By making the club less exclusive it becomes less of an embarrassement when an existing member falls into disrepute. And once the rabble is stowed away in the basement (be it "Tier Two" or "Test Cricket Third Class") it becomes easier to cut the losses (i.e. the funding).
I agree ...2 African nations in Zimbabwe and South Africa..ICC have a PR to maintain.... I think England hasn't helped us picking up The Curran's , Greatness Hick & Gary Balance has weakened Zimbabwe...
The Africa Cup might help Zimbabwe but if South Africa could incorporate Zimbabwe in the 3 or 4 day tournaments in South Africa that would help...

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eugene
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by eugene » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:48 am

Zimbabwe cricket hasn't mattered since about 2003. Basically nobody matters in cricket except for Australia, India, England, and maybe South Africa.
Neil Johnson, Alistair Campbell, Murray Goodwin, Andy Flower (w), Grant Flower, Dave Houghton, Guy Whittall, Heath Streak (c), Andy Blignaut, Ray Price, Eddo Brandes

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jaybro
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Re: Do we really matter?

Post by jaybro » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:54 am

Apart from the fans (and children wanting to play the game) there’s no reason why Zimbabwe matter to be brutally honest. The question would anyone care if they were expelled is a scary one because most of us fans know that nobody else does care.

Until ZC can bring something to the table the others won’t care, in the old days playing Zimbabwe didn’t bring big dollars but they did bring a good solid competition, that’s not the case now.

ZC need to sort their backyard out to make the rest care about them again.

As for the BBL well tbf Raza, BT & Williams we’re playing in Bangladesh and Cremer hasn’t played a game for nearly a year, so it’s hard to expect them to get chosen in the BBL where there’s limited room for Overseas Players. Also Zimbabwe players have zero profile in Australia because they haven’t toured since 2003/04.

Again once ZC sorts itself out and starts taking t20 cricket seriously by playing more international t20’s and hosting a proper domestic t20 premier league it’s unlikely many Zimbos will get picked up in these tournaments.

Raza, Williams & Mavuta didn’t really set the world on fire in the Mzansi league whilst again BT & Raza weren’t certain starters in the BPL (Williams never got a game). Now Raza is doing ok in PSL but BT is injured.

You have to take your chances in these leagues otherwise you’re on the scrap heap
1.G.Flower 2.B.Taylor 3.M.Goodwin 4.A.Flower 5.D.Houghton 6.N.Johnson 7.T.Taibu 8.P.Strang 9.H.Streak 10.R.Price 11.H.Olonga 12.A.Campbell

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