Getting the domestic schedule right

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Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby from_the_stands » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:29 pm

With the proliferation of T20 cricket, couple with a crowded international calendar, it has seemed to me for some time that the powers that be in Australia have got it a bit wrong in relation to domestic cricket. I've long trumpeted the idea of having the ACT come in as a seventh team, but that isn't the answer. In fact the more I think about it, having an odd number of teams would only cause even more scheduling problems. My main concern, strangely enough, is for the Big Bash League, which I think can become a big success long term, providing the scheduling is done in such away that the product is the best that it can be.

In Australian domestic cricket, as is the case with most other Test match playing nations, three forms of the game are played at domestic level, mirroring what happens at international level. For this current season, we have the Sheffield Shield, the Ryobi Cup, and the franchise-based KFC Big Bash League. What I would like to see happen with these competitions is that they are played in accordance with national team fixtures.

October is when the Oz domestic season kicks off. Six teams play each other twice, allowing for each team to play ten matches per season. The Sheffield Shield, therefore, could be played from October to the end of December, with the final being played in the first week of January, when the last home Test match of the season is traditionally being played in Sydney. If a player is dropped from the Test team, they go back to their Shield team and try and regain form.

From January through to the first week of February, the Ryobi Cup could be taking place, running along side international ODI's, with some T20I's at the beginning of February. After that, then stage the Big Bash League, allowing for the Oz international players to take part for the duration, rather than just for one or two games. From the second week of February through to the middle of March has perfect weather for night time cricket, and the crowds would come out in their droves. The football code start toward the end of march, so there's no double booking of venues.

The only glitch to all of this is when Australia are touring in March to places like New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies. India tours potentially fall into the equation too. Short of touring these places when the IPL is on is probably not want the likes of Shane Watson, Dave Warner and others would want. A possible solution might be to play the Sydney Test earlier in the season, making the Boxing Day Test the last Test of the summer, moving everything else forward a week and a bit. Make the Ryobi Cup five rounds only, plus finals, with the same number of T20I's, and play the Big Bash (seven rounds only, plus finals) during February. Play the Kiwis, Saffas, Windies in March and the first week of April, then move on to the IPL. Job done.
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby from_the_stands » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:40 am

Having a home Test series the same time the BBL is being played is not necessarily good for the Australian Test team. Mickey Arthur is making noises, but so too do a few other people, before CA get off their collective backsides to do anything about it.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia-v-sri-lanka-2012/content/current/story/596921.html
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby mikesiva » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:17 pm

Thats probably why the crowds have stayed away from the big bash....current Aussie stars are busy playing Sri lanka.
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby ChrisQ » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:52 am

from_the_stands wrote:With the proliferation of T20 cricket, couple with a crowded international calendar, it has seemed to me for some time that the powers that be in Australia have got it a bit wrong in relation to domestic cricket. I've long trumpeted the idea of having the ACT come in as a seventh team, but that isn't the answer. In fact the more I think about it, having an odd number of teams would only cause even more scheduling problems.


I like the rest of the proposed schedule since it does make a lot of sense, but why not have ACT and Northern Territory participate as the seventh and eighth teams? That gives you the even number of teams again which avoids the scheduling problems.....
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby Alviro Patterson » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:05 am

Tends to rain frequently in Darwin between December and March, hence the Northern Terriority don't play State Cricket and ply their trade during the County Cricket season.

That said the Northern Terriority could cram their home Sheffield Shield and Ryobi cup matches between mid September to mid November. Small matter of trying to play a full home game in Big Bash season.
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby ChrisQ » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:34 am

Alviro Patterson wrote:Tends to rain frequently in Darwin between December and March, hence the Northern Terriority don't play State Cricket and ply their trade during the County Cricket season.

That said the Northern Terriority could cram their home Sheffield Shield and Ryobi cup matches between mid September to mid November. Small matter of trying to play a full home game in Big Bash season.



Well to my mind the solution to that is to use the schedule outlined by FTS with the following changes:

- start the first class season earlier; around mid September

- Have all Northern Territory home games played between mid September and mid November and the away games played for the rest of the season

- if FTS' idea of having the Ryobi cup be played entirely separate from the first class competition then either Northern Territory doesn't compete in that or all of their games are away games unless CricketAustralia is fine with scheduling matches in Darwin and having reserve days for each match in NT.
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby ChrisQ » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:18 am

Well it seems as if South Australia have managed to find a way to involve the Northern Territory in Australian first-class cricket ----> incorporate Northern Territory (as well as Papua New Guinea) into their new grade cricket Premier League.

With Northern Territorians being Australians then it means they (unlike the Papua New Guineans) could in theory be eligible to play for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield if the players for NT Strike (the name of the team in the SA Premier League) catch the eye of selectors. This is all a little ironic considering that from the 1860s until 1911, Northern Territory used to be a part of South Australia (or was administered by South Australia) until it was transferred to the federal/Commonwealth government.
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby from_the_stands » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:32 am

ChrisQ wrote:Well it seems as if South Australia have managed to find a way to involve the Northern Territory in Australian first-class cricket ----> incorporate Northern Territory (as well as Papua New Guinea) into their new grade cricket Premier League.

With Northern Territorians being Australians then it means they (unlike the Papua New Guineans) could in theory be eligible to play for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield if the players for NT Strike (the name of the team in the SA Premier League) catch the eye of selectors. This is all a little ironic considering that from the 1860s until 1911, Northern Territory used to be a part of South Australia (or was administered by South Australia) until it was transferred to the federal/Commonwealth government.


This is an interesting development that was news to me. I can't say that I'm surprised by a team from Darwin being included in the SACA. In the past, any cricketer with any sort of ability from Darwn (or anywhere else in the NT) had to move interstate in order to play a higher standard of cricket. I guess by now being involved with the South Australian system, they now have a more direct pathway to the top. AS for PNG, I'd have thought that it would have made better sense to include them in the Queensland set up, especially given it's relative geographical proximity to Brisbane rather than Adelaide.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-27/png-cricket-team-into-sa-premier-league/4542952
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby ChrisQ » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:58 pm

from_the_stands wrote:
ChrisQ wrote:Well it seems as if South Australia have managed to find a way to involve the Northern Territory in Australian first-class cricket ----> incorporate Northern Territory (as well as Papua New Guinea) into their new grade cricket Premier League.

With Northern Territorians being Australians then it means they (unlike the Papua New Guineans) could in theory be eligible to play for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield if the players for NT Strike (the name of the team in the SA Premier League) catch the eye of selectors. This is all a little ironic considering that from the 1860s until 1911, Northern Territory used to be a part of South Australia (or was administered by South Australia) until it was transferred to the federal/Commonwealth government.


This is an interesting development that was news to me. I can't say that I'm surprised by a team from Darwin being included in the SACA. In the past, any cricketer with any sort of ability from Darwn (or anywhere else in the NT) had to move interstate in order to play a higher standard of cricket. I guess by now being involved with the South Australian system, they now have a more direct pathway to the top.
Which is good for cricket in NT. Since it in essence means Territorian cricketers now have a direct and organized pathway into the Sheffield Shield and the Australian test team.

As for PNG, I'd have thought that it would have made better sense to include them in the Queensland set up, especially given it's relative geographical proximity to Brisbane rather than Adelaide.


PNG have been involved in a Queensland cricket competition before: The SEQC (South East Queensland Cricket) Webb Shield competition between October 2012 and January 2013: http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/E ... 12-13.html

It wouldn't surprise me if they end up in the 2013/14 competition as well. And it makes sense not just because of the proximity to Queensland versus South Australia but because of the historical connection; Queensland after all is where the original annexation of what is now southern PNG originated from in 1883 before it was cancelled by the British and then allowed to go through in 1884. So for a short time southern PNG actually was a part of Queensland.

Between the SACA Premier League, the SEQC Webb Shield and the Top End Under-19 series (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/E ... _2013.html) PNG might put up some surprisingly good performances in the future. As long as these competitions aren't one off involvements like the 1981 tour of Australia by PNG (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/E ... 80-81.html) then a foundation should begin to take shape at the U-19 and senior level for 50-over and 3-day cricket. Who knows, maybe in a few years PNG will move up to Division 1 of the World Cricket League and enter into the ICC Intercontinental Cup. Would be nice if they could also institute their own 3-day cricket domestic competition like Afghanistan have done since 2010 or 2011 (surprising I know) and like Ireland did this year and like Scotland seem about to start doing!
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby from_the_stands » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:47 am

It would appear that change is afoot in Oz domestic cricket. Pat Howard will be meeting representatives from each state tomorrow to discuss a whole range of issues, including how to prevent young cricketers from being lured to other sports. One possible idea that appears to be a prominent in terms of the agenda is the introduction of a draft system, which is primary designed to provide an even spread of talent around the country. Another aim would appear to be increasing the playing opportunities for the 160 odd contracted players on a more regular basis.

On the draft system, it could work if an expansion is pursued. I guess the way it would work is that young cricketers would be drafted from the under 23 comp, and given state contracts, enabling them to play first class cricket. Should expansion teams be created in Canberra and Darwin, players would have to be drafted in from interstate in order to make them competitive. Of course this would mean that each team would then be playing 14 Sheffield Shield fixtures per season instead of 10. The 50 over comp would see teams playing 7 games. The BBL would also possibly expand, with teams created in the new locations, with each team playing each other once, equating to 9 fixtures per franchise per season.

How this might work is as follows;

1 - All players go into a draft pool, and are selected by teams in the reverse order of where they finished in this season's Sheffield Shield competition, with ACT & NT with the 7th & 8th pick respectively in each round.
2 - The 50 over comp to remain in its current format, with each team playing each other only once, with S/F's and a final.
3 - Sheffield Shield season then starts, with games being played weekly, right up until the BBL break, then resuming until the season's end, with a final contested between the top two sides.
4 - The BBL would require a slightly tighter schedule, with franchises playing each other once. Each team should be allowed 3 import players, and possibly even 4 in order to combat the thinning out of the talent.
5 - An annual draft to occur at the conclusion of each season, where players are selected from the Futures League, or from players whose contracts have expired.
6 - Each Sheffield Shield team could be permitted to include 1 and possibly 2 import players.

A draft system and expansion could work in Oz domestic cricket, but it would be a huge leap of faith on the part of the powers that be. We'll have to wait and see on this one. Stay tuned.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/story/789133.html

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/cricket-australia-contemplates-player-draft-in-bid-to-spread-the-wealth-20141013-115em6.html#comments
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby from_the_stands » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:19 am

So Pat Howard wants the National Performance squad to play in the domestic One Day comp. That could work, although I'm still a fan of ACT coming into the action, in all 3 formats.
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Re: Getting the domestic schedule right

Postby ChrisQ » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:34 am

ChrisQ wrote:....snip....

Between the SACA Premier League, the SEQC Webb Shield and the Top End Under-19 series (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/E ... _2013.html) PNG might put up some surprisingly good performances in the future. As long as these competitions aren't one off involvements like the 1981 tour of Australia by PNG (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/E ... 80-81.html) then a foundation should begin to take shape at the U-19 and senior level for 50-over and 3-day cricket. Who knows, maybe in a few years PNG will move up to Division 1 of the World Cricket League and enter into the ICC Intercontinental Cup. Would be nice if they could also institute their own 3-day cricket domestic competition like Afghanistan have done since 2010 or 2011 (surprising I know) and like Ireland did this year and like Scotland seem about to start doing!


So it seems that Papua New Guinea's participation in the SACA Premier League's T20, One Day and Two Day leagues over two seasons has in fact paid off. In 2011 in the World Cricket League division two they played 6 games, winning 4 and losing 2. Their scores ranged from a low of 92 all out to a high of 231/9 (racking up a total of 1,121 runs). Their bowling conceded a low of 98 runs for 10 wickets in one victory to a high of 284 runs for 10 wickets (against the UAE who are now in the World Cup) in one of their defeats, taking a total of 51 wickets.

In 2014 during the World Cup qualifier (after one season in South Australia's premier league), they played a total of 7 matches, winning 3 and losing 4 but this was against much stronger teams than in the WCL Division 2 from 2011. And against these generally stronger teams they batted and bowled much better than they did in 2011. Their completed scores ranged fro a low of 130 all out (they had a score of 107/1 but that was in chasing a target of only 106) to a high of 255/8 (and they reached 250/2 in another match; they racked up a total of 1,335 runs in all). Their bowling conceded a low 105 runs for 10 wickets in one victory to a high of 323 runs for 4 wickets (against the Netherlands) in one of their defeats, taking a total of 59 wickets.

There hasn't been a massive improvement but they are generally scoring higher than in 2011 and this against stronger teams. And apparently the two-day cricket has helped as they apparently thrashed Hong Kong in a November 2014 3-day warm up match in preparation for participating in the 4-day Intercontinental Cup:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/co ... 12971.html

But Siaka has his eyes set on more than dominating on Associate level 50-over and T20 cricket. He admits that he needs to improve against spin. "One shot I have to improve is the sweep shot", he says. He is also aiming to transfer his form in white-ball cricket to the longest format. "I've never played four-day cricket before but I think it's going to push me forward to become a better player. When you start playing four-day cricket you have to work hard and do the right things," he says. "It teaches you to be strong on the mental side and to keep batting and batting."

PNG have never played a first-class match before. But by dint of their ODI status, they will be included in the Intercontinental Cup from next year - and, in theory, could qualify for the Test Challenge. While that may be unlikely, PNG thrashed Hong Kong in a three-day warm-up match last month, with Siaka scoring a measured 51 in the first innings. The victory suggested that their experience of two-day cricket in the South Australian Premier League has hardened the players. PNG finished bottom of the two-day league last year and are bottom again this season. "We didn't do much," Siaka admits, but the tournament has been critical in giving players their first experience of multi-day cricket.

In T20 cricket, PNG are far more formidable. They won the South Australian Premier League T20 competition last year and, with a one-wicket win in the final, retained their title this month.



http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/co ... 96801.html

At least this time PNG have a decent base of fixtures to build on. Their performances in the World Cup Qualifiers ensured their place in the World Cricket League, and even more intriguingly, the Intercontinental Cup. In theory, this offers the winners the prospect of playing in the Test Challenge and earning Test status. In preparation for that, PNG are also playing a three-day game against Hong Kong this month: their first ever multi-day match against another international side.

PNG have some recent experience of multi-day cricket. A couple of years ago, South Australia wanted to form a Premier League to bridge the gap between club and state cricket, and were keen for sides outside of the state to be included. Campbell put together a proposal and successfully lobbied his old Tasmania team-mate Jamie Cox to invite PNG to participate in the inaugural South Australian Premier League in 2013-14. "I guaranteed that we'd be very competitive in the T20 and 50-over games, and said when we start playing the two-day games, it will be a learning curve for us, because our boys have always been set up to play T20 and 50," Campbell explained.

So it proved. While PNG found two-day cricket a challenge, struggling to maintain their fielding intensity, they won the T20 competition. Participation in the South Australian Premier League does not come cheap - it involves around 50 days away and costs 380,000 kina (about US $150,000) - but no one disputes its value to PNG cricket. "You can only train so much but actually playing matches is the best way to improve your game and your cricket awareness and mental strength," explains Chris Amini, the current national team captain. "We've come up against some international and first-class players and have learned a lot from them - just watching them go about constructing their innings or their approach to their game and how they prepare themselves."
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