It’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Watching the so called minnow nations in the ICC world cup, it reminds me SO much of our own (Sri Lankan) teams of the 1970’s. The talent is there and even the potential but they make basic mistakes and succumb to elementary pressure, all due to lack of top level exposure.
How many times did we see our sides of the past build up great starts and collapse in a heap? I once had a memorable ( or nightmarish) experience of leaving my seat to buy a sandwich and a beer at the MCG only to come back and find that Sri Lanka had lost 7 wickets, I think it was against New Zealand ! Or the first 3 or 4 batsmen get out early and wonderful “lion hearted” middle order stands albeit being pipped at the post with narrow defeats?
Those of us who lived through those times (not the present generation that EXPECTS our sides to win) have, I am sure nothing but empathy for Nations like Kenya, Canada, The Netherlands, Ireland and even Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. The Irish did so well simply because most of them play County cricket in England, Holland also showed that their players with some sort of exposure performed so much better than the others.
Shouldn’t the ICC address this situation, rather than look at reducing the numbers at the next world cup? There is little use in “minnow” sides playing each other; they must have exposure to a higher level of cricket to succeed.
If SLC had a commercial angle to their line of thinking they would look at this as a chance to include some of these countries in the domestic tournament. Have something like the 7 nations that rugby has and do it on a domestic basis. It does not need to be international but can be first class. Charge an entrance fee and base these teams in Pallakelle, Dambulla and Hambantota as we have first class facilities there without any teams. Some of the money raised can be used to maintain these facilities and this would prove to be nothing but a service to cricket. Furthermore International sponsorship could be raised for such a tournament.
Since we have a dynamic new sports minister and hopefully will have a few able people in SLC, why not consider this seriously ?
I claim copyright to this idea NOW and demand the right to administer this tournament should the idea bear fruit!