Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How to Spread Cricket

We all recently saw news of the bold decision of FIFA to take up the bold decision of giving 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 World Cup to Qatar!! IRB, the International Rugby Board is also in such a league. They have been trying very hard to expand Rugby. The 2015 WC was awarded to a Emerging Nation Japan. They are also promoting Rugby 7's and it certain to be included in next Olympics.

All these things also brought a thought in my mind, what can we do to expand Cricket. Surely ICC has been undertaking development program. But my thought something is missing. Then I have come out with few thoughts. On many of them ICC may be working or plans to do that.

The Biggest Step would be to use the powerful and fast form cricket as the vehicle to spread cricket the 20-20. We have a 20-20 World Cup every 2 years. The 2012 is in SL and 14 is in BD. Both these nations are co hosting 2011 50-50 World Cup. Hence instead of these countries hosting it again, the 20-20 cup should have been given to emerging nations. The list of emerging countries are Ireland, Holland, Scotland, UAE, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malaysia, Canada, China (When their team achieve some performance level), USA, Argentina, Hong Kong (Along with China maybe), Singapore, Afghanistan (When the Security Situation is right), Namibia, Oman, Nepal, Bahrain, Botswana.

Similar to FIFA, ICC should have an open bid from the bodies. The thing behind it is to make it Bid. Market it as the World Cup of a very popular game's most popular format or anything. For such bids the boards take the alignment of their government. So that brings in some extra funding.
Have some basic rule's
1. Give the hosting rights 5 years in advance
2. The Host nation or nations will have a guaranteed spot to play
3. Some basic expectation of Cricketing Infrastructure
4. ICC should have a plan to ensure that the host will be expected to earn out of the whole investment made.

Once the host has been decided, (lets assume Malaysia is Chosen as the Host 2016 World Cup). We begin with our Objective 2016 Malaysia. The priorities are
1. Have at least 6 decent cricket stadiums for World Cup
2. Have a good competitive cricket team ready for World Cup
3. Have a good level of local interest in the tournament and game
4. Establish a local cricket league with a robust way to attain talent for future

For Malaysia 2016 we will proceed as follows:-

Firstly ICC, Malaysian Cricket Board, Malaysian Olympic Council and Malaysian Government set up 2016 Fund with contribution from each side and a committee to handle all funds. The committee will have members from each of the 4 organization as per the bid submitted. Also ICC will provide the money to have share of the profits. The contribution from other organization can be for in any form- Loan, Aid, Profit Sharing or Partnership all as per the bid.

Then the next step would be choosing a pool of 30 players who will be offered Central Contract. The value for first year would be based on a rough norm of 15 times per capita income. For next 4 years it will be min as per the same thumb rule. if commercials allow then no upper limits. The contracts will be of 4 Grade A, B, C & D as per player capability.

ICC will also draw up a complete 5 year plan for Malaysia where they will have a busy schedule playing games against Test nations, their A teams, junior teams and in all 3 forms of cricket. 3 Coaches (Main, Bowling & Batting) will also be appointed.

Parallel to this the process of Developing 7 stadiums starts. 2 of these are in the capital Kuala Lumpur. The other 5 stadiums will be based at Johor Bahru,Kota Kinabalu, Shah Alam, Ipoh, Subang Jaya. The stadiums should be ready in 2 years.

Also Parallel to the above 2 steps, we establish 6 Clubs based out of the 6 cities which will have stadiums. These Clubs will be provided with Funds and a geographical catchment area. The purpose is to effectively cover the whole nation. Their funds will be for 4 purposes. First they can offer contract upto 45 players as per the talent they will encounter.They surely will have a team of 16 contracted players who will playing the first season. The Central players will play in the clubs as per their geographical locale. However if any Club does not get any central contract players they will be provided with 2 players from Grade A or B and one from Grade C or D
Besides this the clubs start the process of introducing the game in schools. The target is to cover atleast 80% of the schools in the Catchment. The Club will provide cricket kits. cricket knowledge, establish coaches to train students. The Club will conduct school tournaments every 6 months. The best of the talent will be offered scholarship till bachelor studies. The only condition would be training or playing cricket for certain no of years. The best of the student can be directly offered Club Contract or even Central Contract as per the talent.
The Clubs will conduct tournament for local sides and general trial camps where the purpose will be to tap talent.

Then we will get into an agreement with a local channel. Some of the parts of the agreement would be
1. The Channel will cover all the Club Matches Live
2. The channel will cover all matches of Malaysia live
3. When no live match is going on then at that time the channel will show the selected good matches of the established teams. The purpose will be to show high quality matches
4. It will also have program on how to play cricket and some other interesting aspects of the Game
5. It will have the exclusive rights to cover 2016 WC live in Malaysia
6. If the channel has objection of covering cricket from 2011 then as a part of agreement ICC will cover the costs and guarantee some level of profit in return to have share in the profits of the WC. The purpose of ICC is to recover costs and have profits in local markets too from telecast rights
7. If in the above period any commercial agreements come ICC gets all the money since ICC is already covering a basic expected profit level.
7. For all the other markets except Malaysia the channel will have no rights. The ICC will have the exclusive rights to sell them

The above steps will cover the objectives 1,2 & 4 and 3 partially in Project Malaysia 2016. To cover point 3 some additional steps will be taken
1. Take a known celebrity as the brand ambassador for the Tournament and promotion
2. Have regular add, campaigns to make the point that Malaysia has got the 2016 WC
3. Have big screens installed in all these cities which will have our TV channel regularly to cover cricket.
4. Have political and other important personalities related with cricket. This will bring notice to the game.
5. Bring the school children to watch the club matches.

And then we have the 2015 WC. The 2014 Club championship was highly successful. It gave profits for the first time. The ticket sales were very good. The channel also got great adds and ICC had mega profits. These were used to provide money to the clubs. The Channel then immediately switched to profit sharing seeing the response. The Malaysian team also got sponsors lined up and the team had various successes. They just one a ODI series against Bangladesh and then won a triangular versus WI and Ireland. They also managed to win the first 20-20 against Australia. It had the street screen filled with crowds cheering for Malaysia with high TRP's.

Finally then came the big tournament. the World Cup. The excitement was huge. To see top teams, top stars like Dhoni, Lee or Shoaib Akhtar. We had many people from other parts of world coming in. All the matches went houseful. The final had TRP rating not matched by any channel. The tournament was a financial success with ICC, Malay Cricket Association making profits. They easily paid the soft loans of Olympic Council and Government.

Malaysia now has got a good cricketing culture re established after British left. Malay CA sets a goal as 2019 to achieve Test Status.

ICC also take a sigh of relieve because of the high investments made here and also allocating the 2018 in 2013. However by 2015 ICC was in a much comfortable position seeing the results and boldly went ahead for the 3rd time to allocate the tournament of 2020. Hence a complete 20-20 line was drawn for next 5 WC after Malaysia

2018:-Ken,Tan & Uganda (Yes all 3 play and tournament is made 18 nation)
2020:-Neth & Den
2024:-UAE & Oman
2026:-Ire & Scot

At 2027 the test nations are 35 namely Aus, NZ, PNG, Ind, Pak, SL, BD, Afg, Nep, UAE, Oman, Malaysia, China,Singapore, HK, Eng, Neth, Ire, Scot, Den, SA, Zim, Ken, Tan, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, WI, USA, Can, Argentina, Caribbean (Combined nations of Caribbean besides nation in WI), Pacific (Countries of Oceania), East Indies (Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comorros, Reunion & other Indian ocean islands)

Amen for Jashan Plan 35 by 25

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