Tuesday, 18 October 2011

SAARC U-25 Cricket Tourney: More similar tournaments needed

The government of Maldives is inaugurating its first cricket stadium in a brilliant way. Along with the SAARC conference it is organizing the first SAARC U-25 Cricket tournament in which all the 8 members will be participating. Initially as part of SAARC games, cricket was included but one or the other team like India or minor countries like Bhutan did not send teams.

Cricket in South Asia is really popular, a religion. It is infact the place which cricket is popular that no other games stands a chance to come near it. India, Pakistan, SL and Bangladesh are well known cricket crazy nations but very few know that it is also the most popular game in Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan, and surprisingly the hosts are the only nation where cricket in no 2 in South Asia.

This tournament after a long time will give youngsters from Nepal, Afghanistan rightful experience against big boys of South Asia. It also gives them a chance to showcase their teams and perhaps defeat the traditional teams and give them the needful attention. Who knows we will see the likes of Mehboob Alam or Hamid Hassan blowing away wickets of Pakistani's or Indians or Paras Khadka or Mohammad Nabi steadying the innings and taking their teams home

Will Paras Khadka take Nepal home like so many times he has done before

The tournament has the started at the place where it should but perhaps a little late. Lets go by the saying "Better Late than Never". Similar to this tournament, ICC can take the help of government to start similar tournament across the globe where the youngster of lesser and bigger tournament meet. The lesser teams play very less cricket and less cricket means less development of teams. It is a vicious cycle and with ICC so much in control of money minded boards of 10 Test Nations, government support is definitely break the cycle

Can we see a repeat of Asian Games
Besides South Asia, perhaps UK Government can fund a similar tournament for all the Home Nations and we see a annual tournament between teams from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, N Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. Cricket is decently popular in all the nations and England can send England Lions or a junior team, but will be worth the experience for the other nations and surely will bring attention in many nations like a Ireland V Wales game.

The other place can be South East Asia with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Myanmar and Brunei can join in for the tournament. Many government in the area can support such move. The move to make Cricket a demo sport in South East Asian games is perhaps a first baby step in such direction. Also Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong have been involved in a tournament before. Also like Copa America SEA can invite any of the Test nation or their junior team as per the availability

East Africa has been a place where such a annual tournament took place. It is also a place that has got many decent teams in form of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. These 3 nations along with Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi and perhaps Zimbabwe, Namibia can join the tournament along with South Africa can take part.

The South America has already started a continental tournament. ICC needs to work in these nations and develop cricket in these nations. Argentina, Brazil, Chile can be great potential nations can start the tournament along with inviting Suriname and Guyana for a interesting tournament.

All these tournaments appear great on paper but besides South Asia there is not much motivation for government to go for such tournament. The biggest motivation and driver can be OLYMPICS.  If ICC has to break the shackles of BCCI, then it needs to get cricket at any cost into Olympics and T20 is the perfect way to do it. Doing that it will start to get government support and many such tournaments will become a reality.

Cricket is at a make or break stage. Lets us see in which direction it goes, meanwhile best of luck to SAARC U-25 tournament and may it become an annual affair.


  1. our heros.. parass ..mehaboobb...and maheshh chhetrii..sss day r senoir levell.. herosssssssssssssssssssssss

  2. Hamid Hassan the afghan bullet!!! He has taken 3-25 against South Africa, these will be nothing!!!!!!!

  3. whom team was the winner in this tournament

  4. انشاالله افغانستان
    Inshaallah Afghanistan will win

  5. Paras rocked for Nepal... amazing character shown by our Team Nepal...