Friday, 9 January 2015

Analyzing Future Tours Programme

Edited to Add:- Since writing this have found out Aussie are here early 2016 for a 3 test series.  I won't rewrite as I feel most of the comments are valid given current thinking.

Not often I see red, but looking at the future tours programme 2015 - 2017)  two things stand out.

1.  Too many 2 Test Match series we're involved in (5 out of 9 series)

2.  Australia aren't playing here (we go there twice and our last series with them here was on 2010)

With the first one there, I have issues with ICC and the top three (if India can still be considered in that group) and their demands on the game.  I've written elsewhere on the ICC's decisions and also the history of the game.  But ponder this.  England and Australia Ashes tests are set in stone, five tests and that's for the good of the game as far as an interest factor goes for cricket followers.  But how The West Indies, India and South Africa get 4 match series is beyond me.

I want to see a level playing field.  I want more test match cricket.  I also want all teams in the top ten play a 3 match series as a rule.  2 Tests doesn't reflect too well on how teams are faring, and I also think the minnow teams need to have more cricket to improve and be competitive.  That's not happening just now.  The argument against time to fit it all in is a weak one.  Proponents of ODI cricket say a 5 match series is ideal as far as results go, barring a tie, there is a result.  The same can work for test matches.

The other point about Australia playing here is a hoary chestnut.  The last time they played here in a test series was back in 2010.  At a time when New Zealand cricket is resurgent surely there is a demand from our public for that Aussie team to come here and face us on our ground.  Instead we have to be glued to our TV's in late 2015 for a 3 test only series (yes we get 3 tests) and then again in 2017 for our tour there to play 5 ODI's and 1 T20.  I think we should be striking while the iron is hot and do everything to get them here for a 3 test series, 5 ODI's and 3 T20's.  We have a right to ask for that otherwise it will be over 7 years since they traveled to our shores.

The future tours:

Away  May/Jun 2015  England  2 Tests 5 ODI's 1 T20
Away  Jul/Aug  2015  Sri Lanka  2 Tests 5 ODI, 1 T20
Away  Oct   2015   Zimbabwe  2 Tests, 3 ODI
Away  Nov/Dec 2015  Australia  3 Tests
Home  Dec/Jan  2015/16  Pakistan  3 Tests 5 ODI's 1 T20
Home  Feb/Mar 2016 Australia 3 Tests.
Home  Mar 2016  Zimbabwe  3 ODI's
Away  Oct/Nov 2016  India  3 Tests, 5 ODI's 1T20
Home  Dec/Jan 2016/17  Bangladesh  2 Tests, 3 ODI's 1 T20
Away  Feb 2017  Australia  5 ODI's 1 T20
Home  Feb/Mar 2017  South Africa  2 Tests, 3 ODI's 2 T20

And that's it, not sure if these fixtures are set in stone, but if we beat England in May this year and move ahead of them (or Pakistan) on the rankings surely we deserve some decent respect and action accordingly.  I think too with our improved performances and ranking points we have a case to change things at the ICC and get all our fellow teams a chance to play on a level playing field.

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