Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A modest proposal to save the Indian cricket team

If you have any idea what cricket is, you probably know that the formerly first ranked Indian test team went over to England to be summarily thrashed 4-0 . This was a shockingly unexpected result to put it mildly.
The Indian side was beset with problems such as injuries to key players, an aging middle order and youngsters with neither the technique nor temparament for seaming conditions.
The culprit behind the Indian teams poor performance, even though the players might be to admit to it, is the IPL.
The way the IPL is set up, each team criscrosses the country playing 16  or so 20-20 games in little over a month and a half.
Whereas the test stars of other countries, in some cases have kept away from the IPL, the entire Indian side bar none, play for the entire tournament(fit or otherwise as Sehwag and Gambhir proved)..
Without further ado I am going to present my proposals to save Indian test cricket from the advent of the IPL.

1. Roster sizes are impractical. This needs to be trimmed.  Which will mean fewer players involved in the tournament. Hopefully , fewer Indian test cricketers will be picked(especially if they do not particularly suit the demands of T-20)
Teams should be allowed to cut and bring in new players at some pre-determined times in the season.

2. Travel with fewer players than the roster size... Its a 11man game.. how many reserves do you need while travelling? Why this matters... Players complain that more than the actual playing time , its the travel time that completely exhausts them.

3. Introduce a hard salary cap, and make sure if there is to be an auction, everyone can participate.
This can practically be achieved , by allowing every team to vote on wheter they would be insterested in seeing a player on auction... if more than 1 team shows interest, they end up in the auction...
If not the players get the minimum allowed, by whicher team actually showed the interest.
All this matters because, by allowing only certain players to appear in the auction, and posing limits on the number of overseas players allowed to play in a game... An effective caste system was created.. with the Indian test players on top and domestic players on the bottom, with overseas players in the middle.
This artificially inflated the price on Indian test players..above everyone else...
$900K, which is what Ishant Sharma got in his first contract, is hard to walk away from, but say the market determined his value was a lot lower... maybe its an offer he could refuse, just to play for country.

4. In case of injuries to Indian players... they have to be examined by BCCI appointed doctors... whose responsibility it will be to ensure , injured players fo not take the field.
5. Remove restrictions on the max overseas players per side per game.