the long game
Cricket has been stacked away in the attic, with the disaster that
has befallen the country. Through the sport many honourable deeds
are being carried out by the governing organizations and individuals.
That is the need of the hour and so it must be done.
the not too distant future, it will be time to take stock on the
cricketing situation and start looking ahead seriously. The present
domestic season will wind-up with the Provincial tournament and
the concluding games in the incomplete final round club games. It
is hoped that there would not be much interference to the main first
and second eleven school seasons. Some schools have been affected.
Lets hope they can be propped-up to get some amount of cricket.
is the secret of producing good cricketers on a regular basis. There
are at least half-a-dozen requirements. But leading the list is
playing tough, competitive long games, on pitches that offer assistance
to all types of players, at some stage at a match.
cricket is a five day affair, so the long game at domestic level
must be of four day duration. Four day cricket on well prepared
pitches will give the quicker bowlers spinners and batsmen, all
an opportunity to perform in a game.
Australians got 2005 off to a winning start. They secured the first
Test win for the year and swept aside the Pakistani's 3-0. Last
year they won ten of the fourteen tests they played in.They lost
just the one game and that was the infamous third test against India
played in Mumbai. A tremendous record which they are bound to emulate
again this year.
major reason for their success at test level, now around the world,
is their fiercely competitive domestic tournaments. These tournaments
are in progress right now. Cricket in Australia begins around October
10 when it is just about mid-spring. The inter-state one-day competition
and the four day competition are worked simultaneously through the
season which ends by about the third weekend of March. Club cricket
is played on Saturdays and some Sundays. When available if there
are no state commitments then first class players shot into those
games too. It provides around one hundred and forty cricketers a
tremendously high standard of cricket. That is more than sufficient
to produce a top class national team and nearly as good an 'A' team
six states competing, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia,
Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, are permitted to contract
overseas players. These days it is rarely done. That gives the locals
all the opportunity. There are many foreigners who play in the club
tournaments, most as professionals or in the role as Captain/Coach.
four day competition was played for the Sheffield Shield for well
over a century. Winning the shield was as good as success at international
level. Now the prize is the "Pura Cup". The tournament
is sponsored by a name famous with milk.
team plays the other 'home' and away. This makes it ten games -
ten rounds. Ten weeks of the season are kept for these four day
games. Almost all the games are played on the test venue in the
state, unless due to an extremely unavoidable circumstance the venue
interest in the competitions are maintained to reach a climax at
the final lap of the season. The one day final takes place at the
end of February. The major achievement is to win the shield - the
Pura Cup. The top two teams vie for the plum after ten gruelling
rounds. This game is played at the home ground of the team that
ends on top of the table after the games. Six solid months of cricket
that will breed many top class players. Wake up Sri Lanka Cricket!!