I was relaxing today and wanted to take a break from writing about cricket after I launched my T20I Cricket Portfolio Index. I did the mistake of checking Crickbuzz and discovered to my horror that there is one more T20 league. This time In Canada. The Global T20 Canada league is starting in just over three weeks time. It has most of the usual suspects. Most of the really good players are missing. They had to differentiate this league somehow. The answer was that they had to have five people in the squad that are eligible to play for Canada. There is no requirement that they should be in the starting XI. I have to wonder what is the point? I also have to question whether anything untoward will happen. Call me paranoid but was there a need to launch a new premier league when the shadow of the match-fixing allegations by Al Jazeera still linger around? The prominent picture on the Global T20 is of Prime Minister Trudeau with Azhar. Azhar was one of the cricketers I watched growing up. I was devastated when the match-fixing scandal broke out. To have people like Cronje and Azhar involved was a big shock.
You have the usual suspects in the league. The usual West Indian contingent is there. There is also going to be a Windies representative team. This Windies team is apparently what has made the ICC give their blessing to the league. If you examine the teams though; Windies is starting a Test Series against Sri Lanka so most of their best players are not available. The next set of players are already in the teams. I honestly wonder how strong will the team that gets sent be. It could be a simple case that West Indies are looking at this venture from a financial point of view. They did request Sri Lanka to have a limited over international instead of one of the Test’s so that they can make more money. Is this a “get rich quick scheme” for the West Indies? We all know how the last one turned out. Allen Stanford is serving a 110-year prison sentence. Then there is the curious case of Shahid Afridi. He surely must be the Cliff Richard of Cricket. Has he crossed 25 yet? I honestly thought the ICC XI was the last we saw of him after he limped away. To complete the usual suspects all we need is Keyser Soze and we will have the complete list of Usual Suspects.
I love Test Matches. I can watch each and every ball of the game. I watched most of the cricket this summer. Then again there was not much to watch. That being said I do believe that people like me are a dying breed. Cricket should expand. T20 provides a good route for that. However T20 is coming to the point where there is too much of it. Simon Doull suggested on Cricbuzz that T20 should exist only in leagues and then once in two or four years there can be a T20 World Cup. I think it is a brilliant idea. Doully is not the only one to suggest this. Graeme Smith echoed the same thing. We need to preserve the best of the cricketers. AB de Villiers is only 34. His catch in the IPL was superhuman. I thought he would play internationally at least until the World Cup in 2019. He retired from International Cricket. The tight schedule and the leagues together took its toll on him. It is a pity. We need quality cricket. If you are able to play quality cricket at all levels then people will automatically fill the grounds. Quality and not quantity is the issue. Quality is what will bring people to the ground. Quality is what will bring young people to play the game.
Apart from having 100 balls, I wonder what new innovations will The T100 competition bring? How about members of the Commonwealth will not be treated as foreigners? The price of Rashid Khan will shoot up if that had to happen. I am going to pour myself a nice dram of single malt and contemplate whether I should laugh or facepalm.