Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Heroes Or Zeros

Today sees the third and final ODI match against Bangladesh and Kenya have one more chance to snatch an unlikely victory. The visitors will go into the match favourites having won the first two games, so a win for Kenya would indeed be an upset and the team would be looked on as heroes. A loss would, according to the Predictor for the ICC ODI Championship table, leave Kenya with 0 points, and a rating of 0 after '9' games. Why the two wins against Canada are not counted, I have yet to work out. In qualifying for the place on the table, Kenya earned points from matches before they were on the table and were awarded these when they got their place back. Canada, not being on the table, would be considered to have 0 points, so for the wins against them, Kenya should have been given 50 points for each game. This should have given us a rating of 16 going into the Bangladesh series rather than 7. It doesn't make a huge difference to us as we would still be in 11th spot, but at least we would not be looking at 0 points if we lose the last match. It could however become a serious issue once a second Associate gains a place on the table.
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If the ICC was serious when it granted the six top Associates One Day status, surely any matches played involving them should earn points towards the Championship table. In the FAQ section, the blurb even says:
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"EVERY ODI will count (apart from No Results)"
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"All ODIs are treated equally."
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Yeah right. If that was the case, why is it not happening? Or are some more equal than others. As the Associates get to play more matches, especially against each other, this will become a big issue. You will have teams coming on to the bottom of the table with skewed points as they will only carry through those from playing teams already on the table. This does not and will not give an accurate picture of the relative standings of the lower ranked teams.
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So far, Sri Lanka should have earned points for beating the Netherlands, England for beating Ireland, Pakistan and Ireland for beating Scotland and Kenya for beating Canada. As far as I can tell, none of this is happening. Only when Full members can actually earn points by playing the Associates will OD status actually mean anything and encourage them to play more of these matches. The ICC have done good work in spreading the game, but only when there is an even playing field for ALL teams and a way of ranking them, can they be considered to actually have achieved anything of substance. Until then, it may as well be hot air.
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In the mean while, good luck to the Kenyan team in their efforts to salvage a win from the last game of the series. It can be done, only one player really fired last game and that nearly did it for us. If three or four can do it this game, who knows. Unfortunately, I will not be able to comment much on the first innings, but should get home from work mid way through the second. I will post my two bits then.

5 comments:

Ram said...

Nick,

That's a very valid point you've made about the ICC ranking system...Infact, even I was wondering how ridiculous it would be if a Test nation like Pakistan/India lost a few points (and thereby a few ranking spots) by losing to WI but would remain unaffected even if they were upset by Associates like Scotland/Ireland/Kenya, which is ridiculous..Hopefully, the ICC sorts itself out..

Hossain said...

ICC has clearly outlined the process how Associates can qualify for a position in the ODI ranking in this article-

http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/bermuda/content/story/231520.html

Basically, an Associate has to either win two matches against full members or win a match against a full member and win 60% of matches against other Associates to earn a ranking position. I think those are very fair requirments.

If those rule were not in place Kenya or Scotland could have played dozens of matches agianst Canada and Bermuda and could have easily overtaken Zim or BD in the ODI ranking. Don't you think that would be ridiculous ?

maehara said...

Rules for the Associates joining the full ODI table are outlined here - bottom line is, an Associate needs to have at least 10 matches played, including at lest 1 win against a Full Member team, before they'll appear on the table (although I think that 'matches played' requirement has been reduced to 6 since that article was written). It's not explicitly stated in the article I've linked to, but I'd expect that once an Associate qualifies for the ODI table it would have to be rejigged to include all the matches played by the Associate team, if the "every ODI will count" statement is to mean anything.

Kenya had a special exemption as a result of losing their "ODI Member" status, but as they've beaten Zimbabwe twice since then they'd be on the full table anyway.

I can understand why it works this way - if there wasn't a requirement to win against a Full Member, there'd be nothing to stop the Associates playing amongst themselves and working their way up the table without ever playing the top teams...

Chemosit said...

Hossain, Maehara, welcome.

You are missing my point by some margin. It is not whether Associates qualify for the table or not, but now points are calculated. I have no quarrel with how teams get on the table, I think it is a good way of excecising quality control.

HOWEVER, the points for ODIs must apply to ALL ODI matches otherwise there is no incentive for Full members to play Associates.

The likelihood of an Associate playing and winning enough ODIs against the others to not only get on the table but overtake Bangladesh is laughable.

Rejigging the table once an associate qualifies is also not feasible. Every match affects every subsequent match on the table. If it was rejigged every time an associate got onto it, you would have teams gaining or losing places and points without ever playing a match.

The system as it is simply does not give a full indication of the performances of all the recognised OD teams.

By the way, had the points from Kenya-Canada counted, Bangladesh would be that much closer to overtaking Zimbabwe at the end of this series. Ponder that for a moment and imaging it was for a place in say the ICC Trophy. Fair? I think not.

maehara said...

If it was rejigged every time an associate got onto it, you would have teams gaining or losing places and points without ever playing a match.
But this already happens every August when one year's games are dropped from the table (as in this year, when the gap between Zim & Bangladesh dropped from I think 17 points to 2 - without a game being played). I don't think recalculating them when an Associate joins the table would really be much different.

By the way, had the points from Kenya-Canada counted, Bangladesh would be that much closer to overtaking Zimbabwe at the end of this series.
Zim also have 3 wins against Associates that aren't currently counted (2 wins against Bermuda and 1 against Canada from the Tri-Series in the West Indies), so I'm not arguing against the idea or trying to be awkward - Zim would benefit from the points being counted, more than Kenya would at the moment. Believe me when I say I'd be happy to have the points. :)