“Club Vs Country” – The battle of supremacy: For many reasons International. Football has always been mediocre to Club championships. However, cricket has conventionally been different. For years, international cricket has been its brain and heart. Nation Vs Nation is its cardinal feature.
Matches like India Vs Pakistan and Ashes have sonority beyond the cricketing field. These games are the crux of cricket. If you want to witness the best talent and judge the calibre of a player then Test match is a plain and simple answer for it.
Representing one”s country in whites has been the top priority of almost every cricketer and it should rather be that way. Yet, since the birth of T20 cricket, five day games have gone in the backdrop. Hardly few dedicated fanatics now find time to watch what was once regarded as the touchstone of the game.
2003 marked the inception of T20 cricket and since then it has completely changed the tiny world that cricket once used to live in. From the nutshell of five day matches and One day internationals it has now transformed into a three hours affair.
Five years later Indian premier league stepped in and thereafter domestic cricket has metamorphosed into a parallel for international cricket. Of course people love watching this format of the game for it brings so much entertainment.
Howbeit, T20 cricket Vs Test cricket is not the ultimate thing to worry for World cricket right now rather it is “Club Vs Country”.
In Federation for International Cricketers” Association (FICA”s) new player survey, 58.6% of players from Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zeland said that they would consider rejecting a national contract if they were paid significantly more to be playing only in domestic T20 leagues. With every passing day players as well as fans are craving more towards Club cricket. During West Indies” tour of Australia last year, six of their major players were busy playing in the Big Bash. No wonder why the average TV viewership for matches in last Big Bash crossed one million, and was actually higher than for the Australia-West Indies Test series taking place at the same time.
Let that sink in folks !
Also, the topsy-turvy schedule of international cricket has done no good but actually aided domestic T20 cricket spring up further. The clamorous relationships between the member nations have also forced cricket boards around the world to focus more on domestic T20 cricket.
With what comes as no surprise South Africa and Pakistan are now planning to introduce new T20 premier leagues. Domestic leagues have now grown deeper roots in the complex system of international cricket. Entire world is aware about the issues with West Indies” players and their board which is probably because the Caribbean”s are now finding it easy to earn more by playing in T20 premier leagues rather than representing their own nation.
Probably IPL has had serious impact in other playing nations rather than India. Many international players are considering retirement just because they want to concentrate on playing in Domestic T20 leagues.
One can go on and on naming the number of domestic T20 tournaments running in full swing right now – IPL, Big bash, WPL, BPL and bla bla bla. These have slowly started to establish their supremacy over international cricket.
The ICC is aware about this issue and has now suggested some ideas – including windows for domestic T20 leagues, limits on the number of domestic teams that players are allowed to play for. However, it is highly unlikely that these ideas may work out as planned because many cricket boards around the world are against the proposal.
The committee is also planning for a new structure for cricket around the globe which includes two divisions in Test cricket, a 13-team ODI league, and regional qualification for the World T20. All these changes come as an effort to revivify international matches.
As of now domestic cricket has not yet made complete in roads over national commitments but it may soon take over.
At the end of the day, in the battle of Supremacy between “Club Vs Country” unfortunately cricket is bound to lose.
– by Yash Kashikar