Why we need to stop ignoring the importance of a quality domestic T20 tournament

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T20 cricket has revolutionized the entire cricket world both ODI cricket style as well as the test cricket style have been immensely influenced by the aggressive t20 cricket since its introduction. T20 cricket attracts large crowds in to the grounds as t20 cricket matches have a huge commercial value in the market . hence lot of countries organize high quality domestic t20 tournaments in order to exploit that cricket market and to develop the cricket in their countries. Srilanka organized such a tournament in 2012, but tournament came to an abrupt end because of the financial problems .

Sport is part of a culture that changes with the time. Test cricket was played without a time limit in the 1800s then 5 day limit came to cricket law books .then ODI cricket was introduced in 60s and first t20 international was played in 2005. Resistance for the change has always been there, but cricket has changed a lot in the last 2-3 decades. We should understand this big picture and move forward with the cricket world . if we keep looking at t20 cricket and other changes through the conspiracy mindset .we would find ourselves in deep waters very soon.

Other countries organize quality t20 domestic tournaments and give international exposure to their young players . they sign contracts with quality experience coaches , high class international players and give opportunities to their young players to play with quality international players in an intense match environment ,consequently domestic players develop their skill level and get use to play under pressure . hence those players play well in the pressure situations of international matches unlike our players who crumble under pressure.
players must develop big hitting skills in order to survive in t20 cricket .therefore players are routinely trained to hit 6s and 4s in these tournaments thus players automatically develop that much needed skill . if you analyze srilanka’s recent batting displays , you would see that they lack the big hitting skills. Srilankan players often fail to hit boundaries . consequently run rate climbs up and entire team comes under huge pressure. that has been the biggest reason behind the srilanka’s defeats in the past few months. One of biggest reason for the failures in this front is that we have been ignoring the importance of quality domestic T20 tournament .

after the 2012 SLPL tournament , SLC organizes a short, low quality t20 tournament every year as their domestic tournament . they suddenly announce a tournament out of the blue and divide players into 4 or 5 teams and organize a tournament. all matches are played in empty grounds within one week. entire tournament is played without foreign players , high class coaches.SLC makes no investment to get a TV/radio coverage to the tournament or to attract fans to the grounds .apart from srilanka all top cricket nations organize such tournaments(BBL-aus,BPL-ban,CPL-wi,IPL-ind,PSL-pak,HRV cup-nz,RAM_SLAM-sa) . hence SLC must realize the importance of a quality domestic t20 tournament and must organize a high class tournament with out doing the mistakes that they did in the 2012 tournament.

In 2012,SLC authorities selected a newly registered company as the organizer that had no knowledge about the srilankan market and srilankan cricket fans . They had a no knowledge about the srilankan climate either as large number of matches were affected by the monsoon rain . advertising standards ,prior to the tournament were very poor and magnitude of the tournament was too big to srilankan economy .they shouldn’t have brought large number of international players to the tournament .i personally believe that south Africa’s RAM-SLAM t20(one foreign player for a team) model would suit for country like srilanka .all the owners of the franchises were foreign companies hence tournament lacked the link between franchises and the cricket fans .hence it’s very clear that if SLC want to organize successful tournament in the future they should get the support of local companies .instead of playing all matches in R premadasa stadium , matches should be distributed to the regional grounds.

On the other hand , SLC should aim to develop cricket ,by organizing a quality t20 tournament instead of going after profits . SLPL tournament flopped because franchises and organizing company suffered heavy losses while SLC made huge profits (over hundred million) in 2012.

finally,I hope that SLC would understand the importance of quality , high class T20 tournament, and organize a tournament that suit our country with the aim of developing srilankan cricket

PS- I am not good at writing in English , I just wanted to express my views

Comments

lolstat's picture
Member since:
27 June 2015
Last activity:
1 year 14 weeks

Good analysis of the problem, but there is a small confusion.

Financing this project how do we do that? High quality comes along with a high price tag.

If SLC to get local companies as franchises, how many companies would come forward? Out of those companies how many companies could buy good quality players.

This is modern day gladiators we are talking about, to get this tournament going we need AB,Gayle,Pollard, alike big show runners. Our local franchises I highly doubt would invest on such risky show given the current status of our economy, and these players have better options to consider.

I doubt even they could hire Sanga/Mahela back, because they sell for a higher price internationally. Forget about players, can these local franchises bring in some "cheer" leaders, that can bring people to the ground.

IPL,BigBash,BPL,.... list goes on where are we, at the bottom. It is mainly due to the fact that we have the smallest economy.
Sri Lanka GDP $99 Million
Bangladesh GDP $577 Million no need to even talk about others.
Carribian league runs mainly because they compete as different islands, making more of a competition and interesting for local people than running it as a single country.

Whatever tournament, playing these games around the country is as stupid as it gets in my opinion. We did this mistake and now paying the price big time.
Apart from R.Premadasa I have never seen a full house cricket ground in Sri Lanka. We built one in Hambanthota, how many international matches we played there during last two years, less than a dozen??

It is not economically feasible to have these games outside colombo. People do not go to ground anymore, we don't have the metropolitan living culture as in other countries. Even in Bangladesh their jam packed metropolitan life style suits this kind of events, not in Sri Lanka.

No matter how optimistic I try to think, I don't see a way out. We were too late to think ahead, now we're about to extinct.

Beliya's picture
Member since:
15 July 2014
Last activity:
2 years 20 weeks

@lolstat thank you ruwan ,yes i understand you concerns , GDP and population is too small to afford a IPL kind of tournament . hence we should study the south African domestic T20 model .on the other hand government and sport ministry should support SLC. Cricket is the only thing that make positive headlines about srilanka in western news papers and tvs. Cricket helps to promote srilankan brands , tourism in international media . so it’s not just another sport , cricket is a heritage of srilanka. Government should understand this and help .
previous government organized a cash rich rugby tournament with the help of the state companies like MOBITEL , TELECOM,SL AIR LINE ,. High class rugby players played in that tournament, we all know that sri lanka doesn’t play rugby at the top international level . . domestic companies invested millions to buy those franchises (keels, etc). hence I believe that potential is there as president of the SLC is deputy speaker of the parliament , we just need the will

Beliya's picture
Member since:
15 July 2014
Last activity:
2 years 20 weeks

#3

(Last edited by Beliya on April 30, 2016 - 12:52)
Beliya's picture
Member since:
15 July 2014
Last activity:
2 years 20 weeks

#4

(Last edited by Beliya on April 30, 2016 - 12:52)
lolstat's picture
Member since:
27 June 2015
Last activity:
1 year 14 weeks

@Beliya,

Rugby analogy into cricket does not work any more for the simple reason, cricket is average man's game and rugby is posh man's game. Some people wanted to play rugby in Hambanthota, but I'm afraid that game would fit Hambanthota people's culture, it could easily end up as a brawl. Only Colombo and Kandy plays rugby and the top schools and their followers who are upper middle class and they would not mind paying few bucks to get into a sevens tournament. Rugby 7 players are not paid as same as 15s, further 7s tournament only lasts 2-3 days, so I don't think rugby analogy would fit in here. If you happen to know Trinity college or Royal college rugby budget, you would have not brought this rugby analogy. It is marketed for a different class of people not for lay public.

In 70-80s cricket used to be the posh gentleman's game, when Wettamunis,Tennakoons,Madugalle played. However now it is not the same story.
So who are the target audience is one of the first questions to be answered before starting this kind of an enterprise, and this is where we have the problem.

Again South Africa tournament also based on their big cities, so can attract people.Whatever tournament we play it will only work in Colombo.

There is a better alternative, SLC should start a school cricket T20 tournament. Only elite schools will eventually get into it, and followers will engage and players do not need to paid heavily. People will follow their school because we have got a "lot" pathetic of old boy school followers who are 60 years old but still can't see beyond school gate.
This is why provincial tournament do not bring any enthusiasm from people, there is nothing for them to cheer about.

In an ideal world will power can solve problems, but we live in a world where money talks.

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