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  1. #1
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    Pakistan domestic cricket: Whatever happened to the Sheffield Shield like structure?

    I recall the great Imran Khan often spoke about implementing Sheffield Shield like structure in Pakistan cricket in order to get competitive cricket and thus produce quality players.

    Is this in place now? How many teams do we have in our premium FC tournament?

    I don’t follow much domestic nowadays but I haven’t heard about a single extraordinary player coming from domestic cricket.

    And if this is not in place, don’t we have the best chance to implement it now that IK is the PM? I am aware of PM should staY away from PCB but surely his ideas are most relevant now.
    Last edited by shaaik; 11th February 2019 at 22:47.


    Ki Mohammad (saw) sey wafa tu ney tou hum terey hain
    Yeh jahaan cheez kya hai Loh-o-Qalam tere hain

  2. #2
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    According to tv reports, the PCB in the BOD meeting in principle decided on 8-10 regional sides and they will be combined and merged with departments and the teams will be named like PIA Sindh, ABL Punjab, WAPDA KPK e.t.c.

    Regional and Department players will also be combined, Departments can take control over the financial and other affairs of region. The details are complicated and therefore they need some time to fine tune the details.

    Also, all the excess players, officials who no longer have a future in Pakistan Cricket will be retrained and employed as officials, coaches.

    They are trying to bring about a solution which creates a Sheffield Shield environment within a Pakistani Context.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    According to tv reports, the PCB in the BOD meeting in principle decided on 8-10 regional sides and they will be combined and merged with departments and the teams will be named like PIA Sindh, ABL Punjab, WAPDA KPK e.t.c.
    I really hope if this is true, they decide on 12-14 FC teams. We're not Australia with a 30 million population. We have 225 million plus people. Need to have a system where there are at least 200-250 professional cricketers with decent contracts to focus full time in cricket. It needs to be seen as a viable full time profession to aspire to. Also need to have multi year contracts (1-3 yrs) introduced to allow players the mental financial stability to fully immerse into the sport.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleverSir View Post
    I really hope if this is true, they decide on 12-14 FC teams. We're not Australia with a 30 million population. We have 225 million plus people. Need to have a system where there are at least 200-250 professional cricketers with decent contracts to focus full time in cricket. It needs to be seen as a viable full time profession to aspire to. Also need to have multi year contracts (1-3 yrs) introduced to allow players the mental financial stability to fully immerse into the sport.
    Yes we will need more teams to account for our population but that does not mean it has to 25 plus teams, anything upto 12-14 is fine. There are 16 plus counties in England.

    But more than the teams they need to improve the quality of the pitches, need to pump money in domestic cricket, get some high quality broadcasting, invite foreign players to take part in domestic cricket, promote and market it to invite audiences, increase domestic pays, improve facilities, academies, quality of coaching and officiating at the domestic level.

    I think the PCB plans to kick start its own HD Cricket channel where they will be exclusive broadcasters of Domestic and International Cricket was the right idea.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    ...they need to improve the quality of the pitches, need to pump money in domestic cricket, get some high quality broadcasting, invite foreign players to take part in domestic cricket, promote and market it to invite audiences, increase domestic pays, improve facilities, academies, quality of coaching and officiating at the domestic level.

    I think the PCB plans to kick start its own HD Cricket channel where they will be exclusive broadcasters of Domestic and International Cricket was the right idea.
    Personally, I think we need 12 teams to start. We have built stadiums ready to go (for basic needs) at
    1)Lahore
    2)Karachi
    3)Multan
    4)Quetta
    5)Sialkot
    6)Faisalabad
    7)Rawalpindi
    8)Islamabad (Share stadium for now with Pindi)
    9)Peshawar
    10)Hydrabad (Sindh)
    11) Lahore 2
    12) Karachi 2

    All these places have at least basic stadiums with seating. Some minor touch up work and at the very basic level it wouldn't be a bad start. Home and Away format gives you 22 FC matches, you can divide out from Sept - April. If it's too many matches, then divide into two divisions, and within division home and away plus on a rotation basis 3 home 3 away from other division (gives you 16 FC matches in a season). 18 contracted players per side gives you 216 Players in your professional pool. I'm pretty sure the PCB can reduce the 35 or so nationally contracted players and work with the FC sides to have at least a minimum 25-35K monthly salary for each player over 9-10 months of a calendar year (August-May/June) plus whatever match fee is set. Would provide a stable income for players. During Feb PSL, have a training camp for the top players not playing in PSL at the NCA to further develop skills. Would provide a robust cricketing calendar for Pakistan.

    Everything else you said needs to occur as the seasons progress. However, I'm not so sure PCB needs its own channel though. Personally I'd like for them to partner with ARY Sports, GEO Super, or PTV Sports to have cricket specific programming. It is better than the 24/7 nonsense currently on TV. I'd bet a lot of money if on a Friday evening a Karachi vs Lahore, or Karachi vs Hydrabad, or Islamabad vs Rawalpindi match was on PTV Sports it would get big viewing numbers, or at least I would tune into a Lahore vs Karachi O/D on a Fri/Sat/Sun.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleverSir View Post
    Personally, I think we need 12 teams to start. We have built stadiums ready to go (for basic needs) at
    1)Lahore
    2)Karachi
    3)Multan
    4)Quetta
    5)Sialkot
    6)Faisalabad
    7)Rawalpindi
    8)Islamabad (Share stadium for now with Pindi)
    9)Peshawar
    10)Hydrabad (Sindh)
    11) Lahore 2
    12) Karachi 2

    All these places have at least basic stadiums with seating. Some minor touch up work and at the very basic level it wouldn't be a bad start. Home and Away format gives you 22 FC matches, you can divide out from Sept - April. If it's too many matches, then divide into two divisions, and within division home and away plus on a rotation basis 3 home 3 away from other division (gives you 16 FC matches in a season). 18 contracted players per side gives you 216 Players in your professional pool. I'm pretty sure the PCB can reduce the 35 or so nationally contracted players and work with the FC sides to have at least a minimum 25-35K monthly salary for each player over 9-10 months of a calendar year (August-May/June) plus whatever match fee is set. Would provide a stable income for players. During Feb PSL, have a training camp for the top players not playing in PSL at the NCA to further develop skills. Would provide a robust cricketing calendar for Pakistan.

    Everything else you said needs to occur as the seasons progress. However, I'm not so sure PCB needs its own channel though. Personally I'd like for them to partner with ARY Sports, GEO Super, or PTV Sports to have cricket specific programming. It is better than the 24/7 nonsense currently on TV. I'd bet a lot of money if on a Friday evening a Karachi vs Lahore, or Karachi vs Hydrabad, or Islamabad vs Rawalpindi match was on PTV Sports it would get big viewing numbers, or at least I would tune into a Lahore vs Karachi O/D on a Fri/Sat/Sun.
    Rs 25,000 per month is not going to cut it in today's inflationary times. If you want to match the BCCI, players must get Rs 100,000 per month minimum so have complete peace of mind to work on their games.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Rs 25,000 per month is not going to cut it in today's inflationary times. If you want to match the BCCI, players must get Rs 100,000 per month minimum so have complete peace of mind to work on their games.
    25K is definitely not enough per se. But it's better to have stability at least. We don't have BCCI type of money. Also there would be match fees as well. So the monthly average would be higher. You could do something like tiered minimums...a higher minimum every 3 years etc. So, 25K for yrs 1-3 in league minimum. 4-6, 35K etc. That's not for us to decide. Its for the administrators to see how best they can take care of their players. Overall though I think you and I agree on a fairly similar system.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Yes we will need more teams to account for our population but that does not mean it has to 25 plus teams, anything upto 12-14 is fine. There are 16 plus counties in England.

    But more than the teams they need to improve the quality of the pitches, need to pump money in domestic cricket, get some high quality broadcasting, invite foreign players to take part in domestic cricket, promote and market it to invite audiences, increase domestic pays, improve facilities, academies, quality of coaching and officiating at the domestic level.

    I think the PCB plans to kick start its own HD Cricket channel where they will be exclusive broadcasters of Domestic and International Cricket was the right idea.
    West Indies broadcast their domestic matches live on YouTube so that's a possibility.

    A move to fewer FC teams is long overdue. We'd see higher quality matches with greater intensity and competitiveness whereas now we've 3-4 decent teams and the rest being lambs to the slaughter. Infact, I'd be satisfied with 8-10 teams. Looking at the current structure, to be brutally honest I don't see there's more than 8-10 teams worth of talent that are FC level.

    There's too many mediocre players coasting that should not be on FC contracts. If you're a specialist batsman with an average less than 31-32 then sorry, but go back to club cricket. Similarly, no specialist bowler should be retained with averages higher than 35.

  9. #9
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    Dont really understand why there is a need to copy any system. I rememeber everyone wanted to copy Australian system when they had a great run under Waugh, but as soon as they retired they, didnt get any good players and had to wait for someone like clarke. If that system is soo good then they would be producing good batsmen now also, but that is not the case.

  10. #10
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    The problem is the current domestic cricket set up has no consistency - with due respect to the Quaid, I think you need to scrap the QeA trophy and start from scratch - rebrand it and even call it Jinnah Trophy if needed.

    Itís laughable when you see the history over the years of QeA trophy, one year you have teams named by cities, some years provincial teams (Punjab) have played, mixed up with teams from banks and airlines , no one knows whatís going on and who the participating teams will be any given season, Karachi Whites and Karachi Blues apart which seem to be regular. How do you expect fans to follow this first class set up.

    You need to start from scratch, keep it simple and if anything use the PSL model of cities and branding to create some identity , even privatise / franchise it if needed as you need fresh thinking and new people involved in the cricket set up ó otherwise itís the same old useless bunch of one or two test played retired players/bureaucrats who want to spend their days sitting in cricket committees wheeling and dealing and playing politics inside regional cricket.
    Get rid of these dinosaurs and their involvement in cricket.

    And fewer teams, better quality, improved marketing and PR , TV coverage, and making the product appealing to fans , and you can revive domestic cricket and bring it back to life.

  11. #11
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    If this is the same FC setup that produced Zaheer Abbas, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Javed Miandad, Inzamam ul Haq, Younis Khan, Babar Azam and Imam ul Haq, then there is fundamentally nothing wrong with it.

    Maybe it just needs a dose of good management and some fund infusion from industrialist sponsors. The PSL can help achieve that.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gani999 View Post
    If this is the same FC setup that produced Zaheer Abbas, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Javed Miandad, Inzamam ul Haq, Younis Khan, Babar Azam and Imam ul Haq, then there is fundamentally nothing wrong with it.

    Maybe it just needs a dose of good management and some fund infusion from industrialist sponsors. The PSL can help achieve that.
    It didn't, trust me. Certainly not for the bold ones.

  13. #13
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    South punjab needs to have at least 2 teams.

    Multan and bahawalpur.

    Sialkot or Gujranwala can have players from cities Sialkot , narowal , gujranwala , gujrat , daska.

    Rawalpindi team can have players from rawalpindi , jehlum , mandi bahauddin , attock , chakwal , hafiz abad and nankana sahib.

    Faisalabad region can have players from faisalabad , sargodha ,chiniot , tt singh jhang and layyah.
    Multan can have players from multan , lodhran , vehari , sahiwal , bhakkar , muzaffargarh and pakpattan.
    Bahawalpur can have teams from bahawalpur , bahawalnagar , ry khan , dg khan and muzzafar garh.


    There MUST be a team from azad jammu and kashmir.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  14. #14
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    It's not just about hte first class system . . the idea is to have your TOP talent play in first class . .

    But what about 2 levels below? Grade 2? Zones? Senior district? That's where the real issue lies. . there is absolutely zero structure . . zero planning . .

    Initially, I used to talk in generic terms like most people here about how bad the structure is . . but over the last 2 years, my brother has been playing Grade 2 and senior district in Karachi . . and it is a mess far worse than what I ever imagined and most poeple know . . Incredible nepotism, lack of professionalism, no structure, very little cricket in the year, no facilities, etc. etc. .

    So, its not just abotu what you do at the top of the domestic structure . . 6 teams or 8 teams or 12 teams . . it's about what you do at all levels of the cricketing system . . how do you channel the top talent up? It's liek a pyramid right? For example, at club level you'd have 2000 cricketers in the country . . one level up, they get distilled to 1000 . . one level up, you have 500 . . and then you have your top 200 play first class cricket . . So yea . . the whole system is a mess . . and corruption is unparalleled. And becuase of that, resistance to change is incredible! And these are the same guys who have great links with the media who basically thwart any move to improve the system . . for example, the bad coverage that Wasim Khan is getting is because of these guys . . cuz they dont want anyone professional or knowledgable around . .t hey want someone who will aid the status quo . . anyway . . I'll stop . . but yea . . change needs to happen at all levels! and it would be mighty tough because whoever champions change, will have to contend with the raging media mafia!

  15. #15
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    There must be two teams from kpk as FATA is part of KPK now. Peshawer and Waziristan may be.

    Sindh should have 4 teams as well Karachi 1 and 2, hyderabad and sukkur may be.
    1 from balochistan.

    So 6/7 from punjab
    1 from capital
    1 from AJK
    4 from sindh
    2 from kpk
    1 from balochistan.

    We can have 16 teams in our FC system.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  16. #16
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    I think, every one again here is thinking in the PSL line - 8/10/12 top teams with top 150-200 players .... problem solved. No, it'll improve things for a short period (mostly because right now situation is even worse), but it'll create a generation gap, and next generation won't sustain.

    I can explain it from a real life example. In 1970s & 1980s suddenly oil money made fortune for the middle-eastern Arabs ... so, their Sheikhs hired the best coaches money can bring and these coaches picked 35-40 top soccer players of the country, trained them together like a circus unit and these teams did qualify for WC one by one from the weakest qualifier zone - Asia. Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arab, Bahrain (?) suddenly raised to soccer stardom in Asia. But, these Sheikhs didn't build a robust tier based system where instead of pampering top 35 players you need to make sure that next 1,000 survives as well .... so that there is a continuation.

    Eastern Asian & Eastern Gulf countries did other way - they established the J League, S League, the Iranian League and gradually developed a sustainable soccer system that scouts, nurture, develop and establish soccer talents methodically. South Korea, Japan and Iran (Iraq also, but for the war) has built a soccer legacy which eventually the Sheikhs realized and instead of the PL/SL like Circus, they now have gone towards the conventional path..... and their team is doing well also at different level - latest I can tell Qatar has won the Asia Cup.

    I am not aware of the latest "idea", but hope PCB has looked into this. It has to be a tier based system where, top 125 players compete each others, but there is constant push from the next 450, and these 450 must be kept on their toes by the next 2,500 - only then the system can function and there won't be a generation gap.

    I think, for a country of 23 crore and Cricket being probably only sports (from a pro career perspective), there has to be a 2nd tier - may be FC status, may not be. 8 teams are ideal, but 10 teams (rather say Zone covering whole country) isn't bad as long as they play Home & away FC games - that's 19 proper FC games per season (9X2 + Final round). I would rather like 8 teams and 17 games with 8 designated home venues ...... 5 Punjabis, 3 Sindhis, 2 Pastuns and a Kashmiri playing a FC game against another 4 Punjabis, 3 Sindhis, 3 Pathans and a Balooch, in a city where hardly anyone knows them and few PCB employees on free ticket with more crows & dogs watching doesn't make it encouraging. But, there must be a middle tier between FC (top 8) and the Club/District level. May be with 32-48 team (may be 4-6 in each of the 8 Zones) - so, basically these 8 Zones will function like individual Country in domestic scope, and their FC/List A team must be composed of players from the cascade lower tiers - only then we'll see the true potential of PAK as a cricket nation.


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