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Test tier system

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Or how about we continue to enjoy contests against New Zealand and the West Indies and not worry about possibly having to wait a decade until the next one?

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comment by U14317285

posted Jun 6, 2010

5* from me.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

i guess there will be a slew of these threads - my comment will be similar on each.

where is the benefit to cricket in this idea?

based on the 6 teams in div1 and div2 as suggested above, for a start, i imagine WI have one of their most popular (and financially rewarding) series against england. would they want to forego any tests against us for possibly 8 years plus? and would they REALLY vote to be playing bangladesh, afghanistan and ireland home and away for the same length of time?

NZ v australia is their 'local derby' - why would they not want to carry on playing that?

more tests between india and pakistan? not sure how well that is going to go down, or how badly it will affect the arrangements.

up until this last year, india were not overly interested in hosting 5 test series. whereas england australia will want to retain the ashes every other year over 5 tests. how will this be resolved?

ireland/afghan/holland/scotland/usa etc are not ready for full test status. playing ODI and T20 is not enough to mean they will fulfill meaningful test series, especially against WI and NZ.

just a few thoughts - there are plenty more as to why this system is a bad idea.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

it could work very well, and i like your ideas.

however i would i have a high prize money for the system and specially so for the division 1 people.

also i would suggest to have every year a test match which is chosen like it is now, that way the ashes will still happen and it will allow the chances of there being more of the games that there is now.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Sorry, no cricket board will like to commit suicide.

What if Eng/Aus get demoted to second division, is it bye-bye for ashes?

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posted Jun 6, 2010

this is a tough one for me

i dont think there are enough teams in test cricket for this but it cant be denied that the gulf between the top teams and bangladesh is huge, and there are worrying signs about the west indies.

my worry would be what would happen to cricket in places like bangladesh, the west indies and new zealand if something like this came in. there are already huge issues over attendances at test matches even for matches against top sides.

i am a believer in the ethos that they can only improve by playing against better teams but when they gap is so large and they get well beaten regularly it must shatter their confidence which has been evident in the way bangladesh have started well in alot of games but collapse when the pressure is on.

rather than a two tier system i would like to see an addition to the current setup where they still were included within the full FTP but on a limited basis but the ICC maybe encouraged more matches where the full bangladesh team play A teams of the established countries on a regular basis and maybe toured other countries playing first class matches against counties/states etc etc.

i think this would not also give them more experience playing teams that are more at their level but also give the young players of the top countries exposure to different countries and conditions.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Absolutely the wrong thing to do. I like the test matches out in the West Indies and New Zealand are a really good team.

I seem to remember that not too many years ago Sri Lanka were not that great, but it's easy to forget that now.

If we want the game to grow we have to support countries like Bangladesh. It is important that they play all the teams now so that they can develop their skills and become competitive.

Sectioning them into sub groups would hold this development back.

This will always mean that there are some test matches like this. But it is a price worth paying to help the sport evlove and develop.

I do think that playing a series of 5 matches against Bangladesh would be pointless, but at the moment this does not happen anyway.

What is needed is a structured integration fixture programme, where the smaller countries gradually get exposed to the top test sides.

What is important is that the teams are Professional in all aspects of the game and that they have test match standard facilities in order to host matches successfully.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

I think this is a great idea. I would like this to be a 2 year thing if possible. 4 years maximum. I think 2 teams up and down might be a better option. 5 stars from me though

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posted Jun 6, 2010

a 2 year thing?

how would 6 sides play a home and away series against each other in 2 years? even 4 years is pushing it unless we start having more and more 3 match series to fit in 2 a year - which would just devalue test cricket more anr more.

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comment by jbd349 (U14167333)

posted Jun 6, 2010

There should be a Test championship between 10 teams (current nations & Zimbabwe).

Every four or so years, each team would play each other home and away in 3 Test serieses (don't know if that's a word).

Special dispensation for Ashes and other big series to be longer.

At the end of the for years there is a 3 Test series as a final between the two top teams (with extra days on standby in case of bad weather).

This would be at a neutral venue and if there is no winner after 3 Test, more Tests would be scheduled until one team wins.

The bottom side in the division every four years would be relegated with the best of the other teams promoted (decided from another league of the 'lesser' sides).

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Test Championship between 10 teams??? Part of the beauty of Test Cricket is that it isn't run like a football competition.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Bangladesh (& Zimbabwe) should not be test sides. Surely it is better for them, and the existing test sides, for them to play say B teams or U-21 teams, giving both sides exposure to different styles of play in different conditions, and closer matches. The existing system benefits no-one.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

What do you mean by relegation, she asks? The best team in the second tier moves up and the worst team in the elite class (like modern-day WI) moves down. That is the way the cookie crumbles!

Whether you like it or not, it's going to happen. Or Test cricket will pay a heavy price...

Bangladesh, by any standard, do not belong in the elite Test class. If they are kept up here, someone's granny may offer to play for them out of sympathy. biggrin .

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Just no. Whilst Bangladesh's batting has been dreadful the past two days dividing Test cricket is not the way to go about improving the quality of their team. Should we tell Tamim Ibqal that he has to go play for Pakistan, like Eoin Morgan had to go play for England?

There are much better ways to improve Test cricket than by turning it into some silly football league. Cricket simply needs to limit the thrashings Bangladesh are likely to take, by limiting them to two match away Test series against top nations, and three match series against lesser nations. Nobody would particularly want to see a third match in this series, however Bangladesh can still take some positives. They've bowled England out twice, scored 400, had a batsman pick up two centuries. The team has significantly improved from the one that was here in 2005, simply because of prolonged exposure to the game. Nobody wants to see a Test match over inside three days, but splitting cricket into the haves and have-nots would be a huge step backwards.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

This two tier system is a silly idea even from Michael Holding.
The Question is what happens to the Ashes should Australia or England get demoted?
What would it be like if India cannot face Pakistain?
Its silkly but the ICC needa to sort this problem out.
We have lots of teams who want to play each other but it should be set in stone to play each other at a fixed time but as we've seen with the debacle over Zimbabwe, its a bit messy.
Bangladesh deserve to be a Test Side and it will take time for them to get used to it.

There was none of this outburst when the Windies, Zimbabwe and everyone esle joined the Test Arena.

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comment by Eewires (U5352372)

posted Jun 6, 2010

No to this. And no to Zimbabwe playing test cricket until they can show that they will pick their best cricketers regardless of colour.

Bangladesh need to do tours where they play a lot against the clubs and a few tests. For tours here they could also play 'tests' against Ireland and Scotland, which would help both those teams too. But they will only improve by playing the best. So India need to invite them for tests (they never have) as well as the other bigger cricket nations. Creating a 'premier league' in test cricket would be a bigger disaster in competitive terms than it has been in football.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Isolating the lesser teams into a second tier along with a couple of traditional teams for a long period is poor.

A better solution would be for lesser teams to have a 3 test play-off for the privelage of playing the bigger teams in a 3 test-series.

Then they play the bigger teams for rarely, but only after beating another side and they get a guaranteed 3 match series as a reward.

So 50% of their tests are against the developing nations, 50% against the bigger nations.

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comment by Stuart (U14474327)

posted Jun 6, 2010

Personally I'm firmly in the camp that believe T20 is the way forward to expanding the game long term, but I appreciate there is a large and vocal group who would disagree, so here's my two cents on Test cricket:

Smaller sides like Bangladesh should perhaps be given opportunities not just against international sides, but also county sides. The same applies to Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland etc.

I'm a firm believer that some traditional matches (Eng V Aus, Ind V Pak) should be maintained for rivalry's sake, but otherwise with the ever growing support behind T20, Test matches should be reduced in number, but increased in terms of importance.

If I recall correctly, some reasonably big names in cricket have suggested a knockout tournament? I could see that working. One match, five days (with maybe a sixth reserve day to ensure a definite conclusion) and winner takes all. Maybe that pressure would be would puts backsides on seats? Just an idea.

As for the divisions idea suggested above, I think International Test Cricket just takes too long to hold any form of competition (other than one match knockouts) within a reasonable timeframe.

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comment by JA (U14302891)

posted Jun 6, 2010

The idea of 6 and 6 is never going to work, because turkeys don't vote for Christmas. A two tier structure is needed, but it has to be aimed at new countries, with minimum disruption to the established nations. It also has to be realistic.
You might be able to handle 8 top level nations on a four year rotation. The lowest side shouldn't be relegated, but should play the top team in the league below.
This would put Bangladesh and Zimbabwe on tier 2, with who else needs to be determined, but it should be related to whether there is actually any interest from their population! If we assume that the second tier should also be 8 then the next six are Kenya, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Canada and Afghanistan (based on ODI ratings), although there could be arguments for replacing Afghanistan with an associate member of longer standing, such as Malaysia or the US.

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comment by Avalon (U9663793)

posted Jun 6, 2010

Personally I dont see its broken however the Bangladesh need to be playing NZ, WI, Zimbabwe, an Pakistan in longer series.

Also the BCB needs to send A-teams to play in these countries.

THe BCB also needs to get some pitches that have life, rather than the dull sit up and beg to be hit pitches they seem to have.

Inviting Fast bowlers to play in thier leagues would also help, get in foreign coaches to teach fast and swing/seam bowling.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

So-called lesser teams will only improve by playing the likes of England, Australia and Saffers. Think about how far away England were from Australia prior to 2004/05. Ashes in the nineties certainly weren't competitive. Persistance is key. Bangladesh have some very tidy cricketers, and only need a few more years before they're legitimately challenging for test match series. They can avoid future whitewashes by being given the chance to learn from the best cricketers on the planet. Playing against Ponting, Clark, Strauss and Pietersen is a fine way of expediting their progress as a test nation.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

The problem with relegation and promotion is that the team demoted is likely to thrash most of the teams in the lower division and go straight back up. Likewise the team promoted would be easy meat for the top division.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

There are some arrogant fools here. If countries like Banga were forced into a lower league, it would risk losing interest in those countries, and the game being wiped out by other sports. England were't so good many a year ago, but by playing good quality opposition, they've had no choice but to improve in all areas, e.g. fielding.

This is cricket. Sides come over as our guests and we show them some respect, and make them feel welcome. When we go their place, we hope for the same. It's not just about having big crowds and loadsamoney matches for the sky fools on here. Perhaps if folk feel this arrogant, they should stop following test cricket altogether, and concentrate on 20/20 rounders and the IPL?

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comment by U14366475

posted Jun 6, 2010

Playing a team like Bangladesh is waste of time as far as England are concerned. Great experience for Bangladesh who, in 8 years time, will be a good side assuming their country does not go down the pan as was the case with Zimbabwe.

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comment by Dan (U1900095)

posted Jun 6, 2010

Playing a team like Bangladesh is waste of time as far as England are concerned. Great experience for Bangladesh who, in 8 years time, will be a good side assuming their country does not go down the pan as was the case with Zimbabwe.
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I'm not sure it was a complete waste of time for England. They did get to blood a few players they might not have done against the likes of Australia.

I agree that it doesn't make for the greatest spectacle, but that't why it's a two match series.

It's just a warm up for the main event. The English football team play warm up games against weaker opposition, why can't the cricket team?

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posted Jun 6, 2010

How fickle some people are on here, have you all forgot how well they batted at Lords.

Creating a tier system will just stagnate cricket for thoses in the bottom half all teams have cycles some of us with slightly longer memories can remember how poor we were not so long ago.

What teams at the bottom need is support not condemnation, as you never know when the boot will be on the other foot!

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Dear Toad In The Hole (U14366475)
Not long time ago, it was wastage of time for the Aussies playing against a team like England. But now England has improved quite a lot.
Just think of these young Bangladeshi boys playing together for the next 6/7 years and mature to a good experienced team.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

I dont think playing Bangladesh is waste of time for England at all.

(1) England were able to bring on some players

(2) its not a waste of time to help Bangladesh cricket to develop; with a population of 162m to draw on they may become a formidable team one day

(3) a lot of us enjoyed the cricket over these two Tests.

PS Why can't I get apostrophes to appear on this forum?

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comment by hcfong (U14471996)

posted Jun 6, 2010

The idea of including associate nations in test matches might seem like a good one, but bear in mind that most associate nations don't have a domestic first-class competition. To be able to play test matches effectively, a team must at least have some experience in playing matches of 2 innings each over multiple days. Sending a team with only one-day experience onto a field to play for 5 days is a bit like sending Usain Bolt to the Olympics to run the marathon.

Unless players of prospective test playing countries get the opportunity to play in a first-class competition, I don't think it's going to work.

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posted Jun 6, 2010


Wouldn't West Indies go bust completely if they were ever to lose top tier status and lucrative test matches with England in particular ?
That can't be a good thing can it ?

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comment by JA (U14302891)

posted Jun 6, 2010

"There was none of this outburst when the Windies, Zimbabwe and everyone esle joined the Test Arena."

No, because they were reasonably competitive! West Indies started playing tests in 1928, and won tests against both England and Australia within 4 years.
Zimbabwe in 92, and they drew series with a lot of countries, and within 10 years had beaten India and Pakistan in series.
In fairness, it isn't so much that they can't compete here, but that they aren't much better when playing in their conditions.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Thats ohy I pointed it out JA.
Its follish for people to attack Bangladesh when other Countries joined the Test Arena without the big argument that was made about it.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

This is a stupid idea.

Say West Indies or New Zealand have a bad few games. They then loose test status??

That needs to be thought through.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

I don't think we should be changing the system to help such a poor side. None of the other "weak" test sides are anywhere near as bad as Bangladesh.

The weakness seems to be in their domestic arrangements, flat pitches that teach batsmen nothing and discourage anything but containing spin bowling. Get some pitches that offer the bowlers something, get some pace bowling going and learn to play in all conditions. Those countries near Bangladesh should be helping out possibly, allowing them to play in domestic competitions perhaps if the money isn't there to create the facilities.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

I dont favour a league system. Its donwn to Bangladesh to improve, a change in their own game is needed not everyone elses. Play regularly on pitches that aid bowlers rather than flat dead tracks. Batsmen get better that way and they might find some pace bowlers.

How that is done exactly is down to crickets administrators. Playing in another counties domestic tournament might be one option but what I dont see is how playing the West Indies and New Zealand more will help them. They have been losing for too long now, NZ had a poor start in test matches but got competitive even while they were losing. The Tigers are still getting thrashed and it does cricket no good, just look at the ground attendance.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Absolutely no to a 2 tier championship. Sure England won comfortably enough in the end but there were times when Bangladesh more than held their own. I fail to see how never playing against the best will improve them. It takes time for Test teams to become established.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

If you had a two tier system about ten years ago England would have been in the second tier!

New Zealand played test cricket for many more years before winning their first test than Zimbabwe or Bangladesh did.

Iqbal is one of the most exciting openers in test cricket at the moment. Do you not want to se him in action against good teams(and also England)

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posted Jun 6, 2010

comment by transworldsport (U13114441)
posted 16 Minutes Ago

If you had a two tier system about ten years ago England would have been in the second tier!

New Zealand played test cricket for many more years before winning their first test than Zimbabwe or Bangladesh did.

Iqbal is one of the most exciting openers in test cricket at the moment. Do you not want to se him in action against good teams(and also England)
-------------------
its all well and good seeing Iqbal blast a ton against us, but what else to bangladesh have? twice they collapsed once he got out in the test match, the gulf in class is huge, Tamim aside, wont be long before he joins Shakib in county cricket

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posted Jun 6, 2010

Well done Team England 1 What a gutsy and courageous performance against quality opposition . We can now look forward to the Ashes with renewed confidence and swagger ! It is fair to say that a whitewash is not beyond the bounds of possibility and at odds of 250/1 , a tempting bet in these recessionary times. Go for it !.......................

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posted Jun 6, 2010

There can still be a second tier system without relegation/promotion.

From this class, a decision can be made to include a new team into the elite class which may take be a while to materialise.

Either way, the likes of Bangla...do not belong in the highest class of cricket.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

yes there could be a second tier system without promotion or relegation but what would be the point?

the first tier would have to include WI, NZ and all of the other 6 previously mentioned in the top tier. the second tier would presumably be Zim, Bangas and downwards. but there is nothing to stop all of those sides playing tests against each other already is there? if ireland, afghanistan or whoever want to improve and play more test cricket, they could organise games amongst themselves whenever they want to. the best of these could continue to play the occasional test against an established team, as we have had this last 12 months with bangladesh home and away.

all this talk of leagues, rankings etc., seems like an attempt by a few to try to make cricket more like football, in the hopes of marketing it to make more money - money which is very unlikely to be distributed evenly or to filter down properly to the grass roots. football across the world shows us how increasing the revenue massively has not helped lower leagues, but has just gone to make certain players and owners ridiculously wealthy.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

A good idea with a bit of thought.It would make sides more competetive and ensure top flight cricket.Bangladesh did not disgrace themselves in the last two tests far from it instead they have clawed their way up the greasy pole to get good games out of England.No matter they lost but its better that sides like Bangladesh start making a mark in test leauge cricket or test cricket will eventually die everywhere.

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posted Jun 6, 2010

No, no, no!

a) these tests were not a waste of time. We have learned Finn IS a test quality bowler and that Shazad may be. We have learned that Morgan probably isn't ready and Bresnan probably not quite good enough.

b) The cricket family should be doing all it can to help bangladesh get closer to the rest as quick as possible. The game is awash with money.. use it to help set up a better first class system there, prepare better pitches, fund more facilities etc

c) a two tier system would pretty much kill cricket for those nations in it, especially WI and NZ.

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comment by MickS (U2752894)

posted Jun 6, 2010

No. It may seem a little ruthless but it gives the more established nations a chance to blood new talent, it also gives the newer nations a view of the improvement necessary to be able to compete. Any tiered system would simply maintain the status quo.

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posted Jun 7, 2010

I think a teir system would be disasterous for cricket world wide, a better idea in my view would be:

If we are going to only play a two test series with bangladesh why not make it a six match series for them, why don't they play two four day games against the counties, two four day games against the Lions and then two tests, if this approach was adopted for all their tours the amount of cricket they are playing away from home would drasticly increase which can only be a good thing.

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posted Jun 7, 2010

i have enjoyed this little series and good to see some new, if raw, talent.

i agree they should play several of the counties to gain experience. problem is that the counties play so much cricket (far too much) they would put out second XIs.

i think they have the makings of a good side and i look forward to welcoming them back to Britain in four years' time.

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comment by Tim (U9678684)

posted Jun 7, 2010

A two-tier system is all very well, but you simply couldn't use it to "relegate" established test nations. There is no jsutification for downgrading NZ or West Indies.

Cricket is clearly struggling in the Carribean, but that's no reason to kill it stone dead!

Even Bangladesh would be something of a sacrificial lamb in this process, as they would be by far the best team in the second tier, so it's hard to see how they could improve and eventually bridge the gap. But at least there's no indication they're anywhere near competing as things stand, so they've much less to lose.

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posted Jun 7, 2010

I don't agree that a team can only improve by playing better teams.
An individual player can improve by playing against better opposition as in tennis and other individual sports but teams cannot.
If Bangladesh are to improve they have to raise the standard of the players within their team by getting the best of them playing alongside other players in grade cricket in Oz or the semi-pro. leagues here in England or SA.

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comment by Ian B (U3864728)

posted Jun 7, 2010

I don't think the 2 division thing should be formalised, but a balance has to be struck so that Bangladesh have a chance of being competetive in most of their matches.

Over these two matches there have been about 20 sessions of play - Bangladesh have been better than England in maybe 4 of these sessions (3 with the bat, 1 with the ball), and held their own in about 4 others, so a bit less than half of the time. The problem is that when they lose a session, they tend to lose it badly, and find themselves way behind the game as a result of 2 or 3 bad sessions in a row - some of this is because of a lack of confidence, and the expectation that they will ultimately lose the match.

I don't think they are that far away from being able to compete against the likes of West Indies and NZ, they just need to develop a couple more quick bowlers to take some pressure off their batsmen.

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comment by Kapnag (U11006724)

posted Jun 7, 2010

No team would want to be stuck playing the likes of Holland, Ireland and Afghanistan in test matches for however long a test season would last.

And each of the "minnows" wouldn't improve playing against each other to a point where they can realistically challenge other teams over 5 days.

Bangladesh need a few leaders, I understand Tamim and Shakib will be in county cricket soon, this will be very good for their progress, but they need fast bowlers. Their batsmen are constantly staring down the barrel, mentally exhausted from containing a side for 2 days.

Test cricket is too big a step to be made in one go. Why not let the less established cricket nations tour against the domestic sides until they are routinely beating them? If they can't beat a county side, what hope do they have against Australia?

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