Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ending as it began

The ODI series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka has mercifully ended. And it ended as it began; with the ground covered, and rain pouring down. That's hardly a surprise, given that this is the wet season for Sri Lanka. 

At least the Black Caps gave a decent account of themselves last night, having Sri Lanka 123 for eight batting first when the weather yet again interrupted. But in terms of quality cricket, this series has been an absolute washout; quite literally!

And sadly, it illustrates New Zealand's dilemma. We are now firmly entrenched in the lower half of the ICC rankings. In terms of the ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP), that means that we get the dud dates when being invited to play Tier One sides. To meet FTP obligations now in a programme made even more congested by the IPL and the T20 Champions League, hosts are having to schedule cricket at times of the year when cricket is unlikely; such as November in Sri Lanka.

To get back to Tier One, the Black Caps will have to play consistently well over a long period; not something that New Zealand is renowned for. Until then, what we have seen in Sri Lanka is our lot.

The spectre of the Justin Vaughan years will hang over New Zealand cricket (and New Zealand Cricket) for some years, and that is a huge pity. We wish David White every success in cleaning up the chaos created by his predecessor's decisions.

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