The Associates thread

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In honour of a new book being released on cricket in the 'other' nations around the world, I think it's high time we have a thread to show off cricket beyond the Test world.

Associate nations have existed since 1965. Originally, only Commonwealth nations could join the Imperial Cricket Conference. Upon South Africa leaving, nations outside the Commonwealth were permitted entry, and so Associates were created. Ten teams joined the ICC in the 1960s - Fiji, United States (1965), Bermuda, Denmark, East Africa, Netherlands (1966), Malaysia (1967), Canada (1968), Gibraltar and Hong Kong (1969). Perhaps unsurprisingly, these nations all have some kind of close connection to 'the mother country'.

Today there are 38 Associates, and this number is growing. Those who get promoted to Associate status today come from the rung below - the Affiliates.

The Affiliate nations tend to be smaller and/or with less historical connection to the game than the Associates, ranging from the Falklands and Saint Helena, to China and Russia. There are 59 Affiliates, with the oldest being the Bahamas (1987).

One Day International status is granted to the best performing Associate teams in the World Cricket League. It was not always so structured. Originally, ODI status was granted for special tournaments, and then in extraordinary circumstances. There are fifteen Associates to have been granted ODI status, three of which have gone on to become Test nations (one more successfully than the others): Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

There are six Associates with ODI status currently. After continually raising the number of Associates playing in the World Cup, peaking with all six with ODI status in 2007, the number will be shrinking again, with the possibility of none playing in 2019. The T20 World Cup is pitched as the replacement tournament for them, but it is unlikely it will be as healthy for Associate cricket as the 50 over game.

The six nations with ODI status as of 2015 are:

Afghanistan - graduated to full membership

Undoubtedly the greatest story of recent cricket history. Afghanistan only became an Affiliate in 2001, six years after the formation of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, which was originally based in Pakistan. It was in their neighbouring country that the Afghans first learnt the game, and, upon their return to the home country, it was to be the only sport approved by the Taliban. After some tours in carious countries around the world, they began a concerted effort to qualify for the 2011 World Cup. They began by topping World Cricket League division five in 2008, then division four later the same year. Early in 2009 they also won division three, thus entering the World Cup qualifiers. Although they did not make it to the World Cup, they gained ODI status, and won their first ODI, which was against Scotland.

In 2013 they gained Associate status, and today they are the highest ranked Associate ODI nation.

Hong Kong

Cricket has a long history in Hong Kong, brought in by the English in the 19th century. Despite only playing sporadically for much of their early time as an Associate, they have taken part in many ICC tournaments, but never at a World Cup. Much of their team contains expats from the sub-continent, but Jamie Anderson, their captain, keeper and best player, was born and raised in HK. At their first World T20 they came last in their group, losing to fellow Associates Afghanistan and Nepal, but beating the host nation, Bangladesh.

Ireland - graduated to full membership

If Afghanistan is the greatest story in recent cricket history, then Ireland is the greatest reality. Ireland's come a long way over the past decade, finally returning cricket to its former glory in the country. Once upon a time, cricket was popular in the Emerald Isle. However, as is so often the case, politics overcame sport, and the banning of foreign sports in the 1880s meant cricket quickly disappeared from the landscape. Irish cricket sides still played against teams from across the world for decades, memorably defeating a touring West Indies side in 1969 after bowling them out for 25. They also played a yearly First Class match against Scotland every year, except during the wars.

Following the lifting of the ban in 1970, Ireland competed with Scotland and Sri Lanka for the title of best non-Test nation. As history shows, the Sri Lankans won out, with Ireland gaining Associate status in 1993. After just missing out on qualifying for the 1999 World Cup (to Scotland), Ireland spent some years doing little of note, before taking their chance to qualify for the 2007 World Cup, with the qualifiers being held on home soil in 2005. From that point on it has been onwards and upwards. That same year, they won their first Intercontinental Cup, a title they have since won a further three times. At the 2007 WC they shocked the world by making the Super 8s, following a tie with Zimbabwe and a win over Pakistan. After steadily improving for four years, they made an even bigger claim on world cricket by defeating England at the 2011 WC. Most importantly, unlike 2007, the 2011 Ireland was almost entirely home-grown. Of all the Associate nations, Ireland is considered the most likely to gain Test status in the near future, and has recently started a domestic first class competition.

Papua New Guinea

PNG has a dual history of cricket. In the cities, it was historically the game of expats from Australia and England. Elsewhere, it was the indigenous game, brought to the people by missionaries. Since gaining Associate status in 1973, it has been the latter dominating the cricket team. Today's national side contains mostly indigenous cricketers, many of whom hail from one village - Hanuabada, near Port Moresby. Their location in the world has been the cause of some difficulty - they lost the final of the 1994 ICC Trophy, having already booked tickets home, not expecting to qualify and not wanting to wait potentially another week - and has prevented them from playing overseas often. Recently things have improved, and they have taken part in numerous tournaments and series over the past decade. They only just missed out on qualifying for both the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, but may still feature in the next World T20.

Scotland

Ireland may be more renowned for their cricket at the moment, but Scotland has a claim to a cricket history just as strong. With the first recorded match in the country being in 1785, Scotland is hardly a new kid on the block. For much of their history Scotland functioned as a part of the ECB (TCCB as it was then), much like Wales. Two English captains, Mike Denness and Douglas Jardine, are Scots. In 1994, they left England and became an Associate nation, following in the footsteps of Ireland. They got one over their neighbours by qualifying for the 1999 World Cup, which was held at home, but they failed to take advantage of this opportunity. After losing every match they played, cricket stagnated in the nation. It took until 2006 for them to play another ODI. The qualified for the 2007 World Cup, again losing all their matches – although they did, rather cruelly, draw a group with Australia and South Africa. They kept their ODI status despite missing out on the 2011 World Cup, and have again qualified in 2015. At present they seem to be on the precipice; their home grown talent is improving, but they do not have the presence of Ireland. At least, not yet. Their outgoing CEO has secured their future, but their new one must be the one to take them to the next level.

United Arab Emirates

Cricket has a curious history in the UAE. Initially brought to the land by the soldiers of Britain and the Dominions, the game spread throughout and after the Second World War, played in the cities of the Shiekdoms. Following independence, these cricketers left, but the cricket stayed, as new immigrants arrived from the subcontinent, all wanting to play the game. Furthermore, those born in the UAE but educated in the subcontinent brought the game back with them. As wealthy locals invested in the sport, the eagerness for a strong national time rose, and the UAE became an Affiliate in 1989, then an Associate the following year.

In order to win the ICC Trophy and qualify for the 1996 World Cup, the UAE adopted a policy of attracting first class cricketers from the subcontinent with jobs in their country, thus qualifying them to play for the national team. It worked, and the UAE won the trophy, and won their match against the Netherlands in the World Cup. Following this, ICC regulations on qualifying to play for a national team were tightened, thus ending the reign of quite possibly cricket's only national mercenary team. Since then, the UAE have been in and out of ODI status, finally qualifying for their second World Cup in 2015. Much like their first time around, most of their team is foreign-born. Unlike the first time around, they haven't been recruited.

The nations with former ODI status are: Bermuda, Canada, East Africa, Kenya, Netherlands, Namibia, United States

Some other notable teams: Denmark, East and Central Africa, Italy, Jersey, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Uganda, West Africa

Structure

As it stands, there are regional tournaments for all five regions of the cricket world. These are run by either the ICC (Americas, East Asia-Pacific and, as of now, Africa) or the regional cricket administrators (Asia and Europe). Through these regional tournaments, the participants for worldwide ICC tournaments are chosen.

The ICC runs two worldwide tournaments for Associates and Affiliates: World Cricket League and Intercontinental Cup.

The WCL is the one day competition. The most recent edition, 2012-2015, had eight divisions. Every division (other than the lowest) begins with four teams, along with the two finalists from the division below. After they all play each other, the top two go on to play in the next division, the middle two stay in the division, and the bottom two are dropped to the division below. This system enabled Afghanistan to earn ODI status in 2011 after starting in division five in 2009 - they kept winning the division, and getting promoted to the next. It rewards genuinely talented teams, while preventing fluke victors from going too far from their real level.

The Intercontinental Cup is the first class competition. For many Associate players, it is the only chance they get to play first class cricket for their nation. Currently, the qualifying teams are the six ODI teams, along with the top two WCL division two teams, which will be decided this month. It is played over a number of years, with all eight teams playing each other once. It has been played six times, with Ireland winnings four trophies, and Scotland and Afghanistan one each.

The WCL division two is just around the corner, and the World Cup is not too far away. Let's give these nations our full support, as they are the key to the future of this great sport.

Resources

Associate and Affiliate Cricket blog: http://jashan-celebrating-life.blogspot.com.au/
The Associate and Affiliate Podcast (Idle Summers and CricketEurope): https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/associate-affiliate-cricket/id617248883?mt=2
Cricket Atlas: http://cricketatlas.blogspot.com.au/
CricketEurope: http://www.cricketeurope4.net/CRICKETEUROPE/
Idle Summers: http://idlesummers.com/
The Popping Crease: http://poppingcrease.weebly.com/
Shane Booth's Cricket Rankings: http://home.iprimus.com.au/shane_booth/cricket/assoc.html
T20 International: http://www.t20international.org/
 
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t_94

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#3
Great thread!

Regarding associates, this is something that really grinds on me for some reason.

If the icc actually got behind Ireland,they could have kept Morgan and rankin ( or possibly got them back) and they would have a first choice team that looks something like this:

Porterfield (c), Stirling, Joyce, n.o'brien (wkpr), Morgan, Wilson, k.o'brien, Sorensen, dockrell, murtagh, rankin.

I would back that team to be competitive at test level, especially on home soil. Shame the icc (big three) seem more intent on blocking teams like Ireland's path rather than aiding it.
 

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#4
Great thread!

Regarding associates, this is something that really grinds on me for some reason.

If the icc actually got behind Ireland,they could have kept Morgan and rankin ( or possibly got them back) and they would have a first choice team that looks something like this:

Porterfield (c), Stirling, Joyce, n.o'brien (wkpr), Morgan, Wilson, k.o'brien,
Rankin elected not to go back to Ireland.
 
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I would back that team to be competitive at test level, especially on home soil. Shame the icc (big three) seem more intent on blocking teams like Ireland's path rather than aiding it.
They would probably argue that they are helping out by offering the winner of the next Intercontinental Cup the chance to play for a spot in Test cricket.

But there's so few details about how it would happen that it's hard to believe them.

And the way they are structuring it seems designed to help as few nations as possible.
 

t_94

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Rankin elected not to go back to Ireland.
Fair enough. A bloke can still dream though

They would probably argue that they are helping out by offering the winner of the next Intercontinental Cup the chance to play for a spot in Test cricket.

But there's so few details about how it would happen that it's hard to believe them.

And the way they are structuring it seems designed to help as few nations as possible.
Yeh, it seems deliberately vague and a short term payoff for them IMO
 

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Looking forward to seeing the two quicks from Afghanistan - Shapoor Zadran and Dalwat Zadran. I don't think they are related. Both are clocked into the 140's, Dalwat at 145+.

You'd imagine they would cause a fair bit of chaos in the local Afghanistan cricket scene.

Hopefully they are both fit and firing for the world cup.
 

t_94

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Looking forward to seeing the two quicks from Afghanistan - Shapoor Zadran and Dalwat Zadran. I don't think they are related. Both are clocked into the 140's, Dalwat at 145+.

You'd imagine they would cause a fair bit of chaos in the local Afghanistan cricket scene.

Hopefully they are both fit and firing for the world cup.
Hamid has an if he is fit is even better. I'd say the best bowler not playing test cricket. Problem is he's horribly injury prone but he has 45 odi wickets at 18 (against mostly weaker opposition).

Anyone know why Kenya has gone down hill so badly?
They had a really outstanding group of players around 03 who retired and because the administration didn't invest in a solid domestic structure when they were going well, the youngsters weren't anywhere near the same standard when the older guys moved on.
 
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The fact that Steve Tikolo, coming out of retirement, was their best player at the World Cup qualifiers says a lot about the state of Kenyan cricket right now.
 

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t_94

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Anyone rate Ireland or Afghanistan a sneaky chance of making the quarter finals of the World Cup with a bit of luck?
 

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Anyone rate Ireland or Afghanistan a sneaky chance of making the quarter finals of the World Cup with a bit of luck?
depends which Pakistan turns up. Seriously though, Probably not with this format as beating one test team won't be enough. Hope I'm wrong though.
 
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It's a matter of where they play and who they can realistically beat. Afghanistan can beat Bangladesh and Scotland. England are an unknown at the moment. Sri Lanka, NZ and Australia are probably too much, even with their fast bowlers at the WACA against the latter.

They play Bangladesh in Canberra, probably the kind of pitch that neither batsman nor bowler likes - slow and low, not a big turner, not much bounce - so who knows. Scotland will be in Dunedin, which hasn't held many matches. Conditions probably more familiar for Scotland. If they can win both they're in with a chance, but I think their batting is too unreliable.

Ireland are a much better chance. They should beat the UAE, and play Zimbabwe in familiar conditions in Hobart. Against the Windies in Nelson they're a genuine chance. They play India in Hamilton, and India weren't world beaters against NZ there early last year. Pakistan's ODI form is awful. The only team I absolutely expect to beat them is South Africa. If I were a betting man, I'd strongly consider putting something on Ireland making the quarters.
 

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Anyone rate Ireland or Afghanistan a sneaky chance of making the quarter finals of the World Cup with a bit of luck?
Given the state of the Windies, Ireland is a pretty good chance.

Especially since the Zimbos might be able to upset some teams as well.

Afghanistan is no chance- Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka won't be dropping matches to Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Scotland
 

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Some good memories regarding asoociates.

John Davison scoring his century in 67 balls, 2003 WC.


The man, the myth, the legend, Dwayne Leverock bowling at the 2007 WC. Who can forget 'that catch'?



Kevin O'Brien scoring 100 off 50 to take Ireland to a memorable win over England, 2011.


Kenya upsetting SL, 2003


Kenya beating the Windies, 1996

 
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Canada completed the first match of their tour of Zimbabwe today, losing fairly comprehensively to Zim A. Or, more accurately, to Chamu Chibhabha, who scored 155. Canada's side does skew quite young, and not many players have any significant FC/List A experience.
 

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Canada completed the first match of their tour of Zimbabwe today, losing fairly comprehensively to Zim A. Or, more accurately, to Chamu Chibhabha, who scored 155. Canada's side does skew quite young, and not many players have any significant FC/List A experience.
Not even counted as a list A match, pathetic.

Canada's team yesterday comprised of players from the following nations

India x4
Pakistan x3
Sri Lanka x2
Kuwait x1

The lone Canadian-born being Usman Limbada.
 

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Something regarding Canada. Their first WC win. It was only Bangladesh, but the Canada team still made the most of the Celebrations.

 

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Some good memories regarding asoociates.

John Davison scoring his century in 67 balls, 2003 WC.


The man, the myth, the legend, Dwayne Leverock bowling at the 2007 WC. Who can forget 'that catch'?



Kevin O'Brien scoring 100 off 50 to take Ireland to a memorable win over England, 2011.


Kenya upsetting SL, 2003


Kenya beating the Windies, 1996

With that Davidson hundred didn't someone take a amazing outfield catch to get him out? Think it may have been Sarwan.
 

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With that Davidson hundred didn't someone take a amazing outfield catch to get him out? Think it may have been Sarwan.
Vasbert Drakes I'm pretty sure. Jumped up with his hand upwards whilst falling backwards, still plucked it.
 
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#22
Great thread!

Regarding associates, this is something that really grinds on me for some reason.

If the icc actually got behind Ireland,they could have kept Morgan and rankin ( or possibly got them back) and they would have a first choice team that looks something like this:

Porterfield (c), Stirling, Joyce, n.o'brien (wkpr), Morgan, Wilson, k.o'brien, Sorensen, dockrell, murtagh, rankin.

I would back that team to be competitive at test level, especially on home soil. Shame the icc (big three) seem more intent on blocking teams like Ireland's path rather than aiding it.
And the ironic thing is that a lot of the above players who are playing county cricket are actually more suited to the longer form of the game. Joyce was one of the best batsmen in the County Championship last year (averaged nearly 70 from memory) and Wilson, NOB, Murtagh and Porterfield are all excellent CC contributors.

Obviously the big issue is that a lot of that team above are the wrong side of 30 but there been a conscious effort to fast track young talented players through the system in Ireland and there is obviously a number of promising young players who have been picked up by county sides. For instance Craig Young and Peter Chase have been picked ahead of Sorensen for the WC with an eye to the future (particularly as producing home grown proper pace bowlers has been an issue previously). Also keep an eye out for Balbirnie at the WC, he looks to be the best batting prospect we've produced since Stirling came through.

Rankin elected not to go back to Ireland.
A decision borne more out of pride than reality IMO. A 30 year old injury prone pace man who was humiliated in his test debut and who never really impressed in the shorter forms has no future with England, even in the post-Anderson era. It's a pity as he'd add a huge amount to our attack.

As for the World Cup, I'd give us a fighting chance of taking a couple of scalps, provided our batsmen play to their potential. With Trent Johnson gone, we may not be able to restrict sides scoring runs as we have in the past and with the experience in our top order, they really should be the ones picking up the slack. Bar the odd huge innings, our major failing against the big guns is the inability of our batsmen to go on from starts to get big scores.

I'm heading over for the Zimbabwe game in Hobart. Given it's the only Irish game on a Saturday I'd expect a huge Irish ex-pat contingent to be in attendance, which will hopefully swing the game our way.
 

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And the ironic thing is that a lot of the above players who are playing county cricket are actually more suited to the longer form of the game. Joyce was one of the best batsmen in the County Championship last year (averaged nearly 70 from memory) and Wilson, NOB, Murtagh and Porterfield are all excellent CC contributors.

Obviously the big issue is that a lot of that team above are the wrong side of 30 but there been a conscious effort to fast track young talented players through the system in Ireland and there is obviously a number of promising young players who have been picked up by county sides. For instance Craig Young and Peter Chase have been picked ahead of Sorensen for the WC with an eye to the future (particularly as producing home grown proper pace bowlers has been an issue previously). Also keep an eye out for Balbirnie at the WC, he looks to be the best batting prospect we've produced since Stirling came through.



A decision borne more out of pride than reality IMO. A 30 year old injury prone pace man who was humiliated in his test debut and who never really impressed in the shorter forms has no future with England, even in the post-Anderson era. It's a pity as he'd add a huge amount to our attack.

As for the World Cup, I'd give us a fighting chance of taking a couple of scalps, provided our batsmen play to their potential. With Trent Johnson gone, we may not be able to restrict sides scoring runs as we have in the past and with the experience in our top order, they really should be the ones picking up the slack. Bar the odd huge innings, our major failing against the big guns is the inability of our batsmen to go on from starts to get big scores.

I'm heading over for the Zimbabwe game in Hobart. Given it's the only Irish game on a Saturday I'd expect a huge Irish ex-pat contingent to be in attendance, which will hopefully swing the game our way.
Good on you for heading over any supporting them and hope many irishmen do. Even as any Aussie the Irish ride has been a fun one in the last cuple of world cups so wish you guys all the best.
 

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