Sunday, 25 February 2007

What is the point of this blog?

Wales has continuously produced some quality cricketers. However, only two home-grown Glamorgan players have had the opportunity to perform at the World Cup. Croft represented England in 1999 whilst David Hemp was Bermuda’s star player in 2007. Our proposal is that Wales should be made Associated Members of the I.C.C. in the same way as Scotland and Ireland so that Welsh cricketers of the future can also showcase their talents at the biggest stage of all.

The benefits would be great:
  • give more cricketers in Wales the opportunity to play in a World cup
  • raise cricket awareness amongst Wales’ youngsters
  • increase nationalistic pride
  • Give those of us who are not quite good the chance to spend a couple of weeks in slightly more tropical conditions!
Wales and Glamorgan have always been treated as second class in cricketing terms. The mere fact that the likes of Don Sheperd and Alan Jones didn’t get a single Test cap is as good an example as any.

Ireland and Scotland, meanwhile, are able to field an international side as well as entering a one-day domestic competition with the counties.

This, combined with the fact that Wales generally have higher quality players than our Celtic cousins, should mean that Glamorgan should be able to maintain their full-status within the domestic structure. It is appreciated that this must be the case if such a scheme is going to work because in no way would one wish to devalue Glamorgan’s status.

With over £7 million being invested in developing Sophia Gardens into one of the top cricket venues in the UK, Wales could have a base to be proud of. Crucially, since 'Team England' would remain as the official test side for England & Wales (at least in the short-term) and the likes of Simon Jones would carry on playing for England in the same way as Ed Joyce, there would be no need to take future Test matches away from Cardiff. It is an important source of income not only for Glamorgan CCC but also to Cardiff as a City – as would any international involving Wales be.

We have seen from important Glamorgan matches and the Wales-England matches that the support is out there and people would be ready to embrace an international side in the same way as the Scots an Irish have done.


Craig said...

Hey there!

I just wanted to leave a comment supporting your admirable campaign. Personally, as a cricket loving Scot, who had a Welsh grandfather, i've often wondered why a land that has produced such talents as Croft and Jones in recent years hasn't been able to field them in its own national side.

I strongly believe that with the huge asset of Glamorgan a Welsh national team could be one of the strongest non-test player nations. Its time that Wales stepped out of the considerable shadow of the ECB and ventured out on their own.

Its time!

Martin said...

I must say, firstly, that it is very satisfying to see a website such as this. I have always wondered why the Welsh have never had their own cricket team and why there is never any public acknowledgement to the Welsh when reference is made to the English team and its board, given that Wales form such a significant part of the structure of English cricket.
This site answers a gnawing question for me;
Why haven't the Welsh formed any campaign to secede from the English system as the Scots and Irish have done? (and also recently Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man).
The Welsh are in a far better and stronger position to do so than any of the above, but I acknowledge that they also have more to lose in a financial sense.

Scotland and Ireland are forging an international cricketing identity for themselves and along the way are significantly improving the popularity of the sport within their borders. Increased exposure and recognition enhanced by national fervour and pride is driving the increased penetration of the sport into the populations of these nations. Finance alone cannot and will not achieve the improved levels of participation currently experienced by both Ireland and Scotland. These two nations are providing an opportunity for its youth to excel internationally through the sport of cricket, opportunity that seems very limited under the current arrangements of Welsh cricket (How many Welsh actually achieve English selection? and if they do, Are they identified and acknowledged as Welsh?). I agree with Craig, that it is time for the Welsh to step out from the very significant shadow of the English and show the cricketing world that Welsh cricket exists and excels. I don't think it would be long after cricketing independance that Wales would be pushing for Full Member/Test status, it has the infrastructure, public interest and playing strength to move well, and quickly, into the international arena, it just needs the will to succeed. From this lone voice in Australia I welcome this campaign and support it no end!!

Craig said...

May i offer a suggestion?

Living in Scotland we are obviously in the midst of an election campaign which, of course, means the Welsh are as well.

It may be a good idea for you, the owner of this blog, to contact your local Plaid Cymru AM to highlight your campaign. Hopefully, Plaid Cymru could publicise the fact the Welsh don't have their own national side at a time when an election campaign just happens to coincide with Cricket's biggest event.

We all know how politicians love a bandwagon and i can think of no group of individuals better than Plaid Cymru to champion your cause.

Just a thought.

MisterDavid said...

Great blog and much needed campaign!

I'm a fairly unionist-minded Englishman and it's obvious to me that Wales needs its own cricket team - why on earth not?!!

Personally, I think that Wales could produce a perfectly viable test match team (better than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, anyway) within a few short years. So why is no one pushing for ICC recognition?

With you all the way ...

Maliphant said...

Cricket is a very popular summer sport in Wales. Every weekend, weather permitting, I see man in flannels on well kept grounds across Llanelli Swansea and hear the sound of willow it does annoy me intensely that the England & Wales Cricket Board is initialled ECB and of course there should be a Wales cricket team ! How can senior Welshmen in the cricket world allow this situation to continue. Criced Cymru has a nice ring to it. Then how about an annual Home Nations cricket championship ? Also a Wales entry in Eurovision while we're about it.