Tuesday, 22 October 2013
This article appeared in the Western Mail on the 26th of June 2002, after Wales had beaten England in a 50-over challenge match. You can find a link to it here
WALES should have a Test cricket team following their victory over England, business minister Carwyn Jones said yesterday.
Mr Jones said it was ``anachronistic'' to have Welshmen playing for an English cricket team. He said the only solutions would be to rename the English side Great Britain or to split it up with separate teams for Wales, Scotland and England.
He said it was bizarre that the Welsh players in Monday's game at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, were effec-tively trying to play their way into the opposing team which they beat.
``It is time we had a Welsh Test team,'' he told reporters at the Welsh Assembly.
``How strange it must be for one team to hope to play well enough to join the opposition team. It has always struck me as rather odd to have a Great Britain cricket team. It is anachronistic to call it England when it has players from outside England. ``Either you should have a Welsh Test cricket team or a cricket team called Great Britain.'' Mr Jones will undoubtedly be accused of opportunism. And he conceded his call was unlikely to prove successful.
``But it is something that needs to be addressed given the obvious quality of Welsh cricket,'' he added.
Wales caused a major upset with their emphatic eight-wicket victory against England. The win was a warm-up game for England in preparation for a triangular one-day series against Sri Lanka and India.
JOINT STATEMENT FROM CRICKET WALES AND GLAMORGAN CRICKET REGARDING SENEDD DEBATE: "WALES NATIONAL CRICKET TEAM” 23rd OCTOBER 2013
The idea of a Welsh national cricket team is an emotive subject. Regardless of how desirable it would be to see our proud identity represented on the international stage, it is a romantic notion that is unlikely to be beneficial to the game in Wales, the watching public or the current and future players of the sport.
Let us consider the existing structures and processes in place for cricket in Wales, whether recreational at grassroots, or professional with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, which would be jeopardised with such seismic change.
Cricket Wales is the national governing body for the junior and senior recreational game in Wales and strives to achieve 4 main outcomes:
• More young people, adults & families are involved and retained within cricket.
• Cricket is easily accessible to everyone in Wales.
• People have a fun, enjoyable and positive experience in cricket.
• People (i.e. players, coaches, officials, ground-staff, club volunteers etc) have the opportunity to be the best they can.
All of these objectives are currently delivered in partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), in terms of funding support, utilising competition structures and provision of opponents, coach and player development programmes, business models and a shared player development pathway which gives Welsh players the opportunity to ultimately play on the biggest stage, with the best facilities, in the best venue, alongside and against the best players in the world. Cricket in Wales and players at all levels benefit from aligning with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Comparisons can be drawn with near geographical neighbours as such a working relationship is not enjoyed by Scotland or Ireland. Both instead possess International Cricket Council (ICC) membership status and play against other nations around the globe. The standard of cricket at this level is inferior to the level of domestic competition provided by the ECB (i.e. County Championship, T20 and 50-over domestic tournaments) and equally it is weaker at age grade levels throughout the game. Both the professional game and the pathway from age grade cricket are supported centrally by ECB funding, as are many other facets of the sport in Wales.
Indeed both Ireland and Scotland have been independently registered with the ICC for about 10 years and it has taken a long time for them to reach the stage they are at. The recent success of Ireland Cricket should be applauded, but Welsh players have achieved a great deal more within the ECB structure, and are highly likely to continue to do so.
By standing alone as an ICC associate member, the sporting, economic and political consequences for both professional and recreational cricket in Wales are stark, with even local club cricket affected.
At the highest level, Glamorgan's status as a First-Class County would be questioned as it relies heavily on ECB central funding generated through broadcast of England international fixtures. Certainly no (England) international events such as the Ashes of 2009, which return in 2015, nor the seven hugely successful ICC Champions Trophy fixtures of this year would be held in Wales.
International cricket is a cornerstone of Glamorgan's business plan. The SWALEC Stadium was built for sell-out international cricket matches and large events. Without international cricket Wales would suffer from the loss of international exposure these high profile fixtures bring, the people of Wales would miss the opportunity to be inspired by seeing the world's best on their doorstep and Glamorgan would miss the income generated.
Young players developing in the game already have the opportunity to play for Wales at Under 11 boys to Senior Women, against top quality opponents from strong English Counties such as Somerset, Yorkshire and Middlesex. At full international level players who strive to achieve within the game, would face a choice of England or Wales, with a four year wait required between appearing for either nation - the chance to follow in the footsteps of Simon Jones and Robert Croft to play Ashes Test Match cricket or to play the Netherlands in Amsterdam?
Recently Irish-born and qualified player, Boyd Rankin, made the following statement following his selection for this winter's England Ashes series:
"It's one step closer to my dream of playing Test Match cricket. I'm over the moon that
I have got into the squad. I've always had the ambition to play Test Match cricket but
I think it was that step when I did decide to stop for Ireland. I wanted to concentrate
on playing for Warwickshire and force my way in”
We welcome the opportunity for the future of Welsh cricket to be given public consideration and we recognise more work is required to improve the talent pool in Wales. However we are already on the right road to develop the growth of the game at grassroots through clubs and schools in Wales, to better enable the progress of elite players and to increase the number of youngsters pushing for selection into Glamorgan's first team.
Cricket Wales and Glamorgan CCC are totally committed to developing Welsh cricket through being part of the ECB. A future Welsh international team forms no part of our plans due to the hugely detrimental impact it would have on the game in Wales at all levels.
Peter Hybart Barry O'Brien
Chief Executive Chairman
Cricket Wales Glamorgan CCC Ltd
Monday, 21 October 2013
Twenty20 is also changing the face of the game and winning over new fans across the world for the sport. As Twenty20 increases cricket’s popularity, financial opportunities for emerging nations will increase and the emphasis on test cricket will decrease somewhat. This makes it absolutely the right time to establish a Welsh national team so that as these major changes take place we do not miss our opportunity again but instead reap the sporting and financial benefits.
The question, however, should not be entertained. The only question that is relevant is “who are the best 11 Welsh cricket players?” These 11 players will then be who makes up the team and it will then be the job of the board to get the best out of those 11 players with the resources available. At times they will win and at times they will lose. But as a Welsh team we will support them regardless. This is the nature of international sport.
The last tender process led to Wales hosting none of the test matches for the recent Ashes. Instead, England played one “home” ODI game in Wales. However, England also played an ODI in Ireland and Australia played an ODI in Scotland. This means that England and Australia each played as many games in Scotland and Ireland as they did in Wales. The key difference is that Scotland and Ireland have their own national teams, with 11 players from each country playing in those games. They also both got international exposure in their own right. For Wales meanwhile, not a single Welsh person played during the Ashes and our country got international exposure as a place where England go to play their “home” games. What message does that send out to the world about Wales.
However, Cricket Wales also seems to be ideologically opposed to establishing a cricket team for Wales. They have never engaged in the process with any openness and have not made any efforts to explore whether establishing the team would be a viable possibility. From the very first moment they have been absolutely opposed to it and have made every effort to shut it down.
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
The ICC World Twenty20 England 2009 has just started, and will last until June 21. And what countries are taking part? Australia, Bangladesh, England, Holland, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. Yes you read right, Ireland, Scotland and England, but no Wales! Our players must play for England. It is a complete and utter disgrace.
Monday, 2 February 2009
Just recently found this article by Adam Price on his blog.
Rhowch Dim Criced I Gymru - Give Wales a Cricket Team
It’s a mystery why a Celtic country with the strongest cricket tradition is hidden under the umbrella of England’s team when Scotland and Ireland have independent teams. Indeed, Wales has more cricket teams than Scotland and Ireland combined. For over a century, we’ve sustained a first rate team. And many of ‘England’s’ players have come from Wales.
In the two other famous team games - rugby and football - we have, luckily, national representation. And yet, cricket teams are just as numerous as football and rugby ones in Wales, indeed, even more so according to the cricket journalist Michael Blumberg. The standard of a Welsh test team would surely equal at least Zimbabwe or Bangladesh. So why not, therefore, venture in our own colours?
Opposers say that Wales is already represented in the England and Wales Cricket Board (the EWCB). But how often do you hear the second letter pronounced by the media or even game officials? Also, it’s only England that is represented in the team’s name. This is a bit like calling the West Indies team - the only other multi-nation team acknowledged by the International Cricket Committee, the ICC - Jamaica, or calling Ireland’s team Ulster or Eire.
The ICC remains neutral on the matter. So why, therefore, are Wales’ cricketers treated in this manner? The argument given states that money to Glamorgan would disappear. But why would this be the case? Glamorgan receives money because the team competes in the EWCB’s county competitions - not because the team produces players for England. In the same way, Swansea and Cardiff benefit from being part of the English football leagues but this doesn’t have any effect on Wales’ right to compete as national team
A new national team would be able to ask the Welsh Assembly Government for support, as it has a duty to support national teams as set out in the One Wales Document. Also, the ICC has development funds available to new nations. But the biggest prize of all would have to be beating England at Lords. An old-province avenging its former masters.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mae’n ddirgelwch pam y dylai’r wlad Geltaidd sydd a’r traddodiad criced cryfaf gael ei chuddio o dan ymbarel tim Lloegr pan fo gyda’r Alban ac Iwerddon dimau annibynnol. Mae gan Gymru mwy o glybiau criced na sydd gan yr Alban ac Iwerddon rhyngddynt. Rydym wedi cynnal tim o’r radd flaenaf ers dros ganrif. Ac mae nifer helaeth o chwaraewyr “Lloegr” wedi dod o Gymru.
Yn y ddau gem tim adnabyddus arall - sef rygbi a phel-droed - mae gyda ni gynrychiolaeth genedlaethol, diolch i’r drefn. Ac eto mae clybiau criced yng Nghymru yr un mor niferus a rhai rygbi neu pel-droed, neu hyd yn oed yn fwy yn ol y newyddiadurwr criced Michael Blumberg. Byddai safon tim prawf Cymreig yn gydradd o leiaf a Zimbabwe neu Bangladesh. Felly, pam ddim mentro yn ein lliwiau ein hunain?
Yn ol y gwrthwynebwyr, mae Cymru yn cael ei chynrychioli eisoes ym Mwrdd Criced Lloegr a Cymru (yr EWCB). Ond pa mor aml y clywch chi yr ail lythyren na yn cael ei ynganu gan y cyfryngau neu swyddogion y gem? A Lloegr yn unig, wedi’r cwbl, yw enw’r tim. Mae hyn ychydig bach fel galw tim India’r Gorllewin - yr unig dim criced arall aml-genedlaethol sy’n cael ei gydnabod gan y Cyngor Criced Rhyngwladol, yr ICC - yn Jamaica, neu alw tim unedig Iwerddon yn Ulster neu Eire.
Mae’r ICC yn niwtral ar y mater. Felly pam fod cricedwyr Cymru yn derbyn y fath sarhad? Y ddadl sydd yn cael ei grybwyll yw y byddai arian i Forgannwg yn diflannu. Ond pam? Mae Morgannwg yn derbyn yr arian oherwydd ei bod hi’n cystadlu ym nhystadlaethau sirol yr EWCB - nid am ei bod hi’n cynhyrchu chwaraewyr i dim Lloegr. Yn yr un modd mae Abertawe a Chaerdydd yn elwa o fod yn rhan o gynghreiriau pel-droed Lloegr heb newid dim ar yr hawl i Gymru gystadlu fel tim cenedlaethol.
Byddai tim cenedlaethol newydd yn medru gofyn am gymorth gan Lywodraeth Cymru sydd ag ymrwymiad i gefnogi timau cenedlaethol yn nogfen Cymru’n Un, a’r ICC sydd a chronfa datblygu ar gyfer cenhedloedd newydd. Ond y wobr fwyaf, does bosib, fyddai curo Lloegr yn Lords. Fel Indiaid y Gorllewin a’r Dwyrain: cyn-dalaith yn talu’r pwyth yn ol.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
In light of Cardiff hosting a one-day international between England and South Africa a few weeks ago, Mohammad Ashgar AM called for Wales to establish a full national cricket side. How would this happen?
It is important to note at the outset that Wales does have a history of competing in international cricket. The first match was against Scotland in Perth in 1923 and Wales beat the West Indies in 1928. Half a century later Wales competed in the first ICC Trophy, a tournament for non-Test playing nations, won by Sri Lanka. More recently Wales have played England in 50-over games, winning handsomely in 2002 (admittedly with the distinctly non-Welsh Jacques Kallis on board).
Many Welshmen have been of Test match standard over the years, not all of whom were selected by England. The most notable and recent is Simon Jones who played such a big part in the 2005 Ashes success. Others include Simon's father Jeff, who won fifteen caps for England in the 1960s, and Robert Croft, who played twenty-one times for England between 1996 and 2001.
Glamorgan of course are the only first-class County side in Wales and so any Welsh line-up would inevitably be made up of many Glamorgan players. At the beginning at least, it could be that Welsh-born cricketers play for Wales in one-dayers, including the World Cup, but for England in Test matches. Ed Joyce played one-dayers for Ireland before winning Test caps for England.
A Wales Minor Counties team has existed since 1988 and competes in the Minor Counties Championship. Glamorgan themselves used to play in this competition until they were awarded first-class status in 1921. Wales Minor Counties also played in what was the NatWest or C&G Trophy - 'the FA Cup of cricket'. However, the format was altered in 2006, leaving no place for a Wales side.
So how might Wales get their own national cricket team?
Scotland have shown us the way. Scotland resigned from the UK Cricket Council (then superseded by the England and Wales Cricket Board, or ECB) in 1992 and two years later were elected to Associate membership of the International Cricket Committee. They qualified for the 1999 and 2007 World Cups and have since played in several other international tournaments, winning the inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup. Capturing the ICC Trophy in 2005 meant that Scotland gained temporary first-class One-Day International Status in January 2006.
Currently it is the Welsh Cricket Association that looks after the amateur game in Wales. The Association is a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board, commonly referred to as the ECB with the W conveniently dropped. (Even the website is ecb.co.uk). Wales would have to break from the ECB and become an Associate or Affiliate member of the ICC to be able to enter the ICC World Cup Qualifier (formerly ICC Trophy). It is performing well in this competition that confers qualification for the World Cup.
There are many Welshmen at the top of the game. David Morgan, former Glamorgan and ECB Chairman, is now President of the International Cricket Committee, Tony Lewis - nine times capped by England - is Chairman of the MCC, and Hugh Morris (three caps) has worked for the ECB for many years and is currently Managing Director of England Cricket.
Ashgar's Plaid colleague Adam Price tabled an Early Day Motion in 2002 that expressed the desire for a Welsh national team to compete in the World Cup. Now that Ashgar has raised the issue once again, maybe the Assembly can put pressure on the top brass to give serious consideration to the proposal.
Thursday, 22 March 2007
I've just found this Early Day Motion by Adam Price MP made back in 2002. Only 11 MP's signed the motion at the time, but congratulations to Adam Price for raising the matter. Note that none of the Welsh Labour MP's voted for the motion, and no Conservative MP's whatsoever supported it.
Price, Adam (Plaid Cymru - Cymru / Welsh Constituency)Price, Adam
That this House congratulates the Welsh Cricket Team on their historic eight wicket victory over England at Cardiff; recognises the contribution of Wales to the game of cricket; notes that Scotland and Ireland are recognised as official competing nations during the Cricket World Cup; and calls on Wales to be awarded the equivalent of full national status in the cricketing world
Llwyd, Elfyn (Plaid Cymru - Cymru / Welsh Constituency)
Jones, Nigel (Lib Dems - Lloegr / English Constituency)
Ewing, Annabelle (SNP - Yr Alban / Scottish Constituency)
George, Andrew (Lib Dems - Lloegr / English Constituency)
Thomas, Simon (Plaid Cymru - Cymru / Welsh Constituency)
Robertson, Angus (SNP - Yr Alban / Scottish Constituency)
Salmond, Alex (SNP - Yr Alban / Scottish Constituency)
Pickthall, Colin (Labour - Lloegr / English Constituency)
McDonnell, John (Labour - Lloegr / English Constituency)
Williams, Roger (Lib Dems - Cymu / Welsh Constituency)