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Saba Karim: 95% of cricket playing nations need Central Government assist, important to have the sport in multi-discipline events | Cricket News – Times of India

As one Team India squad prepares itself to tackle Ireland in a 2 match T20I sequence in Dublin this month, one other is in England preparing for the rescheduled fifth Test and a restricted overs sequence after that. TOI has learnt that many members of the T20I squad that’s going to Ireland may play the T20Is vs England after the Test in Birmingham, which begins on July 1.
As the quantity of cricket continues to undergo the roof increasingly more nations are having to subject separate squads for sequence which occur at the identical time. An England ODI squad led by Eoin Morgan is at the moment playing the Netherlands in a 3 match ODI sequence, whereas one other captained by Ben Stokes is concerned in a Test sequence vs New Zealand.
With India’s two match T20I sequence in opposition to Ireland scheduled to start on June 26 its an excellent time to analyse the significance and the significance total of the greater cricket playing nations taking up the rising groups in bilateral sequence so far as rising the sport of cricket is anxious.

Indian crew in England (BCCI Photo)
Former India cricketer, nationwide selector and BCCI General Manager for Cricket Operations Saba Karim was a visitor on Times of India‘s sports activities podcast TOI Sportscast not too long ago and talked about his expertise as a cricket administrator rising the recreation of cricket globally and likewise what he thinks ought to be carried out going forward to make sure that cricket has a bigger footprint throughout the world.
Saba feels it is vitally important for the bigger and extra established cricketing nations to play the minnow groups often.
“I look at it as the responsibility of the so called behemoths of cricket to offer such opportunities to emerging nations and that’s the best possible way in which you can add to the growth of cricket in a global manner. Cricket as a sport has to become a global sport, we are far away from that and the only way a strong nation like India can contribute to that cause is by taking time out to play against teams like Ireland, Zimbabwe or any other emerging team that is coming through the system and the best format to do so is T20 cricket, because it offers to a large extent some kind of opportunity to these emerging nations to put up a strong fight against such strong teams. I do expect Ireland to do that, because they have been playing T20 cricket regularly. In fact just some time back they hosted the West Indies for some T20 games, so this will be a great opportunity for Ireland to test not just their cricketers but also their entire system against a strong nation like India.” Saba Karim mentioned on TOI Sportscast.


Saba Karim (TOI Photo)
A fast have a look at the ICC T20I rankings will present that as many as 74 nations are listed in the rankings, with India at #1 and Estonia at quantity 74. There are a complete of 106 ICC member international locations at the moment, with solely 12 of them being full members (Test playing nations) and 94 being Associate members. While the recreation has unfold to each continent, together with Africa, the Americas and Europe, there are solely a handful of international giants of cricket. The relaxation are nonetheless very a lot in the nascent stage of growing and selling the sport.
The final T20I World Cup performed in 2021 had as many as 16 groups, however 8 of them performed in the First Round, with 4 advancing to the Super 12, the place they joined the 8 different groups which had certified on the foundation of their rankings (India have been the official hosts).
A FIFA World Cup in the meantime options as many as 32 groups.
While cricket has grown considerably, its international influence and footprint is barely a fraction of what a sport like soccer has. Football has at all times been performed throughout the world and that of course has helped its organising and regulatory our bodies to develop the sport into the hottest sport in the world. FIFA has 211 affiliated associations.
So can cricket turn into as fashionable and widespread a sport like soccer sometime, possibly get shut to the place soccer is in the subsequent twenty years? Saba Karim feels that’s too brief a timeline and that cricket total should not look to compete with soccer anyway. The former India wicket-keeper feels that one of the finest methods to promote the sport globally is to push for its inclusion in multi-discipline events.


(Getty Images)
In the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which start on July 28, a girls’s cricket event in the T20 format shall be held at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground from July 29 to August 7.
“Twenty years will be a short timeline for cricket to reach that kind of a stage (at par with football globally), but I am not looking at competing with football at all, I am looking at creating footprints all over the world for cricket. And the only way we can do so is what the ICC is doing right now, by having some kind of a footprint in so many nations where cricket is being played. So many continents are into cricket now, for instance right now the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is organising some T10 or T20 matches, similarly in so many continents where there are so many nations who play against each other and they do have a system whereby if you do well – there are different stages of qualification – so all that is being handled quite well by ICC. The other way of growing this sport is through multi-discipline competitions, so I am extremely happy to know that finally in a multi-discipline event like the Commonwealth Games women cricketers will participate. In my experience with BCCI as General Manager of Cricket Operations and I was also member of the ICC Women’s cricket Committee – it was more than evident that most of these nations – 90-95% of these nations need support from their Central Government to fund a sport like cricket and for that to happen – the central agencies – they want this to be part of multi-discipline events so that they can reflect the kind of budget they have and they can set aside some budget for promotion of this particular sport also. So far I have noticed only a one pronged way of taking the sport forward, which is through nations playing against each other (bilateral series), but it is equally important to have another side to it – through multi-discipline events and of these two can work together I think the progress will be more than what we have seen in the past decade or so.” Saba Karim additional mentioned on TOI Sportscast.
It will of course be actually good to see cricket again at the Olympics. The sport has been performed on the largest sporting stage of all of them solely as soon as and that too manner again in 1900 in Paris, when, not surprisingly, Great Britain received the gold medal. There have been in truth simply two members – Great Britain and hosts France. Only one match was performed and that was additionally given official Olympic standing solely in 1912.
Last 12 months the ICC confirmed its intention to make a concerted effort to embrace cricket in the Olympic programme going forward, with the 2028 Los Angeles Games being the focused version.

“ICC along with most of the cricket nations are trying to do that (get cricket included in the Olympic programmes for every edition going ahead). I believe that in 2028 something like that might happen and it will be great for the game.” Saba Karim additional mentioned on TOI Sportscast.
You can hear to the full episode of TOI Sportscast with Saba Karim right here

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