Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ABSURDITY IN SCHEDULING

I have been hearing a lot of criticism from various quarters regarding how ICC has scheduled the matches during the 10th Cricket World Cup, currently being played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. I have compiled below a list of the things that I found absurd in the schedule of this event:

1. OPENING WEEKEND

The first match of the World Cup, held on a Saturday, was a good one - Bangladesh v India. The two co-hosts facing each other, with a bit of history with regard to their previous World Cup encounter, at a place where people love cricket, was bound to be a blockbuster opening.

What bemuses me is that the ICC had no intention of sustaining this blockbuster opening over the entire weekend. Sunday saw two matches... and both were potentially one-sided affairs, as they indeed turned out to be. The one remaining co-host (Sri Lanka) should have played on Sunday, and they did. But was Canada the best opponent for them? I wonder why they did not schedule Pakistan or New Zealand as their opponents on the opening Sunday.

Imagine this... Saturday: Bangladesh v India (in Bangladesh); Sunday: Sri Lanka v Pakistan (in Sri Lanka), and Australia v New Zealand (in India).

All three hosting nations would have had a match to host on the opening weekend. All the four sub-continental teams would have opened their campaign over the opening weekend. The defending champions would also have opened their campaign over the opening weekend against an opponent with a bit of a history. Wouldn't this have been a much better prospect than the other two matches that we saw on Sunday!

2. TWO MATCHES ON WEEKDAYS

February 25, 2011 is a Friday, which is a weekday in the sub-continent (unlike Dubai, which is where ICC's headquarters are located... they have Friday - Saturday as a weekend). ICC seem to have forgotten that Friday is a weekday and scheduled 2 matches (1 Day and 1 D/N) on that day.

It would still have been alright had it not been followed by this - the next 2 days (Saturday and Sunday, which is a weekend) host just 1 match each. As if this were not foolish enough, on Monday (February 28, 2011), we shall again see 2 matches (1 Day and 1 D/N) being played.

Can someone from the ICC please explain to me the logic behind allocating 2 matches on a Friday and on a Monday, whereas leaving the weekend in the middle to host just 1 match each? This is totally insane!

3. A GOOD MATCH TO SEE LESS ATTENDANCE

On March 6, 2011, India is scheduled to play against Ireland at Bangalore. On the same day, not too far away, South Africa will play against England at Chennai. Now South Africa v England is one of the better neutral clashes of the tournament, that has the potential to generate good attendance and gate revenues.

However, if the ICC is going to schedule such good matches on the day where the people in the host city will be more interested in watching their own country's match (even if it is against Ireland), then there aren't going to be a lot of revenues around. If the attendance is not good for this clash, ICC should not blame the Chennai crowd... but point the finger back at themselves.

4. WEEKEND SCHEDULING

Whenever there are two matches scheduled on a particular day, ICC has taken care to ensure that one of them is a Day match and the other is a Day / Night Match. But I wonder why ICC could not take care to schedule such Day Matches on weekends... so that there is the best possible chance to see a good crowd attendance.

Feb 26, Mar 5 and Mar 12 are Saturdays and Feb 27 is a Sunday... these 4 days have just 1 match each scheduled to be played. Whereas Feb 25 (Wed), Feb 28 (Mon), Mar 3 (Thu), Mar 4 (Fri), Mar 11 (Fri), Mar 14 (Mon) and Mar 18 (Fri) are all weekdays that have 2 matches each scheduled to be played.

Does ICC really expect any kind of crowd attendance for a neutral matches to be held during day time on a weekday? I wonder if they can themselves find any sense in this!

2 comments:

Steve Frank said...

Don't you get the message? The stadium fan is optional in their world. It is the TV revenues, stupid!

Ofcourse, empty stadiums all around will reduce future TV revenues but that is the problem of the next administrator, no? As long as you have made my sales pitch and generated revenue, you take home my bonus, cut or commission or under-the-table dealing, whatever it may be

The same logic that led to the financial crisis - The "let me lump up bad mortgages as long as I can show a good picture and take home a good bonus, in 5 years when the crisis will come, I'd have retired early with a fat bank balance." attitude

Shridhar Jaju said...

Hi Steve! Firstly, welcome to the blog!

It is exactly the kind of attitude of the administrators that you've mentioned which irritates me a lot. Sadly, the grim picture that you have painted in your comment is a very real picture.

SAVE OUR TIGER!