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123 Jan 11
Richmond great Kevin Bartlett believes Travis Cloke could be the missing piece of the puzzle at Tigerland and coach Damien Hardwick admits hes a fan. Basket Air Max 270 Pas Cher .Out-of-favour power forward Cloke has been linked to a move away from Collingwood at seasons end with the Western Bulldogs and the Tigers mooted as possible destinations.But Hardwick played a straight bat to speculation Cloke is set to take the short walk over Olympic Boulevard to join the Tigers at Punt Road Oval to begin a new chapter in his faltering 245-game career.(Its) a list management decision that we dont comment on. Its easy to throw names around at this stage of the year, it always happens, Hardwick told reporters on Thursday.(But) hes hurt us a number of times over the course of his career, hasnt he?Funnily enough he was probably Alex (Rances) biggest nemesis there for a while.Alex has managed to move above him over the last couple of years, but hes a great player theres no doubt about that.But from our point of view we keep our cards pretty close to our chest.Cloke, who is contracted for next year, has managed just 12 senior games this season and has kicked 15 goals in a disappointing campaign.He has been dropped to the VFL three times by coach Nathan Buckley, with Darcy Moore, Mason Cox and Jesse White all preferred ahead of him.Bartlett is adamant Cloke, whose father David played 219 games for Richmond, could help the Tigers bounce back into the finals after a year to forget.I believe Cloke needs a new home and environment and a lot of love for he seems a confused footballer to me, Bartlett said on SEN.And surely he would be comfortable going to a club that his father once captained.The Tigers missed out on Cloke 11 years ago. Its better late than never for he just might be the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that sees the Tigers winning a final. Air Max 270 Promo . For the Wild it was their first win of the season and they now have a record of 1-1-2 while the Jets fall to 2-2. Jets start a six game home stand Friday with another divisional game, home to the Dallas Stars. Air Max 270 Pas Cher . After dropping their final six games of December, the Wild opened the new calendar year with four consecutive wins. Following a loss to Colorado on Saturday, Minnesota rebounded the following night to blank Nashville 4-0, but then had the tables turned on them Tuesday. http://www.pascherairmax270.fr/ . -- The Sacramento Kings are set to become the first major professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency for ticket and merchandise purchases. There is nothing quite like the thrill of a nations first Test victory. Bangladeshs coruscating win over England in Dhaka was their eighth Test victory, but it was their first against heavyweight opposition, and a seminal moment for the world game: the moment that crickets most exclusive club became a little bigger.Amid all the euphoria, it felt a little churlish to ask: why had it taken so long for this moment to come? It is not only a question that Bangladesh should be asking. The ICC is very keen to add two new Test nations - Afghanistan and Ireland - in 2019. No one wants them to have to wait 16 years for a major win in Test cricket.The history of Test cricket tells us how hard it is for new nations to master the game. It took India 20 years and 24 Tests before their first win, and New Zealand 26 years and 44 games. In this context, Bangladeshs wait of 16 years for a major win does not look so surprising, although no country has made anything like such an inauspicious start to Tests. Even New Zealand drew half of their first 44 Tests. And Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, the last two Test nations before Bangladesh, both toppled established Test opponents (India and Pakistan) within three years of their elevations. Bangladesh had huge, and very particular, obstacles as a cricket country - the circumstances surrounding nationhood in 1971, and the dire economic state for many years after. Cricket, inevitably, was not immune to these problems. When the Bangladesh Cricket Board was founded, it had nothing, not even a dollar, recounts Ahmed Sajjadul Alam Bobby, a BCB director. In the early years the boards telephone line never worked. When the national team practiced, there were no refreshments. Even by 2000 the quality of cricket facilities remained far worse than in other Test nations.Yet there were many avoidable mistakes in how Bangladesh prepared for Test cricket. They were rushed in too quickly, says Andrew Eade, Global Development Manager of the ICC from 2000 to 2003. Bangladesh had no structured regional multi-day competition before 1999, and only rarely played Full Member A sides or Indian domestic teams. Even the countrys vibrant cricket culture and huge population were not enough to overcome these impediments.Having a solid domestic competition structure was the key thing missing there. Test match crickets a very different beast to one-day cricket, and you cant learn it playing one-day cricket, Eade reflects. If you had your time again, theyd have a four-year window beforehand where you got in place the building blocks of a four-day domestic structure, so there was a significant amount of four-day cricket played domestically, and a regular A team programme and first-class games for the national side.All of which provide many lessons for the ICC and the leading aspiring Test nations, Afghanistan and Ireland. Theyre a hell of a lot better prepared for Test cricket than Bangladesh were, says one ICC source, citing their experience playing against Test teams in limited-overs cricket. Ireland have played in eight ICC world events and Afghanistan in five, to Bangladeshs one when they were elected as a Full Member.Since their inclusion in the 12-team ODI ranking structure last year, Afghanistan and Ireland have also played regular ODIs against Test nations; Bangladesh had only played 34 ODIs against Full Members before their first Test. Worse, they were an Associate nation in the years when, besides qualification for the World Cup, there was little cricket or structure for the leading countries beyond the Test world.Afghanistan and Ireland also have one major advantage over every other Test nation in history - the Intercontinental Cup, which provides a regular programme of first-class matches with context around the world against other international sides. The creation of the tournament in 2004 provided an avenue for leading Associates to learn skills in multi-day cricket, even if the volume of matches has decreased since. While top Associates each played a total of 13 Intercontinental matches in the group stages of the tournament from 2007 to 2010, they will only play seven during the current four-year cycle.For new Test nations, a high-quality first-class competition and multi-day structure is the absolute key, Eade says. He considers Zimbabwes involvement in South African multi-day cricket, which stretched back to 1904, a big part of why Zimbabwe were far more successful during their early forays in Test cricket than Bangladesh. From their first Test in 1992 to the end of 1999, Zimbabwe lost only 19 of their 39 Tests, drawing 17 and winning three (two against Pakistan and one against India).In their first decade in Test cricket Bangladesh drew three matches (two due to inclement weather) and lost 48 of their 51 Tests not against Zimbabwe or a strike-ravaged West Indies.A proper first-class system is a must, Bobby agrees, saying that Bangladeshs anaemic progress in Tests was because of not having propeer longer-version games being played regularly all around the country. Air Max 270 Destockage. Afghanistan and Ireland have noted as much. With Test cricket in mind, Afghanistan set up a regional four-day competition in 2014. Ireland have had a multi-day domestic competition since 2013, though it currently only amounts to four three-day matches a year for the three teams. That Irelands competition has just been awarded first-class status might help attract a higher calibre of overseas player to raise standards.Cricket Ireland is keen to make matches in the competition four days each, but at present we could not afford to do this, says Richard Holdsworth, Irelands Performance Director. Irelands proximity to England means that many in Irelands squad have experience of playing in the County Championship, even if the lack of players who were automatic picks in the competition last year was worrying. Eade also advocates Afghanistan joining the Ranji Trophy, as a short-term measure while preparing for Test cricket.History suggests there are two other things that can give new Test nations the best chance of success. The first is playing against A teams from Full Members to help them prepare and expose them to new conditions and opponents.I would have liked to have seen more such encounters take place for Bangladesh, says Bobby. Before any new teams play their first Test matches, they have to play with stronger sides all the time to improve. They just cant play among themselves.Afghanistans three-day match against England Lions in the UAE in December is a welcome development. They hope that their new base, in Greater Noida, near Delhi, will enable them to play tourists to India - including Australia, potentially, in February - in multi-day matches.A regular programme of A team matches in first-class cricket is also essential, Eade believes. Such games develop fringe players and emerging talent, and also push players within the side to improve. Ireland have suffered from a paucity of players breaking into their batting order since the 2011 World Cup, and professionalism appears to have created a chasm between those who are full-time cricketers and those who are not. Afghanistan have benefited from a far more healthy A-team programme than Ireland and hope to play Zimbabwe A again early in 2017. Irelands lack of A-team games is a concern. They plan to beef up their A-team schedule in 2017 and beyond, including by playing against county 2nd XIs and against Full Member teams touring Ireland. They are also planning a winter tour for the A team to a Test nation in 2017-18. Ireland especially need tours of the subcontinent, and specialist coaching, to nourish their skills against spin bowling.Such steps must be accompanied by wider improvements in training facilities and coaching if the countries are to nurture a consistent supply of Test players. Indeed, Bobby still believes that Bangladesh are hindered by a lack of outstanding training facilities. In Ireland, practice facilities are not up to scratch, says Kyle McCallan, a former player - one reason why Cricket Ireland has established a training base in La Manga in Spain.It will take considerable sums to fund this shopping list. While money is less of an issue for Afghanistan than for Ireland, it would seem incumbent on the ICC to fund a special programme for new nations to help prepare them for Test status and mitigate the risk of them stumbling in the same manner as Bangladesh. To fund that transition phase would create a vastly increased chance of them being competitive once they stepped up, says Eade.While Afghanistan and Ireland both get more cash from the ICC than ever before, boosted by an extra award of $500,000 to fund fixtures in 2017, this is still just a drop in the ocean compared to the lowest Full Members, says the ICC source.It is understood that Zimbabwe still receive around $5 million a year more than Afghanistan and Ireland, who both need considerably more ICC cash if they are to be given every possible chance of thriving in Test cricket.No country is the same, and no cricket culture is the same. So, as Warren Deutrom, Cricket Irelands CEO, says, no formula can ensure success in Test cricket. None of this comes with guarantees, but its about trying to be as ready as we can, bearing in mind there is still no absolute guarantee of becoming a Test country - albeit were planning for it - and were doing so on vastly inferior resources to the Full Members.But if the ICC can help new Test countries improve their domestic multi-day structures, organise regular matches against the A teams from Full Members, and fund vibrant A-team programmes themselves, then at least they will have done all they can to help new teams succeed. Had they done the same for Bangladesh, the joyous scenes in Dhaka might have been witnessed many years earlier. 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