Smith backs Five Nations suggestion
Neil Drysdale (CricketEurope)
Roddy Smith, the chief executive of Cricket Scotland, has endorsed the creation of a Five Nations Championship, featuring Europe’s leading Associate countries. The idea, which would involve Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Wales and, possibly, a “Rest of Europe” Select - although there might be the tantalising prospect of inviting the England Lions to participate in the new tournament – would guarantee a minimum of eight matches every summer, and Smith suggested that the competition might work best as a T20 festival, which would be staged at a different venue every season.
“It is a sound idea and worthy of discussion,” said Smith, who is committed to increasing the number of high-profile fixtures for his leading performers. “The issue is always playing appropriate competition to test and improve our players, while getting a balance across the three formats. (T20, 50-over ODIs and three/four-day contests).
“This will be our objective, moving forward, and will include additional national/Scotland Lions/regional team games. We need to play more cricket at these levels, but it has to be meaningful and competitive and prepare our players for international competitions (such as the World Cup and the World T20).
“Your (Five Nations) idea may be best suited to a T20 event at a central venue.”
Smith also revealed that the Scots will not be involved in any matches with IPL franchises in 2012, despite the latter’s keenness to lock horns with Associate nations in the future, as they strive to forge links beyond the sub-continent. Although he thinks the notion has merit, once the details are properly sorted out, Smith shares the Irish view that the nuts and bolts of financial terms with the Indian ensembles would have to be thoroughly researched before his governing body enter into any deals. To that end, he will welcome talks with the IPL organisers during the coming months.