Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not a bad move

Well finally, some decent decisions are found to be taken by the ICC regarding the mega event namely the world cup that is due to start the coming year. Whatever, the news or the decision, whatever you may call as comes into picture only on or after the 2015 world cup once again thought to be held in Australia and New Zealand. Coming to the matter, the ICC is on a decision to reduce the number of teams for the mega event from the existing 16 to 10, which obviously means showing the gates to the non test playing nations.

However, the list might not include Zimbabwe and Kenya or Ireland for, their performance in international cricket is comparatively satisfactory. Zimbabwe has a history of playing test cricket while Ireland and Kenya have shown to be no less than a test playing nation like Bangladesh or West Indies. Other teams that can be thought of to be shown the gates would be Bermuda, Scotland, Holland, Namibia to name a few though not that important. But, should this decision be criticized by anyone let alone the associate countries? With their role being limited in the event, how do the nations ask for a change not to take place?

If anyone would ask me, I would suggest that the presence of such teams can only ruin the excitement of the world cup nonetheless making way for unwanted politics in the mega event. Since the 1999 world cup, major teams have made it to the next level of the tournament though not deserving to be there. In the 1999 world cup, Zimbabwe made it to the super sixes at the cost of England. India lose their match to Zimbabwe by underestimating them and then South Africa lose to Zimbabwe not before confirming their place in the super sixes. As a result, India had to end their world cup campaign in the super sixes itself.

So was the case in the 2003 world cup when Sri Lanka made much of New Zealand forfeiting their group stage match to Kenya by intentionally losing (may be) to Kenya so that New Zealand faces a tough task ahead. In the 2007 world cup, though there was no room for any such politics, underestimation was at its peak with India and Pakistan paying the price for the same in their league stage match against Bangladesh and Ireland respectively. In the super eights of the same, South Africa paid the price by losing to Bangladesh by 67 runs. Are such teams required who can spoil the reputation of the tournament?

Another thing to be noticed is that due to the presence of the minnows, players can make a killing by reserving all their fortunes against these teams. One can remember that the highest team total till date in a world cup - 413 was scored by India against Bermuda in the 2007 edition. In that edition, India didn't even get past the league stage of the tournament. Glenn McGrath's 7/15 happened to be against Namibia in 2003 which cast a bad image on him despite being known for his accuracy. In that version, Sourav Ganguly scored three hundreds all of which came against non test playing nations.

This was equaled to the one scored by Mark Waugh in 1996 where he did the same against India, Kenya and New Zealand. Does the comparison justifies itself?

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