Sunday, 18 March 2007

Ben on...minnow bashers, eat your words

Ireland and Bangladesh are this year's giant killers, adding to the list of World Cup upsets*. And mighty Pakistan is the first team to be eliminated. What a day at the World Cup.

Could it be that having associate members competing at the World Cup is actually helping improve the game in those countries? Bob Woolmer has wrtten a piece about how efforts to improve cricket in associate nations are working. He wrote the piece after Ireland's tie with Zimbabwe, and the win against Pakistan has strengtened Woolmer's argument immeasurably. (For those who aren't aware, Woolmer is the coach of Pakistan. The irony doesn't affect his argument however.)

With wonderful timing, Ian Chappell has piped up with his uncharitable opinion that there should only be 10 teams playing at the World Cup, with two of those spots requiring qualification. This could easily mean that no associate members get to the World Cup, despite Chappell's claim that he doesn't agree that there should be only one associate member at the Cup. If I understand the seedings, under Chappell's scheme, heroes of the hour Ireland would have been a long way off qualifying, as they would have had to beat both Zimbabwe and Bangladesh (I presume these two countries would have to qualify) as well as Kenya and Scotland to qualify.

* Sri Lanka vs India 1979, Zimbabwe vs Australia 1983, Kenya vs Windies 1996, Bangladesh vs Pakistan 1999, Kenya vs Sri Lanka 2003.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Zim (still not a test nation) v Eng in 1992, and Kenya v Zim in 2003.

This is a great day for world cricket.