Monday, March 12, 2007

Cricket Fever Is Back

Cricket world is all set to welcome the big event. Cricket World Cup 2007 is finally here. With 16 teams participating this is the biggest cricket tournament ever. Eternal favorites Australia have lost a bit of focus having lost their last 5 ODIs as final preparation for this mega event. But Australia can never be sidelined just because of that since in the past they have shown they can beat any team coming from nowhere just as in world cup 1999 as they lost first few games but only to end as victorious.

In the past there have been instances where defending champions loose out in the first round itself. In 1992, Australia (1987 champions) lost out in the first round itself. In 1996, Pakistan (1992 champions lost to India in the quarter finals to bow out of the championship. Similarly in 1999, Sri Lanka (1996 champions) never looked defending champions. But once Aussies were crowned champions in 1999 they have played like world beaters all these eight years including the 2003 world cup victory.

This time world cup is different in many ways. Biggest cricket tournament so far (16 teams). First time it is being played in West Indies which is another cricket crazy nation just like India. And the format allows the best eight teams to play against each other, which makes the luck factor less relevant. Only 1992 tournament held in Australia and New Zealand had a similar format. And most importantly this time all these 8 teams look strong contenders for the big title. For New Zealand and England, their recent victories against the mighty Aussies and the fact that they have never won the title should inspire them a lot. West Indies look to claim their past glory in their home grounds. Back to back series victories against West Indies and Sri Lanka should have done lot of good to India’s confidence to repeat 1983. Sri Lanka will be hoping that slow nature of the Caribbean pitches would help them to repeat 1996. Pakistan as enigmatic as ever is also a formidable opponent. South Africa was denied a fair chance in finals by the controversial Duckworth Lewis method in the semifinal against England in 1992 and then in 2003 they denied themselves a place in the semifinals by getting Duckworth Lewis arithmetic wrong against Sri Lanka. World No.1 in ODIs will be hoping rich harvest this time. And finally no explanations required for the kangaroos.

World cup has always sprung up few surprises with minnows outsmarting giants. This history goes back to 1983 when Zimbabwe defeated Australia. And in 1996, Kenyans got West Indies under the mat. In 1999, Pakistan was outsmarted by the Bangladesh. And finally in 2003, again Kenya defeated Sri Lanka thus gaining valuable points to enter the semifinals. What will be the surprise this time? Indications are already there with Bangladesh defeating New Zealand in a warm up match.

Surely this is going to be an exciting world cup. Inaugurated today but we have to still wait till March 13, 2007 for the first ball to be bowled, the first match being between West Indies and Pakistan. And let us wait for the new world champion to be announced on 28 April 2007.


  1. hi.

    Nice to see you back blogging after long time...

    Cricket is not my primary area of interest hence I do not have anything specific to comment...

    Keep writing

  2. hi,
    where were u all these days. anyway nice post.

    controversial Duckworth Lewis method in the semifinal against England in 1992
    it was rain rule in 1992 not D/L.
    D/L method is used introduced since 1996.

  3. nice post man...
    BTW which team are you hoping to win the world cup (except india)??

  4. Hope luck favours India this time...



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