Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Champions Trophy - Group Preview

Champions Trophy – Group Preview

Group A –
West Indies

Group B –
South Africa
Sri Lanka

Group A – Group of Death…

Rightly termed the group of death, most of the action should happen in this group even thou WI are coming in with a second string side. So unfortunate it will be for all of us to miss out of Gayle Storm, players like Bravo, Sarvan, Taylor, Edwards etc.
Having said that, lets hope this side can hold its own and produce some competitive cricket else I fear they might just be blown out of proportion leaving already tottering WI cricket into further disarray. If the recent series against BAN is anything to go by than one should not expect them to trouble any of other three teams in the group. AUS, IND and PAK can breathe easy that if they play up to their potential this is one Win secure for them.

Pakistan on the other hand is a side which can topple the best on its day and might go down without a fight to any one. The Sri Lanka series gave us a fair idea how unpredictable they can be, they were stream rolled in first 3 one days suddenly to realize in last 2 that they came to SRI to play cricket winning next 2 handsomely.
They have a formidable bowling line up in their Ranks, arguably the best in the tournament when it comes to variety. GUL, RANA, RAZZAQ, ASIF, AJMAL, AFRIDI any one these can make it to any of the other 7 teams on any given day. They have been fortunate to have players back from ICL, giving it all the solid looks.

It will all depend on which Pakistani team steps out on the park on the given day but rest assure this is one team no opponents wants to face in a big profile match such as champions trophy final.

They will be coming after the highs of winning the T 20 World Cup but most teams will also know 50 over cricket is where the real test of character will happen. We will just have to wait and see if they can do justice to the talent they possess.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Champions Trophy - Preview

Its time for champions trophy 2009, phew finally after all what happened when it was scheduled in Pakistan(2008) its finally good to see that it will start in few hours from now all be it at a different location, seems like South Africa is turning out to be a great host for variety of competition across various disciplines.

Now lets focus on the task at hand, a task which is bigger than just winning the champions trophy, the task is to settle the talks of wheatear its time for 50 Over format to take a back seat and let its young baby take over or to let the world know that this format is here to stay and just frenzy feeling of 20 20 cricket is not enough to replace this.

While ICC has its task cut out while preserving the one day format, champion’s trophy in more ways than one will answer where we head from now. While the format and schedule is as perfect as it could be it will all boil down to what kind of matches we get. Congrats to ICC for keeping only top 8 Teams in the fray many times we have had too many one sided contests in World Cup, while its no disrespect to the BAN or ZIM am sure they will accept they still have a way to go before they can catch up the big daddies of world cricket.

ICC has to promote the game across the world and 20 -20 cricket might just be the tool it ever needed , many times when I was in US I was asked oh how do you manage to get 5 days or 1 day just to sit in front of TV and watch a game? The biggest problem in western world in adopting cricket is time. They just cant agree that they have a full day just to sit in front of tv and admire the sports, for them it has to be more or Friday evening when they can head to a game, grab a beer and nice company and enjoy the game for 2-3 Hrs max. That’s where I believe ICC has to market 20-20 cricket well. While the advantage of 20-20 cricket should be taken to popularize the game, unfortunately for now what its doing is just the opposite.

As they say, bring them on….

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anil Kumble- Farewell


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