Saturday, 17 March 2007

Revenge of the Minnows on a Green Day

Sabina Park, Jamaica. Pakistan decked out in their green outfit versus Ireland also playing in their green team uniform; a green tinged pitch; St. Patrick’s Day.

Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad. Bangladesh dressed in their green kit playing India.

Two huge cricketing upsets, both on the same day.

Ireland did the impossible and caused one of the biggest upsets in recent cricket history. Their victory ranks with Sri Lanka v India (1979), Zimbabwe v Australia (1983), Kenya v West Indies (1996), Bangladesh v Pakistan (1999) Kenya v Sri Lanka (2003) and Canada v Bangladesh (2003) among upsets in World Cup matches. Congrats to the Irish.

Bangladesh’s victory over India, while not as much of an upset as Ireland’s win over Pakistan, was still unexpected. It was great to see a team of young players, some still in their teens, defeat an Indian team filled with modern day batting giants.

If India lose to Sri Lanka and follow Pakistan home, it will be a nightmare for international cricket’s marketing people! Imagine CWC 2007 second stage without the two teams with the largest and most fanatical fan base. Disaster for the businessmen!

A lot of people who have called for the minnows to be excluded from the World Cup will have to eat their words after today’s proceedings. Honestly though, upsets happen in every sport and add to the romanticism of these events. The fact is that they are far from the norm and order will be restored tomorrow when Australia play Netherlands and England play Canada. In my opinion, the jury still remains out on the issue.

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