Bangladesh disappointed the most

WHILE the World Cup was an outstanding success and the two best teams met in the final, I am very concerned by the overall standard of the competition.


Shaun Pollock paid the price for getting the numbers wrong in the World Cup match against Sri Lanka.-Pic. AP

WHILE the World Cup was an outstanding success and the two best teams met in the final, I am very concerned by the overall standard of the competition.

Unlike some, I am not over concerned with inclusion of teams who qualify through the ICC Championship. After all, it is vital that we begin promoting cricket more strenuously on a Worldwide basis and the opportunity for some of the lesser teams is a great encouragement and of course qualifying gives them greater funds to be spent developing cricket in their country. Undoubtedly the most disappointing team in the competition was Bangladesh. I expected that Bangladesh would make the some impact on first class cricket as Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, not so many years ago, were battling to win the ICC Tournament, now of course they have won a World Cup and are capable of beating any team in the World. Sri Lanka have a population of just 20 million, on the other hand, Bangladesh have at least four times this amount. On numbers alone and with their past history when Dhaka was a Test playing ground, before Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan I was expecting much more.

They are a cricket mad country with some of the most enthusiastic supporters in the World. Unfortunately it appears to me that the players are just not putting enough into their game.

So often they seem to stick to the ground with a cocky air, believing just because they play Test cricket they will be good. Unfortunately it doesn't work this way and until Bangladesh put their head and soul into their cricket they will not improve.

Shaun Pollock appears to have paid the ultimate price for South Africa not qualifying for the Super Six rounds.

This to me was a tough call. Sure he shouldn't have got the numbers wrong against Sri Lanka in a Duckworth-Lewis total. But neither should have the Coach, Manager and Statistician. I would hold them more responsible than the captain for it is their job to pass on this type of information. The captain is totally involved in tight finishes such as this and he has a right to expect his sup<147,1,7>port staff to come up with the right information.

I wish Graeme Smith, only 22 and very inexperienced at International level, all the best. It is a huge gamble by South Africa for Smith hasn't yet cemented his position in both forms of the game.

I have said this often but I repeat it here again. South Africa will not reach the very pinnacle of World cricket until they develop a style to suit the South African personality and discard the negative English attitude that has been part of their cricket for too long. Pakistan will be in mourning for the poor cricket they played. However, for the longer term it is the best thing that could have happened to them. They have just been drifting along with a set of older players for some years and going no where.

Now they have had a big reshuffle and this will be good for their cricket, provided they do not resort to old players if things start to go wrong.

The old saying that it takes three or four years to be an overnight success is very appropriate for Pakistan at present.