The ICC Cricket World Cup promised much which to my eyes the first two weeks have not delivered upon.
The tournament has been largely full of one-sided matches, not necessarily between the test playing nations and the so-called associates, but between the test playing nations themselves.
England have put in disastrous performances against competition favourites Australia and New Zealand, while Pakistan have perhaps been the most disappointing side to date, copping hammerings from India and the West Indies.
Even the much hyped match-up between India and South Africa was a fizzer, despite the second best ever ODI crowd at the MCG and an intense atmosphere created by the crazy Indian crown.
The Proteas looked overawed by the crowd that was clearly pro-India. Their performance in this match showed a long help belief of mine that outside of De Villiers, du Plessis and Amla their batting is hit or miss, as is their bowling if Steyn and Morkel do not fire.
The tournament desperately needs a cracking game this Saturday between the host nations. We may be robbed of that partly because of a two week layoff for Australia, caused by their game against Bangladesh being rained out.
Just why this fixture is being played in New Zealand is beyond me, the two countries played in NZ last time the World Cup was down here in 1992. This game deserves better than to be played in front of a small crowd on a gound not much bigger than an Under 10’s field.
Off the field, the organisers have not done the tournament any favours. One game per day since the opening two days of the tournament is madness and will make the event much longer than it needs to be.
A game should be played each day in both Australia and New Zealand. All Australian games should be day-nighters so that people can actually see them. I have been barely able to watch any matches as they have mostly been over either literally or practically by the time I am able to watch at night.
With this gap in between matches, why there is no reserve day is another question. There must have been time to play the Australia vs. Bangladesh game on Sunday or Monday in Brisbane. The Gabba was not be used again for four days and Bangladesh did not play for another five days. The Aussies had a week in between games.
The lack of games in the big Australian venues and the timing of each team’s games doesn’t make any sense. New Zealand played three games in the first six days while Australia are playing once a week. The SCG does not have a game until almost two weeks into the tournament, while the MCG will have had all its three group matches before then.
With all this in mind and the upcoming distractions of the start of the football seasons plus the A-League finals, the ICC Cricket World Cup desperately needs something to kick start it.
Let’s hope it comes this Saturday in Auckland.
As long as Australia win!!