Yesterday, I posted an article: “Rugby World Cup 2015“, and that was because I was looking forward to this competition due to be held in September. Even though the Cricket World Cup is due to start in only two days time, I was not quite so enthusiastic, despite being a cricket lover, having played and followed the game since I was a school boy and taking a particular interest in my national side, which a few years back were considered to be world beaters but now with a question mark hanging over how good they really are.
As with Rugby, the Cricket World Cup is held every four years, and this time it will be in Australia and New Zealand. England have never won it although in the ten times it has been played it has been runner up three times. The big difference between Rugby and Cricket World Cups is that in the case of Rugby it is the proper game being played whereas with Cricket it is the shortened form, which some cricketing snobs like me feel is inferior and impure, and partly explains why I am less enthusiastic about this form. After all, there is some difference in a game played over five days that frequently ends in a draw yet often brings out many of the finer points of the game and the slap, bang, wallop form played over a few hours.
I was once again reminded that the competition is about to begin when I happened to read and later listen to something by Michael Vaughan, ex-English cricket player and Test captain, who had a distinguished career, and now turned cricketing pundit, who I quite like, whose views I often go along with. Vaughan was basically arguing that “England’s recent performances have shown they can go far in the World Cup“, which shows a marked improvement from the shambolic performances turned in only a short time ago.
Despite my aversion to one day cricket, it is still a game where many of the cricketing skills (batting, bowling and fielding) are needed and no doubt will be on display, along with a lot of improvisation and the need for astute tactical awareness and physical and mental strength, as well as a degree of luck. I like the idea of the best sides in the world performing on the same platform along with some of the lesser sides (and here a balance is needed in that numbers need restricting otherwise the competition becomes too drawn out).
I have now convinced myself that this is a competition worth following. No doubt there will be lots of media coverage although, sadly for people like me without pay TV, no live viewing. I welcome the cricketing feast that I hope and believe is to come. As for who will win, other than recognise it may be difficult to look beyond a strong Australian side playing on home soil, I have to say I don’t have a clue. I anticipate that good, exciting cricket will be played with its fair share of heroic performances and shock results, and I hope that the best team will win and that team will be England.