World Cup 2007

OK well I’m back from my prolonged absence and it’s time to start thinking about the World Cup which is only a few weeks away. Now a few months ago I wouldn’t have given England a hope in Hell of achieving anything but the last couple of weeks have seen some interesting shifts in the balance of power in the one day game.

You can’t read too much into Englands success in the Commonwealth Bank Series. Or can you? It started a rot in the Aussie camp which was further compounded by the Kiwis and murmurings of discontent were heard Down Under for the first time in ages. The news that Brett Lee will miss the World Cup through injury can’t have made life any rosier for Cricket Australia. Whilst Stuart Clark is a good Test bowler, he doesn’t have the same spark in the one day game as Lee. Within a couple of weeks Australia have gone from being a shoo in for the title to being a team short on form and confidence.

England, on the other hand, have started to play hard, aggressive one day cricket. From being hopeless also rans, we’re beginning to show signs that maybe we can compete in this form of the game. Whilst our current form in the last ten games isn’t spectacular by any stretch (W5 L5), compare it to the Aussies – W4 L6. In fact apart from South Africa (W8 L2), we’re the form team going into the tournament along with New Zealand and India.

The biggest worry for me is the selection of Michael Vaughan. I can’t see that he’s fit enough to last the whole tournament should England progress. Eleven games in six weeks is a lot to ask of someone who has missed so much cricket in the last year. It’s big gamble by the selectors to pick Vaughany and I hope that they know something we don’t about his recuperation from injury.

Talking of big gambles, here are the latest odds on the World Cup:

Australia
9/4
2/1
South Africa
7/2
4/1
West Indies
13/2
7/1
India
8/1
7/1
Sri Lanka
8/1
7/1
Pakistan
10/1
8/1
England
9/1
8/1
New Zealand
9/1
9/1
Bangladesh
200/1
200/1
Zimbabwe
499/1
250/1
Kenya
499/1
500/1
Scotland
1000/1
1000/1
Ireland
1000/1
1000/1
Netherlands
1000/1
1000/1
Canada
1000/1
1000/1
Bermuda
1000/1
1000/1

So the bookies have still got Australia as the favourites for the tournament but I have a sneaky feeling that South Africa, New Zealand and, dare I say it, England might have something to say about the outcome.

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Commonwealth Bank Series

I’ve been busy working on a movie all this week so not caught any of the cricket which is why I’ve not posted anything this week. I’m getting the feeling that I might be a jinx on the England team. Now that I’m not watching they keep on winning!

I’m going to be writing a letter to the ECB this week saying that I’m prepared to never watch another England game again if they’ll put me on the payroll. £50k a year, a fancy sports car and a nice job title like Cricket Development Officer would do the trick.

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Blimey

We bloody beat the Aussies!

That will be all.

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