Hello and good evening sports fans, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and are in good health. Sports fans, let’s talk, about cricket and to be more precise the cricket World Cup.
It’s time we show some respect to the Associates nations in International cricket, so that means England will be treated with respect. That was a joke, I couldn’t resist.
Traditionally the World Cup starts with the Associates playing in their group games, fighting for the right to be in the 12-team group phase, simply known as the Super 12.
Teams such as Zimbabwe, Holland, Ireland and Afghanistan are the teams more traditionally known as the associate nations and they have impressed the cricketing world in this tournament.
Expected to make up the numbers in their respective groups, all of the Associates can be proud. Holland and Zimbabwe beat cricketing powerhouses South Africa and World Cup finalists Pakistan respectfully.
Ireland beat England, who will be facing Pakistan on Sunday in the final. Bangladesh, who I don’t see as an Associate nation due to their test status, impressed against giants India, despite controversially just coming up short.
Once upon a time, the so-called bigger nations could turn up to a game and not play 100% and still win, this is no longer the case as the so-called smaller sides have improved.
Australia and India did edge out Afghanistan and Bangladesh respectively, but they were very marginal wins. What cost both sides was their discipline when it mattered most. It’s fine margins, but the gap between the developed sides and the Associates is closing.
As a cricket fan, I am happy this is the case as the ICC famously had scaled involvement from The Associates. That World Cup unsurprisingly did not peak fan interest like this current World Cup is.
The Kenyan heroes of 2003, who reached the semi-finals do stand tall as the only non-test-playing nation to get that far in a World Cup, let’s hope other test-playing sides get this far and maybe further in the future.
Thank you, Australia, even though many games got rained off, for hosting an excellent World Cup. As a cricket fan, very grateful that the so-called smaller nations did themselves proud.
Zimbabwe and Holland in particular take a bow! Bring on West Indies/USA 2024!
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