Zim To Win?

9 06 2010

A mention today for Zimbabwe who are currently playing Sri Lanka in the final of their triangular series, also featuring India. That it is Zimbabwe in the final and not India playing Sri Lanka should come as a surprise although we can assure you, having watched most of the games, it is an entirely fair reflection on the teams.

At this point we should mention that both India and Sri Lanka are missing the majority of their marquee players yet this should not belittle Zimbabwe’s achievement. India, in particular, have been disappointing and showed what is perhaps a worrying lack of depth in their set up. Some of their young players such as Virat Kohli and Vijay, touted as the stars of the future, appeared to wilt under the pressure of being their sides big guns.

None of this should however belittle Zimbabwe’s achievement as during the competition they have beaten India twice and Sri Lanka once. It remains to be seen whether they can maintain their composure for the final and we sincerely hope they do as the cricket team have not, like the rest of that benighted country, escaped the ravages of Robert Mugabe’s rule. It is remarkable at all that, from the high points of the late 90’s and early 2000’s when players such as Murray Goodwin, the Flower brothers and Heath Streak were at their peak, they have a reasonable team again. Whilst it is unlikely this current side would be in the final if the likes of Tendulkar, Sangakarra and Sehwag were playing, we suspect they would give Bangladesh a real run for their money.

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The ICC and the national cricket boards of all countries are rarely in a position where they can receive praise, yet the responsible boards in this particular series deserve some. The premise is simple; send a half strength national team to a country still developing as a cricket nation ensuring a reasonable level of competition whilst still challenging and improving both sets of players. The benefits don’t stop there as it ensures cricket starved fans in these countries are treated to a good level of competition therefore promoting grass roots cricket as well.

We would for example like to see similar tournaments set up in Ireland, perhaps featuring England and West Indies or one played in Kenya featuring Pakistan and South Africa. There could be issues perhaps with burnout but in some ways a tournament like this could actually help matters as by resting the marquee players it keeps these players fresh for the serious series and challenges ahead.

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2 responses

9 06 2010
Sameer

They’ve lost. I knew it, once the toss was in the favor of the Sri Lankans. The whole tournament has been following the trend that the team batting first loses.

9 06 2010
Bradders

Thats exactly what I thought when I saw Zim batting first! Think they froze a little bit too as well.

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