April 3, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

The best World Cup since 1992

Akhila Ranganna

Looking back at the World Cup in the Observer, Vic Marks writes that while the tournament has had its imperfections, the thrills and spills have reminded us of the virtues of the 50-over game. This has been the best World Cup since 1992.

In India the tournament has captured the imagination of the public just as vehemently as the Indian Premier League has done in recent years. Every India game has been a sell-out and even those matches not involving the hosts have been well‑attended. The commercial partners have got their money's worth, so, too, the TV companies, who have been able to hike their advertising rates. So that keeps an awful lot of money men happy. No doubt they will be angling for a two-month competition next time.

Scyld Berry in the Sunday Telegraph looks back at the highs and lows of the World Cup gone by and writes that the 50-overs-per-side on a dry pitch is far and away the best format for a one-day cricket match.

Worst run-chase...South Africa not even getting close to the 222 they needed to beat New Zealand in the quarter-final and losing by 49 runs.

Bravest innings...Faced with a baying crowd in Ahmedabad, and calls for his resignation from the Australian captaincy, and handicapped by a left finger that is still a painful mess, Ricky Ponting scored a century.

Now the World Cup is over, its time to look forward to IPL4, writes Sumit Chakravarty in the Daily News and Analysis, that will bring its own brand of enjoyment.

It isn’t that one form of the game is better than the other. The World Cup had its moments and you can’t match the passion and nervous excitement that something like the Indo-Pak semi-final can produce. In league cricket, it’s different. With both players and fans a little more relaxed, although the matches are all keenly contested, it’s just a great environment for enjoying the nuances of the game. So cheers to both the World Cup which has just ended, and the IPL which is starting in five days. These are good times indeed for cricket lovers.

Nina Lakhani watched the game in a London hotel with a group of Sri Lankan and Indian fans. In the Independent, she says it was just as frantic in London as it was in Mumbai.

As the game gets under way, Gaveeka, an investment banker, lets his nerves show. It doesn't go down well with his brother. "In my heart, we will win, but in my head, well, I think India might have the edge. Maybe." As the first boundary of the match finally happens in the sixth over, the whole family leaps up, and maracas and tambourines are shaken. "We'll definitely win," says Gaveeka more confidently. Next ball, a batsman swings and misses, the room gasps and Gaveeka looks forlorn. Who says cricket isn't exciting? The fools who don't get it, that's who, and there are still more than seven hours to go.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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