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25 Jan 2011

ICC World Cup 2011-Expectations from Associates

To say frankly, there is no expectation from the Associate teams. Except the few miraculous victories over the test teams, Associates have not achieved anything other than what they call is "experience". Victories by associates over test nations can be counted over fingers, and these wins are considered more as "fluke". 

In 1996 world cup, Kenya created sensation by defeating strong West Indies by 73 runs. Kenya proved themselves again in 2003, when they defeated Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in group stage to qualify for super 6. That was not the end for Kenyan side, they managed to defeat Zimbabwe in their super 6 match to be the first associate side to qualify for the semi-final. Kenya was, I think, never taken lightly by the test teams. This African team was once the strongest contender to get "test" status. However, that dream could not come true. 


            (Image Courtesy: espncricinfo)

Kenya could never shone again. 2007 world cup was something to forget for them. The only win they managed was against another associate, Canada. However, the same world cup witnessed the rise of another associates in the world cricket, Ireland. Ireland surprised Pakistan and Zimbabwe and qualified for super 8. But, they could not create the same sensation like Kenya did in 2003, however, they defeated Bangladesh in the Super 8 round. 

                (Courtesy:espncricinfo )

2011 world cup is happening in the sub-continents. Sub-continents pitches are heaven for batsmen, and somewhat for spinners. Most of the players in the associate teams have hardly played any games in the sub-continents, so the lack of experience is clearly seen. Ireland and Kenya have some good batsmen, but I doubt if they could hardly be effective in front of quality spinners the test teams have. There is hardly any chance that  the test teams will loss any match against the associates in the sub-continents. 1996 world cup was organized in the sub-continent as well and Kenya won a match against West Indies. But at present, test teams look very strong to create any mistakes this time. So, I won't be surprised if Associates will just be spectators in this world cup. However, they can take some valuable "experience" from this world cup. 

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