Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Too much too soon

These well-intended warm up games ahead of the World Cup are proving to be dampeners....

"Ire on fire, makes no. 1 dance on a wire"

"Mashrafe takes Oz-whitewashers to the cleaners"

How serenely shocking would headlines like these be if results such as those came up in the WC group league matches.....As things stand now, these premature good shows by smaller teams in tour games are likely to diminish their chances of causing upsets when the real thing starts.

For one, their 'unsuspecting' big brothers will be wary of their shock value now. [However much their coaches may warn them, players of top teams have this proud history of simply refusing to take the small fries seriously until calamity]. Also the minnows will now feel some pressure to try and produce a repeat act - the last thing you would want to happen to people woefully short on match practice against quality opposition.

However I am still not writing off the Bangla Boys' chances of causing a real flutter in the Indo-SL group. My neighbours across the Bengal border on the east have shown too many flashes in 2005 and early 2006 against top flight opposition to dismiss this NZ beater as a one-off in the pan.
Welcome to the pool of death, Sri Lanka & India!
Update: That Ire-wire-fire bit on SA has reached higher.....sixth floor precisely. One hopes it was fire indeed and not just smoke - of the forbidden kind that some Pakistan cricketers tend to puff while listening to Calypso beats. The incident was funny on the hotel's part, to say the mega events like these safety should be the least of players' concerns. Spectators too. We love watching players on fire only inside a cricket ground...
Update 2: We have more fun smoking out of that fire...
Update 3: I eat back the observations made in this post. Ireland and Bangla came out blazing on March 17th and all but ended Indo-Pak challenge in the World Cup. They did it all with a quiet confidence and quality of performance that says to buggers like me: "It is up to you to feel the heat."

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