Random thoughts from watching World Cup cricket


Scheduling

It seems like the organizers of this World Cup tournament have dragged it out too long, with many days featuring just a single game, making it hard to sustain a high level of interest. Yesterday there was not even a single game. There is no obvious reason why there should not be at least two and preferably three games each day. As long as a team has two days break (plus an extra day if they need to travel to a distant venue), that should be enough spacing. Like all seemingly inexplicable things, the real reason probably has to do with money, possibly to maximize TV viewing.

Next time they may win

Although none of the lower-ranked teams may make it to the quarterfinal round (Bangladesh and Ireland have the best shot), this does not mean that they cannot come storming back the next time around and they should not lose hope. We should recall that in the first five World Cup tournaments in 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, and 1992, Sri Lanka won only four games out of 26, not even making it to the second round in any of them. But they won the championship in 1996 by winning all eight of their games. They were truly dark horses so it is possible for a new dark horse to win in 2019.

Team colors

In cricket there is no danger of confusion on the field as to which team a person is on and for Test matches, all players have to wear white. But that dress code is relaxed for one-day games and it seems like teams can choose any colors they like without worrying if other teams choose the same one. In the current tournament, blue seems to be the overwhelming favorite with Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, and Scotland all going with shades of blue. Of those, I liked Scotland’s plaid pattern the best. The second most popular color seemed to be green with Ireland (of course), Pakistan, Bangladesh, and South Africa all going with either all green or combined with other colors. The most striking color was Australia’s canary yellow, followed by UAE’s grey, Zimbabwe’s red, and West Indies’ magenta. Of course, as the internet viral sensation of The Dress suggests, maybe other people see different colors for the teams!

Afghanistan’s Zadran trio

I also noticed that three of the Afghanistan team members have the same last name of Zadran (Shapoor, Dawrat, and Najibullah). I am not sure if this is a common Afghani name or whether they are all brothers, which would be quite unusual. There were three Chappell brothers (Ian, Greg, and Trevor) who played for Australia and although Ian and Greg and later Greg and Trevor played together, I am not sure if all three ever played on the same team. According to their ages, Shapoor is just 254 days older than Dawrat which makes the idea of them being full brothers unlikely, though not impossible.

Comments

  1. sundoga says

    That “Canary Yellow” is actually supposed to be gold. Australian teams traditionally use green and gold for their sporting attire (these being the official national colours of the country). The various states have official colours too (WA is Black and Gold)

  2. jockmcdock says

    I agree the tournament is too long – 6 weeks!! And distance is a tyranny in Australia. Even worse since many of the games are played in NZ. From memory, flight time from Sydney to Auckland is about three and a half hours. Sydney to Perth is about 4. And that’s just the actual flying time

  3. Suido says

    Like all seemingly inexplicable things, the real reason probably has to do with money, possibly to maximize TV viewing.

    No need for probably or possibly. Absolutely definitely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Cricket_World_Cup#Group_B

    India got knocked out of the 2007 World cup in the group stages, and the resulting drop in the global TV audience for the latter stages has meant that the ICC will no longer consider a format where they can’t maximise revenue via
    a) number of games between top teams
    b) TV exposure for each game.

    The ICC is content to focus on immediate profits from being a medium sized fish in a small pond. It has repeatedly made decisions that are contrary to the idea of growing the game for the future and increasing the pond size and profitability.

    Re: the Zadran trio, EspnCricinfo usually includes information and links in the player profile if a player has relatives that are/were also professional players. The lack of that on their profiles would indicate they aren’t related.

  4. pixiedust says

    Mano, Are you familiar with the Alou brothers in baseball? Three brothers in the major leagues at the same time. They all got their start with the SF Giants. They all played outfield. There were 3 games in 1963 in which they all played outfield at the same time for at least one inning. (The trick was getting star centerfielder Willie Mays off the field.)

  5. Mano Singham says

    pixiedust.

    No I was not familiar with this case. Getting Mays off the field would have taken some doing!

  6. Mano Singham says

    Suido,

    I figured that if they were brothers, there would have been some articles about that, so the lack of such made me doubt the possibility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *