Cricket World Cup update

The preliminary round-robin stage of the ten nations in the tournament ended yesterday. India, Australia, England, and New Zealand ended up qualifying for the semi-finals. Since each team played nine games, with two points for a win, one point for a tie or no decision or abandonment, and zero for losing, the maximum points a team could earn is 18. These four teams had 15, 14, 12, and 11 respectively. The top three positions were filled by the pre-tournament favorites.

India will play New Zealand on the 9th and Australia plays England on the 11th. The final will be on the 14th. I will naturally be cheering for New Zealand to win because not only do they tend to play the game in a good spirit, the other three nations form a cartel that is using their financial muscle to squeeze the other nations to the detriment of the game worldwide. I would love to see them get their comeuppance on the field.

Pakistan, always the wild card, came fifth and almost made it into the next round. They can consider themselves unlucky. They started poorly, winning only one of their first five games before winning their last four. They obtained the same number of points as New Zealand but lost out on the run rate tie-breaker. The games abandoned due to rain could well have cost them. Their abandoned game was against Sri Lanka, which they were quite likely to win, thus getting two points instead of one. New Zealand’s abandoned game was against India, which they may well have lost and got zero instead of one point.

Sri Lanka ended up sixth, which in my opinion was higher than they deserved since I think Bangladesh, West Indies, and South Africa fielded better teams than they did. Sri Lankan cricket needs a top-to-bottom careful examination of what is not working for them both on the field and off. The only bright spot seems to be that they have found a good captain.

The biggest disappointment has to be South Africa who ended up seventh in the rankings. They have a well-deserved reputation as being a very good team that simply cannot get it together to win the big tournaments. Usually they get close to the final before losing but this tournament was an utter disaster from the get-go, where they were one of the first teams to be eliminated from semi-final contention. They won only one of their first seven games, losing five, with the other abandoned. It was only in the last two games, where they decisively beat Sri Lanka and Australia, that we saw the kind of play of which they are capable.

Bangladesh and West Indies ended up ranked eighth and ninth respectively and must be disappointed as to why they did not end up higher because they fielded pretty good teams.

The Cinderella team of Afghanistan lost all nine of their games and ended up last but they played well and almost pulled off a sensational upset by getting close to beating India. They also narrowly lost to West Indies, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, possibly due to their lack of experience in finishing close games. They must be disappointed at not winning a single game but they can hold their heads high.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Meanwhile, in the Women’s Football World Cup, it’s USA vs Netherlands in the final, about 30 minutes into the first half.

    VAR has been a disaster, IMO. When your side “scores”, instead of “YES!”, the response is “Let’s see if they find a way to discount this one”. I’ve never understood the movement to introduce technology to the game. Refs and linespersons make mistakes; so what? They still do.

    And the automatic yellow card for a goalie moving both feet off the line for a penalty is a joke, as is the delayed raising of the offside flag. How about automatic yellows for players who try to tell the ref how to do their job?*

    Still, there was some nice football. I’ve been particularly impressed by Yuka Momiki of Japan, and England’s Fran Kirby.

    *Is that something that happens in cricket nowadays?

  2. Mano Singham says

    In cricket, arguing with the umpire is strongly frowned upon and can get you fined for violating violating section 2.8 of the code of conduct for players. The code states that the following actions are culpable:

    Without limitation, Article 2.8 includes: (a) excessive, obvious disappointment with an Umpire’s decision; (b) an obvious delay in resuming play or leaving the wicket; (c) shaking the head; (d) pointing or looking at the inside edge when given out lbw; (e) pointing to the pad or rubbing the shoulder when caught behind; (f) snatching the cap from the Umpire; (g) requesting a referral to the TV Umpire (other than in the context of a legitimate request for a referral as may be permitted in such International Match); and (h) arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the Umpire about his/her decision.

    This offence is not intended to punish a batter showing his/her instinctive disappointment at his/her dismissal.

    When assessing the seriousness of the breach, the following factors (without limitation) should be considered: (i) whether the conduct contains an element of anger or abuse which is directed at the Umpire or the Umpire’s decision; (ii) whether there is excessive delay in resuming play or leaving the wicket; or (iii) whether there is persistent re-reference to the incident over time.
    It shall not be a defence to any charge brought under this Article to show that the Umpire might have, or in fact did, get any decision wrong.

    This article gives an example where the Australian cricket captain was fined under section (h) for arguing with the umpire.

    Ricky Ponting has been fined 40% of his match fee (approx Aus$54,000) and rebuked by the ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle after finally cracking under the strain of impending Ashes defeat on the second day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

    His angry discussions with an ice-cool Aleem Dar, early in the second session, were the day’s major flashpoint, as he picked a series of arguments with the umpires and Kevin Pietersen after the batsman correctly survived a caught-behind referral.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Mano @3: Back in the long, long ago, when I were a lad played football, arguing with the ref could easily get you sent off. Only the captain was even allowed to talk to the ref, and not for very long.

  4. Mano Singham says


    Isn’t that still the rule in rugby, that only the captain can talk to the ref? I know that is the rule in some sport but cannot remember which.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    Mano, it’s still the rule in soccer;

    A player who is guilty of dissent by protesting (verbally or nonverbally) against a referee’s decision must be cautioned

    Somehow, that rule has been eroded into meaninglessness, at all levels. You’ll regularly see players crowding around a ref, protesting loudly and protractedly, without any cautions handed out. I suspect rugby (league and union) still take it seriously.

  6. Mano Singham says

    I’m surprised to hear that this rule exists in soccer because on the rare occasions when I have watched games I often see players crowding the refs demanding that they take some action or protesting some action that was taken.

    Why aren’t the cautions handed out in soccer if that is against rules? Does the soccer establishment not want to enforce this rule for some reason and so the refs feel that they will not be supported? Enforcing it as a matter of course would likely quickly end this unseemly practice of arguing and trying to intimidate the refs.

  7. file thirteen says

    @Mano #5

    Yes, in rugby if a player protests a penalty, the referee has no hesitation marching the penalty point ten metres. The attacking team eagerly rushes forward, and the defending team has to scramble back, including the dissenter whose protest is drowned out in the rush. This shuts the dissenter up quick smart!

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    Mano, I misread your #5. I’m not sure that the captain being allowed to talk to the ref is codified in soccer, or just (in the past, anyway) common practice. In rugby, I think it is codified.

    I don’t know why player-ref interactions got to be so out of hand. It may be that as the top players became richer and richer, their behaviour became more entitled, there was reluctance to penalize such important individuals, and that filtered down through the ranks and levels. I’ve seen similar behaviour in the little NBA action I’ve seen. Not sure how much of a problem it is in American or Canadian football, or baseball.

  9. jrkrideau says

    @ 1 Rob Grigjanis

    How about automatic yellows for players who try to tell the ref how to do their job?*

    Back in the Middle Ages when I played Rugby, one did not challenge the referee. If a call was unclear the Captain might say, “Excuse me sir, what prompted that call”.

    Referees usually replied “ Play on” . A humble player would never dare address a referee directly. Arguing would have been , at a minimum, a one game suspension.

    @ 8 file thirteen’s point shows the game is going soft. Hell, we got a 10 metre penalty one time because our coach on the sidelines was complaining. Err wait, it was a 20m metre penalty because we could not shut him up after the first 10m penalty.

    @ Rob

    In rugby, I think it is codified.

    I don’t know but complaining would mean getting kicked off the field which meant a minimum of a one game suspension[1]. The refs, way back then, were not tolerant. I cannot even conceive of a player protesting a call. A captain being rude or even insistent would probably have meant we needed a new captain for a game or two.

    I tend to be in agreement with this. Rugby is a very up-close physical sport much more than anything outside of one-on-one contests such as cage fighting. One really does not want to let 30 very fit young men or women get into an all-out brawl over a disputed call. [2]

    On the other hand, after an amateur game, both teams and the referee retire to the clubhouse where players on opposing sides buy one another drinks, apologize for chewing on someone’s ear and get to accuse the ref of blindness to which he/she replies, “Didn’t you think I saw that illegal tackle on the fly-half?”

    1. Being sent off, no matter what was a one game suspension. A player could only appeal if hte suspenision was two or more games.

    [2] I just had a lovely sexist thought here. I can just see, after the game, 50 or 60 women rugby players (players, subs, and coaches, being given a hard time by a local eating/drinking establishment after they had had a nice “social” time in the clubhouse.

    Once the riot squad arrives…

    The Canadian Army has a bit of a tradition of this, no reason our rugby clubs cannot help maintain traditions.

  10. file thirteen says

    In rugby, I think it is codified.

    It is. I almost piped up and quoted the laws the first time, but I felt it would be disrespectful to Mano to steal the focus of his cricket thread!

    the game is going soft

    Bring back rucking, I know, I know…

  11. polishsalami says

    I think Australia are favourites, now. Starc is on fire, and Lyon is the better spin option.

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