Well the 2011 Cricket World Cup is fast approaching so I thought it appropriate to start a thread. I made it to the last World Cup but alas the Indian sub-continent is a bit of a stretch in these recessionary times so I will be watching this one on TV.
Ireland, as you all know, is one of 14 countries to qualify for the finals. So, well done Ireland for a start.
The 14 teams are split into two groups. The teams in each group play each other in a League and the top 4 teams from each Group progress to the quarter finals. So Ireland is guaranteed 6 games.
The Groups are:
Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbawe, Canada, Kenya.
Bangladesh, England, India, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands.
Ireland, imo, ended up in the much tougher Group. To progress to the quarter finals it will be necessary to displace one of England, India, South Africa, or the West Indies. If we do end up ahead of one of these big guns the most likely, imo, is the West Indies.
Irelands Schedule is:
25/2 v. Bangladesh
02/03 v. England
06/03 v. India
11/03 v. West Indies
15/03 v. South Africa
18/03 v. Netherlands
No St. Patricks Day game this time around, unfortunately.
The opening Game is in Bangladesh as far as I can make out while the rest are in India. Two down south in Bangalore, two up in the North East in Kolkata near the Bangladesh border and the final game back in the south in Chennai.
I note that the Irish squad contains Ed Joyce, Irish born and bred but who switched his allegiance to England in 2005. Joyce announced his intention last May to resume playing for Ireland and was last month granted special dispensation to play for Ireland in the World Cup by the International Cricket Council.
This is, I guess, good for Ireland in that Joyce is a fine batsman but I wonder what readers make of all the switching. If it was up to me I would not have him.