Monday, March 26, 2007
Ireland, Bangladesh devalue World Cup - British Guys
The BBC has always been a patronizing old white men's club. Yes, they do deliver (mostly) fair and balanced coverage of the Middle East, but when your main comparison is the CNN, that doesn't say much. These old white men have a few set ideas and are scathing when reality begs to differ.
One of the few constants the BBC cricket analysts had over the past decade is their scathing arrogant dismissal of Bangladesh.
When Bangladesh upset Australia in 2005 in Cardiff, the BBC wrote "... although they beat India at home in January this year to show they should not be regarded as total write-offs."
I now refer to what the "analysts" of the World Cup of cricket are saying about the current progression of Bangladesh and Ireland into the Super 8 round. India and Pakistan are out of the World Cup, while Ireland and Bangladesh has progressed.
Jonathan Agnew starts the ball rolling with "I can’t say that I really believe it is for the good of the sport that one of its finest and most passionate contests – India against Pakistan – has now been replaced by Ireland against Bangladesh."
He then goes on with "The Super 8’s will be the duller and more predicable as a result of the presence of Ireland and Bangladesh, rather than India and Pakistan."
While Indian and Pakistani fans may agree, cricket is not played on paper. Teams may be strong on paper, but results are obtained on the ground, and on that fateful day, both Ireland and Bangladesh outclassed Pakistan and India, respectively.
Moving on, we have Martin Gough.
"Had the tournament gone according to seeding, England’s opening Super 8 match would have been against Pakistan, against whom they have had some epic battles in the last 12 months.
Instead they will face Ireland, who they outclassed in Belfast last June."
Ireland outclassed? England made 301/7 while Ireland replied with 263/9 [scorecard]. I would hardly call it "outclassed". As usual, the English press has overhyped its own team - but then, what's new?
Yet This has led to criticism of the format.
"In no way do I want to show disrespect to Ireland and Bangladesh but ..."
[there's always a but]
"... their qualification has come on the back of a single result each.
If you were asked to rank the top eight teams in world cricket, these two would still not feature."
Let me say this again.
Yes, the World Cup does deserve the best 8 teams making it into the second round, but the World Cup is not about how you performed last year, the World Cup is how you performed at the World Cup. As for the criticism of the format by Rahul Dravid, when he said that previous world cups allowed you to start bad and still recover, the best reply was given by Habibul Bashar, the captain of the Bangladesh team.
"It is true that if you have two groups then you get more matches and have a better chance of recovering from a bad result but those who are criticising the current format should also remember that the so-called big teams actually wanted it so that they don't have to play 'inconsequential' matches against weaker teams. If you are a top side then you should have what it takes to qualify."