England defeated Canada today, but by 16 runs in their warm up fixture following Broad’s 5 for. Arguably a significant area of concern for Strauss’s men? An excellent fight and effort put up by the Canadians and in particular by KC (a guy I know) and the flamboyant attacking stroke maker, Rizwan Cheema. I am looking forward to see Canada in this World Cup the most out of all the associate sides. England now will take on Pakistan on Friday in the last warm up fixture before the real thing starts. Both teams will be determined to go into the campaign on a high by winning both their warm up fixtures.
In other stories, the ICC is not at all amused by Salman Butt’s TV contract with channel 5 where he is set to provide expert views as a studio guest during the course of the competition. The ICC is currently investigating whether the 26 year old is breaching the conduct of his ban. Butt was banned for 10 years by the ICC at the Doha hearing on the 5th of February, 5 years which are to be suspended if he participates in an anti-corruption educational programme and does not commit any further wrong doing. The reaction to his involvement with the TV Channel following the verdict has generated a mixed reception, with many people raising serious eyebrows over the appointment.
Australia have lost both their warm up matches against India and South Africa with some poor batting performances. In Cricket WCs they have made 6 appearances in a final out of the 9 times the tournament has been contested. I have a strong feeling they will not be able to repeat their success in previous tournaments. It will be a triumph for the cricket world if their WC domination ends and we do not see them in a final this time!
Elsewhere, in Bangladesh special sprays are being utilised in order to swipe out a whole proportion of mosquitoes which could cause potential harm during the course of the competition. Action is being taken near the venues and hotels in order to prevent complaints emerging and help everyone enjoy their experiences of playing in Bangladesh with everything running smoothly without any disturbances or interferences being caused.
Meanwhile, tomorrow (17th) there will be an official opening ceremony taking place in Bangladesh which is getting the golden opportunity of hosting their first major global sporting spectacle since gaining independence in 1971. The ceremony will remark the start of the 43 day campaign where 49 encounters will be contested amongst 14 teams all with one firm vision. It’s a spectacle of unity, patriotism, fever, intensity and excitement. May the party commence......