Why have minnows in the World Cup?
Yes they sure do provide the odd mega-upset (as we speak Bangladesh, technically not a “minnow” but practically so, has upset New Zealand in a practice game and Ireland came mighty close to doing so against South Africa yesterday) and throw up some brilliant individual performances in losing causes (John Davison going berserk against the Windies , Dave Houghton’s magical innings against New Zealand ).
But then they usually fold up for 45 in front of a Chaminda Vaas or Sajid Mahmood, thus devaluing the competition. They are also responsible for 1) making the Cup go on forever and 2) making washouts against weak opposition (Say you are India and your game against Bermuda is wash-out ,you end up sharing points whereas all your competitors in the group have taken their full points from them) the death knell for teams trying to qualify in tight situations.
Yes that’s what they say.
And so do I.
But then if we did not have the minnows, how would we ever witness the glorious spectacle of Dwayne Leverock, 270 pounds (after losing weight) of pure blubber and skill [picture courtesy Cricinfo], wheeling his arms around in a spell of immaculate left arm slow bowling recalling not only the guile of Intikabh Alam but also his size. In any other team, this man would not have made it past the “process” but in the amateur world of the minnows, where people are more laid-back and still enjoy a tub of fried chicken and some lager between breaks and fitter talent is not readily available, he can still have his name pencilled in.
And his spirited celebration after flummoxing the cocky Kevin Pietersen just made my day. [Just as Sehwag’s dismissal and Irfan Pathan’s listless bowling today ruined it.] Of course high team spirit has never been Bermuda’s problem. On the contrary, they watch each others backs so closely that the team management has had to step in to curb their fellows feeling.
It (Bermuda)’s team management has announced any player found sleeping in a hotel room not his own will be fined $1000 on the spot.
Hmm. Did I say “laid-back”?
In all an interesting two days of World Cup 2007. And the best thing is that it has not even started.
[Update snippet: In a meaningful headline, Rediff informs us that “Dhoni Dravid get lucky” as we see both Dhoni and Dravid posing with a beautiful lady. A request to Mr. Chappell, kindly also check to see that our Men in Blue are sleeping in their hotel rooms and not making luck elsewhere. ]