Some of you might remember Sepia Mutiny’s coverage of the only Cricket World Cup to occur during this blog’s existence (2007 in the West Indies). Here we are four years later (can you believe it!?) and this time the World Cup is being played in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka.
Before we go any further, let’s have a cool video explaining the rules of this exotic and fascinating game:
What? You don’t speak German? Oh. Well unfortunately, I can’t find a nice, concise video presentation in English of how cricket is played. Any suggestions?
If you’re the texty sort, here are the laws of cricket, with a few slightly helpful pictures. If you’d like to translate those to video, I actually suggest watching Lagaan. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry. You can skip all the parts about drought, taxes, Radha, Krishna, betrayal, rhyming “kiss” with “bliss,” and skip straight to the actual match. Why? Because if I’m not mistaken, the match in Lagaan has a demonstration of every single way you can get out or score a run in cricket.
If you’re in the US, your viewing options are fairly limited, not least because the matches start at either 11 pm or 4 am eastern time. If you’re a DirecTV subscriber, you can buy the World Cup bundle for $149. You can also pay for an online streaming subscription through willow.tv for $129. Willow offers replays and highlights of previously played matches. The tournament is also available through Dish network, though I’m not sure for how much. The World Cup final will be played in Mumbai on April 2.
Here are this year’s participants, divided into two groups, with their seeding in parentheses:
|Group A||Group B|
|Australia (1)||India (2)|
|Pakistan (3)||South Africa (4)|
|New Zealand (5)||England (6)|
|Sri Lanka (7)||West Indies (8)|
|Canada (12)||Ireland (11)|
|Kenya (14)||Netherlands (13)|
In the first round, each team plays every other team in its group, and the top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals. For more details, take a look at the cricinfo.com page.
The World Cup was originally scheduled to be played in Pakistan as well, but the International Cricket Council canceled those 14 matches following a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009.
Apart from the opening match of the tournament on Saturday, in which India beat Bangladesh in Dhaka, the three host countries (India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) play all of their group matches at home. Pakistan will play all of its group matches in Sri Lanka.
As I write this, defending champion Australia is trying to close out what looks like an inevitable win against Zimbabwe in the 4th match of the tournament.
In the 2007 World Cup, Bangladesh beat India in the group round, and Sri Lanka finished them off in their match to deny India a spot in the quarterfinals. This year India got the best of Bangladesh, posting a mammoth total of 370 that Bangladesh couldn’t catch, though if they can repeat their response of 283 in their remaining matches, they’re sure to notch a few wins and find themselves in the next round again this year.
The 2003 World Cup in South Africa saw Kenya come out of nowhere and secure a spot in the semi-finals. They played incredibly well, winning group matches against Canada, Bangladesh, and a stunner against Sri Lanka in Nairobi. That match was one of two scheduled in Nairobi. Kenya won the other as well, but through forfeit: the New Zealand side refused to travel to Kenya because of security concerns. It would have been great to see Kenya hand it to New Zealand in their 2011 matchup in Chennai, but alas, it only took them 8 overs to chase Kenya’s sad total of 69.
In the 3rd match, Sri Lanka crushed Canada by 210 runs in their attempt to return to the finals, where they lost to Australia in 2007. The match took place at the newly-built Mahinda Rajapakse stadium in Hambantota. More on that later.
I’ll go digging through the archives for more posts about the 2007 Cup. In the mean time, enjoy the cricket!