When Dave Richardson made his no infamous ‘only 8 competitive teams’ comment, I’m sure he didn’t think it would come back to haunt him as spectacularly as it did.
Not only did Ireland cause a few upsets, and Bangladesh make it through to the knockout stages. But also the matches involving the supposed 8 competitive teams have been anything but competitive. Thus far, the three quarter finals of the World Cup have been one-sided.
That’s not say they haven’t been entertaining in parts, but no game has been able to provide a truly competitive spectacle. Wahab Riaz’s spell was fast and menacing, Maxwell’s stroke play at it’s absurd best, Tahir was masterful and Rohit restrained. All these moments were individually brilliant. And while this fine up to a point, and entertaining in it’s own right, the tournament is crying out for a meaningful and close run match.
With one match left in the quarter final stage, it is left to the West Indies to try and cause something approaching a shock by causing New Zealand a scare. If, as is likely, the Kiwi’s progress serenely to the semi-finals, we may finally see some competitive matches.
But it’s hard to disguise the feeling that the past month, while featuring some impressive individual performances, has been somewhat of a let own. If the West Indies fall byt he wayside, it would mean that the four pre-tournament favourites have all made it to the semi-final stage. India, having both miraculously and unsurprisingly regained their form in a bid to retain their trophy, have gone unbeaten. As have, so far, the New Zealanders.
This World Cup is crying out from some competitive games, and it is fast running out of time to deliver.