Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The sub-continent is getting ready to host the 10th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup from 19th February 2011... a spectacle eagerly awaited! All the 15-member squads have been announced by the respective boards of the participating teams and I am sure most of the 210 players selected to be a part of this extravaganza are aiming for glory!

This World Cup will be held in the sub-continent for the first time in 15 years. The last time that it was held in 1996, it marked the first occasion when a co-host (Sri Lanka) walked away as the winners. Will it be the same this time round?
12 teams took part in the World Cup 1996... and 11 of those return to be a part of the 2011 event. The only one to miss out from the 1996 group is the United Arab Emirates... and the 3 new teams who will be making their sub-continental World Cup debuts will be Canada, Ireland and the co-hosts Bangladesh themselves.

Interestingly, 8 of the 210 players selected for this World Cup were also a part of their teams' set-up 15 years ago in the 1996 World Cup. And amusingly, the team that has the most number of players today from the 1996 era is... Kenya! They have 2, whereas Australia, India, Netherlands, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies have 1 each

These men are:

Australia - Ricky Ponting
India - Sachin Tendulkar
Kenya - Thomas Odoyo
Kenya - Steve Tikolo
Netherlands - Bas Zuiderent
South Africa - Jacques Kallis
Sri Lanka - Muttiah Muralitharan
West Indies - Shivnarine Chanderpaul

For Odoyo, Tikolo and Zuiderent, it marked the start of their international careers. For Ponting, Kallis, Muralitharan and Chanderpaul, it marked their World Cup debuts. Tendulkar had already played in the 1992 World Cup.

Interestingly, four of these eight men figured in the semi-finals in 1996. If we were to replace Chanderpaul's West Indies with Kallis' South Africa, we might well have the semi-final line-up for 2011... though I can already hear the English cricket fans vehemently disagreeing.

The youngest of these 8 is the Dutchman Bastiaan Zuiderent, who is a little short of his 34th birthday. And if he remains fit enough and Netherlands competitive enough, he may well go on to play the 11th World Cup in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand! But unless Tendulkar continues to play till then, I will not be able to do such a blog comparing 2015 to 1992!

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