Sunday, February 14, 2010

A ray-of hope for sub continent

It was way back in 1996 that a country from the sun continent made it to one of the mega events in cricket, when U.A.E made it to the wills World cup in 1996 and was placed in Group B along with Holland, Pakistan, England, New Zealand and South Africa. Since then, no other nation from the Asian continent has been able to make it to the world cup- be it the ICC Champions Trophy that is held once in 2 years or the world T20 which is also scheduled with the same gap inbetween. Bangladesh-a team also from the sub continent made it to the world cup in 1999, and has since then been a regular part of international cricket.

Bangladesh differs from the other teams, for one-it has been given a test status by the ICC and two for the fact that they have been playing international cricket more regularly unlike the other teams whose presence is felt only in the major events. There have been teams like Hong Kong & UAE who also belong to the Asian continent but have not featured in any of the ICC sponsored events since 1996 after UAE made its appearance as mentioned above. Hong Kong has played two Asia cups in 2004 and 2008. If not, no other Asian teams have even made news otherwise as well.

If the remaining 5 continents are considered, there is the African continent who has seen teams like East Africa who made an appearance in the 1979 Prudential cup and then there was Zimbabwe-who even enjoyed a decade long unsuccessful test run, followed by Kenya who have been playing in the mega tournaments since 1996 and last Namibia who gave a guest appearance in the 2003 world cup played at South Africa. Of course, the Australian continent that consists of only Australia as a country has to be left out of the discussion. The highest contribution is seen from Europe, which has seen countries like Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands and Bermuda.

The fact is also that the countries that have been facing humiliating defeats have been from the European continent. It was Scotland in the 1999 world cup and Holland in the 1996 world that went without a victory in those tournaments. Then, Bermuda in 2007 lost all three games and recorded for the highest team total conceded when India scored 413 runs in the league stage of the same. The American continent has three nations in Canada, West Indies and USA who have featured in the ICC's mega tournaments. Now, after Afghanistan made it to the world T20 due in Caribbean in April this year, it can be considered to be another feather in the Asian continent's cap, taking the total number of countries from the continent to 6.

No comments: