Now for the semi finals-1

PS: If you are feeling nostalgic for the national anthems of the departed teams, you can see this (from the 2015 WC):

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/national-anthems-of-wc-2015/

Now we have:

Jul 9: 1st SF, Ind v NZ, 1500 IST

Jul 11: 2nd SF, Aus v Eng, 1500 IST

Jul 14: Final, 1500 IST

And the road so far:

Points table Jul 06 2019

This WC has so far been marked by several relatively close (but not very close) finishes.

Also see the ICC rankings after the matches of Jul 6:

ICC rankings on Jul 6 2019

Note that only a fraction of a point separates England and India.

The top 4 here are indeed the semi-finalists. And the top 10 are indeed those who qualified for the World Cup. Ireland and Zimbabwe would have been out of their depth, as Ireland is 10 points behind Afghanistan.

A quick look at the IPL-style contests at the moment:

Orange Cap: RG Sharma 647 runs, followed by DA Warner (638) and Shakib Al Hasan* (606).

Purple Cap: MA Starc 26 wickets, followed by Mustafizur Rahman* (20) and 4 others with 17.

Most 6s: EJG Morgan 22, AJ Finch 18 and RG Sharma 14.

(Shakib* also has 11 wickets).

*No further part in the 2019 World Cup.

Next we will take up the statistical highlights so far.

A mockery of cricket (1)

Over the last year, the ICC has decided to give T20I status to ANY match between men’s sides (as well as women’s sides) from countries whose cricket boards are part of ICC. This is regardless of cricketing ability.

This also means that all T20Is starting from 2018-2019 (for women’s matches) and 2019 for men’ s matches are included in official statistics as well as official rankings.

You can see statistics on http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html or similar sites.

And ICC rankings can be seen here: http://www.relianceiccrankings.com/test/date-specific.php  for player rankings

and http://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/page/211271.html  for team rankings.

One expected outcome was very one-sided matches, such as this:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25749943/all-14-china-slump-lowest-women-t20i-total

in which China was all out for 14 in 10 overs, in reply to UAE’s 203/3 in 20 overs. China’s efforts included 6 ducks and an unbeaten 0.

From the scorecard http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19111/scorecard/1171353/china-women-vs-united-arab-emirates-women-group-a-thailand-womens-t20-smash-2018-19

we see that China at least has all or most of the players from their own country, while UAE’s team seems to include players from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a token local player (much like the UAE’s men’s teams of the past).

Knowing the Chinese, they will gradually get better and will probably be challenging established teams after a few years. At the time of writing in May 2019, you can see that UAE is ranked 16th and China 75th (out of 79). China is one of the 6 teams with zero points.

If this is a mockery of international cricket, there is a still bigger mockery when the national team of a Western European country entirely consists of South Asians. And that is true of men’s cricket as well. This will be covered next.

Making sense of the Cricket World Cup qualifying matches in 2018

As we know, the CWC 2019 will have 10 teams. These were to be the host (England) plus top 7 teams in the ODI rankings on 30/09/2017. This was the ranking table on that date:

ICC ranking 29 Sep 2017

The first 8 (including the host) qualified while the bottom 4 (WI, Afg, Zim, Ire) would account for 4 places in the qualifying rounds in 2018.

They would be joined by the 4 top teams in the WCL championship. which got over in Dec 2017. These are the results:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015%E2%80%9317_ICC_World_Cricket_League_Championship#Points_table

Thus Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea make up the second group of 4.

The remaining 2 spots will be selected from the bottom 4 in the WCL and the top 2 from WCL division 3: (Kenya, UAE, Nepal, Namibia) + (Canada, Oman).

There could be some upsets here, but probably Kenya and UAE will get through here. (Update: It was Nepal and UAE who emerged from this).

Details of this mini-qualifier (to be held in Feb 8-15 in Namibia) are here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_ICC_World_Cricket_League_Division_Two

So we now have:WI, Afg, Zim, Ire, Neth, Sco, HK, PNG, Nep and UAE in the “main” qualifier to be held in Zimbabwe from March 4 to 25. These have been divided into two pools of 5. There will be Super Sixes but no semi-finals.

Now we see the ODI rankings as of today (Jan 16):

ODI rankin Jan 15 2018

While there may be an occasional upset, it is very unlikely that the 2 qualifiers will be from the WCL teams. West Indies should have no trouble in qualifying, while there may be an interesting struggle for the other qualifying spot between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. Zimbabwe may have a slight home advantage. Ireland has generally declined in ODIs over the past year and may not challenge the other three seriously.

Final update: It was West Indies and Afghanistan who qualified for the 2019 World Cup.

 

A strange little cricket tournament

This was an international 50-over championship, but is not even considered as List A as the teams are not considered to be of a sufficient standard. This is one of the steps which need to be taken by teams aspiring for a higher status in cricket’s pecking order. In this recently conducted cricket tournament (held at Chiang Mai, Thailand), the participants were from different parts of Asia, ranging from Qatar to Bhutan to Thailand.

This was the points table:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-wcl-asia-region-division-1/engine/series/1089458.html?view=pointstable

Also, the determined cricket fan can skim through the results and scorecards:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-wcl-asia-region-division-1/engine/series/1089458.html

Note that China failed to cross three figures in all matches, with scores ranging from 28 to 74. Bhutan was slightly better as they beat China and once managed 104/9.

But one would be foolish to write off Chinese cricket. Hong Kong is doing well enough in the Associates. More importantly, remember how China came from nowhere to become a major force in the Olympics.

More about the lower rungs of cricket-playing countries in the link below. The rankings may not be up to date, but you do have a clear idea of who comes after Afghanistan and Ireland, with ranks going down to 30 (Italy) and 31 (Guernsey).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Cricket_League

Tail piece: Anyone in that area who was bored by the cricket could also have played porn ping pong at this place:

http://www.pornpinghotelchiangmai.com/