Monday, April 16, 2007

Ireland rhythmically jiggle Bangladesh

Alright, that headline didn’t work. But you can’t say I didn’t try.

Interesting things happened yesterday. One of which was Ireland beating Bangladesh. Now, whether this is intra-minnow warfare is up for debate, but it was an intriguing match nonetheless. The Irish gambled much by batting first on a bouncy, fast pitch. However, it was a worthwhile risk, as the Tigers pace attack lacked teeth and failed to take advantage of the conditions.

After the openers built a strong platform, a decent score of 200+ was always on the cards. The mature Irish batting strategy put a lot of pressure on the Bangladeshis – they needed to preserve wickets if they were to track down 243. Yet, the lively bowling of Boyd Rankin and David Langford-Smith proved too much for them, and from 48-3, it was difficult to see how the Irish could lose. And they didn't - which stymied by desire to see more of the Bangladesh Bop.

As Ireland have taken this opportunity to beat a second Full Member of the ICC ODI league, they now qualify for the Championship. They are now ranked number twelve in the world, after Kenya. Have a look here for the technicalities.

I’m not sure about this mechanism. Yes, well done for beating teams, but I’m not sure whether, after only 12 one-day internationals, Ireland have done enough. Think about other teams that have been slogging away for years and years. Thinks of the Hollands, the Canadas and the Scotlands. They have been playing at this level for a long time, and yet the Irish, after a few whiz-bang performances, have edged past them.

We all know that ODIs are, to a certain degree, lotteries. Any team in the world could beat Australia on their day, well, except for Twickenham second eleven. Ireland trumped a rather down-beat Pakistan, and, to be perfectly honest, Bangladesh is still a minnow and anyone’s game. Considering the ICC’s promotion regulations, you have to wonder how it has taken so long for a minnow to fluke its way through.

This new status will bring more money to Irish cricket, which is good, but the benefits to world cricket will only be seen in the very long term: they may possibly achieve test status in 50 years, but in the interim, more records will fall, standards will drop and international cricket will no longer have the pull as the “elite”, the cream of the sport. Who would want to watch a series of the Ozzies against the Irish, it would be almost as predictable as the Ashes.

Ah well, the ICC usually make the best decisions though. I stop stop worrying.

In other news, Prince William split-up with his girlfriend Kate Middleton and I am, quite frankly, gutted.

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