The dutch gave a good account of themselves the other day against England but the Kenyans, Canadians and even the Zimbabweans have really failed to make an impact. Tomorrow’s game between Ireland and Bangladesh, although giving a home advantage to the latter, will prove crucial in this debate.
Is it justified to have the minnows or the lesser countries in the World Cup?
I personally feel that this is one way of promoting cricket globally and as such it is essential to have these teams in the World Cup. They usually make an early exit and provide warm up material for the big names.
Occasionally, when something like what the irish did last time happens, they capture the collective hearts of all cricket fans, thereby provide a wonderful , heartwarming interlude.
However, it is simply just ONE way of promoting cricket. Adequate exposure must be provided for these teams over the cricketing calender to ensure that there is an improvement year on year.
At the moment it looks like Kenya and Canada have declined. Holland owed their last cameo to a few individual players. Let’s see how they do in the long run. Zimbabwe seems to be climbing up the ladder in terms of international performance but then again they have a proud cricketing tradition that has seen mainly political setbacks. So the potential is there.
If the ICC looks at these things simply from a financial perspective (eg: how much from the gate and TV rights), I don’t think it is justified. They should look at nurturing minnows who have real potential as a long term investment in the future of the game.