So Australia won the cricket world cup as I predicted on Monday 29 January in this blog. It was not even close; the truth is, they demolished the world! The supposedly next best in the world South Africa, the Kiwi's, the Sri Lankans and more swept aside. Hayden, Ponting, and all the bowlers were sublime. And when it really matters Gilchrist does what only Gilchrist can! So what can we learn.
1. Australia are the very best nation in the world.
2. Even with the retirement of Warne and now McGrath they will remain number one.
3. Pakistan, India and others need to sort their collective acts out. When one considers how many people play cricket in these nations, their performances were disappointing.
4. South Africa could not handle the pressure. I thought it was tragic that they felt that they had to play differently to win the semi against Australia. They tried to smash the Aussies instead of trusting themselves. This indicates that they were psyched out.
5. NZ for the fifth time could not make the final. This indicates that they are in much the same boat as South Africa.
As for the tournament itself it was a shocker; the worst international world cup I can remember in any sport. It started with a death. India and Pakistan capitulated absolutely embarrassingly meaning that the Super 8 lacked spark. West Indies underperformed and so the home nations did not get into it. The pricing and limitation on enjoyment at the games was seriously affected. The tournament was way too long; 2 games a day would sort that out! There were only one or two close games between the top teams. The umpiring was poor. Then it finished with boring semifinals with NZ slaughter by Sri Lanka and Australia demolishing South Africa. Finally, the Final was a farce. It should have been a 50 over match with extra days up their sleeves. Then the finish of the final was a joke!
But it didn't matter in the end. Australia are so far and away the best cricket nation in the world that I think it would have been better to simply award them the cup and save the world all the hassle. If they had, Bob Woolmer would still be alive.