Friday, 25 September 2009

Sheep, scabs and other Champions

Going by the Australian media, you'd hardly think this Champions Trophy is on. To be fair, it is on in South Africa at awkward times and it is currently the business end of the football seasons. Perhaps more to the point, when did Australia even pay any attention to previous versions of this tournament?

So far in Group A, Pakistan have fought off the best team WICB money (or organisational ability?) can buy. This team, which would probably even make England look like an ODI powerhouse, gives Australia there entry into the competition tomorrow, while the sporting eyes of the nation are on Melbourne. The India-Pakistan match seems to have more potential for drama.

Meanwhile, Group B is turning on the excitement. Sunny England has Sri Lanka's top order in real trouble, after the Lankans had put away the favoured hosts. If the results can be interpreted as a hierarchy, then the South Africans are left only above their comprehensively defeated opponents. To keep the S theme, lets call them Shebangabang - after all, that's what they're called by the advertising advisors to the Australian ODI sponsors.

It wouldn't be an ICC event without room for criticism, and F50 isn't the flavour of the month, but I reckon that simply as a chance for so many teams to play cricket against each other in a tournament, it isn't bad. It deserves a bit more attention over here.

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