ICC Champions Trophy 2013
This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Not even the Hors d’oeuvre
In a cricketing year that contains two Ashes series, not to mention match-ups between South Africa with both India and Pakistan, it would be hyperbolic to describe the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy as even an hors d’oeuvre. It is more the peanuts and kettle chips served before dinner. Nevertheless, as the ICC Integrity Unit like to say, its cricket, its happening so there must be some betting!
Only a week ago it all looked so simple. England were the coming force in one-day internationals, having not lost a home series since 2009. Then they were thumped by New Zealand. Twice.
The truth is that Cook’s side would be contenders with all bowlers firing, but with the aforementioned main courses still to come, Gus Fraser will be under strict orders to ensure Anderson, Finn and co don’t overdo it.
India likewise do not appeal. They never travel well (particularly after the excesses of the IPL) and have lost nine of their last 14.
Pakistan appear to have forgotten to select any batsmen, so we will count them out too.
So who should we not ignore? Well the West Indies have probably one of the best-balanced squads in the tournament. They won this competition in 2009 on English soil, and at 9.8, seem to be fairly decent value.
Failing that of course, South Africa can always be relied upon to reach the final (and choke.) Back the favourites, and lay them off before the end game.