the World Cup, I wrote on this site that "this year's World
Cup represents the most serious threat yet to Australia's (Men)
continued domination of the tournament". And so it was.
It would be
folly to suggest the Australian Men are anything less than a magnificent
team, and Coach Ross Gregory has well and truly moved out from
former coach Dave Lewis' shadow. But what we all know now is that
they are not invincible when it comes to World Cups.
been shown that New Zealand can mix it with the absolute best
and, on their day, beat anyone.
And the Sri
Lankan men. Third place. What a performance, for a country that
has been playing the game for such a short time. They host the
next World Cup in 2004. At their current rate of development,
who knows what impact they are going to have on the tournament,
especially playing on home soil.
indeed find Sri Lanka the fly in the ointment they really didn't
need, as we speculated pre-tournament. With a solid core of experienced
players retiring, England's immediate international future depends
heavily on their younger crop of players.
And then India.
A determined group of good outdoor players in the process of learning
how to play indoor cricket. Desperately in need of some intensive,
experienced coaching, much as Sri Lanka have received and benefitted
withdrew from this Cup, and ended up paying a heavy penalty, having
the hosting rights of this year's Over-35
Men, Over-30 Women, Under 19 Boys and Under 19 Girls World Championships
withdrawn and given to New Zealand (see article HERE).
Women, on the other hand, did dominate their competition.
With Brad Zeller back as Coach, the Australians were undefeated.
Australian Captain Donna Dalby said at the presentation dinner,
the difference between her side and New Zealand was not accurately
reflected by the Final scores. The New Zealanders gave the Australians
spirited, skilled opposition every time they played, and again,
the gap between the two countries is rapidly closing.
As with their
Men, the Sril Lankan Women's team have come a long way in a very
short time. Their outdoor skills and instincts still hold sway
over the particular nuances of the indoor game, but they will
only benefit and continue their rapid development in the face
of sustained, high-quality coaching and exposure to top competition.
for the Indian Women too. It was a very, very young squad that
eventually arrived in Wellington. Of all the teams present, the
Indian girls are most in need of high quality coaching. But they
too will benefit enormously from the experience and exposure,
and their enthusiasm and eagerness augers well for their future.