ICL: Indian Cricket League

2007 World Cup to be one of the closest of all time: Woolmer



Pakistan cricket team’s coach Bob Woolmer has said next year’s World Cup in the West Indies will be the one of the most open in the competition’s history. Woolmer’s side have been widely tipped as one of the leading challengers to defending champions Australia, given the wide array of talent they have at their disposal in all areas.

The tourists dominated the opening fixtures of their ongoing One-day International (ODI) series against England, which they lead 2-1 heading into Sunday’s finale at Edgbaston. Despite an eight-wicket defeat against England under the Trent Bridge floodlights here on Friday, Woolmer’s men remain an impressive one-day outfit.

But he reckoned Pakistan were just one of several sides who had a shot at winning the World Cup, which takes place in the Caribbean in March and April. “This World Cup in particular is going to be one of the closest World Cups of all time because there are so many sides at an even level,” Woolmer said. “Australia have been pegged back a little bit and there are a lot of teams who can win at any one stage.

“For three games we have been written up as world champions but we know that that just doesn’t happen. The nature of limited-overs matches means that unlike Test cricket it is difficult to fight back when in a corner. One-day cricket is a lottery, if a team gets on top it can lead to a situation like we had last (Friday) evening where one team wins quite easily,” he told reporters.

“One side bats well, the other bowls badly, it is all relative. Very rarely do you get really close games in international cricket, they are few and far between if you actually look at it — one side normally gets on top and nails the other one.

“There are occasionally some fantastic games like at Southampton earlier this week (where Pakistan beat England by two wickets), or the famous World Cup semifinal between South Africa and Australia at Edgbaston in 1999 and others,” he stated.

Pakistan may be nearing the end of a lengthy tour but Woolmer said he expected his side to be sufficiently fresh for Sunday’s Edgbaston climax. “I would be very disappointed if they didn’t have the energy and enthusiasm,” said Woolmer. “When you lose you tend to learn more than when you win and after what has happened here we would like to win. “This (defeat) might be a way of reminding them: we bowled badly, both sides of the wicket, either too full or too short and we didn’t bat as well as we should have done.”

Source:The News

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