Cricket World Cup
“I’ve been in a foul mood since last night too, even fouler with the shame of how much such trivial matters hurt me at the age of 69,” says Dave Langlois. “We’ve probably been hoist by our own petard a bit, haven’t we? We all loved the 5-0 thrashings of the Aussies and the world record, seemingly unstoppable scoring, without thinking much about the massive loss of confidence this could engender if the gung-ho approach went wrong in a tournament setting with weather-bedevilled pitches. What do they do, stick or twist? How much of either? Maybe we should just thank them for the enjoyment they’ve given us with a little bit of bitterness for the false hope. I reckon they doomed too.”
More than anything, I feel sad. All the joy they have given us will count for sweet bugger all if they go out in the next week. They’ve been a bit unlucky – Jason Roy’s injury, Alex Hales’ recreational pursuits, even the itinerary – but you could say that of a few sides. Personally, I think the pitches are a bit of a red herring. They’ve been a factor, but I think the biggest problem has been psychological. England have won a lot of games on awkward pitches in the last few years.
Dinesh Karthik returned to India’s World Cup squad after 12 years, trumping Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s heir apparent Rishabh Pant in a selection move that will be debated for a long time.
The second wicketkeeper was the sole bone of contention for the marquee event starting in England and Wales on May 30 and the 33-year-old Karthik’s experience of 91 ODIs gave him the edge over the 21-year-old Pant, according to the five-member selection panel headed by MSK Prasad.
Karthik, the oldest Indian player in terms of international debut (three months before Mahendra Singh Dhoni in September 2004), was also part of the Indian squad during its disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign. He, however, missed the bus in 2011 and the 2015 editions.
TEAM WEST INDIES
All-rounders Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine failed to make the cut as West Indies announced their 15-man squad for the World Cup with Jason Holder set to lead the team for the tournament in England and Wales.
Hard-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle, 39, was called up for what will be his fifth World Cup as was all-rounder Andre Russell, who rocked the Indian Premier League (IPL) with his explosive batting.
Evin Lewis, who missed the recent England series with an injury, was also named in the squad. There was also a return for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who last played in 2017, alongside other quicks Kemar Roach and the relatively inexperienced Oshane Thomas.
Cricket World cup
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Sri Lanka dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal to hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay a place in their World Cup squad.
Chandimal, who was one-day captain until last October, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga were all left out of the 15-man squad.
Thirimanne and Vandersay along with all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis got places despite not playing in the one-day team for more than a year.
Left-handed batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, who was appointed captain on Wednesday, last played an ODI in March 2015.