The opening days of the Cricket World Cup have, as always, lived up to the event’s sparkling reputation. The enthralling opening games saw hosts and favourites displaying fine performance. The inconsistent yet talented Pakistan were on the end of a humiliating defeat at the hands of the West Indies. And before that, typically of London, the heavy rain dampened the spirits and moods in what would have been a thoroughly high spirited opening ceremony to these games.
The World Cup stayed in Australia for years on end, with it enjoying a short stint in India. However, this may all be set for a radical change. The opening results show the sheer unpredictability of this tournament and we expect many more moments like these. This adept, perhaps golden age of England, reminiscent to the football team, is currently on everyone’s lips, fans and experts alike. This side has a unique feeling, different to those in the previous years. However, what this year and previous years have shown, is to not put all your eggs in this English basket.
This year has a sense of expecting the unexpected. Even as England maintain their status as firm favourites, there are numerous contenders that are willing to take that crown. Giant-killers Bangladesh and most notably Afghanistan have the ability to quietly flourish in this year’s competition. The inspirational story of Afghanistan has tugged at the heartstrings of many and has shown that they are a force to be respected, enjoying an impressive win over this paradox of a Pakistan side in the warm up games.
The Bangladesh Greens are set to field their best ever side, a side fledged with a wealth of experience and talented prospects. The Tigers had mixed experience in the warm up games, enduring a painful drubbing against India. The roar of the Tigers has seemingly lived up to its Giant-Killer tag often in the past, as they almost live for these monumental matches. They attempt to channel the spirit of the team that has knocked so many star-studded teams out in the past. They have stunned many before and in the words of Bangladesh’s head coach, Steve Rhodes, Bangladesh is a “quietly confident” side.
The games will now come thick and fast, with typically intriguing matchups, whether it be India vs England, which will send out a gargantuan statement whoever the winner; or Afghanistan vs Bangladesh where two quintessential giant killers will go head to head, making for an absorbing watch.
It may sound clichéd, but this is set to be a World Cup for the ages and one to reminisce on. It has rocketed in its opening days and will ensure to continue in Sunday’s captivating clash with the predatory Tigers taking on an established South Africa side. This is set to be a spectacle to remember.
(Sami Ahmed, a 15-year-old YouTuber and aspiring journalist, writes from London, UK)