The news today was that Marlon Samuels respectfully declined an invitation to join the West Indies teams at the World Cup saying that he is not ready to return to the international fold. The immediate question in my view is is this the only reason that he choose against going to India. I do not doubt for a minute that he is genuine in his view that he is not ready to return to the international fold, but i am wondering if the match fixing allegations had anything to do with it, similar to the South African players who had refused to tour India until they get assurances that they wont be arrested.
This brings me to another point, why is betting still illegal in India, legalizing it might be the way to stop illegal bookmakers from trying to get their hands on the players . It could also be a good source of income for the BCCI or even used to help the many under privileged individuals and families in India. Then again the reason could be a moral one, I'm not here to judge just to share my view.
On to the world cup itself, the ICC (Idiots Controlling Cricket) has in there "wisdom" decided that from the next edition associate nations would not be allowed to participate. As a result, from the next edition I would like to suggest that the ICC change the name from the Cricket World Cup to the 10 nations cricket festival. I cannot see how it could be called a world cup with most of the world being excluded. As Graeme Swann said "how could you take the world out of the world cup".
This is the first world cup where the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is being used and from the first day, it was introduced in the wrong manner. Players should not have the right to challenge the umpire's authority if that is the case then the umpire could sit in the shade and let hawk eye do all the work. Granted that mistakes are made with or without the UDRS, (just ask India) a much better way to use technology is to allow the umpires only to seek help when they are unsure about a dismissal. This was tried with great success during the one and only Stanford Super Series by members of the elite panel. Its something to look into in the future.
Exciting cricket is expected at the world cup and also here in the Caribbean, with three rounds to go after a break this weekend the push for the semi finals will be tight. The top four teams have played the best cricket with CCC being the surprise and Jamaica seemingly having the right mix and have a player in the form of his life. T&T needs to work on their application while batting and the English Lions are quickly realizing that the teams in the Caribbean are not as weak as they are finding it difficult to force a victory after the first game.
Interesting times up ahead, will the West Indies make the quarter finals and who will take the regional crown. All shall be revealed in due course, till next time....CHEERS!!!!!!