Friday, February 18, 2011

World Cup 2011 - Seven Little Guys To Look Out For

Its probably tough being a minnow. Walking into a world cup event, nobody knows you, nobody notices you when you lose, and nobody misses you when you leave. This is for you guys, the little guys who I expect to make an impression in this world cup.

1. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
The Vettori of Bangladesh. He has a fantastic record with his canny left arm spin and genuine ability with the bat. Being a successful captain also at such a young age, he will develop into a very fine cricketer.

2. Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)
One of my favourites. After he famously demolished India in the 2007 World Cup, he has maintained that promise and talent with great consistency and has a fluid and attractive attacking style. He has a test match average of 40, and three ODI centuries, with more to come.
Unlike Ashraful who was just a kidder. © Getty Images
3. Ryan ten Doeschate (Holland)
He is a big name in the county cricket circuit, and is good enough to make any international side he chooses.  Many quietly rate him, but this is the arena for him to show the world just how good he is.

4. William Porterfield (Ireland)
Arguably the most prolific of the associate level batsmen, he was there in the 2007 world cup, so he has experience to match his talent. He made a breezy 72 off 74 balls against New Zealand in a warm up match just recently, a good sign.

5. Rizwan Cheema (Canada)
This guy doesn't have the greatest record, but he can give the ball a serious thump when he gets going. Just watch him go bananas in this clip:

6. Ed Joyce (Ireland)
Forgotten by the English, he has an SCG century to his name against a strong Australian outfit. He did a reverse Eoin Morgan and I'd love to see him give England something back.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. © Getty Images
7. Steve Tikolo (Kenya)
A real tortoise,  he is one of the few survivors of the 1996 world cup. He has been the big name of Kenyan cricket for over 15 years and this world cup will probably be his last. I am looking forward to him going out with a real bang. Be careful New Zealand.

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