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Sep 12, 2006

I don't like cricket... I luv it!

Cricket season is upon us again... yeah! The washed-out tournament between India, SL & SA had high expectations but failed due to the persistent bad weather. What a disappointment? I was really looking forward to some action between 3 formidable teams for the next world cup.

My current predictions for the best 4 performing teams in next year's WC are Sri Lanka, India, South Africa & Australia (I tried hard not to put the last one, but reality is, in effect, a percentage game).

SL are my current 'stars' of cricket. What a performance against the English a couple of months ago? I've always been a keen observer of Mahela Jayawardene, the last few months have been a real revelation. He was never the sublime player; an odd couple of 50s in ODIs before the SL captaincy was handed over to him. He's really taken on the role superbly, playing out of his normal game while displaying some polished leadership skills on the field (totally against the modern trend where captaincy equals loss of form). My players to watch out for are Mahela, Dilshan & Sangakkara.

My patriotism to Indian cricket still continues. Rahul 'the wall' Dravid is still my favourite cricketer. I've not seen sparks of genious from his leadership, but his consistent form and dogmatic attitude should be interesting to watch. Looking forward to some innovative moves (that brings out positive results!). Sachin's back for his last WC - the player of the tournament in the last WC has the uncanny ability to bring about form when required. I have my sights set on all players in the team. Looking forward to seeing them raise the WC next year :)

I was never a big fan of SA cricket. I have always been a fan of Herchelle Gibbs, and this was cemented in the incredible 438 in that last Aus-SA match in the Wanderers. What a brilliant match?! I've got a highlights copy of the game and have watched it often, but it still stuns me how well the run chase was orchestrated. Captain Greame Smith and the enegmatic Andre Nel will be players to look out for this season.

The Aussies will surely be the team that other nations will benchmark themselves against. A popular saying around here among cricket commentators is that the best way to check if you as a player are in form is to determine whether you can make the Aussie ODI team. It will be interesting to see which teams will dethrone the current champions. I get the feeling Pakistan's the most likely to do this... if everything comes together.

This season's gonna be a rocker! Can't wait for the WC. And there's a faint chance I could make some of the matches of the WC in the Carribean ('touch wood'). "Eeee maan.. toss me dat bottla Jamaikan rum".

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