Kass Naidoo

Coin-flip makes CWC a lottery

2007-03-14 09:45

Kass Naidoo

I don't know about you, but I'm getting nervous about South Africa's chances of winning the Cricket World Cup.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning their abilities, but rather the pitches, which are an unknown quantity and might well end up making a lottery of this tournament.

And, after watching Tuesday's opening match between Pakistan and hosts West Indies, my concerns have intensified.

The Proteas won't be placing any reliance on their current ODI No 1 ranking, or an impressive record of 10 wins in their past 11 ODI's in the West Indies.

It would have been a different case if we were playing on traditional West Indian tracks offering pace and bounce, or if matches were scheduled to start at familiar ODI starting times, instead of these juiced-up 09:30 starts.

Newly-laid pitches are causing uncertainty for selectors about the make-up of their starting teams, and there will be plenty of head-scratching regarding game plans.


Prior to the warm-up games, many were anticipating high scores, with the Chappell brothers even suggesting the possibility of the first 500-plus innings total.

But after receiving the warm-up match reports, many bookmakers are re-assessing the odds they're offering.

Indian captain Rahul Dravid has admitted that slow pitches could mean the revision of batting plans, and played down big score expectations.

The Proteas have been very vocal about their 'brave cricket' inclinations, but how will they adapt to these volatile conditions?

The experience of cricketers like Jacques Kallis will come into play, but the ability to rotate the strike will be paramount.

From what experts are saying, batsmen will have to be patient on these new tracks, and a batsman who gets settled will have to make his innings count.

Wear and tear

Captains winning the toss will almost certainly bowl first, with Australia's Ricky Ponting having suggested he would rather chase a total, considering the early match starting times, and the prospect of seaming pitches early on.

There are added concerns that the new surfaces may not hold up to the wear and tear of top-flight cricket.

Crumbling pitches will help slow bowlers, and with the exception of South Africa, all the stronger sides have top-flight spinners, most with a few part-timers at their disposal.

South Africa's sole option is Robin Peterson, with captain Graeme Smith capable of sending down a few overs. But will Peterson play in the big games?

Even on tracks that assist slower bowlers, the Proteas have regularly played an all-pace attack. Thank goodness we've got Andrew Hall out there, at least he can mix it up a bit.

I hope for cricket's sake that these new pitches play the part, and that the World Cup lives up to expectations.

  • Kass Naidoo is editor of gsport... for Girls!

  • Send Kass your thoughts

    Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


  • SHARE:

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.

    Inside News24

    Traffic Alerts
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


    Create Profile

    Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

    Please provide a username for your profile page:

    This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


    Location Settings

    News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

    Facebook Sign-In

    Hi News addict,

    Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

    Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.