As the cricket World Cup draws closer, the pulse rate of the players and their fans from the 14 participating nations is surely rising.
The build up to the quadrennial event, the equivalent of the FIFA soccer world cup, has been nothing short of spectacular. Despite the game grappling with a spot-fixing saga and an under-prepared Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata losing the hosts a marquee match against England, the enthusiasm of having a “good game” seems to have taken over. Like the previous editions, the 10th ICC world cup will also see some of the great cricketers saying “Goodbye” to the gentleman’s game and all of them would want to lay their hands on the coveted trophy.
Fans will be seeing Ricky Ponting, Muthaiah Muralitharan, Sachin Tendulkar and probably Jacques Kallis for the last time at a world cup but it will be Sachin, who will want to etch his name on the winners’ trophy more than anyone else. The master blaster has achieved almost everything that is there to achieve in the game of cricket but the world cup has remained elusive.
There will surely be new heroes found for their respective nations and new stars will appear on the horizon. But there are already some who I will be keenly watching during the 45 day event. From India, the most exciting youngster to emerge since the master blaster has been Virat Kohli. In the limited opportunities he has got, Kohli has proved that he is the man for the future.
Colin Ingram from South Africa will be another young lad to watch alongside Ahmad Shehzad, Umar Akmal (from Pakistan), Darren Bravo from the West Indies and Angelo Mathews from Sri Lanka.