The two host countries New Zealand and Australia, and some of the grounds and its settings, were just fantastic. This tournament is by far the most watched in World Cup history for ODI cricket it a real credit to everyone at the ICC organisers and the many volunteers around Australasia that gave up its time and effort to help showcase this amazing competition.
From a cricketing point of view this has been the best 50 over cricket we have seen for many years. The rule changes have been good for the game it has made it quite an aggressive game and better to watch for the spectators. For most of the teams it was a success as many players got good exposure against quality opposition so they can improve themselves as individuals. This is the only way you can get better as a cricketer when you’re playing against the best.
At times some players and teams were out of their depth against certain player match-ups on the field. Exposing these developing countries against the top eight teams is so important as we have to keep growing our game. All of the players that have been exposed to playing against the big players will be better for the experience. Football is a game that is always growing all over the world and are doing a fantastic job. Keeping kids active playing sport is healthy for everyone so let’s keep making the effort to grow our game.
My top 10 #CWC15 highlights for me are;
1.Aaron Finch hundred at the MCG against England in front of a packed home crowd. We haven’t seen the G light up like that for many years. A Victorian scoring an awesome hundred with the crowd right behind him for every run he made.
2.AB de Villiers 162 against the West Indies at the SCG off only 66 deliveries. He was just a pleasure to watch him reading the bowlers’ minds.
3.Ireland’s run chase against the West Indies in Nelson when chasing 304 to win in its first round match was an impressive start.
4.Afghanistan’s first World Cup win against Scotland and the scenes around the ground and off course the amazing celebrations.
5. Tim Southee seven-wicket haul against England, the way he just blew them away was just brilliant.
6. Imran Tahir 5 wicket haul against the West Indies and his magical celebrations lighting up the SCG crowd.
7. Trent Boult and Mitch Starc in the same game in Auckland where they were both unplayable on a good surface. Sheer high quality skill on display.
8. Kumar Sangakkara scoring four hundreds in a row doing everything for his team but they just couldn’t put things together in this World Cup.
9. Wahab Riaz’s spell of bowling for his desperate Pakistan team defending that small total at the Adelaide QF. Shane Watson copped the full force from the left arm quick but like all good players, he got through an incredible spell of bowling.
10. Of course Australia comprehensive win over New Zealand in the final everything went right for them on the day, but I am certain New Zealand will be better for the experience on the huge stage.
Well, the World Cup is over for another four years and the teams can take so much out of this great tournament. Playing in these conditions is good for the players, the short ball was used a lot in this World Cup a really tactic because of playing on the hard and more bounce surfaces.
In 49 games only the one game where Australia and Bangladesh didn’t get a result, was called off so the weather was kind to us. In total 38 hundreds were scored 28 four-wicket hauls by the bowlers and 460 odd sixes gave some real entertainment.
Some of the fielding and spectacular catches - Daniel Vettori’s one hander and Steve Smith catch in the covers – but there were so many more. But the standard was very high and the two teams in the final probably led the way as far it goes.
Mitch Starc was a deserving Man of the Tournament. His bowling was just brilliant and that was highlighted with the key wicket of Brendon McCullum in Sunday night’s final.