So, the main ESPN site for following everything is here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-cricket ... 09587.html
but I'm using other means to watch the games live (when I can... the time zone difference means matches start anywhere between 5pm and 1am, and these are ODIs so they go on for 6-8 hours).
Anyway! A few details... The CWC is between 14 teams (10 Test nations -- these are the main cricket-playing countries -- and 4 Associate nations). It starts with two groups of 7, and the top 4 teams from each group progress to the Quarterfinals, after which it's single-elimination. These are also ODI matches, meaning they're 50 overs and take about 6-8 hours of play (the shorter version, T20, takes about 3 hours, and the longer version, Tests, are 5-day series).
As for me, my favorite teams are Bangladesh (if you can't tell from my signature) and South Africa (if you noticed the links on LunarNET's homepage on the bottom-left). Bangladesh is a bit of an underdog -- it's a Test nation, and is often at the bottom of the rankings, but there are a lot of strengths in the team. South Africa is a stronger team which I like primarily because of their skill, great players, cohesion as a team, and sportsmanship.
So, right now we're nearly at the end of the Group stages and about to go into Quarterfinals after another 6-7 matches. But here are some of the highlights of the tournament so far:
- BANGLADESH BEAT ENGLAND AND WILL GO ONTO THE QUARTERFINALS!!! Ok I had to start out with that one. Last weekend, Bangladesh beat England just barely by 15 runs. On top of their two other victories (versus weaker teams -- Afghanistan and Scotland), this gives them enough points to go through to the Quarterfinals for the first time in history. Meanwhile, England, the country which invented cricket, is knocked out of the tournament after four losses. Believe me, I was cheering so hard Monday morning. This is such an exciting turn of events.
- South Africa is still assured of breaking through to the Quarterfinals, but admittedly there was an embarrassing loss the other day to Pakistan. But I'm always a Proteas fan no matter what, so I'm still behind them all the way. (The team unfortunately has a reputation of choking at the quarter/semi stage...)
- Of the stronger teams, New Zealand is doing amazingly well. They're basically the Germany of this World Cup: several strong players, strengths on both offense (batting) and defense (bowling and fielding), and thus far they haven't made any critical mistakes. They're going to go into the Quarters undefeated and likely will continue all the way to the Finals at this rate.
- Of the "underdog" teams, Ireland is also doing fantastic. They're an Associate nation, but they've won against West Indies, Zimbabwe, and the UAE (the first two are Test nations, the third is another Associate). I really like the Irish team, though, and I'm in support of them getting full Test status in the very near future -- once the ICC finally realizes that this is not supposed to be some exclusive elitist sport here... but I digress. Anyway, Ireland is not out of the woods -- they need to beat Pakistan (which is possible -- Pakistan is notoriously inconsistent and lost many of their best players to various scandals in the last several years) in order to make it through.
- ...India is also doing well. I'm not an India fan though (cheering for either India or Australia feels like cheering for the Yankees), even though I begrudgingly have to admit that they have several great players.
Ok, that's it for now. There are also several players in this tournament I'm watching, but that gets into a little too much detail than I want to get into. KF