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New Zealand World Cup - 2002

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The Haka ... Brendon Donkers, Robbie Bird, Iain O'Brien -- 2002 Indoor Cricket World Cup, New Zealand

Before the World Cup, I wrote on this site that "this year's World Cup represents the most serious threat yet to Australia's (Men) continued domination of the tournament". And so it was.

It would be folly to suggest the Australian Men are anything less than a magnificent team, and Coach Ross Gregory has well and truly moved out from former coach Dave Lewis' shadow. But what we all know now is that they are not invincible when it comes to World Cups.

Equally, we've been shown that New Zealand can mix it with the absolute best and, on their day, beat anyone.

And the Sri Lankan men. Third place. What a performance, for a country that has been playing the game for such a short time. They host the next World Cup in 2004. At their current rate of development, who knows what impact they are going to have on the tournament, especially playing on home soil.

England did indeed find Sri Lanka the fly in the ointment they really didn't need, as we speculated pre-tournament. With a solid core of experienced players retiring, England's immediate international future depends heavily on their younger crop of players.

And then India. A determined group of good outdoor players in the process of learning how to play indoor cricket. Desperately in need of some intensive, experienced coaching, much as Sri Lanka have received and benefitted from.

South Africa withdrew from this Cup, and ended up paying a heavy penalty, having the hosting rights of this year's Over-35 Men, Over-30 Women, Under 19 Boys and Under 19 Girls World Championships withdrawn and given to New Zealand (see article HERE).

The Australian Women, on the other hand, did dominate their competition. With Brad Zeller back as Coach, the Australians were undefeated.

However, as Australian Captain Donna Dalby said at the presentation dinner, the difference between her side and New Zealand was not accurately reflected by the Final scores. The New Zealanders gave the Australians spirited, skilled opposition every time they played, and again, the gap between the two countries is rapidly closing.

As with their Men, the Sril Lankan Women's team have come a long way in a very short time. Their outdoor skills and instincts still hold sway over the particular nuances of the indoor game, but they will only benefit and continue their rapid development in the face of sustained, high-quality coaching and exposure to top competition.

This goes for the Indian Women too. It was a very, very young squad that eventually arrived in Wellington. Of all the teams present, the Indian girls are most in need of high quality coaching. But they too will benefit enormously from the experience and exposure, and their enthusiasm and eagerness augers well for their future.

 

 

 

The Indoor Cricket World Cup trophy

 

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