I write this before West Indies play their semi final against Australia, so by the time you may read this they may be out. I will nail my colours to the mast and pick West Indies as the team I would like to win.
There are a few reasons why I would like them to win the competition, the first being that India are now out I needed a new team to back. Another reason is that I would like to see West Indies back at the top of world cricket. If I were to ask my father right now who has been the best ever team, or player in cricket history, im sure he would reel off West Indies and a few of their players such as Sobers.
Given my age I do not remember a time where the West Indies were ever a force in world cricket. Over the last 25 years they have had very little to celebrate apart from Brian Lara (the last of their true greats) and a Champions Trophy.
There are a few reasons why West Indian cricket has been in the doldrums, one is the poor organisations of their cricket board and the other being increased competition of other sports. Cricket has lost some of their best talent to sports such as athletics and basketball. For example Usain Bolt is made for fast bowling, although this would have been a major loss to track and field he could have been brilliant. I suspect that if he was born 20 years earlier he would definitely have been in cricket.
The last reason I want this new generation of West Indians to succeed is that spirit of their team. The way the players celebrate a wicket, the way Pollard throws himself around on the field, the laid back persona of Gayle. A reason why they have qualified to the semi finals is the fact that their quality batsmen are very useful bowlers, their good bowlers can add runs with the bat and their fielding is very very good.
So come on West Indies bring back a bit of love for cricket in the Caribbean.
Yesterdays match saw Sri Lanka qualifying to the final by beating a good Pakistan side. Getting to the final of a major international cricket competition is something that Sri Lanka are very used to.
Since they won the world cup in 1996, they have been to 2 world cup finals, 1 champions trophy final, and a world T20 final. These have all resulted in them loosing, although the champions trophy final had been rained off 2 days in a row, so could be discounted.
It is a real shame for Sangakara and Jayawardene not to have won a major trophy just yet. This habit of loosing in finals is something that they will want to quickly change. The best opportunity for this will be in the final, the same place where they had won their solitary world cup.