Top (from left to right): William Porterfield, Kyle Coetzer, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien, Samiullah Shenwari, Afsar Zazai Bottom (from left to right): Shaiman Anwar, Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Tauqir, Hamid Hassan, Dawlat Zadran, Phil Simmons  © Getty Images
Top (from left to right): William Porterfield, Kyle Coetzer, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Samiullah Shenwari, Afsar Zazai
Bottom (from left to right): Shaiman Anwar, Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Tauqir, Hamid Hassan, Dawlat Zadran, Phil Simmons
© Getty Images

The curtains are finally drawn in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. It has been an immensely competitive 44 days of cricket, in which the Australians have had the last laugh. Aside from the ‘Big Boys’, there were four teams from the Associate nations who came to this tournament to prove their existence, and they did it quite successfully. Sandipan Banerjee prepares an associate XI to value their efforts.

So, another edition of Cricket World Cup is done and dusted. As predicted by many experts, Australia — the best side of the event by some distance — did not disappoint their fans and won the trophy back. The eleventh edition of World Cup was a memorable tournament in many ways. Whether In terms of records or individual achievements, it showed us the many colours of the gentleman’s sport. But in this carnival, the one significant thing (presumably not in the eyes of International Cricket Council) which all the cricket admirers witnessed was the character shown by the four associate nations — Ireland, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ScotlandTop 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

For the so-called ‘Underdogs’, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was more than ‘just another World Cup’. For them it was the only platform to prove their existence, and probably this was their last opportunity as against all criticism, ICC has also decided to restrict the next World Cup to 10 teams.

To honour their fight and the enormous potential these four teams had showcased in this World Cup, CricketCountry has decided to make an ‘Associate XI’ . Lets have a look at the team according to the batting order.

1. William Porterfield (c): With 275 runs at a healthy average of 45.83 in this World Cup the Ireland skipper William Porterfield will certainly be one of the openers of this Associate XI. Especially his hundred against the strong Pakistan bowling had demonstrated the talent of this batsman once again.

Not only as a batsman, Porterfield also had an excellent World Cup as a leader. With limited resources, he had produced some commendable results for Ireland. So Porterfield has to lead this team as well.

2. Kyle Coetzer: The Scotland opener Kyle Coetzer will accompany Porterfield to the crease at the start of the inning. His World Cup campaign had been a successful one (253 runs at an average of 42.16) and after his mammoth 156 (Highest Score for an cricketer from an Associate nation in the history of World Cup) against Bangladesh, no-one can question Coetzer’s class. Also the left-right combination with Porterfield will bring bit of variety in the team.

3. Ed Joyce:  No. 3 is the most important position of the batting order of any cricket team. And for this team, I will rely on the experienced Ed Joyce to do the job. The Ireland number three is coming off a fruitful World Cup campaign, which had a couple of match-winning knocks against West Indies and Zimbabwe. Joyce therefore, would be the right man to anchor the innings for this side.

4. Niall O’Brien: One of Ireland’s most celebrated O’Brian brothers, Nail O’Brien is the ideal player to bat at No. 4 in this side. If couple of early wickets falls, he can hold the innings together, whereas if needed this southpaw can attack as well. Niall can also be a back-up wicketkeeper of this side. His recent showling in the World Cup (199 runs at an average of 39.80 ) also justifies his selection.

5. Samiullah Shanewari:  Afghanistan’s highest run scorer (254 runs at an average of 42.33) in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Samiullah Shenwari will be the No. 5 batsman. He is an all-rounder and as a batsman, he can do the job of a finisher. Shanewari has cool and calm head as a cricketer, which is essential to perform under pressure. Remember his match winning 96 against Scotland?

6. Afsar Zazai (wk): Afsar Zazai, Afghanistan’s young and talented wicket-keeper batsman will do the duties behind the stumps. Though he had an average World Cup as a batsman, this young Afghan had impressed everyone as a wicketkeeper, both against spinners and pacers. So Zazai will be the specialist keeper of this Associate eleven. Top 10 wicketkeepers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

7. Shaiman Anwar: Here comes the first representative from UAE, Shaiman Anwar- the all-rounder,coming off an memorable World Cup. Sialkot-born Anwar scored the highest runs as an Associate cricketer in the 2015 World Cup (311 runs at an average of 51.83). His 91.47 strike rate is perfect for No. 7 batsman. Anwar is also another good player under pressure. At times his right-arm medium-fast bowling will give the captain more options too.

8. Mohammad Tauqir:  The UAE skipper Mohammad Tauqir will be my premier spinner in the team. His right-arm offbreak had produced good results for UAE in the recently-concluded World Cup. Tauqir can also bowl tight spells, which is essential for a limited overs side. Beside this, he can contribute with bat as well and it is always good to have depth in the batting order. Top 10 fielders in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

9. Hamid Hassan: Afghanistan’s Hamid Hassan, famous for his headband, is going to be one of the three pacers of this team. Hamid had a great World Cup (Eight wickets at an average of 32.62) with ball and against good sides he preformed really well. He will be the first change bowler in this side. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

10. Shapoor Zadran: The raw pace of Afghanistan’s best bowler, Shapoor Zadran will be an asset of this team. He has the potential to run through a good side. Shapoor was Afghanistan’s highest wicket take in the World Cup (10 wickets at an average of 26.50). He will be one of the new ball bowlers of this team.

11. Josh Davey: Scotland’s Josh Davey who was the highest wicket taker as an associate bowler in the World Cup (15 wickets at an impressive average of 20.73) will be my other new ball bowler. His outstanding spells against New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka had showcased the talent of this youngster and without any doubt he will come into this team as a premier bowler.

12th Man: Dawlat Zadran, the Afghanistan pacer will be my 12th man.

Coach: Phil Simmons – The former Irish coach and retired West Indies cricketer Phil Simmons will coach this team. While working with Ireland, he has done a remarkable job. His experience both as player and a coach at the highest level will be handy for these players. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)