Andrew Strauss holds fire on minnows verdict

England captain Andrew Strauss (pictured) said it was too soon to say whether international cricket’s second-tier nations should be kicked out of the World Cup despite routs suffered by Kenya and Canada. “My view on this is let the tournament finish first and then draw any conclusions that need to be drawn,” he said.

By Julian Guyer


Nagpur: Feb 21, 2011

England captain Andrew Strauss said it was too soon to say whether international cricket’s second-tier nations should be kicked out of the World Cup despite routs suffered by Kenya and Canada.

Kenya suffered a 10-wicket loss to New Zealand on Sunday after being dismissed for just 69 — their lowest ever World Cup total and the fifth worst in tournament history. Canada then went down by a colossal 210 runs against co-hosts Sri Lanka.

The International Cricket Council have angered the associate countries by saying the 2015 World Cup will be reduced to 10 teams, a move that effectively rules out participation by non-Test nations.

And even before these latest maulings, Australia captain Ricky Ponting questioned if the World Cup was the right environment for the ‘minnows’. But Strauss, whose side begin their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on Tuesday, took a different view.

“It’s easy to jump to that conclusion after seeing the games played yesterday (Sunday). My view on this is let the tournament finish first and then draw any conclusions that need to be drawn. We played Canada (in a warm-up) and they gave us a good game but let’s see how the tournament plays out first and then I think it will be obvious what the right formula is going forward,” Strauss said.

“Ireland (also in England’s group) and the Netherlands are two strong associate nations so they are certainly capable of causing a couple of upsets.”

England were beaten by the Netherlands at Lord’s in the opening match of the 2009 World Twenty and Strauss added: “It underlines the point that you can’t under-estimate sides like Holland. If we are 10 percent off and they have a good day, we are in trouble.”

Meanwhile Strauss said there would be no question of an Ashes ‘hangover’ blighting England’s World Cup campaign after the edge was taken off their Test triumph ‘Down Under’ by a subsequent 6-1 one-day series loss to Australia.

“I don’t think so, not for the World Cup. It only happens every four years. If you are lucky, you might play in two or three in your career. You don’t want to have any regrets at the end of it so I don’t think that’s a problem,” Strauss said.

“That was an accusation you could have levied at us in the one day series against Australia but not in the World Cup. We are up for it. We are excited. It is a massive event out in the sub-continent and we want to do ourselves proud,” he added.

AFP