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core_pfield_7

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  1. It's time for the hit-and-giggle World Championships! Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Age of Revolution! So, what do we make of the field? England are the title holders, but are missing Man-Of-The-Series Kevin Pietersen (Ego/Politics), Dunelmian Dynamo and Captain Paul Collingwood (Retired/Dropped), and Surprisingly Effective County Journeyman Mike Yardy (Depression). In addition, Graham Swann's elbow might be falling off. Despite all that, they go into the tournament in reasonably good form and as World #1 in both of the shorter forms of cricket. Clearly the changes have shaken the confidence of the bookies, though - Ladbrokes have India as 7/2 favourites to win, with England 7/1, behind Sri-Lanka, South Africa, Windies, Australia and Pakistan. Ouch. I'm going into this one on an Anyone-But-India ticket personally. Humiliation for India on the World Stage may dampen the Indian public's appetite for Twenty20 and help kill off the IPL before it destroys world cricket (if you think this is hyperbole, read this.). India didn't give two shits about Twenty20 until they won the first tournament, then suddenly it was the apple of their eye. Maybe a good first-round hammering by Afghanistan can undo all that. Mean spiritedness asides, I'd love to see Ireland and particularly Afghanistan do well. The Kiwis might be an interesting team this time out - they were in utter disarray recently, with an ego-riven dressing room, but have a new coach (a hilariously tiny man) and are showing signs of improvement. Plus they have Brendan McCullum, who, for all that he's half of the ego problem, is one hell of a Twenty20 player - I'll never forget watching him play scoop shots off Shaun Tait, bowling at 95Mph, on his way to 116* at Christchurch.
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