Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Dream is on

On 28th June, what thousands of fans were hoping for and for months and they finally got it. They worked hard, protested an unfair decision and finally the mighty colonial style ICC heard them and in a rare way overturned its decision of a 10 nation 2015 World Cup to a 14 nation World Cup.

This opens up the hopes of millions of people in Ireland, Kenya, Afghanistan, Netherlands, Nepal and many other nations. There is now a clear cut path defined for them to have a chance to reach the cricket's biggest spectacle. 

However all was not good news. The 2019 WC will be reduced to a 10 nation World Cup with ODI ranking used for top 8 teams to directly qualify while spots will be done through qualifier. How ICC has predicted that 8 years from now cricket still have 8 good teams or have only 10 test teams.

Then in another classic ICC style reversal the 2012 and 2014 World T20 was reduced from 16 to 12. The ICC had earlier defined this format as the driver to expand cricket in new markets and the qualification tournament for 2012 World T20 has already started!!!! But this is ICC.

Most of the fans were happy that the associates are back as they don't want the likes of Ireland to miss the world cup. Ireland surely are favorite of many people now. But the fans are not happy with 14 teams. According to them it is 2 teams too many. Also fans are also not happy that all 10 test nations are guaranteed and automatic entry. Fans clearly wanted only the top 8 teams to qualify and the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to come through a qualification tournament.

To sum up most fans would have been happy with a 12 team WC with 8 direct entries and bottom 2 test nations playing a qualifying tournament with top 6 associates to fill the final 4 spots. I agree with this format but for me the 16 teams 4 pool and followed by QF, SF and Finals. Simple short and involves many teams.

The race begins for many fans across the world to have their teams in the 2015 World Cup. My personal wish list is Ireland, Kenya, Nepal and Afghanistan.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Can Dubai Sharjah host an IPL style league

If a country decides to host an IPL style league then what does it need. First it needs that the local population have interest. Then it needs that it have local infrastructure. An local economy and people willing to invest is so so important. Finally most important the stars in the league required to add glitter and glimmer to league: Both cricketing and other stars.

So what does UAE not have. What did Sharjah not have. In old days it was a front runner on the Glitter and Glimmer. Then the stadiums in Dubai surely are world class. The local population of UAE consists of 75% South Asian population which is cricket crazy. Then finally local economy is one of the key ones in the world and oil money is surplus. Surely it has all the attributes key for a success of an IPL style league (Unless I have missed any point)

So what are the constraints. First of all is the power of BCCI that will not release it stars for such a tournament. Sad but true. To break it we will have have too see the times in FTP when Indian stars and most important local stars(They will be key) will be free. Then the BCCI should be contracted and their objections should be listed and system should be made to overcome this. For all practical reasons this means that business interest of many people in BCCI needs to be addressed. Eg Mr Srinivasan the owner of CSK and BCCI head, if he gets money out of it then BCCI is for it. Such issues not officially spelt out are important for the league.

Then second comes infrastructure. Does UAE have infrastructure. Lets have a look

  1. Al-Jazira Stadium, Abu Dhabi
  2. Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
  3. Dubai Cricket Council Ground No. 1, Dubai
  4. Dubai Cricket Council Ground No. 2, Dubai
  5. DSC Cricket Stadium, Dubai
  6. ICC Cricket Academy Ground No. 1, Dubai
  7. ICC Cricket Academy Ground No. 2, Dubai
  8. Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah
What do you call this infrastructure. I call it wow. Test Nations of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe cannot match it. And 2 more stadiums are coming up at Ajman and Al Ain. Then surely teams can be formed on Home and Away basis as the infra is already there. And the best part is all the distances in the country are not far. You don't need flights to have Home and Away matches. A simple coach can fulfill the same very comfortably.

Then about the interest in local population. To start with when Indian and Paki teams played at Sharjah the stadiums had house full. If I look at the demographics of UAE then around 55% of the population is from South Asia. South Asia and cricket. What is the relation. Man it is just cricket crazy. So the population there. Yes most of them are laborers but a T20 match is just 3 Hrs. Bollywood and Cricket Stars can easily draw them.

Finally does UAE has a local economy. HQ of major companies. Oil money in the economy. A GDP of 253 B$ shows that money is there.

Hence this place has all the things to start an IPL league. The local board just has to ensure 2 things
  1. Enroll the business men running in league for the same
  2. Get bollywood stars for all the glitter
These 2 things will ensure will take this league to a stage where it will be a super hit

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Innovation that can be used for Domestic IPL Style T20 tournaments

The cricket was established at Test Cricket. It spread to 6 Test Nations and then firmed itself there but not expanding to new territories. Then second thrust came when ODI format came into being and the total Test Nation became as 10. Now a third thrust has come in form of T20 that can be used to take the game to new territories.

T20 brought back crowds in County in England. Then through ICL and IPL it has captured the imagination of India and now cricketers are getting paid at levels of other sports. Other countries are also joining the T20 party with BBL, SLPL HRV T20 and even an East African PL and soon to be formed PPL, BPL, APLand South Africa, West Indies & Zimbabwe revamping their T20 competitions bringing more money, more international cricketers.

But if each and every league runs on same format then it may be a over kill and this brilliant effort may be lost. Hence instead of helping as a third thrust cricket may end back in obscurity. Hence the answer is innovations.

Few innovations have been used in IPL and many have been proposed in BBL. The innovations tried are

  1. Use of music during breaks
  2. Cheer leaders used in cricket for first time
  3. Orange Cap (Highest Run Getter) and Purple Cap (Highest Wicket Taker)
  4. Strategic time out (Good for broadcasters)
  1. Crowds to get the bowl hit during  a sixer (Similar to Baseball)
  2. A super over in which runs will be doubled
  3. 2 Bouncer in a over
  4. Tweak in field restrictions norms to suit the Batsman and hitting  .
These are quite great innovations. Certain more which I could think off may be
  1. Designated hitter:- A batsman who will be the 12th player and can be used for batting instead of any weak batsman
  2. Super match:- Out of all the league matches team choose 1 match where the points will be doubled. Hence if a win fetched 2 pts a win in chosen super match will give you 4 pts while a loss will give 0 pts
  3. Choose a bowler:- For a particular time the bating team can pick a bowler for 1 over. The list of 5 bowlers has to be submitted in advance
  4. Hitting Zone:- Runs scored through hitting zone will bring in double runs (like max cricket)
  5. Super Fielder:-An additional fielder in an over (If team wants can be coupled with Super over of BBL)
  6. LBW Free Over:- One over where there will be no LBW given.
I am not very good in innovations. I would recommend the readers to add more innovations in the comments and I will add them to the list (Giving due respect to the person who has suggested the same). Looking forward for innovations to drive the game :)

Monday, 20 June 2011

Time to have a Test Championship

A Test Championship has been talked about for years. ICC wants to have one so that they can use it to revive the dwindling interest in the Purest form of cricket. If Test Cricket dies it is no doubt cricket will be poorer in quality. The Batting Temperament and bowlers ability to take 20 Wickets would be lost. A Team which would win the Test Championship will be no doubt the best cricket team of the time. T20 and ODI matches can be lost to 1 bad hour but that chance is highly unlikely in Test Cricket. Hence a Test Championship is really essential for cricket.

Having said that having the test championship has various challenges. A Test Match may take 5 days to finish. It may result in a draw. Also there are 10 Test Teams and it may take ages for such a tournament to finish. Then if Test Championship is held in 1 country then neutral test matches will have no crowds. Then to sponsor such tournament will be a challenge. Already there is a busy international schedule and fitting such a long tournament will be virtually impossible.

A 10 team Test Championship as seen would be very difficult to conduct and not sustainable. To make the Test Championship the no of slots should be such that the teams need to fight it out. As we have seen some teams clearly are behind the others the number is clearly less than 10.
The Test Cricket should have no compromise on quality and if I try to classify the present teams then Good Teams would be:- Ind, Aus, SA, Eng and Maybe SL. Average Teams would be Pak, NZ and NZ and BD and Zim as the bad teams. The no of Teams can vary between 4 to 8 and I would like to have just 4 slots so that no team is just guaranteed to qualify unless a shock happens. 4 teams also would mean that scheduling of the tournament would be easy and tournament is not extended.

Also presently there are various Test Series played by various Test nations. Over 6 year cycle each country is supposed to play a Test with all other 9 test nations. This has resulted in various meaningless series like BD touring Aus or SA V WI series where BD and WI just got thrashing and crowd interest was minimal.

The Test Championship can be a perfect answer and give a solution to many problems. Over 4 year all the teams should be mandated to play at least 3 test against all test nations. Then Test would contribute to points on the points table and the Top 4 teams would qualify for WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP

Also to add more excitement and meritocracy to the Cricket Setup the team which comes last would be relegated to Tier 2 or present set up of Intercontinental Cup. The team which comes 9th in the pool would play a 3 test match series against the team which comes second in Tier 2 or Intercontinental Cup.

For the knowledge of the readers Intercontinental Cup is a 4 day match, First Class tournament for the top associates. The present IC Cup starts on 29th June, 2011 with Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Afghanistan, UAE, Kenya, Namibia and Canada playing in it.

Like if Zim come 9th and BD 10th in main table and Ireland win IC Cup and Kenya come second then Ireland get promoted as Test Nation for next 4 years and BD loose Test Status and then Zim and Ken play a 3 test match series. The excitement created can also help create excitement for Test Cricket in new nations.

This system would mean that even a Aus V BD can be exciting in some sense. The case may be if that Aus do not win 3-0 they do not come in top 4 and miss on qualification to World Test Championship while BD need to draw a Test i.e worse case of 2-0 to come 9th and avoid direct relegation. Even this test series would create excitement with Aus going all guns to win 3-0 while BD fighting to secure a draw. The draw will be a win for them. This would be better than present scenario where a draw would mean a draw.

But then comes another challenge:- Aus plays Ashes every 2 years with England and that is of 5 Test. We cannot simply change a tradition and then out of 10 tests cannot say we will pick these 3 test and rest 7 are for your series. Also Aus will play SA, Eng more often then a SL or BD.

We should have fixed max no of points that Aus can gain from playing tests against England. Over period of 4 years all Aus V Eng tests will contribute to a max of 20 points. Similarly other 8 test teams also Aus can earn a max of 20 pts whether they play 10 Tests or 3 Tests. This means a team can earn a max of 180 Points (Like in ODI world in a group at team could earn 12 points).

Then dividing the 20 points should be based on each and every test. This would make each test equally important. Here we look to a the point system now used by Test nations rather towards the Associates!!!! We use the point system used in Intercontinental Cup to divide the 20 points.

  • Win – 14 points
  • Draw if more than 10 hours of play lost – 7 points (otherwise 3 points)
  • First Innings leader – 6 points (independent of final result)
  • Abandoned without a ball played – 10 points  
To take the example of how points will be divided I take the example of Aus V Eng Ashes (5 Tests) and Aus V Ind Test Series (2 Tests).


1st Test
Eng:- 260/10
Match Drawn
Eng:- 3 Pts, Aus:- 9 Pts

2nd Test
Aus:- 245/10
Eng:- 620/5 Dec
Aus:- 304/10
Eng won by Innings and 70 Runs
Eng:- 20 Pts, Aus:- 0 Pts

3rd Test
Aus:- 268/10
Eng:- 187/10
Aus:- 309/10
Eng:- 123/10
Aus won by 267 Runs
Eng:- 0 Pts, Aus:- 20 Pts

4th Test
Aus:- 98/10
Eng:- 513/10
Aus:- 258/10
Eng Won by innings and 157 Runs
Eng:- 20 Pts, Aus:- 0 Pts

5th Test
Aus:- 280/10
Eng:- 644/10
Aus:- 281/10
Eng won by innings and 83 runs
Eng:- 20 Pts, Aus:- 0 Pts

In the end of the series Eng:- 63 Pts, Aus:- 29 Pts. Since the max point any team can gain is 20 points hence these points would be divided in the same ratio. Hence Eng:- 13.70 Pts and Aus:- 6.30 Pts.

If we take the previous tour of Aus to India
1st Test
Aus:- 428/10
Ind:- 405/10
Aus:- 192/10
Ind:- 216/9
India won by 1 wicket
Aus:- 6 Pts, India:- 14 Pts

2nd Test
Aus:- 478/10
Ind:- 495/10
Aus:- 223
Ind;- 207/3
India won by 7 wickets
Aus:- 0 Pts, India:- 20 Pts

At the end of the series Aus:- 6 Pts, Ind:- 34 Pts. To be honest 3 tests rather than 2 would give a more fair result. At the end of the series the main Table points would Aus:- 3 Pts, India 17 Pts. 

In a similar way all the points will be added to the main table. To keep the interest in test a Win fetches much higher points than a lame draw. Also to have a good test match a innings lead also contributes to a point. If Aus V Eng play another 5 tests then the points from all 10 tests will be divided between the 2 teams. Suppose in next ashes Eng again win 4-0 and take 89 Pts while Aus just have 3 pts, then the total points are  Eng (63+89)= 152 Pts, Aus:- (29+3)=32 Pts, then the 20 points would be divided as Eng:- 16.52 Pts, Aus:- 3.48 Pts.

At the end of 4 years the top 4 teams qualify for World Test Championship while 10th placed team is relegated for 4 years and 9th plays a playoff with second associate to fight a Test Spot for next 4 years.

Finally the World Test Champioship
Like any other major sports tournament the WTC should also be arranged to generate cash revenues for ICC.
The tournament will be a simple round robin league followed by 3 test final series. To ensure a fair system the matches for team should have both home and away matches. Since each team plays 3 test matches, it would be either 2 home and 1 away or 1 home and 2 away. Based on Random lots 2 Teams will get 2 Home test matches and 2 teams will just have 1 Home Test Matches.
The final should be 1 home, 1 away and 1 pre decided Neutral Venue. The teams would be allowed to make any number of changes in the squad for each test so that we have a good competition.

For Eg if India, SA, Eng and Aus qualify for the WTC and Eng and Aus get 2 home test while Ind and SA get 1 test. Hence based on random lots say the schedule comes like this
Aus V Eng (Lords)
Aus V Ind (Perth)
Aus V SA (Sydney)
Eng V India (Mumbai)
Eng V SA (Oval)
Ind V SA (Cape Town)

Then at the end of the series say Ind and SA top the table, then the finals would be
1st Final:- Ind V SA (Lords)
2nd Final:- Ind V SA (Eden Garden)
3rd Final:- Ind V SA (Durban), if required

This way all 4 nations get a part of the Test Matches and we can expect full houses at all the places. The finals are also so placed that all 3 places can also expect full houses. This will definitely be a great way of determining the Best Test Team rather Best Cricket Team in a fair way and very appealing to the broadcasters along with spectators and fans. The league of the tournament can be finished in around 25 days with 2 parallel or partial overlap test and finals in another 25 days, hence a total of 50 days to fun.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

How much can IPL style leagues fetch in other Countries

Ever wondered that what would be the worth of IPL style league if formed in other nations. Can they offer IPL style salaries or can they fill in the coffers on the hosting nations like it has done for BCCI. Can any other country rival the IPL.

To start with the first question that comes into mind is what all could be the factors that will decide the value of a franchise in any country. If tomorrow Afghanistan wants to go for a APL or Pakistan wants to go for PPL, how can I sitting here estimate the value each franchise will fetch.

I tried to work on the same and create some sort of approximate model. A model which if gives me value with a 10% error would be great. For my reference I have the IPL where 10 Franchise gave BCCI 1400M$ for 10 years. Which means 140 M$/Year for BCCI and also 140 M$/Franchise for 10 years (14 M$/Year/Franchise).

The factors I could think of are
  1. Interest Factor (Squarely Proportional)
  2. Population
  3. Per Capita Income
  4. Poverty Level (Non Poor Squarely Proportional)
  5.  Security Factor
  6. Infrastructure (Squarely Proportional)
  7. No of Teams ( Inversely Squarely Proportional)
Based on these factor and using IPL, I found out a constant. The same constant and the formula can be used for finding value of other IPL style leagues

Before going into some exciting results some explanations on some factors
1. Interest Factor:- It is very difficult to define. The factors I have used are based on guesstimate where the no of cricket article to total no of sports article is one Indicator. Another indicator is the level of attendance witnessed in the International matches.
Based on these factors the interest factors used are (Ind:- 2.5, Pak, BD & SL:- 3, Aus:- 1, Eng:- 0.9, Ken + Uga:- 0.8 (For East Africa PL), NZ:- 1, Zim & SA:- 1.5, WI:- 2, Canada:- 0.4, USA:- 0.1)
Many of you can challenge these factors. Perhaps a well traveled person can give the real picture. If people want to challenge this figure kindly do that and write in comments. I can definitely improve on these.
In my opinion Interest Factor has a square effect. means if A has 1 and B has 2, the effect on money would be 4 times for B)

2 & 3 Population and Per Capita Income:- No need to explain. This helps in giving the size of total market

4. Poverty Level:- While defining poverty level may have differences from country to country but this is a important factor. If some percentage of population if simply work to have food they cannot be expected to watch cricket or be a target market.
In my opinion, if the percentage poor are more in the country that would mean that non poor people who form a potential market would be even more less. The factor would again be squarely proportional.
This means a country with 20% Poor (80% Non Poor) the target market would not be 80% but rather 0.8 X 0.8= 0.64 or 64% Population would be available as market. So a country with 40% Non Poor (Half the previous case, 60% Poverty) then just 16% population will be the market. Hence though the non poor dropped to half, the potential market dropped to a fourth

5. Security Factor:- If you have war in a country, then not much would be fetched for franchise. Hence this is also a very important factors. This is again a guesstimate based on present cricket scene, crime rate and terrorism etc. The factor would be between 0 & 1 meaning 0 if worst case and 1 is the best
The number worked for various countries are (Ind:- 0.8, BD:- 0.7, SL:- 0.8, Pak:- 0.3, Aus, Eng & NZ:- 1.0, Zim :- 0.5, WI:- 0.9, SA:- 0.8, East Africa:- 0.7, USA & Can:- 1, Mal:- 0.9)

6. Infrastructure:- Again a very very important factor. I clearly defined the terms for it. Stadiums can be in a country Good, Average or Bad. The tournament can be held in 3 ways:- Home and Away, Partial Home and Away, One or Limited Stadiums. Based on these factor Home & Away+Good is 1, H&A+Average is 0.9 and so on. In the end we reach the worst case One Stadium+Bad is 0.2. If the tournament is not even in a stadium and a ground is used then Well!!!=0.1
It means even if we use one excellent stadium for all matches we are at a bad state as compared to if we go for Home and Away model in bad stadiums also. The reason is obvious, in one stadium how many matches can we expect the local population to go for. Also how will they decide which team to support. In home and away there are clear areas for home team and local support.

7. Number of Teams:- How can number of teams have any effect. Well ever heard of law of diminishing returns. According to it if we keep adding more units (teams or franchise's) the contribution of each team would be lesser than the previous one. I take the case of inversely squarely proportional.

Based on the above factors and getting data for all the points I tried to analyze the value of IPL style league in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, Zimbabwe and non test potential markets of East Africa, USA, Canada & Malaysia. The factors assumed have been mentioned above. The rest can be found using internet. One factor Infrastructure I would be mentioning against each case. Lets see if any place can match IPL

Remember BCCI for 1400 M$ from 10 Franchise for 10 years. IPL is based on Home and Away model with good stadiums hence 1 factor for Infra

With a huge population and huge interest for cricket, Bangladesh surely looks like a lucrative market. The local league they started NCL T20 had 6 teams but was held in 1 stadium.
Bangladesh does not have the infrastructure for Home and Away model as  all 6 cities do not have stadiums and also airports, hence giving it a Infra factor of 0.4 (One or Limited stadium + Good Stadium =0.4)
Based on these factors each franchise would fetch 2.9 M$ hence meaning 17.4 M$ for BCB. Hence this is any way can never rival BCCI

They can go for a Partial Home & Away model, but this time SLPL went for One Stadium. Again the same Infra factor of 0.4 and 7 teams, each franchise will fetch 2.6 M$. This would mean 18.2 M$ or 1.82 M$ for each year. Incidently as part of SLPL, SLC is getting 1.75 M$ / year. I was actually very happy to see such close results for my calculations.

Similarly working on same factors the summary is as follows
  1. India:- 10 teams, 140 M$/Franchise, 1400 M$ (Infra Factor(IF)= 1.0, H&A model)
  2. Bangladesh:- 6 teams, 2.9 M$/Fr, 17.4 M$ (One stadium, IF=0.4)
  3. Sri Lanka:- 7 teams, 2.6 M$/Fr, 18.2 M$ (One stadium, IF=0.4)
  4. Pakistan:- 8 teams, 10.9 M$/Fr, 87.2 M$ (H&A Model with average stadia, IF=0.9)
  5. Australia:- 8 teams, 74.1 M$/Fr, 592.8 M$ (H&A Model, IF= 1.0)
  6. England:- 18 Counties, 16.2 M$/Fr, 292.6 M$ (H&A Model, IF=1.0)
  7. New Zealand:- 6 teams, 14.0 M$/Fr, 84.0 M$ (H&A Model, IF=1.0)
  8. South Africa:- 6 teams, 17.6 M$/Fr, 105 M$ (H&A Model, IF=1.0)
  9. West Indies:- 6 teams, 9.7 M$/Fr, 58.2 M$, (H&A Model, IF=0.9)
  10. Zimbabwe:- 5 teams, 0.2 M$/Fr, 1.0 M$, (H&A Model, IF=0.8)
  11. Canada:- 5 teams, 5.6 M$/Fr, 28.0 M$ (One stadium, good, IF=0.4)
  12. USA:- 6 teams, 4.3 M$/Fr, 25.8 M$ (Partial H&A eg East Coast, IF=0.6)
  13. East Africa:- 6 teams, 0.73 M$/Fr, 4.38 M$ (H&A Model, IF=0.8)
  14. Malaysia:- 6 teams, 0.5 M$/Fr, 3.2 M$ (Partial H&A Model, IF=0.6)
Hence we see that the big bash comes closer to IPL roughly coming to 40% of size of IPL. ECB in present form of county cannot match. If they can reduce the number of teams to say 8 teams then they can get more than 650 M$ from their T20 tournament reaching 45% of IPL and then both Bigh Bash and ECB T20 would be in a position to take on IPL
About the others, not many can even come closer to IPL. If interest level is raised in USA and Canada, they can be much bigger markets than IPL too!!!!
Presently Pakistan has a serious issue on Security and factor of just 0.3 (0.8 of India). If they are able to improve the situation (Say Factor of 0.7) then instead of 10.9 M$ they can get 25.4 M$ for each franchise or a total money of 203.2 M$. This means a tournament roughly 15% the size of IPL. Not rivaling IPL but it can be also a good potential market.

The rest presently are small and will take some time to emerge out. Hence the market to look towards the future EPL and La Liga of cricket would be IPL, PPL, Big Bash, EPL T20 and USPL. The SLPL, WIPL, BPL etc would be like K League or MLS. Looking for some exciting times.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Famous Associate upsets in World Cups

An expected win for a minnow is always very charming. These games and players who performed in them become heroes in their nations, even though that might be the performance ever given by them :) . We now look into some of the shocks received by the elite class of cricket nations:- The test nations

1. Sri Lanka defeat India (1979)
The upsets started to happen right from 70's itself.Sri Lanka had won the ICC trophy and qualified for World Cup. They were knocking on the doors of Test Nations to become one themselves. England were dead against that and often vetoed the proposal. They had to prove their point and what a better stage to do so than the world cup
Batting first Sri Lanka made 238 in the allocated 60 overs. India started nicely with opening partnership of 60 but a increasing Run Rate and tight bowling started to take toll. Wickets started to fall regularly and India tumbled to 191 loosing by 47 runs.

2. Zimbabwe defeat Australia (1983)

With Sri Lanka becoming a test nation, Zimbabwe became the top associate nation and qualified for the world cup winning the ICC trophy. When they played against Australia no one expected them to win or provide any competition but they shocked the world defeating Australia in the first match of the Tournament.
Zimbabwe made an average 239 runs in 60 over. Australia while chasing fell short by 13 Runs.
This match remains the only win of Zimbabwe against Australia in ODI's. They however managed to defeat them again in 2007 T20 world cup

3. Zimbabwe defeat England (1992)

Zimbabwe had recently been given the Test Status after regularly proving themselves as Top associate and winning ICC trophy in 82, 86 and 90. Having got the test status they had a point to prove that they were no pushovers and they did that in style. England last world cup finalist and a strong team, they were expected to win easily .Batting first Zimbabwe were bowled out for just 134!!!! England were expected to just walk over Zimbabwe, but in a striking comeback England were bowled out for just 125!!! and Zimbabwe won by 9 runs. It was an absolute of a shocker given by an Associate.

4. Kenya defeat West Indies (1996)

Kenya made their World Cup and ODI debut in the World Cup. Though playing decently but Kenya had lost the previous 3 matches and a similar result was expected against WI who had likes of Lara, Richardson in their team. Batting first they were bundled out for 166 and not much expected from the match. With score at 18 the first wicket fell. After that the wickets just kept tumbling and the Africans bundled the 2 time former champions for just 93!!!!!
After the victory the Kenyan team celebrated like they had won the cup. Perhaps this was the start of their dream run which continued till 2003 when they did the unbelievable

5. Bangladesh defeat Pakistan (1999)

Cricket got a huge boost in Bangladesh after they won the world cup qualifier after defeating the favorites Kenya in the Final on the last ball. India were very much interested in them getting Test Status but needed strong support for the cause. They gave Indian push the required reason when they defeated the favorites Pakistan who were really going strong in the tournament. 
Batting first Bangladesh made 223. Pakistan were expected to chase that easily as they had made 275 against Australia and won and not much was expected. Bangladesh had other plans. They started decently and then in shocking events bowled out Pakistan for just 161 and won by 62 runs. This match greatly contributed in them getting Test Status as Jagmohan Dalmiya pushed for the same. Whether it is a right decision or wrong is still debated.

6. Kenya defeat Sri Lanka(2003)

This was a world cup Kenya would never like to forget. When the Kiwi's refused to play a match in Nairobi Kenya surely got an advantage of 2 points and surely needed to capitalize it. They started the tournament being Thrashed by SA by 10 wickets but surely kept to their reputation by defeating Canada and forfeit if NZ helped. They needed to add more weight and needed to maximize the home advantage. They batted first and just managed 210. When minnows make such a score they are expected to lose, but this is Kenya. They had defended 166 and now they had 44 runs more and sure they did realize that. Wickets started to fall and in front of Home crowd they bowled SL for just 157 runs. This meant that going into next round was a possibility as they had matches WI and BD and they needed to just win that

7. Canada defeat Bangladesh(2003)-Not an upset but still BD is a test nation

Canada qualified for World Cup after 24 years. They had not won a single match in world cup till now. Infact they had not won an ODI till now. There first win came not against a Associate but against the youngest Test Team Bangladesh showing ICC that they needed thing over their decision.
Like most of the upsets Canada batted first and made a lowly 180. When BD started to bat against them they hoped that they will live up to their Test Status but Canada had other plans. They bowled them out for a pathetic 120 and won their first ever ODI erupting in celebrations. That was a start to resurgence of Canada. After that they again qualified for 2007 and 2011 World Cups. We hope ICC goes for a 14 or 16 nation world cup in 2015 to give them more chances. In 2011 they got their second win defeating Kenya.

8. Kenya defeat Zimbabwe(2003)

Kenya had achieved what another associate had never achieved. They reached the second round. They surely were helped by forfeit of NZ but they earned it by defeating 2 test nations SL and BD besides defeating Canada. In the super six they arrived with full points with wins against NZ(Forfeit) and SL. They just needed one win and they had a chance to make it to next round but this was super six and a win was not expected. They were expected to be satisfied with this performance. Kenya had other plans. They showed the world that they can suck the politics and they definitely deserved Test Status before Bangladesh.
Unlike previous upsets Zimbabwe were batting first. They defied the history bowling Zimbabwe for just 133 and chasing in just 26 overs defeating them by 7 wickets. This was a first time an associate had chased a score. Kenya surely were on a roll.

9. Kenya reach the World Cup Semi Finals

What do you expect from a minnow playing in a world cup. Lose all matches, perhaps in odd case winning a match, in extreme case make into next round. What will you say when it makes into the next round. Well I say a miracle and a proof that new teams should be given a chance and upsets not made into rare case. This was a performance that Kenya had achieved and proved many points to the world. Sadly this has been the pinnacle of Kenyan cricket and then the downward slope started. I hope they exceed that performance and make the world of cricket more exciting.

10. Ireland tie with Zimbabwe (2007)

With the descent of Kenya the associate world was not a lost cause. There was another rising star in the world of cricket who wanted to prove cricket was not a closed bastion.
Ireland batted first and made 221. In a chase that saw the match swing in many direction finally saw last Zim Batsman to be run out and match that score but with a wicket left to tie the match. This was a first world cup for the Irish but were they really pleased with the result?

11. Ireland defeat Pakistan (2007)

After the last match which was a last ball Tie, people were really impressed with the Irish. Now they were against the mighty and unpredictable Pakistani's. It was Saint Patrick's day and Ireland wanted to celebrate it in more ways. When Pakistan came to bat as history had told, it will be minnows defeat. All the upsets except one had happened when minnow batted first. The Irish bowling really impressed. They bowled out the mighty Pakistan for just a meager 132 runs. Chasing 132 against the mighty Pak bowling was not a joke afterall Pak were known for their strong bowling. Ireland kept on loosing wickets but finally came home with 3 wickets in Hand. a perfect Saint Patrick day gift for their nations who erupted in joy.

12. Netherlands defeat England(2009)-T20

 Playing against England at Lord's in a World Cup is a greatest achievement for any player leave aside an associate like Netherlands. And what will you call it when you defeat England in England at Lord's in a first match of World Cup, a dream come true. Yes it was a dream come true defeating the historical rival but more possible in football but this time it was the game of English cricket that happened.
Playing in the first match of T20 world cup England made a good 163 runs. It was a rare case that such a score would be chased but in a stunner of the match Netherlands chased the score on the last ball of the match leaving the whole stadium and world stunned.

13. Ireland defeat Bangladesh (2009-T20)

13 is considered to be unlucky. But Ireland had to show that they deserved test status. Bangladesh like many times mocked the ICC decision when they lost to another associate in a world cup
Bangladesh made 137 and Ireland showed they were a better team and defeated them 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare to move into the next round.

14. Ireland defeat England(2011)

While 13 should have been the number that should have proved unlucky for associates but it was a multiple of 7 i.e 14 that may prove the last upset we see in a world cup
England were one of the favorites of the tournament. Chasing a score of 337 they were able to Tie against another favorites India. When they batted first and made 327, Ireland were given no chance. Associates had just chased to win 2 times but that was against very low scores. I was at that time at Mauritius Airport and thought it was a lost cause.
Playing an inning of his life Kevin O'Brien made the fastest century in the History of World Cup in just 50 balls. When he finally fell Ireland had a good chance and they shocked the whole world chasing 327. Kevin O'Brien became a household name in South Asia and Ireland a favorite of may.

15. Will we see a end in 2015 :(
Within 4 days of conclusion of World Cup many associate fans heard the worst news. ICC decided to keep the world cup for just 10 Test Nations. Just because of politics the pathetic teams of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would be there and Ireland and Netherlands to miss in a decision which reminds of colonial days.
Positively ICC will review the decision in end June. I hope they give a chance to the associate as I do not want pathetic BD and Zim to directly qualify and Ireland missing it.

Besides the upsets there have been some upsets but minor Test Teams defeating the big 8 test teams.

Other Test Minnow's upsets

1. Zimbabwe defeat India(1999)

Zimbabwe were though to lose this match. Indian star Sachin Tendulkar had to leave for India as his father had expired. India without their star were very vulnerable and Zimbabwe exploited it to the maximum
Zimbabwe batting first made a decent 252 which was always a challenge. To add to worries India lost 4 overs due to slow over rate and had to chase the score in just 46 overs adding to pressure. India started to lose wickets at regular intervals and finally were bundled out 3 runs short losing to Zimbabwe.

2. Zimbabwe defeat South Africa(1999)
Zimbabwe had won match against Kenya and India. They needed to win the last match against mighty SA. They had never defeated their neighbors in History till now. But histories are meant to be created and yes they were created in this match
Batting first Zim made 233 and then to create history bowled out the Africans for just 180 runs defeating them by 43 runs and qualifying for next round with full 4 points. This was the best world cup ever for Zimbabwe.

3. Bangladesh defeat India(2007)
Bangladesh had very average world cups till now. In the last world cup they lost all matches even losing to Canada. They started the campaign in this world cup against Indians
Impressive bowling helped India restrict for just 191 runs. After some scares they defeated India by 5 wickets with 9 balls to spare sending the whole nation into a frenzy as if they had won the world cup.

4. Bangladesh defeat South Africa(2007)
After defeating India and making into super 8's not much was expected out of BD. But BD showed the world that they had made the right decision by making them a test nation
BD made 251 runs and chasing the score the Africans were bowled out for 181 making this the most successful world cup for the South Asians.

5. Zimbabwe defeat Australia(2007)-T20
Zimbabwe as a nation were in real mess with the political situation. They were playing really less number of matches and they had suspended themselves from Test Cricket. Australia though world champions 2 times were new to this format. This showed when batting first they just made 138 runs losing 9 wickets. Zimbabwe chasing the score kept losing wickets but Brendan Taylor had other plans making 64* from 46 balls taking Zimbabwe home with a ball and wicket to spare.

6. Bangladesh defeat England(2011)
Bangladesh had a pathetic world cup. They got thrashed by India. WI smashed them bowling them for just 58 Runs and finishing a D&N match in the day in less than 50 overs. They had some hope of next round when they defeated the impressive Ireland. Now they badly needed a win to make into next round and the next match was against one of the tournament pre favorites who had impressed by Tie against India chasing 337 and defending a low score against SA but were hurt tigers losing to Ireland
Batting first England could score a lowly 225 All Out. Bangladesh chase started decently but then started to lose wickets and it looked that they will not be able to make it. 8 wickets down with the tail on the crease it was all over, but the tail sometimes wags to clear everything and rightly they did that chasing the score with 6 balls and 2 wickets to spare.

All these matches are really memorable to talk about. With a pathetic decision of ICC to restrict 2015 WC to just 10 nations and that too all Test Nations such matches could become a like dinosaurs and extinct thing. I hope ICC reverses the decision and makes the world in my opinion atleast a 12 nation tournament. Fingers crossed for associates.