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World Cup winners and losers
By Scott Heinrich

Who emerged from South Africa with credit and who left with their heads hanging low?

Winners

Andy Flower and Henry Olonga: Protested against president Mugabe when it would have been so much easier not to.

They paid the price in different ways but have left Zimbabwean cricket with heads held high.

Ramnaresh Sarwan is congratulated by Sri Lanka players
Sarwan won the respect of fans and opponents in the World Cup

Kenya: Say what you will about the virtue of their path to the semis, but this was a team not discredited at any stage of the World Cup.

A breath of fresh air in an often stale tournament.

Sachin Tendulkar: Cast a quiet spell to memory with a string of displays from the top shelf. Missed out in the final, but see his 98 against Pakistan for why he is the best batsman on the planet.

Ramnaresh Sarwan: Inexplicably batted at six for the first part of West Indies' campaign and only promoted once the damage had been done.

Oozed class and composure from limited opportunities and won the hearts of thousands when returning from a sickening blow to the head to almost get his team out of jail against Sri Lanka.

Stephen Fleming: Got the very most out of a bits-and-pieces Kiwi team that had no serious pretensions to winning and batted like he skippered - aggressively.

Nasser Hussain: Forced to spend more time worrying about politics than tactics and rallied his troops remarkably well in the circumstances.

Did the right thing by resigning when his one-day career had palpably run its course.

Sir Viv Richards and John Davison
Sir Viv was very impressed with Canada's big-hitting Davison

Andrew Symonds: Had no right to be in the Australia squad but developed into one of their most influential contributors.

The semi-final against Sri Lanka could have been a different ball game if not for his monumental 91.

John Davison: Fairytale adventure for this Clayton's Canuck, belting the best attacks senseless and winning praise from Sir Viv Richards in the process.

Wasim Akram: Stood out like a sore thumb in a rabble of an outfit. The evergreen all-rounder's attitude was a beacon which his team-mates largely ignored.

Steve Bucknor: Another seamless display for the world's premier arbiter. Commands the respect of the players and exudes charisma without resorting to Billy Bowden-style antics.

Shane Bond: On the cutting edge of the new breed of quicks and arguably the best bowler at the World Cup. Shouldered the New Zealand attack on his own.


Losers

International Cricket Council: An overly long and poorly planned tournament turned what should have been a captive audience into diminishing and disinterested one.

Had the power to act over Zimbabwe and Kenya but let down the many to please the few.

Sourav Ganguly: After leading India to the final, he dropped them off at the gates of hell after winning the toss and sending Australia in to bat.

Rumoured to have a good tournament with the bat, but only bullied the minnows.

Shane Warne: Could have put the finishing touches on a wonderful one-day career, but instead doused himself with shame over the drugs scandal.

Shane Warne
Warne was sent home in disgrace before even bowling a ball

Whether he was naughty or just plain stupid is irrelevant, really.

Ali Bacher (organiser): Grand plans and big ideas to make this the best World Cup yet, but events both within and outside of his control conspired to make it probably the most forgettable.
1999 DVD anyone...

Allan Donald: Sad to see a former great play on in the grips of rapid decline. One of the reasons South Africa exited so early.

Port Elizabeth: Slow and listless, the St George's Park pitch was not fit to host World Cup matches, let alone a semi-final.

Matches there were exasperating affairs that were too likely to throw up suspect results.

England and Wales Cricket Board: Fumbled haplessly around the Zimbabwe issue and did their team no favours. Reactionary display from a body who led from the rear.

Sri Lanka: Had the chips consistently fall their way throughout the tournament before being mercilessly exposed by Australia in the semis.

Two or three big performers could not ultimately compensate for a freight of passengers.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: A laughably sulky tournament from Pakistan's batting enigma. Personified a team who were only likely to win a trophy for disunity.

Bangladesh: Nobody regrets their premature promotion to Test status than the Tigers themselves. Looked overawed against teams like Canada.



SEE ALSO
World Cup flopstars
21 Mar 03 |  World Cup


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