There has been much gnashing of teeth - including at The Reverse Sweep - at the format of this World Cup with its elongated 42 match group phase. But this is not the fault of the four Associate countries that are present. On the contrary in fact. The organisers are so scared that one or more of the top teams could be upset like India and Pakistan were in 2007, that they have devised a format which pretty much ensures that none of the minnows can get through to the quarter-finals.
With the number of teams due to participate in the 2015 World Cup likely to be cut to 10, this could be the last hurrah for the minnows on the big stage. Once again the ICC have got it wrong. They have a duty to grow the sport around the world by getting more countries involved. 16 teams organised into four groups of four is the right format - 24 games instead of 42 and if one of the big teams gets knocked out, so be it.
Err… the element of surprise?
Where do we start? Suffice to say that it is unlikely that any of the four minnows will win the three games they will probably need to progress through the group stage.
Looking at the line-ups, there are a few gems hidden amongst the eager but limited squads. Rizwan Cheema certainly showed he can hit a cricket ball during Canada’s narrow warm-up defeat to England. Ryan ten Doeschate is the Netherlands stand out player. Ed Joyce is back with Ireland following some harsh treatment from the England selectors and Steve Tikolo may nearly be old enough to qualify for his bus pass, but he is still Kenya’s standout player.
Look out for…
All the supporters at the Netherlands matches wearing dark glasses on account of their shockingly bright orange pyjamas.
There may be the odd shock, but all four minnows will exit at the group stage much to the relief of the organisers.
If you like this, follow us on Twitter @thereversesweep