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Just another freaky Friday: Pakistan's loss and Afghanistan's gain

Submitted by rickeyre on April 18, 2009 - 10:16am

We're hours away from the opening of the 2009 Not-So-IPL. Australia has, shock horror, won an ODI against South Africa, and will choof off to the Home Of World Cricket which will host its first official one-day international next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the tournament affectionately known for so long as The ICC Trophy has reached its premature climax on Friday, with the four qualifiers for the 2011 World Cup being decided. It's Ireland, Canada, Netherlands and Kenya. Scotland missed out, though you can blame that in part on the daft decision of the ICC to reduce the number of competing nations from sixteen to fourteen.

By coming fifth in ICCCWCQ09, Scotland has retained its ODI status, which is just as well as they've already scheduled a game against Australia this September. Also claiming official ODI status for the next four years is the team that came sixth in ICCCWCQ09. And that winner is... Afghanistan.

But on the day of Afghanistan's triumph came disappointment for their neighbours and Taliban soulmates Pakistan, who have - inevitably - been stripped of their right to co-host the 2011 World Cup.

I look forward to the day that Afghanistan plays to packed houses against the Aussies at the SCG, but I fear that they will be destined to become permanent (and sole) visitors to Pakistan, playing to empty but well-guarded houses in Peshawar and Kandahar.

As a footnote, the dead-rubber in ICCCCWCQ09 otherwise known as the final will be played on Sunday between Canada and Ireland at Centurion. I'm picking Canada on the basis that they beat Afghanistan and Ireland didn't.