World Cup Cocktail | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

World Cup Cocktail

World Cup Cocktail

South Africa's premier fast bowler Dale Steyn missed training on Wednesday due to flu, but is expected to be fit for the World Cup match against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"He has a bout of sinusitis but will be back at training tomorrow," the team's media manager Lerato Malekutu told AFP.

Even though Steyn looks certain to take the field in Sunday's key Pool B match against the defending champions, his presence has been underwhelming in the first week of the tournament.

Steyn was said to be suffering from a sore throat and blocked nose during their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe, where he returned with unflattering figures of one for 64 from nine overs against the lowly-ranked opponents.


US embassy's gaffe

The US embassy in Kabul seemed to get caught up in the excitement of Afghanistan's World Cup debut on Wednesday, congratulating the side on victory just half-way through the Bangladesh innings.

The Afghans made their World Cup bow in Canberra against the Test-status South Asians, completing another step in their fairytale rags-to-riches story.

The war-torn country has taken to cricket with a passion and millions are expected to follow the match via TV, radio and social media.

With the match barely a quarter of the way through, the US embassy's official Twitter account posted a message hailing Afghanistan's "victory".

"Congratulations to #Afghanistan for their win over #Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup #CWC15 #AFGvsBAN," the message said.

The tweet triggered a flood of sarcastic retorts about Americans in Kabul prematurely declaring victory, as well as an apologetic response from the embassy.

"Premature posting but we are still cheering for team Afghanistan at the #CWC15! #AFGvsBAN," the embassy tweeted.


Economists challenge robot

A New Zealand robot may have tipped 1,000/1 outsiders Afghanistan to win the World Cup, but a couple of economists have come to a different conclusion.

The Indian duo of portfolio management guru Surjit Bhalla and investment consultant Ankur Choudhary, having carried out a statistical survey of all one-day internationals, believe Australia will win a fifth World Cup title with co-hosts New Zealand, as well as South Africa, running them close.

Bhalla and Choudhary have analysed past performances of batsmen, bowlers and teams over the years taking into account pitch and weather conditions.

The study claims a 72 percent success rate in World Cups, although that rate falls to 65 percent in all ODIs. Australia has a 24 percent chance to win the tournament, the study says, followed by New Zealand at 22 percent and South Africa at 18 percent.

However, defending champions India are slated to go out in the quarter-finals.

Mayor forgets Morgan's name

Eoin Morgan's form has deserted him and now so has his name after the England captain was introduced as 'Eoin Rogers' by the mayor of Wellington.

The embarrassing gaffe happened when the England squad arrived in the New Zealand capital ahead of Friday's World Cup match against the co-hosts.

London-born mayor Celia Wade-Brown introduced Morgan as 'Rogers' during a traditional Maori ceremony staged on the city's harbour front late Tuesday.

The incident prompted some light-hearted ribbing from the travelling British press contingent.

"England found themselves with a new captain when the mayor of Wellington inadvertently welcomed a stranger called Eoin Rogers to the city," wrote Richard Hobson in The Times.

Morgan has endured a tough time with the bat in Australia and New Zealand, enduring a fourth duck in five innings during his side's World Cup 111-run mauling at the hands of the Australians in Melbourne on Saturday.

“The mayor's mistake did bring a wry smile to the lips of some of the England players and she looked horrified when informed of her error, but Morgan at least has the chance to leave a lasting impression on Wellington with the bat if he can rediscover his form against New Zealand on Friday."

Morgan, 28, shrugged off the mayor's gaffe on Wednesday.

"I've been called a lot worse. She got the hardest part right," he said.

– Compiled

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