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'Golden Oldies' shine at World Cup

Digvijay Singh Deo | April 3, 2007, 8:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Cricket is increasingly becoming a young man's game or at least that's the theory.

But in the World Cup in the West Indies there is an interesting paradox playing out.

It is some of the older and more experienced heads who are making an impact on the tournament although there are those who haven’t been able to seize the spotlight.

At 37 the years are definitely catching up with Sanath Jayasuriya and he may no longer be the fittest Sri Lankan player around but there's no doubting his fantastic hand-eye coordination as he belts the bowlers.

The smashing century against the Windies was vintage Jayasuriya. Playing in his fifth World Cup, Jayasuriya has already accumulated 278 runs from five matches in the current tournament with two centuries.

"I want to perform in every game and if I get a chance to bow, I bowl in the right areas. I want to give the game and the captain as much as I can. I am enjoying my cricket and I am giving 100 per cent for my team," Jayasuriya said.

There are many others like Jayasuriya who are playing their last World Cup.

And at 37, Australian pacer Glenn McGrath has been sending back the opposition batsmen back into the pavilion with alarming regularity. The highest wicket-taker in the World Cup, McGrath has enough fire in his belly to surge on for more wickets before his golden sunset.
"Yes, I think I am getting a little bit old. I am 37 now. I have been around for quite a long time now and for me breaking the records probably shows it. To get this one is pretty special especially as I have overtaken Wasim Akram," McGrath said after his record-breaking feat.

While another veteran, Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan still mesmerises everyone, New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is another of the 'Golden Oldies' who's been having a good World Cup.

"Yes. Personally I am very happy. I can't bat better and if I could run just a little better I could have better stats to show. But I am doing the job at the top, which at times hasn’t been easy. I have been in my best form," Fleming said.

Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas remains as potent as ever though the West Indies skipper Brian Lara has lacked consistency.

And what about the flops?? Well, the usually miser Shaun Pollock has been receiving a tremendous hiding while Sachin Tendulkar and Inzamam-ul Haq exited as soon as they reached the crease.

But as the tournament moves on the stakes will get higher. A champion's art is the most glowing at the hour of farewell. So sit back and tune in to their last stance.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more