Is this really a new glorious dawn for English cricket or another false one? The exciting, fun, entertaining thrill-a-minute ride that is 20/20 cricket was first played and devised in England and now a nation not exactly noted for regular sporting triumphs on the world stage can rightly claim to be the best.
I was in Barbados for the comfortable seven-wicket victory over Michael Clarke’s Australia and I have to say the English were certainly worthy winners.
Superbly led by captain Paul Collingwood and a rejuvenated Kevin Pieterson, they never looked in trouble. The squad combined experience with youth. Stuart Broad for example is an exciting prospect. It’s certainly unfair and way too early in his career to label him the next Ian Botham – I’m sure Stuart himself would be the first to conceed that – but the future’s bright for this nucleus of players.
Although many consider football to be a global sport, a look at the history of the World Cup shows only a handful of nations have mastered it. FIFA – the game's world governing body – recognizes 208 national associations but just seven have celebrated having the best team on the planet.
South Africa 2010 will be the 19th football World Cup. Of the previous 18 tournaments, five have been won by Brazil, four by Italy and three by Germany. Argentina and Uruguay have claimed two each and France and England one apiece. So, four European and three South American countries have triumphed but the world champions have never come from North America, Asia or Africa.
It is hard to see that record changing this time, although Africa's contenders will be bolstered by the first ever World Cup on their home continent. Ghana and Ivory Coast are arguably the strongest of those countries.