While we still recover from the epic drama that was the ICC Cricket World Cup final, we have to wonder whether the tournament was a success as a whole.
Let’s analyse if the format, the teams, and the host nation, and the financials.
The format worked for the most part
It has to be said that this was a very effective format as the ten best teams in ODIs put on a great show.
While Afghanistan did not manage to win any of their games, they competed very well and almost ended up winning their games against India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; perhaps a bit of experience will help them get there in the future.
There were hardly any dead rubbers, and even then there were some entertaining contests in them, especially the one between Sri Lanka and West Indies, and the one between Australia and South Africa.
The games Bangladesh won against South Africa and the West Indies were also entertaining affairs, but perhaps the best games were New Zealand’s victories against South Africa and West Indies, and then their defeat against Pakistan.
There is still room for improvement
The only issue could be the lack of a reserve day in the group stages, as a record four matches were washed out, and reportedly cost the ICC and the broadcasters over Taka 200 crore.
The other could be how the final was decided on boundaries, and simply didn’t feel fair and much better routes could have been taken, or the trophy could even have been shared.
Another issue, although debatable, was the lack of advantage the team that finished first - India - had and perhaps the format T20 leagues like the IPL have could be had in future tournaments as their captain Virat Kohli suggested.
The Indians lost just one game in the group stages but one loss in the semi finals meant they were eliminated whereas Australia lost two, and England and New Zealand lost three group stage games.
There was also a call to bring head-to-head results into play instead of net run rate as Pakistan and New Zealand both had 11 points but New Zealand went through on a better net run rate.
Almost all the teams did well
Almost all the teams had their moments of glory apart from South Africa, as they lost fast bowler Dale Steyn to injury and Lungi Ngidi also missed a few games due to injury.
Kagiso Rabada was also down on pace after recovering from injury and at the backdrop there was the talk of the retired AB de Villiers wanting to return for the World Cup.
Overall it resulted in the worst World Cup campaign in South African cricket history as they were one of the first teams eliminated and did not play near to their best.
West Indies started the tournament off with a bang but soon petered off, but they seem to be headed in the right direction with the likes of Nicholas Pooran and Sheldon Cottrell impressing.
Pakistan too showed that they’re going to be a force with Babar Azam coming of age with the bat and Shaheen Afridi showing why he’s one of the best young fast bowlers in the world.
Sri Lanka provided us with the upset of the tournament when they defeated hosts England but they will still need to rebuild big time to become a force in cricket.
And of course Shakib Al Hasan had the tournament of his lifetime and showing the world once again why he is the undisputed best allrounder in cricket.
But that was not all, we saw Australia show with Mitchell Starc’s record 27 wickets why they are still one of the best teams in World Cups, even if they don’t have the big names from yesteryear.
New Zealand also showed that pressure does not get to them and they can also take the spirit of cricket award for lifetime after their sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
And India looked the most impressive force with their fast bowling attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, coupled with a record five centuries from Rohit Sharma
Host the World Cup and win it
As for England, they have shown that if you are the host, you will win the World Cup as was the case in 2011 when India won and 2015 when Australia won.
This has been a four year progress for England as they have looked to change the way they played ODI cricket and with this new aggressive style, they have managed to reap the rewards.
Yes, the win came by the thinnest of margins and perhaps in contentious fashion, but they showed just how far they have come in the ODI format.
Eoin Morgan, Andrew Strauss and co need to be given credit for taking England to the top of the rankings and for the way they have played in the group stages, even though they had a few hiccups against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Add to that, most of the games, even the dead rubbers had a lot of people coming in to watch the games and you can say that it was an overall success.
There was that one game with Pakistan and Afghanistan where the crowds clashed, and the semi final between Australia and England didn’t have a packed house due to Indian fans buying the tickets but other then that, it was a really well attended World Cup
So it was, for the most part, quite a good World Cup but it’s difficult to say if it was better than the one in 2011 or the one in 1999 or the one in 1992.
But one thing is for sure, the World Cup has opened eyes for many and shown that the 50-over format is still going strong, despite the growing popularity of T20s.