Oh Asia where art thou?

The 2005 ICC Trophy is almost run and won, but the final still to be played on Wednesday, the five berths for the 2007 World Cup have been filled. Congratulations to Bermuda and Ireland, who have qualified for their first World Cup. Congratulations also to Canada and Holland, who remain in World Cup play, and to Scotland, who return after taking part in 1999.

Notable for their absence, any Asian representatives coming through from the ICC Trophy. The last Asian contender, the UAE, crashed out on Monday when they lost to Holland by 145 runs in the fifth-place playoff. Oman, the only affiliate nation to reach the Trophy competition, claimed ninth place when they surpassed the USA’s score of 345 for 6.

And that was it for Asia. Remember the Asian Cricket Council demanding (and getting) 50 per cent of the ICC’s development funding? What happened?

Nepal, Qatar and Kuwait all crashed out of the World Cup Division Two Qualifying Series (won by Papua New Guinea) in Malaysia in February. Hong Kong (who tasted ODI status in 2004 in the Asian Cup), Malaysia and Singapore all failed to make it past last year’s ACC Trophy.

Africa, it should be said, also bombed out at the ICC Trophy, with Namibia finishing 7th and Uganda, the surprise packet of ICCT2001, taking the wooden spoon after losing to Papua New Guinea by one run yesterday.

The USA is, of course, another Fall From Grace, no thanks to their adminstrative crises back home. From ODI status at the 2004 Champions Trophy to 10th place at ICCT2005, which effectively makes them the 21st best cricketing nation in the world. Are you taking notes, Condi?

With just Wednesday’s final between Ireland and Scotland still to come, these are the remaining places in the 2005 ICC Trophy as settled yesterday:
3rd: Canada
4th: Bermuda
5th: Holland
6th: United Arab Emirates
7th: Namibia
8th: Denmark
9th: Oman
10th: United States of America
11th: Papua New Guinea
12th: Uganda.

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