Hi. Iâ€™m Ian Valentine. Tomorrow I leave for the West Indies with 11 others to sail round the Caribbean. Weâ€™ll be six Aussies, five Poms and a token Kiwi. Iâ€™m a Brit, 30 years old, a journalist, and one of those village cricketers whose talk is better than his walk.
To read the media, there would be no point in us going at all. The tournament is in tatters, they say. Too long, too expensive, too badly organised. The hosts havenâ€™t turned up; the minnows have dragged the standard down; and the Super Eights have been a distraction before the semis. Worst World Cupâ€¦..ever.
But it is not over. Indeed, the best may be yet to come. Over the next fortnight, Iâ€™ll report back with as much reaction, gossip and observation as possible from the area. It canâ€™t be as bad as folk are saying! There should be some good photos too. It wonâ€™t just be me harping on, as there will be plenty of international input from the other members of the boat party, who are also cricket nuts. Sadly, most of them are frankly delighted with the way their team is playing.
I must warn you now that I tend to get predictions wrong. For example, I backed Ed Joyce and Chris Gayle as top run getters in the tournament. However, I am still genuinely convinced that England will turn things around and lift the Cup. We always beat South Africa when it matters (Strauss ton); Fred will beat the Windies with bat and ball; Vaughan will score his maiden ODI hundred against the Aussies in the semis; and then KP will boss the final. You heard it here first! Bye for now.