Forty-four days it took for the cricket World Cup to deliver what we already knew. That Australia are pretty decent at home and that England are capable of being useless in any place at any time.
It really was the most ill-thought out, boring sporting tournament of all time. I’ve seen America’s Cup races that have generated more excitement.
Of course it’s not Australia’s fault that they were far superior to any other nation in the competition.
It’s not their fault either that their presence in the Final ensured it would be a massive anti-climax against a New Zealand team who had spent the rest of the tournament thumping 70-yard sixes on their own small grounds.
And therein lies one-day cricket’s problem for me.
Unless Aussie destroyers Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc were swinging the ball at high pace, the domination of bat over ball has become a worrying trend.
Short-form cricket is now a sport for a generation of kids raised on thrill-a minute computer games.
They are a wham-bam species who don’t appreciate the nuances and subtleties that cricket can deliver in the right circumstances.
They just want non-stop thuggery. They want average batsmen to use their massive equipment advantage to whack double hundreds.
This isn’t tedious Formula One racing. Talent should determine the champions of cricket, not technology.
One-day international cricket is now an unfair sport full of muscle-bound hulks wielding huge bats and gorging themselves on bowlers with little protection.
For every artist like AB De Villiers or Kumar Sangakkara there is a Lurch-like figure like Martin Gupthill smacking the ball over short boundaries.
Half the time these monsters waving railway sleepers don’t have to middle the ball to send it soaring over the boundary.
When the dice are loaded so badly, sport can be very dull. Cricket should be more than a slogging contest, but it wasn’t for the majority of the World Cup.
The pinnacle of the sport saw about two genuinely thrilling games out of 49. Too many matches were over at half-time and that can’t be good for any sport.
The ICC are right to cut the number of teams competing in the next World Cup though.
Two minnow nations (plus useless England) is enough. The players of Scotland and Afghanistan must be the only ones who love a long tournament. It was a long holiday for them mixed with meeting players whose boots they weren’t fit to lace.
England host the next World Cup which should at least end the trend of host nation success, but I’d make a few changes to the rules.
Play with a red ball for a start. One that offers the bowlers some help rather than white balls that are smashed out of shape after a five-over battering from Brendan McCullum.