Worth the wait?
Have your say on skysports.com's take on the best and worst moments of the Cricket World Cup.
By Alex Williams
Last Updated: 02/04/11 6:57pm
The 10th edition of the Cricket World Cup is in the books with India ending a 28-year wait for their second crown.
The showcase in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh provided plenty of excitement and drama, but the negative debates that always seem to surround this tournament refused to go away.
Here, skysports.com looks back on the best and worst aspects of the last six weeks. Share your views by using the feedback form below.
The World Cup showed once again that the Asian sub-continent's passion for cricket is unmatched, while co-hosting the tournament between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh ensured that there was local interest at almost every turn.
Of course, this was helped by the fact that the knockout stages were dominated by Asian teams, and the celebrations in Mumbai will be the abiding memory of the event.
The endless World Cup format debate had reared its head before the tournament had even started, but even the most hardened critic of the current structure cannot deny the competitiveness of some of the group matches.
England barely scraped through the group stages after a number of nail-biting contests, while Pakistan sprung a surprise to top Group A ahead of the likes of Sri Lanka and Australia.
By far the most impressive of the associate nations present, Ireland's 2011 campaign will forever be synonymous with their remarkable three-wicket victory over England in Bangalore.
However, there was more to the Irish effort than Kevin O'Brien's thumping century - the fastest in World Cup history - in that contest. A thrilling chase secured victory against Holland, while they also ran India, South Africa and West Indies fairly close.
Legends' last stand
What could be a more fitting send off for Muttiah Muralitharan than taking a wicket with his final ball in front of his home fans in Colombo?
How about Sachin Tendulkar, who must now also be close to bowing out, lifting the trophy in his home town? These two cricketing icons loomed large over the latter stages, with each getting the emotional farewell they deserved.
By its nature, cricket is a more drawn-out process and slower burning than most sports, but is a World Cup that spans six weeks, three different months and contains 49 matches a little too much?
With so much happening since, Virender Sehwag's 175 against Bangladesh in the opening match now seems like it was made in a different tournament.
If the excitement the group stages managed to produce at times must be commended, then we must acknowledge the other end of the spectrum as well.
Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya were little more than sitting ducks in Group A, which had all of the quarter-final spots decided very early on. And despite the excitement of Group B, the six teams expected to drop out after the prolonged group stages ultimately did.
The exhausting schedule may also be a reason behind so many of the injury problems that have blighted the competition. England were particularly badly hit, paying the price for the draining Ashes winter by seeing their squad depleted at an alarming rate.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka were also affected at crucial times and it was a shame to see some of the best players in the world either absent or not at full fitness.
There was plenty of attention given to potential security and organisational concerns in the run-up to the showcase, but the tournament generally passed off without major incident.
A notable exception, however, was the stoning of the West Indies team bus after their thrashing of Bangladesh, which eventually led to the arrests of 38 people.