The World Cup's endangered species

Updated: March 25, 2011, 1:51 PM ET
By Peter Della Penna | Special to ESPN.com

The interminably long group stage of the Cricket World Cup will finally come to an end Sunday. Unfortunately, it appears that it will coincide with the extinction of Associate teams from future World Cups.

As mentioned at the start of the World Cup, the Associates are cricket's version of mid-majors in college basketball. Ireland entered this tournament playing on the same level Gonzaga was a decade ago. On March 2, they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in cricket history ...

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