My team of the World Cup
Here is my team of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Many thanks for all your suggestions on Twitter - I have tried to take all your suggestions into consideration and I welcome any further thoughts @tmsproducer.
Although my selections are mainly based on performances during the competition, if a decision was a tight one I have taken into account past achievements as well as the balance a player brings to the side. And I have to admit to the odd selection being influenced by just a little romance and the desire for my side to entertain.
Please feel free to disagree with my dream team - and I would love to read which 11 you would have picked.
1) Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
Opening batsman Dilshan has had an outstanding tournament and is the leading scorer in the competition going into the final, with 467 runs, including two centuries. He has scored more boundaries than any other player with 58 fours and four sixes and a fantastic strike rate.
Although the TV adverts throughout the World Cup have been celebrating his innovative "Dilscoop", Dilshan has actually not had to resort to that sort of improvisation as most of his success has come with traditional stroke-play. If that is not enough, Dilshan is a more than useful spin bowler who has even opened the bowling at times during the tournament.
2) Sachin Tendulkar (India)
I was tempted to select an all Sri Lankan opening pair with Upal Tharanga partnering Dilshan and Tendulkar batting at three, but I decided the "little master" should occupy the position which has brought him so much success in this tournament.
Tendulkar's semi-final knock may have been scratchy but he still secured the man-of-the-match award and the stage is set for him to score his 100th international century in his home city of Mumbai on Saturday. Tendulkar has scored only three runs fewer than Dilshan in the tournament, with a similar impressive strike rate.
It was very special to witness the reaction in Bangalore when he scored his hundred against England - I can't imagine what it would feel like if he made one in the final.
As well as Tharanga, I also gave lots of consideration to Virender Sehwag as an opener. His 175 against Bangladesh gave the competition a very special start and he is unlucky to miss out.
3) Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka; wicketkeeper and captain)
It is a heavy burden for the Sri Lanka captain to keep wicket, bat at three and skipper this team - but if anyone can, Kumar can. A hugely impressive character, Sangakkara has had an outstanding World Cup with the bat and the gloves, scoring 417 runs at an average of over 100 and keeping well to Sri Lanka's varied bowling attack. His strike rate has been good and he does it all with great style. You just know if Sangakkara gets to lift the Trophy on Saturday evening in Mumbai, he'll do it with class.
Sangakkara claims the number three slot ahead of Jonathan Trott because he has a better strike rate and can play as an all-rounder. Trott was the only England player I really considered for this team, although honourable mentions should go to Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann.
4) Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
Taylor played one of the innings of the tournament, scoring a brutal 131 against Pakistan, supposedly one of the strongest bowling attacks. The New Zealander helped his team score 100 runs from the last five overs in Pallekelle. But he was a consistent scorer throughout the competition, averaging 65 and helping his team to the brink of the final. Taylor is likely now to replace Daniel Vettori as the captain of the Black Caps and would be able to offer tactical advice to Sangakarra in this side.
5) Yuvraj Singh (India)
Yuvraj is already the winner of four man-of-the-match awards in this World Cup and one of the favourites to be crowned player of the tournament. Even when he missed out with the bat in the semi-final, Yuvraj still contributed with two important wickets. He has scored 341 runs in the tournament to date, averaging 85, as well as claiming 13 wickets at 25 with what Kevin Pietersen once called his "left-arm filth". He has a tournament best of 5-31. After a mixed few years in the international game, this World Cup could lift Yuvraj to new heights of celebrity - if that is possible!
6) AB de Villiers (South Africa)
Although this World Cup will ultimately be seen as a failure for South Africa - who had been considered one of the favourites - De Villiers comes away from the tournament with plenty of credit. Because of injury, he only played in five matches, but still managed to score 354 runs at an average of 88. De Villiers is currently one of the best one-day batsmen around, as well as being possibly the best fielder in world cricket. If the workload were to get too much for captain Sangakarra, De Villiers is a more than capable wicketkeeper.
7) Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Selected almost totally for his bowling, Afridi was the tournament's leading wicket-taker before the final with 21 scalps at an average of 12 including a brilliant spell of 5-16 against Kenya. He was a handful in almost every match he played and also came away with one of the competition's best economy rates of 3.62 runs per over. But Afridi is not a cricketer best measured by statistics - "Boom Boom" is one of the game's great entertainers and adds something special to any team he plays for. It is true that at times his batting was irresponsible especially for a captain - but the scorer of one-day international cricket's fastest century still has the potential to produce with the bat, even if those moments are few and far between. Afridi also gets a positive mark for the way he galvanised a Pakistan team which has been in turmoil in recent times and this enthusiasm will only assist my team of the tournament.
Before I leave the lower middle order I must mention the man who scored the fastest World Cup hundred - an innings which will surely go down as the most memorable of this World Cup. Kevin O'Brien's 50-ball century led his Ireland team to a phenomenal win over England and will also be remembered as the best innings played by a man with pink hair after he coloured his head to promote an Irish cancer charity. I would have loved to include O'Brien in my side, especially as he is also a useful bowler, but his performances in his other matches don't quite merit inclusion. However I can safely say O'Brien is the player I am most upset to leave out.
8) Brett Lee (Australia)
The veteran just sneaks in ahead of the likes of Kemar Roach in my side partly because of the experience he can bring to the team. Lee was the star turn in a disappointing Aussie attack taking 13 wickets at 18 with a best bowling analysis of 4-28. He can still turn a match round with his express pace, but also has plenty of variations to cope with slow subcontinent pitches. Lee is also a more than useful tail-end batsman, capable of some late-order big hitting.
This is another selection based partly on the entertainment factor, to be honest. I originally had Umar Gul down for this slot after his performances played a major role in helping Pakistan to reach the semi-finals. However, although one bad game shouldn't influence a selector, he had such a terrible match against India that I am not sure he'd be in the right frame of mind to represent my dream team
9) Zaheer Khan (India)
One of the cleverest bowlers in world cricket, Zaheer Khan has so far taken 19 wickets in the tournament, second only to Afridi. Whenever the Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni needs something special, he turns to his left-arm fast bowler, who can swing the ball both ways and possesses a box of tricks suitable for any match situation. Zaheer is the heartbeat of the Indian bowling attack and if they win the World Cup he will almost certainly play a major part.
10) Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
The Sri Lanka fast bowler is a bit of a wildcard selection as his 2011 World Cup record does not match the likes of Kemar Roach or Tim Southee, who with 18 wickets is very unlucky to miss out. But "Malinga the Slinger" is a unique talent capable of blowing away a side, especially with the old ball. He took his second World Cup hat-trick in this tournament and provides a perfect foil for the man I have picked at number 11. Malinga again fits my desire to have a team which entertains.
11) Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
Another slightly romantic selection, Murali wins his place over the likes of Imran Tahir and Robin Peterson, who have perhaps had marginally better tournaments. But how can you leave out the most successful bowler in history who, even when clearly nowhere near full fitness, has still taken 15 wickets at 16. It was just typical of the man that he should take a wicket with the last ball he bowled in an international in his home country. If Tendulkar doesn't steal the headlines with a historic hundred on Saturday, who is to say Murali won't be the hero, taking the winning wicket with his final international delivery.