With the ninth edition of the cricket World Cup being declared open in the West Indies by Sir Garfield Sobers last night, is pleased to announce a contest with a twist. Answer three reasonably interesting questions—in the next three days—and we will offer three very fine cricket books as prizes to the three best entries.

Our questions are:

1) Which will be the losing team in the finals? In other words, which team will be the runner-up of the tournament, not the winner!

2) Who will be the flop star of the tournament? In other words, which cricketer will fail to match the hype built around him because of injury or poor performance?

3) Who will be India’s biggest liability? In other words, which of the 15 boys in blue will make the least impact with bat, ball or on field, and derail the team’s chances?

The prizes on offer are a priceless first edition of C.L.R. JamesBeyond a Boundary, universally considered to be the finest book on cricket ever; Mihir Bose‘s A History of Indian Cricket; and Ramachandra Guha‘s A Corner of a Foreign Field.

Terms and conditions: All entries must be sent in by 12 noon, IST, on Friday, March 16, 2007. Entries should be sent as a comment with no and/or. Participants can send in as many entries as they wish, but they should be sent as separate comments, and with a valid email address. The winner/s will be picked by draw of lots in case of one more than one all-correct entry. The results will be announced after the World Cup ends. The decision of the jury will be final and non-negotiable.