ICC World Cup Twenty20 – Sri Lanka 2012


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By Francis Saldanha
Bellevision Media Network

15 September 2012: The 2012 Olympics may be done and dusted and, as with anything this size, there are mixed opinions as to its success, but what a way to show the world at its best: camaraderie, friendly competition, appreciation and respect for the talent of other nations. Hence one has to wait for the next Olympics in Rio 2016. As the ICC World T20 gets underway in a few days time, I am looking forward to the long and very interesting cricketing season ahead.  The ICC World Cup T20 in Sri Lanka, will keep all the cricket fans busy at their leisure time to watch some fascinating cricket on the big screen, the T20, ODI’s and of course the Test matches to come.


T20 has added a lot to the game. For a sport that is not as internationally known as, say, soccer or tennis or even golf, I think cricket is getting the prominence that it has got because of the T20 format. That’s the one which has excited spectators, has gotten brands to come forward to get mileage for themselves through cricketers and through sponsoring events. T20 has certainly played a big role in making cricket, which earlier wasn’t a career option, a very, very good career option now. The innovation that the batsmen have in playing some shots, the innovations that the bowlers have to resort to, to try and stop the batsmen from smashing them out of the ground, the back of the hand bowling, the slower bouncers, the slower deliveries, the change of pace these are all innovations that have added so much to the game. I just like to see the athleticism in the field. The fielding over the years has been outstanding. Also, the kind of physical training that they do. They are a much fitter and much stronger generation. So that they hit the ball a fair distance more and are able to last a little bit longer.

 

 

The danger I see with T20 cricket is that if it becomes the premier form of cricket, the format that all youngsters aspire to play, it will destroy other forms of cricket, because the techniques needed are so different. Batsmen must slog, not defend; bowlers must contain, not take wickets; fielders must run and throw, not take close catches. Because the game is so short there is very little strategy involved; teams must go for runs from the first over and the fielding side cannot afford fielders in catching positions, so captains place the field by saying "Spread out." I understand the game’s popularity with those who don’t understand cricket. I just hope there’s still room for those of us who love the traditional game.

 

The period lasting from the year 1998 to 2001 can be traced back as the time of origin of Twenty20 cricket. However, it was in the year 2001 that the idea of a shortened form of cricket, earlier discussed by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), began to take a concrete shape. Cricket in England in 2000-2003 had been in sharp decline. Crowds weren’t coming anymore. It was starting to impact badly on the domestic game. They had to find out why people were turned off by cricket in England at the time. They found because of long time it takes. So they invented 20/20 not knowing what they had done. Yes the crowds came; the sport was rejuvenated in England after years of decline. It proved to be a hit. 20/20 was picked up overseas and a big money tournament in cricket was born. The concept of 40-over game, with 20 over’s per innings, was presented to the county chairman in the same year and later, passed with a voting of 11-7, 11 in favor and 7 against. Soon, the new form of cricket was given the name of Twenty20, more popularly T20.

 

T20 Cricket was formally introduced to the world in 2003, when ECB launched the Twenty20 Cup, along with slogan “I don’t like cricket, I love it”. The same year, the first Twenty20 cricket tournament was organized in England, with various county cricket teams. The tournament proved to be a success, with thousands of spectators filling the England’s cricket stadiums, a first in many decades. Soon, other cricket playing nations of the world also started to take notice of Twenty20 cricket.


 
After the first Twenty20 cricket tournament was played and became overnight success, South Africa, Australia and the West Indies also organized similar tournaments, which again attracted huge cricket audience. In the year 2005, history was created, when Twenty20 cricket made its international debut, with the first T20 International being played, between Australia and New Zealand, at Eden Park. As the popularity of the new form of cricket started rising, surpassing that of even ODIs and Tests, the game was taken more seriously.

 

In the year 2007 the ICC T20 World Cup Tournament was founded by the International Cricket Council, (ICC). This tournament is held every two years and ever since its inception it has turned out to be a big hit worldwide. The popularity of Twenty20 had gained such heights that ICC organized the first international Twenty20 tournament, rather the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, creating another history of sorts. With South Africa as the host, the tournament included 10 test playing nations, apart from ICC associate nations - Kenya and Scotland.

 

India won the tournament and became the first winners of the T20 series after beating Pakistan by 5 runs. Afridi was the man of the tournament. Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes in an over bowled by Stuart Broad of England in an earlier match. The second tournament was held in England in June, 2009 where Pakistan beat Sri Lanka. The Third was held at Barbados, West Indies where England beat Australia by 7 wickets.

 


All Test-playing countries are automatically qualified to play in the ICC T20 World Cup Tournament. The other countries have to play qualification matches to qualify. The number of nations playing in the qualifying tournaments varies from one year to the next with the number of nations playing in the 2010 qualifying tournaments as the highest in Twenty20 ICC World Cup.

 

ICC World Twenty20 is the international championship of Twenty20 Cricket. It is commonly abridged as T20 cricket. As the name suggests, the game is organized by ICC (International Cricket Council), the governing body of cricket in the world. The 2012 ICC World Twenty20 will be the fourth ICC World Twenty2020 competition, which will be held in Sri Lanka between September 18 and October 7, 2012.  This will be the first World Twenty20 tournament held in an Asian country, the last three being held in South Africa, England and the West Indies respectively.

 

Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga has been chosen as the event ambassador of the tournament by ICC. Match fixtures were announced on 21 September 2011 by ICC. On the same date, the ICC also unveiled the logo of the tournament; named "Modern Spin" The 2012 World Twenty20 will be the fourth edition of the Twenty20 tournament.

 

 

The format will see four groups of three in a preliminary round. India and England are in the same group and will be joined by the runner up of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Afghanistan. The Champions of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Ireland are in a group with West Indies and Australia. Sri Lanka, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh are the other two groups.

 

The top two teams from each group will proceed to the Super Eight stage of the tournament. The Super Eight will consist of two groups. The top two teams from the two Super Eight groups would play the semi-finals, and the semi-final winners would contest the final, to be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The winner of this final shall be crowned world champions in Twenty20 cricket.

 

India’s squad for ICC World Twenty20: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, L. Balaji, Ashok Dinda, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh and Manoj Tiwary.

 

As the cricket pundits’ forecast the hot and happening team this time seems to be the West Indies. West Indies is one side that just can’t be taken lightly, especially in the T20 format. They shocked the Aussies in the 2009 edition in the group phase and eventually went on to make the semi-finals where Sri Lanka took care of them. With the return of Indian Premier League (IPL) stars Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo and players like Dwayne Smith, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo among others, a strong performance is the least that is expected, the Windies have already been installed as one of the pre-tournament favourites. It is a well balanced team with good experience in T20 cricket and a great capacity to play under pressure. On the other hand, the Australian team has been doing well in the domestic T20 matches so will also be up for grabs in the ICC T20 World Cup Tournament this year.

 

 

Among top teams, India has played the least number of T20 matches and has just about managed to keep the victory column ahead of the losses. Even in the World T20s, India has an 8-7-1-1 record in 17 matches. India did not perform up to expectations in both the last World T20s and since this one is in the sub-continent, the Men in Blue would want to make a mark. What is even more of an inspiration is the fact that they could become double World champions after winning the 50-over WC in 2011.

 

 

As an Indian cricket fan, I can definitely see India making it to the last 4. They have the team to reach that far. Their main problem is bowling, especially their fast bowling which will surely leak precious runs. If they can somehow limit that damage then they have the batting to post huge scores and overhaul any target. My money will always be on the Men in Blue who can regain the trophy which they won during the inaugural year.

 

I hope one of the sub-continent team will have a good chance to bring back the trophy to Asia, as the condition will suit them to make a big impact on this championship. For cricket lovers, it is the right time to focus and enjoy the game which is almost like a second religion to many die hard cricket fans in India and abroad. Having said all that, may the best team win. In the end T20 is the winner!!

 

 

 

 

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Comments on this Article
Saiful Haque, Bangladesh Thu, September-20-2012, 11:57
T20 is a magicically changed play format of the game. I thank Bangladesh will play next round.
Anurag pandey, Devra barabanki Mon, September-17-2012, 12:52
T 20-20 is a magicically changed play format of the game.I like it and thinks india will able to win this cup.Chak de INDIA....go and get the cup.
aniruddha paul, kolkata Sat, September-15-2012, 6:35
T20 is a magicically changed play format of the game.I like it and thinks india will able to win this cup.Chak de INDIA....go and get the cup.
manoj kumar sahoo, mumbai Sat, September-15-2012, 2:04
t20 is rerey goods games ther for india wen the game
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