Home > Cricket News, twenty20 > Australia look the best bet to land the Twenty20 World Cup raffle

Australia look the best bet to land the Twenty20 World Cup raffle

It will never take the place of the five-day game but, as a sceptic, the author finally has to admit that he’s beginning to enjoy it. Don’t rule out Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies, by the way.

The precocious toddler that is Twenty20 cricket is about to get its first big party in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. Although dismissed by cricket traditionalists as a lesser form of the game (some of us are still coming to terms with one-day cricket), this ultra-short, slog-fest is certainly winning the marketing battle and pulling punters through the gate.

Whilst it is easy to dismiss Twenty20 as a short term phenomenon that will burn out just as rapidly as it has come to prominence, it has come along at a very interesting time. In the wake of a disastrous one-day World Cup the ICC, and cricket in general, needs something to paint the game in a positive light.

The last World Cup had the life sucked out of it by a greedy and inept ICC Board. So far this upcoming tournament looks like avoiding all of the big pitfalls. It is a 13-day, rapid-fire event, making it possible to maintain the energy throughout, unlike the previous effort that went on so long that visiting players were offered citizenship.

Another benefit of Twwenty20 is that it is so short that rain interruptions can be avoided and so can embarrassment of officials who don’t know what to do when it rains. If they can also give all of the coaches thorough physicals before the tournament commences, we should also be able to avoid the only other type of headlines to come out of that competition.

Setting aside snobbish prejudices for a while, it is hard not to get sucked in by the light-hearted fun approach of the game. The approachability of the participants, with live action interviews with players and umpires on the ground give an added dimension and level of interest. Provided it is kept as a side show and not made into a mainstream sport it can do little harm.

It’s like adults watching television. In our peer group, all the talk is about serious documentaries and quality drama but, when no one is watching, we all like to have a bit of a giggle at The Simpsons. It’s a guilty little secret and just as long as no one takes it too seriously, it’s actually quite enjoyable.

As for who will win, it’s all a bit of a raffle. One of the major downsides of the game is that there is no recovery time. An innings can’t be rebuilt after a few lost wickets and so even a slightly off day can cost a team the game. Of the major contenders, obviously Australia is in with a chance, as is South Africa, Sri Lanka and possibly the West Indies. The others don’t have the depth of explosive firepower that is needed to win this format, but this whole thing is a big unknown. Expect the unexpected.

With the exception of the bowlers, this whole competition should be about having a laugh. It’s hard to imagine that there are many positives for the bowlers who, as a rule, get shown little or no respect. For the rest of us, it will be fun. It will (hopefully) never replace real cricket, but is there any harm in just being silly for a while?

Success or one-day wonder? How do you rate Twenty20 cricket? Post your comments below or submit an article to Sportingo.

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Categories: Cricket News, twenty20
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