Monday, April 11, 2016

The 2016 T20 World Cup

Its less than a week since the final of the T20 World Cup and we have the IPL knocking on our TV screens. While we await the festivities to begin, there is just enough to time to recollect the lasting images from the World Cup.

West Indies Won. And provided their own highlights reel for the tournament - Darren Sammy tearing into the Board during the final presentation, Samuels talking with his bat and mouth, Brathwaite hammering Stokes for 4 sixes and finally the Champion song. It was West Indies all over.  And they also won the Women's World Cup

2. Afghanistan
They are the fairy-tale story which keeps giving happiness to all cricket fans. They cruised into the main rounds easily knocking out Zimbabwe. Then proceeded to give a scare to everyone of their Super Stage opponents. They also collected a victory over eventual champions West Indies. Such was their exuberance that even Gayle joined in their victory celebrations. 

3. England failing to collect a famous defeat
England had a great World Cup, Just when they had one hand on the Cup, they were knocked off by the Brathwaite assault. A great turn-around for a team which failed to reach the ODI World Cup quarter-finals. And this time they didn't collect their now customary famous defeat as has become their habit in World events. Though they did come close against Afghanistan.

4. Virat Kohli & Joe Root
The men of the moment. Showing that even with classic cricketing shots you can still go at a strike rate of 150+. A batting delight for both the lovers of T20 madness and the purists. And as a bonus add their golden arms.

5. Sehwag & Shoaib
During their playing careers, Virender Sehwag & Shoaib Akhtar faced off against each other many a time. Encounters which provided many lasting images for the fans. And now they have formed an interesting partnership behind the microphones. The duo lighted up an increasingly dull commentary box. For the first time in many years, I actually preferred listening to Hindi commentary over English, especially when this duo was doing the commentary.

6. Upset of the tournament - Oman beating Ireland
Says a lot about (a) the progress made by the Irish in the cricketing circles and (b) the fickle nature of the T20 format with reducing gaps between the teams.  T20 is a more encompassing format and probably would spread the game further across the world while simultaneously killing Test cricket in many of the established arenas.

7. The Associate Dilemma
To simply put it, the ICC do not know what to do with the Associates. They want cricket to spread to generate more revenue sources. Currently the Associates are just a cost centre for them. And they certainly do not want them to cause any big upset (a la 2007 ODI World Cup) which destroys revenue from existing cash cows like India. So we have a token Associate participation now. 6 teams from the rest of the world qualify to play another Qualifiers. Dave Richardson has come up with a proposal to expand the Qualifier base, but at the same time has reduced the frequency of the World Cups.

8. Teams not turning up

  • South Africa continued their tradition of flattering to deceive. This time around it was their bowling doing the choking act. 
  • Sri Lanka were defending champions, yet hardly created a ripple. The retirement of Sanga & Mahela and Malinga's absence has really created a big void which can't just be filled up. 
  • While New Zealand played attractive cricket, their campaign had a familiar ring to it - Innovative and ending in the semi-finals. 
  • While Bangladesh have made large strides, they still need some tuning up at the World arena.
9. 11-Nil
The hype is still the same. The build-up is the same. And even the result is the same, And the Indian fans are not complaining.

10. Mitchell Johnson does not learn
Some habits die hard. Mitchell Johnson is now retired, but his sledging continues to hurt his own team . Wound up Kohli with his tweets prior to India-Australia game. [Not dissimilar to this]

11. The Champion Song
Cricket now has its own patented celebration, thanks to our own DJ - DJ Bravo.

Now the World Cup can rest while the IPL madness takes over.

Nishant Kumar for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Nishant on Twitter @NishantSKumar

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