ICC World Twenty20 2009 June 19, 2009

Is there a World Cup on?

You wouldn't know from reading the UK papers that cricket's biggest event of the month was in town
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Cricket's biggest event of the month, whether you like Twenty20 or not, is on in England, but if you open a newspaper in London, you'd think it was a non-event. Or, at best, a marginal event.

True, the hosts are no longer in the tournament, but no one expected them to be; Australia were sent packing early; and India, the title holders, went out without registering their presence. But it has been a dramatic and compelling tournament, and at the time of writing, three of the most interesting teams remain in the fray. Yet the interest in the tournament, if you went by the column inches in the newspapers, is comfortably behind that for tennis, rugby, horse-racing and golf.

Has cricket become so irrelevant in the country that used to be its home, or has England grown insular? Or is it just plain snobbery about the Ashes?

I came across a line in a newspaper that put the semi-final between the English and Australian women's teams in perspective. It reminded Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, about her responsibility towards the main cause: a win for England would be vital in boosting the morale of the men's team as they prepare for the Ashes.

Really? How about the men doing their bit? The England women are the current holders of the Ashes and world champions in the 50-over game. And they are the ones with a chance to win the top prize in Twenty20. What about some respect?

The Ashes was always billed as the main cricket event of the year, but the lack of enthusiasm for the World Twenty20 is utterly baffling, if not self-defeating. I was in South Africa during the closing stages of the inaugural tournament and it was hard to miss the buzz.

It was apparent that the South African cricket board considered hosting the World Twenty20 a privilege, and it granted the tournament the profile it deserved. The ECB's approach, it is easy to sense, has been marked by ambivalence. It's partly understandable. Commercially, the Ashes is the big ticket of the summer, and is at the heart of the ECB's marketing campaign. Would it really have been a distraction, though, to give a bit more attention to the World Twenty20? As I walking up to The Oval before the semi-final today, it was hard to detect the presence of a global sports tournament. Why host such a massive event and be coy about it?

As I walked up to The Oval before the semi-final today, it was hard to detect the presence of a global sports tournament. Why host such a massive event and be coy about it?

In many ways, the tournament has been a triumph of England's multiculturalism. Indians, Pakistanis, and to a lesser extent Sri Lankans, have filled the grounds to support their teams. By all accounts the atmosphere at the first semi-final at Trent Bridge on Thursday was electric. It is hard to imagine such a scene for a neutral match in any other part of the world, and it lends further credence to the belief that the Pakistanis will feel utterly at home for their "home" series against Australia in England next year. After all, when the match got over, all the Pakistani supporters merely went home.

Pakistan's run to the final has been the most stirring story of the tournament so far. And Shahid Afridi's sensational annihilation of South Africa was worth a thousand words by itself. But none of these have been considered worthy of celebration or examination.

I have just finished watching England beat Australia in quite a thrilling semi-final. At the risk of sounding condescending, I ought to say that is impressive how much the women's game has moved on. The throws now come flat and fast, sixes are hit as a matter of course, and why, they aren't even afraid of playing the scoop.

But you know what the real deal is? If England go on to win the Ashes this summer, I can tell my grandchildren that I was there where it all began.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ramski1 on June 24, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    The ultimate downfall of T20 will not come from the fans but from the players.

    As much as the lure of money is from T20, the top players crave success and competition.

    If you train all year for a tournament and you are the best team but still only have a 50% chance of winning which in my opinion is the case in T20, it cannot be a long term motivator.

    The game just isnt long enough to allow for the recovery that makes sport great.

  • Reg_Dyer on June 23, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    It wasn't a triumph of multiculturalism. It was a way of making money out of multiculturalism! And just because something is called a world championship doesn't mean it's worthy of attention. How many world heavyweight championships in boxing are worthy of the name? Should we all pay attention to the world series in baseball? There was once something called World Series cricket. T20 is a bit of fun sometimes but it can also be rather dull. It is also something of lottery. We enjoy test cricket more because it's a richer game and we enjoy test cricket against the Australians because the history of the series is equally rich. If that makes other countries feel excluded I'm afraid that's just too bad. Call it snobbishness if you like; test cricket is the superior game and although you don't always get a good one, an exciting test match is x20 more exciting than any other form of the game. And if this truth is more reflected in England than elsewhere then I'm very glad of it.

  • Rooboy on June 23, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    It's just not cricket and try as I might, I just can't find a reason to care about 20/20. I guess that's makes me a snob by some people's assements ... but really it's just that, to me, the Ashes is a meaningful contest whereas 20/20 is meaningless.

  • RedStripe on June 22, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    Not really sure why Samit is having such a moan about the lack of media coverage in the UK press. Cricket always is way down the pecking order, in fact every sport is, when compared to Football. The reason being, that is the general view of the population they would rather read about football even when they aren't even playing it.

    When you consider South Africa, of course they made a huge song and dance about it they only have two real sports in their country Rugby and Cricket. So it makes perfect sense they went mad for it!

    I agree that our national obsession with the Ashes is becoming tiresome and unless Australia rise to their glorious old selves over the next ten years. We'll be riding open top buses and giving out MBEs like smarties (Ian Bell, give it back!) for beating the 3rd best team in the word. Makes me cringe! Still I really want them to win but just not make such a fuss this time around, please!

    Congrates to Pakistan, they were awesome as was Boom Boom - good work

  • albion1 on June 22, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    Sambit - I think you've misread this. I actually think there has been surprising enthusiasm for it, I've heard a lot of people with a very passive interest in cricket talking about it - it has genuinely generated interest. Cricket never gets huge coverage in England unless England are doing something exceptional (a rare event!). A few of the posts are the usual drivel about stuffiness etc. - come to a few club abd village games - or into the Hollies stand for a Test Match - there is no stuffiness I can assure you. I played a game in rural Herefordshire at the weekend in which two visiting Asian players were taken part. They were cheered on ceaselessly by their teamates and had a great time. Pakistan winning is wonderful and I love the flair and intelligence the sub-continental batsmen bring to the game - it would be far pooer without them. So please don't tar us all with this old world rubbish - we have moved on - so should you.

  • NumberXI on June 22, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    Sambit Bal makes no reference to India or the IPL or Lalit Modi in this piece - and yet, it is weird that there are so many comments targeted at those three. If you take off those IPL-India-Modi tinted glasses, you will realise that there is truth in the article. Considering how intensely the ECB lobbied the ICC to keep Zimbabwe out of this event so as to be able to host it, it would indeed be strange that they failed to market it effectively. And that is the underlying point of this article. Of course, considering how inward looking the ECB and English cricket, and their obsession over the Ashes, it is hardly a surprise, but that they chose to pass up a chance to effectively sell a gathering of the best talents in cricket makes one wonder if they know what they are doing - as their dalliances in the past with a man facing a possible 250-year prison sentence show.

  • SettingSun on June 21, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    Why does it have to be 'snobbery' when a nation prefers the prospect of an Ashes series over the World Twenty20? I dare say the author may have seen it differently if he had been English or Australian.

    I've enjoyed World Twenty20 just fine. I think it has been everything that the IPL wasn't - long enough without dragging on, commercial enough without being sickening, and flashy enough without the idiocy. But the Ashes always have been and always will be what I look forward to most of all.

  • amit_071 on June 21, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    I think most of the people who have commented, read just the title and started off with the indignant response with the basic premise falling into; a) 20-20 is not real cricket; b) there are so many other sports we can watch. Both these arguments are matters of personal choice (I would take a well turned out bollywood number over a Wagoner Opera any day for example, but it is a personal choice). However, Sambit is finding fault with the marketing (or the lack of it) for the World Cup by ECB. Usually, English are second to none when it comes to self-promotion and marketing. (Case in point being Stonehenge. I shudder to imagine what they might have done if they had the pyramids by any chance). However, in this case, their is a distinct second rate treatment of this competition. If they feel that 20-20 is not 'real cricket' as well, they shouldn't have bothered trying to host it and let someone who cares about it a little more organise it.

  • citizen123 on June 21, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Come on folks!

    Don't waste your time by watching test cricket...

    concentrate on your own professional career rather watching this bull shit game where players play for money than pride..

    The fact is that by playing IPL players earn 10 times more than playing 10 test matches. Can u believe this...

    then why the heck players will play test cricket

    they will play 20-20 earn quick money, retire soon,, enjoy family life, save money for next 10 generations of their family...

    I personally advice youth who have not yet settled in their life to concentrate on their profession rather than wasting time in watching cricket which has purely become a money tank now...

  • faraz_baig on June 20, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    Hi, Surely this T20 is the most agricultural form ever, very "gimmicky" and its even difficult to call it "CRICKET". Isn't Test Cricket the "real" stuff? Cricket stands apart from rest of the sports and need not follow other sports where theres a need for world cups. A true Cricket "world champion" is that wins at home and abroad(TEST MATCHES) over a period of time. A world champion can't be determined in a span of just 20 days, I would bet on 1460 days of Test Cricket(4 yrs) to determine a "World Champion" English public are rightfully aware of this, to be fresh for the "real" stuff and keep away from the "gimmicky" stuff

  • Ramski1 on June 24, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    The ultimate downfall of T20 will not come from the fans but from the players.

    As much as the lure of money is from T20, the top players crave success and competition.

    If you train all year for a tournament and you are the best team but still only have a 50% chance of winning which in my opinion is the case in T20, it cannot be a long term motivator.

    The game just isnt long enough to allow for the recovery that makes sport great.

  • Reg_Dyer on June 23, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    It wasn't a triumph of multiculturalism. It was a way of making money out of multiculturalism! And just because something is called a world championship doesn't mean it's worthy of attention. How many world heavyweight championships in boxing are worthy of the name? Should we all pay attention to the world series in baseball? There was once something called World Series cricket. T20 is a bit of fun sometimes but it can also be rather dull. It is also something of lottery. We enjoy test cricket more because it's a richer game and we enjoy test cricket against the Australians because the history of the series is equally rich. If that makes other countries feel excluded I'm afraid that's just too bad. Call it snobbishness if you like; test cricket is the superior game and although you don't always get a good one, an exciting test match is x20 more exciting than any other form of the game. And if this truth is more reflected in England than elsewhere then I'm very glad of it.

  • Rooboy on June 23, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    It's just not cricket and try as I might, I just can't find a reason to care about 20/20. I guess that's makes me a snob by some people's assements ... but really it's just that, to me, the Ashes is a meaningful contest whereas 20/20 is meaningless.

  • RedStripe on June 22, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    Not really sure why Samit is having such a moan about the lack of media coverage in the UK press. Cricket always is way down the pecking order, in fact every sport is, when compared to Football. The reason being, that is the general view of the population they would rather read about football even when they aren't even playing it.

    When you consider South Africa, of course they made a huge song and dance about it they only have two real sports in their country Rugby and Cricket. So it makes perfect sense they went mad for it!

    I agree that our national obsession with the Ashes is becoming tiresome and unless Australia rise to their glorious old selves over the next ten years. We'll be riding open top buses and giving out MBEs like smarties (Ian Bell, give it back!) for beating the 3rd best team in the word. Makes me cringe! Still I really want them to win but just not make such a fuss this time around, please!

    Congrates to Pakistan, they were awesome as was Boom Boom - good work

  • albion1 on June 22, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    Sambit - I think you've misread this. I actually think there has been surprising enthusiasm for it, I've heard a lot of people with a very passive interest in cricket talking about it - it has genuinely generated interest. Cricket never gets huge coverage in England unless England are doing something exceptional (a rare event!). A few of the posts are the usual drivel about stuffiness etc. - come to a few club abd village games - or into the Hollies stand for a Test Match - there is no stuffiness I can assure you. I played a game in rural Herefordshire at the weekend in which two visiting Asian players were taken part. They were cheered on ceaselessly by their teamates and had a great time. Pakistan winning is wonderful and I love the flair and intelligence the sub-continental batsmen bring to the game - it would be far pooer without them. So please don't tar us all with this old world rubbish - we have moved on - so should you.

  • NumberXI on June 22, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    Sambit Bal makes no reference to India or the IPL or Lalit Modi in this piece - and yet, it is weird that there are so many comments targeted at those three. If you take off those IPL-India-Modi tinted glasses, you will realise that there is truth in the article. Considering how intensely the ECB lobbied the ICC to keep Zimbabwe out of this event so as to be able to host it, it would indeed be strange that they failed to market it effectively. And that is the underlying point of this article. Of course, considering how inward looking the ECB and English cricket, and their obsession over the Ashes, it is hardly a surprise, but that they chose to pass up a chance to effectively sell a gathering of the best talents in cricket makes one wonder if they know what they are doing - as their dalliances in the past with a man facing a possible 250-year prison sentence show.

  • SettingSun on June 21, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    Why does it have to be 'snobbery' when a nation prefers the prospect of an Ashes series over the World Twenty20? I dare say the author may have seen it differently if he had been English or Australian.

    I've enjoyed World Twenty20 just fine. I think it has been everything that the IPL wasn't - long enough without dragging on, commercial enough without being sickening, and flashy enough without the idiocy. But the Ashes always have been and always will be what I look forward to most of all.

  • amit_071 on June 21, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    I think most of the people who have commented, read just the title and started off with the indignant response with the basic premise falling into; a) 20-20 is not real cricket; b) there are so many other sports we can watch. Both these arguments are matters of personal choice (I would take a well turned out bollywood number over a Wagoner Opera any day for example, but it is a personal choice). However, Sambit is finding fault with the marketing (or the lack of it) for the World Cup by ECB. Usually, English are second to none when it comes to self-promotion and marketing. (Case in point being Stonehenge. I shudder to imagine what they might have done if they had the pyramids by any chance). However, in this case, their is a distinct second rate treatment of this competition. If they feel that 20-20 is not 'real cricket' as well, they shouldn't have bothered trying to host it and let someone who cares about it a little more organise it.

  • citizen123 on June 21, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Come on folks!

    Don't waste your time by watching test cricket...

    concentrate on your own professional career rather watching this bull shit game where players play for money than pride..

    The fact is that by playing IPL players earn 10 times more than playing 10 test matches. Can u believe this...

    then why the heck players will play test cricket

    they will play 20-20 earn quick money, retire soon,, enjoy family life, save money for next 10 generations of their family...

    I personally advice youth who have not yet settled in their life to concentrate on their profession rather than wasting time in watching cricket which has purely become a money tank now...

  • faraz_baig on June 20, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    Hi, Surely this T20 is the most agricultural form ever, very "gimmicky" and its even difficult to call it "CRICKET". Isn't Test Cricket the "real" stuff? Cricket stands apart from rest of the sports and need not follow other sports where theres a need for world cups. A true Cricket "world champion" is that wins at home and abroad(TEST MATCHES) over a period of time. A world champion can't be determined in a span of just 20 days, I would bet on 1460 days of Test Cricket(4 yrs) to determine a "World Champion" English public are rightfully aware of this, to be fresh for the "real" stuff and keep away from the "gimmicky" stuff

  • NicoliD on June 20, 2009, 16:39 GMT

    Ugh. I'm extremely sick of the fits being pitched over the World Twenty20, and the IPL, on Cricinfo. Please understand that shockingly enough, people want to watch different things. So, maybe I'd rather watch Wimbledon, the British and Irish Lions Tests, Even the Ashes, ahead of the World Twenty20, which will resurface in another 9 months for another go around. It's the same way Indians will flip over the IPL, but you can find Ranji Trophy games with literally nobody in attendance who is not obligated to be there. Sometimes you care more about some events than others, and it's not the place of anyone to bemoan them for making a choice in their viewing habits, particularly people paid for their comments or halfway around the world. Quit talking about this and talk about Cricket.

  • JohnBrown on June 20, 2009, 16:04 GMT

    What? A T20 World Cup - here - where? Begs the question: Is England's ability to play host to such contests - where teams of such diversity & exceptional skill compete still hobbled by attitudes forged within an out-of-date sports & cultural axis of the past - which had Aus-NZ-SA as it's soul mates? It is an ironic twist seeing the 2 countries shown the most dis-respect by Darrel Hair - Pak & SL - breezing into tomorrow's Final. To our dismay - by not immediately over ruling Darrel Hair's obduracy at Lords - the England that emerged in our consciousness seemed to fail that crucial test - of hospitality - towards visitor Asian nations. England seems incapable of accepting that Pakistan & Asian nations in general are the leading players of exciting cricket. Blazers & double breasts not required - only heart. International T20 knocks the stuffyness out - it is a hugely enjoyable carnival of spirit and life itself. Come join the party, you are invited. Sorry you need a good team though.

  • scritty on June 20, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    Enjoy this new thing. It's called T20. If you don't enjoy it you are wrong. We won it first time so it must be good. Our board decided that it should not have world cup status. we told the rest of the world that it should not. However, now we have won it we will now call it a "world cup". In England you have played it at first class level for seven years now, much longer than anyone else. You are bored? How dare you You prefer to wait for a competition with 125 year history and lore ? One that has evoked the passion of your nation for generations, one where the greats of the past have played. One that is a challenge to win (so much so that winning in the last 25 years is very rare - and all the sweeter for it). Then you are fools. Look at our new world cup (oops sorry world T20) and...oh we lost it. Oh..right well in that case England you are rubbish at media, and errm what else can we moan about. Let us enjoy cricket out way, and stop moaning. It's pitifull.

  • tarantan on June 20, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    its part of a natural evolutionary process but most other sports have remained true to their essence while in cricket the more you limit the number of overs, the further you drift away from the basic essence of the sport in which in order to win you must bowl out the opposition. T20 has an entirely different premise based on economy and run rates. its essentially a totally different sport played with similar equipment though I do believe bats are already starting to change to resemble baseball bats. Why not just leave cricket alone and call T20 "Slogit" or "Whackit" or "Smashit" because it most certainly is NOT cricket. I should mention that I am a passionate (Pakistani) suporter of the sport and always will be, but the topic of discussion here is actually not even cricket............THAT just maybe why the British Media has given it the respect and regard that it deserves. T20 anyway belongs in the Entertainment Section, not in the Sports Pages.

  • HOTCHA on June 20, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    The English should have left the marketing of this event, to Lalit Modi. You might have seen better coverage, all around.

  • Mevan on June 20, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    Sambit has confused money with quality in cricket. India has the money because of the sheer numbers of their fans together with the attendant attention. The true cricket follower and the purist will always appreciate the quality of the teams in the semi-final. It must be hard to swallow the fact that India is not, particularly when Pakistan is!

  • Percy_Fender on June 20, 2009, 12:44 GMT

    It is not surprising that at this time of the year when Wimbledon,and the Ashes are around the corner, the media there sees no point in talking about the 20/20 World Cup. Besides, England has been knocked out just as India has been. We must respect the fact that in England cricket has only taken the back seat unlike in India where the only reference to cricket comes in the form of expletives to Dhoni and his men. I have also found that in England,ex- players and writers alike betray a sense of pompousness in the wake of some great performance by their cricket team. Ashes 2005 illustrates this mindset most in recent times. Their present team particularly at home is a good one though and will win the Ashes 2009. That will bring back cricket in the news.

  • IndusKnight on June 20, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    Trust an indian to say this now. When India was in it, this event was even been covered and believe it or not, being enjoyed on Mars too !

  • Sushrut-Cricketcrazy on June 20, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    Why does the England cricket team and media keep cribbing about hist ory and tradition? Its not like England has won any major cricketing tournament. They keep getting thrashed in the Ashes, and winning a bi-lateral series like the Ashes once in 4 attempts should not entitle them to declare themselves as world beaters. The reaction of the media in England has been very typical and not unexpected. All this is like a vicious circle-plenty of hype in the lead up followed by a thrashing and laying out excuses for defeat.

  • On-Drive on June 20, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    English Board simply does not how to market the sport. Period. Same thing happened during 1999 World cup. They are immersed in tradition, history blah blah. All that is fine. We need to have them too. But they lost a wonderful opportunity to market T20 WC and reach a new segment of the population.

  • scritty on June 20, 2009, 9:24 GMT

    2 weeks ago Indian fans were bemoaning Englands team. Then when they are knocked out themselves before England they bemoan the media. England has many many sporting events. HUGE events, happening/starting this very weekend. Wimbledon / F1 (With Jensen - a much more personable chap than last years Robot) The rugby tests, Open golf. These are all massive events. Yes probably bigger than a tournament that has no history and little respect. and (as I keep having to say) is NOT a world cup.

    Cricket is fine in the UK, This weekend tens of thousands of teams will play in villages around the country. Millions will tune in to the Ashes, a tournament with history and passion and MEANING.

    T20 has no meaningful history or lore. One day T20 "might" be as big as some of the events I've named above. It's very naive to think it will just jump into peoples hearts. Sport is about passion, and that takes time to bring to the boil.

    Pommie whingers ? Indian whingers more like.

  • tarantan on June 20, 2009, 8:54 GMT

    T20 is the Lobotomization of cricket - for better or for worse. A once sophisticated sport stripped down to the subtlety of a Bollywood Item Number. Certainly it has boosted coffers but certainly it has also sunk the sport to the lowest common denomination and will surely one day pay a heavy price.

  • cricket4shafiq on June 20, 2009, 8:27 GMT

    If the boring Australia and big mouth Indians (barking dogs seldom bite) have gone out in shame, it doesn't mean this World cup is boring. It is same , the most energetic ones for pakistan and the other world.... We have the feeling of 92, 99, 2007 and 2009 here. And just for a moment, akistan is the only team , playing 4 World cup finals in last 17 years, alongside Austraia. It counts---it shows the clase, style and talent of underestimated Pakistanis. the green revolution is not far away.

  • GauthamVA on June 20, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    Without Australia and india in the worldCup semis, The world cup is like (Yawn).. u know wat i mean!

  • hahsyahska on June 20, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    Sambit,

    There is a biannual ritual in Middle England: the eager anticipation, the false modesty, the witty chirping, the Beginning, a moment or so of faux ecstacy, and then the great comedown. Not entirely dissimilar from the parody of a geriatric uncle going out into town on the pull, and with very similar outcomes: Its The Ashes.

    All of England (some of Wales, and none of Scotland) will work themselves into a lather, trying to imagine they can win the Ashes - which of course they DO, once every quarter century. But its another quaint English tradition. T20 just doesn't DO tradition. Its that simple, really.

  • adnanm56 on June 20, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    The world cup is there.. and most importantly it is there in the most exciting format of the game T20.. however, there are still some modifications needed in the format of the tournament to make each and every game exciting and take the world's attention.. we cannot just have a bunch of the games and send 4 teams to the semifinals.. Look at other sports in the world such as basketball, soccer, american football, etc.. each have a playoff/"knockout" system (win or go home").. cricket has not adopted this in any of it's tournaments.. yes, we have to have a initial round where every team in the tournament plays few other teams.. however after that there needs to be an elimination round.. thus to excite the crowd and catch the nations/ worlds attention.. if their team doesn't win today, it's all over for them.. cricket it is an exciting game but the formats of the game itself and tournaments which have been organized in the past have not been heart and mind capturing at all..

  • AB235 on June 20, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    why are you worried Sambit when ICC is not? Why we should look at lack of coverage in British press when millions of Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans spread around the world watch the TV that makes ICC's coffers smiling? Look, genuine or not, legitimate or not, real or not, the International Commercial (not, Cricket) Committee (ie, ICC) is not bothered a wee bit about anything concerning the game as long as money flows in. I write this from my tour location in Cyprus wondering why this country, that is currently struggling economy wise, is not embracing cricket. Afterall, like many cricket playing countries, this country too was occupied by the Brits once upon a time, so why not? It will bring the tourists and world attention. I feel Cyprus will be a good location for ICC to make money and the country to get more tourists.

  • iamherenowfear on June 20, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    @clicinfo: accepted england does have a wealth a sport to choose from. but why does the ashes get so much coverage when its still a fair bit away but the world T-20, which is a current tournament, gets step-motherly treatment? As arunchandar said, eng need to beat the best teams consistently, not just the aussies once in 2 yrs to be regarded as the best. the series against SA dont get the same hype even though SA are a better than oz right now. its something like india's fixation with a pak series.

  • GooglySingh on June 20, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    Sambit… let's forget about the English media and talk about this very website, Cricinfo… the homepage is giving a more prominent coverage even to the opinions of retired players on the forthcoming Ashes series than the ongoing T20 World Cup…

    Yes, there is a World Cup on…. A world cup that is held BIANNUALLY… yes, T20 is popular with masses just as Miss WORLD competitions…. and that's exactly the point... it is important to the masses...

    Let's imagine a beauty pageant involving Australia and England only…. That's what Ashes should be during an ongoing WORLD CUP…

  • Ricky_the_Ponting on June 20, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    ECB has to be blamed for killing Cricket in this country. Due to their greed to make more money, decision to award contract for an exclusive TV rights to Sky which shows cricket matches only on paid premium channels hence restricting the masses and especially the younger generation. Since kids don't get an opportunity to watch cricket on TV, they have no interest in the game as they grow.I can watch F1, Football, Rugby you name it on BBC and ITV but not cricket. Unless top officials at ECB don't accept their blunder and try to reachs the masses, cricekt will be histroty in the UK soon. It does not matter T20 or Ashes. Since newspapers cover what people like to read.

  • Charindra on June 20, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the recession had an impact on ticket sales for the matches and hence the interest in the tournament?

  • Syd0047 on June 20, 2009, 5:18 GMT

    I'm not even English and I don't care to watch these T20 games either. And I love cricket. The ICC and pretty much all the cricket boards have milked this idea of T20 dry - too soon, too fast.

    Twenty20 just feels dirty. It is everything that Cricket is not. It makes cricket into "just another sport" with very little distinguishing factors. The people who really like cricket, enjoy it for the slow choke, the strategic idea of the game, the individual battles between the players. All the technicalities and the thousand variables involved that make the game beautiful. T20 wrecks all of that and is just about the glitter.

    I hope and pray this plague leaves international cricket and just stays in the domestic circuits.

  • tarantan on June 20, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    Accepted that T20 is popular with the masses, but so is Miss World.

  • tarantan on June 20, 2009, 3:06 GMT

    International Tiddlywinks or Six A Side Soccer World Cup or Rugby Sevens, Beach Volleyball deserve similar coverage as a T20 World Cup. All are crass commercially driven mutations of a real sport.

  • aceruser on June 20, 2009, 2:59 GMT

    We can pick different points out of this article. 1. England always pretends their cricket is all about Ashes, which they hardly win. I dont remember which World Cup/ World series England has ever won. So ECB is right about not marketing World tournaments on papers.

    2. Had it been Australian team in final or SA then you might have read more columns on the sports page. since both are asian so who cares.. 3. Well, few things do not demand drums beating, they get popularity by themselves.. Please dont forget to watch the final. i gurantee people would be standing outside the stadium untill the match is over. it will be a pack house, doesnt matter ECB projects it or not... 4. On the other hand T20 gets massive attention in Indian news papers.. 5. No Wonders for Pakistan and Srilanka... Cheers!

  • aks83 on June 20, 2009, 1:28 GMT

    This is no surprise to me Sambit. The English are no good at limited overs cricket, be it the 50 over of t20 game, and so disregard it. I have lived here many years and the lack of interest in games not involving Englnad, IPL too, is baffling. I am sick of 'purists' here claiming Test cricket is all there is. Get on board and enjoy t20 for what it is. It does not take anything away from test cricket. But that is the English media for you. Unless KP, Flintoff or the ashes are involved...they dont wanna know.

  • amit75 on June 20, 2009, 1:16 GMT

    What's the big fuss about, if you are already in UK, you should know that cricket is not at all a game of interest for brits, this has been a know fact! Slowely, but surely, WI is also going in the same boat.

    It's only sub-continent and Australia that has greater interest for this game. After all lets face it, who has got time to spend an entire day or 5 days watching cricket.

  • simon_w on June 20, 2009, 1:05 GMT

    Cricket is number one for me, always has been and always will be. But I do have a healthy interest in most sports, and with Wimbledon about to start and a Lions series about to get under way too, there's lots on. Add the golf (which is not my cup of tea, personally, but...) and I can't say I'm surprised that the Twenty20 World Cup is struggling for column inches at the moment.

    As much as I've enjoyed the tournament, and sincerely think it's been a great success and hope it will continue to be so, it's more entertainment than sport in my mind. As a sporting contest it doesn't rank alongside Wimbledon or a RU Test series.

    As I read somewhere, a Twenty20 World Cup is like playing Wimbledon with one set per match. Great fun, no doubt (lots of shocks, certainly - good for the crowds and for attracting new fans, etc., etc.), but it can't be considered the pinnacle of the sport, or deserve the same attention, can it?

  • Ross_Co on June 20, 2009, 0:41 GMT

    Don't they have a T20 World cup every month? The Ashes mean something. T20 means nothing.

  • omairhameed on June 20, 2009, 0:25 GMT

    lets be honest with the changes that we experience... circket is a big thing ...especially 20/20,as its fitting well into the fast moving world with less time to spare.why should the inventors take the heading, "for what was there invention long time back,is no more a patent".infact the other industry is taking over and is giving better result. Is that new? i dont think so.Hockey was the main game of india,pakistan but they aren't recognised for that when comparing w/ other sports.The importance to what should be given is gone.The parents dont care much about their children, as was in the past.Time to time interest changes.either we adapt to it,a better survival; or fight to do or die.The choise is yours.mold the minds by mending things right,but it does take time

  • Noman_Aziz on June 20, 2009, 0:05 GMT

    You are absolutely right Sambit. It is very dissapointing not see any cricket news in the news papers. You would expect at least a page dedicated to cricket especially during this event, but no, the only news we read about cricket relates to the Ashes and what ex-aussie players have to say about this series. you would think 35,000+ spectators attending each match would count for something but there is hardly any mention of them. I'm very disappointed.

  • Johndoe202 on June 19, 2009, 23:53 GMT

    Clikinfo I think it is YOU who missed the point, it is not that the event didn't receive enough coverage, the point was after successfully winning the bid to host the even ECB should've done some sort of a marketing campaign to promote the event. It was ECB's responsibilty to make sure that the event was a front page news for every newspaper atleast in UK. I mean a tournament where you have 2 minnows upsetting the well established teams does or atleast should become a front page news for the sports section.Since I'm not in UK i don't know if they did do such a thing but if some one like Sambit Bal (who is currently in UK) says that they didn't then i believe him.

  • arunchandar on June 19, 2009, 23:45 GMT

    clickinfo you are only partly correct. Samit Bal has nailed something. It is true that english cricket media and english fans only care about the ashes. If someone could give england fans or players a choice of winning the ashes 2-1 in a tight encounter, or winning the 50 over world cup hands down its a no brainer for england fans - they will choose the ashes straight away even though the world cup is a hard fought global battle of class and performance. Im not saying the ashes isnt big, its a historic tournament and rightly should be contested hard over. However, england fans and media need to stop hyping that up and playing down every other series/tournament england is involved in. They need to beat everyone to be a great team, not just australia once every 4 years!

  • whocareswhowins on June 19, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    Not entirely missing the point, Clickinfo!!! Fair enough that Cricket should fight for it's space. But if the ECB and the English media were not really keen on a T20 World event then the ECB should not have been allowed to host it. Thats the point ! The ECB should just stick to hosting Ashes series..

  • chargers8 on June 19, 2009, 23:24 GMT

    I have not seen this question being asked or talked about by experts of cricket..How do you expect buzz/blitz when you have a world cup every 9 months? Two years back there was a T20 world cup, months before that there was a world cup, in another 9 months there is another world cup... When Modi talked about another IPL in the same year every one criticised him saying he is too greedy and killing the chicken; what is the ICC doing? Had we had the champions trophy last year and another one which is taking place this september, how often all the cricket teams assemble at one place and play each other is far too much even though the total number of teams that play cricket is only 12. I havent seen anyone questioning this...How would there be any anticipation or buzz if there is a world cup of sorts every 6 months??????

  • IndianInnerEdge on June 19, 2009, 22:56 GMT

    What Clickinfo has said above, is spot on....As a NZ Indian, can identify where he is coming from as NZ is currently swept up with the rugby test series of NZ's famous Áll Blacks' team and France, it is similar to the mad hysteria and media glare that cricket has in india, but yeah-like clickinfo said-there's lot more to life.....however here's hoping for a riveting final that is decided on the last ball...Adios..

  • Venn on June 19, 2009, 22:42 GMT

    I totally agree with clickinfo.....I honestly don't understand what Sambit is complaining about. It's England and people there have entertainment from other forms of sports like soccer, tennis, rugby, formula one etc.....Sambit is totally talking from his home country perspective where cricket gets crazy attention...You don't expect the same response in England just like you don't get any respect for field hockey in India despite it being India's national sport. I mean seriously nobody even knows the names of the players of Hockey team in India.....But on the other hand I have to agree that English media is a little insecure about their team because they never win....so that's why they don't really talk about it with the exception of Ashes which they won like once since I was born. Hey one is better than none.

  • Aura123 on June 19, 2009, 22:10 GMT

    I was in trent bridge and crowd didn't go home , we celebrated outside the ground for atleast two hours, i would say T20 T20 World Cup is great sucess in UK. I would say it has got more publicity and popularity in UK than IPL

  • donovancarragher on June 19, 2009, 21:58 GMT

    I think the comments above, rather than Sambit Bal, have hit the nail on the head. With the wealth of sporting events capturing the English public imagination at this precise moment it is no poor reflection that a T20 tournament where England have been knocked out is not the main item on the agenda (particularly as this is the most likely year in over half a century of a Brit winning Wimbledon). I have had friends of mine in London who are not cricket fans asking me about the tournament and saying how they have enjoyed the BBC TV highlights - so I think it has been a success.

  • kamranraolondon on June 19, 2009, 21:49 GMT

    Of course there is lot of sports going on but this is not the way to treat an international cricket tournament and especially the nation to whom cricket belongs and even Indian cricket league(ICL) have got more media coverage which is not authorised by ICC.

  • scritty on June 19, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    This is NOT a world cup. The is the World T20. This is no accident. it's not a slip of the tongue..and it not a "world cup of sorts" A definate decision was made in 2007. A vote taken. The Indian board was outspoken in its views that T20 should NOT have world cup status. Their views won the day. T20 is NOT a world cup no matter how many times Sambit Bal uses the phrase.

    If Mr Bal thinks cricket is marginalised now, he should go back 20 years. In the late 80's and early 90's the game was dead on its feet in the UK. Post Botham, pre Gough and Flintoff. The game was personified by Graham Gooch..yes as dour as that..oh and losing everything..all the time.

    The UK has many many sporting goodies. Cricket is "A" major sport. but this weekend alone we have the GB Grand Prix, Ascot, Wimbledon and some prats paying £88 million for a spoilt schoolboy. The rugby tests..the lists goes on and on. Cricket is fine in the UK. We love it. But we love lots of sports.

  • Arun.. on June 19, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    No. There isn't a World Cup on. And there would never be a World Cup on until the 'world' would want to give its right arm to be in the final tournament. What is on is a sitcom with largely semi-motivated and semi-prepared players from most of the eight, or nine countries. Not quite the World Cup then is it? Maybe this is why it's different from the edition in SA as well. The players just don't look sincere enough to the task at hand, leaving aside a few Pakistanis and then some others. As for the English newspapers, look no further than the whole range of truly high quality 'world' sporting events listed by 'Clickinfo' in a response to your write-up to just put things in perspective. Sportsmen at these events mean serious business, a fact that does not go unappreciated.

  • RameshNatarajan on June 19, 2009, 21:03 GMT

    Interesting. I have always thought how the Brits would warm up to T20. Without all the expats going around, would there be sufficient Brits to fill up the grounds. I am not sure. England is a wonderful place to host such tournaments, because it 's a multi cultural society, so inevitably there is sufficient support for most the teams involved. One postive thing is most of the comments I read in the Brit broadsheets have people saying how much they like T20. Maybe the British media missed a trick here ?

  • pragmatist on June 19, 2009, 20:33 GMT

    There is a lot of sport on in England at the moment. But again, like in the Windies world cup, the ICC have given the world their tournament, it doesn't feel like ours. In the grounds there are billboards for companies obviously targeting Indian viewers. Even the TV comms team has that inferior, homogenized ICC feel to it. The interest is there from English fans and the vibrant supporters of other countries.

  • kingofspain on June 19, 2009, 20:25 GMT

    English newspapers are just catering to their readers. No one cares about 20/20 so why should the papers pretend it's a major event. It's a bit of fun, but it's not real cricket. The real cricket starts in Cardiff in a few weeks.

  • windscorpion on June 19, 2009, 20:06 GMT

    I think the media are out of touch to be honest, from my experience the T20 has captured the public's imagination. I've had conversations in my office about cricket for the first time ever and on the cricket forums i use its been a very popular topic of conversation.

  • Clickinfo on June 19, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    Fair enough, but Sambit Bal is missing the point. Unlike India, there is a mass of sport in England and cricket has to fight for space on merit, it's not just slavishly covered. Around this week we have Wimbledon starting; the British Grand Prix with the possibility of an English driver winning; the US Open; Royal Ascot; and last but not least the opening of the British Lions Test series. The wealth of sport is a good thing, and just because, unlike Indian newspapers, cricket is not the be all and end all, that doesn't mean the world is coming to an end.

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  • Clickinfo on June 19, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    Fair enough, but Sambit Bal is missing the point. Unlike India, there is a mass of sport in England and cricket has to fight for space on merit, it's not just slavishly covered. Around this week we have Wimbledon starting; the British Grand Prix with the possibility of an English driver winning; the US Open; Royal Ascot; and last but not least the opening of the British Lions Test series. The wealth of sport is a good thing, and just because, unlike Indian newspapers, cricket is not the be all and end all, that doesn't mean the world is coming to an end.

  • windscorpion on June 19, 2009, 20:06 GMT

    I think the media are out of touch to be honest, from my experience the T20 has captured the public's imagination. I've had conversations in my office about cricket for the first time ever and on the cricket forums i use its been a very popular topic of conversation.

  • kingofspain on June 19, 2009, 20:25 GMT

    English newspapers are just catering to their readers. No one cares about 20/20 so why should the papers pretend it's a major event. It's a bit of fun, but it's not real cricket. The real cricket starts in Cardiff in a few weeks.

  • pragmatist on June 19, 2009, 20:33 GMT

    There is a lot of sport on in England at the moment. But again, like in the Windies world cup, the ICC have given the world their tournament, it doesn't feel like ours. In the grounds there are billboards for companies obviously targeting Indian viewers. Even the TV comms team has that inferior, homogenized ICC feel to it. The interest is there from English fans and the vibrant supporters of other countries.

  • RameshNatarajan on June 19, 2009, 21:03 GMT

    Interesting. I have always thought how the Brits would warm up to T20. Without all the expats going around, would there be sufficient Brits to fill up the grounds. I am not sure. England is a wonderful place to host such tournaments, because it 's a multi cultural society, so inevitably there is sufficient support for most the teams involved. One postive thing is most of the comments I read in the Brit broadsheets have people saying how much they like T20. Maybe the British media missed a trick here ?

  • Arun.. on June 19, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    No. There isn't a World Cup on. And there would never be a World Cup on until the 'world' would want to give its right arm to be in the final tournament. What is on is a sitcom with largely semi-motivated and semi-prepared players from most of the eight, or nine countries. Not quite the World Cup then is it? Maybe this is why it's different from the edition in SA as well. The players just don't look sincere enough to the task at hand, leaving aside a few Pakistanis and then some others. As for the English newspapers, look no further than the whole range of truly high quality 'world' sporting events listed by 'Clickinfo' in a response to your write-up to just put things in perspective. Sportsmen at these events mean serious business, a fact that does not go unappreciated.

  • scritty on June 19, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    This is NOT a world cup. The is the World T20. This is no accident. it's not a slip of the tongue..and it not a "world cup of sorts" A definate decision was made in 2007. A vote taken. The Indian board was outspoken in its views that T20 should NOT have world cup status. Their views won the day. T20 is NOT a world cup no matter how many times Sambit Bal uses the phrase.

    If Mr Bal thinks cricket is marginalised now, he should go back 20 years. In the late 80's and early 90's the game was dead on its feet in the UK. Post Botham, pre Gough and Flintoff. The game was personified by Graham Gooch..yes as dour as that..oh and losing everything..all the time.

    The UK has many many sporting goodies. Cricket is "A" major sport. but this weekend alone we have the GB Grand Prix, Ascot, Wimbledon and some prats paying £88 million for a spoilt schoolboy. The rugby tests..the lists goes on and on. Cricket is fine in the UK. We love it. But we love lots of sports.

  • kamranraolondon on June 19, 2009, 21:49 GMT

    Of course there is lot of sports going on but this is not the way to treat an international cricket tournament and especially the nation to whom cricket belongs and even Indian cricket league(ICL) have got more media coverage which is not authorised by ICC.

  • donovancarragher on June 19, 2009, 21:58 GMT

    I think the comments above, rather than Sambit Bal, have hit the nail on the head. With the wealth of sporting events capturing the English public imagination at this precise moment it is no poor reflection that a T20 tournament where England have been knocked out is not the main item on the agenda (particularly as this is the most likely year in over half a century of a Brit winning Wimbledon). I have had friends of mine in London who are not cricket fans asking me about the tournament and saying how they have enjoyed the BBC TV highlights - so I think it has been a success.

  • Aura123 on June 19, 2009, 22:10 GMT

    I was in trent bridge and crowd didn't go home , we celebrated outside the ground for atleast two hours, i would say T20 T20 World Cup is great sucess in UK. I would say it has got more publicity and popularity in UK than IPL