ICC World Twenty20 review June 23, 2009

The best fun imaginable

Despite cricket's myriad problems, the ICC managed to stage a near-perfect event - a tournament that was fun but not frivolous
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If the aim of any form of entertainment is to leave the audience wanting more, then the World Twenty20 that concluded amid such emotion at Lord's on Sunday afternoon was a success of the sort that ICC fixtures so often fail to serve up. In an era of crowded schedules and uncompetitive blue-riband events, here was an eye-opener - two weeks of the best fun imaginable, served up in thrillingly digestible portions, in front of packed crowds and rapt TV audiences. Soberingly, if this was the 50-over World Cup, the public would have long since tuned out, and we'd still have five weeks and 20 matches to go.

The tempo of the tournament was light and inviting, but crucially the cricket did not lack gravitas in the slightest. This was not, as the naysayers feared it would be, a bastardised slog-fest in which the game's traditional values were sacrificed at the altar of commerce and expediency. Instead we were presented with arguably the most open and exhilarating competition since multi-team tournaments began, a contest in which the unpredictability of the results had less to do with the alleged random nature of Twenty20 cricket, but more to do with a magnificently fluctuating tussle between bat and ball.

The dog-eat-dog results still read like a Mexican stand-off. The Dutch humiliated the English, who in turn eliminated the reigning champions, India, after sending the eventual winners, Pakistan, to the absolute brink. Australia, serial world champions over 50 overs, failed to make it past the first round, while an apparently shambolic West Indies surged to the semis at the expense of the team that had been beating them for three months solid, England. Sri Lanka, invincible until the final, were given the hurry-up just once along the way, by the unfancied Irish - who also dumped their supposed seniors, Bangladesh, out at the first hurdle.

Cracking entertainment, but no less random than a game of roulette, you might imagine. But when it came down to the final analysis, it was no coincidence that the two sides that made it to Lord's were those with the best and most varied bowling attacks. By hosting the tournament on England's sporty mid-season wickets, the organisers ensured that only the classiest cricketers need apply. A glance at the lists of the top run-scorers and wicket-takers spells the story out to perfection - the cream was obliged to rise to the top by the standards of the competitors, and the viewing experience was all the richer for that fact.

Jacques Kallis, Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkara and Kevin Pietersen, to pick a random selection of batsmen from the top end of the run charts, all enjoyed tournaments that enhanced their formidable reputations. Likewise Dale Steyn, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and Umar Gul. This was a World Cup to savour - as unpredictable as the football version in 2002, but somehow more satisfying because of the pedigree of the performers that reached the knock-out stage. There were, quite literally, no Turkeys (or South Koreas) left standing by the end. The four semi-finalists - Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies (aka Gayle) - were by common consent the best in show.

Equally pleasing for a very different reason was the early exit of the big three nations. India, England and Australia all had fortnights to forget, and so forget about them the rest of the world did. Without their megaphone presence, the tournament was spared the indignity of endless and unflattering references to the two events that bookended it - the IPL at one end, the Ashes at the other. Instead Lalit Modi went into hiding as his brainchild was blamed for causing burn-out, while the Aussies went to Leicester, from where they emitted scarcely a peep that could enable the British press to deflect attention from the matter at hand.

"It was no coincidence that the two sides that made it to Lord's were those with the best and most varied bowling attacks. By hosting the tournament on England's sporty mid-season wickets, the organisers ensured that only the classiest cricketers need apply."

It really could not have worked out more perfectly. International cricket came into this fortnight with more problems than the administrators would care to address - Pakistan's pariah status being merely the most visible of the issues. The fortnight ended with the status of the minnow nations enhanced, as Ireland and Netherlands identified a form of the game which enables them to compete in spite of their unequal terms, and then, of course, there was the poignancy of the People's Final at Lord's, a moment when the point of the sport was reasserted after too many years of being ruled by the balance books.

Other endangered species emerged blinking into the daylight as well. The lost art of wicketkeeping was best showcased by James Foster, whose stumping of Yuvraj Singh in England's nailbiting victory at Lord's was quite possibly their individual highlight of the tournament. And then there was the ubiquitous success of the spinner - mystery spinners, offspinners, legspinners, non-spinners. Four of the tournament's top six wicket-takers were of the slow variety, and that didn't include England's own Adil Rashid, who could yet secure himself an Ashes berth on the strength of the character he showed in his four-over bursts. And what an endorsement of Twenty20's credentials that would be.

It is, as Sangakkara said in the aftermath of the final, increasingly a bowler's game, and not just any old bowler either. Those with a yard of pace or a streak of nastiness found their niche at last, as Fidel Edwards and Ryan Sidebottom demonstrated in their tenderising of India's batsmen at Lord's, and Mohammad Aamer with his stunning first over of the final. Then there were the death-over specialists - Gul, Malinga and Wayne Parnell among them, men who could fire in yorkers at will and induce panic with their unhittable lengths.

The remarkable reduction in the number of sixes bears testament to Sangakkara's belief. There were 99 fewer than in the 2007 tournament, a drop of 37%, as the sloggers were crowded out of the competition by the ceaseless waves of attack. Inelegant thwackers, such as Andre Fletcher, Luke Wright and even David Warner all had tournaments to forget, while Tillakaratne Dilshan and his scoop shot soared into folklore precisely because his strategy met the needs of the hour. When Shahid Afridi produced the innings of his life in the final, he went 20 deliveries before risking his first boundary.

By the end of the tournament, even the women were attempting the scoop shot. Perhaps the most resounding endorsement of Twenty20 cricket as a spectacle came at The Oval in the second women's semi-final, when England's Claire Taylor and Beth Morgan paced a run-chase with such skill, precision and chutzpah that it was quite possibly the outstanding performance of the fortnight, and one which spoke volumes for the ubiquity of the format as well.

From the Netherlands on the opening night to the women on the closing afternoon, key aspects of the game that have been marginalised throughout cricket's long and often cliquey history claimed massive great chunks of the limelight. Looking back now, it is entirely appropriate that the opening ceremony had to be canned. Such sideshows were irrelevant because the cricket alone was the star.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • omarimran2000 on June 30, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    I loved it when Pakistan won so awesome!

  • Eviltoastsa on June 30, 2009, 13:20 GMT

    T20 cricket should always try and preserve the balance of power between bat and ball...since that keeps the sport competitive and truly exciting, instead degenerating into a slogfest...Another thing is even though t20's are considered a major success I fear that we may be getting an oversaturation of t20 cricket...I mean honestly 2 IPL seasons a year is the stupidest idea EVER, and a T20 world cup every year is also abit much...AND about the results of this world cup...is there's no use about arguing who is the best who was supposed to win and all that in all of the close results if the losing team throughout the championship just edged a four or 2 earlier in their innings they would have won that unfortunately is the flaw of t20 cricket there is alot of luck involved...

  • zain.ul.abideen on June 30, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    A very nice article. This t20 world cup was certainly far superior to the IPL in terms of the quality of cricket played. Pakistan and Srilanka should that the teams with class always get to the top. People who are dissappointed because of the poor quality of cricket which IPL promotes, should not take the same attitute towards international T20 cricket. this world cup was as testament to the evolution of cricket and developement of t20.

  • Symba on June 29, 2009, 18:32 GMT

    Am an Indian supporter- However loved this world cup irrespective of India.

    Sri Lanka were best - IPL indicated there was no way any Indian was good enough except Yuvraj and Rohit. Two guys and 9 egos dont form a team.

    Never though Pakistan had it - the way they played England was extremely disappointing. Afridi was a lottery that finally clicked- Gul, Razzaq and Younis were back bone. Good Job Pakistan!

  • scritty on June 29, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    Almost nothing in this article I agree with. The game WAS a slogfest, it DID boil down to luck in a lot of cases (though Pakistan probably just deserved to edge it)

    It promotes a vastly reduced skill set.

    I will put £50 that twenty20 is dead and buried before...well let's make this poetic 2020. It's riding high on the hog now, but like having a bag full of just your favourite sweets, or an Ipod with just your top 10 tunes, it will bore and dissapoint those enraptured by it now before very long.

  • Herath-UK on June 26, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    Everybody likes an unbeaten winning horse;Winning a semi final or final suddenly is like FA cup triumph by a lower division team;good on the day but all agree that the League triumph is more difficult.I 'm a Sri Lankan fan but this was a honest opinion irrespective of allegiance.

  • fataquie on June 25, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    It is amazing that though a lot of Indians have appreciated Pakista's winning the cup, there are some like Herath and D-War who could not get past the fact that Pakistan HAS won the cup. D-War, seems like the mediocre team this time around left before the Semi Finals...Herath, please go watch the highlights, Pakistan were the most deserving winners (though I agree that SL and RSA were right up there). Bottom line, be sporting, apprecaite the team....any team who performs good on the pitch.

  • cricpolitics on June 25, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    Herath-UK: "the glamour of this tournament would have heightened if Sri Lanka or South Africa won it as they deserved it than anyone else by their performance".

    This is absolute rubbish and non sense. I think what you are suggesting is that the trophy should have been given to Sri Lanka or South Africa without having them to play for the semis and the final. Teams have to win all the way to be champions and Pakistan did just that. The fact is that Pakistan's win is really hurting Indian fans and they just can not accept the reality. Show some sportsman spirit you pathetic losers.

  • Herath-UK on June 25, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Rehan-UK Good article Andrew and I quite agree that it was a blessing that Ashes and IPL went out of distrction very early.Though Pakistan was a worthy winner,the glamour of this tournament would have heightened if Sri Lanka or South Africa won it as they deserved it than anyone else by their performance.

  • MartinAmber on June 24, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    Firstly, I don't mind T20 in itself. I don't think it warrants the hype it gets, but I think it has its place. I do object to the fact that certain powerful interests have no interest whatsoever in the longer game, but that's a separate issue.

    At the risk of sounding churlish, here are some of the reasons why the ICC World T20 wasn't the best thing since sliced bread.

    1. Stupid seeding rules that created several dead matches towards the end of the first group phase. It didn't matter whether you finished top: your pre-seeding determined your Super 8 group. 2. Inane DJs and that teeth-grindingly annoying "Ya-hooooo" noise. 3. Ugly-looking shots like Dilshan's scoop. 4. The random nature of results: is this really a virtue or does it confirm that the T20 format just levels things out far more than the other formats? 5. The fact that there's ANOTHER ICC WORLD T20 in less than a year!

    And I agree with the poster who thought the 2007 World T20 was better.

  • omarimran2000 on June 30, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    I loved it when Pakistan won so awesome!

  • Eviltoastsa on June 30, 2009, 13:20 GMT

    T20 cricket should always try and preserve the balance of power between bat and ball...since that keeps the sport competitive and truly exciting, instead degenerating into a slogfest...Another thing is even though t20's are considered a major success I fear that we may be getting an oversaturation of t20 cricket...I mean honestly 2 IPL seasons a year is the stupidest idea EVER, and a T20 world cup every year is also abit much...AND about the results of this world cup...is there's no use about arguing who is the best who was supposed to win and all that in all of the close results if the losing team throughout the championship just edged a four or 2 earlier in their innings they would have won that unfortunately is the flaw of t20 cricket there is alot of luck involved...

  • zain.ul.abideen on June 30, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    A very nice article. This t20 world cup was certainly far superior to the IPL in terms of the quality of cricket played. Pakistan and Srilanka should that the teams with class always get to the top. People who are dissappointed because of the poor quality of cricket which IPL promotes, should not take the same attitute towards international T20 cricket. this world cup was as testament to the evolution of cricket and developement of t20.

  • Symba on June 29, 2009, 18:32 GMT

    Am an Indian supporter- However loved this world cup irrespective of India.

    Sri Lanka were best - IPL indicated there was no way any Indian was good enough except Yuvraj and Rohit. Two guys and 9 egos dont form a team.

    Never though Pakistan had it - the way they played England was extremely disappointing. Afridi was a lottery that finally clicked- Gul, Razzaq and Younis were back bone. Good Job Pakistan!

  • scritty on June 29, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    Almost nothing in this article I agree with. The game WAS a slogfest, it DID boil down to luck in a lot of cases (though Pakistan probably just deserved to edge it)

    It promotes a vastly reduced skill set.

    I will put £50 that twenty20 is dead and buried before...well let's make this poetic 2020. It's riding high on the hog now, but like having a bag full of just your favourite sweets, or an Ipod with just your top 10 tunes, it will bore and dissapoint those enraptured by it now before very long.

  • Herath-UK on June 26, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    Everybody likes an unbeaten winning horse;Winning a semi final or final suddenly is like FA cup triumph by a lower division team;good on the day but all agree that the League triumph is more difficult.I 'm a Sri Lankan fan but this was a honest opinion irrespective of allegiance.

  • fataquie on June 25, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    It is amazing that though a lot of Indians have appreciated Pakista's winning the cup, there are some like Herath and D-War who could not get past the fact that Pakistan HAS won the cup. D-War, seems like the mediocre team this time around left before the Semi Finals...Herath, please go watch the highlights, Pakistan were the most deserving winners (though I agree that SL and RSA were right up there). Bottom line, be sporting, apprecaite the team....any team who performs good on the pitch.

  • cricpolitics on June 25, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    Herath-UK: "the glamour of this tournament would have heightened if Sri Lanka or South Africa won it as they deserved it than anyone else by their performance".

    This is absolute rubbish and non sense. I think what you are suggesting is that the trophy should have been given to Sri Lanka or South Africa without having them to play for the semis and the final. Teams have to win all the way to be champions and Pakistan did just that. The fact is that Pakistan's win is really hurting Indian fans and they just can not accept the reality. Show some sportsman spirit you pathetic losers.

  • Herath-UK on June 25, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Rehan-UK Good article Andrew and I quite agree that it was a blessing that Ashes and IPL went out of distrction very early.Though Pakistan was a worthy winner,the glamour of this tournament would have heightened if Sri Lanka or South Africa won it as they deserved it than anyone else by their performance.

  • MartinAmber on June 24, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    Firstly, I don't mind T20 in itself. I don't think it warrants the hype it gets, but I think it has its place. I do object to the fact that certain powerful interests have no interest whatsoever in the longer game, but that's a separate issue.

    At the risk of sounding churlish, here are some of the reasons why the ICC World T20 wasn't the best thing since sliced bread.

    1. Stupid seeding rules that created several dead matches towards the end of the first group phase. It didn't matter whether you finished top: your pre-seeding determined your Super 8 group. 2. Inane DJs and that teeth-grindingly annoying "Ya-hooooo" noise. 3. Ugly-looking shots like Dilshan's scoop. 4. The random nature of results: is this really a virtue or does it confirm that the T20 format just levels things out far more than the other formats? 5. The fact that there's ANOTHER ICC WORLD T20 in less than a year!

    And I agree with the poster who thought the 2007 World T20 was better.

  • Hassan.Farooqi on June 24, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    D-War sounds like a disappointed Indian fan saying "this year the grapes were sour". Haha. As for saying that Sri Lanka did not give a fight, this statement can not be more dishonest. Sri Lankan batting relied on Dilshan and when he got out on duck after wasting 4 balls, things got worse with the 3 wickets burst from Razzaq. I thought Lankans would do under 100 like New Zealand but they fought like tigers. 138 was a good total given Lankan bowling battery of 4 M i.e. Malinga, Matthews, Mendis, and Murali. In the end, it was Shahid Afridi who made the difference as he was under no pressure from Captain after a good opening stand by Akmal and Shahzeb. There is no doubt Lankans played like champions, the news of an 8 wicket defeat does not tell the truth about their fight.

  • Theena on June 24, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    Good article. Agree with your sentiments, Mr Miller.

    Nipun, speak for yourself, mate. This tournament had a couple of things that the two IPL seasons and last world T20 world cup didn't have: Firstly, there was a restoration of the balance of power between bat and ball - a balance that hasn't dangerously tipped in favour of batsmen in test matches; and secondly there was a final where the display of skill was matched only by the sheer poignancy of the moment and cricket transcending its role as a mere sport. Most of us old-timers rejoiced at these developments. Somehow I doubt that the IPL would make us feel as warm and fuzzy inside; with the short boundaries and pitches seemingly prepared for treating bowlers as canon fodder, and the DLF Maximums and Citi Moments of Success punctuating - or is puncturing? - the few times we do sit in front of a television set to watch an IPL match.

    To put it simply, no, we 'purists' aren't turning to T20s instead of Tests any time soon.

  • Mid-off on June 24, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    A good summary by Andrew Miller, but in his mention of random top scorers he left out the most prolific of them all Tillekeratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka whose 317 runs was way ahead of second place getter's Jaques Kallis of South Africa's 238. Posted by Mid-off

  • thegreen84 on June 24, 2009, 11:01 GMT

    @ D-War

    "This time round, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka just didn't make any effort against Pakistan, resulting in a mediocre team winning the competition in mediocre matches."

    Any one who has watched the match and has iota of cricketing sense would know that it was the the classy performance of pakistan which helped them overcome the stronger oppositions in latter stages of tournament ..

    Mediocre teams can at best win odd match against giants but not a tournament ..and its the mediocre teams who bowed out in first or second round including the glamor boys in blue who were not able to win even a SINGLE match in second round ;) .. oh the lame 'fatigue' excuse is always there ;)

    In world championships like these,It takes team effort,determination,class,brilliance to take the cup and beating the two unbeaten teams (that too in knock out stages) along the way .. learn to accept,admire and appreciate other's quality and try to be a better loser :)

  • saliadnan on June 24, 2009, 7:57 GMT

    This is my response to D-War post in which he claimed that New Zealand , South Africa and Sri Lanka didn't show any effort against Pakistan is truly based on bias or lack of knowledge of the game because except New Zealand other two games were nail biter but the end result shows the brilliance of Pakistan which is described as mediocre performance by a mediocre team which is purely unjustified . For me Pakistan and South Africa game was a match of the tournament besides West Indies Australia game. It's my humble request to D-War acknowledge the facts with open chest not with back turns on them. In the end last but not the least this tournament has a great lesson for all of us that if you are determined, focused and united whatever resources you do have you will achieve your goals. This is what Pakistan showed all of us. Well done Pakistan.

  • U.A.1985 on June 24, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    @kulnikhil

    Aren't those just excuses whatever you written? I mean the classiest cricketers are those who have come on top. SA and SL were those teams who had an unbeaten run until they faced Pakistan. So I suppose there was something real classy in Pak Cricketers which did not allow the SA and SL to dominate. According to your theory every team which goes out of competition goes out because it is not in form. Well in that case India were a real inform team when they beat Bangladesh and Ireland in preliminary rounds. Isnt it?

    Well better and classier teams win, kulnikhil, not inform teams.

  • RohanMarkJay on June 23, 2009, 22:59 GMT

    Good Article by Andrew Miller. My thoughts exactly on this wonderful tournament. Even though Test cricket is the ultimate test of a cricketers skill. To be honest with you I love all forms of the game. Many are writing the Obituary of Test cricket and 50 over cricket. I think this is unfair. As cricket has a wonderful capacity to adapt and be the theatre for much innovation in sport. As far as I am concerned 20/20 cricket is brilliant and a welcome addition to the crickets growing family of formats. The trick is to organise the three formats at international level and others at first class level in a calender year. Of course there has to be a reduction in test matches and 50 over matches. But as Sri Lankan Capt Kumar Sangakkara very rightly pointed out, there is no reason why all three formats can't exist in harmony. A terrific tournament topped by a Pakistan Side finally coming of age in the post Imran Khan era. Lets hope this victory will do wonders for Pakistani Cricket.

  • cricpolitics on June 23, 2009, 20:19 GMT

    D-War you need to accept the reality and the facts and appreciate the teams who have perfomed well in this tournament and particularly the true champions of this T20. It's not a coincident that Pakistan won the championship since Paksitan were the best T20 team entering into this competition and they ended up being the best. Just look at their win/loss ratio before the tournament, it was just the best. I feel very sorry for your disappointment but unfortunately the facts can not be changed. The truth is that the losing teams and players need to re-evaluate their priorities and their participaiton in the real mediocre and senseless tournaments like IPL.

  • RANA.SHAHZAD on June 23, 2009, 20:15 GMT

    the bottom line is the best team over the two won.

  • jmill on June 23, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    D-War your comment is incorrect, though I'm in England supporter I think Pakistan were probably the most deserved winners of this Cup. They came back in the tournament so well that it left most their oppositions stunned, hence there was no fightback. The bowled and batted brilliantly and New Zealand, South Africa, Srilanka had no answer to this. And it is also wrong to say these teams put no effort, South Africa and Sri Lanka were unbeaten untill they came across Pakistan, they just couldn't reply to Pakistan's play. We all say Australia march through every side in the last 2 ODI world cups, would you say that was lackluster as well? India winning two years ago was "nailbiting" indeed, and that didn't happen in this final; but who are you blaming here? If it was one-sided it was because one team was on top all day. I reiterate what Nipun said, that the only thing that comes from your comment is because India got knocked out, you stopped having fun.

  • jmill on June 23, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Good article. It's about time we realized that cricket is changing for the better. To the people here that wrote it is a threat to ODI and Test, I disagree. If anything T20 has helped bring back thousands of viewers lost over the years. The 2007 ODI Wolrd Cup is an example. probably one of the most boring and unorganized world cup ever. But not just that, TV viewership for that Cup was 40% lower than before, even lower was that of the final. Let's face it who really has 8 hours in a day to sit infront of the TV, most people watch the first 10 and last 10 overs. And Tests? well forget about it most people read the results in the papers, which 60% are a draw game. I realise that this isn't traditional cricket, but noone really cares for traditional cricket like they did 20 years ago. Better this than nothing.

  • AJ1974 on June 23, 2009, 15:39 GMT

    I have seen multiple comments in multiple articles about T20 v/s Tests and I think we are probably barking up the wrong tree.

    I feel the popularity of T20 will threaten the existence of One Day Internationals more than Tests. There will be a concerted effort and pressure from purists to retain the essence of cricket (Tests) and the ODI's are a more acceptable sacrificial lamb - so to speak.

    How many ODI's will we see in the FTP - come 2012, I wonder!

    Cheers, AJ

  • kulnikhil on June 23, 2009, 15:22 GMT

    "By hosting the tournament on England's sporty mid-season wickets, the organisers ensured that only the classiest cricketers need apply".I disagree with this.I bet there were more classiest cricketers in the teams that exited early than the ones that made it to the semis.If you think sangakkara is more classier than ricky ponting then look into the records of both.What abt yuvraj singh, harbhajan singh,daniel vettori,brett lee? Are they not classier?It is so natural that we tend to jump on conclusions suddenly.Australians popped out in the first round and folks start commenting that T20 doesnt suit them.It was Australia who were also in the semifinals of 2007 T20 cup.Just because shahid afridi performed in couple of games,he is praised to an infinte extent.What about his past performances?The reason "favorites" teams that exited early this world cup was that their players were just out of form.Was zaheer khan not the best bowler before start of the tournament?

  • endofageofaquarius on June 23, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    Great article. Exactly my feelings about T20. I think this is a great format in which neither the batsman nor the bowler has margin for error, therefore only the best will survive. It is a little ironic that it is the shortest and the longest form of the game that have become the true test of a cricketer's ability for very different but equally cricketing reasons. Where, T20 demands the highest level of skill in execution of cricket skills and requires these skills to be repeated at a high frequency over an intensive short duration, Test cricket requires the demonstration of these skills over a long period in which only the best will be capable of endurance. Both formats are unforgiving and do not allow any place to hide. It is the survival of the fittest!

  • tbc1 on June 23, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    I agree with the comment regarding the conduct of the Indian fans at Lords. Why is this, and the general boorishness and immoderacy of the crowds, was not addressed, is beyond me. When an English team are booed by English citizens at Lords, and opposition players routinely barracked by whichever group of subcontinental fans were present that day, I feel something should be noted.

  • simon_w on June 23, 2009, 12:45 GMT

    What are these "key aspects of the game that have been marginalised throughout cricket's long and often cliquey history" which "claimed massive great chunks of the limelight" then??

    No, seriously, I give up... - what are they?

  • Nipun on June 23, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    Very well written article.I feel purists should turn to T20 instead of tests now :P...as you will see,most of the test wickets now are as dead as dodo,whereas the recent T20 tournaments of the IPL & World T20 have allowed bowlers to pick up wickets & display their skills. @D-War:-The only thing that comes through your comment is that if India do not win a cup,that tournament becomes lacklustre.C'mon mate,that's a poor attitude to have.Learn to love the GAME.

  • punjabpolice on June 23, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    Brilliant article. This is why Andrew Miller is the best writer at cricinfo. He tells it how it is and objectively. This was the peoples final! The tournament was awesome and having gone to four of the games, including the final, I thought that the atmosphere and cricket was electric. The only problem for me was the crowd at Lords. There should have been more space allocated to proper fans, rather than all these toffs and corporate spectators who added nothing to the atmosphere whatsoever.

  • rustin on June 23, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    If the pitches had been all flat or as they call it a "good pitch" then the cricket would have been dull. I'm an Indian and I must say I was able to enjoy the CRICKET more after we were knocked out. We were playing boring cricket anyway. The final was a bit of a letdown though mainly because of the lacklustre performance of the Sri Lankan side. One feels Pakistan deserved it. After all Pakistan gave away the world cup last time. This win will do its bit in bringing some joy back to the country. Decent article. Days of ODIs are numbered I think. I know i find them boring. Test Cricket needs to be preserved. A World series of the top 6-8 teams would be perfect.

  • U.A.1985 on June 23, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Good things about the tournament:

    1) Big Crowds 2) Lesser Sixes - I hope ICC does not shorten boundaries anymore. A six is an important thing and if there are too many sixes than importance of sixes gets lowered 3) Good Death Bowling

    @D-War

    Perhaps Pakistan played too well and didn't allow the semi-finalists to make any sort of effort. For e.g. you can say Pakistan did not make an effort in 1999 to beat Australia in the final but on the contrary it is true that Australians were too good too. This is true for 2003 and 2007 World Cups also.

  • Fahad_Jawed on June 23, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    this articles just sums up how well the best in cricket played in the tournament...even with pakistan not playing their extreme best they still managed to deliver...so u just better acknowledge the rightful winners....

  • D-War on June 23, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    On the contrary I could not disagree with this article more. I found the T20 in South Africa 2 years ago far more entertaining. There were only a handful of nail biting matches, compared to the tension of 2 years ago. Most of the matches were decided by the end of the first innings and were one sided affairs, such as the final. Although I enjoy the bowlers playing well, it seemed like this years teams just did not want to make an effort. Compare the winners this year to the winners 2 years ago, India had nail biting, entertaining contests with Pakistan, England, South Africa and Australia to win the competition, and all of those teams gave them a right go, making them thorough winners. This time round, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka just didn't make any effort against Pakistan, resulting in a mediocre team winning the competition in mediocre matches. The Pakistan fans booing Dilshan after his award was also sour.

  • Jawaidnazir on June 23, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Pitches in the tournament was suitable for both betting and bowling that's why numbers of sixes less then expectation. Most of the bowlers bowled yorker and slow balls in the last five over. It was a great tournament well organised thanks for ICC and ECB.

  • thambiannan on June 23, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    The recently concluded T20 gives cricket lovers every bit to cheer about. Subcontinent teams had put up a great show, though India made faster arragements for eating up fatigue. Despite the early exit of Australia, following India in Super8, tournament had all the ingredients it required for a tight-hard semi's and finals. Pakistan had the last laugh eventhough runner's up Srilanka didn't lost a single game coming to the Decider-Lords. That's the magic T20 brings about. Don't let the game down even for a single minute and thats the "MANTRA". On the lesser sixes hit and par low scores, the bowlers had done their homework well for firing up yorkers at death and good-length deliveries in the middle. Umar Gul was exceptional against SouthAfrica and Dilshan in particular standed out as an improvised-attacking T20 batsman. The application, bowlers had shown, as if they were trying to break the T20 stereotype "T20 cricket is a batsman game".

  • PottedLambShanks on June 23, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    Unfortunately, the thing I'll remember most about this tournament is the sight and sound of British Indians booing England at Lord's. No great surprised that Andrew glossed over that though, of course.

  • kaiser1 on June 23, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    As for the less sixes being hit is concerned, the fact is that as the T20 is becoming the norm (frequently played and practical) so there is more skill factor involved by the bowlers or maybe the fast English pitches are also played a part in the outcome. Slow pitches produce more sixes as compared to faster ones. But the whole tournament showed how thinking involved and strategies evolved through the tournament. In Future more strategies would evolved when the best skilled teams in cricketing terms like Australia come to terms with the reality of T20 and they will show more interest in this format, the quality of cricket will improve further. But this one was the enjoyable event and the fact that the final was played at the traditional Ka'aba of cricket The Lords which is a fitting venue. Thank you England and ECB.

  • schmuck on June 23, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Great article Sir.. kudos to ICC and ECB for organizing it so well.. and to have won it is simply amazing!!

  • RoshanF on June 23, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    Beautifully put up article. Yes the entertainment wasn't just about 'hit and giggle' as some critics of Twenty 20 commented with disdain. I think their comments were more apt to IPL and maybe even the 1st Twenty 20 world cup - but this one had much, much more. There was great strategic planning involved by captains, bowlers and batsmen. Then of course there was something else which Andrew had missed out on - the marvellous fieilding and especially the innovations (well at least two of them). First there was 'the' most extraordinary boundary line save ever when Angelo Matthews first held a catch then threw it upwards beyond the boundary line and then fro.m outside the line leapt and spiked it back in to prevent a six. Purely stuff of dreams. Chamara Silva provided the next piece of fielding innovation when he whilst airborne beyond the boundary flicked the ball which was in play (well he thought) back in. Eventually a four was given but it was magical. All in all a great show.

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  • RoshanF on June 23, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    Beautifully put up article. Yes the entertainment wasn't just about 'hit and giggle' as some critics of Twenty 20 commented with disdain. I think their comments were more apt to IPL and maybe even the 1st Twenty 20 world cup - but this one had much, much more. There was great strategic planning involved by captains, bowlers and batsmen. Then of course there was something else which Andrew had missed out on - the marvellous fieilding and especially the innovations (well at least two of them). First there was 'the' most extraordinary boundary line save ever when Angelo Matthews first held a catch then threw it upwards beyond the boundary line and then fro.m outside the line leapt and spiked it back in to prevent a six. Purely stuff of dreams. Chamara Silva provided the next piece of fielding innovation when he whilst airborne beyond the boundary flicked the ball which was in play (well he thought) back in. Eventually a four was given but it was magical. All in all a great show.

  • schmuck on June 23, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Great article Sir.. kudos to ICC and ECB for organizing it so well.. and to have won it is simply amazing!!

  • kaiser1 on June 23, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    As for the less sixes being hit is concerned, the fact is that as the T20 is becoming the norm (frequently played and practical) so there is more skill factor involved by the bowlers or maybe the fast English pitches are also played a part in the outcome. Slow pitches produce more sixes as compared to faster ones. But the whole tournament showed how thinking involved and strategies evolved through the tournament. In Future more strategies would evolved when the best skilled teams in cricketing terms like Australia come to terms with the reality of T20 and they will show more interest in this format, the quality of cricket will improve further. But this one was the enjoyable event and the fact that the final was played at the traditional Ka'aba of cricket The Lords which is a fitting venue. Thank you England and ECB.

  • PottedLambShanks on June 23, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    Unfortunately, the thing I'll remember most about this tournament is the sight and sound of British Indians booing England at Lord's. No great surprised that Andrew glossed over that though, of course.

  • thambiannan on June 23, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    The recently concluded T20 gives cricket lovers every bit to cheer about. Subcontinent teams had put up a great show, though India made faster arragements for eating up fatigue. Despite the early exit of Australia, following India in Super8, tournament had all the ingredients it required for a tight-hard semi's and finals. Pakistan had the last laugh eventhough runner's up Srilanka didn't lost a single game coming to the Decider-Lords. That's the magic T20 brings about. Don't let the game down even for a single minute and thats the "MANTRA". On the lesser sixes hit and par low scores, the bowlers had done their homework well for firing up yorkers at death and good-length deliveries in the middle. Umar Gul was exceptional against SouthAfrica and Dilshan in particular standed out as an improvised-attacking T20 batsman. The application, bowlers had shown, as if they were trying to break the T20 stereotype "T20 cricket is a batsman game".

  • Jawaidnazir on June 23, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Pitches in the tournament was suitable for both betting and bowling that's why numbers of sixes less then expectation. Most of the bowlers bowled yorker and slow balls in the last five over. It was a great tournament well organised thanks for ICC and ECB.

  • D-War on June 23, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    On the contrary I could not disagree with this article more. I found the T20 in South Africa 2 years ago far more entertaining. There were only a handful of nail biting matches, compared to the tension of 2 years ago. Most of the matches were decided by the end of the first innings and were one sided affairs, such as the final. Although I enjoy the bowlers playing well, it seemed like this years teams just did not want to make an effort. Compare the winners this year to the winners 2 years ago, India had nail biting, entertaining contests with Pakistan, England, South Africa and Australia to win the competition, and all of those teams gave them a right go, making them thorough winners. This time round, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka just didn't make any effort against Pakistan, resulting in a mediocre team winning the competition in mediocre matches. The Pakistan fans booing Dilshan after his award was also sour.

  • Fahad_Jawed on June 23, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    this articles just sums up how well the best in cricket played in the tournament...even with pakistan not playing their extreme best they still managed to deliver...so u just better acknowledge the rightful winners....

  • U.A.1985 on June 23, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Good things about the tournament:

    1) Big Crowds 2) Lesser Sixes - I hope ICC does not shorten boundaries anymore. A six is an important thing and if there are too many sixes than importance of sixes gets lowered 3) Good Death Bowling

    @D-War

    Perhaps Pakistan played too well and didn't allow the semi-finalists to make any sort of effort. For e.g. you can say Pakistan did not make an effort in 1999 to beat Australia in the final but on the contrary it is true that Australians were too good too. This is true for 2003 and 2007 World Cups also.

  • rustin on June 23, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    If the pitches had been all flat or as they call it a "good pitch" then the cricket would have been dull. I'm an Indian and I must say I was able to enjoy the CRICKET more after we were knocked out. We were playing boring cricket anyway. The final was a bit of a letdown though mainly because of the lacklustre performance of the Sri Lankan side. One feels Pakistan deserved it. After all Pakistan gave away the world cup last time. This win will do its bit in bringing some joy back to the country. Decent article. Days of ODIs are numbered I think. I know i find them boring. Test Cricket needs to be preserved. A World series of the top 6-8 teams would be perfect.