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Commentator, television presenter and writer

When will the World Twenty20 catch fire?

It has been a bit damp so far. Hopefully the Super Eights games, with their context, will help move things along

Harsha Bhogle

September 21, 2012

Comments: 78 | Text size: A | A

Shapoor Zadran dismissed India's openers, Afghanistan v India, World T20, Group A, Colombo, September, 19, 2012
Shapoor Zadran: could do with world-class mentors © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20

There are often very good reasons why schedules are the way they are, and those commenting on schedules have fewer variables to consider than those making them. So there must be logic in why the first four games of the World Twenty20 have been so underwhelming. I am writing this with the tournament three days old, and that compelling game is still somewhere in the distance.

Hopefully, one of the qualifiers, or Bangladesh, will get this jamboree up and going, because otherwise it doesn't really begin till September 27, when the Super Eights start. That is a new beginning because teams don't carry over their points from the qualifiers, and that means there are a few dead rubbers, like India v England on September 23.

As the tournament hopes to gather steam, it is suddenly up against what should have been a marquee game but is really a warm-up game. To allow people to choose the matches they want to watch - a valid scheduling exercise - teams are pre-seeded into the Super Eights, so whether India beat England doesn't really matter to the tournament. Maybe there is a case for carrying points against the other qualifiers to inject greater value to the earlier games.

That is not to say it hasn't been fun following them. I enjoyed watching Afghanistan's spirited cricketers try to make the most of the few opportunities thrown their way. Theirs has been the story of world cricket over the last five years, and the good news is that it doesn't seem likely to end very quickly. They have withstood political turmoil, violence and displacement to come so far. Hereafter, other barriers must seem like small hurdles in the way of their spirit.

Already a few of their cricketers look like they could fit into more established teams. Seamers Dawlat Zadran and Shapoor Zadran and allrounder Mohammad Nabi have looked impressive. Word is that youngsters are flocking to camps, and that the Under-16s are doing well. These are good signs but we can do more to help them along. It is very unlikely, given the way the world is progressing (both politically and in cricket), that Afghanistan's future will lie in Test cricket. So they need as much access to one-day and T20 knowledge as possible.

One way to do that is to allow them to be part of IPL squads. I can imagine Dawlat Zadran spending six weeks with Wasim Akram or Shaun Pollock, or Nabi picking up tips from Jacques Kallis or MS Dhoni. This might be a nice way of promoting talented cricketers and helping them find their way in world cricket, quite apart from the fact that these two, and I am sure a couple of others, won't be out of place either.

Things don't look as positive for Zimbabwe. They were disappointing against Sri Lanka, not just with bat and ball but in their fielding, which has been an area of great strength in the past. Unlike players from the subcontinent - and we must put Afghanistan into this sub-class too - who learn traditional skills like batting and bowling first and acquire fielding somewhere along the path, Zimbabwe were doing it the other way. Because their fielding was always exceptional, they were able to stay competitive. But the signs now are a touch ominous.

I'm hoping that the crowds come in as the tournament moves along. With the amount of cricket played around the world, and the easy accessibility through television, a cricket match is no longer a novelty anywhere. I get the feeling that people need a context to watch. Non-home games aren't drawing crowds, and even though it was only a warm-up game, India v Pakistan was played in a near-empty stadium.

Generating that context in tournaments like these won't be easy (in the Big Bash or the IPL, every game is a home game for someone) and maybe that will become the new order in world cricket. Maybe the Super Eights, where every game will have a distinct value attached to it, will provide more clues.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by everestpeak on (September 24, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

Here is something IPL / BCCI can do a) Allow Afghanistan IPL Team as one of the contenders in IPL. This would be a master stroke for IPL so it is giving back to cricket. b) BCCI can foot Aghanistan Team costs on 50-50 basis.

Posted by S.h.a.d.a.b on (September 24, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Harsha, how about 10-10 over matches? so we could hv 3 matches in one day.

Posted by kami_alvi on (September 24, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

Group F in super eight hopefully have Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa and they have to play each other for the semi finals and two will be eliminated. It is very pathetic that two of the favourites team to win the world cup will be eliminated before the semi finals. After that semi finals will be death rubber!!

Posted by Vikum72 on (September 24, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Do you think its ignited now, after yesterday's India vs England game Mr.Bhogle?

Posted by Naseer on (September 24, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

with due respect to Mr Bogle, I think this article is written prematurely, because a tournament cannot be judged by the 3 days, the writer should have shown some patience, because the tournament is not all about thrills and entertainment, it is also about development of cricket, givining these small teams a small chance will help them boost their confidence and improve their skills, and teams like Afgh they have shown that they deserve at least a chance, they have really shown great fight against India, they have collapsed in next game, but happens in cricket look at England against India! scheduling is also fair, lets not compare this with IPL which is purely a commercial event, which does not care about cricket and its improvement, and as the tournament goes on crowd will catch up and you will see how much important and superios this tournament is for players and fans, no comparison between the quality of cricket in this tournament and IPL.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

hay mr harsh did you sea that matches between aus vs wi , pak vs nz ,ind vs eng ahhh??? there ara numbers of people came watch that matches and stadiums ara full house ...every one knows country like srilanaka have only 22 millions of people and main thing is srilanken peoples are not rich than orther cricket nation countries so they cant spend money for tickets but in srilanaka when the cricket match playing all of 22 millions people watch that in tv ...this wt20 just started wait and see how the wt20 going on ok m.r harsha ...according sl cricket board hole tickets are sold for super eight matches ......

Posted by kharidra on (September 23, 2012, 1:44 GMT)

Attracting crowds will mean sustaining the unpredictability of the Gentleman game in the minds of the connoisseur. Dishing out class and quality in all departments of the game - Batting, Bowling, Fielding, Umpiring. Coach and Captain as differentiators should become visible to the discerning eye. The Contest between Bat and Ball should be even. Runs accrued through unintended shots should appear under different category. Man of the Match adjudication process needs to consider several factors like the category discussed in the preceding sentence. The human touch should be back into the overall processes of the game than just remain within the realm of Television and around the realm of video transmits.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

The sri lankans only go to see theor team play? Great crowd tonight in colombo for australia v WI. Not many australians or west indians in the crowd.

Posted by Fly_On_The_Wall on (September 22, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

Cricket is dying and T20 is largely to blame for it.Instead of playing more Test Match cricket and making Test Match Cricket more exciting,we have a lot of inconsequential T20's and one-dayers crammed into a very crowded schedule.This has resulted in matches without context,player breakdown not to mention severe audience fatigue which is reflected in the attendances.This is a trend that is not going to go away soon and the administrators better wake up quickly or else this game is as good as dead.IPL has only produced substandard mercenary cricketers with poor technique and their shortcomings have been severely tested and exposed when on tour.I used to be such a fan of cricket that I used to watch the prematch analysis,the main match,the post match analysis ,the highlights and the shortened highlights.I was so passionate about cricket.Now I see the present state of cricket,the rampant commercialization and the substandard commentators cum columnists and I switch off the television.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

They are boring because of the nature the groups. So many flop sided matches and too many dead rubbers. People will even forget there is a tournament going on. Try a world cup qualifying format that involves the whole world, not this hog af affiliates just being there. have a African qualifier proper, European, Asian, Americas qualifiers, not just for T20's but limited overs as well. Try the Rugby Format. It works in a sport where the whole world is not intreseted in your sport

Posted by Vilander on (September 22, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Its not a world cup, its world t20. The only cricket world cup is in 50 overs format. Yeah this tournament is a bit of a damp squib because of IPL,Big bash,clt20 etc which are much more eventful, so you would expect a high degree of excitement in a world t20 not to be so till now, hopefully it gets better in the super eight stage.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

Interestingly then the world T20 was in England the neutral games at Trent Bridge were very well attended. I saw them all. Shame crowds in SL can't be bothered to go...

Posted by Geeks on (September 22, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Keep all minnows in one group. This will make all group games interesting and we give them a chance to one of the best minnows to move to the next round. And world cups are supposed to happen once in 4yrs.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

This is the fourth T20 world cup in 5 years -- not to forget the 2011 ODI world cup which makes it five world cups in 5 years. How can you expect people to show enthusiasm for world cups anymore? How can you expect credibility from such perfunctory events? Such mishmashed T20 world cups were just created by keeping cash registers in mind.

@ No1_Jon: Thanks, buddy, for your remarks.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 21, 2012, 23:14 GMT)

I don't know what's wrong with the Sri Lankan crowds ? These people only want to see their team play. They don't seem to care about good cricket as neutrals. Well there were a few locals who watched the England vs Afghanistan encounter and the NZ vs BD encounter. BUT, that's not good enough. More locals should come and the SL cricket board needs to do something about it. It would be a shame when 2 top sides play and very few people come to watch the game. The SL team are a joy to watch but in a global tournament, there are other teams like them and the public should acknowledge that.

Posted by Moppa on (September 21, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

I agree with Harsha and quite a lot of comments here. I don't think the draw for this tournament could be much worse. SL v Zim as a flagship opening game? Surely SL v SA would have been much better. No carryover leading to dead rubbers for most of the first week? Only two games for the early eliminated teams - not much experience for Afghanistan etc. Surely a better set up would be three groups of 4, with top two from each group into a super-6s and carry over of results against fellow qualifiers.

Posted by baghels.a on (September 21, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

May be when super 8 starts tournament might pick up,as for crowds i rarely see any crowds in SL , last time crowd used to throng the stadiums was till late 90's in aftermath of Lanka's win in 1996 WC. Cricket is barely played by 8 or so nations of which it is a majority sports in only 3 or 4 nations. to increase level of competiton ICC has to allow major countries to field 3 teams or let franchises,first class team play 50 over and 20 over cricket and leave nations to play test cricket,many people are unfairly picking on Harsha, these very people who are defending this tepid start to this t-20 event are first one to lambast IPL, why not allow teams to carry points in the super 8 otherwise most of the last fixture is a dead rubber, being an Indian fan i will be watching them on Sunday anyway but apart from that match this weekend European Football is on my agenda.

Posted by ARad on (September 21, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

Here is may advice on how to SPICE UP World T20. Play all games in major Indian cities. Allow seven Indian players per team. Allow Bollywood stars and Really Rich Indians to own each team. Bring ladies of European ancestry to cheerlead after each <insert sponsor's name here> MAXIMUM (but please, please, please make sure that their costumes won't offend local sensibilities!) Place TV cameramen near cheerleaders and the crowd (that is so naturally excited to be on the big screen!!!) Arrange parties for players after each game and allow it to be well attended by attractive locals (a few can be men). Make sure that a lot of photographs of our cricketing heroes mingling with masses will be taken at these parties (and pass it along for analysis at important media venues such as online blogs and gossip programs.) Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing. TV commentators should truly show their EXCITEMENT at the quality of cricket on display again and Again and AGAIN!!!!!

Posted by Harvey on (September 21, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

OK Harsha, now that the England v Afghanistan match is over, yes you are right about the England v India match. Plus your general point was right all along, in that all the group matches between major countries are going to be dead rubbers! It takes very special organisational talent to create such a scenario. @Parveen Kapoor, yes you're right. @Creative_Devilz, Pakistan have indeed kept cricket fans entertained over the last few years, although much of that has happened off the pitch rather than on it. I think my favourite story was when Imran Farhat's father-in-law got banned from the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore after an argument with the selectors over the non-selection of his son-in-law. In protest he started an extremely short-lived hunger strike on the steps of The National Assembly Building. Nothing was heard of him for a few months after that until it was announced by the PCB that he had actually been appointed to (yes, you've guessed it), the selection committee!!!

Posted by NaniIndCri on (September 21, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

In my view the games between major teams should have scheduled first. Then the team losing will be under a bit of concern when playing a non-major team. And also the non-major team can give it everything in hope of winning one game.

Posted by vidram100 on (September 21, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

Fixture is the main reason for lack of popularity. There should be only two Groups and 12 teams should be split in to two and two teams from each group should enter the final

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

'Just to stir things up' @ICCT20WC "There are often very good reasons why schedules are the way they are and it is also true that those commenting on schedules have fewer variables to consider that those making them"

Sir, with due regard to the above said, I would rather suggest that they could well make a draw that plays the best (statistically) two teams in the group first. Making their respective matches with the so called under dog team a bit more interesting; the team with some score on the leader board can may well make some experiments within the tournament for the super eights, and the under pressure team on the losing side might break under pressure giving the likes of Afghans or Irelands a chance.

Posted by Mikecricket on (September 21, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

Come on Harsha, World Cup Awesome just enjoy it and stop complaing

Posted by Sigma-Eleven on (September 21, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Completely agree with Parveen Kapoor!

Posted by OmanBiek on (September 21, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Harsha, WI havent played as yet. What else do you expect????

Posted by EmmXee on (September 21, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

Why we don't have T25 instead of T20?

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

afgan looks talented as much as anyone,, i love them and i want them to beat us,,, more South Asian domination, how long until afgan t20 league? lol,, in 15,20 years cricket in south Asia will look similar to football in Europe

Posted by SudharsanVM on (September 21, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

Come on Harsha, how can u say indvs Eng as dead rubber. If a semi-final is tied, the teams shall compete in a one over per side eliminator to determine which team progresses to the Final. Details for one over per side eliminator. If following a tie, weather conditions prevent the one over eliminator from being completed, or if the match is a no result, then the team which progresses to the Final shall be determined as follows: *The team with more wins in all previous matches (both the Group stage and Super Eight Series). This is as per laws of the tournament.

And Ind Vs Afg doesnt look onesided at all.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (September 21, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

Though harsha seems to be "Predicting" that England will beat Afghanistan... I think it will be a good mactch. Afghanistan has shown good spirit and if they can withstand England bowling, the result can be a different one

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

It is so heartening and encouraging to see a cricket analyst actually write some serious things about a talented team like Afghanistan. I think we have had enough of the praise for our achievements, our attitude to the game etc. What we need now is practical assistance from world cricket. Afghanistan needs more exposure, more ODIs and more T20 internationals to develop as a cricket nation. And IPL involvement of some of our players is another excellent idea.

Posted by Zubair on (September 21, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Come on Harsha, its just been 4 or 5 matches, the tournament hasnt even started properly! just wait and watch..

Posted by Creative_Devilz on (September 21, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

There are times when you really feel that there's just one team bringing entertainment to all forms of cricket. Why does everyone have to be so dull and bland? Why is it just us, Pakistan, bringing in fun to cricket.

Waiting for the 23rd. Cricket, in your best interest, hope we stay till the very end of this tournament to keep things the least bit interesting. =D

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

Well, I think that cricket is losing interest as there is lot of it going on lately. I feel nowadays, people are more interested in just knowing the outcome, rather than watching the game. Even me, I used to like cricket very much, specially the Test matches. But now, I only get the scores and the outcomes, thats all. I rarely watch any live match unless its become too much interesting. So basically there's a saying "Ati kisi bhi cheez ki buri hoti hai(Too much of something is not good)" might apply here. These are my personal views, don't know what you guys feel.

Posted by Harvey on (September 21, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Re. India v England being a "dead rubber," we don't know that yet. Afghanistan only lost to India because of poor fielding, and certainly looked well capable of beating England if they have a good day and England have a bad one. As far as the poor attendances are concerned, it's simply because the novelty of T20 has worn off. Even the worst attended 50 over WC2011 matches were better attended than the couple of games I've watched in this tournament. I think that's because as a cricket fan I could happily watch Test and first class cricket with a few one dayers thrown in pretty much every day of my life without getting bored, but to enjoy T20 I have to limit the amount I watch or it becomes monotonous. As a format it's very vulnerable to overkill. The Sri Lankan public has just sat through the SLPL, so I would imagine their palate will be somewhat jaded by now.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 21, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

Have the two best teams in the group playing each other first to get the tournament off to a flyer. Carrying points forward into the Super 8 is also a good idea, so there are no dead rubbers in the group stage.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

Didn't you watch Afghanistan vs India.... It sure looked like a contest between two equal teams. Wake up Harsha !

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

i believe that tournaments like these..n when u r tlking abt WORLD CUP , you should always start up with matches between the test-playing nationss..n personally i always feel that the first game should include the host nation..this is because it generates an energetic feeling in the viewers ,, watching back to back competitive matches and then there should occur a match in regular intervals which include the non-test playing nation..in this wayy u get the viewership as well as the UNDER-DOGS get a chance to be certified by the condition and the grup standings ( i.e. what should be there strategy to get into the SUPER-EIGHTS ) !

Posted by mindispower on (September 21, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

IT is T20 after all. Not exactly entertaining stuff is it?

Posted by Harvey on (September 21, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

If cricket becomes a mass participation sport in Afghanistan, and that seems to be happening already, then there is no reason whatsoever why their future should not lie in Test cricket. Afghanistan are already competing and doing very well in first class four day cricket (the Intercontinental Cup), so if they continue to progress, then why shouldn't they become a Test nation? They won't be hosting home matches any time soon for sure, but that applies equally to T20 and ODI cricket.

Posted by No1_Jon on (September 21, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

@ Josh Maddy - totally agree with you mate! The format is a waste of time and counter-intuitive - ICC; what on earth are they good for?

Posted by No1_Jon on (September 21, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

The tournament will catch fire when England and Pakistan enter the fray! As these two nations provide, at present, the two most enterprising cricket teams at present (Along with South Africa, except they can be a bit dull).

"It is very unlikely, given the way the world is progressing (both politically and in cricket), that Afghanistan's future will lie in Test cricket." Harsha can you please elaborate on what you mean by the above statement?

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

It's way too early, Mr. Harsha..! Every match so far was interesting, especially India vs Afgans, and that's what ultimately you expect from a bigger event like this right? not the count of the spectators.. And you did well promoting IPL here also..

Posted by jaison_cricfan on (September 21, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

the format should be in two pools depending on the number of countries,eg;- 14 or 16.. should be divide in to two pools . and they say first impression is the best impression, so the starting match should be between the stronger sides,

and as for development of minnows, i always believed that full members are key for them to progress, eg;- how the scots and dutch are playing in CB40 , similarly all Full members should give chance for the associate teams to play in their domestic league like.. afghans should be playing in pakistan and nepal in india and china in bangladesh or thailand in srilanka.. and mainly no matter who are winners of previous editions, they all should be in qualifiers like in FIFA...

Posted by 100_rabh on (September 21, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

So Harsha you think Afghans can't play test cricket because of political and cricketing reasons. Thats not a good way to promote an already shrinking club. If Pakistan can play test matches, with nothing being hosted at home, so can Afghanistan. If Bangladesh can remain in test playing nations' club after so many disastrous year, Afghanistan certainly can be tried. Forget the IPL, i think their whole team, and not 2-3 players, should play in Ranjee trophy. If anything, getting them play in the IPL will be the perfect way to nip Afghan cricket in the bud.

Posted by Shrikant25 on (September 21, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

@jeremy cole. who are current world champion?i think ur in sleep for 5 year.wake up boy.it is India my frnd.

Posted by Sameer_Tatake on (September 21, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

I agree partially with Mr. Harsha about these talented Afganistani guys getting the chance to play with talented cricketers. But I do not feel the path is only through IPL. IPL franchisee is a value based system and they will only let play the best.

I think the most productive thing will be to arrange 'A' matches with AF, IRE, ZIM etc. This will give them the taste and flavour of international cricket. Once they are through that test, then they can be pulled into the IPL where they will get to learn to play in front of Housefull grounds

Posted by Jack_Tka on (September 21, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

I believe that Harsha was a little bit too early to bring on the IPL comment in this section. He should have rather waited for Eng vs Afg to finish. But his intentions are good. Even I think that given the exposure that Harsha here talks about if good for Afg. With the likes of Dhoni/Kallis as mentor, definitely Afg can improve and obviously any torunament that can do that would be of IPL/SLPL kind of tournament. Thats what he's saying and I see nothing wrong in that except the timing.

Posted by CricketPissek on (September 21, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

If Afghanistan beat India, as they almost did, would Mr. Bhogle have written a glowing review instead?

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

Is it really WC T20 started, I don't think so. The matches are too far from the international level except Ind vs Afgan match it had some lighting moments. Apart from that remaining all matches we can say that the phase 2 warm up games. SL board very smart they kept that these minnows much earlier of the season so that at least they can pack them earlier phase. All the tough matches like Ind Vs Eng, SA Vs SL going to be dead rubbers otherwise we can say that phase 3 warm up games.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

The Schedule of this tournament is also not good. One team(Zimbabwe) is out of the tournament and other teams like (New Zealand,Bangladesh,Pakistan) even not started their campaign yet.

Posted by xylo on (September 21, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

There hasn't been any compelling action yet - be it massive sixers, or incredible bowling, or incredible fielding. IMHO, it is good that fewer crowds show up. The T20 WC is becoming a farce with the tournament being held so frequently.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

The problem is that when India were dumped out of the 50 over World Cup a few years ago, they came to insist that no future tournaments would see a major nation dumped out in the early stages. Which is nice and safe on one hand, but makes the early stages something of a bore. I can't help but see this T20 tournament as basically an eight team knock out tournament. Which is a pretty dull format, to be honest.

Posted by anishkishorbhai on (September 21, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

The one idea that comes to mind is that ICC SHOULD FORM ONE GROUP COMPRISING OF MINNOWS AND QUALIFIERS TOGETHER. I MEAN BANGLADESH ALONG WITH ALL QUALIFIERS. They will have more intense group phase matches then and other groups should be formed according to Seedings

Respected Mr. Bhogle pls revert back on how you find this idea

Posted by Vikum72 on (September 21, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

@rohithreddy: According to your argument T20 can only be played in Australia and South Africa, is it? Then you go on to contradict yourself and say this tournament should have been played in Ireland!!! Other than may be in India and BD I haven't seen any other test playing country where stadiums are even half full regularly, in neutral games. Mr. Bhogle, isn't it bit too early to talk about the intensity of the games when not even one match between the top sides have been played? Also am I correct to interpret that you are hinting about a future where test cricket and international cricket doesn't have a place in the cricketing calendar??? Your idea of carrying points against super8 teams to next round is a good one though.

Posted by bobagorof on (September 21, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

Well, it didn't take all that long for the Twenty20 World Cup to disappoint. Are we now to continue the call for ODIs to be scrapped in favour of more of this format? Perhaps our expectations are just too high, following some crowds attracted by the novelty factor in Twenty20's infancy and the money and glitz of the IPL (whose crowds have also been diminishing). Having said that, I agree with Gizza's comments - the matches so far have been Test Nation v Minnow, with the result far from being in doubt. Scheduling at least one Test Nation v Test Nation match every few days in the opening round would generate some interest, rather than leaving them all until the end. With the pre-seedings, though, they too are just a formality as there are no placings riding on them.

Posted by Uppercut07 on (September 21, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

LOL @rohithreddy yes GOOD flat pitches like in India, where , when Brett Lee bowls a bouncer, it gets only up to batsman's waist and even an OUT OF FORM 'NOHIT' SHARMA can pull it for a six!! :D.

Posted by MasterClass on (September 21, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

The problem with world cups (not just T20 or even Cricket but ALL world cups) is that they all begin with a wimper unless we're lucky and there is a big upset (almost never). Compare that to the IPL and other such leagues where the first game is usually a marquee clash that kick-off the competition with a bang! Competitions that rely primarily on a knock-out format or have as few as only 6 matches to reach the final (such as this one) are ill-suited. I understand the rational, but there has got to be a better way for God sake!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 21, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Wait for mediocre teams like England to complete the formalities and say goodbye, we will have the proper WT20 starting with only the top teams in the fray. Expect the tournament to light up once super8's start with the big guns firing at each other .As far as minnows are concerned better to keep your expectations low,isn't it Harsha B?

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

Maybe Harsha wants ALL tournaments moved to India? AND name all of them IPL. Will that make you happy and quiver with excitement Harsha?

Posted by paps123 on (September 21, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Agree with Harsha, I have long been advocating having mandatory 1 player from associate countries as overseas player in every IPL team. This would provide these guys with valuable stints with top class cricket environment. These players would also get motivated as they don't play much international cricket anyway. Moreover, only maximum 5 to 6 foreign players play throughout the IPL. Even players like Morgan,Bailey, etc., hardly get a game. But I don't think BCCI has any interest in developing the game and doing something good for world cricket. But, if they do, they won't lose anything.

Posted by Dr_Abrar_A_khan on (September 21, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

i think the way ICC is doing is not really the way which should have been taken A world level Competition which held in two or three years and we think it should be full of entertainment , From No Where these experienced team are coming to big events and loosing by big margins icc should expose these team to big teams regularly so that they get some confidence of playing at this level Like Afgan team They have talent but no experience of this level so it will be only possible if they play more and more cricket against bigger teams like in football there are so many big teams in world and winning world cup is a great task but in cricket only 8 teams are there and still fixture doesn't allow them to take each other ,i mean in super 8 they have 2 group means a team has to play 3 matches only to proceed to semi final its very uninteresting

Posted by cricketandmore on (September 21, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

By predicting that England will beat Afghanistan on 21st, Harsha has basically forgotten that the ICC events have been witness to quite a few David Vs Goliath encounters.. India and Pakistan in WC 2007, England of WC 2011 and Austraila of T20 2007 may know a thing or two about these upsets..

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (September 21, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

Has Harsha lost his touch? The games have been absolutely amazing so far. Even though the minnows are getting thrashed, we are seeing a great deal of amazing bowling from the South Africans and Sri Lanka's Mendises. When the Super 8 stages come along and the minnows are kicked out, the kitchen will get even hotter

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

come on harsha you asked when will the World Twenty20 catch fire? you mean you want minnows to make an upset. btw how did you forget the win against Afghanistan ?...how can you forget war torn country giving Indians really run for their money ..... 1 billion is a huge number guys. MSD income is bigger than afgans total money spend for cricket.. if thats not enough wait few more days ,im sure you will catch fire in last few overs

Posted by aroop77 on (September 21, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

i dont understand why the super 8 groups are pre decided even before the start of the tournament. Groups must be decided after the end of the 1st round depending on the standings of the teams. In doing that the clash of the heavywieghts would be of some value. As of now, india vs england, s.l vs s.a, aus vs w.i are going to be nothing more than warm up games before the super 8s...yes bangladesh can spring a surprise though.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

Sri lankan Peoples Watching only Sri Lankans Playing Games.. If u Guys Want Big Crowd for Ur teams Matches, u guys Should Buy Tickets and Watch the Games.. And We Dnt Have Flat Tracks and Small Ground Like India.. Thats Why Most of Teams Playing here like There Home Grounds.. these Pitches Suitable for both Fast and Spin Bowlers.. These all EXCUSES and Complains are from Flat Tracks Heroes from India :D

Posted by 9ST9 on (September 21, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

@rohithreddy - we all know how much you guys are obsessed with flat pitches, understandable. :D

Posted by CanuckCricket on (September 21, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Sri Lankan cricket fans tend to have a good time whether their teams looses or not. This something that Sanjay Mandrekar once said. To be honest, 2011 World Cup games in India were played to empty stands, some of them were not even properly built with people sitting on temporary plastic lawn chairs. As a tiny island Sri Lanka has done well to create pitches where a side can chase effectively. As for listening to the commentary from Canada...some of the sub-continent commentators are getting sidetracked speaking when the ball is being bowled and going off on tangents. Only Tony Greig sounds entertaining, we desperately need good commentators like Bill Lawry if we are to sell this game in North America.

Posted by M-Shuffle on (September 21, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Agree with rohithreddy: Not only it will bring exposure to minnows (i.e Ireland, Netherlands etc.) but will also help them earn a lot of money via ticket sales to meet their funds for cricketing needs. SL just hosted a 50 Over WC, who in the world gave them another WC: not to say that they don't deserve but once in 4 yrs is enough. AND THE GROUPING IS SO MESSED UP AS WELL AS THE OPENING MATCHES. you want compelling opening matches not boring!! And why can't a group have all three competitive test playing nations (like in 1 group PAK, IND & AUS) that would make things so interesting - its like the tournament will start only in Super 8 round. ICC you failed once again!

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

i think its too early to make a comment , tournament just started. and also mr. rohithreddy , im sure you are an Indian , have you seen Sri Lankan pitches lately, i think you have not, have you watched what the players have to say.what commentators say. sri Lanka pitches have changed, and the crowd factor... it is bit confusing yes, being week days and not big nations playing is causing this i guess.also we are a small small country with a small number. and i agreed to playing cricket in associate countries, cricket should be open to more countries rather than a battle between five or six nations.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 21, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Well first of all Harsha, the itinerary for this tournament is FLAWED. Having ALL the minnows play at the start is a CLEAR tactic by the ICC to get RID of them quickly. Can't you see people ? It's as obvious as DAYLIGHT. So that begs the question... why even have the super eights in such a truncated tournament in the first place ? There are 12 teams. Why not have 2 groups of 6 teams each and then have a big round robin phase. The top 2 from each group can then play the semi finals. In a format like T20, banana skin games become crucial and it's a BLUNDER to have 3 teams in a group with one of them being a minnow. A potential slip up by a top team could result in their ejection. Think about it ICC. My format makes a lot more sense. In my format, slip ups can be put behind and teams can come back to qualify for the semis. It also gives a fair chance to associate teams to try and win some games. In this current format, that's totally absent.

Posted by JPThomas on (September 21, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

Not sure what tournament rohitreddy has been watching, so far the pitches have surprised everyone by being so quick, bouncy and pace bowler friendly.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

The format is robotic and lazy. The group maches are virtually pointless; besides, the points aren't carried forward to the next round, which renders the group matches between Test-playing nations useless. The real contest begins from the Super 8 round even that is flawed since most of the teams don't play against each other. A T20 world cup is just a mishmash.

Posted by sramesh_74 on (September 21, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

Zimbabwe has been on a downward spin for several years now..Ireland and even Afg seem to be far better sides. Maybe it is time to relegate Zim and move up one of the other teams...

Posted by Paddle_Sweep on (September 21, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

OMG! Harsh please go and watch the IPL. The tournament just started couple of days back and you it's damp squib! Give me a break please.

Posted by rohithreddy on (September 21, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

Two factors for this non-show.. one - there weren't any matches between two top teams so far.. two - and most importantly, Sri Lanka is a worst place to play T20 cricket.. T20 requires good flat pitches with sharp bounce to give both batsmen and fast bowlers a chance.. there is nothing special in Cricket than watching a fast bowler steaming in to try n bowl a bouncer and the batter hooking/pulling.. unfortunately Lankan pitches don't make for that compelling viewing.. Also, crowd in SL seems completely uninterested in this tournament.. I don't understand why the ICC is even conducting this tourney in SL at this time.. there was a world cup just a yr ago in SL.. And please don't give excuses that the grounds are too far from cities.. SLPL was conducted in Colombo and the crowd was nowhere to be seen throughout the tournament... I think ICC should take a brave step and start playing T20 world cup in associate countries like Ireland.. that will give the local crowds exposure to cricket

Posted by wc1992 on (September 21, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

i am not sure what is going on here .......if u r not excited then let move to india .........happy or if Afghan had hold on to catches then

Posted by Gizza on (September 21, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

There hasn't been a single game between two non-minnows yet. Even before the Super Eights there should be four games more likely to be tightly contested that could go either way. Not carrying the points though does reduce their context which is a bit silly. The ICC did that to increase the number of games in the SE stage. They could have just made everyone play twice if they want the financial loot. Still make the earlier stage have some context in case there are no giant killings.

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Harsha BhogleClose
Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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