The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

Who to support at the World Twenty20

Your team will stink. Here's who to root for instead

Jarrod Kimber

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A
Sulieman Benn celebrates a wicket, West Indies v New Zealand, ICC World Twenty20 warm-up, Guyana, April 28, 2010
Sulieman Benn: one big reason to cheer for the West Indies © Getty Images
Enlarge

I hate to be the one to point this out to you, but there is a chance your magnificent sporting nation will not win the World Twenty20. Sorry to be the bearer of this news. But it is true. It doesn't matter if you support India, Australia or Afghanistan, the chance of losing is real.

Then there is also the chance that your team will go out early. Really early if you are Australia. So then what happens? Do you just follow the tournament like a conscientious objector, or do you get in the game and follow another team?

I can't help conscientious objectors, but for those who want to keep going in the World Twenty20, I have come up with a guide for picking your second favourite teams.

Minnows (Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe)
Pros: Minnows are cute, cuddly and fun to watch. Two of these countries have had a bit of a tough time of late, and so have Afghanistan. Ireland is perhaps the least talented team every time they step out in a tournament like this, but those pasty men sure know how to fight. Zimbabwe are reconstructing their team around the world's oldest cricketer, Ray Price. They have no seam bowlers but more spinners than a Bangladesh U-19 side. Afghanistan have had the quickest rise in cricket history. If they keep going at this rate the BCCI will have to schedule a World Test Championship against them next year.
Cons: None of them are going to win a game. You can't pick a second side that goes out of the tournament before your side does.

Australia
Pros: No Ricky Ponting. Dirty Dirk Nannes. You don't have to hate them at Twenty20, because they are rubbish at it.
Cons: They are so utterly rubbish at Twenty20 that they have barely turned up for the first two tournaments.

Bangladesh
Pros: Unlike Pakistani cricketers they all look 10 years younger than the age they claim to be. Tamim Iqbal is the batting equivalent of going naked on a rollercoaster.
Cons: No matter how well they play they won't make the semis.

England
Pros: If you support them, Stuart Broad getting away with dodgy behaviour won't bother you as much.
Cons: Last time they lost to Holland. Do you really want your back-up side losing to a minnow?

India
Pros: Have all the weapons to win the whole tournament. Praveen Kumar pulls the best angry faces in world cricket.
Cons: Last time they turned up tired because they had just finished a whole IPL season, and this time… oh.

New Zealand
Pros: They are guaranteed to put in a good team effort and play above themselves. United, organised and well disciplined.
Cons: They still won't get past the semi-finals.

Pakistan
Pros: They managed to find 15 players who weren't suspended by the PCB. They did win the tournament last time.
Cons: Their captain handles captaincy and hunger badly.

South Africa
Pros: Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn is a brutal combination.
Cons: South Africa's record at every international tournament since their re-admission.

Sri Lanka
Pros: They're probably your second favourite team anyway, because they are awesome.
Cons: Most of their line-up is in rubbish form and they are bringing some old politician dude on a fact-finding trip.

West Indies
Pros: Sulieman Benn.
Cons: There are no cons, this is the West Indies. Even if they lose they will do so in a dramatic and humorous way. And if they win…

RSS FeedJarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale. Any or all quotes and facts in this article may be wholly or partly fictional (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 12 
Posted by   on (May 1, 2010, 16:21 GMT)

Yep.. Pros is quite right coz Sri Lanka is the 2nd favorite team in the any ones mind except Sri Lankans...

Posted by lostxboy on (May 1, 2010, 0:18 GMT)

finally some praise for sulieman benn

Posted by Sandeep7282 on (April 30, 2010, 22:50 GMT)

Man, this is real hilarious........pl. keep posting this kina stuff, enjoyed it a lot...TY TY

Best ones: Bangladesh Pros: Unlike Pakistani cricketers they all look 10 years younger than the age they claim to be. Tamim Iqbal is the batting equivalent of going naked on a rollercoaster. Cons: Their captain handles captaincy and hunger badly

Pros: They're probably your second favourite team anyway, because they are awesome. Cons: Most of their line-up is in rubbish form and they are bringing some old politician dude on a fact-finding trip.

Posted by ironmurph on (April 30, 2010, 22:28 GMT)

thoroughly enjoyed article, hilarious. I don't think you can write off NZ, aussie and south africa as contenders to win overall though

Posted by   on (April 30, 2010, 18:24 GMT)

Sorry, don't agree with you about Australia... if you've been following their recent T20 games, they've been doing really well. They may not win it, but i think they'll get past the first round.

Yes the lost to Zimbabwe in the warm ups... but by just one run, and let's face it - it was a warm up game and most likely, they would have under estimated them.

Posted by srijan_sengupta on (April 30, 2010, 16:05 GMT)

Finally a good T20 article... short, crisp and entertaining.. was expecting a little more on England.. but this is a 20 over game, right?

Posted by   on (April 30, 2010, 15:12 GMT)

Cool Article and a funny one too!

Posted by   on (April 30, 2010, 12:12 GMT)

Really funny. Especially liked the part about the pakistani skip "Handles captaincy and hunger badly" hahahaha

Posted by   on (April 30, 2010, 10:39 GMT)

great article,

teams to look out for- zimbabve is more settled to the conditions as they have been playing in the carribean for some time, they can surprise either srilanka or newzealand.

ireland can knock westindies out today itself. afghanistan can do the same with india tomm and bangladesh can send pakistan out day afetr tommorow,,

India if they play 90 % of their potential can win it, dhoni shd get combination right. he should use 11 best players and horses for courses.

playing 11 should be as follows...

murli,ghambir,raina,yuvraj,dhoni,rohit,yusuf,jadeja,harbhajan,praveen,zaheer,

nehra can come in for jadeja against afghanistan, but against south africa we wneed 3 spinners ( jadeja,harbhajan,yusuf) + (yuvi,rohit,raina)..

dhoni shd use yuvi,raina and rohit wisely, west indies conditions should help them..

best of luck to team india..

Posted by hollandindian on (April 30, 2010, 8:42 GMT)

Wahhh i just loved this article!!

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in The Heavy Ball
RSS FeedAll
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet