World Twenty20 2010 review May 17, 2010

Recipe for a successful tournament

An exhibition of top-quality cricket infused with the atmosphere of the Caribbean, the 2010 edition of the World Twenty20 was a success
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For the third time running the World Twenty20 has been a resounding success. It was staged in an atmosphere far more true to the Caribbean than the 2007 debacle, the cricket was of a superbly high standard and the winner has created much interest and discussion. The best two teams made the final, but predictable this tournament was not.

Thankfully, given what had gone on three years previous, the closest the event came to controversy was the intervention of Duckworth and Lewis in Guyana, and then a momentary alarm during the final when the teams left the field due to a broken sightscreen. But this time nothing ruined the spectacle.

The winners of these tournaments always provide plenty of stories; India's victory in 2007 sparked a revolution, Pakistan's in 2009 was a triumph against the odds and now England's was a historic moment for a side that had failed in world events for 35 years. And to break their duck they beat a team that had produced some wonderful cricket over two weeks. As many have said you have to earn success against Australia and England more than did that.

From start to finish the tournament was full of intrigue. Could West Indies spark a revival? How far could Afghanistan's fairytale last? What would the new skill or shot be this time?

West Indies didn't make the semi-finals, which was a disappointment because when they did play the crowds produced a memorable atmosphere. In Guyana, especially, during the Super Eights there was a real buzz around the stadium and even when they collapsed against Australia in St Lucia the fans kept singing, dancing and cheering. Huge issues remain in West Indies cricket that need resolving, but there is still a well of basic passion to tap into.

Afghanistan were brushed aside by their two Test opponents, but that doesn't come close to telling their story. They were not overawed by India's superstars and after slumping to 23 for 6 against South Africa bravely avoided the lowest Twenty20 international total. They have asked for help - let's hope it is forthcoming.

Elsewhere the significant strugglers were India and South Africa; one disturbed by the short ball, the other unable to pace a run chase. Both teams have much to ponder over the next few months, but it's Graeme Smith's side that appears closest to a breaking point with tensions running high back home. Success on the tour of West Indies is now a must with calls for Smith's departure growing.

Pakistan's victory against South Africa (and England's against New Zealand) earned them a semi-final berth where they lost the greatest Twenty20 international as Mike Hussey played a blinder with his 24-ball 60. Pakistan were as unpredictable as ever, playing hopelessly against England, but raising their game against South Africa and showing the aggressive mindset with the bat needed to tackle Australia's attack.

Delving deeper into the event there were some issues. Local television was patchy to say the least, with many in Barbados unable to find suitable channels. The 9.30am starts for many matches, purely for the Indian TV market, also weren't ideal. However, unlike in 2007, there were no insurmountable problems and the ICC certainly learnt from previous mistakes over pricing and accessibility.

No one invented a new shot this year, but the skill levels continued to rise. Batsmen have never been so confident in their ability to clear the boundaries, yet outright slogging was a rarity. Bowlers at both end of the pace scale enjoyed success - Dirk Nannes made superb use of the new ball, while Graeme Swann's spell in the final was a masterclass of offspin.

What was noticeable during the tournament was the minute detail that went into practice. No stone was left unturned. England's batsmen would stand in the middle of the ground and launch balls into the stand to find their six-hitting range, while fielders would take catches inches from the boundary line and ensure they stayed inside the rope.

Now, though, the game needs a break from Twenty20. It has been 10 solid weeks of the format with this event rolling straight on from the IPL. The appeal has never been stronger, but moderation is required to avoid reaching a saturation point and it would be foolish to think that the landscape of the game doesn't continue to change.

Prior to this period of Twenty20 action Test cricket had enjoyed a mini-revival with some fiercely contested series, but unlike the short format it only remains really healthy in a handful of countries. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, recently told Cricinfo he was now far more confident in the five-day game's standing but no one can afford to be complacent.

Lorgat also said that there is unlikely to be any increase in the volume of Twenty20 at international level so it will remain predominantly a domestic game, which will continue to add pressure to the crowded fixture lists. Yet, while the format's rise has brought many challenges to game, and some still sniff at the concept, it has also done a huge amount of good and what the last two weeks has shown is that nothing matches the intensity, passion and skill level of international competition.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CandB on May 19, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    I live in Denmark and there are no TV channels showing cricket. Not even Eurosport. Guess what, Eurosport 2 shows cricket in Poland and Rumania with commentaries in their own languages. ICC, give me a break. Who watches cricket in Rumania and Poland? I have never heard of people playing cricket in Rumania and Poland. In Denmark there are many good cricket clubs and there are lot of expatraites from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England. If ICC wants to promote cricket in Europe they should give TV rights to a Sports Channel like Eurosport which can be seen by everyone in Europe. Give them a discount price for Gods sake and let the cricket fever infect Europe.

    Live streaming will also be good like the IPL on youtube.

  • timmyc1983 on May 19, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    Unfortunately i cannot comment on the high level of skill in this tournament as the only way i have been able to recieve results is through cricinfo.com. And while cricinfo.com does a wonderful job in it's coverage there is nothing like watching a match on tv if you can't be there. The news in Australia during winter is horrendous for cricket. The sports news is full of rugby and when it comes to cricket, they give you a 2 minutes maximum segment on a world event lilke the World T20. It's a shame that the only way for a devoted fan of the Aussie team to see their matches is to pay for foxtel (which i can't afford and is full of ads anyway) when every match of the IPL is free to air in Australia... Doesn't make too much sense to me. But all that aside, congrats England on a good tournament!

  • asiba on May 19, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    TEST CRICKET -you miss it when you watch twenty/20 Believe or not Twenty/20 might be the saviour of TEST CRICKET

  • Energisermax on May 18, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    I fnd it interesting that many of the writers are thinking like I do. T20 is just fun, but not real cricket. I think if you really want to see the skills of cricketers being displayed, it must be in the longer formats of the game. Personally, test cricket is the ultimate test of cricketers and that is why I like it. How ICC sustains it, well, I leave that up to them to make the wisest decisions for real cricket to be played. One day cricket is even better to see the skills of players on display, not that T20 thing.

  • SaifQazi on May 18, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    it was quite a moment to c england win the tournament.. it was wonderful!!

    bt all i want to say is that, Yes the World T-20 Championship in the Caribbean was a big success, bt pleasseeeee... for the love of God, get me my proper Test Cricket back... pleaseeee...!! n i jus saw, the next International match that is goin to take place is also a T20, between Windies n South Africa...!! the authorities have overkilled a format to the extinct they can..:(

    eargerly waitin for England vs Bangladesh startin from 27th May..:D

  • Saim93 on May 18, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Sorry but this time just wasnt fun enough for me. Its because im bored of Twenty20's theres just too much. T20's should be limited so that we dont become used to it. I want to see Tests and ODI's where you dont just mindlessly hit the ball all the time. I want the strategies back. In other words I want cricket back.

  • mekki on May 18, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    i really wanted england 2 win atleast one icc trophy. they did it this time.. they deserved it actually. collingwood is one of the coolest captain england has ever produced

  • dummy4fb on May 18, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    An exciting competion, which was won by England so I'm delighted, but I'm looking forward to seeing Test Match Cricket again which is the truest form of the game played in it's truest form.

  • dummy4fb on May 18, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    It surely wasn't the best of the three tournaments ,the teams were just not enthusiastic and passionate enough . One thing is quite apperant is that T 20 is all about selecting the right kind of players for this format .dravids and kaliis's should be kept away from this format .

  • Dearie_and_Me on May 18, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Anyone else find the endless leg side slogs tedious and dull?

    Yeah there were exciting times (THAT semi) but as the tournament goes on the formulaicness and skillessness of the format becomes apparant.

    (I know those players are skillful its just there is too much luck in batting during a T20)

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