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T20 World Cup Preview – Part 1

June 1, 2009

Starting June 5th, India will defend its title of “world champions” for the first time since it took over the mantle of “most influential nation” in world cricket. Predictably, given the board that the defending champions represent, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for the 2nd edition of the T20 Worldcup. From a format that was decidedly viewed as ‘exhibition’ by most teams, not least the Indian board, its rise has been dramatic.

A few factors helped the rapid proliferation of the format:

The debacle of the 2007 ODI World Cup: The organizing committee of the West Indies board did a bang up job of making the 50 over version about as exciting and relevant as telegrams in the age of twitter. A long-drawn itinerary, overpriced tickets, substandard pitches, it was all wrong. India and Pakistan failing to make the business end of the tournament did not help.

Dream late-stage lineups: Many an organizing committee in the past couple of decades drew up schedules hoping for India Pakistan finals, only this one managed it, with the right team (read larger fan base) winning it. Like some commentators said “It couldn’t have been better if it had been scripted”. Hmm…

IPL and the virtuous cycle: Ask any international cricketer what he’d like to pencil into his calendar first thing and the answer will be the IPL. Before it got that way though, the franchise-based tournament needed acceptance in India. One wonders whether the IPL would be the advertisers’ dream if, instead of India, the status quo for big tournaments had been maintained with Australia as the winners.

The question mark, however, is on the downside with starting barely a week after the end of the IPL ; jaded players and more importantly, viewers (we all know which is more important).

The biggest gainers of the frenzy, the sports channels have already stocked up on footage from the inaugural tournament, slow motion sequences spliced with rousing soundtracks and over-the-top celebrations. So what’s in store for cricket viewers over the next few weeks?

Tournament Format

12 teams, 27 matches (12 group games, 12 super-eights, 3 knockout games)T20 WorldCup Groups

Group Stage (June 5 – June 10)

In looking to avoid the mistakes of the 50 over version, the organizers have ensured a relatively short group stage to narrow the field. By providing warm up matches, they will fervently hope that none of the big names self-destruct and exit at this stage. The only group remotely of interest will be Group C, with Australia or Sri Lanka only a “Gayle blitz” away from elimination.

Super Eights Stage (June 11 – June 16)

Two groups of the top 2 teams from each of the four groups will play amongst each other to decide the four semi-finalists. Only catch is that the classification of the teams into the two super-eight groups will be done based on a predetermined ranking rather than group-stage performance. So, theoretically, if Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand top their groups, they would still end up in the same super eight group and two teams will make the semi-finals. The reason, as per the organizers, is to ensure certainty of venues for specific teams.

This is of course, assuming, the ‘unseeded’ teams (the 3rd team in each of the above groups) do not spoil the party and win a game.

Part 2…How do the teams stack up?…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. permalink
    June 1, 2009 10:34 pm

    Hey I found this g8 cricket site where you can compare each of your favorite players and also Compare teams using graphs and other data. The Castrol Index calculates the average level of performance in non-core skills for any batsman or bowler and each player visit. for more details

  2. raj permalink
    June 2, 2009 1:41 pm

    “One wonders whether the IPL would be the advertisers’ dream if the Australians had taken it seriously enough to play like they usually do in big tournaments.

    What do you mean by this?

    • June 2, 2009 4:55 pm

      raj, what i was trying to say was had the status quo of Australia dominating all formats continued then T20 wouldn’t have been the sensation it turned out to be and India’s win certainly made it more advertiser-friendly. I’ve rephrased it to better put the point across. thanks for pointing it out!

  3. Rob permalink
    June 11, 2009 2:30 pm

    At last, a site that clearly explains the competition format. Much appreciated. And “Australia only a Gayle blitz away from elimination” almost prophetic.

    • June 11, 2009 2:48 pm

      Rob..I’m quite proud of that one..although we realise, it had to happen to some team.

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