Sunday, July 12, 2009

T 20 cricket - a not so serious business

Pakis won the second edition of the T20 world cup. This happened at a time when pakistan cricket was at its lowest ebb. The tournament started with their captain commenting that they did not take T20 cricket seriously and it would not matter if they went out in the first round itself. This comment was not taken to very kindly by the authorities in Pakistan and Younis recieved a a strong reprimand. On the other hand, the million dollar babies and everybody's favorite Indian team was probably thankful that they were traveling straight to West Indies and did not have to face the wrath of the fickle Indian Supporter at the airport.
So was this world cup really a victory of David Vs Goliath or following a pattern that TT cricket has always followed - Victory for the underdog, or rather victory for the team which hasnt seriously thought of winning.
Compare this edition to the inaugural world cup. An average Indian cricket fan, who generally suffers from amnesia, will not remember the circumstances under which India went to South Africa for the 07 world cup. The blame game from the shameful exit of World Cup 07 was still on. The 3 big stalwarts had decided that the latest slam bang form of cricket was not for them. Probably they thought it was not serious enough to warrant there presence. India had only played one international T20 and it was the only country which still did not have a domestic T20 tournament. The warlords of the BCCI who now want a separate window for IPL in the ICC calender used to look at T20 with disdain and thought it was only for those countries were cricket is not popular. To make matters worse, Rahul Dravid decided to step down as the captain of the one day and test team on the opening day of the world cup. Obviously, he too thought it is not an important tournament and would not matter if it effected the team in South Africa. So overall this Indian team were huge outsiders with problems on and off the field. It was a team of youngsters who had probably just gone there to enjoy a foriegn country. The team did not have a full time coach which must have meant no complex strategies and analysis.
Now compare it to the IPL 1. No body gave the frugal Rajasthan Royals a chance. People obviously thought that it would be the big money spenders who will rule the roost. In IPL 2, the team at the bottom of the last IPL came up trumps.

So is it safe to conclude, that the best way to win a T20 tournament is to not be serious about it. Is it the game which requires no strategy and practice. A team which is uncorrupted by modern ideas on coaching and captaincy will be the one that ultimately rules the roost.

Doesnt it make T20 a stupid form of cricket akin to gully cricket where kids just come out decide on the rules and start playing. I am sure WG Grace would have turned in his grave when the first ball of T20 cricket was balled in the land where Test match was discovered.

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