We may have previously given the impression that Twenty 20 is a puerile and meaningless form of cricket, sustained only by the basest commercial motives, and misappropriated by greedy and insolent charlatans from India.
We have, perhaps, also inadvertently implied that Twenty 20 is nothing more than a crude and garish piece of exhibitionist nonsense, with no relevance to the game’s true soul or heritage.
However, following Sunday’s historic events in Barbados, we now realise that Twenty 20 is in fact the most important and prestigious form of cricket ever played.
That much is evident from the classical purity of England’s triumphant performances throughout the tournament, culminating in the victory over Australia which revealed the T20 format as the very pinnacle and definition of the game.
And which patriotic English supporter’s heart didn’t swell with pride as they witnessed the flair and skill of Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen take our side to the verge of glory.
It is our view that all other kinds of cricket, apart from the 2005 and 2009 Ashes series, are complete bollocks and don’t count. Especially the last four 50-over World Cups.
In fact, so perfect a tournament was the 2010 World T20, that we see no need for the tournament ever to be played again. Why sully the memory of something so flawless and wonderful with a lame re-hash of the past? England are world champions: a conclusion has been reached; the circle is complete. Can’t we just leave it there?
Ok, the media have gone a little over the top haven’t they. Imagine what would happen if we won the football world cup this year?!
It’s easy to get a little cynical about these things, but how often do we get to celebrate something? I totally disagree with Michael Vaughan when he said it was a great achievement than the Ashes, but it was still a great win. We won every game easily … that’s what was so amazing.
Lots of people have pointed to the radical transformation of our t20 cricket in less than a year (we were abysmal in home conditions 11 months ago). However, I think this simply shows that T20 is a remarkably simplistic game (some may say shallow, but that’s a bit harsh).
All England have done is discovered two more effective players (Kieswetter and Morgan) and realised that 20 overs is nothing, so you have to get off to a good start. It was hardly rocket science. Most of the T20 games were decided by those teams that got off to a flyer in the initial power play. If runs were scored at ten an over, you won. If you lost early wickets, you lost. All England did was to pick two hitters at the top of the order rather than Trott and Denley – who opened in the warm up matches against Pakistan in Dubai. What was glorious about our victory was that everybody knows this is the key tactic …. we just did it better than anyone else this time! Brilliant.
Australia were screwed as soon as they found themselves with just 50 runs on the board after what was it, maybe 10 overs? It would have taken a bucket full of early wickets to win from there. Once England got through the powerplay with KP and Kieswetter intact, it was game over.
Thanks your your interesting comments, Bill. I suppose I was referring to my own attitude, which I don’t think is an uncommon one – of originally being deeply sceptical about the merits of T20, but then being gradually drawn in, especially when we started winning.
It’s not the Ashes, as it lacks the resonance – and nor does it involve anything like the same amount of cricket. But it does represent beating *all* the other teams in the world, not just one – which counts for something.
I agree it’s important we beat all the major teams in the competition – we need to replicate this over all forms of the game if we want to be No 1 in the world. The Ashes were fantastic but we need to look beyond them to improve further, rather than get blinkeredly obsessed with them (to the detriment of all other cricket) as I feel we did post-2005.
As for the format, I for one wouldn’t be sad if international Twenty20 eventually replaces 50-over ODIs rather than being played alongside them. With a few exceptions, T20 has made the longer one-day formats look tired, especially in the middle overs. Also, is three separate forms of international cricket one too many?
I’d suggest the ideal (and quite possibly what will happen) is for the two limited overs formats to effectively swap places; the dominant form being T20, with the occasional 50 over game thrown in for variety.
It’s good for the players (less time on the pitch in pointless games), it’s good for the coffers (easier to get people through the gates for an evening match) and may even be good for the game, in that there’s a wham-bam amusement to T20 which can serve as an appetizer for proper cricket – both to Test fans, and the casual observer – whereas I think the endless, tedious, 50 over games was having the opposite effect to the one desired.
I’m going to get slated for this, as nobody agrees with me when I’ve mooted the idea before. What about abolishing T20, abolishing 50 over cricket, and just playing 30 overs cricket and tests. 30 over cricket would be hectic and entertaining like T20 (with plenty of big hitting), but it still gives sides a little longer to recover from bad starts – and swing the match back in their favour (it also gets rid of the boring middle phases that plague 50 over matches). In my opinion it’s the perfect blend …. well, it works pretty well in Brian Lara Cricket on the playstation any way!
Obviously, it could be argued that it falls between to stools, but I disagree … or at least I’d like to see the authorities give it a go! I don’t think 30 overs would last too long – it would still appeal to the T20 nutters who don’t have the patience for the longer form of the game. It’s also possible to play it in evenings from say 5.30 to 10pm, so should attract big crowds (although to be honest, I haven’t thought this bit through … I’m just thinking as I type here).
We’ve just become world champions at T20 and you want to abolish it?!
That’s right. we need a new challenge! Been there, won that ….
Obviously my tongue is firmly in cheek by the way!