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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Preparation in IPL2 for ICC T20 World Cup

The ongoing IPL2 has come at the right time for all countries participating in the T20 World Cup. The Indians seem to be the only one though, who are making the most of it. Players from their (likely) team are all playing the IPL2 while only few players of the other countries are participating in the event.

The Indian selectors must be having a first-hand look at the probables for the T20 World Cup. Form, temperament and class are on display - factors that can change the fortunes of the fringe players like RP Singh. The batsmen like Raina, Yusuf Pathan are getting valuable match practice - one hopes that they do not peak too early. Playing with veterans like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist will only help their career further. The dressing room experience that they gain with these experts will go a long way in moulding their career. The Indians definitely will be the team to beat in the World Cup.

South Africa has benefited from the politics surrounding IPL2. Their stars like Smith, Gibbs, AB De Viliers, Duminy, Steyn, Kallis are part of various teams - even lesser players like Yusuf Abdulla are finding slots in the playing eleven. They are gaining very useful experience in the newest game on the circuit, that will help them regain the No.1 slot in T20s also.

If Australia picks their team for the T20 World Cup from their veterans, they will be definitely counted as the favorites. Alas, that is not to be. The current team players are not participating - with the ODI series against Pakistan coming in the way, if not the dictats of Cricket Australia (for players like Brett Lee and Shaun Tait). The team is on their downward trend and there is no reason why their followers can harbor any hopes for success in the World Cup.

England has their star players like Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Dimitri Mascarenhas taking part in different teams. Of course, Flintoff has rushed back due to injury, but he along with his English compatriots must have realized what they missed in the first IPL last year. This experience will definitely add to their expertise in the forthcoming World Cup. This and the fact that it is being played in England will give some hope to the founders of T20 cricket.

IPL2 is giving the Sri Lankan players a good chance to play cricket during the troubled times that the island country is facing back home. It is also helping players like Lasith Malinga come back to international cricket in a phased manner. Their senior players like Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Dilshan have done well in the matches they have played so far.

Stars of West Indies - Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards - are playing in IPL2 and doing very well. Their performances will be encouraging the hopes of the Caribbean supporters and this team can be counted as the favorites for the World Cup.

The Pakistan team is busy playing the Aussies in Dubai. Even if they were not, they wouldnt have participated in IPL2. They will be a little under-cooked for the World Cup.

In all, the teams should thank IPL2 for giving the players of all cricketing teams a chance to prepare and practise for the World Cup. This alone must force ICC to give a window in their Future Tours Program for IPL.
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