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Saturday, October 06, 2012

T20 World Cup - Has Club Cricket won over the crowd?

India won four of the five matches they played in the tournament !
India also took all the ten wickets of their opponent in four matches !!
Three of the top Five bowlers with the best average in the World Cup are Indians
After Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, the person with the highest number of fifties is Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli also stands sixth in the number of runs scored in the World Cup.

Definitely looks good on paper, right? Yes. But what was the outcome? Nothing different from the previous editions - an exit from the Super Eight stage itself.

Why does the Indian team always deliver such an ordinary performance at the T20 World Cup (after their initial win)? Just look at the same set of players who will appear in the forthcoming Champions League in South Africa and look at the body language! You will know the difference.

T20 as a national game has lost its interest within India especially, thanks to the numerous leagues around the world. Thanks to the ICC ruling, countries play 1-2 national T20's and hence there is no purpose in these games from the players perspective. Hence, you see countries like Australia use this forum as a platform to try out their newcomers (and in the case of George Bailey, a new captain)!

There is no wonder that the favourite for the World Cup and one of the finalists is West Indies. Why is not such a surprise? The team is not from one country - it is made of a combination of island countries (a replica of the type of teams you would see in IPL!) It will not shock anyone if they go on to win the title!

This is also possibly the reason why the crowds stay away from the World Cups while they will throng the stadiums in CLT20! The crowd is able to relate better to the IPL and Big Bash teams rather than their national teams in T20 especially. This is very much synonymous to the football leagues all over the world, especially in the European regions. You can talk to any football lover and he will tell you that he is an Arsenal fan rather than a fan of England. Of course, when the World Cup or the Euro Cup come, they are fanatic followers of their country.

From the players perspective also, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard have clearly stated their interest where their intentions to participate lie in. It is an open fact that players like to have the financial cushion in their short careers and this can be possible (especially for players from cash-strapped cricketing boards) in IPL or Big Bash alone!

Hence, the cricketing circus has reached its maturity level (though not to the scale of football obviously because of the limited reach) in T20 cricket. Now, the next step for ICC is to take it around the world for the non-Commonwealth countries to follow it more closely. Maybe they need an Ecclestone to take them to the higher level!
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