Note: The World T20 started a few days ago. Sorry for the delay.
The fourth-ever ICC World T20 (also known as the T20 World Cup) will be held in Sri Lanka starting September 18th in what is destined to be a great tournament. After all, it’s the world’s biggest stage in the most exciting format of cricket, and 12 teams, in 4 groups of three, will compete and challenge for the crown as the world’s best T20 team. The last version of this tournament was back in 2010, when England overcame their rivals Australia in the final to win the third version, held in the West Indies. However, many things have changed since then. This year’s tournament is wide open, with teams like India, Pakistan, defending champs England, South Africa, as well as other teams vying for the crown. 2010 Man of the Tournament Kevin Pietersen will not be playing for England, after a continuing controversy over comments in text messages sent to his countrymen in South Africa, reportedly criticizing England’s management. While KP won’t be in the Indian subcontinent for the World T20, plenty of the world’s best will be on hand. The 4 groups are listed below.
India (2011 ICC Cricket World Cup Champion)
England (Defending ICC World T20 Champion)
Afghanistan (Associate team, not a Full Member, one of two teams who qualified for tournament, the other being Ireland, who beat Afghanistan in the final of the Qualifying Tournament earlier this year)
Australia (Finalist in 2010 World T20)
West Indies (Host of 2010 World T20)
Ireland (Winner of World T20 Qualifying tournament, beating Afghanistan in the final. Only other non-Full Member in tournament besides Afghanistan)
Sri Lanka (Host of 2012 World T20)
Zimbabwe (Lost in First Round of 2010 World T20)
South Africa (Reached Super Eight Round in 2010 World T20)
Pakistan (2009 World T20 Champion)
New Zealand (#5 ranked T20I team in the world)
Bangladesh (#8 ranked T20I team in the worldT20 Rankings
(As of September 12, 2012)
Note: Table copied from Cricinfo Website: http://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/current/page/211271.html
Note: Afghanistan, the only remaining team in the 2012 ICC World T20 are not ranked as they have played fewer than eight T20I matches since August 2010.
Thoughts about Rankings:
Of course, rankings and stats due generally matter, but for T20’s, they aren’t very telling. For example, we all know that Australia is a better team than Bangladesh, despite what the rankings tell us. I really think that Full Members should be decided more on performance than anything else, but that’s for another day, as Ireland, an Associate member, is ahead in rankings than Zimbabwe and in many people’s minds, are better than them. Anyway, this tournament will likely bring a lot of movement in the rankings, especially considering the chances in matches played for different teams. For example, Sri Lanka has only played 8 T20I’s since August 2010 while Pakistan has played a whopping 20. But is Pakistan really better? That remains to be seen.
-India will disappoint and fail to reach the final, and the magic of the ICC World Cup win won’t show up.
-Afghanistan and Ireland will impress the Full Members and challenge in their matches, although they’ll both fail to advance past the group stage.
-Hosts Sri Lanka will show some spirit but will fade away in the knockout round, disappointing their expectant fans.
-Zimbabwe will disappoint and continue their poor run of form.
-Bangladesh will excite and be their usual inconsistent selves, but fail to advance past the group stage.
-England will impress and challenge for the title.
-New Zealand will provide an upset in the knockout stage and play well throughout before bowing out before the final.
-Pakistan will spin their way into the knockout stage and could also vie for the title.
-Australia will show that their T20 ranking isn’t accurate and make it deep into the knockout stage.
-West Indies will provide some fireworks but ultimately fail to achieve much.
-South Africa will win the ICC World T20 in impressive fashion and cement themselves as a top team in all three formats.