Hey, look at that, we have ourselves a World Cup.
As David Hopps pointed out over on Cricinfo, T20s feel tired and listless and tacked on when they happen after a big test series, but when they are part of a tournament all on their own, they take on a whole new life. And so despite the fact that the T20 is my least favorite format, I am quite looking forward to it. And here’s why:
Will South Africa choke? Can Sri Lanka take full advantage of their home patch? Can England overcome the KP nastiness and repeat as Champions? Can the Associates make some noise? Can New Zealand get past the semi-finals of a major tournament?
All great questions that will be answered over the next 19 days. The questions and answers will make for some very intriguing storylines, and those storylines will make for even more questions: who will be the hero? The goat? The cinderella story?
Tournaments always fascinate because despite our best guesses at what is going to happen, despite all of the statisticians and the punditry, no one knows for sure how it is all going to play out.
The above is not just why we love tournaments, it is why we love sports.
Unfortunately, there are only two Associate member nations in the tournament, Afghanistan and Ireland. However, both have a great opportunity to make a significant amount of noise. If one or both can make a run deep into the knockout stages, then that will have a revolutionizing effect on the game. Not just on the T20 format either, but on world cricket overall.
The cricket itself will be loose and fun and joyful. It will be swashbuckling, sub-continental limited overs cricket. Floodlights, humidity, and (hopefully) excitable and large crowds.
Every single match will be live on ESPN3. And the matches are actually on at “doable” times. Either 6:45am Minneapolis time or 9:45am Minneapolis time.
The first match is tomorrow morning and the final is on October the 7th. 19 days. That’s it. Considering the 50 over world cup stretches on for what feels like months, it will be nice to have a nice quick tournament.
The vast majority of the matches are at either the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo or the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. Both are terrific venues and will make for fine hosts.
The Two Chucks
Our favorite video-casting duo will be doing shows in Sri Lanka, and they always make everything a bit more fun.
England will crash out, Ireland and Afghanistan will make noise, and South Africa will win it all.
Some light housekeeping: I won’t have a lot of time to write over the next couple of weeks. But I should be back at it soon.
Also, I have started a second blog. It is not about cricket, but I think my regular reader will enjoy it nonetheless. I will pass on the link once it gets its sea legs.