So the T20 World Champs is upon us. Note the branding; it is not a World Cup. Thankfully.
The general excitement gets a bit lost amongst Blues and Warriors team announcements. In some ways this should be the form of cricket where New Zealand excels, but it has never been that way. Especially now the sport’s best batsman in this form has retired.
This seems more like an obligation than an adventure.
This tournament has History?
Probably not. It has been held four times, at the random intervals of 2007 (the tournament that launched the IPL), 2009, 2010 (frantic times) 2012 and 2014. It’s back, and once more it’s in Asia.
Trivia question: Who has won this before? For the 99.99% of cricket followers who have no idea the champions are, in order, India, Pakistan, England the West Indies, and Sri Lanka.
And you know the so-called independent commentator will make it out to be a little more than it is.
Why the Apathy?
It is T20 cricket, it is being played in India where there’s probably a little too much T20 cricket played at inconvenient hours, and it is hard to warm to the playing conditions.
Why the Anger?
It is March, the traditional month for traditional cricket in New Zealand. We had an extremely crammed min-tour from Australia a few weeks ago; the first in six years. There was much debate as to the structure of that tour, and the various turnarounds. However, the biggest issue was that the tour finished on Feb 24th. All in the name of this tournament.
Is the Logo even worse than both NZ Flag options?
Probably. At last we can agree on something
Is it Hit and Giggle cricket?
Absolutely not. The game itself has a lot of lottery about it but the players are auditioning for the highest stakes of all here
Is New Zealand in with a chance?
Probably not. These are conditions that without McCullum, Mills and Vettori not many New Zealanders have familiarity. There was much angst in February when Martin Guptill got passed over in the IPL auction. Part of that was because top order batsmen slots were filled, but there was also the factor that his record against spin, especially in Asia, was troubled.
The main hope with the batting seems to be Colin Munro. That sums it up the best.
And the weakness in the bowling happens to also be in the spin department.
Do we care?
Probably not, although should NZ make it out of Pool Play then this site will be all over it in a sweaty middle of the night mess.