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England get through with sheer guts

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Oliver Brett | 06:15 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

There is a phrase much loved by Andrew Strauss when England lurch from one hideous defeat to a glorious victory a few days later. He says: "We can be a bit Jekyll and Hyde in one-day cricket".

Well, if that's the case, the experience of this opening weekend in what could be a draining tournament for England fans has proved that in Twenty20 cricket the metaphor applies even more accurately.

When England's team was announced for the must-win match against Pakistan at The Oval, it seemed to be shaped by confident, though not rash decisions in selection.

Yes, maybe it was a little thin in terms of specialist batting. But given that Pakistan's bowling was clearly their weaker suit, and that The Oval had proved something of a batting paradise thus far in the tournament, it was well thought-out.

And though two specialist batsmen had come out of the side in Robert Key and Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen's fearsome record at the south London ground supported the decision to put Dimitri Mascarenhas in the top six.

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But the master-stroke was the late move to field both specialist spinners - one taken minutes before the teams exchanged their agreed teamsheets.

Paul Collingwood and Andy Flower had seen the comparative success of the spinners in the Scotland v South Africa match on the same ground earlier in the day - and decided the ball was turning enough to give both Adil Rashid and Graeme Swann a go.

Coyly, Collingwood refused to say which was his first-choice player for this match - but the likelihood is that it was Swann.

England's skipper proudly sat next to man-of-the-match Luke Wright to take questions after the resounding victory in south-east London.

"We batted with a hell of a lot of purpose," he said. "And Wrighty got us off to a great start. After Ravi [Bopara] had got out early on, for him to have the balls to keep going... Sorry I shouldn't have said that..."

I don't think anyone was offended, and actually Collingwood had alighted on the key ingredient which had underlined England's performance.

"Balls" is exactly what it was all about - pig-headed confidence, the over-riding belief that the players would succeed. Bopara, thus far blameless all summer, was the only man who had an off night. Everybody else excelled.

Stuart Broad, who crumbled ingloriously in the final stages against the Netherlands, was one of the stand-outs. And it did not require much of a talking-to from Collingwood to put the young paceman right.

"I went out for a beer with him last night and that was about it. He's a confident lad, I thought he could bounce back."

He bounced back alright, as did England. But before anyone gets too carried away with the host team's prospects for the Super Eights, it must be said that this was a pretty weak Pakistan side when compared to some of the teams to have graced that nation.

They received impressively loud support from around 5,000 Pakistan fans packed into the stands, but rather shrivelled in the limelight - with their hapless fielding proving an unedifying spectacle.

Pakistan should still join England in the Super Eights - something that will suit England who would then take through the points they claimed against Younus Khan's side - but Younus's bizarre post-match press conference suggested they may not be 100% focused on such a task.

He repeatedly dismissed the Twenty20 format as "fun", and described the awkward predicament that faced their biggest hitter Shahid Afridi thus:

"Everybody was expecting him to come in and straight away hit sixes but in the end it's only a fun game. At the moment we are losing, and if we won people would think otherwise."

Asked if Pakistan were missing the quality of absent pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, he replied: "I miss a lot of things, I miss my family."

Here's a tip: don't place a large bet on Pakistan to win this tournament.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    How come if Pakistan Win then England and Pakistan go through and not the Netherlands, who have also won one? Do Pakistan have to win with a certain run rate or something.
    Can you Clarify please?

  • Comment number 2.

    danny

    England finish the group phase with a very good net run rate, because their defeat was a by a tiny margin. If Pakistan beat Netherlands one of them is certain to end up with a poorer net run rate than England's.

  • Comment number 3.

    RE 1. Because of the margin of victory Englands net run rate is far superior. Pakistan have now to beat the Netherlands by a reasonable margin for themselves to go through to the Super 8's.

    Speaking of Pakistan, I think England are like the Pakistan of where you're never sure of which team's going to turn up ! IF we play like yesterday then we really could go far, but it's a big if.

  • Comment number 4.

    I may not have got the hang of knee-jerk hyperbole, I certainly don't have the mastery that Mr Brett has, but in the context of setting an example in a global tournament they were hosting for the first time, this still might have to be regarded as the greatest day for English cricket in the history of the world (or at least since 2006 whichever came first)?

  • Comment number 5.

    When you win it's fun. When you lose it isn't.

  • Comment number 6.

    If my calculations are correct (not having looked at any updated tables), England's NRR is 2.35 while the Dutch have one of 0.05 and Pakistan have -2.4.

    Given the bottom two are playing each other, Pakistan would need to win by 25 runs in order to progress (NRR of -1.15 playing -1.2)

    Say for instance, that the Dutch bat first on Tuesday and post another score of 160 in their 20 overs. To get the required rate, the Pakistanis in their innings would need to get the target required with around 2.3 overs to spare. Alternatively, if the Pakistanis bat first and post a good score of 180, they'd need to bowl the Dutch out or limit them to 155 or so.

    Am I right in this?

  • Comment number 7.

    post 6. I am sure you have the rates for Pakistan and the Dutch correct but the tables I saw last night had England's NRR at around 1.3 I think. So I don't think it can work in the way we both thought as before that I was in agreement with you.

    Can I also point out that NO teams take points through to the Super 8's. Unlike in the 50 over world cup where the super 8's is one big group here it is two groups of four which are predetermined based on seedings. Group E should be Eng, SAF, Ind and Aus, Group F should be Pak, NZ, Ban, Sri. These only change if one of these teams is knocked out andd they are replaced in their group with the unseeded team. The top two from each group then make up the semi-finals.

  • Comment number 8.

    have just got on the ICC website which has the group tablees with NRR. Englands is currently 1.175.
    Here is the site although they do currently have Pakistan top and england bottom!!!
    http://cricket.yahoo.com/cricket/series/home?series_id=1145

  • Comment number 9.

    what happens if the orange-men win the toss, surrender all 10 wickets (hit wicket) in first 10 balls and bowl a wide to give Pakistan a 10-wicket win...who goes through on NRR then?

  • Comment number 10.

    9. If a team is bowled out, the the innings counts as a full 20 overs for rn rate calculations (so Pakistan would have 16 overs to score the one run)

    Where it could get really tough for Pakistan is if it rains. For example if Holland batted first in a 5 over game and scored 60, Pakistan would have to knock them off in 2.3 overs!

  • Comment number 11.

    Nottsmember

    I stand corrected. How is that calculated, then?

  • Comment number 12.

    All this talk about going through or not going to the next stage if Pakistan do this or that is rather premature if Holland beat Pakistan. Call me old fashioned, but lightening can strike twice, or am I missing something that is glaringly obvious??? I'd appreciate clarification, polite or sarcastic. Ta

  • Comment number 13.

    pietrodelroberto Really not sure myself - I had it the same as you until they showed the table last night!!
    The nearest I have got so far is the following: Take both of our innings scores and add together (i.e. 185+162) then divide by number of overs (347/40 = 8.675) do the same for the runs conceded (162+137 = 299, 299/40= 7.475) then take the rate conceded from the rate scored 8.675-7.475= 1.2 NRR

    Like I say I am not 100% sure on that but that is the best I have got so far!

  • Comment number 14.

    Stubble-07, England and Pakistan would go through as Netherlands net run rate would be appalling

  • Comment number 15.

    Are you sure those points carry through? It seemed to me from the ICC website that the teams then split into two groups of four beginning on zero again and take it from there.

  • Comment number 16.

    Just read post 7 - pls check your facts Oliver!!! The amount of times journalists and TV pundits come up with completely erroneous maths/possible situations drives me crazy. It's not that complicated!
    Fair enough DL and net R/R calculations are beyond most without the help of a computer but journalists should be au fait with competition format at least.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    Do England have any chance of going through as seeded 1 into the Super 8's? If Pakistan qualify I understand they automatically go through as seeded 1 (even if we have superior NRR) but not sure about a dutch win?

  • Comment number 19.

    no.13 you're right apart from Holland scored 163 not 162 against england.

    so england's net run rate is (347/40 - 300/40 = 1.175).

    altho at first you think that you could add the individual net run rates from each match together to get the overall net run rate for the 2 matches, this does not actually work.

    I think ultimately it won't be easy to interpret what Pakistan need to do until the innings break in their match tomorrow. even then with people like john dyson messing up D/L, you wonder how likely they'll be to actually get the calculation right and know what they're facing.

  • Comment number 20.

    Reading all of the above only proves that I am not the only one who doesn't have a clue about this tournament!

  • Comment number 21.

    backofdanet Cheers thought that being that close I must have made a mistake somewhere - just didn't spot it. Agreed as regards Pakistan not knowing what they have to do until the interval.

    Worzley - no England are second seeds in the group - If pakistan go out then the Dutch take their place no matter the position in the group. The seedings were based on the last world twenty20 hence why Bangladesh are seeded and the windies are not. I believe this is done so that supporters can purchase tickets for where their teams should be playing well in advance of the competetion, assuming they qualify!

  • Comment number 22.

    If Pakistan win by a big enough margin so as to finish 2nd in the group, they go through as B1 with England as B2 as the higher seeds.

    If Holland finish 2nd, England will go through as B1. If Holland finish 1st, they will go through as B1.

    No points are carried over into the Super 8s.

    So England should be hoping for a narrow Dutch win to avoid a likely group of India, Australia and South Africa.

    http://cricket.yahoo.com/icc/playing-conditions/21/playing-conditions

  • Comment number 23.

    "If the top two seeded teams do qualify they will be seeded in position 1
    and 2 as specified regardless of whether they finish first or second in
    their group, unless they are knocked out by team 3 in their group. In
    this instance, team 3 replaces the position of the team they knock out."

    Actually, that's ambiguous.

    Does "position" mean the position in the table or the seeded position?

  • Comment number 24.

    Slabber - sorry mate but this isn't quite the case. From the link you provided

    "If the top two seeded teams do qualify they will be seeded in position 1
    and 2 as specified regardless of whether they finish first or second in
    their group, unless they are knocked out by team 3 in their group. In
    this instance, team 3 replaces the position of the team they knock out."

    Therefore whatever happens England are B2 and Pakistan are B1. If Pakistan go out then the Dutch become B1 and (although only a remote possibility now) if England go out then the Ducth become B2. Whether or not a team tops the group is irrelavant

  • Comment number 25.

    So England are pre-ordained to be in the group of death with India, Australia and South Africa?

    That's horrific.

  • Comment number 26.

    group of death - pah. even the windies can beat the aussies...we should be fine (tongue firmly in cheek for avoidance of doubt)

  • Comment number 27.

    I don't think it's mathematically possible for England to go out. If Pakistan do what they need to do to qualify, Holland will finish below England on run-rate.

  • Comment number 28.

    25 - Yes - It was due to the performance in the last world twenty20.
    A B C D
    India (1) Pakistan (2) Australia (3) New Zealand (4)
    Bangladesh (8) England (7) Sri Lanka (6) South Africa (5)
    Ireland (9) Netherlands(10) West Indies (11) Scotland (12)
    Again taken from your link. The top 2 were the finalists, the next two were the semi-finalists and the rest of the top eight were taken from the positions in the super 8's (I think)
    Since then though SAF have significantly improved so it is a pretty horrible group for all the 4 teams!!

  • Comment number 29.

    27 - the BBC highlights last night said there is a VERY strange combination under D/L that could mean we go out but it is so unlikely. Unfortunately they didn't explain what that combination would be

  • Comment number 30.

    For a pretty detailed look as to the different scenarios for Pakistan/Holland qualification, see:

    http://blog.kridaya.com/2009/06/07/the-qualification-story-of-england-pakistan-and-netherlands/

  • Comment number 31.

    re 25
    So the groups are Seeds 1,3,5,7 and 2,4,6,8 it would have been fairer as 1,4,5,8 and 2,3,6,7

  • Comment number 32.

    England's super 8 group is certain to include South Africa. It will also include India (unless Ireland beat both India and Bangladesh!). The third team will be either West Indies or Australia.

    The other super 8 group will be made up like this: New Zealand, Holland/Pakistan, Bangladesh/Ireland, Windies/Sri Lanka.

    I have checked and despite what an ICC person told me yesterday there will NOT be any points taken through to Super 8s, so the onus is on winning two out of three if you want to make the semis.

    NZ v SA is essentially a dead match, with NZ looking in excellent shape to make the semi-finals (because of the Super 8 draw) even if they lose it!

  • Comment number 33.

    agree with you totally stuartdm. the organisers of huge competitions are numpties. clearly 1,3,5,7 are much better than 2,4,6,8. even euro 2008 which was a great competition was stupidly set up so 8 teams were kept apart from the other 8 teams until the final. god knows what they're thinking.

  • Comment number 34.

    Calculating what Pakisatan need to do is quite simple. It is relative to the difference in scores.
    Pakistan lost by 48 and Netherlands won by 1.
    If Pakistan win by 25, their net run rate becomes -23 (-48 + 25)
    If Netherlands lose by 25, their net run rate becomes -24 (1 - 25)

    That is the easy side assuming a 20-over game and Pakistan batting first. Whatever score Pakistan make, Netherlands merely need to get within 25.

    If Netherlands bat first, Pakistan need to set a target 25 runs higher and aim for that.

    So if Netherlands score 100 in 20 overs, Pakistan need to score at the rate of 125 in 20 overs.
    This equates to scoring 100 in 16 overs.

  • Comment number 35.

    I watched the highlights of the game on BBC 2 late on sunday night. I must say that i was shocked by this particular commentator rubbishing the decisions of umpires during the game (England - Pakistan).

    I am pretty confident it was an English commentator, but what is not right is that you have the entire country ..well almost, watching the game and here you have a guy, who obviously thinks he is much better than the two umpires on field, saying 'this is rubbish'.... 'this is rubbish' to certain decisions taken by the umpires. Yes, he has the right to support his team, but if he is a commentator in a channel that broadcasts itself globally, then probably, he should behave in a bit more mature fashion.

    If its possible, i would request BBC to see if they can talk some manners into this guy. I would'nt mind it if he was with his family/friends at home/pub and voicing his comments. But to be on national TV and say this is rubbish by any standard.

    Cheers!

  • Comment number 36.

    leather hunt

    First of all, the BBC is not hiring any commentators for the highlights. We are taking the feed from Sky directly. Secondly, I believe the commentator you are unhappy with is Ian Chappell, an Australian who would not be partial towards England in any circumstances I can assure you! Finally, he had a point. I was there yesterday and the umpires took a very long time to give one or two of those wides, and some of them looked pretty harsh, as I mentioned in my report.

  • Comment number 37.

    With one of the wide decisions, the batsman moved towards the offside with the bowler seeing this, deciding to follow him - the batsman didn't miss by much but because the ball was on the edge of the guide markings, a stupid wide was given.

    In the batsman's original position it was a wide, but it should be judged on where the batsman is on point of release (apart from when the batsman steps away to the leg side as that is his choice)

  • Comment number 38.

    The feed is actually not even Sky's for these tournaments, but it is ESPN Star Sports of India (i believe) who then show them through the verious platforms - Sky for live coverage and Beeb for highlights. Oliver can confirm this but the only bits that are either Sky's or the BBC's are when it is Ian Ward in the Sky Studio or Manish Bhasir doing his cuts from the pitchside.

    Chappell was right with one of the calls when the batsman backed away past leg stump and made it look wider than he was, however I felt the rest of the wides were justifiably given, no matter how long the delay for Billy Doctrove to tell Steve Davis that it was height!

    As for the net run rate - England are through, it is virtually (though not totally) impossible for the result to send England out.

    It was a shame to see us Scots put out by a top class South African performance - will be very interesting to see them in the Super 8 as I think they are the best side in this event by quite a considerable distance.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think the host broadcaster is ESPN rather than Sky.

  • Comment number 40.

    Yep, ESPN are the host broadcaster, their live coverage is effectively branded as Sky's within the UK.

  • Comment number 41.

    'England's darkest day in cricket' transposed to 'Pakistan's saddest day in cricket' in matter of two days! The 'worst fielding side' went on to become the best, in the blink of an eye. England can now put the Ashes thoughts on back burner again. The T20 is not a poisoned chalice anymore. I like this changeover to a pleasant, friendly ambience.
    There is no way, just no way England can be kept out of the Super-8, just as there is no way of its staying out of the super-8 sub-group also containing India, Aus/WI and SA. Those being the facts, now mull the possibilities as the 4 in the sub-group play each other to determine S/F.
    There is only one constant, 'anything is possible'.

  • Comment number 42.

    The way the seedings operate is a joke! If the two top seeds in each group beat the 'minnows' (which I appreciate has not been the case with England or Australia, admittedly) then the games between the those top two seeds become utterly meaningless. Where is the sense in that?

  • Comment number 43.

    Apparently, it's so people know what matches they're probably buying tickets for in advance.

  • Comment number 44.

    leatherhunt - Just to back up Oliver's reaponse to you the commentator in question was Ian Chapple. He's a very professional, fair minded and interesting commentator BUT he's also an Aussie - which means he's incredibly partisan where we're concerned - especially in an Ashes summer. On top of that, for the three wides that he called "rubbish" two of them were given by the Aussie umpire standing in the match, Darryl Harper !!! Add all that up and those decisions must have been REAL stinkers for him to call them like that on British telly !!!

  • Comment number 45.

    The commentators must refrain from giving very polarised opinions on Umpires' decisions. Some of the wide calls were ridiculous indeed but a channel must not foment dissatisfaction. It can lead to trouble in a close match. I am sure the concerned channel will review the indiscretion.

  • Comment number 46.

    You've obviously never heard a football commentary.

  • Comment number 47.

    Re: Slabber #43

    I bought tickets for the Super8 and nowhere (obvious, at least) did it mention how the seedings would work for the Super8's. I don't mind, as I wasn't THAT bothered about seeing England, but I'm quite annoyed that they've supposedly done this (in my opinion) quite ridiculous seeding system and then used the excuse that it was to help people know what games they are going to see, when it was not clear on the website.

    It all smacks rather of football's champions league, where the competition is engineered to ensure that the biggest teams get through to the latter stages. What is the point of playing a knockout competition if the order of the teams is pre-ordained?

  • Comment number 48.

    #47 Sten: I totally agree. "CHamps league" is really a last 16 for Europe's biggest teams (and even here teams from the same countries are kept apart).

    The last cricket world cup was planned so thatall the big teams would play each other in the "super 8" but once Ireland beat India & Pakistan it meant Ireland got to play all the big teams instead.

    Unsurprisingly, they weren't able to pull off these shocks and worse for the tournament, it meant several games in the latter stages which were not really contests, plus the absence of Indian and Pakistani fans detracted from the tournament's atmosphere.

    This time they've gone for 2 pools of 4 instread of a super 8, so some lessons have been learnt but the logical format would have been to seed the pool winners in the 2nd stage groups instead of using last tournaments seedings to pre-determine the groups except if there happened to be any upsets! Someone somewhere obviously thought this was a good idea!

    Oliver Brett - shameful to blame an unnamed "ICC official" for stating that points would be carried through...anyone who studied the tournament format knows that wasn't the case. And then to try squirm out of it instead of holding your hands up...dreadful!

    Next time add the caveat to your pieces: "I don't actually know anything but I've been told that..." and then you can use that defence!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Pakistan either have to win by 25 runs (or more) if they bat first or chase down Holland's total within 16 overs and 3 balls if they bat second in order to qualify for the Super Eight stage.

    Not a particularly simple task, especially if Holland come close to reproducing the form they showed against England on Friday.

  • Comment number 50.

    where's your ridiculous hyperbole today oliver? if a hit and giggle game against netherlands was 'the worst moment in english cricket', shouldn't yesterday's win be 'the single best moment in english cricket?'

  • Comment number 51.

    Younus Khan's comments about "fun cricket" are an insult to every Pakistani fan. People pay to watch these jokers who dont appear to give a damn. So his pathetic comments are a complete disgrace.

    Otherwise, this must be the weakest Pakistan team I have ever seen. In the past, the Pakistan batting could compensate for the bad bowling and dispicable fielding. However, this is no longer the case. The batting has only 2 reliable performers - Misbah ul Haq and Younus Khan - and for some bizarre reason Misbah was sent in at number 7! The rest of the batting is weak and feeble, technically, physically, mentally - in every way you look at it.

    However, to put it all into perspective we must appreciate 2 things:

    (1) Pakistan have played less cricket than even Bangladesh in the past 2 years.

    (2) The team has been decimated by players lost to the ICL and those that have self-destructed. The likes of Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdur Razzaq, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved would have made it into the 20/20 team. It is not easy to replace these players but the current bunch have shown no fighting spirit and I feel they will be flying home very soon if they dont wake up!

    A sad era for Pakistan cricket.

  • Comment number 52.

    Re #25
    "So England are pre-ordained to be in the group of death with India, Australia and South Africa?"

    Can any readers tell us how "Group of Death" sounds in some other languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Afrikaans, etc? (Or Dutch.)

    Don't know if the Antipodeans have a "strine" phrase for it, but then, as post 26 said, we don't need to worry about them.

  • Comment number 53.

    Re 52:

    What makes you so sure that Australia will go through? Sri Lanka are a very strong team and I have a feeling they will beat the Aussies today! Say goodbye to Australia and Pakistan!

  • Comment number 54.

    Because i'm lazy, will someone tell me when England's next game might be?

  • Comment number 55.

    DUTCH PLAYER SENT HOME IN DISGRACE!

    Unofficial reports from the Netherlands camp state that an un-named member of the squad has been sent home for breaking strict team rules. The player is said to have returned to the team hotel straight after the victory over England, refusing to partake in the late night celebrations. It is also claimed that a bottle of Schnapps was found in his kit bag. The bottle was later analysed and shockingly found to contain 100% H2O.

  • Comment number 56.

    Does anybody know roughly what this strange D/L combination, as mentioned on BBC last night, which could leave us behind both Pakistan and Netherlands is?

  • Comment number 57.

    Too many errors Oliver - first on the point of taking points forward. Then worse, in your clarification post #32 at 12.34 you say that Ireland could replace India in the "group of death" if they beat both Bangladesh and India. Well, they won't. If India go through (which they will since they have already beaten Bangladesh if Ireland win both) they will always be in England's group. At least do not make an error in the clarification ...

  • Comment number 58.

    England are almost certainly throught to the super 8s but how would it be possible for them to go out, all the interviews say virtually or basically how could this happen ?

  • Comment number 59.

    worst day in the history of Australian cricket, eh Oliver ?

    And doesn't it just seem ever-so-slightly farcical now that Australia had begun to feel quietly confident about winning the Ashes again later this summer?


    ;o)

  • Comment number 60.

    Re:sten_super #47

    I managed to use the info on the website to work out which teams might be playing where in the Super 8s. It took a bit of time with pen and paper, but I managed and was looking forward to a pre-Ashes T20 game(not now)

    Re: stuartdm #31

    Your system doesn't work! Teams will end up playing each other twice in a week or less.
    The secret of the actual system means that teams should only face each other once during the tournament outside of the semis or final. It also meaning the logistics of the tournament are better; the ICC wants a quick, sharp format not a long drawn out one eg. World Cup '07.

  • Comment number 61.

    I listened to your commentary on the match and several times you mentioned how odd it was that England could play so well one match and not the other. I think maybe you're still viewing and talking about T20 from the perspective of traditional cricket. The shortened game is always going to produce more varied results. If you look at football, Hull can beat Arsenal in one game but over a season they finish in very different places in the league. The more time you give for class, consistency and resources to tell the more likely you are to narrow the possible winners. Baseball is a good example too. The Yankees are top of their league at the moment but have lost 23 out of 56 matches. The shorter game (or innings) means that a team can have a good day and beat a side that's superior on paper. There is also more pressure in the short game that can lead to a catastrophic mistakes. We're just going to have to get used to and enjoy this form of cricket where more fans get a taste of glory. It also means that finally we have a form of cricket that can truly become a world game...

  • Comment number 62.

    Funk le Monk is bang on the money. One only need look at the Windies, abysmal v England in the warm up, electric v Australia a few days later. The difference - Chris Gayle at the crease for 10 overs.

    The ability of the 'lesser' nations to truly compete in this form of the game is a good thing and can hopefully lead to the expansion of the game around the World.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am truly loving this tournament. I am a test cricket fan through and through, and have been to a game in all formats that we've seen, and this is certainly the way forward in the shorter version of the game.

    I'm sorry, but One Day Internationals must go and now. The enormous difficulties faced by administrators keeping interest after the powerplays and before the final ten overs in the 50 over game amount to a losing battle.

    Overkill is a dangerous thing obviously, and the rumoured 2nd IPL Window should be snuffed as soon as possible. However, the growth of the game at the very top level should be encouraged. There should be two games at International Level. Test Cricket and 20/20.

    Instead of 50 Over games at International level, double-header 20/20 games should be held. Teams can be changed between the two games (one before tea, one after tea). Instead of 100 overs of cricket with 50 overs of nudge and nurdle, you have 80 overs of quality entertainment. For me there is no competition and this is definitely the way forward.

    More surprises. Easier to get smaller nations involved. More action. More tension. More interest. The Dutch and Irish have shown this week that this is the way forward.

    One Day International cricket should be put out to pasture forthwith, like an old donkey. We should look back over its high points with fondness, but not mourn its passing. Thanks for some great memories, but time has come to move on.

  • Comment number 64.

    I disagree with rambon, I think there is space somewhere for all 3 versions of the game.

    My worry for the tournament now is the amount of dead games that are about to happen. In all intents and purposes the first round is over. All 4 groups know who is going to go through, and the groups for the 2nd round are all already known. There is no prize for winning your group, and its more than possible that England's group for the 'super 8s' might contain all 4 group winners. Weren't 'dead' games a big part of the match fixing problems?

    On a wider point, the real lesson of Twenty 20 cricket, which doesn't seem to have occurred to the people who run the game, is that its all about how the game is sold. I am not saying that all cricket should be razzmatazzed up, more that the TV companies, ECB, ICC and all the other boards need to market the longer games more aggressively. Channel 4 always did a pretty good job marketing there coverage of the game, I'm not sure Sky have been quite as effective. The counties and the ECB do market T20 very aggressively (I think they realise its how they get there money!)

  • Comment number 65.


    So....finally my team Pakistan made it through to the super eight!!!

    Has anyone gotta say anything bad about it....?????

    The person who wrote the comment about, "laughing at the pakistani's & flags" etc, well can you laugh now...!!!???

    The main thing is we got through to the super eight.. Even if we lose on Friday against Sri Lanka i wouldn't be as upset because atleast they didn't lose in the first round!

    I respect all teams...
    Ofcourse Pakistan will always be no.1, then its India, West Indies and England...

    But some people on here don't have respect for any team whatsoever...!!!

    Shame that them sorta people still exist!

    Thanks for all the Pakistani well wishers/supporters..

    Good Luck to Pakistan & England... :DD

  • Comment number 66.

    Can somebody explain why the super 8 stage puts all the first round group winners together and all the second placed teams together? How is that sensible?

  • Comment number 67.

    Re: JollyJenks111 #66

    Sensible?! This is the ICC! They can't possibly do anything that's sensible!

 

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