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World Twenty20 hotting up

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Adam Mountford Adam Mountford | 22:49 UK time, Wednesday, 10 June 2009

It was certainly an eventful group phase of the ICC World Twenty20 with one of the greatest upsets in cricket history as the Netherlands humbled hosts England, plus Australia crashing out of the tournament following defeats by a revitalised West Indies and an impressive Sri Lanka.

After all that Ireland's progression to the later stages of another ICC World Tournament seemed almost routine.

This World Twenty20 may not be liked by everyone, but there is something thrilling about seeing most of the greatest players on the planet performing over such a compact period of time. Already there have been so many highlights and so many amazing performances with the improvisation of Tillakaratne Dilshan, the big-hitting of Chris Gayle and the mystery of Ajantha Mendis my personal favourites.

Chris Gayle during his sparkling innings against Australia

But now the tournament really hots up with the remaining eight teams split into two groups as they battle to reach the semi-finals. Plus we have the extra bonus of the Women's World Twenty20 getting under way to run alongside the men's event.

Both England's men and women play on Thursday with India the opponents for Charlotte Edwards and her world champions at Taunton whilst Paul Collingwood leads his team against one of the tournament favourites South Africa at Trent Bridge.

Five Live Sports Extra and Radio Four long wave will have commentary from 1715 BST with Jonathan Agnew leading our team alongside Simon Hughes, Arlo White, Dermot Reeve and Jeremy Coney. Meanwhile Alison Mitchell will bring updates from Taunton - there will be reports on all of England's women's group games plus commentary on the women's semi-finals and final.

The Super Eights begin at 1330 BST on Thursday with Ireland's attempt to produce another shock as they take on injury-hit New Zealand. Five Live Sports Extra's coverage begins at 1315.

As well as our commentary on Thursday, listen out for the latest Phil Tufnell Cricket Show, which is part of Five Live Sport from 1900 BST. Shaun Udal, who lifted the domestic Twenty20 Cup last season, is one of Phil's guests.

On Friday the action moves to Lord's with the man who coached Pakistan to the World Twenty20 Final two years ago, Geoff Lawson, part of the Sports Extra team bringing you Pakistan v Sri Lanka from 1315 BST before holders India play West Indies from 1715 with commentary also on Radio Four long wave. Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar joins England's most capped player Alec Stewart and West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop in our commentary box.

Then at the weekend look out for two games broadcast on Five Live as New Zealand take on Pakistan from 1730 BST on Saturday and then the mouth-watering prospect of hosts v holders as England play India on Sunday evening.

Of course many people who bought tickets for Monday evening at The Oval may have been hoping for the first England-Australia meeting of the summer.

But if you are still looking for an Ashes fix then after the commentary on England v the West Indies on Five Live Sports Extra and Radio Four long wave look out for a new series on Five Live from 2100 BST "The Ashes Years", as Arlo White is joined by guests including Bob Willis and Mike Gatting to look back on the legendary 1981 series.

This is just one of the programmes to go along with the launch of our Test Match Special Ashes Archive which is already available to have a look at - all the details at (UK users only).

And don't forget as well as all BBC Radio's cricket coverage there are nightly TV highlights of the World Twenty20, plus look out on Sunday night for the latest episode in the excellent "Empire of Cricket" documentary series.


  • Comment number 1.

    After a great start to the tournament - my interest has fell away over the last couple of days with 3 out of the 4 games being completely meaningless. I still don't understand how the sections for the Super 8s works and pehaps never will. A simple first place from two groups and second place from the otehr two would surely have made more sense, however, I am looking forward to the tournament proper staring tomorrow.

  • Comment number 2.

    Is this useless 20/20 tournament still going ?

    I'm getting all fidgety waiting for The Ashes.

    Wimbledon fortnight and then The Aussies.

    Hopefully the weather warms up as well, can't wait.

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    looking forward to the closing stages of the t20 tournament, although questions will have to be asked about the ridiculous format, with three consecutive dead rubbers and no incentive to win your group...

    also wanted to ask adam why aggers' columns no longer appear in blog format, with the option of leaving comments? i know there were sometimes hundreds of comments, but surely this is evidence of a thriving web presence? we know aggers doesn't have the time to respond individually to us all, in fact i'm not sure i've ever seen him join the debate on a blog, but it was good to have the chance to post some comment/ opinion which he and others at the bbc might at least read...

    and good to see ashes fever building with 27 days to go!

  • Comment number 5.

    Only one gripe so far...Ireland (a team with far more limited resources than some) have to play against India and then New Zealand on consecutive days. The first is a dead match but they presumably cannot rest a raft of players and the second I appreciate they weren't expected to be in.

    Just seems like it is not going to help them in what is already a difficult enough task anyway...that said I will be in my Blarney Army shirt cheering from afar!

  • Comment number 6.

    there are few if any rest days in this tournament, agree that's a tough schedule for ireland. england also have to play sunday night, monday afternoon in the super 8...

  • Comment number 7.

    The group format definitely needs tweaking. After a brilliant start, the momentum has stalled badly in the last couple of days. Still, maybe it will play into England's hands, being one of the few teams who have played two competitive matches.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think the World Cup is running at about 60%. Some great moments so far and I am sure there are some more to come.

    I want this tournament to be great, I really do and I doing what I can by volunteering. My gripe is this, in T20 cricket we have a fantastic product, a product so good that in my mind it could compete with premiership football.

    T20 is spectacular, unpredictable, practical and entertaining. As a cricket fan, I know that if I took some of my anti-cricket friends too a test match it would bore them stiff. But if I took them to a T20 they would absolutely love it, even the ones that don't know the rules.

    I am trying to say that the product is so good that the tournament should be used to sell cricket, show people who couldn't care less about cricket that T20 is different and that they're going to love it.

    A few admin blunders have made sure that the tournament can't get up to its full potential. Cricket overkill, Tickets that are too expensive, Cancelling the opening ceremony - due to rain, no live games on terrestial tv and Dead Rubbers.

    To the organisers, I don't care what it takes, you have to fill the grounds. I went to the opening ceromony, the Lords Grandstand was empty and there were only a smattering of memebers sat in the pavillion - first game you just HAVE to fill it. I can't see how this is possible when nearly all the games are sold out on the official website.

    Also, on the web I can believe that when you write "world twenty twenty" in google the official website is not the numer one hit. For people who are just not into cricket this is a just a nightmare to navigate - they won't even know who the ICC is so how are they supposed to find the website? - which is strange website hosted on yahoo.

    I am sorry but I care about cricket and the organisers enrage me. The tournament will be good of course it will, its the world T20, but it should be great

  • Comment number 9.

    I have to say that the T20 World Cup has been fast paced and enjoyable - over in a very short period of time (about 2 weeks) rather than the long drawn our 50 over variant held in the West Indies. Indeed the competition only started last Friday and now we are into the final 8. Its been nice to see players AND umpires stay on the pitch when the weather gets nasty too.
    One issue I have is tickets. When I tried to buy some a few months ago they were sold out...... yet there are empty seats????
    The other issue is how the final groups are worked out - I didnt understand that..... I thought it would be (eg.) Winner of A and C and runner up of B and D. This seedings melarky doesnt float my boat
    Anyway I think the T20 world cup is brilliant. Cricket in its purist form. Plenty of Skill and fast thinking needed. Nice that people at work talk about it too - which outside the Ashes is unusual!

    As for our domestic game: More More and More and on a Sunday please............ Not on a Monday night. Get the start time and prices right. Personally I would have a T20 knockout cup to complement the new league structure - The FA cup of cricket (especially as 50 over cricket is flat lining on its back). Straight Knockout. All 18 counties, all Minor counties and Scotland, Ireland AND Holland. The Top 18 join in say round 3. A finals day with Final and SF...... a chance to give the smaller teams a chance. This world T20 has shown that its a great way for smaller teams to become more envolved.

  • Comment number 10.

    A lot of the cricket has been fantastic, but the odd seeding system has left a bad taste in the mouth. I was at Lords on Tuesday and the game between South Africa and New Zealand was a complete farce, with neither team looking like they wanted to win it. The fact that the seeding system wasn't clearly explained when I booked my tickets (as I also have tickets for Saturday at Oval) only compounds the situation.

  • Comment number 11.


    "Usage note:
    Both dived and dove are standard as the past tense of dive. Dived, historically the older form, is somewhat more common in edited writing, but dove occurs there so frequently that it also must be considered standard: The rescuer dove into 20 feet of icy water. Dove is an Americanism that probably developed by analogy with alternations like drive, drove and ride, rode. It is the more common form in speech in the northern United States and in Canada, and its use seems to be spreading. The past participle of dive is always dived."


    Mexican Ian

  • Comment number 12.

    The seeding was puzzling. Bangladesh was seeded but not the West Indies?!

    Meaning that one group had Australia, Sri Lanka and WIndies whilst another group had India, Bangladesh and Ireland.

    Looks like it was rigged to eliminate one of the stronger teams early on. As it's happened Australia have gone out and Ireland are still in. It should've been Bangladesh . . . but are they better?

    #9 Warley Bear, the 50-over version isn't a West Indian thing. It's held every four years and will be on the subcontinent in 2011.


  • Comment number 13.

    First of all the groupings in 20/20 are too small, it is difficult to have home and away in another country to build up a competitive spirit in a league with so few games. No problem with 'tiddlers', playing, if cricket lovers want to spread the message, then we should encourage every country to join in. A bit like Andora playing football at Wembly, or Holland playing cricket at Lords. It is part of the game, and all sport lovers should gain pleasure from that.

    Now to England! What terrible decicisions throughout! Bad management! Firstly Colly is too nice, Aggers says he is honest, I would say he is an above average cricketer but for a captain, extremely naive.

    Secondly every successful team who wins the toss puts the opponents in in the short form of the game. Two things, over the course of 3/4 hours the wicket changes so little, unless dew sets in. Secondly, If you bowl first your bowlers are fully fired up because they are not having to bowl particularly to contain. You are setting your target

    Subsequently you, having set your target, are able to plan your batting according to the opponents runs that have been scored.

    I agree with the commentators on 5Live this evening, South Africa had a plan A, B and C, maybe a D. Everyone of the South African side knew exactly what they had to do on each of those plans, and did it. Did England have that strategy in place, I suspect not!

    SA also had more depth, and experience. For example Rashid may be a good leggy, he is only 20/21, leggys require guile and experience, you don't have it at that age, impossible, no matter what you are told, it comes naturally, either early or later! He is not a batsman yet, he is phased by the bigger game, that is normal unless you have learnt your trade alongside Murali! So why was he included in the team? Sure you have to 'blood' youngsters, but is good managers decisions to decide when the time is right. The time is not right yet, obviously?

    Why wasn't Luke wright given a bowl? He is known as a 'death bowler'.

    Why did Colly not change bowlers every over, like the 'subcontinent' captains do? Do we not learn anything from them!

    In 20/20, veriety is the spice of life, doing the planned unusual produces results.

    Until we recognise this we will go nowhere.

    Wake up England! This is true in all forms of Cricket.

    Do we want 'traditional cricket' or 'winning cricket'.

    Simple question?


    Neil Hewitt

    Englands batting is fragile, Bopara and Wright have had a few recent successes, however they have flaws, they have not worked to eradicate them, whilst the (good) competion knows exactly what those flaws are, more proffessional approach!

    India seems to have 'cracked' 20/20, even their test players can adapt in this form of the game, and adapt back again.

    India/Sri Lanka seem to play everything on the 'up', especialy during the restricted field periods, and they play their shots well, even though they are not 'text book' shots. Why are they better able than us to execute non-classic' shots than we are? I think that England are bound up in traditional forms of the game. 20/20 isn't like that, you have to be adaptable, some can do it, some can't. Is it our management philosophies, I suspect so. It is rather like the Capello approach, converting really good English players to successful World players.

    Bopara and Wright and Pietersen were targeted, everyone has weaknesses, SA knew it, Bopara/Wright/ Pitersen etc didn't. In 20/20 you have to go quick, there is no time, unless your opponents have given you a low score. Hence the reason to bat second!

    Also Foster is a guy to include in Test Matches, not in 20/20. Matt Prior, although less of a gloveman, is currently significantly more reliable in the scheme of things.

  • Comment number 14.

    It looks as though the instant gratification lot are heading for disappointment. Good news, indeed! Maybe we can get back to something more worthwhile or is nude beach cricket the next great thing. Come on, you 20/20 fans you'll be there in your thousands; nudity, appalling music, drunkenness, ludicrous cricket....what more do you want?

  • Comment number 15.

    LOL @ post 14

    Shhhhhhhhhh ..... don't give the Evil Empire (Sky Sports) ideas.

    Plans are being drawn as we speak for the 20/20 nude beach cricket world cup.

    Round-robin format: teams playing each other 8 times at the group stage, fireworks, female umpires, confetti, appalling music - all sponsored by The "Soaraway" Sun newspaper.

  • Comment number 16.

    As enjoyable to watch on tv as the cricket is - and as much as I want the England men to win, although I fear they won't..........

    ..... so when do we get to see our current 50 over World Cup champions on tv?

    A 10 wicket win over India in their first game - and all that I saw was 30 seconds in a breakfast sports report !!!

    Do the BBC have the rights to show the Womens Highlights?

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm afraid this competition was a joke from the word go. Bangladesh seeded? Against India, that explains it. India is the the dominant FINANCIAL force in cricket and, therefore, MUST advance. I'm not a fan of Australia (cricket wise that is, I'm English after all) but I feel they were cheated out of any chance of progression. If Sri Lanka or West Indies were eliminated I would feel the same about them. One of the top 8 had to go but India were (almost) certainly given a bye to the super eights. A travesty.

  • Comment number 18.

    I agree, Egham. India were practically given a bye - whereas one out of Aus, SL (the two finalists in the last 50-over comp) and WI had to go.

    We couldn't have a repeat of the last 50-over WC where India (and Pak) went out in the first round.


  • Comment number 19.

    I am putting this question here as I cannot find anywhere more appropiate. TMS are always asking us to email them or text in but what is the email address?????

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Adam,

    Good to hear TMS over the summer; still want to know what the final name for the 'Dilshan' shot will be - I like the reverse frying pan, though 'Suicide Sweep' had its merits ...

    As to the e-mail address (previous poster)

  • Comment number 21.

    I love the way Ireland have been playing through the tournament!! How many 'associate' sides have had Sri Lanka on 0 for 1 or come within 9 runs of beating them??!!
    ICC, could we lose Bangladesh and have Ireland play full time please??!


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