On The Front Foot: Another T20 World Cup in 10 months as greedy ICC cashes in
Sunday 07 June 2009
Whoever become the World Twenty20 champions will hold the title for a mere 10 months. It seems hardly worth the bother. The winners and indeed everybody else must go through it all again next April in the Caribbean. There is no doubt that this rather diminishes the prize on offer – possibly to England's relief since they looked on Friday evening like a team that may be ready for a T20 tournament early next year but have no hope of being so in the next two weeks. The International Cricket Council have a grand plan, one that may just work. In accordance with the wishes of the members and their television contract, the ICC must hold a one-day event every year. From next year, it is the ICC's intention to hold the World T20 every two years. The World Cup will be held every four years as it has been since 1975, as will a newly revamped Champions Trophy. In some eyes the Champions Trophy needs putting out of its misery but the ICC have plans for a complete overhaul. This may involve it being played at one venue – possibly Dubai where it has its headquarters and where there are two state-of-the-art stadiums – with either 50 overs, but more probably 20 as the chosen form. Of course, that would mean highly prestigious international Twenty20 tournaments being played three years out of four. But the big question is: would Lalit Modi, the commissioner of the omnipotent Indian Premier League, allow it?
Dazzler's still a turn-on
Darren Gough breezed into Lord's on Friday looking tanned, fit and as if he could still be bowling the tight overs for England in Twenty20. The Dazzler probably thinks so too. He was characteristically chipper about having bowled for the PCA Masters XI earlier in the week at Wormsley. He took 1-25 against the New Zealanders – dismissing Brendon McCullum for eight and conceding only 11 runs against Ireland. Gough is still receiving offers to bowl but sounds as though he will resist all blandishments for a life behind the microphone at TalkSport, where he is as proud of his football punditry as his opinions on cricket.
Cricket on BBC catches on
BBC Television, whose coverage of cricket was the object of some criticism here last week, are back in play, so to speak. They are televising highlights of the World Twenty20 on BBC1 tonight and thereafter after Newsnight on BBC2. It means tonight there is a veritable feast with the fine Empire of Cricket preceding the highlights (apologies to Sally Thomson incidentally who was responsible for the excellently moody opener on England, not the series producer Alastair Laurence). That makes for two hours of cricket on the main channels on one night. How long before licence payers object to the Beeb showing too much?
Ashes win gets Blessing
Nobody among the wonderfully esoteric world of cricket statisticians comes up with more exotic facts than the estimable Benedict Bermange of Sky. England, as Bermange informs On The Front Foot, can win the Ashes, because every 28 years when the vernal equinox falls on a Tuesday at sundown, Jews recite the Blessing of the Sun (this year it happened on 8 April). It has coincided with an Ashes summer only twice before – in 1953 and 1981. Should be a shoo-in.
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