Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 19, 2009

Twenty stars of the ICC World Twenty20

6a00d8341bfcfe53ef00e54f3a4d388834-800wi20. Nasser Hussain – Has grown into a masterful commentator leavening his technical knowhow with enthusiasm for the game and the same bloodymindedness to call it as he sees it that he displayed as captain of England.

19. Roelof van der Merwe – Darren Gough lookalike who has applied pressure throughout with his subtler than they look left arm darts.

18. The ICC – Haven’t got a lot wrong in producing a second exciting and well managed World Twenty20 tournament.

17. The Minnows – The Dutch beat the English and the Irish went further than the Australians. What would they have done if they had been able to choose Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan?

16. The conditions in England – The batsman has everything is his favour in T20? Not in English conditions, not in June anyway. T20 is all the better for a balance between attacking batting and attacking bowling.

15. Dwayne Bravo – The histrionics fit into T20 much more easily than they do in Test cricket where he just looks like a Sergio Garcia-like Drama Queen. His all action style and willingness to commit to every ball is admirable.

14. The Throwers – Is there any part of the game improved more in the last generation than the power throw that hits the stumps? (England excepted).

13. Wayne Parnell and Mohammad Aamer – Two teenage left-arm quicks with whippy actions and ice in their veins. If they can avoid injury (or rather, manage the inevitable injuries that will come their way), we can look forward to a new age of left-arm pace from those two and Mitchell Johnson.

12. The Batting Craftsmen – Ronnie, Shiv, Mahela and Younus have played orthodox shots and scored vital runs with the coolest of heads. Graeme Smith and KP should take note.

11.  Ajantha Mendis – Flash in the pan? Nobody has found him out yet – nor will they.

10. The Crowds – Wildly supportive of England, Pakistan and India in particular, but with pockets of support for all countries, they have partied, but understood the game, building the tension top sport demands.

9. Umar Gul – Not express pace, but with unrivalled control of length and a temperament that can deliver the goods when needed.

8. The Four – So many dismissals result from slogs in the air producing skiers. The humble four, which looked in danger of extinction in 2007, has roared back as the shot of choice for the best bats.

7. The All-Rounder – One over spells to unsettle batsmen and the need for variation has seen the more successful sides using seven bowlers – so four or more all-rounders feature in the XI.

6. Tillakaratne Dilshan – Up the order and up and over his head and the keeper’s for four.

5. AB de Villiers – Electric batting or fielding, but did the SA thing and played his poorest match when he needed his biggest performance.

4. Smaller men – Sanath Jayasuriya and Kamran Akmal lack the stature of KP or Yuvraj, but they hit the ball just as far.

3. Experience – The tournament has thrown up some young stars, but it has underlined just how important experience is amidst the scrambling brains of a run chase or the careful balancing of risk and reward in setting a target.

2. Full boundaries – The full outfields have been deployed and the game is all the better for it.

1. Shahid Afridi – Reaching his potential in a format and atmosphere that suits him perfectly. He is a delight for lovers of the game and fearful prospect for his opponents. We must enjoy him while we can, as the next implosion is never far away.


  1. I think the best part is the full boundaries being deployed. If they were going to deploy shorter boundaries, I might as well watch tennis ball cricket.

    Bottom Line: Short Boundaries = not real cricket

  2. Great compilation TT..

    Afridi on 1 – I would have him there too.

  3. Q – he has one more match to maintain his run.

    I’ve seen him twice at The Oval, and his personality and energy are as important as his bowling, fielding and, when it works, his batting.

    marees – I’m all for playing T20 on football grounds, but the boundary issue may be insurmountable. We do need the full playing area to make the game real.

  4. As a radio listener I’d throw Dermot Reeve in there. He calls it as he sees it and is often outside the conventional way of thinking. Has been a joy to listen to and if his cricketting brain is not somehow used by England in years to come then I think we’ll have missed out. He’d have thrived in this form of the game were he still playing.

  5. Perch – Dermott Reeve would have thrived in T20 for sure. I enjoy his commentary work, but I know people that really, really don’t. Bit of a Boycott figure perhaps?

  6. Dilshan should be up there. Single-handedly belting the Lankans into the final.

  7. Mimi – He’s in at Number 6. Not bad, as I wrote this before his extraordinary performance. I thought Mendis was superb too.

  8. Agreed re the ICC, and I’d add Steve Elworthy, tournament director. Kept it short and sweet. Crowds were good too.

  9. Steve Elworthy has delivered two almost unimproveable tournaments to the ICC. He couldn’t deliver a decent ball for Lancashire, so he’s found his metier.

  10. Dermott Reeve is overrated. Once he has decided on something as a course of action nothing can change his mind. Take his approach that you should go out all guns blazing when you go in to bat. That kind of thinking would mean Afridi would have been out first ball every game.

    What’s annoying is his fellow commentators clearly disagree with him (from their tone of the voice) but don’t challenge him.

  11. T20 demands flexibility in strategy more than any other form of the game.

  12. I thought #14 was going to be about bowling actions.

    Nobody has found him [Mendis] out yet – nor will they.
    Don’t know about that. They found out Iverson and Gleeson.

    • I think he has more in his locker than Iverson or Gleeson – but he looked a bit short on weaponry today. I don’t understand quibbles over his action.

  13. great list… the afridi/dilshan debate would continue i suspect now with afridi being denied a second consecutive player of the tournament, though perhaps dilshan had the more even tourney… regardless, a great day to be alive to be pakistani and to have backed afridi all these years :D

    • Cheers. Every Pakistan fan should revel in the day. I hope more are to come.

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary team. They put the IPL commentators to shame. Nassar as you mentioned. Ian Bishop as well. All of them were excellent.

  15. Am I the only one who enjoys the wise words of Jeremy Coney when he’s in the commentary box. While he doesn’t possess the ability to ask totally inappropriate and cringe worthy post match questions like Mr Hussain (Nasser was in top form after the SA semi final loss), I found he does possess the ability to say the same thing 20 different ways, always without the use of clichés. It’s an important skill to have when the same scenarios or events occur repeatedly over such a short tournament.

    Maybe the BBC could employ him for Wimbledon.

    • I like Coney, but mainly for his speaking voice and language. I can’t recall much incisive point-making. Nasser is the king of nailing the issues.

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