Colombo: One needs to give credit where it's due; The International Cricket Council in this case, which has managed to achieve the unthinkable - turn the most exciting version of cricket into a big bore.
The World T20 in Sri Lanka hasn't quite set the world of cricket on fire. Let's be honest, Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka in a scarcely occupied stadium in Hambantota, isn't exactly the best way to get the ball rolling. In fact, the match schedule has been such that for the first four days of the tournament one only saw lopsided contests, devoid of any excitement.
I'm made to understand that from the Super 8s onwards all matches are sold out. But then why not start the tournament with a few mouthwatering encounters? Isn't well begun- half done?
That isn't to say that minnows be kept out of big tournaments like the World T20. I, for one, believe they bring with them a distinct flavour that only adds to the character of an international tournament.
But then, why be in a hurry to dispose of the minnows in the first few days itself?
Afghanistan and Zimbabwe finished their World T20 campaign even before West Indies and Pakistan played their first games. Surely, the ICC could afford to pay for their stay for a few more days.
Uneven contests aside, having the minnows finish all their games right at the start has also meant that certain matches between Test playing countries have lost their relevance. Teams like India, England, South Africa and Sri Lanka have already qualified for the super 8s and hence clashes between them are of no significance.
Length of the tournament is also something that the organisers need to look into. Twenty-over cricket isn't too taxing on the players and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have them play back-to-back matches rather than have five day gaps between games.
But above all, it would be in the interest of the organisers to give the tournament a more meaningful name. Whilst the entire cricketing world relates to it as the 'T20 World Cup', the ICC insists on calling it the 'World T20'. Doesn't a more recognisable name make a brand stronger? Take the Indian Premier League for example - the very mention of the word IPL and the first thing that comes to anyone's mind is fast paced cricket with a dash of glamour. Not sure the name 'World T20' evokes the same feelings in a cricket fan.
As things stand, difference between the IPL and World T20 is the same as the difference between the cheerleaders of the two tournaments.