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Posted March 18, 2014 by John Baintree in News
 
 

Why you should watch the ICC World Twenty20

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Non cricket fans have a rather romanticised view of the game in good old Blighty. Warm summer evenings (definitely been a thing of the past in recent years) the gentle sound of leather on willow (have you ever heard a test match in India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh recently – savage, never gentle) and cucumber sandwiches and glasses of Pimms at tea time, just couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to World Twenty20 cricket.

With the progress of the Indian Premier League (cricket not footie) becoming richer and richer the twenty over format became more compelling, even for more traditional cricketing nations such as Australia and New Zealand.

This year sees the fifth outing for the World Twenty20 as home nation Bangladesh open the action against the West Indies. The tournament is being held in Asia for the second consecutive time, sheer testament to the passion for the forma that exists in this part of the world.

This year an increased number of teams, up to sixteen from ten last time. The increased numbers mean matches being played across three cities, Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. The top eight full members automatically qualify for the Super 10 stage of the competition while the remaining 8 nations including cricketing luminaries such as Ireland, Netherlands and Afghanistan all compete in a group competition for the remaining two places in the Super 10.

The twenty over format ensures a fast and furious pace that results in a game that could not be further from our traditional view of the village green in summer. Team selectors need to focus on the physical demands of the game which means that players tend to be younger and often become international celebrities across the Asian sub-continent.

If you are in any doubt about the popularity and excitement this format generates, the International Cricket Council maintain that this year’s tournament will have a global reach of a staggering 1.8 billion viewers. It will be shown in more than 20 languages and will be seen as far afield as the pacific Islands, Norway and Nepal. Available in the UK via Sky Sports the tournament seems set to break record after record as all 35 matches in the tournament are set to be broadcast.