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Around the World


To get a perspective on the World T20 from around the world we gathered a few thoughts from our contributors. We came across a few interesting points along diverse topics- for instance, following weeks of indifference from the players, audiences in West Indies are more disinterested than ever before (before today, that is :)), tickets have been sold out a year ago, each big team is eerily closer to a first round exit than one suspects, and so on.

Here are their complete thoughts, then, running broadly along the lines of who they think will win, where they think their team will finish and rounding it off with general thoughts on the cup.

Jon Hotten (England)

South Africa can win it - they bat right down to Boucher and have Steyn and two good spinners. And their fielding is brilliant. I think they'll just edge India, although there's not much in it.

England will make it to the the super-eights, where they probably won't win a match. Dirk Nannes in the first group game was a classic banana skin. They're lucky that the match with Pakistan on Sunday will be Pakistan's first in the comp - they're a bit undercooked. So we should progress, but only to the super-eight group of death with India, Australia and South Africa, at least two of whom will beat England, and most likely all three.

If it's cold and damp, England and NZ will come into it more. If it stays hot, like it has been, it'll favour the big guns who get 170-180 consistently. It also depends on who gets lucky - T20 is more susceptible to elements of luck than the longer formats. That's my excuse when all of these predictions turn out to be wrong.

Mark Smith (England)

Winners – India

England – Semi Finalists

It really is a wide open competition.  The format of T20 means that an exceptional innings by an attacking batsman, together with an adequate bowling performance means that any average side can quite easily beat one that’s better on paper.  Two such performances, in such a truncated tournament, can put a side in sight of the semi finals.

Then when you throw the weather into the equation things really can get interesting.

Consider the India, Bangladesh, Ireland group for example.  Shakib Al Hasan goes bananas and Bangladesh beat India, then the India/Ireland game is rained off and further rain means that the Ireland/Bangladesh game is reduced to a five over lottery which Ireland win.  Result?  Bye-bye India.

You could run the same scenario again substituting South Africa for India, and Brendon McCullum for Al Hasan!

Jarrod Kimber (Australia)

The winner will come from India, South Africa and Australia. India look a bit tired and their bowlers aren’t swinging it. South Africa choke in big tournaments. That leaves Australia, who might squeeze through with Mitchell and Brett looking pretty damn unplayable.

I support the Netherlands, and I expect them to beat England and Pakistan. Then after they win, they all get so excited that they start doing coke on the eve of each super 8 game. Surprisingly this has dire consequences when Dirty Dirk Nannes bowls a ball so wide he hits the square leg umpire with a wide delivery.

Jonathan Cumberbatch (West Indies)

It's live cricket matches so the people shall watch but in these parts the now-galloping apathy by the public towards West Indies cricket has rendered the Twenty/20 World Cup to the realms of academic interest, doomed (at least this weekend), to be eclipsed by Trinidad's FIFA WC qualifier, Federer's French Open quest and, of course, the US NBA championships.
No one has dared emerge to figure the Windies as being in-the-running and sports radio attempts to stir any interest in same only leads to a trickle of call-ins before the hosts switch to football.
As noted earlier, the ill-conceived spring tour of England 2009 and its subsequent revelations has brought all accumulated issues beyond the pale here. We wish the lads well but our interests now generally seem to lie elsewhere.
My picks for the tournament are the defending champs India with their key slow-bowling arsenal and Sri Lanka with their supremo hitters.

Sreeram Ramachandran (India)

I don't really think India will win, though they should do well. A few gray areas that will prove costly in crunch games - an ok-ok bowling attack, and somewhat rusty middle/lower middle order being among them.

If South Africa get over their choking habits they should win. If West Indies get interested in the game suddenly, they could be the surprise finalists.

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