NEWSWIRE

DOWN TO THE HEAVYWEIGHTS

SUPER 8'S PREVIEW
NIGEL REED (SPORTSNET)
September 27, 2012

 

The phony war is over. Finally the tournament proper can kick into top gear and the real business of becoming ICC World Twenty20 champions can begin in earnest.
 
Enough with the one sided blowouts. They hold little value for players or spectators.
 
Of course the minnows need to test themselves against better opposition in order to improve. But embarrassing losses serve only to perpetuate their status as ill prepared, under financed nations who lack the traditional infrastructure to develop.
 
Throwing them in at the deep end once every couple of years and expecting them to compete is completely unrealistic. Afghanistan and Ireland are serious about their cricket and are head and shoulders above the rest of the second tier countries - Canada included. However the gulf between the ICC's Full members and the Associates remains cavernous and it will take many more years before they can hold their own among cricket's elite.
 
Now we're down to the serious contenders - the eight teams who harbour genuine hopes of lifting the trophy in early October. There are no surprises - but we never expected any. Bangladesh acquitted themselves well against Pakistan but, in the final analysis, an eight wicket defeat is what it is. Zimbabwe, a test playing nation for twenty years, continues to struggle badly on the international stage.