6 things we've learned from the World Twenty20 so far


The World Twenty20 in India has already been under way for a week, thanks to the two-tier structure which sees the top eight teams parachuted into the Super 10 stage.

Here are six of the best stories you might have missed.

1. Open revolt

(Tsering Topgyal/AP)

No doubt about it, the story of the first round has been the broiling resentment of the associate nations at their treatment – both in this competition and beyond.

Having already battled hard to earn their place at a global competition, eight sides who are forced to live on scraps from the ICC’s table have been made to fight for two spots in the Super 10 stage.

Most of those teams have hardly any meaningful international cricket to look forward to in the near future, and appeals for full members to take them more seriously continue to fall on deaf ears.

Preston Mommsen, William Porterfield and Peter Borren – the respective captains of Scotland, Ireland and Holland – pulled no punches in their exit interviews, excoriating the system for its lack of support.

2. Scotland won a game

Cold comfort it may be for Mommsen and company, but the monkey is finally off their back.

Defeats to Afghanistan and Zimbabwe took their winless streak at major ICC tournaments to 20 matches and it looked as though rain might prevent them the chance to end that sequence against Hong Kong.

But a reduced match was possible and when they finally crossed the line after 17 years of trying, it was in style – Matt Machan crashing the ball for six to take the points.

3. Cricket’s next cult figure

(Bikas Das/AP)

Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad is a more obviously talented cricketer than Bermuda’s Dwayne Leverock, the rotund Bermudan whose one-handed diving catch lit up the 2007 World Cup, but he should inherit the mantle of neutral’s favourite in the next round.

Unathletic of stature, Shahzad nevertheless possesses an enviable eye and unorthodox technique that could confound opponents in Group One.

Behind the stumps he has history of mocking batsmen by pausing before theatrically completing stumpings – he memorably did so to Michael Clarke in 2013 and repeated the trick against Anshy Rath last week.

4. Never say never

(Shashank Parade/AP)

Ryan Campbell retired from cricket in 2006, with a CV that included just two ODIs for Australia four years earlier.

In 2013 he accepted the post of batting coach for Hong Kong, who quickly decided he could play a more active role for the side.

And so, at 44 years old, Campbell lined up for his first ICC tournament – opening the batting and bowling in all three matches. The results were not spectacular, but the story of his arrival on this stage was worth celebrating in itself.

5. Tigers pair under scrutiny

(Tsering Topgyal/AP)

Bangladesh might feel aggrieved at being forced to take part in the first round given their impressive recent form, but they progressed with no major dramas and plenty of runs in the bank for lead batsman Tamim Iqbal.

More concerning for them is the fact that bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny have both been reported for suspected illegal bowling actions.

The issue should not prevent them bowling until the end of the tournament, but it must surely represent a cloud over the duo’s heads and it is hard to predict how they will react.

6. Ticketing trouble

The logistical side of the tournament has always been a concern, with Delhi’s status as a host city still in doubt at the end of February and Pakistan refusing to play in Dharamsala due to security concerns.

Tickets only went on sale a couple of weeks before the first match and there were serious problems when Scotland played Zimbabwe in Nagpur.

Fans who had travelled thousands of miles to attend the match were given conflicting accounts of how and where they could get hold of tickets and many were turned away at the gate and told to collect their passes at a different ground several miles away.

The ICC will be crossing its fingers that the BCCI has ironed out the kinks by now.


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