It only took one match to mock the T20 World Cup format. In the opening match of the month-long tournament, which was held in Geelong, a Victorian provincial city of just 250,000, Namibia beat former AFC Asian Cup champions Sri Lanka by 55 rounds.
Discomfort seemed unlikely in the tournament’s soft launch of the ‘first round’ after first-class Namibia crashed only in the seventh-of-69-round wicket spanner between Jan Frelink and. JJ Smit led the African nation to a high 7 for 163 competition on a small gate at Cardinia Park – the home of Australian Football League chief Geelong Cats.
After a great effort in bowling and fielding, Namibia tore up Sri Lanka’s somewhat toothless batting system to complete a famous victory. Sri Lanka, a short-lived side in major tournaments over the years, arrived in Australia confident of their surprise victory in the AFC Asian Cup although question marks could be raised over whether some of the powerhouses are fully invested amid the sweltering heat in the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates
Sri Lanka is ranked at best as a rival to the black horses and clearly did not have the star power of its famous teams across formats at its height in the 1990s and 2000s. However, it has been widely called the biggest upset in the history of the T20 World Cup for 15 years and eight editions.
But Namibia is making a comeback after finishing 12th in the Super 12 in its T20 World Cup debut last year in the United Arab Emirates. They are rising both on and off the field with the influence of many of its administrators behind the scenes, particularly among the politicians in Africa.
On this growing weighty, Namibia was named last year as the co-host of the 2027 ODI World Cup along with South Africa and Zimbabwe – the only two countries on the continent.
There was the usual derogatory use of the word “minnows” when framing Namibia’s victory, but they ranked 14th in the T20Is – a top ranking in the so-called world sport. Namibia’s strong performance justified their place – and other highly competitive partners in this draw – in an event marked by two special stages.
The first round features eight countries, low-ranked full members and Best Partners, with the top four qualifying to the stage of 12 alongside the eight already qualified teams.
Decorating the ICC window doesn’t hide what everyone sadly thinks about the opening week – a superb qualification for the main draw that begins October 22 with a sold-out match at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground between Australia and New Zealand.
Cricket has often been criticized over the years as being elitist with not enough focus on developing the sport outside its traditional base. Decisions lie in the ICC’s powerful board of directors, which is often made up of boards of 12 full members.
The 10-team World Cup over 50 was indicative of this short vision, while the current T20 World Cup version is a bit better. Fortunately, there appears to be a greater desire among the powerbrokers in the sport to begin to be more inclusive and evolve the game.
The upcoming 2024 World Cup in the Caribbean and the US will see 20 teams in the main draw in a format that starts out like something worthy of a “World Cup” stature, while the 2027 ODI World Cup will feature 14 teams.
After upsetting Namibia, the frustrated masses of Sri Lankan fans – with Victoria boasting a large expat community – fled, leaving a nearly empty stadium for the second match with a double-header between the Netherlands and the UAE in a rather ugly look for the tournament’s opening day.
The Netherlands has survived a dramatic victory between two countries it believes deserve full membership only to be hampered by strict ICC standards. The UAE appears to be ticking the boxes for coveted membership, leading to significantly more funding and an important place on the powerful ICC board, although it has been frustrated by the full members’ reluctance to play in binary material which led to their exciting new appearance. controversy. League T20 trying to get another source of income.
The UAE has a chance to press claims for full membership next week and possibly then at the last T20 World Cup played under its current interesting form.