May 3 - 16, 2010

The ICC WorldT20 cup which gets underway at the West Indies April 30 seems to be scripted on the pattern of 1960's hilarious Hollywood movie "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".

Directed by Stanley Kramer, the comedy is about a search for a buried treasure by at least a dozen of drivers who had pulled over by the roadside to attend to a dying person from injuries in a car accident who reveals to them that he had buried a fortune (in stolen money) "under the big W".

Realizing that their fortunes could be made, the drivers engage in a furious race to be the first to find the money. For the next 200 minutes the drivers along with their friends in their vehicles do whatever they could to get to the treasure under the "BIG W" first.

Almost in similar manner twelve selected cricket teams from across the five continents and millions of their supporters back at home would be involved in fortnight long "Mad" race in the West Indies (the Big W).

The teams would fight for the final booty which could bring the winner a big prize money and most of all, for the honor to be called the ICC WorldT20 champion. Defending champions Pakistan, former Champion India, host West Indies, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland, and Afghanistan the only non commonwealth country would be in the race in the championship. It were the children of Afghanistan Jihad displaced by war against the Soviet Union at home in 1979 and brought to neighboring cricket crazy Pakistan, took the leather and willow sports back to their home land where besides Buzkuhsi, wrestling and football were the main sporting entertainments to the sturdy population.

Almost at the same time women's cricket teams of eight test playing countries, Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, West Indies, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka would be vying to win the women's ICC World T20 cup which would also be played in the BIG W starting May 5.

The only difference between the Hollywood movie and the ICC World T20 is that while the former is big screen movie produced to make money by entertaining and making millions laugh across the globe through comedy, the latter is serious sports entertainment where money does matter for the organisers and the teams but national pride plays bigger role.

But the both the businesses have one common factor i.e. entertainment. All the twelve countries avoiding the subsiding Icelandic volcanic ash clouds that brought air travel in Europe to a standstill and made a number of airlines go bust, have landed in the Caribbean where the action begins in right earnest on April 30 at Guyana with host West Indies taking on qualifier Ireland, the team that forced Pakistan out of the ODI world cup a few years ago in the same neighborhood triggering rumors about match fixing.

The defeat also cost Pakistan its South African born coach Bob Woolmer who died as mysteriously in his hotel room, within hours after his teams unexpected defeat as Pakistan lost to the Irish. New Zealand will meet Sri Lanka in the second opening match of the competition which will conclude on May 16 with the final at Barbados.

T20 cricket was born out of the commercial needs of English summer to attract the supporters back to the small cricket arenas across the Island which is home of almost every modern sports except basketball which has US origins.

The emphasis was on fun and attracting fans to the sport. The experiment in cricket which started with stress on fun has become increasingly serious multi million dollar business. IPL is proof of it . The new T20 format which could be easily compared with lightening chess has become the golden goose which could not be sacrificed on the alter of slow test cricket or the now dying ODI format.

Pakistan cricket rocked by calamitous Australian tour where the visitors got the worst drubbing ever in that region had to make some adjustment while selecting the team that would defend the title won in England.

On the eve of the selection Pakistan suffered more setbacks when two players pacer Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat reported injured. Muhammed Sami came in place of Gul and Abdur Rehman for Yasir Arafat. Boob Boom Shahid Afridi, world record holder of fastest century in an ODI was handed over the reins of the team.

It was a popular but dicey decision after what Afridi had done in Sydney ODI against Australia in the recent past. In full view of 28 TV cameras, stalwart of over 300 one dayers Afridi leading Pakistan in that contest bit the ball twice. It was not an innocent but premeditate well thought act which once again proved that Pakistani players could easily breach the line of trust and discipline for their personal gain.

People argue how Afridi would have befitted from that illegal act but people sitting at home particularly at Karachi having knowledge of skippers connection with people of suspect integrity would read more into the act than what the eye saw.

West Indies had always been a difficult place for Pakistan teams in the past. It is the place where spinner Abdul Qadir almost landed in deep legal trouble because of his alleged shoving and pushing act with a spectator on the boundary line.

It is the place where Wasim and Waqar Younus and some other Pakistani cricketers were allegedly caught by local police for possessing marijuana and playing with a buxom tourists on the beach. This is the place where Pakistan in last ODI World Cup lost to minnows like Ireland and then their coach died in his hotel room mysteriously.

The Police questioned Pakistani players. For Pakistan the West Indies has become "cricket's Bermuda Triangle" where Pakistan almost always has landed in trouble.

Shahid Afridi has hoped of his team retaining the trophy provided there are no controversies which are never far when Pakistan cricket team plays in the BIG W.

Match fixing and spot fixing are two most sensitive areas where Pakistani team management had to be alert. Big money would certainly flow from all sides and bookies would try to catch hold of an unwary player for their end.

Captains of all the twelve teams have arrived in the Caribbean with one aim to win the title. Even team like Afghanistan is hoping to cause upset. If law of averages is any indication who would win the coming trophy, chances of Pakistan look bleak.

Pakistan lost the final of T20 in South Africa on the last ball to India and won it next time in England. Chances of Pakistan reaching final third time are far fetched. However nothing could be predicted in the unpredictable game of cricket and more so in T20 cricket where fortunes of contest swing with each ball bowled, with each four or sixes hit, a catch taken or a run out missed.

Host West Indies with big hitters in its team are likely favorites followed by South Africa and Australia. India and Sri Lanka would reach shores of the Caribbean tired from the just concluded Indian IPL. England and New Zealand would be surprised teams in the lot.

Pakistan would need discipline on and off the field and a strong performance to retain the event. Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan with surprise results could turn the title race upside down in the initial first round.

Twelve men's team have been divided in four groups of the three teams each. Top two teams from each ground would move into eight team super league. Winners of group A and C and second placed teams of group D and B will be one group while winner of Group B and D and runners up of Group A and C will be in second group in super league.

Two teams from these groups will play in the knockout stage of semi finals. In women's section Pakistan, India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are in one group and Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies are another group.

After league group round, top two teams from each group will reach the knockout semi final stage.

In men's category four groups in the championship are:

Group A: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia.

Group B: Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe Group

C: South Africa, India, Afghanistan (Qualifier 1) Group

D: West Indies, England, Ireland (Qualifier 2) The teams are:

Afghanistan: Nawroz Mangal (captain), Mohammad Nabi, Karim Sadiq, Mirwais Ashraf, Rais Ahmadzai, Dawlat Ahmadzai, Mohammad Shahzad, Hamid Hassan, Samiullah Shinwari, Noor Ali, Asghar Stanikzai, Shahpoor Zadran, Shabir Noori, Sayed Nasrat, Shafiq Shafaq.

Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Dan Christian, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Dirk Nannes, Tim Paine, Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Ashraful, Aftab Ahmed, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Syed Rasel, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Jahurul Islam.

England: Paul Collingwood (captain), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Craig Kieswetter, Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma.

Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Gary Kidd, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Aaron Redmond, Jacob Oram, Gareth Hopkins, Rob Nicol, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Shane Bond, Ian Butler.

Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (captain), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Khalid Latif, Misbah-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Hammad Azam, Kamran Akmal, Muhammed Sami, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Kallis, Loots Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Juan Theron, Roelof van der Merwe.

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Muttiah Muralitharan, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Thissara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Chanaka Welagedara, Chamara Kapugedara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chinthaka Jayasinghe.

West Indies: Chris Gayle (captain), Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Andre Fletcher, Wavell Hinds, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor.

Zimbabwe: Prosper Utseya (captain), Brendan Taylor, Charles Coventry, Andy Blignaut, Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu, Greg Lamb, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda, Ray Price, Graeme Cremer, Chamu Chibhabha, Chris Mpofu, Timycen Maruma, Craig Ervine.


30 April Group B New Zealand v Sri LankaProvidence Stadium
30 Apr Group D West Indies v IrelandProvidence Stadium
01 May Group C Afghanistan v India BeausejourStadium, Gros Islet
01 May Group A Bangladesh v Pakistan BeausejourStadium, Gros Islet
02 May Group C India v South Africa Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
02 May Group A Australia v Pakistan Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
03 May Group B Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe Providence Stadium
03 May Group D West Indies v England Providence Stadium
04 May Group B New Zealand v Zimbabwe Providence Stadium
04 May Group D England v Ireland Providence Stadium
05 May Group A Australia v Bangladesh Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
05 May Group C Afghanistan v South Africa Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
06 May Group E not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
06 May Group E not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
07 May Group F not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
07 May Group F not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
08 May Group E not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
08 May Group E not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
09 May Group F not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
09 May Group F not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
10 May Group E not known v not known Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
10 May Group E not known v not known Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
11 May Group F not known v not known Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
11 May Group F not known v not known
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
13 May Semi-Final not known v not known
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
14 May Semi-Final not known v not known
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
16 May Final not known v not known Kensington Oval, Bridgetown


Australia: Jodie Fields (captain), Alex Blackwell, Jessica Cameron, Sarah Elliott, Rene Farrell, Rachael Haynes, Julie Hunter, Shelley Nitschke, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Leah Poulton, Clea Smith, Lisa Sthalekar, Elyse Villani.

England: Charlotte Edwards (captain), Katherine Brunt, Holly Colvin, Lydia Greenway, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Heather Knight, Laura Marsh, Beth Morgan, Nicola Shaw, Anya Shrubsole, Claire Taylor, Sarah Taylor, Danielle Wyatt.

India: Jhulan Goswami (captain), Mithali Raj, Poonam Raut, Sulakshana Naik, Anagha Deshpande, Rumeli Dhar, Amita Sharma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Reema Malhotra, Diana David, Gouhar Sultana, Soniya Dabir, Priyanka Roy, Anjum Chopra.

New Zealand: Aimee Watkins (captain), Amy Satterthwaite, Suzie Bates, Erin Bermingham, Kate Broadmore, Nicola Browne, Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Lucy Doolan, Maria Fahey, Sara McGlashan, Liz Perry, Rachel Priest, Sian Ruck.

Pakistan: Sana Mir (captain), Nain Abidi, Armaan Khan, Batool Fatima, Asmavia Iqbal, Bismah Maroof, Qanita Jalil, Urooj Mumtaz Khan, Javeria Wadood, Sajida Shah, Nida Rashid, Sania Khan, Sadia Yousaf, Rabia Shah

South Africa: Cri-Zelda Brits (captain), Susan Benade, Trisha Chetty, Mignon du Preez, Shandre Fritz, Shabnim Ismail, Ashlyn Kilowan, Marcia Letsoalo, Sunette Loubser, Alicia Smith, Angelique Taai, Chloe Tryon, Charlize van der Westhuizen, Dane van Niekerk.

Sri Lanka: Chamani Seneviratne (captain), Dilani Manodara, Inoka Galagedara, Shashikala Siriwardene, Dedunu Silva, Suvini de Alwis, Chamari Atapattu, Ehsani Kaushalya, Sandamali Dolawatta, Sripali Weerakkody, Udeshika Prabodhani, Deepika Rasangika, Hiruka Fernando, Chandi Wickramasinghe.

West Indies: Merissa Aguilleira (captain), Kirbyina Alexander, Shemaine Campbelle, Britney Cooper, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Cordel Jack, Stacy-Ann King, Pamela Lavine, Anisa Mohammed, Juliana Nero, Shakera Selman, Tremayne Smartt, Stafanie Taylor.


05 May Pool A West Indies v South
Africa Warner Park, Basseterre
05 May Pool A Australia v England Warner Park, Basseterre
06 May Pool B Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Warner Park, Basseterre
06 May Pool B India v New Zealand
Warner Park, Basseterre
07 May Pool A Australia v South
Africa Warner Park, Basseterre
07 May Pool A West Indies v
England Warner Park, Basseterre
08 May Pool B India v Pakistan
Warner Park, Basseterre
08 May Pool B New Zealand v Sri
Lanka Warner Park, Basseterre
09 May Pool A England v South
Africa Warner Park, Basseterre
09 May Pool A West Indies v
Australia Warner Park, Basseterre
10 May Pool B India v Sri Lanka
Warner Park, Basseterre
10 May Pool B New Zealand v
Pakistan Warner Park, Basseterre
13 May Semi-Final not known v not known
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet IT20
14 May Semi-Final not known v not known
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet IT20
16 May Final not known v not known Kensington
Oval, Bridgetown IT20