Once upon a time, in advance of a major global tournament, we’d spend hours carefully crafting preview pieces, identifying players to look out for and generally pretending we were real journalists. Hell, in 2012 we even reviewed every damn day of action. These days however, it requires a lot of luck and a threatening tone from Editor Steve just for the four main contributors to get connected long enough to cobble together 600-odd words about the imminent (or rather, shit! It’s already started!) ICC advertisment-fest. Anyway, here’s what we think. If you’re really lucky, there may also be a podcast in a few days’ time.
English Matt: Everyone loves the World T20, aye?
Aussie Matt: Given the enthusiasm they have shown towards its scheduling, I think it can be assumed that the BCCI love the T20 World Cup about as much as Jeb Bush loves sharing a podium with Donald Trump.
Nichael Bluth: I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it, but then the missus put Meet Joe Black on; after three hours of that, a couple of weeks of pointless hit and giggle cricket that could be replaced by a coin-tossing competition without anyone particularly noticing the difference seems like a quite appealing proposition.
EM: Yeah, I am getting a bit more excited about it as it approaches, but that is mostly because I want to see how blatantly certain Asian Associate teams will dance to the tune of their bookmaker chums. That, and the fact that the previous tournaments have generally been quite good fun. But is it fair to say that the frequency of them is the reason for the absence of any hype whatsoever?
NB: That and the nature of T20 itself – instant gratification that’s just as instantly forgotten. It’s like eating candy floss – it seems like a great idea at the time but a couple of rides later and all you have to show for your money is some sick on your best denim jacket.
James K: I like the World T20 🙁
EM: But you’re also Secretary of the Kevin Pietersen Fanclub. Speaking of whom, sort of, what can we expect from former winners England? And never winners Australia?
AM: England will remain former winners, whilst Australia will continue to be never winners. Honestly, the relentless determination to maintain the status quo shown by the ‘Big Three’ gets a bit extreme at times.
NB: England will stink this one out bad. On paper they’re reasonable enough but as soon as the spinners are on catastrophe is but a fat lady finishing her vocal warmups away. Australia are worth a shout as an outside bet though. A top five of Finch, Khawaja, Devereux, Warner and Maxwell could chase anything down, even if their bowling is a bit lightweight.
JK: Australia are weirdly rubbish at T20 given the players they have. England are either going to win it or lose every game. I was more confident about our brave boys six weeks ago.
EM: Anything else to add before I demand that you all predict the eventual winners?
NB: Chocolate oranges are available from Rawlinsons, that’s all.
AM: I like how they have chosen seemingly the most nonsensical format that they could think up. Including forcing non-member teams to re-qualify. I can see in future tournaments Ireland needing to take to the field in gimp suits with nipple clips in order to satisfy the ICC’s perverse desire to see them suffer as much as possible.
EM: At least we didn’t describe Pakistan as mercurial, West Indies as exciting, South Africa as chokers or New Zealand as dark horses. But in a word, who is going to win?
NB: India. Not the most maverick of predictions there, but what can you do?
EM: Actually, not the strangest prediction ever.
AM: I gave that question a good three or four minutes of contemplation, before coming to the conclusion that I couldn’t see anyone other than India winning it. Then I got my hot water bottle, lay down in bed and had a little cry.