Wizards of Aus spellbound by Twenty20 cricket

June 9, 2009

The temptation to gloat at any Aussie defeat is tempered by the fact that they are better than us at sport. What goes around will surely come around faster than a koala bear on a boomerang with a tin of Castlemaine.

Being put out of the Twenty20 World Cup on day four must be a little galling for the number one test side and world champions of the fifty-over game. Ricky Ponting stopped chewing long enough to look a little bewildered at his second defeat in three days, but credit to him for refusing to blame the exit on yet another ridiculous format that the ICC has developed.

Australia had to play Sri Lanka and Chris Gayle. T20 is a lottery, and two group games is simply not enough to find the best team in the tournament – surely the aim of a World Cup. The format has ensured that tomorrow sees two entirely pointless matches, and, as thrilling as their performance may have been, the Irish qualified for the Super Eight stage thanks to one win over a woeful Bangladesh. I’m looking forward to seeing the O’Brien brothers biffing balls live at Lords on Sunday, but I’d much rather be watching Australia.

Still, the fans don’t seem to mind, with the ICC already making more from the sales of woolly hats than the whole takings from the South African tournament two years ago. (I made that up, but crowds are good, tickets aren’t cheap, and the tournament will be a commercial success.)Merv Hughes fans should be applauded too

Whatever happens to the England team, I’m going to continue praise our antipodean cousins. Perhaps by being kind about Ponting et al, I will in my own way contribute to England winning back the Ashes. So Ricky, here’s one good piece of news for you – the Australian women’s team didn’t lose yesterday. Their warm-up match against India was abandoned.