England Win Something. Bloody Hell.

england-world-champions

Quite frankly I don’t know what to say. This is uncharted territory. England winning a one day tournament. Not only that but a Twenty20 tournament. Did someone forget to tell them that we’re shit at T20?

I didn’t see much of the tournament but did manage to watch the final yesterday and couldn’t help but feel I was watching a different team. I guess this was probably because I was. Andy Flower has assembled a squad of Twenty20 specialists who are very different to previous England Twenty20 specialists. This lot are actually quite good.

It’s not just that. From what I’ve read and from what I witnessed yesterday, there’s an energy and, more importantly, a belief in this group of players. Right from the outset, they believed they could beat Australia and beat them they did.

No. That’s not true.

England thrashed Australia.

It’s couldn’t have been more of a thrashing if Paul Collingwood had pulled down Michael Clarkes trousers and thwapped his bare naked rump with one of the stumps (preferably not the one containing StumpCam as we’d have then been “treated” to super slow mo images of Clarkes rusty sheriffs badge in the post match review).

OK so a lot has been made about the number of Saffers in the team and that Eoin Morgan had played internationally for Ireland but to the haters Aussies reading this I say pffffffffffft. No rules were broken and in the eyes of the ICC Morgan is as English as I am, to be sure, to be sure.

Regardless of all that, the England players deserved to win the tournament and deserved their post match celebrations. After all, they are the World Twenty20 champions so who could refuse them a good old fashioned English knees up of a braai and a few pints of the Black Stuff?

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ICC World Twenty20 Starts Tomorrow

Twenty20 World CupSo after literally minutes of anticipation, the ICC World Twenty20 competition is upon us. Not only that but it’s the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup too. Be still my beating heart…

Forget the Ashes. This is what we’ve all been waiting for, right? Who cares about that silly, overrated Test match business. This is the real deal. World famous athletes at the top of their game going head-to-head in a bludgeoning battle of ball bashing brutality. If Bangladesh v Ireland doesn’t get your pulse racing then you’re clinically dead already.

Let’s not forget the ladies. Fresh from their success in the Women’s World Cup in Oz, the English lesbians ladies take on the moustachioed might of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to fight for the right to spank New Zealand in the final. Again. My only concern here is that with 22 women on the pitch, who is going to make the teas?

Oh bollocks. Who am I trying to kid? I couldn’t give a squirrels scrotum about the next two and a half weeks. The chances are I won’t even bother watching it. It’s just another example of the I Crave Cash organisation trying to squeeze yet another meaningless tournament into the crowded international cricket calendar.

Want to stop global warming? Stop all these poxy tournaments. I’d love to know what the carbon footprint is for each of the international cricket teams. I’m no tree hugging hippie but I reckon that if you went back to the old days and made Australia travel by boat, the polar bears would have more ice caps than they could shake their left paw at*.

It seems utterly crazy to schedule in the Twenty20 so close to the Ashes series. To all those people who say “it will increase interest in the Test series”, I say you’re talking piffle. England v Australia for the Ashes shouldn’t and doesn’t need any kind of hyping up despite the best efforts of the ECB to ensure that only a tiny fraction of the country can actually watch the series.

So when Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood and Jimmy Anderson get injured in the World Twenty20, are the ECB still going to think it was a good idea?

Still, on the plus side the boys at King Cricket are practically walking around with a permanent lazy lob as a result of Rob Key making it into the England squad, Andrew Symonds’ international career can now be officially classed as over following his latest drunken antics and let’s not forget our old friend Shoaib “I’ve got genital warts” Akhtar. Quite possibly the best excuse for pulling out of a squad I’ve ever heard. If only he had pulled out of the ropey old Doris he caught it from…

* all polar bears are left handed. Did you know that?

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Who Will Captain England in World Twenty20?

It came as quite a surprise to me that Andrew Strauss was left out of England’s provisional 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

After his more than acceptable performances in the ODI games against the West Indies in recent weeks, I thought he had done enough. Especially when you consider how positively he batted when England were chasing 135 in 20 overs during the fourth match of the series.

However, it appears that the England selectors were unconvinced that he had a future in the limited overs game and decided to go without him for this tournament. It means that his future in the 50-over game also has to be in doubt.

Another result of this decision is that England will have split captaincy this summer. Not ideal in my opinion. It is how it is though, so who are the candidates to take charge of the England Twenty20 World Cup side this summer?

Kevin Pietersen – This would be an interesting move wouldn’t it? Less than a year after controversially resigning, KP could be back in charge as England hosts a World Twenty20 tournament. It could happen, but I think the selectors will think carefully about this one.

Paul Collingwood – Colly stepped down from the ODI captaincy when Michael Vaughan resigned from the Test role. Personally, I don’t think he would take this position even if offered it.

Andrew Flintoff – I hope the selectors steer well clear of even considering appointing Flintoff. He needs to be left to play his cricket and be England’s most dangerous and influential bowler.

Rob Key – Should the position just be a temporary measure, then the Kent skipper could fit the role perfectly. He is highly rated as a captain and knows this form of the game better than most. Is he good enough to be in the team though?

Shaun Udal – The 40-year-old will be delighted he is even in the squad. Having led Middlesex to Twenty20 success last year, the selectors may well consider him for a more senior role in the England team. Unlikely, but you never know.

So, these are the five candidates. The two front-runners, in my opinion, are Pietersen and Key. Should the selectors feel the timing is right to hand KP the role, then he is the obvious choice.

Should they feel they need to wait a while before handing him the captaincy again, Key could be handed the responsibility. A decision is expected to be made when a new team director is appointed.

Guest Post by Thomas Rooney

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