ICC World Twenty20 2012 has stayed true to form book. The big boys of world cricket have cruised into the Super Eights. Minnows have gone home. It is time for real action to begin from Thursday in Pallekele.
ICC's aim to push weaker teams into global events and help them gain experience has not fetched desired results. Every world tournament sees the participation of qualifiers from Associate nations and they make very little impact.
Even though there were few flashes of brilliance, none could stun the top eight of world cricket. And Bangladesh continue to slide down. The Asian team has now lost 10 successive Twenty20 Internationals at World T20.
Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were each drawn into four separate groups. They were not the seeded teams were and were not expected to progress to Super Eights where the elite eight teams contest for semi-finals and final slots.
Afghanistan put a spirited show against India but went down to the former champions. In their next game, they were clueless against England and were sent packing from the tournament after a humiliating loss.
Ireland lost by a big margin to Australia and rain robbed them of an opportunity to put up a fight against the West Indies.
Zimbabwe, who have been long in international cricket and have been hit by many problems, continue to remain unimpressive. The departure of Tatenda Taibu recently has created a huge void in the team.
Zimbabwean batsmen were bamboozled by Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis. In their next clash, the mighty South Africa floored them and were soon boarding the flight home.
Bangladesh lost to New Zealand after Brendon McCullum's blistering century was too much to handle. Though Shakib Al Hasan scored a half century against Pakistan and they posted a very good total, Imran Nazir's blitz ensured that there were no upsets in the tournament.
Lack of high quality matches are definitely hurting the weaker teams to gain ground. It would be better for ICC to organise more matches between the stronger teams with the upcoming ones. Only that way will there be some amount of balance in these global extravaganzas.
Or else, every two or four years, these teams just make up the numbers and leave the scene.
Super Eight: Group 1: Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, England. Group 2: India, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa.