Rain, rain go away, come again another day, little Rashid Khan wants to play. They never got to showcase their whole talent, did they? Ran Australia close with Rashid brilliance in Adelaide, Mujeeb’s Magic Ball, and Farooqi’s swing, some moments to cherish.
Foolish batting vs New Zealand, net run rate drops, never recovered, Stoinis only star, Starc-Cummins drop T20 credentials, Finch nearing the end.
The Tigers were one win away from the semi-finals. That is already a big plus, isn’t it? Nothing was expected from them. Also Taskin’s menace and the elegancethat Liton Das is.
Double World Champions, shall I say more? The talent that Sam Curran is, redemptions of Alex Hales & Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler’s calm captaincy paves new era for England cricket. England’s message to the whole world – Change or Perish. This is the way to go in T20s.
A script so predictable that is starting to get boring. Virat Kohli’s usual magic, India breezes to the semi-finals, and then packs their bags only to return home. But disappointment aside, That Haris Rauf shot, SKY’s 360 game, and the emergency of Arshdeep is what we will all remember.
Coming of age. The Campher-Dockrell recovery vs Scotland set the tone for this World Cup, Balbirnie led from the front, Stirling with his one great innings, Fionn Hand’s Ball vs Stokes, Tector’s 71, and wins versus West Indies and England. Ireland are big boys now.
Set the World Cup on fire with a dominating victory against Sri Lanka in the first game. Almost through to the Super 12s with David Wiese’s heroics but unfortunately the long boundaries went against them.
South Africa will be scarred forever courtesy Roelof Van Der Merwe’s catch and all-round performance. Consistent bowling throughout, Tim Pringle’s glasses, Max O’Dowd’s class, Ackermann’s assault, eye injury to de Leede, Van Meekeren’s fast bowling arrival, and enough support from the rest of the crew.
They came, they saw, they left from the knockout stageswithout conquering. Same old, same old. Glenn Phillips, Santner, and one innings each of Conway/Allen only positives.
Almost a replica of 1992. World Cup down under, lost the first couple, almost out.Then came the Shadab show versus South Africa and they never looked back. Naseem-Shaheen-Haris-Wasim made a potential fast bowling attack that challenged England, but an archaic batting strategy cost them.
Good, but not good enough. Injuries meant they were not even close to replicating their Asia Cup heroics. Hasaranga among the wickets again. But Off-field controversies are not helping.
Brilliant victory against the West Indies but will be disappointed. Had one door in the Super 12s but could not stop an Ireland comeback. An end of era, retirements forthcoming.
Great bowling attack, some power hits, and one win against Namibia. That’s better than most expected.
15. West Indies
Hetmyer missed flight, West Indies missed on common sense cricket. Crashed out of the first round. Digging themselves in a hole now.
The team to support in this World Cup, lead superbly by Sean Williams with charismatic Sikandar Raza as their main man. Defeated Pakistan and were close to the semis if they hadn’t panicked in the Bangladesh run chase. Chakaba solid behind the stumps, Ngarava the pick of the bowlers with Muzarabani and Brad Evans other positives.
Why waste time when there is so much cricket to come? Let’s save all that energy for the World Cup itself!
Here is the Quickest Preview of the 2022 T20 World Cup team-by-team.
No longer minnows, BBL experience of Rashid-Nabi-Qais-Mujeeb, future stars in Farooqi and Gurbaz, and guaranteed 5 games in Group 1, expect them to overthrow one of Australia/England/New Zealand.
Reigning world champions, defeated by England in bilateral series, acquisition of Singaporean finisher Tim David, the Steve Smith issue, Maxwell’s form, Wade’s fireworks, the promise of Cameron Green (and not actually being in the team), can they make it 2 in 2 at home?
Will Bangladesh ever win another T20I?Shakib-Liton key if the Tigers have any hope.
The return of Alex Hales, golf injury to Bazball’s Bairstow, where does Stokes even fit, finishing trio Brook-Moeen-Livingstone, but will Wood’s pace & the Topley-led bowling hold up?
Post the Porterfield & O’Brien generations and the dropping of Andy McBrine, onus is on the new generation of Balbirnie-Delany-Tector-Tucker to bring with them new hope—expect them to be contenders to go to the next round & look out for Josh Little.
New captain, 30+ bilateral games, injuries to Bumrah-Jadeja-Chahar, comeback of a 37-year-old, the 19th over scars, Dravid as coach, Pandya-Surya on fire, is it finally their time to shed the ‘chokers’ of the last decade tag?
Best names (Pikky Ya France, for example), great jerseys, shrewd captain in Erasmus, and a David Wiese – surely they will repeat the magic of 2021?
Conway’s consistency, Allen’s aggression, Williamson’s wisdom, flying Phillips, blistering Bracewell, nifty Neesham, the spinners/all-rounders, and with the Boult-Southee-Ferguson-Milne combo – can we ever really count the Kiwis out?
Babar-Rizwan, Rizwan-Babar, that’s all Pakistan is these days, aren’t they? Wrong—There’s Rauf, and Naseem, and Shaheen, but it all depends on Nawaz-Shadab, both with the bat and ball.
Last chance for Scotland’s great generation (Berrington-MacLeod)? Have some internal issues to sort out.
12. South Africa
Killer Miller, mighty Markram, Rabada-Nortje, oh yeah and there is the Temba Bavuma vs Reeza Hendricks thing to sort out, but forget about them all and look out for Tristan Stubbs, it’s Proteas time now.
13. Sri Lanka
Asia Cup champions, modern T20 template, inspirational captain-finisher-allrounder Shanaka, and the brilliance of Bhanuka Rajapaksa – the dark horses of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
14. West Indies
The end of the great generation, Hetmyer misses a flight, Pooran-Lewis-Holder to carry the load, good fast bowling unit, and who in the worldis this Yannic Cariah?
If they want to qualify to the next round, it will happen on the shoulders of Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams, maybe with a little bit of Blessing (Muzarabani).
Participation points? Captaincy change & good show in Asia Cup but will be tough for them to progress to the next round.
Finally here are my predictions and some images from the T20 World Cup media event.
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What is Bazball in cricket? Bazball is a fresh aggressive approach coined for England’s new Test coach, Brendon McCullum, whose nickname is ‘Baz.’
Why are we discussing Bazball in cricket in 2022?
Since captain Ben Stokes & McCullum took over, England cricket team’s record in Test match format has been astonishing: WWWWLWWWWW. This includes seven wins at home against New Zealand, India, & South Africa and 3 away wins in Pakistan. The manner of victory has been even more mind boggling—An innings victory and six wins with 5 wickets or more.
When you type ‘Bazball’ in Google Trends, you get this image below. With England’s astonishing consecutive fourth innings chases in Test match cricket, especially with the 378 against India, no wonder that interest in this term has really, really piqued in the last few days.
But what in the world is Bazball? Can someone be Bazballing? Could you become a Bazballer? Is it a noun, verb, adjective, or all of the above?
Don’t worry, be happy.
Today, we will help you out and try to answer this exact answer—The who, what, where, when, and how of Bazball!
While writing this unofficially official definition of Bazball, we took inspiration from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. We make an honest attempt here to write this definition similar dictionary format—part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.), phonetic pronunciation, variants, examples, and more!
So, in simple terms, what is Bazball? Brave, Brash, and lots of Bairstow.
10 Examples of Bazball
England selecting Rob Key, a former English cricketer and commentator with zero administrative experience, as the Managing Director of the English Cricket Team and choosing Brendon McCullum (zero first-class coaching experience) as the head coach of the England Test team.
In a Spelling Bee, a contestant can ask for usage in a sentence to further understand the word. Our next example doubles up as an interpretation and also satisfies the “Can You Use It in a Sentence?” segment (Don’t know what I am referring to? Watch this hilarious Jimmy Kimmel Spelling Bee segment).
“When a fielder sledges you and you sledge them back with runs. That’s Bazball. When you are so intent on showing respect to the opposition’s bowlers you walk down the track, clear your front leg, and respect them repeatedly into the sightscreen. That’s Bazball. When an old lady needs help crossing the street, but instead of walking her across you fire her from a cannon all the way into her house. Definitely Bazball…When something has been around for a while, but the rebranding is so strong it seems futuile to resist…perhaps this is also Bazball?
Origins and History of Bazball
Brendon McCullum, affectionately known as Baz, has always been in the forefront of the media.
Whether as a swashbuckling wicketkeeper back in 2002, the unofficial launcher of the Indian Premier League with his 158*, captain supreme of New Zealand’s golden run to the 2015 ODI World Cup Final, Baz has always been there. Rejuvenating Eoin Morgan’s men to ODI overhaul, inventing the BMacDilscoop, retiring on a high with the fastest Test hundred, coaching Trinbago Knight Riders to unbeaten glory, or note-taking KKR’s way out of IPL Playoffs, McCullum is a trendsetter.
But this time, it’s different. Coaching T20s? Fine, but Test matches? Baz has no experience. Questions were tossed. England had only won one match in their last 17 Tests. How could they possibly bounce back?
They didn’t just bounce back. They Bazzed back. Whatever that means.
Four wins in four Test matches. Record chases of 250+. They have now brushed aside both of the finalists in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, New Zealand and India. The Rob Key-Brendon McCullum-Ben Stokes partnership has somehow swayed a magic wand over England and rejuvenated the English fans’ hopes in Test cricket
England are no longer the good guys of world cricket. They are, now the Baz boys….
Brendon McCullum In His Own Words
Here are some snippets of Brendon McCullum from an interview after a 3-0 win over his home nation, New Zealand. When asked about emotion, clarity, keeping it simple, and his general coaching style, he said,
“I try to quieten down some of the noise…Trying to get these guys closer together and try for them to understand their game…give them as much confidence as I can…we can get caught up in a fear of failure…..and I don’t know what Bazball is…don’t know where it came from..[on Jonny] .Go out there and just be yourself. Have your moment…Try to inspire the next generation of Test cricket”
– Brendon McCullum
This has already inspired the likes of Dravid-Ball, Lax-Ball. How far reaching will McCullum’s coaching impact be?
Can Brendon McCullum Fulfill His True Legacy?
Brendon McCullum has won trophies, gained worldwide acclaim, and played memorable innings. He has achieved everything a cricketer can achieve in his or her life.
McCullum has been a lifelong trendsetter. Now only goal remains.
Can Brendon McCullum, aka Baz, fulfill his legacy and make the Dictionary?
*In order to get an official word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the usage and citation matters. There are dictionary employees working on a daily basis perusing through publications, articles, online editorials, etc. So basically, if we use Bazball enough, especially in written work, it will one-day, make the dictionary.
Bazball in England Cricket – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Bazball?
The purpose and intent of Bazball is to completely annihilate the opposition, abruptly change the tide of a game, and bring an uneasy calm before a surprising storm, all without sacrificing the inner innocence and amusement of a three-year-old child. The prerequisite of Bazballing is the existence of a Bairstow and ability to display aggression without displaying aggression. The Bazball Effect is largely a cricketing phenomenon but is not limited to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
What are some examples of Bazball?
– England selecting Rob Key, a former English cricketer and commentator with zero administrative experience, as the Managing Director of the English Cricket Team and choosing Brendon McCullum (zero first-class coaching experience) as head coach of the England Test team – Jonny Bairstow smashing 136 (92), 162 (157), or 71*(44) and England chasing 279/5 in 78.5 overs (RR 3.53), chasing 299 in 50 overs (RR 5.98), or chasing 279/5 in 78.5 overs (RR 3.53) in 4th innings of a Test match. – Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell scoring 4 centuries and 5 half-centuries between them, not giving up, and giving England a taste of their own medicine – Jasprit Bumrah scoring 35 runs off one Stuart Broad over – England scoring 657 in 101 overs with 4 centuries in Rawalpindi against Pakistan on a dead pitch.
Who coined the phrase, ‘Bazball’?
Although the ‘Bazball’ is named for Brendon McCullum, known as ‘Baz,’ he did not coin the term himself. The phrase ‘Bazball’ was created by England cricket fans on social media and commentators.
What is the Bazball approach?
What is Bazball in cricket? Bazball is a fresh aggressive approach coined for England’s new Test coach, Brendon McCullum, whose nickname is ‘Baz.’
Joy – Overly optimistic English cricket fan. Cheerful.
Curiosity– What is life? Why are we here? Always asks questions, glass half-full kind of person. Philosophical.
Suspicion – Why does anything even matter?Always ask questions, glass half-empty kind of person.
Disappointment – We are all doomed from the start individual.
Satisfaction – (cameo role)
The Hundred – The new couple on the block.
English Cricket – Thought he had everything figured out on 14th July, 2019, but is currently going through a mid-life crisis. Wants to be friends with the Hundred without offending County Cricket.
County Cricket – Father figure of English cricket. Abode of wisdom.
Moeen Ali & Chris Woakes(cameo role) – as Moeen Ali & Chris Woakes
Bartender – (cameo)
Some bar in London
Curiosity and Joy were strolling down the street in London looking for County cricket but collided with a couple—The Hundred. They decide to go to a bar and started introducing themselves, but little did they know that the conversation was about to go south really quick.
ACT I: England Have Their Own League?
The Hundred: “Hi, mind if we join you? We are The Hundred. English cricket is launching us!”
Joy:“Yay! England are branding their own league!”
The Hundred: “Yes super excited! Will be great for English cricket and women’s cricket. After years of delay, we will finally get our time at glory.”
Joy:“BUT….England’s cricket is already pretty great…Anyway I will miss the T20 Blast.”
The Hundred: “Well…The T20 Blast is not going anywhere…In fact, the quarter finals resume on August 24th.”
Curiosity: “Huh? How about County Cricket?”
The Hundred: “Still There.”
Joy: “Maybe they reduced a home England series from 5 matches to 3 to accommodate you.”
The Hundred: “Nope.”
Curiosity:“What??? How will English players survive with continuous cricket?”
The Hundred: : “Simple. Rest and Rotate. Specifically for series like India and New Zealand so England are all ready to go for the high pressure Sri Lanka series.”
Chris Woakes & Moeen Ali overhear this from the next table.
Chris Woakes & Moeen Ali (together):“We have built beautiful careers out of this Rest-And-Rotate strategy.”
English Cricket: “Yep! Never a dull moment with the me.”
*Chris Woakes walks out the door. England’s team management subsequently rests Woakes till the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.
ACT II: Who Is Even Playing?
Suspicion and disappointment walked into the bar.
Curiosity: “So, how is the Hundred different from the T20 Blast?”
The Hundred: “Just 8 franchise teams instead of 18 counties. International talent of high standard. The same franchise for both women & men play on the same day. 100 balls. Graphics. Free-to-air cricket. Fireworks. DJ. Ice cream.”
Curiosity: “OOh international talent…you mean like the Pollards and Russells and the David Warners, right?
The Hundred: “Well…except those players. They withdrew due to injuries, COVID, and international duties.”
Suspicion:“Alright spill the beans. You promised us this great international talent. Who all we missing?”
The Hundred: “Shaheen Shah Afridi & Shadab Khan won’t be there…for starters.”
The Hundred: “And Zampa, Maxwell, Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Finch, Rabada, Pooran said bye-bye as well. And sounds like Lamichanne, who is already in England quarantining, had some visa issues, so he is gone too.”
Joy: “At least there is Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, and Alyssa Healy for the Women’s Hundred.”
The Hundred: “About that…Perry, Healy, Devine, Amelia Kerra, Rachael Haynes, Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning, Ashleigh Gardner and a few more withdrew due to personal reasons as well. On a positive note, India did send Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, and Harmanpreet Kaur. Stefanie Taylor-Deandre Dottin-Lizelle Lee-Shabnaim Ismail-Dane van Niekerk-Laura Woolvaardt are some of the other talent on show.
Joy: “All hope lies on our great World Cup winning English golden generation. Glad they are still participating!”
The Hundred: “Yes, yes they are. Except Harry Gurney retired, Olly Stone is injured,…”
*under their breath, avoiding eye contact*
“Speaking of which, Mark Wood is preparing for the India Test series, and all the English Test players will only get 2 matches (Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ollie Robinson, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes, AND Jonny Bairstow.) “
Disappointment: “I am going home. Australians, West Indies, Pakistanis missing? No Indian players either. Most of our home team is not completely available either. What fun are you? Sounds like nobody is playing.”
The Hundred: “Friends, Cheer up! The Kiwis, South Africans, and Afghans are still by us. Colin de Grandhomme replaced Russell. The great Devon Conway & Quinton de Kock were signed as replacements as well.”
Joy: “I am listening.”
The Hundred: “Destructive batters like Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips, Colin Munro, Colin Ingram, Chris Lynn, D’arcy Short. Bowlers of the calibre of Adam Milne, Mohammad Amir, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, and Mujeeb-Qais-Nabi-Rashid Khan.”
Joy: “Okay that sounds a bit better.”
The Hundred: “WAIT! There’s more. There is someone else. I am forgetting his name….Car…Carl,…?
Curiosity: “Carlos Brathwaite!!!!”
The Hundred: “But truly, English talent is on show as well. World’s best keeper Sarah Taylor & Liam Plunkett will be seen after a long time. At least for a few games, England’s A, B, C teams against each other! From the Heather Knights & Joe Roots to the Eoin Morgans & Alex Hales…”
Curiosity exits: Just as things were looking positive for this new group of friends, the police office barged it and took Curiosity away with the allegation that…Curiosity killed the cat.
ACT III: The Rules
County Cricket and English Cricket enter.
Suspicion:“You mentioned 100-balls. I mean, why? What is even the point?”
The Hundred: “Shorter game. Less time. More prime-time television. We are even penalizing the fielding time. If fielding team goes over time, they will have to sacrifice a fielder into the inner circle.”
Disappointment: “100 balls, T10 cricket, Ninety-Ninety. Cricket is dying. Timeless Tests—those were the days.”
Joy: “Yay, a 16.4 over contest! Love it!”
Suspicion: “So, just a reduced 20-over contest?”
The Hundred: “But there is more! Change of end every 10 balls. So you can bowl 2 overs of 5 balls each consecutively. Did I say over? What’s in an over? From today—no more overs! Only balls. “
County Cricket: “Frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn about your balls. Why would you steal our glory for the sake of 20 balls?”
English Cricket: “English Cricket needs to be at the edge of scientific revolution with the Hundred.”
The Hundred: “You see, there is a method in our madness. We are ahead of our times. Innovation and entertainment are our middle names.”
Suspicion: “Ah innovation—So no more soft signals?”
The Hundred: “Well not that kind of innovation. More like toss on a stage, fireworks, fancy helmets, white cards, ultra-speed DRS, a new DLS algorithm, original team names. Did I mention the graphics?”
Joy: “Yay! Hot pink, bright green, & black. Love the combination. It is so colorful!”
Disappointment: “NO! Hot pink, bright green, & black. Hate the combination. It is so colorful!”
Disappointment: “This is total garbage. You are taking my precious time away from the Leicestershire Vs Yorkshire 50-over Royal London One Day Cup. “
Suspicion: “Yeah why? I mean the T20 blast had full stadiums last week. Why not re-market the T20 Blast with strict over-rate rules, ‘innovation’, and free-to-air TV? The England-Pakistan T20I series was loved by everybody. Liam Livingstone was hitting the ball across the English channel!”
Disappointment: “County Championship, T20 Vitality Blast, The Hundred, One Day Cup, Tokyo Olympics…all at the same time.”
County Cricket: “By trying to do everything at once, you are not getting anything done. And hurting the sentiments of the traditional fans. It is hurting us financially, socially, psychologically. Where has your support gone? I have been waiting, waiting, waiting….”
English Cricket: “If The Hundred captures the imagination of the fans, I will re-distribute all the wealth to all four of you.”
County Cricket: “Not buying it. Let us settle this. What do you think about cricket?
Bartender: “Cricket. What cricket? Who cricket? I don’t know of any cricket.”
English cricket is on the verge of going crazy. *Thinking to himself*
The Hundred. Cricket. County Cricket. Fans. Kia Super League. Women’s Cricket. Wickets. Outs. Overs. Balls. Tradition. Evolution. T20. IPL. Money. England. It’s coming home. Phil Foden. Jason Roy. Sam Curran. Need to make things happen. Money. Test cricket. Dom Sibley. Axar. Embuldeniya. Sri Lanka. Super League. World Cup. Barest of Margins. More World Cups. T20 World Cups.
ACT IV: The SOLILOQUY – Something Is Rotten In the State of England
English cricket is now reflecting and talking out loud.
“To play or not to play, that is the question
Whether it is County Cricket, T20 Blast, Kia Super League, or the Hundred, it is England cricket that suffers,
Marketing, Media rights, & ticket sales of outrageous fortune,
Support traditional cricket fans & counties Or take arms against T20 cricket & the IPL
And by opposing, end English cricket. To die, to sleep
No more! And by sleep, to say we end the heart-ache and the 20 extra balls that T20 is heir to.
Free-to-air cricket—The BBC—aye there’s the rub!”
ACT V: The FINALE
Enter Satisfaction:Right as Curiosity was about to spend the night at jail, Satisfaction entered and bailed her out. She had found the lost cat and brought it back..”
Scene:Eoin Morgan is having that conversation with Alex Hales at a distance. Things finally begin to settle a bit.
County Cricket: “I have eighteen children and am concerned about their well-being. That’s all.”
The Hundred: “We are concerned about the existence of cricket in England in general. That’s all.”
Joy & Curiosity (Together):“Can we not be friends with both of you?”
English Cricket: “Well, the Hundred is not going anywhere…but neither is the County Championship…or the T20 Blast. I know I am not perfect, but can you just give me one chance? If it doesn’t work out with the Hundred for the couple of seasons, we can move on.”
At the end of the day, the heavens opened up. The ‘Lord’s’ opened it is door and Joy, Curiosity, Suspicion, & Disappointment walked hand-in-hand with County Cricket and the Hundred to proceed and watch the game.
Today’s Scenario: Mithali Raj Lifts the 2017 Cricket World Cup
In our segment Just Imagine, we explore how a specific moment in cricket could have lasting ripple effects. Going back in time, we ask a simple question: What Would Happened if…? and reflect on its consequences.
Since the Women T20 Challenge is in full flow among the teams—Trailblazers, Velocity, and the Supernovas, we imagine what would have happened if India had not collapsed against England in the 2017 Cricket World Cup Final?
The 2017 Cricket World Cup was a watershed moment in several ways for women’s cricket. It was widely broadcasted and viewed, the matches were highly competitive, several remarkable individual performances were on show, and to cap it off—an intense final.
The hosts were favorite to win the trophy, while India captured the imagination of the world during the tournament.
In the group stages, India had won 5/7 games while brushing Australia aside in the semi-finals thanks to Harmanpreet Kaur’s magnificent 171*—maybe the best world cup innings by an Indian in a semi-final, certainly in the last decade. On the other hand, England squeaked past the Proteas with 2 balls to spare. Their only defeat in the tournament coming at the hand of India via Smriti Mandana’s elegant 90.
The final was a classic low-scoring thriller. Ebbs and flows throughout.
England scored 228/7. In response, Mandana and Raj fell cheaply before Punam Raut and Kaur stabilized and registered 50s.
Chasing 229, India are sitting comfortably at 191-3.
38 needed off 44 balls. Punam Raut 86* (114), Veda Krishnamurthy 28* (28). Then, next ball, there is an appeal for LBW…
What Actually Happened:
42. 5 Shrubsole to Raut OUT:
Punam has asked for a review but the umpire says sorry, you took too long.Do England have wink of an opportunity? This was the wrong shot. Length ball sliding in from wide of the crease, Punam plays all around the delivery. Looked to work it square when he could’ve played in down the ground. Hit on the knee roll. That would’ve gone on to hit the stumps. Has she done enough though?
If Punam Raut had straight batted the shot, or if the DRS review was called in time, and the decision (magically) overturned, what would have happened?
Punam Raut hits an unbeaten century in the final. Veda seals the deal with an exquisite six.
Jhulam Goswami, the star with 3 wickets on the final, and captain Mithali Raj retire as World Cup winners. The 2017 squad return as legends. Their stories now etched in stone along with the 1983 and 2011.
The BCCI want to capitalize as usual.
They have a template—2007 T20 World Cup and the 2008 IPL. Upon the Indian men’s victory, the experiment of IPL turned into an unprecedented success, changing the global cricket game forever.
They have an opportunity again.
The Women’s IPL launches in 2018. All the world cup heroes are in their prime. Raj captains the Chennai Super Kings, Harmanpreet the marquee player for Kings XI Punjab, and Mandhana starring for the Mumbai Indians. With foreign players such as Heather Knight, Nat Sciver, and the world’s greatest Ellyse Perry, the WIPL is a financial and global success.
This T20 experience gained helps Indian women win the 2020 T20 World Cup defeating Australia in their background in front of a 86,174 crowd at the MCG.
Reflection – Inaction Trumps Imagination
Well, things did not turn out that way, did it?
Winning and losing is part and parcel of the game. Yes, one moment can change histories, but sometimes if action is taken in the right time, it could pay dividends as well.
India’s performance had already delighted audiences around the world and Goswami-Mithali-Harmanpreet-Mandana were household names.
Why then, has the WIPL not been put into action?
It did not need to be an 8 team tournament. A 5-6 team tournament would be wonderful as well. In 3 years, teams would have stabilized, rivalries and fanbase would have fostered, and ultimately, women’s cricket would have benefitted.
Instead, we are watching the 3rd T20 Women’s challenge as an afterthought of a 56 match exhausting Men’s IPL, just taking a break before the Playoffs. Meanwhile, most of the foreign players like Heather Knight, Alyssa Healy, and Ellyse Perry are employing their trade at the WBBL, and we are just waiting for the Hundredfor a competitive world T20 women’s league.
With the likes of Shefali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues, India’s future is still bright, but by the time WIPL commences, India women’s stars would have already retired.
At the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) held in England, all 10 teams played against each other. In the 29th match at Manchester, New Zealand faced the mighty West Indies. Until that point of the tournament, West Indies had won 1, lost 3, and 1 no-result. New Zealand, on the other hand, were unbeaten with 4 wins and 1 no-result. With each team having 4 games in hand, the tournament was still wide open.
Chasing 291, West Indies collapsed to 164-7.
Comes in Carlos Brathwaite. Remember his name? Braithwaite and the tail launches a remarkable comeback. Twists and turns, wickets fall, spectators at the edge of their seats.
Brathwaite hits 3 consecutive sixes in the 48th over. Brathwaite scores his maiden ODI century. Brathwaite can do no wrong.
Brathwaite’s dream is alive. One wicket left, West Indies need 6 off 7 balls, Brathwaite on strike. Surely, it is their game now…
What Actually Happened:
The dynamic duo of Brathwaite and commentator, Ian Bishop, from that 2016 T20 World Cup final are back together. Jimmy Neesham runs it and bowls a short ball, Brathwaite heaves, and Trent Boult is near the boundary. (Yes, the same Trent Boult who would later do this in the Final). All you can see is the ball in the blue sky.
Ball comes down. Gravity happens. Boult catches it. West indies 286-10. New Zealand win with an over to spare.
Ian Bishop exclaims, “New Zealand win! The dream is diminished for Carlos Brathwaite here in Manchester!”
This is the turning point of the tournament. New Zealand go to the top the table. They qualify for the semi finals due to net run-rate despite losing 3 against Pakistan, England, and Australia. West Indies lose momentum and would eventually crash out at 9th place.
If Carlos Brathwaite had managed to hit the ball a yard further, or if Boult had lost his balance, what would have happened?
48.6 – Neesham to Brathwait, SIX!
Has he done it? Yes! Boult tips the ball over the boundary at long on for six. West Indies wins.
West Indies wins, joins the middle-muddle in the Points Table, and sprints to the semi-finals. New Zealand lose momentum and fail to qualify for the semi-finals.
It is England vs West Indies in the finals. Stokes batting vs Brathwaite bowling final over—a reversal of fortunes from 2016. Stokes attempts to take his revenge. 15 needed from 6.
49.1 – Six, 49.2 – Six. He wants to finish with 3 sixes and complete the revenge.
49.3 – OUT! One shot too many. Still 3 needed from 3.
49.4 – 1, 49.5 – 0, 49.6 – Run OUT!
West Indies win by one run! West Indies have won by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins.
Brathwaite’s dream is realized. Carlos Brathwaite is the Man of the Match. He is hailed as the best all-rounder of the century. Stokes is dropped from the England squad. Eoin Morgan plays out the rest of his career for Ireland.
Jofra Archer returns to the Barbados. He spearheads the West Indies attack.
West Indies returns to its glory days.
Inspired by Conversations with Vandit Trivedi and ESPNCricinfo’s Alternate Universe series.