Friday, 23 September 2011

What Actually Is The Point of The T20s v West Indies?

The other day I spouted something about how I'm not a huge fan of the Champions League. Created solely to make a lot of money quite quickly, it sort of opposes everything us cricket bloggers should stand for. So you'd have thought that a final hurrah for the England team in international action this summer would cheer me up and get me all misty eyed. Well, not really either. This horribly shoehorned in seriesette has no real benefit other than to fulfil Sky's contract. So I don't really care about these matches either.

You could ask what I'm doing as a cricket blogger when I evidently have no real interest in cricket. And you'd be right to ask that.

So, mainly to show that I can be bothered (even if nobody else is), here's why you should watch the two T20s against the West Indies.

Young Talent

Everyone loves seeing a young player making his first tentative steps into international cricket, filled with hope that they'll be the next big thing. And at the moment, England's team is packed with them. Bairstow, Stokes, Briggs, Hales, Buttler - the potential in this team is immense. And while some won't live up to their big billing (remember the fanfare Luke Wright arrived in after a debut fifty against India in 2007), chances are a few of them will turn into bona fide England legends. And in twenty years after Sir Joseph Buttler is made prime minister after leading England to 6 successive Ashes wins, you can say that you were there (metaphorically) at the start.

England are winning

Given even fairly recent cricketing history this is still somewhat of a novelty, and we should enjoy it while it lasts. England are currently top of the test rankings, World T20 champions and have just beaten the ODI World Cup winners. And have looked really good whilst doing so. Yes, it may be a pointless seriesette that in a couple of weeks we'll have forgotten all about, but if England get to wave yet another trophy around at the Oval on Sunday, it's a great opportunity to celebrate everything else that's good about English cricket. Enjoy the success while it lasts - it may be gone sooner than we think...

Graeme Swann will be captain

Given the fact that Swann is at least fifth (and possibly sixth) in line to the throne, the chances of him captaining England again are fairly slim. Swann probably knows this is his one and only chance to do something destructive as England captain, so expect him to pull out all of the stops. Stink bombs at the toss. The team running out to "Diamond Lights". Fielders on the boundary told to get girls numbers for the captain. Who knows. But it will be worth watching.

The West Indies are playing

Everyone loves watching the West Indies. They're either really good and make cricket look easy, or they're hilariously crap and are good for a few laughs. In a T20, there is the potential for both possibilities. Expect dolly catches dropped, huge sixes over the pavilion, stupid collapses, demon yorkers and players forgetting to bring their bat out to the middle. It's always entertaining to watch the West Indies. Plus they may start dancing if they take any wickets, which is always a bonus.

OK, that's pretty much it. While it may not make the history books in 100 years as one of the great series, it'll be good for a couple of hours of light entertainment. Plus afterwards you get to watch me on Sports Tonight Live. What's not to enjoy?

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