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Random thoughts on the World T20 thingamajig

Ok, first the Indian elections, then the Indian Premier League in South Africa, and now the World T20 in England..are all over and done with.

I blogged a bit (and commented a lot) on the elections, thoroughly enjoyed the IPL because my team, Deccan Chargers, did exceedingly well (heck, we won it !), but the World T20 thingamajig did not really capture my attention till India got bounced out of the tournament.Defending champs and we did not even make the semis. Lots of reasons, but now is not the time.

The time, now is to first raise a toast (actually make it two), to the finalists - Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and extend warm congratulations to the Pakistanis for winning the cup in such a convincing fashion.

Some random notes from my dekko of the tournament:

1.T20, while it could be exciting as hell, could also bring down playing standards quite a bit, especially when they are over done.Case in point: India's over paid, over playing, over travelling cricketers.The fatigue is more mental than physical.

2.Test cricket thrives on skills, character and stamina, whereas T20 requires a lot of street smartsy attitude.Contrary to perceptions, Mr.Virender Sehwag, who does phenomenally well in test cricket, has been no great shakes in T20.

3.No matter what they say, Shahid Afridi is no longer a kid.Behind the schoolboyish exterior, a mature cricketing mind has evolved over the past decade and bit.The moment he started taking singles and hard run Twos, I could feel his 'need' to be the finisher in the final.Afridi has not exactly endeared himself to me last year after badmouthing his IPL captain (VVS Laxman) in public, but he has won his country a World Cup now, and I am so happy for him that I hereby forgive that episode of Laxman-bashing :) Dude, you rock and we would love to see you play like this for several years more !

4.Abdul Razzak is probably the one Pakistani cricketer I love the most (apart from the incomparable genius Wasim Akram and the genial giant Inzamam).I wanted Pakistan to win this final because of Razzaq.

5.However, I wanted Sri Lanka to win also.Because of one man.Probably the most articulate among all cricketers (of all nations) playing today.And the one player I hope, who, when he retires, will write a few books.If you still haven't guessed, shame on you. It is Kumar Sangakkara.Sri Lanka lost, but not before Kumar essayed some delightful prose in his elegant 64 not out.

6.Lasith Malinga, Umer Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Roelof Van der Merwe, Dwayne Bravo - all did very well through the tournament.Here's a bow to each one of them.

7.Dilshan is in the form of his life.Should have really not tried to be too cute in the final.

8.Ab DeVilliers is the rock of South African batting these days.Me thinks he should play at number 3 in all forms of Cricket for the Proteas.

9.Not much to say about England except that Nasser Hussain is a bloody hypocrite and has gone down in my estimation as a cricket commentator after this tournament.

10.Okay, Murali and Mendis.They are a cool pair, but I'd prefer watching them in test cricket.

On with the Ashes now ! But first, I am waiting to see how Piyush Chawla does for Sussex against the visiting Aussies.