March is here, and that means it is time for the ICC T20 World Cup.
It may not be the biggest event in world cricket; some may even argue that T20 cricket doesn’t need a World Cup. But right now it is very much the biggest event in world cricket, so let’s give it the attention it deserves.
Like all good T20 events, it is being played in India, and the best in the business are having a full go in front of delirious fans and even more delirious commentators.
All the big teams will be prepped and ready after extensive warm-up campaigns around the world, and even the associate nations will be there, despite the ICC not really caring too much about them, or their lofty ambitions of being taken seriously.
Who’s going to win it? That’s the question on everyone’s lips, and I have a very simple answer.
To prove why, let’s just run through all the other teams and see why they won’t win:
No chance. Not only do they have to play a pre-qualifying round at the start of the tournament just to get a chance to play in the big boy pools, if they even get close to a knockout match, the ICC will step in and hinder them somehow by saying they are too poor, too exotic, don’t speak enough English, or have too many moustaches in their batting lineup or not enough Test caps in their squad.
They couldn’t be bothered to pick their best players, Mitchell Starc is injured and they are pinning all their hopes on Shane Watson basically scoring a hundred each match and taking 6 wickets. No chance.
They simply don’t like winning. It’s an English thing. “But they have won the tournament before!” you say. Yes, but when they did they had so few Englishmen in their side that they just lost the plot and ended up with the trophy. Now, with loads of native talent in their team, they won’t make the same mistakes as they did in the West Indies under Kevin Pietersen, and will implode spectacularly just like they did in South Africa recently.
Guptill couldn’t get an IPL contract, and none of their spinners wear reading glasses. They also gave the world Danny Morrison so karma will always come back to haunt them. Next.
Too many good batsmen, too many good spinners, too many wins leading up to the tournament, too comfortable in home conditions and too much experience combined with youth. When something is too good to be true it often is. No hope for the home side then.
Too focused on Shahid Afridi’s international career status. Will he play, will he retire, will he un-retire, will he reinvent himself as a fast bowler, will he finish a coherent sentence, will he run his fingers through his hair prior to bowling a googly? It’s just exhausting, and Pakistan has no chance of reaching their full potential with all this going on.
A Sri Lankan team without Kumar Sangakarra is like Ravi Shastri without a pointless comment. Their only chance of winning lies with Lasith Malinga getting a wicket with every ball, but the chances of this happening are slim as he will be too busy trying to set a field with players he doesn’t know (if he plays at all, depending on any of his multiple injuries).
Does anyone know who is playing for the West Indies? They are either protesting against not being paid, withdrawing from the team to focus on Test cricket or withdrawing from the team to focus on higher paying T20 cricket. It’s like herding cats that can teleport.
With all other teams considered, over to the Proteas and the numerous reasons as to why they are overwhelming favourites.
1: They have just released a new music video.
Wow. That is horrible.
After watching that though, you just know this is a team with absolutely no fear. None whatsoever!
2: They have simply run out of ways to choke and lose tournaments. The only thing they have left to do is finally win one.
3: AB de Villiers may retire from cricket to become a stay at home dad, focus on his music, become a game ranger, an astronaut… His comments of late about ‘work load’ and his future suggest this may be his last ICC World Cup so look for him to average about 148 at a strike rate of 263.
4: Nobody will understand the Behardien joke in India. This Proteas team has a tremendous sense of humour, something they have shown by tormenting fans by picking Farhaan Behardien on numerous occasions. But as nobody will get the joke in India, a decent player will be picked in his place, ensuring a very strong team throughout.
5: Hashim Amla won’t play. So strong is this current T20 team that they will leave out Hashim Amla and make him carry the drinks. That’s like the Greeks going to war and having Achilles deliver messages and clear the dead from the battlefield. Some might say it is an arrogant move, but one that will surely play with the opposition’s minds.
6: Chris Morris is a T20 cyborg developed to draw little attention to himself by looking like an average cricketer, but then perform great acts of showmanship without breaking a sweat. Even in Indian conditions.
7: Imran Tahir is a Pakistani T20 cyborg initially developed to be a Shahid Afridi backup, but he went rogue shortly after completion, found his way to South Africa, and can actually bowl a sufficient amount of leg spin to be classified as dangerous.
8: Quinton De Kock is now an adult, and has permission from his mom to both stay awake after 9pm and go on tour with the team. This new found freedom will give him the chance to score loads of runs at the top of the order.
9: Dale Steyn. He will probably play a bit too.
So there you have it. Place your bets.