While the baseball post-season continues, the world of cricket is quiescent. Only the utterly meaningless Twenty20 competition between the best Twenty20 domestic teams in the world provides any form of interest to those into big-league cricket. By “domestic” I mean teams that aren’t national, but regional. Except that, in this contest, the teams aren’t regional or even national—thus the meaninglessness.
Taking a leaf out of the Indian Premier League, the teams in the Twenty20 competition are packed full of international superstars that not only don’t play consistently for the clubs they’re being paid handsomely to turn out for in this competition. They are, in some cases, even playing against teams from their own nation! The result, frankly, is just another money-making endeavor—full of Big Shots and “big shots”—with little bearing on anything.
What everyone in India is waiting for is the arrival of England—and a chance to avenge the drubbing the world champion one-day team received at the hands of the English this summer. India failed to win a single game in any format (Test, one-day, or Twenty20), and the Indian fans have not only expressed their disapproval, but have rubbed their hands together at the prospect of giving England a taste of their own medicine in the one-day series that the teams will contest. The England team has made plenty of changes to their squad, bringing in lots of young talent, and the bench-strength is formidable. But playing cricket in hot, humid conditions before thousands of screaming Indian fans in Mumbai is a lot different from cricket in cool, damp weather before thousands of screaming Indian fans in Durham (yes, the Indian fans make more noise than the English!).
One superstar will be missing: Sachin Tendulkar has been injured since the summer, and everyone who loves cricket will just have to wait that little bit longer to see The Little Master score his hundredth international hundred.