What’s the point of Super Eights?

It’s all been fairly entertaining stuff so far, then. Every major tournament needs a victory for the host nation, a close finish and an upset in its first week, and the World Twenty20 has delivered all of them four days ahead of schedule. Sixes have been hit, dances have been danced and grounds have generally been full enough for the local TV directors not to have to focus on the same group of fans for a whole match.

Still, it wouldn’t be an ICC event if you couldn’t complain about the format. And although this tournament is positively size zero in comparison to the World Cup, the organisers again seem worryingly keen to make sure absolutely everybody plays absolutely everybody. It will take twelve matches to reduce twelve teams to eight, and another twelve to reduce the eight to four. What’s wrong with quarter-finals? Most other sports seem to have them, and they work a treat.

Super Eights, while snappily-named and sound in theory, take all the sting out of a major tournament. At the last World Cup, around a third of Super Eight games, at a conservative estimate, were dead. That should reduce this time as a result of the lower number of matches played, but the ICC should take a long hard look at the Super Eights format. Keeping the games meaningful is surely more important than making sure India and Pakistan meet every time.

England v Ireland, Super Eights, Providence

The odds of Ireland reaching the Super Eights before the World Cup got underway must have been fairly long. Yet here they are – the tournament’s most slippery of banana skins – about to face the mighty England.

Read Miller’s preview. Check the scorecard. Leave a comment and chat away!

Australia v West Indies, Super Eights, Antigua

The first of the Super Eights, between Australia and the West Indies. Down with the Aussies; casino online up with the Windies! Scorecard. Get chatting.