World Twenty20 illustrates difficulty of dominating all forms of the game

Andy Lloyd
ENGLAND failed to live up to expectations at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, which concluded at the weekend, but they certainly weren’t the only ones.

I was surprised to see South Africa also struggling to compete, while India didn’t do as well as they would have hoped, especially in familiar conditions.

It’s no coincidence that these three teams are the top Test sides in the world, and underlines how difficult it is to juggle challenging in both the short and long forms of the game.

Undoubtedly both England and South Africa were distracted from their preparations for the World Twenty20 by the Test series between the two teams during the summer.

Having concentrated all their energies on replacing Andy Flower’s men at the head of the world Test rankings, the Proteas were not the T20 force they might have been.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to combine a great T20 side with a top Test set-up, but so different are the two disciplines that it’s very difficult.

The other surprise of a hugely enjoyable tournament for me was that West Indies lifted the trophy despite not possessing much quality in their slow-bowling ranks.

Neutrals could be forgiven for wanting the hosts to go one step further and win the competition, which was played in great spirit and was a superb advert for the game, but you could not begrudge West Indies their moment either.

They haven’t enjoyed much success in recent years, with acrimony between players and board and stars such as Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards in and out of the side.

But what their success in Sri Lanka reminded us is that when they are all fit and playing they are a brilliant one-day side who can compete against anyone.

Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer and captain of Warwickshire who also acted as the county’s chairman.