The 2011-12 season saw the transformation of Australia's state-based "Big Bash" competition into the franchise-based Big Bash League. Here are a few points which I think can be taken away following the inaugural Big Bash League:
My second column for iSportConnect can be read in full at http://www.isportconnect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11342&catid=74&Itemid=193
Over and above all the usual tiresome attempts at April Foolery, this two-minute video from the England and Wales Cricket Board is one of my favourites this year (along with 8-bit Google Maps). An "innovation" almost plausible enough that it wouldn't surprise me if the IPL tried to adapt it for real.
Here's the ECB's accompanying statement on the balldogs innovation, post-edited to partly wimp out of the April Fool's joke.
Kenya's upset of the West Indies. Ireland's giant-killing of Pakistan. Moments in the sun for Canada, Bermuda, the Netherlands and others. Sri Lanka's rise from minnows to champions. Even Afghanistan's near-miss at joining the club. All these things could be consigned to the trashcan of history with the ICC approving a recommendation to downsize the Cricket World Cup.
After the Indian Premier League, the ICC World Twenty20 has been like a breath of fresh air. Sort of like escaping from Dante's Inferno (think Eyjafjallajökull with cheerleaders and DLF Maximums) and entering the Garden of Eden (with its Guyana wing being a rainforest).
Afghanistan defeated Ireland at the Dubai International Sports Centre on Saturday night to win the final of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying Series. Both have earned a place in the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies in a couple of months time, but it's the Afghan rise to the big time that has gathered all the attention.