Sunday, 9 October 2011

Chapter 6: Africa Div 2 (T20) Championship, World Twenty20 Qualifier

The decision by ICC to revert back the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 from 16 nation to a 12 nation tournament in lieu of making 2015 WC a 14 nation affair came as a shock. On one side they talk to using T20 a driver to expand cricket and then suddenly mid way they decided to go back on their words just because many corrupt Test cricket board that depend on handout from ICC like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or West Indies could have the money. This decision really made me think so stop writing on World Twenty20. But then over time I write for the Associate and would do my bit to get some coverage for them. Though now just 2 chapters are left, I would finish all chapters as fast and catch up with the present.

The African Div 2 was supposed to be a 10 nation tournament with teams divided into 2 pools of 5 and each team playing all the opposite pool teams. Hence each team was supposed to play 5 matches and 25 matches in Total and all 10 teams in 1 pool. It was a complicated system. Then Zambia bound by corruption scandal of money embezzlement was suspended by ICC. This reduced the tournament to 9 nation and above complicated system could not be applicable. A simple system of 9 teams one pool came into effect.

The 9 teams in the tournament were Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland & Tanzania. There were 2 slots with Nigeria, Tanzania and Botswana as the favorite team. The tournament were one of the most interesting one with many upsets happening. The greatest dark horses of the tournament were Ghana who not only came second and qualified with 6 victories out of 8 but on course defeated the 2 tournament favorites Tanzania and Botswana. They were defeated by tournament winners and another dark horses of tournament Sierra Leone. Peter Kirtsen showed why he is one of the best coaches who led the war ravaged country on a brilliant performance with 5 wins out of 8. They on course defeated the qualifiers Ghana along with tournament favorites Tanzania. They had a performance and the potential showed they have the potential to go ahead. Tanzania and Botswana did not live up to expectations with losses to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

The tournament showed that if these teams are given more matches then we have an improved performances. In the end Nigeria with just 1 loss to Botswana along with Ghana qualified for Division 1. This tournament was the most interesting one

Team Played Points
 Nigeria 8 14
 Ghana 8 12
 Botswana 8 12
 Tanzania 8 10
 Sierra Leone 8 10
 Swaziland 8 6
 Mozambique 8 4
 Malawi 8 2
 Rwanda 8 2

Nigeria and Ghana qualify for Africa FDiv 1 and Rwanda goes back to Div 3.

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