T20 event showcased modern game's best

West Indies men's and women's team captains Darren Sammy and Stafanie Taylor led their teams to a T20 sweep.
West Indies men's and women's team captains Darren Sammy and Stafanie Taylor led their teams to a T20 sweep. PHOTO: REUTERS

KOLKATA • For a format that encourages big hitting and provides a stage for younger cricketers to shine, it was perhaps fitting that the World Twenty20 culminated with a 27-year-old Barbadian blasting four sixes in a row off Englishman Ben Stokes' bowling to win it for the West Indies.

When the last of Carlos Brathwaite's rockets soared into the stands at a boisterous Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, on Sunday, the undeniable attraction of cricket's youngest competition was given a thumping seal of approval with a stunning closing sequence.

"This has been the best @ICC World tournament... Short, sharp, quality, drama with incredible players on show... Bloody love T20," former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted.

Other former players and journalists described the final as one of the sport's greatest matches yesterday.

"Anyone who was here witnessed one of the great T20 matches. It was won, it was lost, then won, then lost. No side really deserved to lose it," former England captain Nasser Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column.

Fellow former England skipper Michael Atherton wrote in The Times: "It was a stunning end to a stunning tournament that showcased the best of the modern game - a game in which England played a full part for once."

Former Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee was full of praise for the West Indies and their approach towards Twenty20 cricket.

He told ESPN: "There has never been another six-hitting team like this one, and that turned out to be the clincher."

The success of the tournament will convince many that the brevity and action-packed nature of Twenty20 make it the only feasible cricket format able to break new ground and gatecrash multi-sports events such as the Olympics.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2016, with the headline 'T20 event showcased modern game's best'. Print Edition | Subscribe