Twenty20 cricket is a lottery

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< 1 minute read

Or so they say, yet in the World Twenty20 tickets were bought by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ireland and Zimbabwe and none won so much as a tenner.

Twenty20 isn’t a lottery. The margins are smaller because it’s a shorter game and therefore luck can perhaps play a larger part than in other formats, but it is wrong to call it a lottery.

The better teams have a better chance of winning, but nothing is guaranteed. That’s true of all sports, although the degree to which it is true varies. To enjoy Twenty20, you have to accept that luck plays a part without focusing on that to the exclusion of all else. The bigger the gap in quality between two teams, the less luck matters.

May the best team win. (But maybe it won’t.)


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. The element of lottery is further diminished by the pre-determined seeding of the Super 8 stage, which means that we’re going to end up with one group made up of group winners, and another made up of the runners-up.

    Effectively, matches such as England vs India became completely meaningless once both teams had beaten Afghanistan, as the allocation of the groups each team went into was already known.

    It’s a small point, as(as has been mentioned previously) the format of the competition as a whole is vastly superior to almost every other ICC competition. Nevertheless, it does mean that my chances of winning the work sweepstake with India have taken a slight knock.

  2. It was famously said of the Lottery that your chances of winning are not significantly improved by entering. If so, I would suggest that as far as England is concerned, the ODI World Cup has more similarity to a lottery than this T20 one.

  3. By what thing?

    I presume most of you have read The Spin this morning. The point of this format (and all other international limited over tournament formats) is to make sure the big teams that bring the money (i.e. India) stay in as long as possible.

    1. That article was a letdown, what with people in the comments section politely agreeing with each other. I was tempted to comment on how Rob Smyth looks like his body can be continuously deformed to the shape of an egg by a series of not so infinitesimal transformations.

    2. I don’t think putting India together with Pakistan & South Africa in a group was very smart if they wanted India to stay in the tournament longer.

    3. Sandeep, the purpose of grouping India with PAK, AUS and SA is to guarantee “big matches” for India which bring the highest TV ratings. If they could, they would have put England in the same group too. The ICC learnt a big lesson in the 2007 (ODI) world cup, so you can expect a lot of India matches in future events.

    4. India will play every other team twice and take the best result out of the two matches with each team?

      If I believe the “India rigs ICC tournament formats” theory, I believe this has already happened

  4. No doubt it is not a lottery and these week teams can’t beat giants of cricket. However T20 world-cup is great event and it could bring lottery for gamblers.

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