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Action aplenty in Twenty20

As the cricket world readies for a KISS – acronym for Keep It Short Stupid – purists can weep alone. The World slam bang T20, is here, in fact, just five days away, and the teams have already started arriving in Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo for the tourney. This 20-day (significance there?) tournament final is to be played at the Premdasa Stadium in Colombo on October 7.

Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Here we go: Yuvraj Singh (R) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) run between wickets during the second T20 match between India and New Zealand at the M A Chidambaram Stadium on September 11, 2012. Pics/AFP

Quick Fix
The ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 is the first Twenty20 to be held in Asia.

Online booking of tickets was available by logging onto www.icc-cricket.com. A maximum of four tickets could have been purchased by each person for the super eights, semi-finals and finals, and a maximum of six tickets per person for the rest of the matches.

Shane Watson
Howdy: Australian cricketer Shane Watson smiles on arriving in the city 

Attendance at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 during the group stages in Galle will be free of charge. The women’s semi-finals and final will be played on the same day on the same ground as the men’s and will be covered by the same ticket.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Say cheese: Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrives with his team 

The event is held every two years. The inaugural event, the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, was staged in South Africa and won by India. The 2009 ICC World Twenty20 took place in England and won by Pakistan. The 2010 ICC World Twenty20 was held in the West Indies. The winners were England.

West Indies' cricketer Dwayne Bravo
Who’s that dude?  West Indies’ cricketer Dwayne Bravo looks cool on his arrival in the city 

Choice of host
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) executive committee voted for the hosts of the tournament after examining bids from the nations, which expressed an interest in holding a Twenty20 World Championship. After South Africa in 2007, England and West Indies hosted the tournament in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The ICC decided that South Africa and England should host the first two tournaments, as they were the earliest adopters of the format. Bangladesh will host the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 Championship. India will host the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 Championship.

South Africa's Robin Peterson
Howzzat!: South Africa’s Robin Peterson catches out England batsman Craig Kieswetter during the teams’ second Twenty20 international match on Monday in Manchester, England

Bet, bat and ball
The 2012 ICC World Twenty20 is yet to begin in Sri Lanka, but bookies have already decided that India will win the tournament. Bookies from Jaipur and Mumbai declared the bet rates for the teams participating in the international tournament.

Pakistani batsman Saeed Ajmal
Clean bowled: Pakistani batsman Saeed Ajmal loses his wicket during the third and final Twenty20 international cricket match between Australia and Pakistan at the Dubai international cricket stadium on September 10, 2012 

India is favourite with odds of Rs 4.50 while Afghanistan has the longest odds of Rs 700. Hosts Sri Lanka come third at R5.80 while a resurgent South Africa is second at Rs 5.20. Australia is at Rs 7, West Indies at Rs 7, Pakistan at Rs 7.25, England at Rs 11, New Zealand at Rs 22, Bangladesh at Rs 60, Zimbabwe at R200 and Ireland at R300. Sources said that there will be drastic changes in these rates, by the time the teams reach the semi finals and the final.

Virat Kohli
Where’s the ball? Virat Kohli plays a shot while New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum looks on during the second T20 match between the two teams at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai

Most matches begin at 3 pm and 7 pm while a few have been scheduled for 9 pm. “Since the matches are not going be telecast at odd hours, we are expecting good business,” said a bookie on condition of anonymity. Added another bookie, “The expected turnover of bets is likely to reach Rs 30,000 crore.”

The teams are divided into two groups
Group 1
A1, B2,
C1, D2

Group 2
A2, B1,
C2, D1

Group A: England, India, Afghanistan
Group B: Australia, West Indies, Ireland
Group C: Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Group D: Pakistan, New Zealand, Bangladesh    

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