Bangalore: Years from now, when cricket-lovers look back on the game's evolution, they might identify a competition that the International Cricket Council staged almost as an experiment as being responsible for a seismic shift in how we view the sport.
The 2007 World T20 was an attempt to embrace the newest format, with a view to spreading the cricket gospel worldwide. Few had any idea what lay in store. India, who had played just one Twenty20 international before the event, rested the senior trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Australia lost to Zimbabwe in their opening group game, prompting Ricky Ponting, the captain, to say: "We've got to start respecting the game a bit more."
The skepticism was not unfounded. The format devised by a team at the England and Wales Cricket Board led by Stuart Robertson, their marketing manager, had been in existence just four years, and it was only in 2005 that Australia and New Zealand had played the first Twenty20 international.