Over the past few weeks, I have painted myself into a corner by promising to write on many things but getting left behind as new issues and events demanding immediate attention kept cropping up. I promised to write on Task Force 121 and continue with the budget. I definitely remember promising to write about the T20 World Cup instead of getting diverted into 'praise' of India and that's just what I am going to do. Don't be surprised if this short version of that takes between 3 to 4 hours replaces the 50-Over version entirely, which takes an entire day. As I said, in this frenetic world, where people have to fight everyday to earn a living, no one has an entire day to waste. The T20 World Cup was over in about two weeks, unlike the last 50-Over ODI World Cup in the West Indies which just went on and on like World War II. Ian Chappell said: "This has been a format that has both entertained and educated." Why? There are many reasons, but the main one is that for the first time we had the most balanced matches in either of the short versions of the game, not dominated by batsmen alone with bowlers as sacrificial lambs on batsmen-friendly pitches that gave them nothing. What made the difference? Three things, more than any other. The wickets had something in them for everyone. It is significant that there were only 166 sixes in the tournament; in the semi-finals and finals, sixes became rare. Spinners came into their own because spinners on slow wickets turning enough become difficult to hit. A score of 130 became difficult to chase while in earlier times, anything less than 180 was uncertain. By pulling back the boundaries and making grounds larger they equalised the contest between bat and ball. The earlier batsmen-friendly pitches did some good, though, because they forced bowlers to add more to their armoury, like the doosra (invented by Pakistan, I say with some trepidation lest I offend the Indians). Earlier, Imran, then Waseem and Waqar, started making the ball talk in the air, making pitches irrelevant. But not everyone can do that. (I'm in grave danger of causing offence again). Now we have the 'slow bouncer'. In the old days it was called a 'long hop' that was dispatched to the boundary without fuss. Why not now? It is perhaps because with protective armour stronger and better - helmets, armguards, thigh pads and what have you - unheard of in the old days, players' reflexes cannot expected to be the same any longer. Neither do they need to be as good of eye and movement. Nor have they learned their courage on exposed pitches. There are no Richards today, both Barry and Viv, what to talk of Bradman and Hedley. Where are the likes of Majid and Zaheer, Hanif and Gavaskar, Graeme Pollock and Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Kanhai, Worrell, Walcott and Weekes, Sobers and Miller? If these guys had helmets they would probably have got so careless that they would have got out. Which is probably why the last of the greats of the old school, Viv Richards, never wore a helmet against bowlers faster than we have today. If you don't like it, produce me an Akram, a Waqar, an Imran, a Holding or Marshall or Croft, a Lillee or Thompson... From any team. There aren't any. Not surprising, then, that the two teams with the best bowling attacks made it to the finals, not those with strong batting line-ups like India, Australia and South Africa. Big money, of course, was all over the event like an overhang. Much as one might like its influence, without money there would be no T20 World Cup, the World Cup and other events like the ICC Champions Trophy. Or IPL, for that matter. So learn to live with it. The IPL, I feel, did have a pernicious influence for it seemed that those players who had participated in it, not least the Indians, were suffering from fatigue. It was no surprise, therefore, that the teams much-fancied before the Cup started, Australia and India especially, failed to make it. And the West Indians showed up India's otherwise strong batting line-up with short pitched fast bowling, a weakness that was successfully exploited by England later. Unless India finds some sheer fast bowlers in its domestic cricket, this will always remain a weakness. (I hope this doesn't make me "congenitally anti-Indian"). What made Pakistan win were many factors, but first and foremost it was good luck. Skipper Yunus suddenly became sensible. Making Akmal open and sending Afridi in at number 3 were masterstrokes. Razzak's return provided experience, maturity and balance. Omar Gul was, again, the best bowler of the tournament; he is probably the best fast bowler in the world today. Then 17-year old lefty, Muhammad Aamir, was a revelation with his big match temperament at such a young age, and of course with his bowling. We have a young protg in our midst. The way he set-up Dilshan in the final before administering the sucker punch was a treat to watch. Afridi became a frontline strike bowler. And, wonder of wonders, our fielding suddenly improved. And then there is Saeed Ajmal, a worthy successor to Saqlain, the inventor of the doosra. Not to forget leg spinner Danish Kaneria and the fastest bowler ever, Shoaib Akhtar, who, if handled properly, still has a couple of seasons left in him. Our young batsmen too - Ahmed Shahzad, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzeb Hasan - look as good as any, especially in the shorter versions of the game. Imran Nazir is waiting in the wings and Salman Butt will soon come good again. Then there's the imminent return of Muhammad Asif. We suffer an embarrassment of riches and have to treat all these players professionally and sensibly so as not to destroy them, as we have destroyed so much young talent in the past. Pakistan has more fast bowlers than can be accommodated in the team, bowlers who would have walked into the team some years ago and could into most teams in the world today. Learn from Australia and rotate them. Tired bowlers are stale bowlers and stale bowlers are useless. Don't bowl them into the ground. An Indian of some consequence said to me the other day that now cricket "dominance" has shifted to the subcontinent permanently. These guys are really into, domination. Is that "congenitally anti-Indian? I hope not). No, Sir, it hasn't and never will, with us or anyone else. It never stayed with England. It never stayed with the Australians known as The Invincibles. It didn't stay with Clive Lloyd's West Indies and it is leaving the Australians of the Nineties and the turn of the century again. It won't stay with us either. It's that irritating thing called the pendulum, you see, which has a bad habit of swinging, not hither and thither but to and fro. I cannot ignore Sangakara's captaincy and speech in defeat. With such a low score to defend in the final, his captaincy in the field was brilliant. He made Pakistan work hard for victory by constantly rotating his bowlers and not giving any except Udhana more than an over at a time. And he set attacking fields. He made it into a battle of wits and his speech in defeat was the epitome of grace and dignity. At the end of the day, former President Pervez Musharraf's telling comment stands out: "The whole point is to play against the best. Pakistanis are the best, so teams should come to play us now." (Does that make me anti-something?). The writer is a senior political analyst E-mail: humayun.gauhar@gmail.com