While record audiences watched the tournament around the globe and digital impressions sky rocketed, there were a number of organisational issues such as delayed ticketing process and logistical nightmares at the venues.
Also, smaller nations that played out the qualifying event were left frustrated that a single loss and the interference of rain brought an abrupt end to their campaign, like it did for the Netherlands.
For Richardson and the ICC it was another learning experience that they are looking to build on with a tweak to its current format.
“We want to continually improve,” said the former South Africa wicket-keeper at the launch of ICC Academy’s latest rebuild.
“I think the main learning from this World T20 is that the format that we have at the moment – with a qualifying round and then the top two teams qualifying for the main round – is good in that it, in theory, provides competitive matches throughout the tournament.
“We want to maintain it. But having said that with two groups of four in the first round, if you lose one match and have one rained out you could be out. So maybe consideration needs to be given to adding two teams to that initial first round. Two groups of five are perfect as you have to play pretty badly to be knocked out. That’s probably the biggest learning.”
It was a cruel prospect for those nations that had already laboured through the pre-tournament qualifying event in Scotland and Ireland that did not guarantee a spot in the World T20 proper.
Although Richardson admits that their disappointment is understandable he believes the ICC’s investment in the Associate Nations is substantial and the opportunities plentiful.
“Obviously, the captain’s were disappointed. This is like going to Wimbledon, qualifying and then losing in the first round, it’s obviously very disappointing,” said Richardson.
“But people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact the ICC competition structure for the Associate nations below the full members is pretty extensive.
“The cost of the Intercontinental Cup, the World Cricket League Championship, the World Cricket League going all the way down to division five are all met by the ICC. The opportunities for cricketers from the Associate members is exceptional when you look at other sports played around the world.”
While the handling of the lesser countries in world cricket is a debate that will continue to divide opinion and frustrate many observers and figures involved from both sides, overwhelming agreement did come in the form of the women’s World T20.
Players talked of improved attendances and the benefit of playing alongside the men, while the final served up a match filled with big hitting, skilful cricket.
With no men’s World T20 in 2018, as it enters a new four-year cycle, the women will play a standalone tournament in keeping with its own two-year frequency.
And Richardson believes the sport is in rude enough health for the women to craft a successful tournament without the presence of their male counterparts.
“The other [thing the ICC learned from the World T20] is that the women’s game is growing from strength to strength and maybe the time is coming soon that you need to give more status to the women’s event itself in a standalone basis,” he said. “For that reason we are looking forward to the 2018 World T20 which will be a women’s event only.”
Both of this year’s tournaments were won by the West Indies who completed a “treble” of world titles on the back of their U19’s 50-over World Cup glory a month prior.
That was in spite of the ongoing rift between senior male players and their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that was brought to a head by an impassioned victory speech by captain Darren Sammy.
Talks are expected to resume between that World T20 winning team and the governors of the game in the Caribbean after the IPL and Richardson made it clear that although the ICC has not been contacted to mediate those conversations, they would be more than happy to aid discussions.
West Indies' 2016 champions
- U19 World Cup winners
- Women's World T20 winners
- Men's World T20 winners
“I’m sure this will be a catalyst for something really positive to come out of the success of the teams and move forward and improve their performances across formats,” said Richardson on the impact of those three West Indies wins.
“The ICC is always available to help when invited. We don’t have the time to solve everybody’s problems and they have to have some degree of autonomy in how they operate.
“If we can help, we’d be available. In the past ICC has been involved in mediations between the players’ association and the West Indies board. This is a new development really. At the moment we haven’t been invited but by all accounts they seem to be sorting things out on their own.”