speaking posting, I was not a supporter of Twenty20, the new short format of cricket. It’s natural to have resistance to change. Probably, the “purist” in me was not ready to accept the change. When the game changed last time – from 5 day looong format to One Day – am sure there must be disbelievers. I can now feel their resistance then. But One Days are now as traditional as the Tests.
I started in to the Twenty20 World Cup Tournament as a disbeliever in the format. Mostly thinking, the game has unfairly tilted towards the batsman. But as the series have progressed, I have to admit that my views have changed. We had matches where bowlers have done a fine job and were instrumental in winning the match. The batsman is now under pressure to perform a feat of fours and sixes and a strike rate of 100 is just average. The bowlers tend to be at the receiving end in this blitz striking of ball but then even one dot ball turns the game.
Finally, it’s not about bowlers or batsmen as much as it is about the format. I have really warmed up to the format. The most appealing part of the format is the huge unpredictability which it comes with. Cricket, I think so, is one of the few sports which has historically involved in it a great deal of uncertainty – which is a trademark glory of Cricket. How many times we have heard commentators uttering trite words – “The game is not over till the last bowl is bowled”. Twenty20 has made the game extremely fickle, making it swing either ways and in the event makes it one of the most entertaining to watch.
More than the format, it was the need to innovate the game of cricket. Times are always changing and more importantly; change is the order of new time. Test Cricket, the purest and premier form of the game, is archaic. One-days too have lost their charm mainly because of a day long match, many times resulting in one sided contest. The boredom of sluggish middle overs was another major turnoff. With other sports offering an entertaining and short 3 hours to the very time strapped youngsters, Cricket needed a surgery to become trim and lean. After all, we are a “2-Minute” generation.
I have my frustrations too. But they are not on the format. I want to shout when
Will Twenty20 become the order of the day by burying Fifty50? I won’t go against the Gods by predicting. Meanwhile, Cricket has become something which it never was - Fast, Exciting and Entertaining.