February 27, 2010
Went along to the 20/20 cricket international at the stadium last night.. I haven’t been able to sustain any interest in the Indian 20/20 league, and had never been to a game live.
Maybe I’m getting old and reactionary, but I think 20/20 is fairly flawed and naff as a form of cricket. Now, this is kind of what people said when one day cricket was first introduced, but the ODI format has evolved into a pretty awesome game.
However, 20-20 is too compressed. Either the batting side gets away to a flier in the first 6 overs or they don’t. There isn’t enough time to repair a bad start, whereas in the ODI format, there is. The games easily tend to being lopsided. Maybe action packed thrillers do happen, but I haven’t seen one yet.
Much of the pleasure of watching cricket is cerebral. Appreciating the balance of the game, the tensions and battles as they arise. 20/20 just doesn’t allow for sustained interest. The focus is on “action”, but this is a game that’s original form is five days. 20/20 is the Hollywood idea of cricket – repackaged in a convenient commercial form. But it lacks the depth that makes the action good. It’s like a Michael Bay film, unaware that explosions need a context to make them interesting.
And I wonder if the danger for the game is that due to the money following the 20-20 format, the selection pressure will be to generate sloggers who can’t build an innings, and fast bowlers who can go like sprinters for four overs but would quail at a day in the field.
Maybe something worthwhile can evolve out of 20/20, as they tweak the rules. Maybe not. Commercial pressure is seeking to adapt the game without respecting its core. The resulting hybrid just won’t be cricket.