20/20

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.

3 Responses to “20/20”

  1.   AndyMac
    February 28th, 2010 | 6:39 pm

    Indeed. I went along as well, it was my first ever live 20/20. What I found out is that since sport is now mostly a commodity on pay Television, which I refuse to pay for, I am completely out of touch with who is who.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2.   noizy
    March 1st, 2010 | 1:51 pm

    Maybe action packed thrillers do happen, but I haven’t seen one yet.

    Words which inevitably caused the next game to be one of the greatest in the format’s short history… 😉

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3.   Rich
    March 17th, 2010 | 11:04 am

    These are all points I’ve been making since the rise of T20 to anyone who’ll listen. This format of the game emasculates the bowler and devalues the work of the batsman, so skewed is it towards run scoring. Small grounds, smaller boundaries, bats as fat as kilo blocks of cheese, batsmen with rippling biceps and of course, no need to actually stay at the crease for that long. I despair every time I see a batsman fuck up his shot and still comfortably collect six rather than having the ball go straight up in the air and get caught on the 30m circle.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.