A Quote for life!

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for Insects

Robert A Heinlein
(American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Twenty20 - Is this the future of Cricket?

Twenty20 is the latest variety of the game of Cricket which is making headlines all over. Here each team gets to bat for a maximum of 20 overs within a period of 75 minutes. There are rules that are quite different from the original game and are so interesting that they have made Cricket widespread and highly attractive – Cricket has transformed to a game of this Jet Age!

England and Wales Cricket Board in 2003 introduced this shortest form of the game at its domestic county level. Two years later, in February 2005 the first international Twenty20 match was played between the then World Champions Australia and their neighbor New Zealand in Auckland. Australia won the match by 44 runs; Ricky Ponting scored the highest (a record as of today) individual score of 98 runs in just 55 balls and Michael Kasprowicz took four wickets. India played her first Twenty20 match against South Africa in Johannesburg which she won with 6 wickets – a feet which was not achieved while playing debutant Test or One Day International matches. Dinesh Karthik with an unbeaten 31 took India to this historical win. India, who played this first and only match (till date) after the ICC World Cup 2007, was the last of the full time member countries of ICC. We will be looking forward to the first ICC World Twenty20 competition that will take place in South Africa in September 2007.

I have been a cricketer myself and a great fan of the game. The issue I want to raise in the interest of the game is about the future of Cricket that is indicated by the inclusion of Twenty20 format. A game of art and touches is given away to one which has nothing but bully players throwing their bats at everything that comes toward them – it is changing to a game of smashing boundaries and overwhelming over-boundaries. Just consider this match which was played between two County teams this season which was merely 5 overs a side. Can you decide the quality or talent of a cricketer from a cricket match where he gets to bowl 6 balls and can face a maximum of 30 (valid) balls in a match! It’s ridiculous, if not unfortunate. ICC has reduced the involvement of the game to 3 home matches per season and 2 series in total to preserve the primacy of the existing formats of Test and One Day International matches.

Twenty20 is a big way to attract people and increase awareness about the game among the countries that are still away from the spotlight. However, it can be regarded only as a development form of the game – as we have model replicas of yet to launch automobile. This format should not be used to rank teams or judge players on their cricketing ability. Yes, go watch every match and enjoy; but do not take back the result with you and compare with the statistics of previous cricket players. Undeniably, Twenty20 cricket is very much unique and different, but is it cricket at all? The traditional cricket formats like Test and ODI matches involve higher degree of skill and technicality, whereas here, one who can hit the ball with maximum power will be worshiped. There have been differences between traditionally and technically sound cricketers and the exciting, effective players and players with killer instincts. The later group might be loved and appreciated by the young generation, but it is more likely that a large part of the fraternity will still say that building a 170 balls century takes a lot of courage, patience and technique than a blistering 25 balls half century. I have to say that in this format, the gentle men’s game is not played gently anymore. I wish Twenty20 all success and hope it does not dilute the passion, glory, history and fame associated with the game. It is too early to comment may be, but it should not be too late that we decide in the interest of the game – whether or not to continue with Twenty20 format of Cricket. What say, mate?

Whatever it is, I have only one Slogan now
C'mon India ... CHUCK DE INDIA!

For more information on Twenty20 Cricket, please visit the following web links:

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