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Monday, June 13, 2005

Bring on Twenty20

Jonathan Agnew, on BBC Sport, makes an interesting suggestion:
I would move that the Champions Trophy - which is only a meaningless, money-making exercise on behalf of the ICC - would be the perfect vehicle for a proper Twenty20 international tournamant.
Just imagine it - three matches per day producing a real festival for the supporters, and a competition that could be done and dusted over a long weekend.

What say? Do we really need the ICC Trophy, which given its structure is halfway to being a lottery anyways?
I suspect Twenty20 is here to stay -- why not, then, formalize it, the sooner the better? (Personally, I still love the cut and thrust of Test cricket over all these hybrid forms, but who said various versions can't co-exist?)

34 Comments:

  • Prem
    But I just cannot bear to see bowlers getting mauled the way it happens in 20/20. It is just not cricket. I would anyday prefer a test match with the pitch loaded in favour of the bowlers than watch the slam-bam slug fests that ODIs recently have been. Same with 20/20 too. In fact I have stopped following ODI games off late.

    What do you think will be the result of the Ashes? This team has already lost - so they could not emulate the invincibles. In fact they lost at the second hurdle of the tour.

    Recently I happened to read an article that listed all the Aussie players. Barring Clarke, Katich and Lee - almost all the other regulars are 30+ - some even close to retirement. Can we expect another mid-80s Aussie team soon?

    By Anonymous ShankarV, at 16:22  

  • I get my kicks from Test Cricket. One day cricket leaves too much to luck on that day. 20/20 sounds even more frenetic.
    Shoaib coming in to bowl with 4 slips and FSL in place sounds more appetizing than flat batted cricket.
    But I suppose 20/20 is here to stay. I'm very glad that the Poms put one over the Aussies in today's match. Only hope that the Ashes prove to be as competetive..

    Sunny

    By Blogger Sunny, at 16:45  

  • Prem, A Twenty20 world cup is just down the corner. I am a die hard Test match fan (the kind who watches Zimbabwe Vs. Bangladesh Test matches late at night) but it is very hard to argue against Twenty20 cricket.....

    By Anonymous Saurabh Wahi, at 16:48  

  • Twenty/20 is a JOKE (just like other County matches). I would never watch this type of crap. Obviously England is pushing this idea for some unknown reason.

    To me Test Cricket and ODI 50 overs are perfect and I dont wish a new crappy version.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:14  

  • Oh btw, Only in 20/20 England could win so easily(probably that's why they are pushing it so hard), Let's wait for real Cricket and watch Aussies thump England in almost every game Test or ODIs.

    It's just too funny to see Jonathan Agnew dissing ICC KO in favor of Twenty/20.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:21  

  • >>>Prem Said :- "Do we really need the ICC Trophy, which given its structure is halfway to being a lottery anyways?" <<<

    Prem, Why do you think that ICC KO trophy is a Lottery ? If so then aren't all the World Cup games after the League round are Lotteries ? Or may be all the Tennis matches (except Davis Cup) are Lotteries or may by all the Badminton Matches except the Sudirman/Uber Cup are lotteries ?

    Wait a minute, even World Cup Soccer post League round is a Lottery as well and must be replaced by a crappy 10 minute match tournament and that would make soccer beautiful to watch. Really what a great IDEA from One of the best writers of CRICKET.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:28  

  • Trust me, when you watch Shewag beat the daylights out of a McGrath or Brett Lee, you will become a convert :-)

    Twenty20 will only get bigger but hey, if you don't like it, don't watch it, simple.

    By Anonymous Saurabh Wahi, at 17:37  

  • Twenty20 should be good for cricket spectators everywhere. There is room for every type of player. Having watched some matches, I get to know the teams very quickly!! Equally the players get to play a cameo without tiring themselves too much.

    The finals day is excellent because there is a bit of tension throughout the day. Three matches are held on one day and at the end of it, one team gets to hold the trophy.

    The matches have a festival feel to it and are a good day out. It works well with local or domestic teams. International Twenty20 tournaments etc will be taking this a little too seriously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:41  

  • One day cricket is dying a slow death, twenty20 is refreshing but hopefully will never become a staple like 50 over cricket. There should be lesser one-day series, a day of twenty20, and more Tests.

    By Blogger Dhruv Deepak, at 17:42  

  • Well said Dhruv. Actually, I see more of of 'club' Twenty20 in the future and Internatinal teams will get together only for Test cricket and important tournaments like the World Cup!

    Enough of those meaningless Triangular tournaments...

    By Anonymous Saurabh Wahi, at 17:46  

  • Saurabh, I hope you are not suggesting that Sehwag can't beat the daylights out of Mcgrath/Lee in a real cricket match (e.g.Test Match or ODI) and that's you need a crappy format where even mediocre players can beat the crap out of Truly great Bowlers like Mcgrath and their fans can boost about it. Heck my best memory of Cricket will remain the beating Sachin gave to Akhtar or Jaddu gave to Younis or Akhtar bowled out Sachin/Dravid at edens, Sachin scoring b2b 100s against australia in Sharjah, LAX scoring 281, Gavaskar scoring 96 in Banglore and many more such performance, I wonder how many 20/20 knocks can beat any of that.

    IMO, I would rather watch Sehwag score a 194 in Melbourne or 300 in Pakistan than hammer Mcgrath in a toothless 20/20 match and yes I will not watch it.

    Infact that is one of the fears I have with this form of Cricket, it is like replacing an entire soccer game with penalty strokes, or replacing entire Tennis set with Tiebreakers or Hockey match with Penalty corners take your pick and decide.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:53  

  • >>>One day cricket is dying a slow death, twenty20 is refreshing but hopefully will never become a staple like 50 over cricket. There should be lesser one-day series, a day of twenty20, and more Tests. <<<

    Dude, if the crowds are any indication, it doesn't seem so. Unless you have some insider information and stats on the death of ODI cricket, I would like to think that ODI cricket is popular than ever.

    If you claiming something like that back it up with some facts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:56  

  • >>>Well said Dhruv. Actually, I see more of of 'club' Twenty20 in the future and Internatinal teams will get together only for Test cricket and important tournaments like the World Cup!

    Enough of those meaningless Triangular tournaments... <<<

    Yes, those meaningless triangulars are boring at times but I wonder how a 20/20 triangular is any better than a ODI triangular ?? Infact I would like to hear the opinion of International players like Dravid, Kumble, Ponting, Lara etc and see what they prefer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:59  

  • >>>Twenty20 should be good for cricket spectators everywhere. There is room for every type of player. <<<

    Why would I want to watch a mediocre player ? I mean why would you want to watch an Ashley Giles or Ajit Agarkar perform like Shane Warne or Glen Mcgrath when you that they are not capable of that in real matches.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:04  

  • I think 20/20 is an insult to cricket. I have a feeling it will have a short half life and will fizzle out soon. How many people will remember the score card from today's match a couple of days from now. All it is good for is some ego massaging for the lesser players who cant get bat to ball in test and belt out 20 ball fifities in 20/20. Moreover it is disheartening for the bowlers to get carted around. However it might be a good platform to unearth some big hitting talents for use in the longer version of the game.

    By Blogger ganesh77, at 18:24  

  • Money seems to be the criteria for so many of these masala quicky matches and 20/20 picks up where 50/50 left off.
    Why else would India and SL play 7 one day matches this coming Nov ?
    The quality of test players has come down quite a bit as too many short matches are being played.
    ICC should cut down on one day cricket and play more test matches. For starters we should have two groups.
    Each team should play teams in its own group once a year. In two years you have a home and an away series.
    This gives us a chance for high quality test matches more often.
    Is anybody listening ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:25  

  • 20/20 is a solution to compete against the 3 hour games in the US (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). It is impossible to explain to people in the US how a game can last 5 days, not have a result and still be thrilling - or even a 1 day for that matter (I was told by someone here that they would rather see "snails race" rather than watch a game that lasts a day (forget 5 days)). I think we should treat 20/20 as exhibition games and probably marvel at how some guys can really belt the ball - treat them as some of the olden time Hindi movies which we used to describe as "movie was great as long as you leave logic out of the picture". Nothing, absolutely nothing compares to a Test match - the last over of the day, the first over the next morning, the change in the wicket and environment and how it affects the game, the sheer talent needed to cope up with these changing situations - it is just fantastic. But an occassional, mindless 20/20 - sure throw it in (I used to get late to movies or meet friends if I had to pass by Shivaji Park or Azad or Cross Maidan in Bombay - I used to enjoy a game of cricket - be it the Times Shield, Giles, Harris, net practise etc - so why not a 20/20?).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:38  

  • Twenty20 matches will have all manner of things that occur in normal one day cricket. All types of bowling can be effetive. The bowlers can make a difference but the real thrust of the game is about the manner in which the batsman reacts to the challenges. He may improvise some singles or deflections or go for big shots to clear the boundary riders, etc. There is also about strategy. And lastly it is entertainment that finishes in a relatively short space of time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:49  

  • >>>And lastly it is entertainment that finishes in a relatively short space of time. <<<

    The word 'Entertainment' is very relative. what you consider entertainment might just be crap for me and vice versa. My Dad enjoys listening to Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and my younger brother think of that as a Hindustani Crap and loves 'Metallica' which my dad thinks as 'noise pollution'.

    I prefer to watch Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara bat hours and hours or a Wasim Akram, Shane warne rolling their arms over and over again. Imagine the 20/20 cricket do to that art we call batting or bowling, all we get to see is players like Afridi becoming the Bradmans of this era.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19:10  

  • 20/20 is a gimmick started by England, and played by them. It will not become a serious game till the sub continent does not take it up. I hope they never do. Its like taking up chicken chess instead of the real deal.

    By Blogger AM, at 19:13  

  • >>>20/20 is a solution to compete against the 3 hour games in the US (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). It is impossible to explain to people in the US how a game can last 5 days, not have a result and still be thrilling..<<<

    Dude, 20/20 or 5/5 People in US aren't going to watch cricket. We live in US and know that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19:14  

  • i personally feel this 20/20 cricket is the result of the feeling that cricket must compete with other sports....something i cant understand. Every sport has its own plus points and cricket is best played in Test and also ODI format. If u think people wont come to see these games because they are long....then thats a mistake coz crowds will keep turning up as long as there are stars....with 20-20 you wont have any stars...everyone can trash around for 20 overs....and with no stars the game will die faster than it might in Test and ODI form. To hell with 20/20.....i would rather watch highlights of a test match than a couple of hours of blind slam-bang.

    By Anonymous karthik, at 22:30  

  • ----------------------------------
    Dude, if the crowds are any indication, it doesn't seem so. Unless you have some insider information and stats on the death of ODI cricket, I would like to think that ODI cricket is popular than ever.

    If you claiming something like that back it up with some facts.
    -----------------------------------

    I'll just link you to a longish blog I wrote on the subject. It may not have facts per se, but I think you'll basically get the idea.

    http://fourthumpire.blogspot.com/2004/11/end-of-era.html

    I am really a proponent of changed rules in 50-over cricket (namely the 25x4 format), but the authorities seem to be too conservative, just tinkering with the rules here and there and changing the fielding restrictions. Sure, this will bring some fresh scenarios, but will get worn out soon enough.

    I don't think anyone can honestly say that they dont get bored in the 15-40th over of an ODI innings.
    And bored of the format as a whole, for which all the various scenarios and equations have happened SO MANY times that we can predict the result of the game 95% of the time.
    I also read somewhere that more than 80% of the games are decided by the 15th over of the 2nd inning.

    Twenty20 is cool, but it should know it's role--to advertize the game of Cricket.
    I listed my thoughts on its pros and cons here:
    http://fourthumpire.blogspot.com/2005/02/20twenty-worries-aplenty.html

    By Blogger Dhruv Deepak, at 23:23  

  • Yeah, tweaking the 50 over format to things such as 25*4 is gr8....but reducing it to 20 a side is never a right substitution. There are many nuances to the 50 over ODI that just dont exist in a 20 over game. If the purpoose of 20 overs is to appease countries such as america...let it be played by them! Why should every sport be played by every country? How many countries play serious baseball? It is shorter in duration, similar in concept...but we dont see many following that sport all over the world ( US, japan are a couple that do follow)..right?
    Instead of ruining the game to gain audiences who are never going to enjoy the sport, we should retain the 50 overs aspect and play with it like the 4*25 concept.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 00:19  

  • Wonder how many of so-called cricket purist will turn off their television sets when India take on Paikstan in a Twenty20 game?

    I have never been in favour of anything other then Test cricket, but still prefer Twenty20 to ODI's. Here is an interesting statistic about 'interesting' ODI's (I did this analysis 2 years ago, but recon it hasn't changed much):

    1. 87% of Times that a team scores more then 300 runs it wins.

    2. 92% of the times a team scoring less then 240 loses.

    3. 50% of times a team scoring less then 250 runs loses.

    4. 50% of the times team scoring more hen 275 runs wins

    5. 50% of ODI scores are between 250 and 275 which are interesting.

    Do your maths - 50% or more ODI games are decided after the 1st innings.

    Off to Italy now. Cricket, what cricket?

    By Anonymous Saurabh Wahi, at 00:20  

  • That's not fact but just your opinion, that too seriously flawed one and full of contradictions.

    You have been reading too much of Cricketnext.com aka Sanjay Jha and Tapan Joshi. Their writtings are full of CRAP. If you think 1992 world cup was the best one then you probably have not seen 1987 Reliance World Cup.

    The very same reasons for which you have written off ODI (50 overs) are going to be in much more force in 20/20. Dont believe me ? please tell me when was the last time England defeated Australia by 100 runs. Only in 20/20 a mediocre team like England can beat Australia by 100 runs. In WC 2003 Kenya reached SemiFinals because NZ and WI decided to boycott their matches in Kenya and Kenyans got the points. It was not ODI Cricket but Politics which was the reason for Kenya reaching the semifinals not to forget the weak mathematics of Shaun Pollock.

    Your argument about TOSS is laughable, I think you have been believing everything the losing captains have been whining (particularly Flemings and Hussains of this world).

    I think you want Chutney Cricket, where cricketers appear as jokers and make fool of themselves and this beutiful game called cricket. I can pooh pooh each of your claims but I seriously dont have time and energy to do that. Go live in your world and watch Afridi breaking records of Sir Don Bradman. I am off to watching some old test matches and I promise I will not watch a Single 20/20 game and would rather stop watching cricket.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 00:42  

  • >>>Wonder how many of so-called cricket purist will turn off their television sets when India take on Paikstan in a Twenty20 game? <<<

    Many will do that, Count me one of those. Besides who cares about India-Pakistan now, If you want to watch quality cricket India-Australia is the tour to watch. India-Pakistan is so 80s. More politics, more hoopla, Less Cricket, that is what an India-Pak series is.

    As for your so called interesting stats, well I dont know what you are trying to prove by presenting those stats, common if a team scores 300+ runs, there is a good chance that it is going to win and I guess 87 % is right on target. 250 is a decent score and if a team scores 250 it has 50% chance of winning the match and Einstien please tell me what is the point of that and other irrelevant stats ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 00:51  

  • As I have said in another place, 20/20 is a commercial inevitability and the sooner we come to terms with it, the better we will be for it. I see a scenario when there will be three teams from a country- test, one dayers and then one for 20/20 with minor overlaps between the three.
    Should be fun to watch!

    By Blogger Mohit, at 01:45  

  • anonymous, i dont know who you're addressing; it seems like half your anger is being vented on me and the other half saurabh.

    I like to read articles that make sense. I dont think Tapan Joshi is a good writer, but Sanjay Jha makes sense. That 25x4 model is much more superior to the current flawed, worn-out format.
    I think the epitome of ODI "fairness" came in last year's Natwest trophy, where in all 6 group matches, the team batting 2nd won, on pitches all over England (the other 3 games were washed out).
    What was the pattern? Team winning the TOSS (so laughable indeed) fielded and used the seaming and swinging conditions to take quick wickets, nipping any possible challenge in the bud. Chasing an easy target then, on an eased-out afternoon pitch, with the sun beating down, was a walk in the park. Have a look yourself: http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2004/OD_TOURNEYS/NWS/NWS_JUN-JUL2004_SCHEDULE.html


    As for your boycotting of 20twenty, that's fine too! If you read what I wrote about 20twenty, I noted there are plenty of flaws, and not many positives. But I DO think the biggest merit is the crowd attraction, which brings interest to the other versions of the game. This is what it primarily should be used for. I would HATE to have 20twenty internationals shoved down my throat day in and day out.
    And I am sure if the ICC governs it responsibly, 20twenty will not become the staple brand of Cricket. Waisay, looks like India (read Dalmiya) is not very interested in it right now, so 20twenty is going nowhere till it is recognized in India.

    Saurabh and Prem are right; Twenty20 is here to stay and it should be put to good use, so this is what I propose as an ideal Series:
    1 day of Twenty20 (2 matches)
    3 ODIs with a revitalized format that doesnt have hours of boring cricket interspersed with short periods of blistering action.
    3-5 Tests.

    In fact I would cut out 2 nation ODI series and have more tri-series (but not mind-numbingly long ones like the VB series). 2 teams can play each other to death over 3,5,7,9 or 11 ODIs with no meaning to it. For proof, India lost to West Indies 4-3 in 2002 (in India) then 5-2 to New Zealand (in NZ) just before the World Cup. It had no bearing on the World Cup. In a tri or 4 team series, you get more interesting competition and a more satisfactory result. Indeed, triumphing over 2 or more teams is more heart-warming than barely pipping Pakistan 3-2 in an ODI series.


    PS, i did not watch the '87 WC as I was a toddler, and I despise Afridi's MO of batting despite the excitement he brings to the game.

    By Blogger Dhruv Deepak, at 04:35  

  • >>>PS, i did not watch the '87 WC as I was a toddler, and I despise Afridi's MO of batting despite the excitement he brings to the game.<<<

    If you despise Afridi style of batting and still support 20/20 because with 20/20 you are going to get only that kind of batting. 1987 World Cup was great, try to get the tapes of that tournament and watch it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09:11  

  • >>>>I think the epitome of ODI "fairness" came in last year's Natwest trophy, where in all 6 group matches, the team batting 2nd won, on pitches all over England (the other 3 games were washed out).
    What was the pattern? Team winning the TOSS (so laughable indeed) fielded and used the seaming and swinging conditions to take quick wickets, nipping any possible challenge in the bud. Chasing an easy target then, on an eased-out afternoon pitch, with the sun beating down, was a walk in the park. <<<<

    That is the problem I have with people who suffer from Selective dementia. Please tell us what happened in the Finals ? What was the score of the Team batting first and second, which team won ? Also in one of the previous league matches England scored 280+ but lost because they bowled poorly. You can't blame that kind of performance on conditions.

    Not to forget that there was another Natwest series in 2004 between India-Eng, Kindly tell us how many times teams batting first lost ? But you sure wont remember that and randomly pick matches to suit your argument.

    Toss, Conditions etc have become pet excuses now a days. ODI cricket is being played for more than 3 decades now and its only in last couple of years we have started to hear that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09:37  

  • >>>anonymous, i dont know who you're addressing; it seems like half your anger is being vented on me and the other half saurabh.<<<

    My sincere apologies if you got that impression. I am not angry at anyone. I will try to express my views better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09:40  

  • >>>In fact I would cut out 2 nation ODI series and have more tri-series...<<<<

    Ideally all of us would like to have that but where is the time my friend ? ICC's tight schedule doesn't leave us any room for having top 3-4-5 teams available for a ODI tourny.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09:42  

  • 50% of everything is decided after one event: It can happen or not! So you need not wait till the end of the 1st innings!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13:02  

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