September 15, 2007

S Rajesh and Andrew McGlashan at the 2007 ICC World Twenty20

To bowl-out or not to bowl-out?

S Rajesh
The grassy embankments at the Wanderers make the perfect setting for a family outing, New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Group C, Johannesburg, September 15, 2007
 © S Rajesh
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The sun is out in all its splendour, there isn’t a hint of a cloud in the sky; a gentle breeze keeps the weather pleasant. It’s just about the perfect Saturday afternoon to be lazing out in the sun with family on the grassy embankments of the Wanderers, watching an entertaining Twenty20 game as a neutral spectator.

Which is exactly what Warren and some of his friends decided to do. They came well prepared too: the adults all had comfortable chairs in which to lounge and relax, while the kids were armed with cricket bat and ball, and enjoyed a hit before the big boys came out to play in the middle. Warren handed out many reasons why he’s a fan of Twenty20 cricket.

“Since the game lasts only three hours, I can bring my kids along without worrying about them getting bored. This is the only version I’d watch if South Africa isn’t playing. I know this match [between New Zealand and Sri Lanka] will be exciting, and it’ll be worth the money.”

Another big factor for coming to the cricket is the fact that the grassy embankment is a non-smoking zone, which doesn’t allow any alcohol to be brought in either. “I wouldn’t want any drunken louts making a scene with my kids around,” says Warren, and he has a point too.

What about the added razzmatazz, with the cheerleaders and the music? “I love it,” he enthuses. “Though my wife has warned if I look too long at the cheerleaders she’ll go up there and join them.” That’ll then be another reason for Warren to go to the cricket. * * *

To bowl-out or not to bowl-out? The tied game between Pakistan and India was decided in that manner in Durban on Friday, and a quick survey was done to check how the format went down with the spectators in Johannesburg. The results were overwhelmingly in favour of it. “It’s great fun, and suits the Twenty20 game,” was the general refrain. There were a couple of dissenting voices, though, who reckoned it just wasn’t the right way to decide a cricket match. Next question to those dissenters: “Do you prefer Test cricket or Twenty20 cricket?” “Test cricket, of course.” That explains everything.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S Rajesh
Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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