February 24, 2014

Let's be honest about T20

The format generally, and the IPL particularly, is all about fun and entertainment. It isn't an exacting test of skill
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Mohammad Hafeez's analysis of the benefits of the IPL haven't convinced too many © AFP

Without T20 cricket, would we have to contend with the monstrosity of the Big Three? The IPL has much to answer for. It's a money game but players tell us they prefer not to focus on the financial perks. Kevin Pietersen once claimed that India's T20 spectacle helped his game. The massive salary without doubt helped too. Now Mohammad Hafeez, a batsman of inferior quality but bearing similarities in frustration, has lamented the exclusion of Pakistan's cricketers. The IPL, he says, is a great arena to test and develop your skills.

In his defence, Hafeez needs help. His career reflects the modern state of Pakistan cricket. Bizarre selection, minimal development, and arguable progress. Aamer Sohail, the man who oversold Hafeez to a bewildered public in his first stint as chief selector lasted barely a week this time around. Hafeez's potential, if you believe he possesses it, has been trapped for a decade. If you haven't managed to deliver in that time, despite generous opportunities, the odds are stacked against you.

T20 cricket, the least challenging of cricket's disciplines, is unsurprisingly Hafeez's forte. No wonder he craves more. His wish to appear again in the IPL seems unlikely to be met. The tragedy of Hafeez may be that the hero inside himself never landed a leading role on the IPL stage.

Indeed, the Professor's analysis of the cricketing benefits of the IPL are unpersuasive. His hypothesis sprang from his heart not his brain. Auctions, especially human ones, are designed to appeal to our basest instincts, and Hafeez felt love for this year's spectacle.

It is debatable whether the IPL offers any benefit for player development. India aren't dominant in T20 cricket. Pakistan won a T20 World Cup during this period of exclusion. The boundaries are short. The wickets are flat. The bowlers are generally friendly, and any that aren't have only four overs to hurt you. Most importantly, the money is banked. What's left is tamasha.

And that's the point. I do object to the IPL on the basis that it deliberately or subconsciously refuses to consider players from certain nations. Pakistan invariably, and this time Sri Lanka too. This is unfair. I do object to the IPL on the basis that players pretend that it is some grand examination, a finishing school for the elite. That's patently nonsense. But I don't object to the tamasha.

If only more people were more honest about it. T20 generally, and the IPL particularly, is all about fun and entertainment. It isn't an exacting test of skill. Its purpose is to make money for cricket boards, cricketers, and others. T20 cricket is a bookies paradise. And we now know how much money matters. Incidentally, the IPL also provides enjoyment to spectators. Why not call it what it is then? A tamasha. Call it a tamasha and value it for being one.

"It's fun cricket," said Younis Khan on winning the 2009 T20 World Cup at Lord's, and in the next breath he perceptively stooped further, labelling it WWE. Nobody wants their occupation to be trivialised, but, ironically, talking up T20 cricket and the IPL devalues them. Fun has its place in our lives too, although a proper tamasha is better for being open to all entertainers, especially the badmashes from across the border.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 2, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Well what i felt is that Hafeez looks more confident in T20 than other formats of cricket... Pakistani players are not allowed to play IPL now I back Kashif on this ground. I seems totally unfair to exempt test playing nation's players. Can someone give me genuine reson for that?

  • siddhartha87 on February 26, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Just saying: even if Pakistan is allowed to participate in IPL only Ajmal will be sold at a very good price.Others like Afridi ,Hafeez and Gul will be sold but not at a very high price.

  • on February 26, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    I am an Indian and I see no IPL bashing in this article. It's more about T20 cricket on the whole rather than just IPL. In today's snobbish times when everyone seems to be riding on the coat-tails of T20 club cricket, you have the integrity to come up with an honest appraisal. It's hard to understand what Pakistan cricket is missing out on by not playing IPL (if anything, it's only the IPL franchises that are missing out on Pakistani players, though it's beyond their control). What Pakistan cricket needs is to restore faith in its First Class structure. I miss the great fast-swing bowlers of this amazing country; when everyone was focused on line-and-length stuff, they remained unaffected by the changes around and kept producing those powerhouses of talent, those precocious exponents of swing and reverse swing.

  • JustHuss on February 25, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    Lets be honest indeed. Sounds like bit of a sour grapes to me. Pakistan with its population size and popularity of cricket could have been a cricketing powerhouse. But unfortunately they cannot even organize goats in a paddock. Lets not blame T20 or IPL or the Big 3. They did not get to where they are now by accident. just get your house in order Mr Abbsi.

  • on February 25, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    For cricket to sustain, as with any other team sport, there needs to be professional leagues. Basketball has NBA, baseball has MLB, football has EPL/SPL and others. IPL just happens to be the major one for cricket. And yes, we all admit that it's not a perfect league and that there are a number of things that need to be worked on. Somebody mentioned the annoying cheerleaders and the loud music...yes totally agree. However, the league is a young one, possibly the youngest in any major sport ...so give it some time.

    On T20 cricket...well, here's the deal. As an ardent cricket fan, of course I'll prefer the Test match the most satisfying. However, if cricket wants to grow and as you introduce the game to newer/casual fans, then you have to something like T20.

  • Sayedgee on February 25, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    @ our Indian friends, before you bubble over with IPL patriotism. Read carefully what's written here, nowhere its says IPL does not require any skills. Even crossing road requires skills. What it says here is "It isn't an exacting test of skill". Comparison to test cricket or even ODIs you think it is a test of skill? Really??

  • py0alb on February 25, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    2008 called, it wants its hopelessly uninformed opinion back.

  • DaisonGarvasis on February 25, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Why certain players are not considered for IPL is totally a different debate. Hafeez has represented Pakistan over the years. To be part of a talented Pakistan national team and stay there for such long time Hafeez should have some talent and credentials. Just because he aired his opinion doesnt qualify him to be ridiculed as "a batasman of inferior quality" bluntly. And if stating his opinion qualified Hafeez for such punishment, the author himself should be questioned of his credentials (doesnt matter he got some or not, should be questioined) because he is doing the same thing as Hafeez did later in the article. As a cricket fan, one thing I remember is how Hafeez performed when Paskistan tourned India the last time. He tore through India bowling in T20 as well as ODI's. If performing in T20 doesnt need skill, why everybody is not national players????

  • DaisonGarvasis on February 25, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    Reading this piece two words comes to mind first - "sour grapes" and then a few others follow. First of all, the author is taking a dig at Hafeez for airing his objection for not being considered in IPL. He stoos down to question Hafeez's credentials as a player. Well, dont berate him for giving his opinion. More in to the article the author himself is doing exactly what Hafeez did - air his anger for some players not being considered for IPL contract. Again he stoops down to call IPL a tamasha. Well, did anybody ask you to "rate" IPL? I dont think so. So if IPL captured your attention and you are visibly upset for not getting take part in it, there must be something about it, isnt it? Its not just India having a T20 tournament. AUS have it, Bangladesh have it, SA have it, SL had it, Pakistan had it. Some have it successfully and some not so. So when your tournament is not as successful as IPL what best to do other than calling it a TAMASHA????!!!!! SOUR GRAPES, isnt it?

  • rajattiwaari on February 25, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Oh Cm'n people! We live in a materialistic world. Each one of us wants to earn more. Each one of us pursues greener pastures.So what's wrong if earning of cricketers has gone up several notches.We mustn't simply start denouncing any cricketer who expresses his desire to play in IPL or any other T20 league. That's not greed and even if it is ,I'd say majority of the people today are greedy.Stop this hypocrisy!

  • on March 2, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Well what i felt is that Hafeez looks more confident in T20 than other formats of cricket... Pakistani players are not allowed to play IPL now I back Kashif on this ground. I seems totally unfair to exempt test playing nation's players. Can someone give me genuine reson for that?

  • siddhartha87 on February 26, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Just saying: even if Pakistan is allowed to participate in IPL only Ajmal will be sold at a very good price.Others like Afridi ,Hafeez and Gul will be sold but not at a very high price.

  • on February 26, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    I am an Indian and I see no IPL bashing in this article. It's more about T20 cricket on the whole rather than just IPL. In today's snobbish times when everyone seems to be riding on the coat-tails of T20 club cricket, you have the integrity to come up with an honest appraisal. It's hard to understand what Pakistan cricket is missing out on by not playing IPL (if anything, it's only the IPL franchises that are missing out on Pakistani players, though it's beyond their control). What Pakistan cricket needs is to restore faith in its First Class structure. I miss the great fast-swing bowlers of this amazing country; when everyone was focused on line-and-length stuff, they remained unaffected by the changes around and kept producing those powerhouses of talent, those precocious exponents of swing and reverse swing.

  • JustHuss on February 25, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    Lets be honest indeed. Sounds like bit of a sour grapes to me. Pakistan with its population size and popularity of cricket could have been a cricketing powerhouse. But unfortunately they cannot even organize goats in a paddock. Lets not blame T20 or IPL or the Big 3. They did not get to where they are now by accident. just get your house in order Mr Abbsi.

  • on February 25, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    For cricket to sustain, as with any other team sport, there needs to be professional leagues. Basketball has NBA, baseball has MLB, football has EPL/SPL and others. IPL just happens to be the major one for cricket. And yes, we all admit that it's not a perfect league and that there are a number of things that need to be worked on. Somebody mentioned the annoying cheerleaders and the loud music...yes totally agree. However, the league is a young one, possibly the youngest in any major sport ...so give it some time.

    On T20 cricket...well, here's the deal. As an ardent cricket fan, of course I'll prefer the Test match the most satisfying. However, if cricket wants to grow and as you introduce the game to newer/casual fans, then you have to something like T20.

  • Sayedgee on February 25, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    @ our Indian friends, before you bubble over with IPL patriotism. Read carefully what's written here, nowhere its says IPL does not require any skills. Even crossing road requires skills. What it says here is "It isn't an exacting test of skill". Comparison to test cricket or even ODIs you think it is a test of skill? Really??

  • py0alb on February 25, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    2008 called, it wants its hopelessly uninformed opinion back.

  • DaisonGarvasis on February 25, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Why certain players are not considered for IPL is totally a different debate. Hafeez has represented Pakistan over the years. To be part of a talented Pakistan national team and stay there for such long time Hafeez should have some talent and credentials. Just because he aired his opinion doesnt qualify him to be ridiculed as "a batasman of inferior quality" bluntly. And if stating his opinion qualified Hafeez for such punishment, the author himself should be questioned of his credentials (doesnt matter he got some or not, should be questioined) because he is doing the same thing as Hafeez did later in the article. As a cricket fan, one thing I remember is how Hafeez performed when Paskistan tourned India the last time. He tore through India bowling in T20 as well as ODI's. If performing in T20 doesnt need skill, why everybody is not national players????

  • DaisonGarvasis on February 25, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    Reading this piece two words comes to mind first - "sour grapes" and then a few others follow. First of all, the author is taking a dig at Hafeez for airing his objection for not being considered in IPL. He stoos down to question Hafeez's credentials as a player. Well, dont berate him for giving his opinion. More in to the article the author himself is doing exactly what Hafeez did - air his anger for some players not being considered for IPL contract. Again he stoops down to call IPL a tamasha. Well, did anybody ask you to "rate" IPL? I dont think so. So if IPL captured your attention and you are visibly upset for not getting take part in it, there must be something about it, isnt it? Its not just India having a T20 tournament. AUS have it, Bangladesh have it, SA have it, SL had it, Pakistan had it. Some have it successfully and some not so. So when your tournament is not as successful as IPL what best to do other than calling it a TAMASHA????!!!!! SOUR GRAPES, isnt it?

  • rajattiwaari on February 25, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Oh Cm'n people! We live in a materialistic world. Each one of us wants to earn more. Each one of us pursues greener pastures.So what's wrong if earning of cricketers has gone up several notches.We mustn't simply start denouncing any cricketer who expresses his desire to play in IPL or any other T20 league. That's not greed and even if it is ,I'd say majority of the people today are greedy.Stop this hypocrisy!

  • rajattiwaari on February 25, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    T20 cricket doesn't require any skill, really?Also, I think Kamran has been a little unfair on hafeez.

  • on February 25, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Sour grapes written all over it Kamran. Didn't quite expect this from you. Besides, this is a common mistake that t20 doesn't require any skills. News flash: it needs a completely different set of skills.

  • NumberXI on February 25, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    This article reflects what is wrong with those that deign to comment upon cricket. Take tennis as a parallel. The sport has its great players, a lot of whom are individual champions - Laver, Federer, Borg, Graf, Billie Jean King, Court etc. But during commentary of a men's doubles match at the Australian Open - same sport, largely similar format, different players - one commentator lamented how the doubles combination of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi drifted apart - a pairing he termed "great". Like them, the Woodies, Pam Shriver, and many others made their names in doubles, though they were not individual champions. And yet they are considered great tennis players in their own right. By the same reckoning, the like of Abbasi need to look beyond this fixation with Test cricket as "pure" cricket. This will allow the likes of Hafeez, Hodge and others who follow them to be recognized as top achievers in T20, a different format.

  • on February 25, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    Any game involving a ball and a bat requires skill.The beauty of 20 over cricket is that it lasts about as long as most other sports.The downside is that the dancing girls and the horrible music are unnecessary-but over time the administrators will work out that a gimmick is just a gimmick.I would watch it if the presentation of the game wasn't so awful.

  • mars2009 on February 25, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    IPL ruined the standard of bowling particularly fast bowling. The results of Indian cricket team abroad post IPL can prove my point. Secondly, Hafeez is great batsman against mediocre bowling. His average is just 20 against AUS, SA, ENG & NZL in ODI against rest he is averaging 48. For me he can be part of ODI side as bowler who bats at 8-9.

  • 0mar1 on February 24, 2014, 22:22 GMT

    @Chandra writesi " IPL has given the world a Brendon .... ". The country of New Zealand may beg to differ, Chandra Ji!

    Anyways, I am happy for the IPL fans that they have found a way to enjoy this Tamasha so much. After all, these days there is not much to see in the performance of Team India.

  • InsideHedge on February 24, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Finally, while I sympathise with Kamran and other sensible Pak fans at the exclusion of their players from IPL, he's most defn wrong about the so-called exclusion of SL players.

    The franchises didn't pick them up because most of them will be involved on a full tour to England, a tour which clashes with this season's IPL. They will be picked up next year. It should be remembered that the fees agreed now are for a 3 year contract. The franchises will instead pay 2 year's worth of money starting next year, an economically sound choice. What is the point of paying someone for 3 years when they're only available for 2 years?

    If SL players were excluded then the likes of Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera would not have been signed up - neither will play for SL in the Tests. Meanwhile, Sangakkara made the smart choice of not even entering the auction this year.

    Some of the choices made by the franchises are plain bizarre but you can't accuse them of delib avoiding SL players.

  • Insightful2013 on February 24, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    So right about T20. Practically never watch it. It's beach ball footie! Except for entertainment, it has no merits and many drawbacks for the players. Cricket is a very technical game and absolute concentration and harnessing of ability is required. Scoring 100 runs, bashing the ball or taking 5 wickets of batsmen trying to sore runs, is no achievement, whatsoever. Also, why is it construed as India bashing, if someone comments on T20 cricket? I fail to see the relevance. Players like Gayle, Sehwag and Pollard aren't really good cricketers, I think? Gayle and Sehwag are extremely interesting, however. They can compile long innings and it is to me, extremely difficult, to fathom how it is achieved with such very poor techniques. But then, I don't understand Ronnie O' Sullivan doing what he does? But, really, who does! It shouldn't be possible and yet, it is!

  • on February 24, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    @Talha Malik .. You have a point here :)

    @karachidude23 .. Spot on!!!

    @Sisir Chandra Panigrahi .. Fewer drawn test matches, closer one dayers, more crowd, exciting cricket, innovation at every field. Perhaps we should also give credits to IPL for Colored clothing, better protective equipments, day/night matches, neutral umpires. IPL has given the world Tendulkar, Murli, Warne, McGrath, Akram, Ambrose, Lara, Kallis and Ponting, right?

  • Hardy1 on February 24, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    To say that it doesn't require skill is clearly inaccurate. Yes it's a different set of skills to Test cricket & it is a bit more luck of the draw, but why is it then that in the IPL that CSK & MI for example have performed so much better than other teams? Also, would you not agree that T20 cricket has helped to improve fielding standards in other forms of the game?

  • on February 24, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    Syed Hassaan Ahmed . you are wrong. hafeez and shoaib malik are not the worst thing but the second worst thing. The worst is one and only Kamran akmal and these all will feature again in the upcoming T20 world cup. Needless to say Pak will reach the semi finals of a global tournament again and not make it to the finals, as under pressure these 3 gentleman fail miserably in the batting department with a lot of work left for the remaining batting order

  • on February 24, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Grow Up!!! You are stuck with the same specs for a long time... go ahead change it if you have the guts!!! T20 and IPL has revived the other forms of cricket. We have very few drawn test matches, close one dayers, more crowd, exciting cricket, innovation at every field... IPL has changed the mindset. Cricketers are no more stuck with the old age conventions of playing cricket, they have added a lot to their repertoire and that is awesome... IPL has given players the freedom to experiment, given them a parallel ground to explore other possibilities. IPL has given the world a Brendon who can score the fastest double century and follow it up with a painstaking but a match saving triple hundred there are examples galore and you know them better than me...

  • karachidude23 on February 24, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    @ snaidu2010

    if you don't like what you call "india bashing" in every article, then don't read them,rather go check out or open up your own local indian cricket website, this international site doesn't seem to suit you.

    Besides the article accurately describes the money and greed factor that is gelling itself at the foundations of cricket, the article does not belittle or insult any nation/india, its belittling greedy cricketers like hafeez who just wants in for the money, the point being Pakistan and India or any other cricketing nation can still do well without this tournament too.

  • McGorium on February 24, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Kamran's entire premise is nonsensical. The big 3 is a reflection of financial realities in Cricket, that the remaining countries don't yet have an economy strong enough to support test cricket, and that most of the revenue for ICC events came from big-3 countries. IPL or no IPL, this was clear ages ago. It was only a matter of time before the boards went, "we're done doing charity". As to the inclusion of Pak and SL players, the IPL has not claimed to be an equal-opportunity employer. Specifically re. Pak, Kamran is well aware that whenever political tensions between India and Pak flare up, Pak players become hot potatoes. The IPL is especially sensitive to public perception as it's run by corporations whose primary interest is in brand promotion, and avoidance of any controversy. The IPL "tamasha" provides a viable career for cricketers who'll never play international cricket for India. That alone is meritorious enough, because it encourages more kids to take it up professionally.

  • snaidu2010 on February 24, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    I am so tired of India bashing in each and every article. Really guys, now even a good writer like Kamran goes around doing that. At the end of the day, you dont like IPL or T20's then dont watch it. IPL may not be the "Greatest" form of cricket according to you but millions enjoy it, its a good place to spend family time, doesnt last all day so you dont miss out on work or school. Local players who would normally get lost in Ranji trophy get a lot of publicity. So fine, India didnt win any World Cup T20 after IPL started, big deal. It did win the 50 over WC. And pakistani players, what can I say. Stop clamerring for a contract( Afridi couple of years back and Hafeez now) and dont bad mouth IPL if you dont get one. Its the politcial situation, no govt would want exhaust all its resources just to make sure a IPL match goes witout an issue. India not doing well abroad, thats just down to bad administration and lack of form which I am sure India can handle, dont need any outside help.

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on February 24, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    @Chiligonzales Are you kidding me? Ok, Pollard is nowhere near test level but he never was and never will be. Rohit Sharma on the other hand just recently scored a good 72 and both Dhawan and Rahane scored 100s abroad. So yes, they HAVE looked like they can win matches outside India. They only lost thanks to the bowling. Now, referring to the article, while I do agree that T20 does not require as much skill as Test or ODI cricket does, to say its just "tamasha" is unfair. It forces batsmen to innovate and come up with new shots. Just look at the Dilscoop and AB's many variations (which he also brings to tests). The bowlers are forced to come up with celver deliveries to keep the run floe in check. A lot of players have emerged from the IPL like Marsh, Kohli, Miller, Ashwin, Jadeja etc. It has also given struggling players like Johnson a platform to showcase his abilities. The IPL also gives wonderful exposure to the uncapped Indians. So it is a great learning experience.

  • pradeep_dealwis on February 24, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    Here's an idea...a Pak-SL T20 league......maybe 5 Paks, 3 from SL and 3 internationals in each team...to be played in the UAE.. might not be as big as the IPL but will certainly be bigger than the Big Bash!

  • Chiligonzales on February 24, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Nice article although a little unfair on Hafeez who is pretty valuable in limited overs cricket and I would think would make most sides.

    @ Prasanna_310: Using Pollard who has not even made it to test level and Rahane, Dhawan and Sharma who have never won or even looked like winning a test match abroad are not good examples. Surely you could have picked better man!

  • wrenx on February 24, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    @ ThinkingCricket Did you read any of the article? There are plenty of reasons b=put forward for the inferiority of T20 cricket - lack of skill involved, 4-over merry-go-rounds, short boundaries, flat wickets. You can bowl your gun in tests as long as you like, can you? Have you seen what a 10 over spell does to someone as fit as Steyn or Siddle? Looks like you've not been living up to your username.

    Hafeez has been amazing of late? Really? Have you seen him attempt to bat? Pakistan spent all of 2013 playing South Africa, and nobody suffered more embarrassment than Hafeez.

  • yoadie on February 24, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    Tell that to the West Indies. To them, T20 cricket is now their new standard for test(ing) cricket. They gyrated and danced on winning the last T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, as if it were at the least, the 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup, or some Test series against South Africa, Australia, England, India, or New Zealand. And to-date, not even the president of the WICB talks about trying to move the team up the ladder in the Test cricket rankings. His main goal seems to be two-fold: To see the West Indies not fall below its seventh-place ranking, and, to fill the WICB coffers of course.

  • on February 24, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Yes there are few cases where players feel that their game has improved but these are only few players. Most lot has failed to convert that ipl form to international level. India has about 50+ local guys playing in IPL but they are not dominant in t20s and t20 WC. they won 1st 1 and after that never reached to semis with so much exposure in ipl. Pak on other hand, lost 1st final then won 2nd and been to semis on rest of them to date without playing in it.

    Only few have converted that form to international level not all could do that. 1 of the cause might be a lengthy ipl with so many games.

  • on February 24, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket .. "Hafeez has been amazing of late." .. LOL Lets check Hafeez's ODI career. Averages 17.75 against Australia, 24.68 against England, 21.70 against New Zealand, 18.88 against South Africa. No prize for guessing why he loves bashing inferior bowling attacks like India, Srilanka and West Indies on flat decks. Writer is absolutely spot-on about T20, IPL and Hafeez. Hafeez is a cancer and the worst thing happened to Pakistan Cricket alongwith Shoaib Malik.

    @Prasanna_310 .. Dhawan, Kohli, Sharma and Rahane have excellent first class records. Kohli and Sharma were tipped to play for India long before IPL was born.

  • SR84 on February 24, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    Spate of wonderful test matches past couple of months have assured us that T20 is an 'addition' to the sport of cricket and not the sport itself.

  • mmoosa on February 24, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    As a S.African fan,here's what was so illuminating...i ran a financial course at a large bank a few weeks ago and 3 of the male students and a female student were talking animatedly about the IPL..The auction,the S.A players,the different teams...it told me that signs were there that the IPL had arrived as a brand,as a sport but more importantly in the collective conscious of cricket fans.

    For me,it is real cricket..Test cricket is the pinnacle but IPL does require skill to do well..boat loads of it..Mystery spinners and genuine pace bowlers do well as do powerful batsmen ...some of the players may never be test greats like Pollard,Albie,Yusuf Pathan but equally test players like Rogers,Elgar and Cook are not IPL type of guys,

    Overall its a big plus to fans..if one doesnt like it...simple..dont follow it.

  • on February 24, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    The write should realize that IPL has given so much of confidence to players like Shaun Marsh, David Miller, Sanju Samson, Flaff Du Plessi, Chriss Morris, Cooper, Rahane, Pollard, etc.

    These players have taken their confidence and skills gained from IPL to their respective nation. Mentioning things like batsmen get to play only on flat wickets and a quota of four overs from any bowler, is a complete undermining of bowlers' effort. If this would have been so easy we would have seen 200+ scores in almost every matches, but this is not. Bowlers like Dale Steyn, Mallinga, Cooper, Bravo, Brett Lee, etc. have shown that you can flourish in even these formats.

    IPL is not an easy platform, it tests new-comers at a massive level, so much that by the time they come out of it, they are much readier than what they would have been by merely playing Ranji or Duleep trophy on flatter and crowd-less stadiums.

  • ygkd on February 24, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    Hafeez hasn't bowled often enough in proper cricket (ie. Tests). If he had done so, he may have become a better player. T20, on the other hand, is not the format to do much for one's ability, but it can do wonders for the bank balance - so I wouldn't blame Hafeez if he felt miffed because he's missed out on the pay cheques. After all, I know as an Australian, that Pakistani cricketers generally don't get paid like Aussie ones do, for example and some of them are just as good or better.

  • on February 24, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    It appeared to be a very personal perception with hard feelings getting uncovered by force!!! Everybody knows that non-participation of Pakistan and Sri Lanka are two different issues. One is pure political and the other is part availability of players for this particular year. During the previous years, Sri Lankan players were always had rich representation along with fat financial dividends.

  • Waqs77 on February 24, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @ Prasanna_310: "The main reason behind Pakistan winning T20 is not their batting, which is sadly worst among Test nation barring Zimbabwe". .....a big LOL on ur cricketing sense.

  • ThinkingCricket on February 24, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    This article doesn't justify any of it's intuitions.

    You may think T-20 is inferior, but you don't deign to explain why? Rather, it provides the ultimate test for bowlers (just as you choose to call it 'easy for batsman') not to mention that it's Tests where you can have a set batting order, don't have to compromise between taking chances or settling for a lower total that may not be enough. It's Tests where you can bowl your gun bowlers as long as you like, with no need for compromises.

    Hafeez has been amazing of late. It's your flawed metric like average (which measures only that he was a hopeless player long ago) that makes you think Hafeez is bad. He is good enough to play as a bowler alone, much better than any bowler India has, and on top of that he is a No.3 bat who can score three centuries in 4 matches, and still he has to contend with this sort of criticism, really what more should he do?

  • on February 24, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    @foursandsixes: You missed the whole point of the article.

  • Akhter786 on February 24, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    In all honesty T20 is not good for cricket in its essence and technicalities. But ironically enough, it is just needed for the sustenance of cricket as an entertainment when comes to spectators and involving people. As Money is the ultimate thing that does all the talking.

    IPL is despised by most, yet viewed by many and yearned by some. And loved by Capitalists.

    Sordid state of affairs but then what good is happening to anything in this damned world at present.

  • Prasanna_310 on February 24, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    Funny little article this. Sorry to say but the way writer blatantly disregards the view from other side of the issue on what has been a debatable topic in world cricket. What the writer should know is he is not only negating Mohommad Hafeez's view but the views of the likes of Pietersen, Dhoni, Shane Warne, Ponting and co, all of whom regard IPL as great learning platform. The fall, instead of progress, in batting of Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq compared to that of Dhawan, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane , Pollard and co clearly tells there is progress for some batsmen. Sharing a dressing room with the best in the business, how on earth is that not beneficial. The main reason behind Pakistan winning T20 is not their batting, which is sadly worst among Test nation barring Zimbabwe. I believe IPL is detrimental to bowlers as their variety and psyche are exposed while more than useful for development of young batsmen. There is no need to get personel with Hafeez.

  • Akhsami on February 24, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    Sounds like Kamran has a personal beef with Hafeez. To be honest his limited over record in the past 2-3 years is not bad. It's just been overshadowed by an abysmal test record and his struggles against steyn.

    If by a miracle he can lead us to a t20 world cup victory, a lot will be forgiven!

  • foursandsixes on February 24, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    There is skill required in every form of cricket, just that it differs from the classical test cricket. You can say the basic tent is similar to baseball. Is there no skill requierd in baseball? T20 evens the playing field a bit because bowlers have lower impact, but as in most forms of the game, bowlers help you win games in T20 too. Good test players don't make good T20 players, and vice versa is true also.

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  • foursandsixes on February 24, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    There is skill required in every form of cricket, just that it differs from the classical test cricket. You can say the basic tent is similar to baseball. Is there no skill requierd in baseball? T20 evens the playing field a bit because bowlers have lower impact, but as in most forms of the game, bowlers help you win games in T20 too. Good test players don't make good T20 players, and vice versa is true also.

  • Akhsami on February 24, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    Sounds like Kamran has a personal beef with Hafeez. To be honest his limited over record in the past 2-3 years is not bad. It's just been overshadowed by an abysmal test record and his struggles against steyn.

    If by a miracle he can lead us to a t20 world cup victory, a lot will be forgiven!

  • Prasanna_310 on February 24, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    Funny little article this. Sorry to say but the way writer blatantly disregards the view from other side of the issue on what has been a debatable topic in world cricket. What the writer should know is he is not only negating Mohommad Hafeez's view but the views of the likes of Pietersen, Dhoni, Shane Warne, Ponting and co, all of whom regard IPL as great learning platform. The fall, instead of progress, in batting of Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq compared to that of Dhawan, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane , Pollard and co clearly tells there is progress for some batsmen. Sharing a dressing room with the best in the business, how on earth is that not beneficial. The main reason behind Pakistan winning T20 is not their batting, which is sadly worst among Test nation barring Zimbabwe. I believe IPL is detrimental to bowlers as their variety and psyche are exposed while more than useful for development of young batsmen. There is no need to get personel with Hafeez.

  • Akhter786 on February 24, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    In all honesty T20 is not good for cricket in its essence and technicalities. But ironically enough, it is just needed for the sustenance of cricket as an entertainment when comes to spectators and involving people. As Money is the ultimate thing that does all the talking.

    IPL is despised by most, yet viewed by many and yearned by some. And loved by Capitalists.

    Sordid state of affairs but then what good is happening to anything in this damned world at present.

  • on February 24, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    @foursandsixes: You missed the whole point of the article.

  • ThinkingCricket on February 24, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    This article doesn't justify any of it's intuitions.

    You may think T-20 is inferior, but you don't deign to explain why? Rather, it provides the ultimate test for bowlers (just as you choose to call it 'easy for batsman') not to mention that it's Tests where you can have a set batting order, don't have to compromise between taking chances or settling for a lower total that may not be enough. It's Tests where you can bowl your gun bowlers as long as you like, with no need for compromises.

    Hafeez has been amazing of late. It's your flawed metric like average (which measures only that he was a hopeless player long ago) that makes you think Hafeez is bad. He is good enough to play as a bowler alone, much better than any bowler India has, and on top of that he is a No.3 bat who can score three centuries in 4 matches, and still he has to contend with this sort of criticism, really what more should he do?

  • Waqs77 on February 24, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @ Prasanna_310: "The main reason behind Pakistan winning T20 is not their batting, which is sadly worst among Test nation barring Zimbabwe". .....a big LOL on ur cricketing sense.

  • on February 24, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    It appeared to be a very personal perception with hard feelings getting uncovered by force!!! Everybody knows that non-participation of Pakistan and Sri Lanka are two different issues. One is pure political and the other is part availability of players for this particular year. During the previous years, Sri Lankan players were always had rich representation along with fat financial dividends.

  • ygkd on February 24, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    Hafeez hasn't bowled often enough in proper cricket (ie. Tests). If he had done so, he may have become a better player. T20, on the other hand, is not the format to do much for one's ability, but it can do wonders for the bank balance - so I wouldn't blame Hafeez if he felt miffed because he's missed out on the pay cheques. After all, I know as an Australian, that Pakistani cricketers generally don't get paid like Aussie ones do, for example and some of them are just as good or better.

  • on February 24, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    The write should realize that IPL has given so much of confidence to players like Shaun Marsh, David Miller, Sanju Samson, Flaff Du Plessi, Chriss Morris, Cooper, Rahane, Pollard, etc.

    These players have taken their confidence and skills gained from IPL to their respective nation. Mentioning things like batsmen get to play only on flat wickets and a quota of four overs from any bowler, is a complete undermining of bowlers' effort. If this would have been so easy we would have seen 200+ scores in almost every matches, but this is not. Bowlers like Dale Steyn, Mallinga, Cooper, Bravo, Brett Lee, etc. have shown that you can flourish in even these formats.

    IPL is not an easy platform, it tests new-comers at a massive level, so much that by the time they come out of it, they are much readier than what they would have been by merely playing Ranji or Duleep trophy on flatter and crowd-less stadiums.