Gideon Haigh
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Cricket historian and writer in Melbourne

Cricketainment, eh?

The Stewart Regan email shows that cricket suffers from administrators frustrated with and contemptuous of the game they have been entrusted with

Gideon Haigh

May 11, 2010

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Hampshire players John Crawley, Simon Katich, Shaun Udal, Lawrence Prittipaul and Alan Mullally wait in the dugout during the Twenty20 Cup match between Hampshire and Sussex, Southampton, June 13, 2003
Memo to Mr Regan: England were doing dugouts and popstars at the Twenty20 back in 2003 © Getty Images
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To extract the maximum hilarity from the email of Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan to his fellow county bosses, imagine it read with the accent of one of PG Wodehouse's upper-class nincompoops. "The IPL model relies heavily on 'star players' and this is why they have been so successful," pants Regan. "Matches include fashion shows, after-match parties and entertainment. They have launched the word 'CRICKETAINMENT' which I think is really innovative."

I say, that Lalit Modi is a jolly clever fellow, eh? He's launched a whole new word, dontcha know? In India, they have "star players" and whatnot. You can't miss what Wodehouse called the "certain what-is-it" in Regan's voice. Here's someone who seems to have just found out that cricket concerns more than the forward-defensive stroke. Perhaps this is news in Yorkshire, where they proverbially don't play for fun, tha knows. But is it any wonder that Modi looks like a genius when he keeps this sort of company?

Let's just refresh our memories. Because Twenty20 cricket actually started in England in 2003, and attracted no interest in India for the next four years. Indeed, the Board of Control for Cricket in India regarded the game's new variant with distinct unease. They had a nice fat 50-over racket running: why endanger it with anything "really innovative"? If anyone can be credited with the idea of "cricketainment", it's the England Cricket Board's marketing director Stuart Robertson, who enticed the ambivalent with all manner of entertainment epiphenomena - as enumerated by Hugh Chevallier in Wisden:

Jacuzzis, fairground rides, bouncy castles, face painting, barbecue zones, boy bands, girl bands - you name it, it was there as a sideshow. Rather more in your face were the banks of loudspeakers blaring out frequent musical snatches - "I Don't Like Cricket, I Love It!" from 10CC (remixed for our times by the United Colours of Sound) greeted boundaries, while Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" taunted dismissed batsmen as they sprinted for the dug-out.

And credit where credit is due - bank credit, mainly, in his case - but nobody out-cricketained Allen Stanford at Coolidge, with his carnivals, mobile discos, and hot-and-cold running WAGs. "The purists lose sight of that," lectured Stanford. "It's entertainment, that's it… Dancing, music, Twenty20, this is the way we play it, for entertainment." So it's a strange oversight for someone like Regan, suddenly so smitten with "fashion shows, after-match parties and entertainment", for he is actually detecting innovation exactly where it is not. The Indian Premier League does not succeed because of Modi's much-vaunted "cricketainment". It prospers because India has an economy finally growing fast enough to improve the standards of living for its 1.2 billion people, and because cricket is one of the few passions those people share, thus providing corporations with access to the country's growing consumer markets. You could scrap the fashion parades and celebrity self-celebration tomorrow - indeed, the BCCI has foreshadowed just that - and the IPL would be just as big, possibly bigger.

 
 
Does anyone talk about "footballtainment" or "golftainment"? No, because football and golf are confident enough of their own intrinsic excellence not to need "fashion shows, after-match parties and entertainment", or at least not to treat such juvenilia as evidence of Mensa-esque cleverness
 

Where Modi was genuinely innovative was in the matter of private ownership: that is, he basically bypassed the state associations composing the BCCI and sold franchises to big businesses and venture capitalists. But before English counties sign up for a system from which they extract a fifth of gross revenues, essentially running their game on the crumbs from the rich man's table, perhaps they should compare notes with the Indian state associations currently complaining about the two-thirds of three-eighths of not very much they're deriving from IPL. "They are absolutely convinced we are sitting on a goldmine!" chortles the excitable Regan in his email; it might just as easily be a shaft.

There's all manner of strains in the structure of English first-class cricket. It's hard to blame counties, however previously hidebound, for seeking solutions wherever they might emerge. But they have picked a peculiar moment to get religion. It is difficult to believe, too, that they truckled so cringingly to Modi during a meeting in which, if the minutes are to be believed, he advocated that IPL franchises simply desert official cricket "if governing bodies try to block the development of IPL20", talked freely of usurping the ICC's role by staging "IPL Tests and ODIs", and relying chiefly on the greed of players to achieve his ends. Oh, who cares if it helps us save county cricket, eh?

What's particularly striking about Regan's communiqué, however, is not its cloying naïvety, but its utter defeatism. It is swept up in the IPL fiction that cricket is really a bit of a naff old relic, and thank goodness Lalit Modi arrived in the nick of time with "cricketainment" to save it from itself. Does anyone talk about "footballtainment" or "golftainment"? No, because football and golf are confident enough of their own intrinsic excellence not to need "fashion shows, after-match parties and entertainment", or at least not to treat such juvenilia as evidence of Mensa-esque cleverness. Only cricket suffers from administrators who feel so frustrated by the game with which they have been entrusted that they must constantly be manhandling and mangling it in order to wring out an extra dollar.

Modi has at least the redeeming feature of a vision with a certain epic grandeur - folie de grandeur, anyway. It betrays the decadence of English cricket administration that its proudest county is now run by a desperate coat-tail rider like Regan. Time was when cricket administration was the preserve of rheumy-eyed reactionaries so besotted with the game they would rather it rot away than reform. Now it seems dominated by a caste who really wish they were doing something else, something with a bit more glamour, celebrity and money, and hanker to change cricket into a product more congenial to them, usually in the name of the fans, but in reality largely for themselves.

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

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Posted by RajaSw on (May 13, 2010, 21:38 GMT)

Excellent article. What I liked most was this part "The Indian Premier League does not succeed because of Modi's much-vaunted "cricketainment". It prospers because India has an economy finally growing fast enough to improve the standards of living for its 1.2 billion people, and because cricket is one of the few passions those people share, thus providing corporations with access to the country's growing consumer markets. You could scrap the fashion parades and celebrity self-celebration tomorrow - indeed, the BCCI has foreshadowed just that - and the IPL would be just as big, possibly bigger."

This is SO true. A lot of people do not realise this though.

Posted by IlMagnifico on (May 12, 2010, 18:51 GMT)

First up....Good article.

"...is not its cloying naïvety, but its utter..." Hmm..."continental enough to use the accent on "i", but not French enough to spell it correctly. It's either naivety or naïveté , Mr. Haigh. In closing, to paraphrase Jeeves, "Well done, Mister Haigh. I'm sure that your cool head and undoubted literary powers will see you through the day, Sir."

Posted by PTtheAxis on (May 12, 2010, 16:12 GMT)

20-20 began with a PC video game called allan border's cricket. used to play 20 overs a side in it in 1997. yes it did come with a 20 over a side option. my personal aim was to get to the score of 200. nothing has changed.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2010, 13:35 GMT)

Brasileiro, Engand have never shown initiative or creativity in sport? Arn't you forgetting we invented modern sport. We invented Cricket the first major organised team sport, also Football, Rugby and just about any other popular team sports, you must be having a laugh.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2010, 13:05 GMT)

It's ironic that while trying to point out what a how stuck in the past Regan is you say: 'Perhaps this is news in Yorkshire, where they proverbially don't play for fun, tha knows' a bit of an antiquated view.

Although I take the point about Regan no need to tar all us Yorkshiremen with the same brush Gideon.

Posted by jay57870 on (May 12, 2010, 12:57 GMT)

Steve Jobs did not invent the PC, but he created APPLE! Jack Welch of GE fame killed its inbred NIH (Not-Invented-Here) Syndrome by encouraging use of the "best ideas and practices from other companies." He called it "boundaryless": cricket purists might not like it (with their narrow worldview of 4s and 6s); but for entrepreneurs it means Vision. So, what does Lalit Modi do? He acts, while cricket historians are busy looking into the rear-view mirror of T20 and its origins. He sees the future in T20 and implements the IPL model: a hybrid copy of the NBA/NFL & US College Sports ("March Madness" and Bowl Games). Call it "Cricketainment": the fans love it and IPL has delivered. Reality: Cricket is a professional sport; purpose is to entertain fans/customers and make money (Remember Packer?). Yes, IPL has serious problems. But it'll bounce back reformed, alive and kicking. Seriously, ECB has to act. Just try: less Bollywood & noise, more Shakespeare & court jesters? Throw in Jeeves too!

Posted by umarsps on (May 12, 2010, 11:18 GMT)

Billa champion like this.

Posted by ww113 on (May 12, 2010, 7:05 GMT)

All the murky intrigues were so much more entertaining than the cricket itself.

Posted by Brasileiro on (May 12, 2010, 6:29 GMT)

Credit where credit is due. Cricket Max, Martin Crowe's invention, spurred Twenty20. So isn't it really New Zealand Cricket who are the innovators, rather than the ECB who, let's face it, stole the idea from down under and modified it? Let's face it: has England ever shown initiative or creativity in sports? This would be the first time, after being prompted by another country, of course.

Posted by Dusty72 on (May 12, 2010, 4:10 GMT)

The first ever test match in 1877 was played to the accompaniment of a brass band - and the players drank ale at lunch - maybe that's a future direction for the Yorkshire board.

H'ya Gid, Looking forward to the next MCA Season.

Cheers, Dusty

Posted by vatsap on (May 12, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

Unfortunately ... no one was willing to listen then and a lot of folks don't want to listen now. Look at the number of articles on the net defending "The Commissioner".

The players were caught in by the money (and surely why not), all the former cricketers were bought in by insane amounts for being on the council, commentary teams, the so called administrators got their pockets filled by making the others work. Throw in the film stars with no idea about the game, finance or administration and the wily politician and you have your full cast. When money comes in the way, I guess it is so difficult to take a stance. This has happened even to Gavaskar, so unfortunate.

The joke though is India has been soundly out of the 20-20 "yearly" World Cups in the past 2 editions after all the hype. I don't expect any end to this BCCI - IPL nonsense.

Posted by AdityaMookerjee on (May 12, 2010, 3:22 GMT)

I really like the ethos of the Yorkshire Cricket Club. In India, cricket is loved, at Yorkshire, cricket is played seriously, and with the ethics of hard work. Which Indian fan would not appreciate the approach of Yorkshire towards cricket? With the mushrooming of various avenues of entertainment, perhaps, people in England do not want to play cricket, because it was once the premier game in England, played by groups, who mattered. Cricket bears the signs of the time of it's current existence. In India, the action of bowling, or hitting the ball with the bat, is perhaps the basis of the attraction of cricket. In Yorkshire, playing the game according to the rules, is the reason why the game is played. By introducing T-20 cricket, perhaps, the authorities in England, sub-consciously, wanted the basic enjoyments of cricket, which are hitting the ball, and bowling, to be imbibed in English cricket. This ethos of enjoyment is best seen on the beaches of the West Indies.

Posted by mac9ue on (May 12, 2010, 2:16 GMT)

I'd much rather watch a good old Test, but think it is rather undemocratic that Haigh is out to define entertainment for all cricket followers. Last I heard, no player was forced to play in the IPL and no fan was forced to watch it. But if the millions of people in stadiums and in front of their TVs seem to be enjoying it, what gives Haigh the right to belittle their leisure activity? Hardly any of the IPL's spectator demography follows the Ashes, but they are not launching a crusade complaining against potential IPL recruits wasting time with tea and scones over 5 Tests. For all of Haigh's derision, Regan probably understands the situation better. The counties are deep in debt and Haigh's solution is to blare the trumpet of tradition. Followers of Test cricket need to vote with their feet for their beloved format, writing sweet nothings on Cricinfo ain't gonna save it.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2010, 1:23 GMT)

Very important issue, great article and for once on this site.....Intelligent comments! We may slag each other off sometimes but I love it all the more when we stand united as fans of the greatest sport that man has devised.

Posted by Krishna_Sydney on (May 11, 2010, 22:58 GMT)

Gideon, what I fear is not so much administrators being "frustrated and contemtuous " of the game they are entrusted with, as the game being in the hands of politicians/ folks without scruples. The IPL and Twenty Twenty cricket seem to be a symptom. Boards are getting more and more politicised (India may have well set the path but others are quickly following) and the politicians are now finding their way to the top most posts in their country and the ICC. One would have thought match fixing had been stubbed out 8yrs ago, but the investigations against 28 IPL cricketers(inc international) and some allegations on the recent Pak tour (to Australia) show all is not well. The unexplained and poorly investigated death of Pak coach Bob Woolmer ( which investigation went all the way to the ICC and Scotland Yard and just fizzled away) is a concern. Cricketers flirting with parliament (Azharuddin,Imran and now Jayasuriya) is another worry. Also not surprised many think T20 results r staged.

Posted by   on (May 11, 2010, 22:34 GMT)

I like how Stewart says "they have brought women into the game like never before"..... cheerleaders and awkwardly dressed comperes?THAT is how cricket needs to bring women to the game?How about a little funding for the ever-improving women's game?

And for all you bagging Gideon. Yes, he has criticised IPL but that is only because most of the other 'experts' were so enamored by the IPL gravy train that they had lost all sense of proportion.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (May 11, 2010, 20:54 GMT)

Oh, bravo Gideon! Good article. I have been proclaiming this to anyone that will listen to me for the last year, and much more vehemently since the scandalously short India vs SA tour earlier this year. The IPL has always been about the number of people that India have in their domestic market. I personally can't stand the hype of T20 - the format isn't so bad sure, but the useless noise and media pandering (including the commentators) is what really disgusts me. It is like no one wants to say anything bad in case they don't get included in the in-crowd.

Posted by robheinen on (May 11, 2010, 16:36 GMT)

A very good article. Indeed at the core of Modi's c.s. misunderstanding lies the 'succes' of the IPL. To me the IPL is no more than one of the most perverted expressions of the rising Indian economy. { Personally I felt my attention gradually getting less with each match being broadcast. } As such it has its place in India and succes isn't guaranteed elsewhere. Let's hope there are still enough people with their eye on the game of cricket instead of on the money to be made with it. Look what happened to the game of soccer....

Posted by lakx on (May 11, 2010, 16:18 GMT)

IPL did not invent "CRICKETAINMENT". In fact it is the need for entertainment which gave birth to the game of cricket, football, tennis, even chess or any other leisure activity since stone age and beyond. Cricket is not saving humanity or the ecosystem or eradicating poverty. Cricket is a game. DEFINITION OF A GAME IS "AN ACTIVITY PROVIDING ENTERTAINMENT OR AMUSEMENT; A PASTIME". It is funny how some people take entertainment or pastime so seriously or are blinded by fear or by envy or by bias that they seem to believe an entertainment or amusement or pastime activity should not be an "entertainment", or are so narrow minded that they feel what they do is entertaining and what others do is not. Nobody can define what should be entertaining to others. Entertainment is something personal, what you find entertaining is not entertaining to others & vice verse. IPL3 is over & IPL4 & more IPLs will be played as long as it entertains & makes money, so try doing something more constructive.

Posted by popcorn on (May 11, 2010, 15:23 GMT)

Australia has the RIGHT balance of the three formats. 1.it is a fierce sense of pride that every cricketer from the age of 9, wants the Baggy Green Cap.As we all know,the Baggy Green is awarded only for Test Cricket.The Sheffield Shield is fiercely competitive, and is the foundation for Test Cricket.2. The Ford Ranger Cup for ODIs is fiercely contested too. 3. And finally,the KFC Big Bash.Promoting Twenty20. No other country has this sense of balance.

Posted by Vikram_Afz on (May 11, 2010, 14:38 GMT)

I think Gideon's critical nature is necessary. There are some excessive elements in the IPL and honestly, some people will stay away because the sound systems actually give you a headache because the volume is not controlled. We just love to believe we're enjoying the frills with cricket. The woman comperes on TV are so badly dressed in revealing necks, not for a moment understanding that professionalism comes first. If the IPL is truly a global commodity some central authority must control these things. The commentators on TV take away from the picture, leave alone not add anything to it. The cricket is good but the show needs more control to be exerted.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (May 11, 2010, 14:14 GMT)

continuing ... SAfrica : they are like Australia, but their fans know that they will not win any major trophy so they are individualized toward their particular players' performance. So, they follow players more often than team itself. SL: They somehow manages to enjoy every single format since their team some how do decent job time to time in all formats so their fans follow all formats. Nz: they are very good in short format but they are tiny populated so will adore what ever their adorable play Bang: same as NZ Ind: Their population and crazy the maddest mind about cricket is the key for success. The are finally doing very well in test ODI and T20 so what ever you throw at them anything filled with Cricket they will make monuments of what ever format you throw at them ... so they are least fragile fans to be lost. SO here is the summery. Aus, Ind, Srilanka, SA, NZ Bangla fans : least likely to be lost .. Pak, WI, Eng fans very fragile, will cry till what they want.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (May 11, 2010, 13:58 GMT)

Here is something will shack few things up: Cricket is very fragile sport and it can be easily manipulated now. I am going to name country and say why their fans can be manipulated easily. Aus: They are still dominant force in ODI/test and even if they loose this t20WC they can play anything they want people will love their cricket. Pak: Very unpredictable in ODI t20 is their top formate, in Test they are horrible. But all pak needs to do is to win some tournament in any format DONE people will follow that. WI: they will follow cricket if their beloved players are playing for in the team as simple as that. Local hero is hailed. So choose player what people want to get into team. Eng: they love and adore only thing they are good at it, they are good test side so when administrator and journalist tell them Test is the only cricket whole Poms brigade will chant YES its only holy thing we are good at it, but everything will change if they win WC T20. Continue..

Posted by simon_w on (May 11, 2010, 12:32 GMT)

What an embarrassing and, frankly, terrifying farce this all is. This is the greatest sport in the world we're talking about here. It is being treated as a nothing but a business opportunity, a cash-cow to be fed on steroids and human-growth-hormone - to be genetically modified and maltreated into some grotesque, bloated monster capable of nothing but lactating and defecating.

Posted by del_ on (May 11, 2010, 12:29 GMT)

"Posted by PeteB on (May 11 2010, 07:01 AM GMT) That it is quite literally the funniest most ludicrous thing I have read all year." Last year's was the Dilscoop.

Posted by Synaesthesia on (May 11, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

What I *hate* is the same stupid music blaring non-stop. The same track after every boundary or wicket. Get a DJ people!

Posted by kriskingle on (May 11, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

Gideon Haigh has for long(relatively speaking, in IPL time) been one of the strongest critics of the IPL, and not without reason. But lately, his gripes have begun to sound more and more petulant. I cannot point to the reason for this, but it souds so petty from a man who otherwise is so statesmanly in his writing.

Posted by DutchCricket on (May 11, 2010, 9:49 GMT)

"Your old road is rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand For the times they are a-changin'" -Dylan

Posted by loggerfloodles on (May 11, 2010, 9:47 GMT)

Very interesting Gideon... You've found a way to obliquely bag the IPL without getting the rabidly patriotic Indian fans angry! A stroke of pure genius sir! Also, I might actually have watched the IPL if it were cricket, and not cricketainment. If i want to see dancing girls, I could go to spearmint rhino, if I want to listen to bad music, I'll turn on the radio, but if I want to watch cricket, let me do it please!

Posted by Harvey on (May 11, 2010, 8:14 GMT)

A brilliant article, Gideon! The only thing I would take issue with is your suggestion that Modi was "genuinely innovative" in the matter of private ownership. I would argue that you are giving him credit he doesn't deserve. He was merely copying the model of the unauthorised ICL, which the IPL was set up in order to crush.

Posted by CricFin on (May 11, 2010, 7:18 GMT)

I do not have time for 5 days cricket .simples.Need to update my facebook which i was not doing few years back.

Posted by   on (May 11, 2010, 7:13 GMT)

ok , i do not agree that cricket needs all the things that IPL has put in the sidelines for entertainment..but the actual cricket loving audience is shrinking.

if this brings in the fringe people ( middle aged women in India are now watching IPL ) in to the game then it improves its persona.

either that or be happy with the small amount of purist around the world who watch it. you cannot compare it to football because the game itself is very popular , cricket till now does not have that passion associated with it.

Posted by Christy1268 on (May 11, 2010, 7:13 GMT)

Gideon, you are both right n wrong in that T20 Cricket by itself is entertainment and does not need Parties & what not to add lustre to it - but comparing with football or Golf isnt on becos of you have to compare, then go the whole gamut & compare with others like NBA, Rosebowl etc also and bring out how these sports have brought in spectator / TV audience interest to suit/ package their games resply.

Posted by PeteB on (May 11, 2010, 7:01 GMT)

I can't believe they used the neologism Cricketainment and it wasn't tongue in cheek. That it is quite literally the funniest most ludicrous thing I have read all year. It's absolutely hysterical. With work like that they'll be putting satistists and humourists out of business.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (May 11, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

As usual, a great article gideon. I am sick of everyone hailing Modi as a genius. Everyone in the media has been painting a picture that without expanding the IPL, all the cricket boards in various countries will not survive.ICC,BCCI,ECB,CSA,Cricket Australia all have enough money from their broadcasting contracts, to take healthy care of the world game. As rightyly said by you,the lure of the extra dollar from administrators all over the world, who have little love and respect for this glorious game is the reason for this current crisis in the game.

Posted by NeilCameron on (May 11, 2010, 6:05 GMT)

I love how Stewart Regan gets excited about matches being played in front of 55,000 fans. The sad fact is that English county grounds are really small and no one - counties or ECB together - has got off their collective behinds to build bigger stadiums to attract more fans. Here in Australia a ground is considered small if it doesn't hold 20,000 but in England if a ground is full you're looking at no more than 10-12 thousand. Even football clubs in League two have bigger grounds that English county sides!

This is what happens when cricket gets taken over by CEOs and marketing experts. At least the Packer revolution brought professionalism into the game at an international level.

Posted by Sanks555 on (May 11, 2010, 5:47 GMT)

Is cricket not entertaining? If cricket is entertaining, what does cricketainment mean? If cricket is not entertaining, why play it?

BCCI and its ilk are not state-owned bodies, they are private bodies. So, even here there is no innovation. The only innovation is to take cricket away from private bodies dedicated to cricket and give it to private bodies that have no knowledge of cricket. And the results are seen in the Champions League and the T20 World Cup.

Posted by malharsire on (May 11, 2010, 4:49 GMT)

Dear Mr. Haigh,

Football is a 90 minute game filled with excitement. Golf is really not a game but exercise, well marketed since it is normally played by the rich and famous as a pastime. True Cricket needs a multi-day game to be truly absorbing. Alas! No one has 5 days to spare to watch and follow a Test Match - reading scores the next day in news papers is not truly exciting is it?. Instant Gratification demands T20 Cricketainment. And you must agree that T20 is not truly cricket (even without the after-parties). So it cannot really stand on its own. Just listen to commentators at T20 games. More like MCs at an American parade.

Posted by alfredmynn on (May 11, 2010, 4:38 GMT)

Gideon, good article. However, I disagree with your statement "The Indian Premier League does not succeed because of Modi's much-vaunted "cricketainment". It prospers because ... cricket is one of the few passions [Indians] share ...". Technical objection: haven't we agreed not to regard the IPL as cricket? Had you said that the Indians have an infinite appetite, not for cricket, but for low-grade entertainment, I would have agreed with you - but cricket? Anyway, for others on this site who like Gideon's articles on the IPL circus, Mukul Kesavan's articles on the internet are compulsory reading. He writes amazingly well - and to see an Indian author slam the IPL like he does is quite incredible. Try googling "mukul kesavan ipl pigs" (no quotes) to see what I mean!

Posted by   on (May 11, 2010, 4:21 GMT)

Gideon Haigh, I think I love you. Seriously though, this piece needs to be emailed to cricket bosses everywhere.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 11, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

The pre-cursor to the 20-20 was the Hongkong Super Sixers in a way. There were other forms too, like if you hit sixes in a particular zone then you get more runs, etc. All of these seemed exhibitionist rather than a serious format. Indian cricket audiences met glamor on the cricket channel when they met Mandira Bedi and did she bowl a maiden! The first T20WC saw all the teams meeting together for the first time. Nobody had any real experience in playing with other international players and the Indian win definitely caught Indian imagination - naturally. The ICL was a threat to the BCCI which had to immediately counter with something better and bigger - big money, big players, big media, big glamor, etc. Modi put all these together - very ably! The mix is very important. Being able to create hype to bring the crowds into the stadium is important. English cricket pales in performance to English football in that respect. They don't have to look too far to learn.

Posted by 9ST9 on (May 11, 2010, 3:40 GMT)

i find the dancing,cheerleaders, music and other sideshows at T20 games purely disgusting. Add those stuff to ODI's to make a dull game exciting. T20 is entertaining enough with the shortened game - why prostitute it?

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Gideon HaighClose
Gideon Haigh Born in London of a Yorkshire father, raised in Australia by a Tasmanian mother, Gideon Haigh lives in Melbourne with a cat, Trumper. He has written 19 books and edited a further seven. He is also a life member and perennial vice-president of the South Yarra CC.

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