May 10, 2014

T20 is where cricket can experiment

This is the format in which to try new stuff, keeping the need to entertain fans uppermost in mind
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What if the captain could substitute a batsman at any point during a T20 innings?
What if the captain could substitute a batsman at any point during a T20 innings? © BCCI

A T20 event has ended, producing a different winner from before, and another T20 event has begun. Sri Lanka can be relieved and pleased with their World T20 victory, as it was timely, in particular for the time it took since their last triumph. Timely also for their two great servants, who bowed out after the winning run was struck. Now the seventh edition of the BCCI's naughty, precocious prodigy is running loose once more. Will it behave? It is already on notice, along with, by all accounts, 12 unnamed people and father bear N Srinivasan, so the BCCI can't afford any more juvenile behaviour from its rock-star kid.

The "T" in T20 really stands for "time", as that is what this short format is all about.

Time. It allows a game to be done and dusted in three fast and furious hours, therefore critically allowing us all to go back to living a normal life, leaving us time to do something else. Like any form of entertainment it fits into what remaining time is left, after work, that we have to spend.

Since the first World T20, when a young Indian side came alight at the Wanderers, the format has literally taken no time to take off. A year later the inaugural Indian Premier League launched into space courtesy of a brash young Kiwi called Brendon McCullum. That night he smashed Royal Challengers Bangalore to the tune of 158 not out in a lazy 73 balls. You had to be there to believe it - which I was, on the receiving end, as RCB's chief cricketing officer.

T20 had already been tested in one or two countries over the previous five years, but what happened at the Chinnaswamy Stadium that balmy April evening in 2008 was the greatest natural advertisement for the third-generation version of cricket you could wish to release.

Six years on, T20 has settled into its cruising axis, patrolling the airwaves and cyberspace with a dismissive nonchalance, an arrogance that portends danger for the other forms. It has the potential to rule the world. Yet, its only true grace, if we are brutally honest, is the number of folk who can enjoy its three-hour duration. The evolution of cricket has seen it drop its playing duration once again in order to capture a young market. It's a natural move.

Over time, here is where I think it's heading.

Firstly, T20 is a game initially derived from real cricket that now incorporates a few other sports too. And that is absolutely fine and dandy in this funky day and age.

Baseball first comes to mind, as we watch batters (not to be confused with batsmen) who can wing the ball 90 metres and more to all parts in a wide arc. Also, the throwing from the deep and at close range mirrors the outfielders from Major League Baseball. Both skills are spectacular and important to providing the fan a new form of instant gratification.

Of the other sports, you will see a bit of tennis in some of the shots played; the synchronised slide when both fielders chase the ball and hit the ground together side by side; then a bit of rugby in the flick pass from one to the other, the move completed with an all-in-one-movement javelin throw. Athletics definitely has a place, with frenetic sprinting on show as twos are stolen on a regular basis now that no one fields inside the circle in front of the wicket on the leg side in this format.

The beauty of T20 is that it can and should continue to embrace new rules and ideas to improve the spectacle. Without hesitation, the captain should be allowed to remove a batter from the crease at any point, and replace him with another, a probable better choice for the occasion. "Subbed off" should be part of the rules, with the rider that the substituted batsman can go back in anytime too.

Imagine the captain wandering out to the pitch, whispering in the batter's ear, then seeing the batter steam off past his new replacement. We could call it the Sam-Sub law, in recognition of its potential instigator Marlon Samuels, who during the World T20 could for four innings in a row easily have been subbed off and replaced by Darren Sammy, such was his complete lack of attention to run-scoring.

In the very first match of IPL 7, Kieron Pollard was introduced far too late in the Mumbai chase. Ideally he should be subbed in at any stage to suit and not have to wait for a wicket to fall. Not once but a few times recently I have wished for Yuvraj Singh to be subbed off, such has been his consistency at stalling when his team needs forward progress, just like an engine dying deep in the middle of heavy traffic.

Same with specialist fielding replacements. Only one, mind you, outside of the playing XI. Let's not get carried away, because part of being a cricketer is to field, but it's a waste of entertainment if the worst fielder is left out there while a young, fit player, a la Roger Harper, is ready to create havoc but is sitting in the dugout wearing a bib. So there are two easy additions to T20. Happy so far?

I wonder, too, if it is really necessary to bother with using two ends to play T20. Will it really change much in three hours? Hardly. So why not save an extra half hour with all the fluffing about switching ends? Captains would love it, as they can stay in one place to talk to their baller (not to be confused with bowler), and chat away about variations and handling pressure. This way the captain doesn't get suspended for a slow over rate as he contemplates why he didn't have another spinner to exploit the Bunsen burner in front of him. Much more sense, I reckon, to speed the game up and save having to find a new leader at short notice.

T20 is the place to try new stuff, always with entertainment in mind. It is the format that should be exploited to ensure the fans are on edge, having a ball, getting their cricket fix.

Let's be honest, T20 is here to stay. So isn't it best if we ensure that it covers all bases, so we can serve up a faster all-encompassing bang for our buck and then when all is done in quick time, we can race off to get our next fix? And that is what it is: a sporting drug that will fool a few to believe that is what cricket is really about.

But it is not really cricket and never will be. Yet it may rule the world.

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s and early '90s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MasterClass on May 14, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket - so what I mean by T20 is 'low stakes' is that the consequences of losing 1, 2, 3 or more game (even on the trot) are not terminal in a tournament like the IPL because teams play many games in quick succession and once a team gets on a roll winning 5 or 6 matches they can easily make-up for poor results earlier in the tournament. I didn't mean that the players don't play with intensity. In fact I'm firmly in the camp that believes that once these athletes step on the field their competitive gene clicks on and it doesn't matter if it's against friend or foe, they desperately want to WIN. So getting back to the low stakes point, since they play many games in quick succession there is an opportunity to try new things and tweak them until they work. And if they blow-up trying, then not much is lost relatively speaking since there are opportunities to regain ground. But in test cricket each match is pivotal and even 1 loss can spell doom and hence the value of a "Draw".

  • jay57870 on May 13, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Martin - Million dollar baseball question(s): Who's on first? What's on second? Watch the comic duo - Bud Abbott & Lou Costello - perform their entertaining skit? In T20 lingo: "Who" is a batsman & "What" a bowler, with 22 yards separating the two "bases". These days: Who is besting What. It's a Home Run Derby, pure entertainment IPL style. Who is Million Dollar Man Glenn Maxwell. What? Even Steyn & Malinga are getting clobbered in the death overs. And ball & bat being flung at each other by Starc & Pollard. Soon we may see a brawl, players emptying dugouts, baseball style: a cricket first! How they miss The Closer: Mariano Rivera. Wait. Relief is on the way: "The Million Dollar Arm", thanks Hollywood. Actually 2 Indian arms - Dinesh Patel & Rinku Singh - brought to USA for tryouts by MLB. Even Bollywood's pitchman AR Rehman, of "Slumdog Millionaire" Oscar music fame, bats for "The Million Dollar Arm"! Happy ending? Don't know. Maybe they can "experiment" T20 & Bollywood next, Martin?

  • Amit_is_here on May 13, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    One suggestion to establish balance between bat and ball.. Batsman will be declared out if he misses three balls in a row :D

  • ladycricfan on May 12, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    When they play in pitches like Bangalulu what Martin says is correct, it is not cricket. It is just crash bang wallop. But where pitches assist bowlers you will have good cricket even in T20.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 11, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    @Jambee36: That's been done. The Sobers, Richards, Gilchrists, Haydens, Sehwags and now Warners have shown you can play an agressive brand of cricket in tests. That's what makes them better, because there are dynamics, you can go fast or slow, show grit or flare, in T20's it's all go with no dimensions inbetween.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 11, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    @Thinkingcricket: Is is not obvious? Test cricket is the best, because it simply has the best quality of cricket. Best players, best bowlers, best everything. As an Australian fan, I've been shown just why Test cricket is the best during this summer. Excellent performances against ENG and SA, i guess Test cricket is hard for you to support since your team is ranked 5th.

    If blocking and plodding is so easy, everyone would average 50 in test cricket, news flash, they don't. How many 'star' T20 players struggle in Test cricket? the west indians are good examples and also some Indians, but is rarely ever the other way, there is a reason for that.

  • ThinkingCricket on May 11, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    @Trafalgarx:

    And for a hundred years, in football one could run with the ball. You're just saying that a new format is bad because it is new and because it is different.

    You aren't justifying why Test match skill-sets are superior at all. And no, it isn't easier to 'slog out' anyone watching Yuvraj in the WC final will know that. The idea that slogging is 'easier' than being patient is just false. Even Jason Gillespie could get a double century by plodding and blocking.

    Also there's a difference wanting to play forever and wanting the same match to go on forever. The latter is quite pointless.

    @ Master Class: Not sure where you got the idea that T-20 is 'low stakes', judging by the intensity and passion in the games it's anything but low stakes.

  • MasterClass on May 11, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Martin, I think the switching of ends after each over mixes up the equation and adds needed complexity regarding targeting areas to hit (long or short boundaries) because not all stadiums are equally proportioned and there are both left & right handed batters & bowlers. And I'm not just speaking of the batsmen targeting the short boundaries. Remember, on those few fields that have long boundaries the spinners have been more effective. So, don't you feel that an important variable would be removed if ends are not switched? I do like the time saving part of not switching ends, or switching after 5-overs, but having more complexity outweighs those positives.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 11, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket: T20 as been around for a few years, test cricket for hundreds. Cricket is test cricket, those are the roots and basics of the game. Slogging out is easier than exhibiting patience and determination to score runs. Anyone who likes cricket likes to play it forever, test cricket is as close as you can get to that ideal.

  • MasterClass on May 10, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    Also, in continuation of the evolutionary theme from my previous post, the cross-pollination of ideas that is occurring in the IPL by the mixing of players from different national sides, senior & junior, in this pumped-up cauldron involving money, power, glamor and entertainment just fuels the juices of competitiveness that is inherent in all these players to one-up friend and foe alike, to push the envelop even more.

  • MasterClass on May 14, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket - so what I mean by T20 is 'low stakes' is that the consequences of losing 1, 2, 3 or more game (even on the trot) are not terminal in a tournament like the IPL because teams play many games in quick succession and once a team gets on a roll winning 5 or 6 matches they can easily make-up for poor results earlier in the tournament. I didn't mean that the players don't play with intensity. In fact I'm firmly in the camp that believes that once these athletes step on the field their competitive gene clicks on and it doesn't matter if it's against friend or foe, they desperately want to WIN. So getting back to the low stakes point, since they play many games in quick succession there is an opportunity to try new things and tweak them until they work. And if they blow-up trying, then not much is lost relatively speaking since there are opportunities to regain ground. But in test cricket each match is pivotal and even 1 loss can spell doom and hence the value of a "Draw".

  • jay57870 on May 13, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Martin - Million dollar baseball question(s): Who's on first? What's on second? Watch the comic duo - Bud Abbott & Lou Costello - perform their entertaining skit? In T20 lingo: "Who" is a batsman & "What" a bowler, with 22 yards separating the two "bases". These days: Who is besting What. It's a Home Run Derby, pure entertainment IPL style. Who is Million Dollar Man Glenn Maxwell. What? Even Steyn & Malinga are getting clobbered in the death overs. And ball & bat being flung at each other by Starc & Pollard. Soon we may see a brawl, players emptying dugouts, baseball style: a cricket first! How they miss The Closer: Mariano Rivera. Wait. Relief is on the way: "The Million Dollar Arm", thanks Hollywood. Actually 2 Indian arms - Dinesh Patel & Rinku Singh - brought to USA for tryouts by MLB. Even Bollywood's pitchman AR Rehman, of "Slumdog Millionaire" Oscar music fame, bats for "The Million Dollar Arm"! Happy ending? Don't know. Maybe they can "experiment" T20 & Bollywood next, Martin?

  • Amit_is_here on May 13, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    One suggestion to establish balance between bat and ball.. Batsman will be declared out if he misses three balls in a row :D

  • ladycricfan on May 12, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    When they play in pitches like Bangalulu what Martin says is correct, it is not cricket. It is just crash bang wallop. But where pitches assist bowlers you will have good cricket even in T20.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 11, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    @Jambee36: That's been done. The Sobers, Richards, Gilchrists, Haydens, Sehwags and now Warners have shown you can play an agressive brand of cricket in tests. That's what makes them better, because there are dynamics, you can go fast or slow, show grit or flare, in T20's it's all go with no dimensions inbetween.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 11, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    @Thinkingcricket: Is is not obvious? Test cricket is the best, because it simply has the best quality of cricket. Best players, best bowlers, best everything. As an Australian fan, I've been shown just why Test cricket is the best during this summer. Excellent performances against ENG and SA, i guess Test cricket is hard for you to support since your team is ranked 5th.

    If blocking and plodding is so easy, everyone would average 50 in test cricket, news flash, they don't. How many 'star' T20 players struggle in Test cricket? the west indians are good examples and also some Indians, but is rarely ever the other way, there is a reason for that.

  • ThinkingCricket on May 11, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    @Trafalgarx:

    And for a hundred years, in football one could run with the ball. You're just saying that a new format is bad because it is new and because it is different.

    You aren't justifying why Test match skill-sets are superior at all. And no, it isn't easier to 'slog out' anyone watching Yuvraj in the WC final will know that. The idea that slogging is 'easier' than being patient is just false. Even Jason Gillespie could get a double century by plodding and blocking.

    Also there's a difference wanting to play forever and wanting the same match to go on forever. The latter is quite pointless.

    @ Master Class: Not sure where you got the idea that T-20 is 'low stakes', judging by the intensity and passion in the games it's anything but low stakes.

  • MasterClass on May 11, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Martin, I think the switching of ends after each over mixes up the equation and adds needed complexity regarding targeting areas to hit (long or short boundaries) because not all stadiums are equally proportioned and there are both left & right handed batters & bowlers. And I'm not just speaking of the batsmen targeting the short boundaries. Remember, on those few fields that have long boundaries the spinners have been more effective. So, don't you feel that an important variable would be removed if ends are not switched? I do like the time saving part of not switching ends, or switching after 5-overs, but having more complexity outweighs those positives.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 11, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket: T20 as been around for a few years, test cricket for hundreds. Cricket is test cricket, those are the roots and basics of the game. Slogging out is easier than exhibiting patience and determination to score runs. Anyone who likes cricket likes to play it forever, test cricket is as close as you can get to that ideal.

  • MasterClass on May 10, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    Also, in continuation of the evolutionary theme from my previous post, the cross-pollination of ideas that is occurring in the IPL by the mixing of players from different national sides, senior & junior, in this pumped-up cauldron involving money, power, glamor and entertainment just fuels the juices of competitiveness that is inherent in all these players to one-up friend and foe alike, to push the envelop even more.

  • MasterClass on May 10, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    Test cricket is a high stakes game played at a low speed (relatively speaking) and T20 is a low stakes game played at a high speed. Both have their merits and can be enjoyed & appreciated by the same person. Just as one may enjoy golf and football. As Martin's article alludes, the high stakes/low speed format has flaws one of which is the disincentive to take chances and innovate because there is much to loose and not enough opportunities to evolve. Hence we see the same 12 or 13 players for years doing the same old thing, which could be termed "honing their craft". In T20 the stakes are low and opportunities many, perfect for innovation and allowing various players to shine because each can bring a unique skill-set to the battle. And because it happens quickly you see evolution almost from match to match.

  • jambee36 on May 10, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx: If you are a number 4 in test match cricket, when do you get the opportunity to play some of the incredible innings Glen Maxwell and other like him have put together recently??? Same with bowlers like Narine not letting batters get close to him. I love Tests and T20's, both cricket, just different skill sets within cricket, both as valid as each other. Yes there is inherently more luck in T20's as the game is shorter, but sport would be a lot less exciting if the best team won every game would it not?

  • StevieS on May 10, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    skchai yes it would be good if the balace of power could shift a bit towards the bowlers but changing the laws of the bowling action is definately not the way to go. I think the bouncer rules should be adjusted slightly, if you are good enough you should be able to hook a ball coming at your nose. Apart from that there really isn't much you can do besides spicing up the wicket.

  • StevieS on May 10, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Hardy1 I doubt he is being sarcastic, did you ever watch Martins invention called Cricket Max? He is one of the great innovators of the game, from his playing days of opening the bowling with a spinner to the fast paced cricket max that predates 20/20.

  • Hardy1 on May 10, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    ...I think that essentially this means that more time needs to be given if every player is to have some impact & that's why cricket's more suited for longer playing hours than these other sports (also it's far less physically demanding). Sadly no one has the time to watch this longer format & I think there's practically zero chance of Test cricket succeeding long term since if you look at where cricket's most popular, it's in the developing world. & as these nations become more similar to western nations the popularity of cricket there will decline too since quite simply, people will have better things to do than to watch cricket for most of the day (not that they don't already).

    Now I'm a bigger cricket fan than anyone I know (I live in London) & even I think there are more productive uses of my time than watching/reading about cricket, so I really can't see most people watching anything more than T20s. Playing is of course a different matter though.

  • Hardy1 on May 10, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    I wasn't expecting such a smugly sarcastic article from you Martin. I think the difference between cricket & faster paced sports such as football & rugby is that you spend a lot less time 'in play time' as it were. It's almost as if every ball is a set piece. On top of that, fewer players are involved at any one time in the game. You've got the bowler, two batsmen, a wicket keeper, one or two fielders throwing the ball & maybe another one or two backing up, whilst in the other sports all players have to remain active constantly & can potentially make an impact at any time. Continued in the next post...

  • ReeceLeban on May 10, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Difference between IPL and WWE is that pro wrestling has no pretensions of being real. That's why i don't watch it

  • Warm_Coffee on May 10, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I disagree that it isn't Cricket. T20 is also Cricket just like Test and ODI but T20 is a newer and evolving version. Its Cricket's answer to Baseball and is the format which is taking Cricket back amongst the leading sports in the world where it should be anyway. T20 Cricket has made domestic Cricket in every country firmer, stronger and interesting. T20 Cricket has brought newer nations into the game and more interests (just look at number of teams in T20 ranking table) and so many other benefits. In fact, the benefits of T20 far outweigh the criticism it gets 80:20 in T20 favour or something.

    I agree with Crowe though that T20 is something we can introduce NEWER ideas for example I think we could introduce an 8 score for shots that exceed over 90 metres. That rule will make T20 even more exciting and interesting as there's still hope for a particular team especially chasing to achieve the target score. But T20 also needs to be fair to bowling side and make boundaries longer.

  • flickspin on May 10, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    i made a mistake in 50/50 cricket i would like 4 bowlers bowl 13 overs not 5 bowlers

  • ThinkingCricket on May 10, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @Trafalgar:

    1) Yes I have, though I don't think my opinion would be worth nothing if I hadn't.

    You're just taking your bias and assuming that 'surely anyone can see it'. No it's not sure.

    Quality doesn't have to be measured by the length of the contest. You say 'just a crash-bash slogger', I can say 'just a plodder who can block forever without any pressure to score'. Scoring quickly when your wicket does not matter is just as much a skill as surviving for hours when scoring doesn't matter. These are DIFFERENT skills which require different approaches and neither is inherently better or worse.

    Stopping a rampaging bat who's playing without pressure is just as much a skill as thinking out a plodder. Narine can do things Mitch can't. Maxwell can do things Pujara can't and vice versa.

    Pejorative labels like 'slogger' just describe a different mindset. If T-20 success is just as tough (Test players don't find it easy) then you can't just say T-20 isn't what players want.

  • flickspin on May 10, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    the only rule i dont like about 20/20 cricket and 50/50 cricket is the 5th bowler

    i would like to see 4 bowlers bowl 5 overs each in 20/20 cricket & 5 bowlers bowl 13 overs each in 50/50 cricket.

    in a 50/50 match lets say a bowler like malinga or johnson can bowl 4-5 overs in the first 15 over, another 3-4 overs in the middle overs and 4-5 overs at the end.

    it would make the start of a game,the middle of the game and the end of the game far more intresting.

    the only thing my idea does is takes allrounders out of the game, but i think teams will still play 5 bowlers as insurance in case of injury or 1 bowler being belted out of the attack.

    the allrounder might only bowl 5-6 overs instead of 10 overs

    in a 20/20 a bowler like malinga or johnson can bowl 2 over at the start, 1 over in the middle and 2 overs at the end

    making the start of the game,the middle of the game and the end of the game more intresting.

    this will improve the quality of bowling during the whole match

  • xtrafalgarx on May 10, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket: I just don't see how you can be of that opinion. Have you ever played the sport in real life or just watch it? Surely anyone who has played the game can see that Test cricket is the real deal. ODI's i also consider traditional, because it has more dimensions.

    Think about it, if you are a batsman batting at no.6 in T20, you're just a crash bash slogger and you hardly ever get any time to bat. If you really like to bat and play cricket you want to play for as long as you can and score hundreds, i just don't see how you could think a six here and there compares. As a bowler you want to get 5fers and 10 wicket games, think out batsmen and set them up, not ball a 1 over or 2 over spell. Ridiculous!

    I just don't see how T20 cricket can satisfy some people, it's nothing.

  • saifkhanBD on May 10, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    T20 cricket would be more enjoyable/competitive if it wasn't so heavily tilted towards the batsman. Maybe to some people, cricket is all about seeing fours and sixes but I know, eventually some fans will tire of it. Same thing has happened in Baseball, as it placed to much emphasis on hitting home-runs. For me, Cricket was at it's best during the Aussie vs SA test series. Look at how competitive and full of intensity those games were. More so than dubious leagues like IPL, which some fans seems to claim. Use T20 as a cash cow and help promote Cricket to different parts of the world. But priority should always be towards test cricket and ensuring this part of the format, remains at center stage. Just my opinion

  • skchai on May 10, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    Subbing batsmen is an excellent rule. as is limiting the frequency of changing ends. However, rather than not changing ends at all, changing every 5 or 10 overs would be fairer to allow both teams use of both ends of the pitch.

    One thing I dislike about current T20 is that it seems to discourage bowlers from pursuing an attacking line lest they sacrifice economy (Malinga perhaps being unique in that regard). There are two simple albeit radical ways to change this: enlarging the stumps and/or further liberalizing the throwing law. Either change would also help to recalibrate the balance between ball and bat, and the latter could reduce or eliminate a source of needless umpiring controversy. To those who have nightmares of T20 bowlers winding up in place like baseball pitchers, remember that the runup provides a great advantage to bowlers, one they would not give up even if allowed to bend their elbows.

  • ThinkingCricket on May 10, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    I wish old Test fans wouldn't be so smug and superior about their dying game. T-20 is cricket and it's arguably superior to Tests. The difference is that the skills tested in a T-20 are the diametric opposite of the skills required in a Test match. There's nothing inherently superior or inferior about either set of skills. People who were brought up idolizing Test Cricket won't ever realize this, I suppose, but we should really end this dissing of T20s. There's no point calling Tests a snore-fest, which is just as justified if not more than calling T-20 mindless entertainment.

    T20 is a sport that can stand on its own, not 'entertainment'. Look at the intensity with which the IPL is played, barring a few die-hards like Steyn who is more interested in sky-diving, all the players seem desperate to win.

  • JasonGray on May 10, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    T20 is fine but in small doses. I have issues with the IPL due to allegations of fixed matches. But to me, test cricket is still the best. It doesn't favor the batsman entirely and allows good players to be separated from the weak ones

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  • JasonGray on May 10, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    T20 is fine but in small doses. I have issues with the IPL due to allegations of fixed matches. But to me, test cricket is still the best. It doesn't favor the batsman entirely and allows good players to be separated from the weak ones

  • ThinkingCricket on May 10, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    I wish old Test fans wouldn't be so smug and superior about their dying game. T-20 is cricket and it's arguably superior to Tests. The difference is that the skills tested in a T-20 are the diametric opposite of the skills required in a Test match. There's nothing inherently superior or inferior about either set of skills. People who were brought up idolizing Test Cricket won't ever realize this, I suppose, but we should really end this dissing of T20s. There's no point calling Tests a snore-fest, which is just as justified if not more than calling T-20 mindless entertainment.

    T20 is a sport that can stand on its own, not 'entertainment'. Look at the intensity with which the IPL is played, barring a few die-hards like Steyn who is more interested in sky-diving, all the players seem desperate to win.

  • skchai on May 10, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    Subbing batsmen is an excellent rule. as is limiting the frequency of changing ends. However, rather than not changing ends at all, changing every 5 or 10 overs would be fairer to allow both teams use of both ends of the pitch.

    One thing I dislike about current T20 is that it seems to discourage bowlers from pursuing an attacking line lest they sacrifice economy (Malinga perhaps being unique in that regard). There are two simple albeit radical ways to change this: enlarging the stumps and/or further liberalizing the throwing law. Either change would also help to recalibrate the balance between ball and bat, and the latter could reduce or eliminate a source of needless umpiring controversy. To those who have nightmares of T20 bowlers winding up in place like baseball pitchers, remember that the runup provides a great advantage to bowlers, one they would not give up even if allowed to bend their elbows.

  • saifkhanBD on May 10, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    T20 cricket would be more enjoyable/competitive if it wasn't so heavily tilted towards the batsman. Maybe to some people, cricket is all about seeing fours and sixes but I know, eventually some fans will tire of it. Same thing has happened in Baseball, as it placed to much emphasis on hitting home-runs. For me, Cricket was at it's best during the Aussie vs SA test series. Look at how competitive and full of intensity those games were. More so than dubious leagues like IPL, which some fans seems to claim. Use T20 as a cash cow and help promote Cricket to different parts of the world. But priority should always be towards test cricket and ensuring this part of the format, remains at center stage. Just my opinion

  • xtrafalgarx on May 10, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    @ThinkingCricket: I just don't see how you can be of that opinion. Have you ever played the sport in real life or just watch it? Surely anyone who has played the game can see that Test cricket is the real deal. ODI's i also consider traditional, because it has more dimensions.

    Think about it, if you are a batsman batting at no.6 in T20, you're just a crash bash slogger and you hardly ever get any time to bat. If you really like to bat and play cricket you want to play for as long as you can and score hundreds, i just don't see how you could think a six here and there compares. As a bowler you want to get 5fers and 10 wicket games, think out batsmen and set them up, not ball a 1 over or 2 over spell. Ridiculous!

    I just don't see how T20 cricket can satisfy some people, it's nothing.

  • flickspin on May 10, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    the only rule i dont like about 20/20 cricket and 50/50 cricket is the 5th bowler

    i would like to see 4 bowlers bowl 5 overs each in 20/20 cricket & 5 bowlers bowl 13 overs each in 50/50 cricket.

    in a 50/50 match lets say a bowler like malinga or johnson can bowl 4-5 overs in the first 15 over, another 3-4 overs in the middle overs and 4-5 overs at the end.

    it would make the start of a game,the middle of the game and the end of the game far more intresting.

    the only thing my idea does is takes allrounders out of the game, but i think teams will still play 5 bowlers as insurance in case of injury or 1 bowler being belted out of the attack.

    the allrounder might only bowl 5-6 overs instead of 10 overs

    in a 20/20 a bowler like malinga or johnson can bowl 2 over at the start, 1 over in the middle and 2 overs at the end

    making the start of the game,the middle of the game and the end of the game more intresting.

    this will improve the quality of bowling during the whole match

  • ThinkingCricket on May 10, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @Trafalgar:

    1) Yes I have, though I don't think my opinion would be worth nothing if I hadn't.

    You're just taking your bias and assuming that 'surely anyone can see it'. No it's not sure.

    Quality doesn't have to be measured by the length of the contest. You say 'just a crash-bash slogger', I can say 'just a plodder who can block forever without any pressure to score'. Scoring quickly when your wicket does not matter is just as much a skill as surviving for hours when scoring doesn't matter. These are DIFFERENT skills which require different approaches and neither is inherently better or worse.

    Stopping a rampaging bat who's playing without pressure is just as much a skill as thinking out a plodder. Narine can do things Mitch can't. Maxwell can do things Pujara can't and vice versa.

    Pejorative labels like 'slogger' just describe a different mindset. If T-20 success is just as tough (Test players don't find it easy) then you can't just say T-20 isn't what players want.

  • flickspin on May 10, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    i made a mistake in 50/50 cricket i would like 4 bowlers bowl 13 overs not 5 bowlers

  • Warm_Coffee on May 10, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I disagree that it isn't Cricket. T20 is also Cricket just like Test and ODI but T20 is a newer and evolving version. Its Cricket's answer to Baseball and is the format which is taking Cricket back amongst the leading sports in the world where it should be anyway. T20 Cricket has made domestic Cricket in every country firmer, stronger and interesting. T20 Cricket has brought newer nations into the game and more interests (just look at number of teams in T20 ranking table) and so many other benefits. In fact, the benefits of T20 far outweigh the criticism it gets 80:20 in T20 favour or something.

    I agree with Crowe though that T20 is something we can introduce NEWER ideas for example I think we could introduce an 8 score for shots that exceed over 90 metres. That rule will make T20 even more exciting and interesting as there's still hope for a particular team especially chasing to achieve the target score. But T20 also needs to be fair to bowling side and make boundaries longer.

  • ReeceLeban on May 10, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Difference between IPL and WWE is that pro wrestling has no pretensions of being real. That's why i don't watch it