Purists may pooh-pooh what they perceive as a slam-bang fest but pace guru Dennis Lillee insists the Indian Premier League (IPL) is serious stuff and showmanship is just a derivative of the entire exercise.
The legendary Australian pacer, now bowling coach of the Delhi Daredevils, says the intensity level is as high as it can get and it's a no-holds-barred battle between the teams who loath to concede an inch without a fight.
"IPL is not about showmanship. This is serious stuff. Here you have players playing for the pride of their teams and they really want to win," Lillee said here on Thursday.
He, however, did not find anything wrong with a pinch of showmanship mixing with cricket and said, "If showmanship comes along, it's fine, but definitely cricket is more important here."
The man who tormented batsmen all over the cricketing globe in his heydays before inspiring a whole generation of fast bowlers with his iconic "The Art of Fast Bowling" admitted Twenty20 poses a new challenge to the bowlers but was confident that they would survive the litmus test.
"The format is such that even the best attack can be taken to cleaners and a great delivery can disappear to the boundary. It is tilted towards the batsmen, because people want to see more sixes and fours. I think the bowlers need to play with a different mindset. They have to learn how to send down those four over and still come out unscathed."