Just when almost everyone is falling for short and slick Twenty20, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) is swimming against the tide. The association has decided to turn all its age-group inter-district tournaments into three-day matches from the existing two-day format, an encouraging step at a time when even the International Cricket Council (ICC) is toying with the idea of curtailing Test to four days.
The decision has been taken with two objectives in mind. First, to keep the youngsters well-rooted to the basics; second, to keep them fresh from the mindset that creeps in when playing limited over matches.
“Generally, the bowlers tend to slip into defensive and negative approach in the limited overs matches. Knowing that they just need bowl the stipulated overs, the bowlers pack off-side field and try to rush through the overs without actually trying to get batsmen out. That approach doesn’t allow the bowlers to develop,” said PCA coaching committee chairman DP Azad.
Besides, he said, playing the longer version from early days would be of great help to the youngsters. “This will strengthen their technique, and also equip them with the ability to experiment and innovate with success at later stages,” he said.
The move seems to have pleased the players as well. “It will not only throw up more results, but also give us a chance to play longer innings. The more time one gets to spend on the wicket, the more he will improve as a batsman,” said Punjab Ranji Trophy player Uday Kaul.