Twenty20 a shot in the arm for the game
The fact that this latest and shortened version of cricket has been given World Cup status in such a short span of time is a clear pointer that fans are demanding even more excitement, writes Dennis Lillee.Updated: Sep 26, 2007, 18:57 IST
To me, this great game of cricket has brought different meanings at various stages of my career. Even my perception on the various formats of the sport has been changing constantly.
Initially, I did learn to accept the limited-overs version with certain amount of scepticism. But now, it appears as if limited-over formats are the order of the day.
It’s early days, but I have a feeling that Twenty 20 cricket might do a world of good, which can only benefit all forms of the game. That this latest and shortened version of cricket has been given World Cup status in such a short span of time is a clear pointer that fans are demanding even more excitement.
There is no doubt that the emergence of limited-overs World Cup in 1975 went a long way in subtly bringing more urgency into the Test arena. The number of drawn Test matches has certainly fallen during the last thirty years.
Apart from being a huge hit with fans craving for a result in a single day, ODIs also proved to be a financial life-saver for those running the game. Being the president of the WACA, I would be interested to see just what effect Twenty-20 cricket has on the game in general.
The purists and authors of coaching manuals might be horrified but this latest version could tempt the taste buds of youngsters and get more kids to at least have an initial crack at cricket.
With competition between sports to attract new recruits already fierce, one can assume that the introduction of Twenty20 should be a shot in the arm for cricket.
Twenty20 cricket hasn't been around long enough for any major tactics, beyond crash and bash , to be formulated but if world class players are involved then their pride and competitive juices will force them to sort things out.
The appeal of Twenty 20 spectators is enormous in this day and age when not everyone can afford time to watch a five-day Test -- or a limited-overs international for that matter.
At Perth, we found cricket fans were greatly attracted by the prospect of coming down to the WACA in the twilight to watch an inter-state game which finished under lights in around three hours. Tests must always be the flagship of cricket, but one-day games are just as important in keeping our great game afloat.
Chivach Sports/Hawkeye Communications