Sunday, 22 June 2008

Bring on the Twenty20



I am officially a convert to Twenty20. If we ignore what money will do to the game of cricket, possibly devaluing Test cricket and all the rest, there is one very good thing about Twenty20 - you can wander down after work and watch a full game of exciting play. The days are long enough in England that you don't even need to turn the ground lights on - not that many of the grounds have lights anyway. And the teams play lots of games so there is a game on most nights of the week.

This week I saw Hampshire play Surrey at The Oval, and it was fantastic. When Twenty20 was first played in Australia, it seemed the side that batted first always won, but the county teams have sorted the game out, and nearly every game in this year's Twenty20 Cup has gone down to the last over with run rates of more than 8 an over. The game I saw was no different, with the bizarrely named Surrey Brown Caps failing to defend 175 against the Hampshire Hawks, with Hampshire winning with 6 balls to spare.

The funny thing about cricket though is that it is not like football or rugby. No matter how much you condense the game, the spurts of action are still very short and you spend a lot of the time talking to your mates, reading the paper, drinking beer and simply soaking up the atmosphere. You don't watch it like you watch football. This means you end up missing some of the action. and whilst there is a lot of action in Twenty20, the game is so short that if you blink or go grab a drink, you can miss 50 runs. I remember the first game of Twenty20 I saw at North Sydney Oval (with one Mr Nick Scott actually); Brad Hodge scored a century and I can barely remember it, yet 100 in a Twenty20 game is astounding!

I still prefer the intrigue and mental clashes of a Test match, but any form of cricket whereby I can drop by after work and watch some high class play is good by me. We really must have a debate about the various forms of cricket (why is there a county 40 over competition? That's simply weird), but that topic is for another day. It is worth noting that now there is lots of money available in Twenty20, no one seems to be whinging about playing too much any more. Funny that...

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3 comments:

Ottayan said...

Don't you think if there is a Twenty20 match every night we will tend to tune out?

westius said...

Well, perhaps. But people don't tune out of football, and here in the UK, that is on pretty much every night for 10 months of the year. I see Twenty20 as part of the cricketing landscape, so to speak. Just one of the competitions players compete in - perhaps people may tire of Twenty20, but hopefully not cricket itself. Twenty20 is perfect for knock-out cup competitions - there has to be an FA-cup style Twenty20 sometime soon.

Nice blog by the way ottayan - its here: http://www.cricketnewsonlinelive.com/

Ottayan said...

Westius,

Twenty20 Champions league is a litmus test.

Lets wait and watch. :)