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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    July 01, 2003
     

    Cricket


    The ECB has announced the great success of the new Twenty20 Cup. This is a 20 overs a side game (11 players a side though) with field restrictions lasting for the first 6 overs. The games typically begin in the evening around 5 so that the crowds can have a gala time after office, school, house work etc. There is also other entertainment on offer such as a band playing music during fours/sixes, fall of wickets as well as food and drink (more of the latter) stalls. Overall, the idea being to get the younger generation who're more clued in to football to come and watch some good cricket and have fun too to round off the day.

    It certainly has worked wonders for the image of cricket amongst a major section of the English public so far. Cricket, so far was considered to be a slow, dull game only watched by the privileged few and that football was the game for the masses. However Twenty20 is one of the efforts to dispell the notions. In terms of spectator numbers and enthusiasm as well as the attitude of the players, Twenty20 has been a major hit.

    Yet Twenty20 fails two major tests from a cricketing point of view. Twenty20 is effectively nothing but the first 15 overs and last 10 overs of a typical oneday game shrunk into the first 6 overs and last half dozen overs.


    • This means that the batsmen still do not use their skills in building up the tempo and innings, which they would between the 15th and the 40th over in a 50 over game. Now they only have 6-8 overs to do that and that is just not enough. It is very easy to score runs at the start and end of an innings, the toughest bit is in between and Twenty20 ignores that completely. The result is very likely to be that English oneday teams will continue to reach 80/2 in 15 overs but not do well enough to score 5 an over for the next 25 overs. Instead, lacking the necessary skills, they will reach around 170 or so. A 280 total gets knocked down to 250 and in the modern oneday game, that is a substantial difference. It is THE difference between winning and losing.

    • Twenty20 isnt great for bowlers either. They're anyway going to get clobbered around at the start and at the end, so they just couldnt bother about it. All they have is the same 6-8 overs in the middle of the innings. Do they try and take wickets then? Do they contain? When you shrink a 25 over span (15th - 40th over) into 8 overs or so, how do bowlers have the time to plan their wickets? All you'll have is routine stuff being churned out. Surely if the idea was to take enough wickets to get the opposition all out, 8 overs is just not enough.


    I think a better alternative would have been to have 30 over a side contests. In that situation, bowlers and batsmen would have at least 15 overs (have 8 over fielding restrictions) before hell breaks loose. I read another idea somewhere to make bowler quotas 12 overs each rather than 10 as is the case currently. That is also a good idea, it'd mean that captains aren't forced to resort to part-time bowlers and their main bowlers can have more overs to have a go at batsmen.



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