October 04, 2012

Horse 1370 - The T20 World Cup is Probably a Good Thing

The ICC Twenty 20 World Cup is being played in Sri Lanka at the moment and whilst I am disappointed that England has been bumbled out of another tournament due to sheer ineptitude, I think I'm slowly coming around to the idea of T20.

Personally I dislike the game because I think that it destroys a lot of the story that develops within a cricket match. A test match is a tale which develops over the course of five days with many turns and twists (or sometimes none at all) and a 50 over One Day International is marked with the building and  consolidation of an innings followed by a flurry, but a T20 is just a bash fest where bowlers are reduced to machines and the first side to monumentally foul up, loses.

Despite this though, I'm prepared to forgive the format because unlike a test match which takes five days or an ODI which takes one day (by definition), the format of T20 allows someone with a day's ticket to see two matches and four teams. In the early stages of the tournament this allows for the showcase of lots of different nations and at the end of the tournament you'd get to see more heroes at once.

One of the criticisms of the FIFA World Cup is that it's drawn out and takes to long. The last World Cup in South Africa took 32 days to play out. The next one in Brazil is expected to include 40 teams in 8 groups rather than the 32 in the last one and will take another week on top of the already bustling calendar.
It would be possible with a T20 tournament to include 64 nations in group stages followed by a knock out, in just 9 days of play. Such a thing would be a veritable TV feast and many of the criticisms about the tournament being a benefit for the "big" nations would be completely obliterated. A match between Namibia and Germany might not draw worldwide audiences en masse but it would beam the game into living rooms in those two countries that wouldn't previously have witnessed this almost unfathomable game.
The Olympics in London yet again proved that the best kind of world cup is one in which you've invited the world.

I don't like T20 because I think that It's just not cricket. I do however hope to see it continue and change into its own thing. A thing which properly invites the world to play.

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