Sunday, November 23, 2008

20-20 In Your Face

Starting today there will be 20-20 cricket in your face everyday for the next two and a half weeks.

Its not international 20-20 cricket by the way, its club cricket, for the lack of a better way of describing it.

Never before has club cricket been covered by the media in the way it is now. Or rather since 20-20 cricket went commercial with a bunch of leagues.

Those who think 20-20 cricket is not changing the cricket world, need to stop and ponder again.

A test series is being played in Australia, which I believe is being covered on TV only in Australia. Maybe in England. But I can't watch it here in Dubai, nor can anyone watch it in the wider Middle East, nor in Pakistan. I'm not sure about India.

Another test series is being played in South Africa. Oh you weren't aware? Yeah I thought so. For that is not being shown anywhere on TV it seems. Not here in Dubai, not in Pakistan, and from Soulberry's comment on his post, niether in India.

An ODI series is being played out in India. That I can watch and have watched. The TV coverage is great but the series is 4 matches too long I reckon. The English have probably lost interest already. Maybe the Indians as well. Or maybe not with Sachin returning to the fold today - perfect timing to keep the interest alive!

Oh and international cricket has returned to Zimbabwe after a long time. But does anyone care? The matches are just as good as 20-20 cricket anyway, with niether of the 2 ODIs lasting over 3-4 hours.

With a few uninteresting international series being played coupled with international cricket that is not being televised, it would not surprise me, or rather it would surprise me if the ICL World Series starting today followed by the 20-20 Champions League kicking off on December 1st don't generate more interest.

Atleast in the subcontinent, which by the way is 80% of the cricket viewing public.

The ICL World Series will be televised all over the subontinent, in the Middle East, and in England.

With the Lahore Badshahs capturing the imagination of a number of fans all over the world, their return to the field in the form of ICL Pakistan XI, will definitely rouse some interest.

And this time they've got Abdul Razzak on their side too.

Rana & Razzak in the same team? That's some viewing.

The ICL World Series also involves teams from India and Bangladesh, and a World XI.

While the ICL Bangladesh XI played as the Dhaka Warriors in the just concluded ICL 20-20 Championsip, the India XI and World XI puts together the best performers of that ICL tournament.

ICL India XI is being led by R. Sathish and includes the likes of Stuart Binny, Rohan Gavaskar, Abbas Ali, Ambati Rayudu, and RS Sodhi.

Whereas the ICL World XI is captained by Chris Harris and comprises of Damien Martyn, Jason Gillespie, Ian Harvey, Lance Klusener, Justin Kemp, Marvan Atapattu, and others.

ICL India are the defending champions, however ICL Pakistan should be the favorites going into the World Series.

The team that played as the Lahore Badshahs in the ICL 20-20 Championship, and won that tournament, was by far the strongest team on display.

With Imran Nazir & Imran Farhat at the top, Inzamam and Yousuf in the middle, Rana & Razzak in fiery form with the ball, and Saqlain inventing new deliveries in every match, there should be little the World, India, and Bangladesh teams would be able to do.

But stranger things have happened in cricket.

Even more so in 20-20 cricket.

I reckon it will be a tournament worth watching.

As will be the 20-20 Champions League that kicks off a day after the World Series ends.

That will be televised all over the world - India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, England, the Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong, and everywhere else where cricket is watched.

Not only that, but international cricket will come to a standstill as domestic teams from 5 test playing countries go up against each other.

To read more on the Champions League, see this and this.

And then they say that 20-20 cricket will not have an impact on test cricket.

Its already been taken off TV!

Make your pitch on this post...

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8 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    And then they say private leagues will deteriorate the standard of cricket. I think the # of Odi's played in a year should be reduced, and new slots should be created for more T20.

  2. Damith S. said...

    This is what I always feared.

    This is not good for test cricket.

    This is why I am strongly in favor of a two tiered test structure so that the lower teams and sent to a lower league to fight it and prove they are worthy.

    While the top teams generate more interest and competition is higher meaning more people want to watch it.

    I just see the logic in getting bangladesh zim to play Aus and other teams when they shud b playing each other to get better at cricket.

  3. kaprasanna said...

    I watched the Australia vs New-Zeland 1st test match. It is very much shown here in India..

  4. Q said...

    I am with you Wasim. 20-20 to take over ODIs.

    Damith I like the idea of he 2-tiered test system.. it is definitely needed.

    And I have never seen the logic behing the senseless long ODI series - 7 for Ind v Eng? 5 for SL v Zim?


  5. Q said...

    Kaprassanna, thanks for the info. I cant watch it here in Dubai, which is a worry.

  6. Anonymous said...

    Damith, apparently, these less-competitive cricket nations are not benefiting much either by playing among the associates as they often win easily. This I am given to understand by some of their fans.

    So let's not be too bothered about full houses or not for these series and rather make it a point for all teams to play with them for exposure.

  7. Anonymous said...

    Q, on the point of 7 match ODI series etc... that is board politics at its best. England has not given a 5 match test series to India since the fifties and like wise the BCCI doesn't want to. Besides, yes, one-days are the cash cow.

    Am all for one-days be replaced with 20-20s.

  8. Q said...

    Yeah Scorps, I am aware of the board politics - they need to stop. These 7 ODIs are meaningless.

    As for the minnows.. i don't think they need to play against associates but rather against each other. For example Get bangladesh, zimbabwe, kenya, ireland, and uae to play against each other more often. I reckon they'd be more competitive.

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