T20 cricket is rapidly be­com­ing a turn-off

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS & VIEWS -

IT is im­por­tant to fight to keep Test and do­mes­tic cricket in all for­mats us­ing lo­cal play­ers, wher­ever our beau­ti­ful sport is played, but I am get­ting wor­ried about the fu­ture of T20 cricket.

There have been signs in the IPL and the Caribbean of some re­duc­tion in crowds. My lo­cal ground had 14,000 for the first game, but since then crowds have gone down to 10,000. Still very good, but a wor­ry­ing trend.

In­deed, only three of the eight T20 com­pe­ti­tions world­wide ac­tu­ally make money, one of which be­ing the Blast.

As a fan of T20 said to me yes­ter­day, it is be­com­ing a gim­mick. Pitches are to­tally flat with no help for the bowler, the white ball does not swing, seam or spin, bound­aries are brought in and bats send mishits over the fence.

In the first IPL, Shane Warne spun his team to vic­tory.What­ever the num­ber of overs we play, there can and should be a con­test be­tween bat and ball. There re­ally has to be, or we are left with an ex­hi­bi­tion of six-hit­ting.

This then be­comes te­dious, a six no longer a mo­ment of ex­cite­ment. ‘Thrill cricket’ be­comes dull cricket. Too much of the same thing with no va­ri­ety in the end leads to bore­dom.

If drop-in pitches are used for the new com­pe­ti­tion in the year 2020, as ECB are con­sid­er­ing, then bowlers may as well find a new oc­cu­pa­tion, their skills be­ing re­dun­dant.

The fact that scores are get­ting higher is a big danger sign, not a cause for cel­e­bra­tion. RICHARD DAY


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