So­ci­ety de­ter­mines need for T20 cricket

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS & VIEWS - DAVID RIM­MER Hert­ford Heath

RICHARD Ed­wards’ ar­ti­cle ti­tled ‘Must T20 be em­braced to en­sure sur­vival of club game’ on Oc­to­ber 20 is re­al­is­tic about what will even­tu­ally hap­pen to the club game.

I fore­see that in the next 10 to 15 years that only the top two teams in the ma­jor clubs will play league cricket as we know it. Un­less clubs fold, then smaller ones will play T20.

Why is this so? The econ­omy has changed rapidly over the last 30-40 years and many peo­ple have to work all kinds of in­con­ve­nient hours that mil­i­tate against reg­u­lar com­mit­ment to a sport­ing team over a week­end.

Many more peo­ple are also trapped by the game’s cost which can put off as­pir­ing play­ers.

The mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion and the one af­ter­wards have grown up with more in­stant entertainment not least with so­cial me­dia and are less likely to em­brace an ac­tiv­ity that last five to six hours.

At­ten­tion spans are shorter and T20 only takes around three hours to com­plete which will suit mod­ern fam­ily life bet­ter.

Young­sters are now less likely to re­late to tra­di­tional Sun­day cricket where there are no points at stake. Play­ing for plea­sure seems to be lost on young­sters who do not fully ap­pre­ci­ate that get­ting a bat or a bowl in a friendly is a bet­ter way to learn from mis­takes than in the harsher en­vi­ron­ment of league cricket.

One can go on about the rea­sons for the likely changes but one pos­si­ble ef­fect over­looked by Mr Ed­wards is that if T20 cricket takes over many ex­pe­ri­enced ad­min­is­tra­tors will be­come dis­en­chanted.

They will not like the game’s new for­mat and will quit the game, leav­ing an ad­min­is­tra­tive short­fall.

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