When I look at a piece of wood, that makes my door, I wonder how temperature makes it grow and dwarf in size across summer and winter. The process of growth and reduction is gradual and slow, such that the door can retain its character and adapt as per the temperature outside. But for a moment, think how would it be, if it were subjected to intense heat one week, and intense chillness the next in alternating fashion. Will the wood in the door be able to maintain its character? Would the wood be as strong as its supposed to be and can it last the distance of time? My guess on that would be an obvious NO, and I am sure your guess would not deviate too much from my answer.
If we apply the same yardstick to the way the various formats of the game are scheduled, we see that switching between 20 overs, 50 overs and Test cricket at an alarming pace, is only going to harm the quality and shelf life of our players. 20 over cricket has transformed cricket into a consumer centric game, which unites the family when it comes to evening television. Is it 20 over cricket or league cricket that’s been able to hit the consumer jackpot? My gut feel is that league cricket has evoked higher TRP’s and with India’s latest World Cup victory this year, the feeling of watching India compete in a global completion could well be the flavor of what the consumers may want for the next few years, and its understandable that they also want to watch their favorite players in action, in a combination that has all the best cricketers across the world, on a single stage.
Keeping the above point, I am wondering, if ICC should shift the T20 cricket to a model, where its played as part of the domestic league (IPL,SPL,Big Bash and the likes) and the ICC World 2020. This is where the 20 over cricket can get the maximum bang for buck. 20 over bilateral cricket should be scrapped for the time being, so as to allow players to concentrate on the bigger formats of the 50 over cricket and Test Cricket. The difference of adjusting between test cricket and 50 over cricket is still not huge, as the average run rate is 4 an over in test cricket, and 5.5 runs an over in One day cricket, while T20 cricket hovers in the 7+ range. This is where the wear and tear to the subjects playing the game is witnessed more. The advantage of not having bilateral T20 series is that, it increases focus on tours to the traditional formats of cricket, and lessens the mental strains that players need to undergo while playing between these formats.
In the ongoing 50 over ODI series between India and West Indies, one can see the youngsters in both the teams, batting aggressively and mindlessly slogging against quality bowling. The problem with this approach is, youngsters having problems in their technique against quality bowling, will try to hit their way out of it, rather than correcting their technique. This approach to the game makes the game terribly one-sided, with either the batsmen winning a temporary short battle, or the bowlers winning it against batsmen who are risk prone. Cricket was supposed to be a war, which had a series of battles. The beauty of the war was to see the see-saw swings, between the battles to translate into a script that made the war beautiful to watch. If we have an overkill of the battles, then the game loses its character, players lose their natural abilities by shielding chinks with brute brawny abilities, and finally the TRP’s succumb to gravity.
So, should the ICC take a decision against bilateral ODI series, and save the wood from extinction? Or Maybe PETA can do a campaign against saving Leather and Wood, with a nice model, doing a brain dead nude photo shoot, since the ICC has tons of money.
What do you think about not having Bi-lateral T20 series?