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Thoughts on T20 cricket

Amidst all the hype and hoopla revolving around T20,I thought that it is an opportune moment to revisit Gideon Haigh's riveting opinion on the prospects of T20 cricket. I have extracted a brief capsule, which I think is a fine piece of cricket writing


The game's skills, meanwhile, have been massively rationalised. What we see in the main is not so much batting as hitting, not so much bowling as conveying. The batsman is assessed by the change his strokes are leaving out of six; the bowler is like the fall guy in a comic routine stoically awaiting the inevitable custard pie. For sure, the players are stars, personalities, megabuck entertainers. But to be great under such circumstances is next to impossible. The game is neither big nor deep enough. No thespian has achieved greatness from a career of sketches; no old master won admiration for a skill at silhouettes. Cricket has traditionally made welcome a wonderful variety of capabilities and temperaments. The swashbuckler will have his day, but likewise the gritty opening batsman, the middle-order nurdler, the doughty tailender; likewise, there are days that favour the purveyor of outswing, googlies, subtle left-arm slows. From the combination of 20 overs a side, flat pitches, white balls, and 70m boundaries, however, emerges what sort of cricketer? (In fact, you begin wondering which great past players would have found in Twenty20 a welcoming home. Kapil Dev, for sure. Maybe Sunil Gavaskar, when not in one of his obdurate moods. But can you see BS Chandrashekhar, Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna? Given the choice, would you select Gundappa Viswanath and Sanjay Manjrekar, or Sandeep Patil and Chandrakant Pandit?)

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