As a cricket traditionalist I want the fleece and the 20/20 Indian tournament

I am a moderniser and a traditionalist when it comes to cricket. As a traditionalist, I love the long five day Test Match, played in white kit with the red ball. It is the ultimate test of the enduring skills of great batsmen, and of the persistence and aggression of a great bowlers.
I also think the 20/20 game is the most exciting and action packed team game on the planet. It is a wonderful invention, a very different game from the long game, which can bring large new audiences to cricket.
It is foolish of the Times to bemoan the end of the baggy jumper. Many cricketers will continue to wear their jumpers in club colours with club insignia with pride, and some with a distinct lack of style. Others will rush to adopt the new fleeces, and want something that cuts a fashion dash to enhance their performances, good or bad.
This April during the English cricket season we need a new artic jacket as well, for in this age of global warming fears the North east wind does blow, and the game can be punctuated by hail and snow.
Nor is the launch of the Bollywood style 20/20 competition in India something to fear. The English cricket authorities should grasp the opportunity, and schedule our cricket in a way which allow great English players to join in the Indian competition. We have to get used to the idea that India now is an important centre for innovation, money and excitement. Cricket, like anything else, needs its fill of all three. We should take pride in the enthusiasm India is showing for a British invention, and pleasure in the way they are taking it on to new heights.
I like soccer and rugby, and enjoy watching them, but they cannot match the sheer pace and action of a 20/20 game. In a 20/20 match during three hours you can see 400 runs and 15 wickets. Every ball provides thrills, with bowler and batsman pitched against each other in a dramatic contest. It makes 1-0 after 90 minutes in a soccer game, or a rugby game determined by the kicking of half a dozen penalties seem tame in comparison. A good day at the Test might offer you 300 runs and 8-10 wickets, and that takes six hours.
So bring on the fleeces – and the global warming long johns and artic vests – and bring on more 20/20. We traditionalists can still enjoy our test matches and deal with the critics who will never understand the fascination of a series of dot balls when the contest is at its most chess like. Many more will enjoy the 20/20 game, with all the razz and glamour that goes with it. So wake up English Test Board, and let English players join in. The world is shifting to Asia. You wont beat that, so join it.


  1. Andrew
    April 18, 2008

    I agree with you 50 over cricket, i think , has lost its appeal and glamour. I think the future is 5day cricket and 20/20.

    keep up the blog
    cheers Andrew

  2. Iain
    April 18, 2008

    With Indian billionaires setting up a billion dollar 20/20 competition., India being able to afford a nuclear arms program, and Indian companies buying out our companies, I have as yet been unable to get an understandable reason why Gordon Brown went to India and gave them £825 million in Aid money!

    Is it not the case of 'not flash but Gordon’, but a case of 'flash the British taxpayers cash Gordon’? In light of him going to Africa and blowing billions there was well, (which has bought us nothing over the Zimbabwean situation) I thought the solution was to confiscate his passport as his overseas trips were proving rather costly to us, but in light of Gordon Brown phoning up an American talent show and blowing £100 million there was well (may be that was in lieu of him giving them Aid when he flew to the US ), I think we would have to cut off his TV service and phone as well.

  3. Iain
    April 18, 2008

    SORRY made a mistake in my figures in the above post , it was £100 thousand Brown gave in American Idol, not £100 million.

  4. David Belchamber
    April 18, 2008

    Yes, I agree very much with your ready acceptance of these innovations but money is having a deleterious impact on the game and I believe two things need to be done in the domestic game to help English cricket: (i) non-England qualified players should either be restricted to no more than two per county or alternatively no non-England qualified cricketers should be allowed to play for counties (instead there should be two/three/four other teams in the championship made up solely of non-England qualified players) and (ii) the itineraries of test tours should reviewed and more rest and preparation time provided.
    On the latter point, it is ridiculous that there is perhaps only one proper warm-up game before the test series starts and then only test matches, perhaps with two back to back. Also, the one dayers should precede the tests, so that many of the test side can become acclimatised.

    Reply: Some good ideas here. I agree about limiting the number of overseas players in any team and more warm up time.

  5. wonderfulforhisage
    April 18, 2008

    My concern is that 20/20 v 5day cricket will turn out to be a rerun of the grey v red squirrels contest.

    It seems there is not room for both red and grey squirrels and when one looks at the economics there probably isn't room for 5day and 20/20 cricket.

    Unfortunately, the noise at 20/20 matches plays havoc with my hearing aid so bang goes another of life's pleasures.

  6. Tony Makara
    April 18, 2008

    I got into cricket by playing rather than watching, although of course the latter soon followed the former as I became a fan of the great Lancs side that boasted Lloyd and Pilling. We must do more to encourage youngsters to take up the game. As boys we would play all day on the local school fields which are now out-of-bounds to the kids. Local authorities need to free up playing areas and set up facilites so that youngsters can have a proper game with real equipment. Sometimes I do worry that Cricket, rather like Rugby League, overdoes change under the pressure of media money. Still, it might just provide an opportunity for local talent to develop.

    Reply: I prefer playing and enjoy the occasions when I can do so. I agree we need more space for youngsters to have a go- and adults prepared to coach and organise them as well as room for the spontaneous game. I think 20/20 will make it more attractive to young players, and the glamour of the Indian version might spread here.

  7. Steven_L
    April 19, 2008

    Apparently we are allowed to introduce 2 new olympic sports in 2012. I do hope 20/20 is one of them.

  8. Adrian Peirson
    April 26, 2008

    All part of the Globalisation plan of our Elite.

    They want to eradicate national identity and rule over a divided populace.

    That is the purpose behind the mass movements of Peoples.

    They want to divide and rule Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurd Regions, just like they have divided up Serbia and just like Britain too will be Balkanised.

    Why did Blair Lie about his Involvement with the Global Elite.

    It appears that Socialism is not about the redistribution of wealth but about the Attainment of Wealth, and ruling over a divided Global Populace.

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