Wednesday 31 August 2011

Why so fuss over T20 and a cameo from Rahul Dravid

I have been hearing a lot of things about T20 and its effects on today's generation who wants to take up cricket. A lot of ex-cricketers complain it is not an ideal preparation for Test cricket. My question goes - Is it not left to an individual to choose what he wants or which format he would love to play cricket?
If we compare the present day cricket to our present lives, a lot has changed since the previous generation. We have good facilities coming up and things in general are improving than what it used to be. Of course, it means one had to give up things that were prevalent previously, but in the end no one is complaining for the change that is happening.
Coming back, I read a lot of media and public in general blame the Indian team for the disastrous Test series against England. Why was it so disastrous? A lot of reasons go into it and one being lack of preparation. As the cricket evolved, technology and better personnel are also available to ensure there is a constant churning of good players. The question is how soon are we going to adapt to the modern ways of playing cricket? How soon we are going to merge the modern day cricket with our modern lifestyle?
Look at the big picture - We have ten countries that are eligible to play Test cricket, the ultimate position to be for a cricketing nation. What about the other 194 countries? Surely not everyone is going to be able to play Test cricket and it is good in a way. After a lot of years and since the year 1877, we have 10 teams out of which Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are often criticised for not being up to the mark. So we have 8 nations that often produce the best Test cricket. Now do we want to go forward or just be happy with 8 nations? Any direction is welcome according to me, given a choice I would keep the best 10 teams for playing Test cricket.
And we have One day Internationals. The format was reborn after the success of the 2011 World Cup. When ODI began in 1971, there were a lot of people complaining about the format affecting the Test cricket. And here we are 40 years since the first ODI, things have improved and cricket has become a global commodity. For all those people, who just want Test cricket, it is important to note that, it is the ODI's and the T20's that bring in majority of the money. Yes, it is sad but a hard reality fact in today's sporting world, MONEY. Money is the power required to run the sport, any sport in general, with high standards and also sustain it over a period of time. Sooner or later one needs to accept this fact and. Or else bring in the change? How? That is what the running federation must find out?
I am inspired to write this blog post after watching Rahul Dravid hit three consecutive sixes off Samit Patel in Manchester against England. After scoring well over 10,000 runs in both ODI's and Test cricket, he makes his debut in T20 cricket for India. All I can say is, form is temporary, and class is permanent. He reminds me of Andy Dufresne from Shawshank Redemption. And the line - 'Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies'. I can imagine him saying this line to someone whose chips are down. He never complained about T20 or ODI even though he was widely known only as a Test cricketer. To me, he just loves cricket and that's about it. Rest, his statistics speaks volume on his behalf.
Coming back to the topic - Charles Darwin once remarked it is all about survival of the fittest. Surely with better facilities available fitness should never be an issue in today’s cricket. To top it, there is no forcing for a cricketer to play every match. The formula should be - The fittest 11 and then the in-form 11 to play out a match. It is a simple formula but surrounded by complicated factors. Just like the corporate sector of today encourage employees to take some time off in order to work better; players must also be given the same option. The question of cricket fatigue would never come.
Let’s move forward now and invest in having a good player management and talent scout to keep churning out players day in and day out. The team that plays needs to play with the spirit of the game and the desire to win.
And to talk about globalisation of the sport - It is only possible with T20 to explore different markets of the world. For countries who want to play cricket, T20 is the format to begin with. One doesn't require a proper technique to learn the game. You play you learn. Cricket to be part of Olympics, T20 is the only way. The second source of money is Time.
I am a fan of cricket and I enjoy whatever format cricket is played. It is the game I love and I only want the sport to have worries about how to spread the game to different places than fighting over injuries, T20, ODI's and which format is being superior.

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