Our obsession with T20 Cricket
Our obsession with T20 Cricket
By Ather Bashir
The origin of cricket dates back to the 16th century, however, the first professional cricket match was played in mid 18th century. Test cricket is the longest format of this beautiful game and is also known to be the most original of all the formats. It’s the test format that defines and really tests a cricket player. This format is the real test of one’s resilience and character in the long run.
As the game evolved, the ODI format was introduced which is currently 50 overs per side contest. Further evolution of this game led to the introduction of the T20 format which as per some cricket pundits and cricket lovers is the most accepted format in modern times for its less time-consuming. In times when people are busy with their daily lifestyle, it is the less amount of time a T20 game takes which makes this format so acceptable.
Having said that, most of the cricket experts still believe that the longer formats are still the true representation of this game and for that matter, the revival of test cricket has been on cards for a long time.
In the J&K, it is hard to imagine a 50 over tournament being played, let alone the test cricket. Our players can be seen playing all the top T20 tournaments of the J&K which is good in a way that it promotes the game at every corner of the region. In the long run, it doesn’t help the cause. It does help a player to develop his skills but playing too much of this format also halts the player’s progress.
Most of our cricketers play T20 format and after performing, they are considered for the domestics. The experience comes in handy if they are to play only the domestic T20 tournament but when it comes to the most sought-out domestic tournament i.e, Ranji trophy, our players find themselves in troubled waters. The same is the case with the 50 over tournament because our players are not used to playing these formats. A batsman who has been practicing to muscle the ball all his life is suddenly asked to spend time at the crease. It is really hard and it does not happen overnight at the highest level. You can’t spend 4/5 hours at the wicket if you aren’t used to it. You simply can’t expect a T20 specialist to perform for you in the longer format.
We don’t have a system capable enough to produce gems like Kohli, Babar, etc who can adapt to any format. All we have is T20 specialists. The J&K as a team hasn’t been that successful, the reason being the unavailability of longer formats. It’s the shorter format of the game where we have been good and produced some top-level cricketers with Parvez Rasool being the exception for longer format stalwart.
T20 is less time-consuming and offers you more financial stability if you happen to play IPL, but the quest for being a good cricketer should not die off due to these factors. A cricketer should not be defined by how much he earns from the game. A cricketer should be defined by his skill, character, and temperament which he displays on the field to make it look like the real gentleman’s game. Our players need to draw a line if they are to become good enough to compete with the best. JKCA also has a lot to work for this cause. They should encourage players to choose the longer formats and the best way to do that is to organize more such tournaments throughout the J&K instead of these small-scale knockout tournaments.
It’s also the responsibility of tournament organizers as well as players to organize longer format tournaments if they really want to grow as cricketers.
Written by Ather Bashir