Virtually all the criticism that I have heard or seen regarding T20, is a mirror of the remarks made about one day cricket when it first came. Although the initial one day competition was the Gillette Cup in ’63, the real surge came when we were playing it every Sunday in the John Player League in ’69. Without one day cricket, County Cricket, and County Cricket clubs, as we know it, would have died.
The World cricket organisations were able to dovetail one day programmes into the First Class & Test Match itinerary without adverse effect.
Twenty20 cricket is fast, highly competitive and exciting, but the victories and team successes of T20 are forgotten even faster that the results of the longer one day formats. For over a century Test match cricket has been the backbone of world and professional cricket and it always will be, but, to seek the highest standard in test matches, finance plays a large part.
T20 cricket has given the cricketing coffers a chance to rise to a higher level that was ever dreamed of just a decade ago. It has brought an abundance of people all over the world into cricket grounds who otherwise would not have entered which must be good for the game. Players and teams alike require space in their itineraries to fit all forms of the game into a yearly programme. Yes, T20 is the golden goose, but, if we do not secure the correct balance of matches, the very heart and substance of World Cricket will be torn apart.
Currently the most successful and lucrative T20 matches are played in India. World Cricket has been lead and dominated by England and Australia for over a century, and the two countries have guided the other countries, fairly successfully most would say.
For a few years now India have been the all powerful nation, calling most of the shots, but, if India are going to adopt this mantle, then they have to take the responsibility that goes with the territory. There are so many personal agendas to be satisfied, but, if we don’t reach a satisfactory outcome, cricket will be blown apart.