Is T20 a death knell for one-day game?
First five-day Test, then one-day and now Twenty-20 format. The new version which just ended in South Africa may prove a great challenge to the most viewed and popular one-day game. Time is not very far when fans and advertisers will only crave for Twenty-20 game. The Twenty20 has innovation, incentive and initiative and above all it has touch of maddening soccer. For the first time cricket fans watched a sort of penalty shoot-out in cricket when India-Pakistan match ended in a tie. The craze for the game has gone tremendous.
Pulsating ends have made cricket more attractive and when decision comes on the last ball, it is heart-stopper game. Such moments have definitely made the game more popular and money-churning.
Before 1971, there was just Test format in the cricket world, but the experiment instant game between Australia and England, known as the base of the ODI was played on 5 January 1971 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. When the first three days of the third Test were washed out officials decided to abandon the match and, instead, play a one-off one day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side. Australia won the game by 5 wickets.
This was planned to appease the maddening Test buffs and it clicked so instantly that cricket boards all over the world sat together and formulated short-version game.
In fact, the One-Day International or limited overs matches, also known as one day cricket or instant cricket, were introduced in the English domestic season of 1963 due to the growing demands for a shorter and more dramatic form of cricket to stem the decline in attendances. One-day, single-innings, matches often took place before this, but the innovation was the limiting of each side’s innings to an agreed number of overs (nowadays usually 50).
The idea was to organise one-day game which produces results the same day. It was undoubtedly a novel step as it attracted crowds in numbers, reason, thrill, mobility and stunning result in a day. This did great damage to the popularity of century-old format of Test as the fans were of the view that Test was boring and five-day game affair and despite that most of time it ended without result.
Huge success inspired England to organise the First Prudential World Cup and response was so tremendous that England organised two more world cups in a row and since then the instant game brought more changes more money, more success. During the period some nasty things did happen like match-fixing but it failed to affect the popularity of one-day.
The Twenty20 Cricket was first played in English domestic cricket in 2003 to popularise first-class cricket and attract more spectators to the game. Now it has spread to many other countries. A ‘Twenty20 Game’ consists 20 overs per each side, a free-hit after a no-ball is bowled, short boundaries, batting-friendly pitches, and other rules designed to attract crowds.
The first men’s Twenty20 international was between Australia and New Zealand in 2005, the first women’s Twenty20 international having been between England and New Zealand in 2004.
And now with the successful first Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa, questions arise, will this sort of version prove a death knell for the one-day game. Obviously people today want quick and thrilling result and this game has all: thrill, cut-throat zeal, speed, money and result in very short period.
How much it will be lasting success in cricket world, it would be premature to tell but Twenty20 version game has given rise to more fierce competition for one-day game. And this game if goes smoothly will see an array of dazzling stars or clone of swashbucklers like S Jayasuriya, Shahid Afridi, Adam Gilchrist, Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee and many more talented stars in the future which is not very far.