Twenty20 format has come to stay: Pawar
The rapid fire Twenty20 format has not only caught the imagination of people but will receive due importance for its promotion and proliferation all over the country, opined the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sharad Pawar.
Speaking at the prize distribution of the maiden Symbiosis Super Shield T20 Corporate cricket tournament, Mr Pawar said the Indian entry in the new format was at the last minute.
While attending the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in London, he (Pawar) felt that India would be isolated as all other countries of the world had already opted to take part in the first World Cup to be orgainsed by South Africa.
Mr Pawar said after returning to India, he summoned a meeting of the Board and prevailed on the members that India should take part in the new concept of the game, otherwise, it would have to remain isolated despite having gained recognition in the five-day Test and the ODIs.
Despite having no experience in the shortest format of the game, India entered the fray after playing a friendly game against the hosts South Africa. But Team India scale dizzy heights and captured the maiden Twenty20 World Cup event, getting the better of the reigning ODI World Champions Ausralia on their way to capture the trophy.
The euphoria that followed all over the country has given the BCCI to think very positively about making the Twenty20 format popular in the entire nation so that young boys and girls could gain the experience to reach greater heights in future as well, the BCCI chief assured.
The people all over the globe certainly took an instant liking to the rapid fire cricket for its entertainment value and packed the stadias whereever it was played, he pointed out.
With the changing lifestyle the world over, no one has the time to watch the five-day Tests or the ODIs. The shorter version of the game was digested by the people but now the T20 has given a new way of entertainment, Mr Pawar said.
Though BCCI was seriously thinking of starting Twenty20 cricket for the corporates and the universities, the Symbiosis International University had given the lead by hosting the first-ever tournament for the corporates, he added.
Mr Pawar complimented Dr S B Mujumdar, the Dean of SIU, for introducing the innvotaive Twenty20 tournament, which proved to be a resounding success.