Who's Laughing Now? The Rise And Rise Of Twenty20 Cricket
Umer Jamshaid 2 months ago Sat 16th October 2021 | 09:20 AM
London, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Oct, 2021 ) :In just under 20 years, Twenty20 cricket has gone from being a light-hearted sideshow to a money-spinning, central plank of the sport's global Calendar.
The aim was to attract a younger audience who might not have the time to engage with longer formats.
The first official Twenty20 county matches took place in 2003 and proved an instant success in terms of attracting crowds.
More than 27,000 turned up to see Middlesex play Surrey at Lord's -- the largest attendance for any county game at the "home of cricket" outside of a one-day final since 1953.
That success was noted elsewhere, with the frenetic pace and in particular, the dynamic hitting of batsmen, proving popular with spectators worldwide.
Yet there was still a sense this was not 'proper cricket'.
-- The international game -- The first international T20 match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park, Auckland, in 2005 saw both teams clad in retro 1980s kits, with New Zealand decked out in an exact replica of their 'Beige Brigade' colours of that era.
Some players even wore fake beards and moustaches in honour of styles of that time.
But the format's growing popularity was noted by the International Cricket Council and led to the inaugural 2007 men's T20 World Cup in South Africa that saw India beat arch-rivals Pakistan in a thrilling final.
-- The IPL -- Just as India's victory in the 1983 men's one-day World Cup had changed the attitude of cricket's most populous nation towards the limited overs game, so was this success equally transformative in the sport's economic powerhouse nation.
When the IPL started, it clashed with international fixtures and then England captain Kevin Pietersen found himself involved in rows with then team management over his desire to play in the new event.
As the gifted batsman recalled in a tweet in May: "When I went up against ENG, I was alone. This time, it's all their best branded players!" -- The future -- The IPL has so changed the game the ICC has effectively barred international men's matches during the usual April-May timeframe for the tournament in a bid to ensure top-class cricketers remain available.
Now there is an uneasy co-existence between the formats, with the ICC creating the World Test Championship -- New Zealand won this year's inaugural edition -- in a bid to bolster the five-day game and Virat Kohli, captain of beaten finalists India, proclaiming in August: "For me this is the absolute pinnacle of the game. I will give everything to Test cricket for the time I play, I can assure you of that."But how long Kohli's attitude lasts across cricket remains to be seen.