Twenty-twenty vision

OUT of all the cricket formats, many would say that twenty-twenty cricket is the most exciting of all. The purists would definitely disagree and would say that Test cricket is the best, but the fact is many cricket fans are hooked on to the twenty-twenty format.

After all, it’s quick, exciting and power packed. It basically forces those on the field to come up with the big power shots. You are more likely to see a six or a four come up in this form of the game than in any other.

If I put this in football terms, you will see more goals or attacking play in a match in the twenties format.

Each team bats a maximum of 20 overs and the average game can be concluded in three hours. As cricket is a largely lengthy game, with Tests spread over five days, this format was created, in part

The Twenties World Cup just started in Bangladesh a few days back. All the usual suspects will compete in the fifth edition of this tournament. India, Pakistan, England and West Indies have won this tournament, the latter defending their crown.

After a preliminary qualifying ground, Bangladesh and Netherlands joined India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Australia and India would appear as favourites to win, but in the twenties anything can happen.  

In the qualifying rounds of this tournament for example, Hong Kong beat Bangladesh, something that would almost never happen in the regular one-day format. Hong Kong however lost all their other matches and didn’t make it to the tournament proper.

It would be nice to see a “smaller team” win this edition.

I would consider this another advantage of the twenties, although one has to take note that the past winners of the World Cup were all big names.

In a way, the twenties became relevant because of the hugely successful Indian Premier League (IPL) where there are different franchises or teams.

These franchises are owned by the rich and famous such as movie stars and prominent businessmen. The biggest names in cricket – both Indian and non-India have played in this lucrative league, fuelling its popularity.

For me, I still prefer the one-day-international (ODI) format that features a maximum of 50 overs per team as there is more finesse involved. Tactics and defending the wicket are just as important as attacking play.

It is nice to watch a full game, provided you have the time. Test matches are another matter and can take up to five days to conclude!

If I could summarise it - twenties are short and sweet, ODIs are just nice while tests are for the purists.

I hope Malaysia can pay more attention to this game, as not many countries play it. I have been told that Malaysia can excel in the game, but only if the kids are interested in it and start playing since a young age.

The Malaysian Premier League will be starting in two weeks time. The league starts on April 5 with the final on June 21.

The main venues are the Kinrara and PSC Oval, although there will be some games played at the STC and Bayuemas Oval.

Check it out, bring the kids, they could be stars of the future!

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