Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 | Author:
Test Cricket Field Settings

Test Cricket

Let’s travel back to the glorious 1970s. Joel Garner, one-fourth of the fearsome West Indian pace battery is hurling the ‘cherry’ in full throttle to the Little Master, Sunil Gavaskar, on a deadly Barbados pitch. The result – Sunny went backfoot, and hit an impeccable cover drive for a boundary. The shot was met with a vociferous applause from the Barbados spectators and the West Indian players alike. Can we see this kind of behaviors in the shortest form of the game today? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Test cricket was, is and will remain the pinnacle of cricket. It brings out the real character of the player. Old timers still say test cricket is what separates the men from the boys.

Test cricket is all about technique, skill and uncertainties, which sadly 20-20 cannot emulate. While much as been written about 20-20 cricket as the ‘new kid on the block’, the truth is far from what is being projected. Sure 20-20 is glamorous; more action packed than a Bruce Lee or a Tarantino flick, and is loaded with more cash and bling you can ever imagine. But does it have the soul, the essence of the longest version of the game? No, 20-20 is what I call the Bollywoodization of cricket with less of cricket and more of SRK or Mrs. Shetty.

Hashmi with Cheerleaders in T-20 Cricket

Hashmi with Cheerleaders in T-20 Cricket

Personally speaking, I still prefer test match cricket. Think of the Ashes, or the India-Australia series, or the India-South Africa series, or the Basil D’ Olivera trophy. Can 20-20 come anywhere closer to the excitement generated by test cricket? Never in a million years. While test cricket is about tradition and grace, 20-20 is all ‘wham bam, thank you maam’. The IPL for one is destroying cricket in multiple ways and we see no end to this madness. Modi and his band of robbers are doing what they do best – destroying cricket and making millions. The auction for players in the IPL resembles the auction for slaves in the Roman Empire. And it isn’t just the auction! The cheerleaders, inept commentary and ‘expert opinions’ will make a true cricket lover switch off the TV in disgust. Move over soaps – the IPL is here and will give you a run for your money in disgustingly low standards (or lack thereof!) of television programming.

Where will you come across “DLF Maximums” for an over-boundary or Lalit Modi’s images every 30 secs? Nowhere! Yes, the IPL has changed cricket, its dynamics, but for the worst. True connoisseurs of cricket still consider test cricket to the ultimate form of the game. The IPL will continue to make millions and who knows we will have new teams like Meerut Marauders or Darjeeling Dynamos or Kochi Killers, all competing for ineptness and meaningless matches. Look what 20-20 has done to players like Binga, Freddie, or Bondie. They have retired from test cricket to ‘prolong’ their careers on other ‘versions’ of the game.

Long live test cricket. May the legacies of Bradman, Hobbs, or Hutton rule over the mediocre 20-20 ‘thought leaders’. After all, a Mozart symphony is always superior to a ghetto hip-hop number.

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2 Responses

  1. 1
    Hammad A Khan 

    I completely disagree..how can you compare two different versions, its like comparing a kid with an old man and trying to figure out who adds more value to the family..while old brings in grace, the youth brings exuberance and most NECESSARY, change. He rebels, sets up new examples and with time, is embraced. 20-20 is that new kid.

    Also, as i can see that you dont watch or listen to commentary, the man discussed, the first Little master, Sunny, himself endorses the game.

    “here will you come across “DLF Maximums” for an over-boundary or Lalit Modi’s images every 30 secs” well i have never come acroos Modi every 30 sec. may be you Watch MODI TV than SONY TV…please fine tune your set top box..

    “The auction for players in the IPL resembles the auction for slaves in the Roman Empire. ”
    well trust me.. the entire world will like to be such slaves where wages are in millions for as short as 5 hours.

    Also, 20-20 is more of a challenge, its not just nicks and hooks, its also about temperament and aptitude. Indians always fell like dominoes but dont u see a paradigm change in their confidence and body language now? Its working for the betterment of Test cricket and ODIs and enabling batsmen learn the art of scoring runs at whim, which can make TEST cricket even more exciting..wont u agree?

    TEST cricket is the king, 20-20 is the prince…Modi is doing a Kerry Packer and i dont see anything wrong with it…

    “The IPL will continue to make millions and who knows we will have new teams like Meerut Marauders or Darjeeling Dynamos or Kochi Killers, all competing for ineptness and meaningless matches”
    Probably you are not aware of the popularity of cricket in India..every Tom wants to wear that blue…so if Meerut Marauders do come in..its all for the good..Ravindra Dadeja is one such find…he is all ready proving to be a handful…

    Bing, money and glamor are accessories that cricket has for long worn with grace..even a 10-10 or 5-5, where you dont even have the time for say ‘THANK YOU’ (after..you know what), wont make any difference… its cricket all the way in Gucci, Gabana and Junya Watanabe… 🙂

  2. 2
    jk viru 

    i agree what you say but you can’t come these both type of games. 20-20 is at there place and test cricket on there’s. the difference is that people don’t like watching a 5 day games because they want to have fun and just wanna enjoy watching booming and slogging the ball. they don’t see dravide playing on 125 with 280 balls. today’s generations cares about the present and the upcoming future that might be 20-20. i got your point that test cricket is a skilled and a technique but in 20-20, you need to have power. its not all about money, its about giving a chance who never makes in the india or in any international team. in india there are more 10 crore people who wants to be a cricketer. you can’t have 10 crore people in a team. can you? so that’s why, they created the platform 20-20 to give them a chance to prove thereself that even they are something. people like murali vijay, rayadu and many more players like aggarwal. every cricketer wait for a chance but some gets it. so don’t think like that and have fun.
    njoy the cricket

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