Twenty20 is a product of a time in which leisure choices have multiplied and attention spans have diminished, but those who favour it over the 50-over version have also done the maths. The shorter the match, the smaller the prospect of a one-sided encounter: of the 48 conclusive games in England last summer, 19, almost 40 per cent, were decided by no more than 30 runs or three wickets. These people also welcome a modification that holds greater allure for women, children and possibly even Americans. If these brands are to co-exist, the 50-overs game needs more than the facelift Buchanan advocates. Laws and regulations have always favoured batsmen; so long as cricket continues to be run by former batsmen they always will. Lifting the restriction on how many balls a bowler can deliver per innings would be a step along the road to equality and prolonged dramatics. Yet the benefits of anointing Twenty20 as the only one-day game could be vast. Doubleheaders - two matches in one day - would no longer be peculiar to baseball. World Cups and international tours could be briefer. As a result, fast bowlers in particular might be less prone to injury. There would also be scope for the revival of the five-Test series, the fading cause for which England and South Africa are fighting in Pretoria. Since it was the growing hegemony of one-day cricket that inspired the unsatisfying, ludicrous and increasingly prevalent two-Test series, a terrible wrong could thus be righted.
|Publication status||Published - 21 Jan 2005|
- cricket, Twenty20, one-day internationals, Buchanan, Woolmer