The Changing Faces of Cricket – From Gentleman’s Game, to Crowd Pleasing Entertainer

People used to crowd the stadiums in order to see their sporting heroes’ technique, temperament, and stroke play. Only power hitting players can reach the top. The game has gone from being entertaining to classy. Although we can’t conclude that the game is on the decline, it seems to be continuing its course.

The twenty-twenty format (T20), is a concern for purists. They fear that the format will diminish the quality of test cricket, which is the ultimate test for a player’s skills. They believe that T20 promotes only power hitting, and that the next generation of cricketers will only strive to be power hitters. This would cause great damage to a game with a rich heritage.

The introduction of international cricket was a major turning point in the game. The 60-over world cup ignited strong patriotic sentiments and the game continues attract great attention. Every country wants their team to win this world cup.

Ted Dexter introduced the 60-over contest, an ex-england test cricketer and captain for Sussex, an English county club. It was more than an innovation. They needed to find a way of filling the stands that were otherwise vacant for county cricket. The 60-over context attracted huge crowds, and Sussex won the first two finals at Lord’s.

The bold idea of a Sunday league with 40 matches per week was born. The league was a huge success as everyone had no obligations and they were able to attend the matches whenever they wanted. The birth of county cricket was a success. The clubs started to hire top players from other countries as the response to the county matches was overwhelming. Players get a much higher salary than they do now. There were no television or advertisement contracts. However, the crowds were huge and the cricket was lively and competitive.

One-day cricket was a British innovation. A 60-over-a-side worldcup was also set up and the first ever world cup in England was played. It was impossible for the 60-overs to survive as they were not compatible with the spread of cricket in other countries.

The inevitable 50-over format was then introduced. This length could be adapted to all playing conditions. Since the introduction of 50-over matches, cricket has managed to capture and keep the imagination of the masses.

Then Kerry Packer, an Australian legend, came up with the brilliant idea of night and day cricket. It was ridiculed by the pundits and shocked the entire cricketing community. It was loved by the fans and received a tremendous response.

This innovation was a major factor in the rise of one-day cricket. The new rules for field placements (inner circle), color clothing and white balls were introduced. This format attracted a lot of attention and was followed by advertising, sponsorships, broadcast rights, etc. Sponsors were eager to have their logos on players’ clothes and offered lucrative deals. With the introduction of day-night cricket, cricket’s popularity soared to new heights. Nearly all cricket grounds have flood lights installed in order to allow for day-night matches. Cricket has become a national pastime and continues to grow in popularity.

A new generation of cricketers has arrived, able to adapt to different formats. Australia was the first country to realize that specialists are needed for each format. A great player in one format may not be able to perform well in another. It started to identify and nurture players that were suitable for particular formats. Michael Bevan was one of the first to be trained and kept for internationals. It’s no surprise that they won three world cups titles and continue to win test matches.

The introduction of T20 and 50 overs has created a dynamic game and increased the level of competition. Fielding standards have improved dramatically as well as the running between wickets. International players are very athletic, fit, and aggressive. The overall scoring rate has improved to the point that teams check out this website such as Australia can score more than 4 runs per over, even in test matches. It is now impossible to find Geoffrey Boycott and Tavare, who are well-known for their slow and defensive style of batting in any team. This sport is dynamic and requires sensible, but aggressive cricket.

T20 is likely to destroy 50 over cricket. This is something that many feel, and even fear. Experts believe that T20 will kill test cricket, which is the true test of skill and the one that distinguishes professionals from boys. T20 is regarded as a crowd pleaser because it allows anyone with limited skills to perform very well on any given day.

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