From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.35 :: NO.01 :: Jan. 05, 2012
Michael Holding feels T20 cricket is rubbish.
Michael Holding is a true traditionalist. In his recently released autobiography ‘No Holding Back' he lashes out at some of the changes that have impacted world cricket, especially the newest and the shortest form of cricket. His dislike for T20 is so apparent. And why not? This form of cricket, Holding believes firmly, threatens the future of Test cricket.
The purists are peeved but the young generation loves the T20 brand of cricket. There are no draws and there is entertainment galore. “Rubbish. It is purely rubbish,” Bishan Singh Bedi, ever the traditionalist, would remark.
Rubbish for some. Entertaining for most! The success of T20 and the mushrooming of various domestic leagues to support this form of cricket have led to the creation of a different genre of supporters.
Holding rates T20 as the greatest change the game has seen from the time it was rocked by the coloured clothing spectacle invented by Kerry Packer. It was a revolution that swept world cricket. The advent, and popularity, of T20 has rekindled memories of Packer cricket. There was opposition from the traditionalists but it came to be accepted by the masses; just as T20 is being welcomed by one and all now.
Even as Rahul Dravid has come to accept the captaincy of Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and advocated day-night Tests, Holding cannot fathom the idea. “Have you heard of anything so ridiculous,” he asks in his autobiography. He reckons it would only devalue Test cricket further.
All because the administrators have created a monster called T20 cricket! But nothing to beat Test cricket! The world over crowds are dwindling even for the T20 games and mainly because the public would not suffer, as Holding insists, the “run of the mill players.” There is hope for Test cricket even though T20 continues to engage the attention of the youth.
In 2011, a total of 21 T20 matches were played with England figuring in the most — seven. Pakistan and Sri Lanka came the closest to overhauling the 200-mark. Sri Lanka compiled 198 for three against Australia and Pakistan also made 198 (for four) against Zimbabwe.
The lone T20-century of the year came from T. Dilshan in the match against Australia at Pallekele. But the Lankan could not occupy the top run-getter spot. The honours went to Shane Watson, the burly Australian, known to hit the ball the hardest. He aggregated 195 with the help of three half-centuries.
T20 cricket is mainly about fours and sixes but three bowlers — Mohammad Hafeez (10), Ravi Bopara (8) and Watson (8), picked more than five wickets each to emerge the top three in the list that included Ajantha Mendis (7) and Jade Dernbach (7).
Statistics: Rajneesh Gupta
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