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Thread: Cricketers' Views on Twenty20

  1. #16
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    PETER ROEBUCK
    Peter Roebuck
    September 8, 2007
    Sydney Morning Herald

    NO ONE in their right mind is going to take the forthcoming 20-overs extravaganza seriously. Fortunately, few sports followers show much sign of sanity. Apparently, some people go to bed miserable when their team loses.

    Anything less suited to solemnity than the sight of highly skilled cricketers whacking a ball about for 20 overs it is hard to imagine. Blink and it will be over. It is as far from Test cricket as were the antics of Ken Dodd from the grave pronunciations of Sir Laurence Olivier. Mr Dodd was a Liverpudlian comedian who took to the stage carrying a featherduster and with hair erupting from his scalp. When his thoughts turned to song he was generally accompanied by The Diddymen. Sir Laurence was otherwise inclined.

    Still, it has been described as a World Cup, and the players will consider it worth winning. Already this form of the game has taken hold in England, as cricket tried to turn back the rising tide of football. England has been the author of most of the game's drearier strategies and most of its attempts at resuscitation.

    After a fortnight of crash, bang and wallop, the tournament will produce its first champion. The 50-overs World Cup seemed interminable. Three matches are to be played most nights in three different cities, and television will cover the lot. Scores will rattle along, boundaries will be short, and the crowds will be agog. It is an odd game, cricket. The shorter it goes the more people like it.

    Doubtless the best team will prevail. A five-over match could be arranged and still the strongest would find a way to set themselves apart. Obviously, the minnows will be walloped. Scotland, Kenya and the Peter Chingoka XI (as Zimbabwe ought to be called) lack the firepower needed. Among the rest, South Africa has been disturbed by the sort of internal rumblings usually reserved for a cowboy picnic, the Pakistanis are at loggerheads (I have not actually checked, but it is generally the case) and Bangladesh lack exposure. Despite their showing in the Caribbean, the Sri Lankans may not be incisive enough with bat or ball.

    Everyone else has a chance, even the West Indies and India. As far as the Windies are concerned, anything is possible if Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul click. Admittedly, that sentence has been written a hundred times this past few years. Having omitted their ageing champions, the Indians will be fleeter of foot but might lack punch with the bat.

    And as for England's cosmopolitan collection, no nation has played half as much Twenty20 cricket as them. Australia's preparations have been affected by injury and Ricky Ponting's delayed departure. Apparently, Shane Watson has tweaked a muscle, Shaun Tait will be missed and Stuart Clark has only just arrived.

    In short, they are vulnerable. Not that any team containing Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist can be discounted. Who will prevail? When in doubt, back the workers and the Australians! What will it mean? Cricket will have three champion sides. But, like boxing, we all know it is the heavyweight division that really counts.

  2. #17
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    James Lawton: Twenty20 slogging may give us a vision of the future, but it certainly isn't cricket
    18th September 2007
    The Independent


    If ever you get into a debate about the sheer soul-numbing degradation of cricket that is currently being enacted under the pjyama-clad guise of World Twenty20, you might care to submit Exhibit A.

    It is a paragraph composed with splendid economy by a wire reporter in his account of Sri Lanka's massacre of Kenya in Johannesburg.

    Having described the ravaging of Kenya's bowlers by such as Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya, he wrote: "They were outdone by Jehan Mubarak, who hit five sixes and three fours to reach 46 from a dozen balls. One more boundary would have broken Mohammad Ashraful's record for the fastest half-century, but he missed the final delivery of the innings completely."

    Here, I believe, we have an impeccably accurate record of facts made utterly banal by their context.

    Twenty20 is not cricket. It does not have growth, that sublime building of skill and concentration and timing which makes the Test game so ultimately intriguing – nor much of the declining, but sometimes still visible, fundamental qualities of the game which are offered down the food chain until, as in the crudest making of an omelette, the eggs are smashed in the version which is now having imposed upon it, in another money-grubbing lunge, the dignity of a world title.

    In the process, cricket uses up its prime talent with the profligacy of a doomed punter chasing from one casino to another.

    Sure, cricket is picking up a new audience with its catch-penny offerings, but maybe it should reflect on the fact that you can squeeze the cantaloupe only until the pips start squeaking. Novelties are fine, but then that's what they are: short-lived and best found not in a sport which has a great tradition, and no doubt a challenge to compete in the modern cornucopia of televised sport, but in some trinket shop at the end of a pier.

    The point about the pummelling performance of Mubarak is that it ended in a stroke which would have brought s******s on the average village green – and posed the question, how many times can you roar and gasp before subsiding into a shrug? I was once chastised on a TV show by Britain's top boxing promoter, Frank Warren, for a failure of enthusiasm for the way Prince Naseem Hamed was being promoted. Dry ice, jiggling entrances and dances over the prone figures of grossly inadequate opponents, might not gladden the hearts of the old fight crowd, but we all had to remember that boxing was looking for a new audience.

    Yet we know that if boxing tomorrow produced a fight of genuine competition by two outstanding masters of their trade the world would be instantly fascinated. It remains as the great Muhammad Ali once said: "The whole world wants to know: who's gonna win, who's gonna win?"

    The dry ice and the stagey entrances didn't do Hamed, or boxing, much good, when he was finally ordered into the ring – by his American TV paymasters – against an opponent who was equipped to administer some of the old game's verities. Marco Antonio Barrera proved that the best of any sport doesn't have to be sold, but merely presented.

    The latest drama from Twenty20 is that England's Kevin Pietersen and South Africa's Shaun Pollock were involved in a sensational run-out controversy.

    Sensational? What is really sensational in a game built on the allure of a blacksmith's slog?

    Certainly, it is not the kind of slow-building drama that made cricket the compulsion of most sports lovers in this country deep into the start of a new Premiership season two years ago, when the Ashes were finally, and so tragically briefly, won back. Or the thunderous glory of the Ian Botham slog that emerged from within the disciplined limits of an unforgettable Ashes Test match at Headingley. Or the sublime Garfield Sobers smiting Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over. That last feat was a diamond which, when we saw it, we knew would glitter for ever. In Twenty20 it would probably have brought on not much more than a bout of flatulence.

    Streamline cricket by all means. Emphasise its allure. But do not destroy its fundamental quality. Do not heap upon us this trashy version which would have made Don Bradman and Denis Compton squirm, which insults all that is best about the game which we know can still, in its highest form, bring whole nations to the edges of their seats.

    Where Twenty20 brings us is to that novelty shop with the funny masks – and the stink bombs.

  3. #18
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    Action galore, but a game without soul
    Peter Roebuck
    September 8, 2007
    Sydney Morning Herald

    NO ONE in their right mind is going to take the forthcoming 20-overs extravaganza seriously. Fortunately, few sports followers show much sign of sanity. Apparently, some people go to bed miserable when their team loses.

    Anything less suited to solemnity than the sight of highly skilled cricketers whacking a ball about for 20 overs it is hard to imagine. Blink and it will be over. It is as far from Test cricket as were the antics of Ken Dodd from the grave pronunciations of Sir Laurence Olivier. Mr Dodd was a Liverpudlian comedian who took to the stage carrying a featherduster and with hair erupting from his scalp. When his thoughts turned to song he was generally accompanied by The Diddymen. Sir Laurence was otherwise inclined.

    Still, it has been described as a World Cup, and the players will consider it worth winning. Already this form of the game has taken hold in England, as cricket tried to turn back the rising tide of football. England has been the author of most of the game's drearier strategies and most of its attempts at resuscitation.

    After a fortnight of crash, bang and wallop, the tournament will produce its first champion. The 50-overs World Cup seemed interminable. Three matches are to be played most nights in three different cities, and television will cover the lot. Scores will rattle along, boundaries will be short, and the crowds will be agog. It is an odd game, cricket. The shorter it goes the more people like it.

    Doubtless the best team will prevail. A five-over match could be arranged and still the strongest would find a way to set themselves apart. Obviously, the minnows will be walloped. Scotland, Kenya and the Peter Chingoka XI (as Zimbabwe ought to be called) lack the firepower needed. Among the rest, South Africa has been disturbed by the sort of internal rumblings usually reserved for a cowboy picnic, the Pakistanis are at loggerheads (I have not actually checked, but it is generally the case) and Bangladesh lack exposure. Despite their showing in the Caribbean, the Sri Lankans may not be incisive enough with bat or ball.

    Everyone else has a chance, even the West Indies and India. As far as the Windies are concerned, anything is possible if Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul click. Admittedly, that sentence has been written a hundred times this past few years. Having omitted their ageing champions, the Indians will be fleeter of foot but might lack punch with the bat.

    And as for England's cosmopolitan collection, no nation has played half as much Twenty20 cricket as them. Australia's preparations have been affected by injury and Ricky Ponting's delayed departure. Apparently, Shane Watson has tweaked a muscle, Shaun Tait will be missed and Stuart Clark has only just arrived.

    In short, they are vulnerable. Not that any team containing Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist can be discounted. Who will prevail? When in doubt, back the workers and the Australians! What will it mean? Cricket will have three champion sides. But, like boxing, we all know it is the heavyweight division that really counts.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    James Lawton: Twenty20 slogging may give us a vision of the future, but it certainly isn't cricket
    18th September 2007
    The Independent


    If ever you get into a debate about the sheer soul-numbing degradation of cricket that is currently being enacted under the pjyama-clad guise of World Twenty20, you might care to submit Exhibit A.

    It is a paragraph composed with splendid economy by a wire reporter in his account of Sri Lanka's massacre of Kenya in Johannesburg.

    Having described the ravaging of Kenya's bowlers by such as Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya, he wrote: "They were outdone by Jehan Mubarak, who hit five sixes and three fours to reach 46 from a dozen balls. One more boundary would have broken Mohammad Ashraful's record for the fastest half-century, but he missed the final delivery of the innings completely."

    Here, I believe, we have an impeccably accurate record of facts made utterly banal by their context.

    Twenty20 is not cricket. It does not have growth, that sublime building of skill and concentration and timing which makes the Test game so ultimately intriguing – nor much of the declining, but sometimes still visible, fundamental qualities of the game which are offered down the food chain until, as in the crudest making of an omelette, the eggs are smashed in the version which is now having imposed upon it, in another money-grubbing lunge, the dignity of a world title.

    In the process, cricket uses up its prime talent with the profligacy of a doomed punter chasing from one casino to another.

    Sure, cricket is picking up a new audience with its catch-penny offerings, but maybe it should reflect on the fact that you can squeeze the cantaloupe only until the pips start squeaking. Novelties are fine, but then that's what they are: short-lived and best found not in a sport which has a great tradition, and no doubt a challenge to compete in the modern cornucopia of televised sport, but in some trinket shop at the end of a pier.

    The point about the pummelling performance of Mubarak is that it ended in a stroke which would have brought s******s on the average village green – and posed the question, how many times can you roar and gasp before subsiding into a shrug? I was once chastised on a TV show by Britain's top boxing promoter, Frank Warren, for a failure of enthusiasm for the way Prince Naseem Hamed was being promoted. Dry ice, jiggling entrances and dances over the prone figures of grossly inadequate opponents, might not gladden the hearts of the old fight crowd, but we all had to remember that boxing was looking for a new audience.

    Yet we know that if boxing tomorrow produced a fight of genuine competition by two outstanding masters of their trade the world would be instantly fascinated. It remains as the great Muhammad Ali once said: "The whole world wants to know: who's gonna win, who's gonna win?"

    The dry ice and the stagey entrances didn't do Hamed, or boxing, much good, when he was finally ordered into the ring – by his American TV paymasters – against an opponent who was equipped to administer some of the old game's verities. Marco Antonio Barrera proved that the best of any sport doesn't have to be sold, but merely presented.

    The latest drama from Twenty20 is that England's Kevin Pietersen and South Africa's Shaun Pollock were involved in a sensational run-out controversy.

    Sensational? What is really sensational in a game built on the allure of a blacksmith's slog?

    Certainly, it is not the kind of slow-building drama that made cricket the compulsion of most sports lovers in this country deep into the start of a new Premiership season two years ago, when the Ashes were finally, and so tragically briefly, won back. Or the thunderous glory of the Ian Botham slog that emerged from within the disciplined limits of an unforgettable Ashes Test match at Headingley. Or the sublime Garfield Sobers smiting Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over. That last feat was a diamond which, when we saw it, we knew would glitter for ever. In Twenty20 it would probably have brought on not much more than a bout of flatulence.

    Streamline cricket by all means. Emphasise its allure. But do not destroy its fundamental quality. Do not heap upon us this trashy version which would have made Don Bradman and Denis Compton squirm, which insults all that is best about the game which we know can still, in its highest form, bring whole nations to the edges of their seats.

    Where Twenty20 brings us is to that novelty shop with the funny masks – and the stink bombs.
    Member of the Twenty20 is Boring Society

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  5. #20
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    Scyld Berry
    Sunday Telegraph

    Excerpts :

    Twenty-over cricket is going international for three reasons. One is that everybody wants to cash in. Secondly, the timescale is ideal: a three-hour match can be fitted into a working day, whereas a day of Test or 50-over cricket cannot. Thirdly, the shorter the game, the more likely a close result.

    In the last World Cup, lasting two almost interminable months, only three games went to the final over - and a close finish, along with star players, is what spectators and TV audiences want to see. In Twenty20 internationals (and only 19 of them have been played so far) there has already been one tie and two victories by two runs.

  6. #21
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    NEW GAME OLD SKILLS
    Will Luke
    Cricinfo

    Excerpts :

    Look at Ramprakash build an innings in 50 overs as opposed to 20 and there are very few differences, other than his urgency at the crease. There is no substitute for class, which probably comes as a relief to the sceptics who muttered and moaned when Twenty20 first appeared that the format diluted cricket's essentials. Ramprakash's cricket - the cover drive; standing tall to cut past point; smiting down the ground - remains, essentially, the same. The myth that the new format requires inventive, crazy batsmanship is just that. Aggressive cricket need not be suicidal or ugly.


    Though England are beginning to show a one-day renaissance, their troubles (and in particular those of Michael Vaughan) in the past decade were perplexing. How can a batsman of Vaughan's talent in Tests appear so out of his depth in the shorter format? Vaughan averages 27.15 and, in 86 matches, is yet to reach three figures, which contradicts the Australian mantra that any Test cricketer should, by virtue of his ability, be more than capable of succeeding in one-dayers. Stuart Law, a Pom by marriage but an Australian at heart, is one such believer.

    "Not a truer word has been spoken," he says. "I remember talking to a guy in the club I played in when I was growing up, an ex-senior player, who said to me: 'One-day cricket is just an extension of two-day and four-day cricket, but it's an opportunity to express their talent and expand on what they normally do.' And it's so right. There's no secret formula; you can't wake up one morning and say, 'Right, time to put on my Twenty20 head.' It's cricket. If you can adapt quicker, sum up the conditions of the pitch as quickly as you can, then you can expand into what looks to be really aggressive cricket.

    "There's no real secret formula. In Twenty20 cricket you haven't got the time to play yourself in like you have in 50-over cricket. You've basically got to get out there and do it from ball one. I wouldn't say you change the way you play your game. It's about getting to that point where you think you can accelerate the run-rate as quickly as you possibly can."

    But let's face it. With lifeless pitches, an international schedule to make grown men weep and the continued shortening of boundaries, cricket is a batsman's game. The poor, puce-faced bowler doesn't have a hope in Twenty20s.

    "Every bowler hates Twenty20 cricket," Law says, with a hint of glee in his voice. "If a bowler says Twenty20's great, it's fantastic, 'I love it', they're kidding themselves ... as they watch their best deliveries sail over the fence at a regular interval. It's not much for any of them.

  7. #22
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    A matter of formats
    Ian Chappell


    Excerpts :
    'll bet the administrators wish they possessed a reliable crystal ball that would provide a glimpse of cricket's future. Especially when it comes to Twenty20, the shortest but suddenly most desirable form of the game.

    The fans can't get enough of Twenty20, the players are starting to embrace it, and private promoters are spending millions in the hope of cashing in on the popularity of the sport's latest entertainment craze. The question the administrators would love to have answered by that crystal ball is: "Does it have a long and viable future?" If they knew the answer to that question, they would know what approach to take in regard to the 50-over game.

    The traditional limited-overs game is a very valuable commodity; the showpiece World Cup drags in hundreds of millions of dollars in television rights and sponsorship money. In most countries it has underwritten Test cricket since the Kerry Packer-led revolution. However, though large crowds still attend and view the 50-over game, there is an increasing sense of disillusionment with the format, and words like "boring" and "repetitive" are regularly used to describe certain periods of the game.

    There is so much 50-over cricket played, and yet so few of these games are linked in a meaningful way, that players become stale and the games take on a repetitive air. The obvious answer is to have fewer meaningless games and more matches that are linked to a prestige tournament involving only the stronger nations.

    The limited-overs game has evolved in a haphazard fashion; a problem is perceived with cricket at large, and a new, shortened version of the game is immediately devised. There appears to be little thought given to how the different versions are integrated to form a viable and workable whole.

    All the different forms of limited-overs cricket serve to popularise and finance cricket, but the weakness in the system is the main commodity - the players. All forms of limited-overs cricket are at their most entertaining when the best players are performing. Therefore it is the internationals who bear the brunt of the workload. And it is the nature of the game that the shorter the duration, the more the limitations of a player are exposed.


    The Full article

  8. #23
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    Hmmm, SJS, I think that what the thread is about is those who are actually playing the game; rather than ex-players who haven't ever actually partaken in a game of Twenty20.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    Hmmm, SJS, I think that what the thread is about is those who are actually playing the game; rather than ex-players who haven't ever actually partaken in a game of Twenty20.
    One would think so..

    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    James Lawton: Twenty20 slogging may give us a vision of the future, but it certainly isn't cricket
    18th September 2007
    The Independent
    Or the sublime Garfield Sobers smiting Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over. That last feat was a diamond which, when we saw it, we knew would glitter for ever. In Twenty20 it would probably have brought on not much more than a bout of flatulence.[/INDENT][/I]
    As impressive as Sobers effort was it was still done against a left arm quick who was bowling spin for one of the only times in his career. Hardly 'normal' circumstances.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there is bound to be edits

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  10. #25
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    Louts threaten to gatecrash Twenty20 party

    By Derek Pringle
    The Telegraph

    Twenty20 cricket is upon us again. In its fifth year, this attenuated form of the game is proving as popular as ever with some administrators claiming it to be the summer football. But you have to be careful for what you wish when chasing the widest possible audience, and following shameful events at Southgate on Monday night, you might be forgiven for thinking it comes with yob culture attached.

    Southgate is a club ground situated in a leafy part of north London. In an effort to take cricket away from Lord's and around the county, Middlesex play several games there a season. Two days ago, they hosted Hampshire and won a rain-reduced Twenty20 match by five runs. A thrilling game you might think, but what happened off the field - with Hampshire players abused by the crowd and the Middlesex dressing room ransacked of wallets - ought to cause deep concern, especially after Hampshire's captain Nic Pothas, claimed the crowd's taunts were not unusual.

    The Hampshire team bus had a window broken, but this happened when it was empty and from a stone thought to have been thrown from outside the ground. Not, as has been implied in some reports, because the Hampshire players refused to sign autographs. The visitors did reject requests for signatures, but as Pothas later explained, only because the level and content of abuse had exceeded acceptable limits.

    "We are big boys," Pothas said. "If people take the mickey out of you or comment about the way you look, that's happy days. But if people talk about what they want to do to your mother and it starts going to a more personal level then we have to take a stand. If you do that to us, then we won't sign autographs for your kids."

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Middlesex chief executive Vinny Codrington reckons the crowd's behaviour was fine. "I don't think the level of abuse was bad," he said. "I did not hear of a single incident of misbehaviour during the course of the evening, not one. None of the stewards reported any incident, and Hampshire made no complaints."

    Cricket, despite its genteel image of bucolic charm, is not immune from oiks, so we are not talking about the end of innocence here. But part of Twenty20's mission statement was to attract a new audience and many reckon that, along with the rise in the number of women and children at matches, there is a growing boorish element.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    Hmmm, SJS, I think that what the thread is about is those who are actually playing the game; rather than ex-players who haven't ever actually partaken in a game of Twenty20.
    I know but I am finding it difficult to locate quotes by current cricketers so I am just putting those that I am coming across. Hope there will be more from current players along the way

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    James Lawton: Twenty20 slogging may give us a vision of the future, but it certainly isn't cricket
    18th September 2007
    The Independent

    ....
    Where Twenty20 brings us is to that novelty shop with the funny masks – and the stink bombs.[/INDENT][/I]
    That's freakin' awesome!
    Last edited by Matt79; 19-09-2007 at 06:41 AM. Reason: I cut down the article so as not to take up the whole page
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  13. #28
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    BRIAN LARA

    DUBAI, July 21: West Indies skipper Brian Lara says he is not fascinated by the Twenty20 version of cricket because it does not test the ability of a player but agrees the new format has spectator value.

    "Test cricket is my game. It is a game I really love to play. Before being asked to captain the team for the third time, I tried to guide my career in the direction of playing more Test cricket and less one-day games," Lara, the leading scorer in Tests, said.

    "I don't think it (Twenty20) tests the ability of players like Tests do. But it is good for the crowd. You are playing a sport, and sport is all about spectators," Lara was quoted as saying by the 'Khaleej Times'.

    Lara, who is in Dubai to appear on the Chevrolet Cricket Show while the Stanford Twenty20 Tournament is underway in West Indies, also said "it is necessary to produce results in Tests to keep interest in the game alive".

  14. #29
    A lot of Aussies mouthing off about something they don't have a clue about so far.

    I'm be more interested in the Aussies who've been here and playing Twenty20, such as the bit from Stuart Law.
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  15. #30
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    Same lame rejoinder from you as well. Lara, Roebuck, and Atherton are Australian?

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