Convincing as Twenty20 cricket has become, it would be dangerous for the game at large to lose sight of the attraction and advantages that are still clear in 50-over cricket. It was once unimaginable to say it but the options, subtleties and basic requirements of technique and tenacity in the 50-over format seem rather appealing. The players have to make choices and we see more of their character because of this.
They dictate the play more than is possible in Twenty20, which basically does the dictating itself because it is so short. The sooner that 50-over cricket is put on an elite pedestal, with a shorter, more meaningful World Cup as its showpiece, the sooner Twenty20 can become the game's sole vehicle for unconditional globalisation.
Twenty20 is exciting because it is condensed. It is the natural heir to the 40-over cricket that quickly established itself in the late Sixties as the "new black" – hip, fast, accessible and satisfying. Previously unseen audiences were as seduced then as they are now. Forty years on, it is obvious to everyone except the people who run the game in England day-to-day, that the 40-over format is a white elephant. In fact, it is more dangerous than that. It is an energy sapper, an injury-sucker and a diversion from the accepted formats that are played everywhere else in the world.
And all for a few bob more. By heaven, how money plays havoc with the thinking of those in power. One day, when many have passed on and the rest are in slippers, it will be crystal clear that English cricket suffered at the hands of greed. For now, we go blindly on, pursuing everything and anything at the expense of our best players – by that I mean that Andrew Flintoff is physically knackered and Kevin Pietersen mentally knackered – at a time when the national team have an opportunity to be rather good.
Source : The Telegraph