Crio’s Question: Is T20 good for the game?

“T20 is good for the game.”

Repeated endlessly is becomes a truism. Given.

T20 is a hit.

I’ve not bothered to turn it on but the concept is obviously a ratings bonanza with tremendous broad appeal.

Its merits can be discussed at another time.

But I wonder about the seemingly unquestioned certitude that this concept will generate a surge of interest and participation in other forms of cricket.

“Good for the game”!

What game?


  1. T20 is a type of cricket that was always going to happen. Going the tonk is part of cricket’s dna, from backyard cricket to indoor cricket to beach cricket. T20 is the fan’s game. It’s the game that mirror’s the spectator’s experience of the game and their base desire. Whether it’s good for the game or not is almost a secondary question. My 12 year old loves it, Im bored to tears … until the final few overs!

  2. Good question – the idea that T20 exists predominantly as an introduction to test cricket is patronising and absurd in equal measure. It is and will continue to be the first point of contact with all forms of cricket for children (my 6 year old is excited about his Strikers clinic next week) but a ‘progression’ beyond that is not natural nor assured.

  3. Is T20 even cricket ?

  4. I can’t say that T20 is my cup of tea, but it is a long way from backyard swing and slog. I find some of the tactics in it intriguing. The unexpected value of spin deceiving hitters with flight and turn. Brad Hogg gets a third cricket life greater than his other 2.
    I saw a Scorcher’s medium pacer called Tye yesterday bowling a variety of knuckleballs like a Tommy John pitcher.
    Breathtakingly skilful and clever. And the fielding is spectacular. I am not sure what the place of T20 is – but it is appealing at a lot of levels – and I suspect it will teach a lot of skills that have been undervalued in the longer form.

  5. Mark Duffett says

    It’s only one data point, but my 9 year old daughter is well down the road from T20 to Test appreciation. Given her mother’s predilections, I’d never have thought it possible. Though it pains me to say it…all hail T20.

  6. I like it better than the Tests because it’s played in better spirit.

    I like the intensity.

    And I’m a cricketing traditionalist turned off by the way many of those at the “highest” level play our game with send offs and abuse and a lack of respect for opponents and the game. I’ve watched almost every 20-20 and about 20 minutes of the last Test.

    PS: Do you think Mitchell Starc now has the respect of S Warne following his d-head act in India’s first innings?

  7. It probably doesn’t matter what a bunch of mostly middle aged men think! Crowds have spoken by turning up in bigger numbers than for some days of test matches. My daughter went with some friends and liked it where previously she hated cricket and did not even try to understand it. The value will come if children get involved and are then taught skills, it’s still skilful to belt a ball over the fence several times just different from a beautiful cover drive. I remember a similar debate back in the 70s about the 50 over game.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    If T20 is the gateway to Test Cricket then presumably the sponsors’ product is the gateway to a healthy eating lifestyle.

  9. T20 is no more cricket than baseball is cricket. This constant linking of T20 to Test cricket is not warranted. It is a different game played to a different audience, with different rules (in part), different conditions, and a different type of player.

    This is not to say that I think its awful (though I don’t watch it), I simply think it is not the same sport.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    valid question. Sometimes it captures my attention, but I can switch off easily. Kids I know feel the same; just another form of ephemeral sporting entertainment that you can take or leave depending on the mood and the moment.

  11. I don’t mind T20. It is novel, and refects our contemporary society, providing immediate gratification. However the concept of franchises leaves me cold. not suprised, but not impressed. What is the problem with state based teams???

    By the bye, Les, what was Mitchell Starc’s d-head action in the final test? I saw a good deal of the match, but unfortunately i missed that part. so can you please update us on that ?


  12. I’m not questioning whether or not T20 is good…that’s a bigger argument and one that mostly reflects your position on cricket in general.
    My Q was about the declaration that T20 would prove a pathway/panacea for the longer forms. I don’t know the answer but I was pretty sure it wasn’t just an easy transition for the marketers to complete.

    (Glen, Starc tried to be “in your face”. It was pithy)

  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    I am likewise a bit each way and definitely prefer state sides to franchises . Whether it is good for the game if I had told you 5 years ago you would get , 40, 000 to a domestic game of cricket in , Adelaide you would lave locked me up . Like PB I have warmed to the tactics of the game and these like the slower bouncer are flowing thru . Whether it grabs people for the long term and appreciate the nuances of test cricket we wait and see . Good question , Crio

  14. Steve Fahey says

    Great topic and discussion.

    T20 is not my cup of tea but is good TV filler at this time of the year. I know the format is relatively new, but how many T20 matches stick strongly in your memory, if at all ?They are just like the fast food meals that put them on our screens -fun at the time and immediately forgotten and/or replaced by something else.

    I agree that the fielding skills are spectacular and that some of the other skills are impressive, e.g. slower ball bouncers and a wide variety of changes of pace. It was interesting to note that we saw little of these varieties in the recent Test series until well into the Sydney Test, despite the flat and slow pitches throughout.

    My main issues with the format are:
    (1) that many of the games are over as a contest very early in the piece -including last night’s match between the bottom two teams and the Strikers/Stars game which was over after the Strikers had belted the ball all over the park for about 5 overs chasing a moderate total
    (2) the franchise-based format -the old state-based format with international guests was far more inviting to feel loyalty towards a team. Additionally, I reckon, without any firm evidence, that franchise-based formats are far more likely to produce match-fixing, as who/what are you playing for ?

    As to whether T20 leads to longer forms – it provides money to the game which MAY support longer forms, especially the first-class Test feeder competitions such as our Sheffield Shield. For players, it MAY, but there is a lot of difference in the skill sets required, albeit a reasonable amount of intersection in the Venn diagram. And as for spectators, it MAY, but I think their target/core audiences are quite different and a quite small minority of T20 aficiniados are likely to be interested in longer form cricket. And that, in a nutshell, is why it exists – to broaden cricket’s fan, and therefore revenue, base.

  15. kath presdee says

    It is good for the game in that it’s re-opened my son’s eyes to watching cricket. He’s quite happy to watch as much of the T-20 as he can before going to bed and he is looking forward to going to his first T-20 game on Saturday.

    But I don’t know if it’s good for the game in that bowlers are only being bowled in very short bursts. Does it have an impact on their ability to bowl in the longer form? Does it impact on their stamina? Does it increase the likelihood of injuries?

    I don’t know if the franchise model makes it better for the game. Why do I need to pick between Thunder over Sixers? Why is Thunder nominally my team because I live west of wherever the “western Sydney” line is placed? Why can’t I go for the Blues?

    And boring T-20 is just as bad for the game (if not worse) than boring long form. At least with the long form you can see strategy, or at least excuse the lack of impetus to have everything over by tea. When the aim of the game is to either score a lot of runs or get the wickets as quickly as possible, failure to do either is not good.

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