Defending Twenty20 and meAt today's BC quiz, I was accused of looking down upon the Twenty20 form, which is contrary to my stated position. So I use this, my blog, to set the record straight and remove this horrid blot from my name, so that at least the three men and Montmorency reading these words will know my story. This, my friends, is my story.
I like the format - it makes eminent sense, especially given the miasmic pits of boredom that the 50-over game has unfortunately fallen into. The best batting display of this year's ODI season actually came in a 20-20 match - Adam Gilchrist's astonishing, I-was-privileged-to-watch-that-live(on TV) innings in the World Cup Final. Here is a format that unabashedly promotes the excitement that a cricket match can generate, trying to leave the middleman (i.e. the overs from 15 to 40) out. There's none of the defensiveness that the middle format has laden cricket promoters with.
And contrary to fears, it has not all been a slogathon. In fact, I'm more tired of 50-over slogathons such as that 400+ chase and some of the matches in the subcontinent - there you watch it for 100 overs. In contrast, here, the hitting ends in a compact 3 hours. Additionally, the success of two of the least experienced sides in this format in the Twenty20 tournament has been due to their all-round games. Otherwise, you would have had South Africa and West Indies in the finals. The creators of the format, New Zealand and the Englishmen, have not quite distinguished themselves. The Englishmen have been a right bunch of nincompoops, actually.
It's a pity that the final will be played at The Wanderers, which more than any other ground in the world, has aided the slam-bang-wallop nature of the shorter formats. Durban or Capetown have seen more wholesome matches, the kind which even the pundits can enjoy if they only opened their eyes a little wider. Some of the cricket writing has been disappointing, with media men shaking their heads at proceedings, saying it's not the game we know and that a cricket match must have the time to showcase its nuances and strategies. That's still possible, sirs, but in a Test match. As I wrote before, the T20 format will possibly strengthen the Test format at the detriment of the ODI form, as the contrast is sharper and you can get a bit of both worlds in them, but separately. All of this until we someday perhaps tire even of this!
At any rate, the main reason for not watching the India-Aus semi completely was because I had a headache. Surely, this is a valid excuse with most love affairs :-)
Oh, and that other bit. This is not a World Cup. It cannot be 1983, 'cause it's not a World Cup. The ICC don't call it so, that's why. I don't see why it should not have been a World Cup, but then it just isn't. Recall the World Championship of Cricket in 1985, which India won beating Pakistan in the final. That wasn't a World Cup too. (But as a friend remarked, it will be one, like it or not, if India wins!)
Why is it a peeve? Because, like "2000 is the millenium", pedantry is sometimes important. Just because 95% of the world says X is Y, it doesn't have to be, especially if it's the media who, blindly or otherwise, fuel it. Being a quizzer, one learns to respect facts.