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T20 CRICKET WILL BE REDUCED TO THE FARCICAL LEVEL OF WORLD WRESTLING

ggRayhan Ahmed Topader :

India is the home of Twenty20 cricket. Interestingly, theirs was a reluctant journey because they initially shied away for fear of it having a negative impact on television earnings. How ridiculous that seems now.

The introduction of the Indian Premier League set the tone for Twenty 20.At best colourful, enter- taining and a serious money-spinner, at worst tacky, wildly exaggerated and corrupt-whatever your stance, every ball is an event and feels more significant than the previous delivery.That is the nature of the game, and the IPL style of its coverage, with loud, hyperbolic commentary, has become the soundtrack to T20.

At last week’s World cup, even the International Cricket Council-the world governing body and the guardian of the game-was guilty of ‘sexing up’

passage of play to make its event sound more irresistible.A Yorker is a dramatic delivery that often bowls a batsman after passing under his bat.A full toss is far less creditable, and if it bowls a batsman it’s probably down to his basic error.

                     “IF WE ARE NOT

                   CAREFUL,T20 WILL

                 BE REDUCED TO THE

                  FARCICAL LEVEL OF

                  WORLD WRESTLING”

So when the West Indies’ Cris Gayle, one of the most destructive players in the world,missed a full toss and was bowled by the Indian Jasprit Bumrah in their crucial semi-final, it was clearly a defining moment.And one far too significant to have been merely batsman error. So along with the TV commentators, even the ICC chose to peddle the line that this was a devastating Yorker-the ball of the tournament, even. Nonsense !

Of course some people will say it doesn’t matter-that the cricket is only entertainment and in T20 anything goes.I can’t agree.A viewer, and parti- cularly a listener, has to trust the commentator-we are your eyes and ears.We can make mistakes, yes but they should be corrected in the interests of accuracy.Why must every catch be better than the last,or every six be struck further than the previous one just because it’s T20 ?

May be there is some pressure from the broad -caster on the commentators to get down with the kids because if they don’t sound madly excited by every ball, the match might come across as boring. But you know what ? Raw tension is still best conveyed over the airwaves in measured tones and carefully chosen words.If we’re not careful,Twenty 20 cricket will be reduced to the Farcical level of world wrestling.

                                   Rayhan Ahmed Topader

                                   raihan567@yahoo.co.uk