Big Up Bashes Won’t Break The Mould

The many criticisms of the IPL have recently pailed into insignificance by the shoddy show of the Caribbean T20 league, Australia’s bleak ‘Big Bash’ T20 and the impending implosion of the Bangladeshi Premier League.

As every proper cricket fan knows as fact, the IPL is based on a horrendous format which basically sees a handful of internationals stars like KP and Chris Gayle dressed in godawful tinfoil costumes cart mediocre Indian medium pace trundlers over short boundaries, sponsored by Bingo666, with a standard of fielding which makes my eyes bleed.

The Caribbean version got off to a suitably shit start when rain prevented a result in the opening game between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. Judging by the fare on offer elsewhere since, Mother Nature did the sell out crowd a favour. Poor fielding, terrible pitches, an abominable competition which came 10 years after everyone elses. Although at least it has started, unlike the innovatively named ‘BPL’ which has seen the IPL’s issues with contract disputes and decided to magnify them tenfold, with players such as Alex Hales withdrawing as the grand total of ZERO of the international players lined up to take part in the competition have yet been given a contract – just a week or so before it begins!

The ‘Big Bash’ League managed to take one of the best things about Australian domestic cricket, the saturation of talent, and ruined it by doubling up in both Sydney and Melbourne. Quite why they didn’t contemplate involving a NZ side or two instead is baffling to an outsider. It did at least have international novelty stars like the once again excellent Muttiah Muralitharan once again outperforming Shane Warne. To be fair, Warney provided one of the few highlights of the tournament to date, throwing a ball at Marlon Samuels (who responded by flinging his bat nowhere in particular) and dropping the ‘F’ bomb live on air. It was cringeworthily car-crash TV; more Big Brother than Big Bash.

When considered, the spread and then decline of T20 is unsurprising. As a novelty sport, it was actually fantastic. Crowds sold out, it was great to see some innovation in technique, and opened up avenues for mediocre players like Graham Napier to get shout-outs in what was supposed to be a serious cricket blog. Once you get past the tinfoil though, things are less shiny. Even IPL viewing figures are down, and for decent reason. Seeing a six hit isn’t really that exciting when it happens all the time, the innovations have dried up, and cricket is still the same rather unpopular sport as it always has been, even if you squash it into a 3 hour window for those with lower concentration spans.

The talk of Test cricket dying is vastly exaggerated. We should really be worried about the health of global T20. Well, not worried exactly – Cricket will always be cricket; and so what if the hoi polloi don’t watch or even ‘get’ it?!

Chris Gayle heaving across the line and hitting the ball over a short boundary is, quite frankly, boring

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About wrongunatlongon

I'll muse on various subjects, mainly involving willow, leather and grass. My natural instincts is to heap as many compound adjectives as I can to sporting natterings. If you like, then feel free to link :)
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8 Responses to Big Up Bashes Won’t Break The Mould

  1. Alex Britten says:

    Good post – though I feel that t20 will not disappear for a long time, sadly enough. I think that the BBL is probably the best t20 league, if there has to be one. It’s innovative (for t20 leagues), fun, and doesn’t interfere with the English season. Also, it isn’t run by Lalit Modi, therefore I don’t immediately assume, probably rightly, that every game is fixed…

  2. Yup, if I had to pick one then the BBL would probably be the best of the generally sorry bunch. Just the standard of fielding of your average mediocre Aussie is a lot higher than the standard of fielding of the average mediocre Indian, so it all feels a bit sharper. I also think that the County tournament is pretty underrated, if they could sort out the format. I don’t necessarily want t20 to disappear, it has a place somewhere (English T20 finals day is excellent for instance, as is the World Cup). It just needs to be scaled back and put in a format which works. Like ODIs really, two team series playing each other 3 times are dull and meaningless.

  3. Alex Britten says:

    I do see a future for t20 yes – perhaps I was being a bit severe when I said I wanted it to go away. Exactly though, it’s a tough balancing act. What I will never see the point of and will forever irritate me is seeing a 2 Test series, followed by 7 ODIs and 3 T20s. I understand that ODIs and T20s are big money spinners but come on… Overkill. Short term gain is not the best option!

  4. kirbyakasid says:

    For someone who has been critical of over blown, money-spinning T20 tournaments – and the IPL in particular – the big bash league has surprised me by being a bit enjoyable this year. I still think it is a bit ofer the top and all the Shane Warne business has been ridiculous (what the hell happened when his side played Perth Scorchers? Do we now manipulate the D/L rules – which don’t really work in T20 anyway – to suit Warne because he IS Warne?), but I guess if I can sit back and not take it too seriously, it’s ok.

  5. kirbyakasid says:

    “ofer” the top?? It’s 8am here and cold. My fingers are asleep … 🙂

    • Yup, it IS absurdly cold where I am too – I’ll let you off. The BBL is the better of the tournaments and still has a bit of a novelty factor… give it a couple of years and they’ll be worried about declining attendances and Warney’s neck will be even scarier looking.

  6. Literally agree with everything here, twenty20 was a brilliant concept when we invented it. The Indian’s took it to a new level. Then the rest of the world proceeded to ruin it. 20/20 ‘globe trotters’ are people looking for fame and fortune who are no longer, or were never good enough for the full international side. I’d prefer to watch a day of England batting out for a draw against New Zealand than Shane Warne attempting to re-find his greatness against Owais Shah.

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