Lillee hails IPL and Twenty20 as a ‘fantastic concept’

April 17th, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Some greats have dubbed Twenty20 and Indian Premier League (IPL) as a joke in the name of cricket. But legendry Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee is in a different league and has hailed the shortest and richest version of the game as a “fantastic concept.” In the city as the cricket advisor for Delhi Daredevils, the 58-year-old got down to business immediately and gave tips to pace bowlers Glenn McGrath, Brett Geeves and Delhi youngster Pradeep Sangwan at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium.

“IPL and Twenty20 cricket for me is a fantastic concept. Twenty20 is a marketable prospect in the cricket and with it’s time frame which matches sports like football, hockey and basketball, it can appeal to countries that don’t usually follow cricket,” said Lillee.

“In any sport, as new events come along it helps in the evolution of the game and the same is true to cricket. We had the chucking controversies in the 60s, the Bodyline series before that and then World Series Cricket — all of which has helped in the evolution of the game,” he added.

Lillee also revealed that he was one of the first to introduce the newest version of the game in Australia.

“A few years back in my capacity as the President of Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA), I organised the first Twenty20 match between West Australia and Victoria. At that time, this format of the game didn’t have the approval of Cricket Australia, but once 25 to 26,000 people turned up for the game, they couldn’t ignore it anymore,” he said.

On the issue of sledging, Lillee said: “There shouldn’t be a complete curb on sledging. It should depend on the degree of sledging and should be up to the captain, coach and umpires to curb it.”

The Australian, who has been heading the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai for more than a decade now, raised some concerns about bowler’s burnout in this league.

“There is indeed a lot of travelling involved in the tournament but the coaches will have to device a plan to rotate the bowlers effectively. The best coaches will device their plans early in the tournament,” he said.

Lillee will be with the Daredevils team for the first few matches in IPL and will again join the team if it qualifies for the semi-finals.

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