Twenty20 cricket is serious stuff, says Lillee

April 24th, 2008 - 7:58 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Twenty20 cricket has some critics, but it also has an unlikely supporter in legendry Australian fast bowler Dennis Lille. The 58-year-old from Perth, mentor of Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL), feels players play the shortest version of the game for the pride of their team and doesn’t see any reason why Twenty20 should be seen as only entertainment and showmanship.

“Twenty20 is serious stuff like any other version of the game. Guys play for the pride of the team and their country. So it would be unfair to say that it is just entertainment,” Lillee told reporters at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium here Thursday.

Asked, whether the absence of temperamental Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has robbed the IPL much of its shine, Lillee’s reply was like his yorker.

“One person doesn’t make a tournament. But obviously he is a bowler, who can pull crowd. But again Twenty20 is not all about showmanship or entertainment, it has also some serious elements in it,” he said.

Lillee’s spoke from his heart as he has always been a staunch Twenty20 supporter . He was among the first to embrace Twenty20 in Australia when even Cricket Australia was not serious about it. He did it in his capacity as chairman of the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA), taking the initiative to organize the first ever Twenty20 match between Western Australia and Victoria.

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