Cricket world ponders over IPL revolution

February 21st, 2008 - 5:20 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Feb 21 (IANS) After the Indian Premier League auction bazaar set the cash registers ringing, the question uppermost in the minds of cricketers and the game’s administrators world over is about the ramifications of the Twenty20 revolution with the advent of IPL. Answering the question posed by the Herald Sun, Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels that there are some programming issues the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the national boards have to look into, maybe carving out a window each year for IPL so that it does not clash with national duties.

“Unless some time is given up, we might start losing the 33- and 34-year-old players from international cricket. Particularly, if they have families and they are getting a bit sick and tired of the travel a cricketer has to do,” Ponting said.

“If a guy is approaching the end of his international career anyway, and being able to play 44 days and stay in one form of the game, I am sure it’s very attractive.”

Former Test batsman Darren Lehman, who is also the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) president, said it is about working out time in between the international schedule, but the exciting thing is that IPL is going to make the game better.

“Players can now play shots they were never able to play and field the ball like never before and bowl much better as well. And the crowd loves it,” Lehman said.

“You only have to look back 12 months ago when Queensland had a lockout, I think there were 28,000 fans for a game of Twenty20. T20 is not a threat to the game. It is good for the game, and for the boards, it is good for the sponsors and for the fans.

Former England seamer and now a columnist Angus Fraser said England takes cricket too seriously and that has to be changed for the better. “I reckon Australia has got it right by sending out players with microphones and having a bit of fun. Unfortunately in England, we take it too seriously.”

Legendary Australian batsman Doug Walters sees similarities between the start of the World Series Cricket and the IPL because they are all connected to the television rights. “Soon there may not only be one or two Twenty20 competitions going in India, there may be as many as three or four.”

“I’m not too sure about the Twenty20 game itself. There is a place for it because the crowds have proved that. I just wouldn’t like us to turn Twenty20 into an overkill. I think 50-over cricket can be a very boring format of cricket now. I’ve always believed that 50 overs is far too long.”

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