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By Monty Python

Cricket, once known as the gentleman's game, has long adorned the pajamas and the coloured kit razzmatazz in the name of one day cricket. When one day games were first made official by the ICC, the puritans had cast their angry looks, saying that cricket is losing its blue blood. But it wasn't far when the One day internationals became the most celebrated form of the sport. Really, who wants to wait and watch a game for over five days just to know that there was a draw? The fans wanted something quick, and they got ODI. But in this fast paced world, even a game played throughout a whole day is considered boredom, so enters the latest form of cricket, known as twenty20.

Those of you who are reading this article, by now already know what this twenty20 format is. In short, it is a very very shortened version of the game we call “cricket”! Well, that is because, shortening the length of the game has changed the way cricket is played and known to be played in the last couple of centuries. If test cricket has taught us about the value of patience, and one day cricket about the importance of cunning and stratagem in a cricket field, twenty20 has taught us that above all else might is right. The team which can hack and slash on the given day will be the definite winner. It also taught us that bowlers do not win matches as it is quite difficult to get all 10 wickets in a 20 over game. Rather that they are just silly excuses to hit the ball out of the park if you are a good bowler, than getting dot balls are all that is expected of you, forget wickets. And finally, that there can be a concept of tie breaker in a game of cricket too.

No matter what the pundits say about twenty20, one thing is certain, the cricket has never looked so gloriously uncertain before in any formats of the game. The proof of this lies in the fact that Bangladesh has comprehensively beat the mighty West Indies in their first game. Even before going in their second match against South Africa, the commentators are oddly in favour of Bangladesh causing an upset against South Africa too. And what of Australia? The mightiest side ever to exist in the world in both test and one day, humbled by paltry Zimbabwe! Australia's depth and ability to turn to match around with one Andrew Symonds (the batsman to hit the largest number of sixes in ODI) even in the last 5 over of a 50 over game will be of no use to them, why it is only a 20 over a side game.

What about the audiences? Well twenty20 promises to be an extravaganza created only and only with the audiences in mind. I really liked the Indian promo to twenty20 which says who wants to wait four years for a world cup, I want it now. And who wants to wait a whole day in stadium to watch 22 players, we want more and more is what we got. Due to the small format, there is now the provision 2 matches to be played in the same venue. And what about the pitch? All the commotion about the changing nature of pitch that has always eluded the audiences doesn't matter any more. The spectators do no want to know the pitch and the weather and the toss and all that. They want to watch sixes after six. Batsmen going straight down the wicket for a straight six over the head, or the innovation Ashraful, doing the Ashraful sweep for a six down the leg side.

Well the twenty20 world cup is here, and hope that its here to stay. SO far it has created one hell of a match between India and Pakistan (the tie match). If you forget the fiasco that is bowl out, this match rivals the best of One Day matches with over 400 runs each team. According to Ray Mali, the president of ICC, twenty20 is the cricket of the future. To the future generation, to every one out of ten cricketers, this is what cricket will mean. And of course with the amount of cash that is flowing in, why not? So three cheers for twenty20 cricket, Hip! Hip! Hurray!!!


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