T20 + tests = the future

Just finished watching a brilliant T20 game, Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers, which Sydney won by the closest margin possible, 1 run . Amazing, nail-biting, edge of your seat stuff. As it turned out, Perth actually needed 168 to guarantee top spot on the ladder, and a home final in 1st position this Saturday at the WACA, against whoever ends up being 4th. Chasing 177 to win, they managed 175 so fell by 1, but 168 was actually enough, and they got there. Top spot. Good on yer Scorchers!

So off to the WACA this Saturday, it will be a sell out, and what a game that will be. Win it and we get a home grand final the week after.

T20 started in England ten years ago. Cricket (for those of you not from these parts) is a weird game played over 5 days at the ultimate international level (Test cricket), or 50 overs a side (One Day Internationals, or ODIs) and then T20 (20 overs a side) – which was created to get families and youth back to the game. The games last only 3 hours from start to finish, you’re guaranteed a result (a tied game and you get to bowl one more over each), and games can start at 6pm, are played in the cool of a summer evening, and people can come after work. We bring our 2 kids and they love the atmosphere, the WACA ground is packed, Mexican waves, flames (yes, flames), a smack and hit em game. Initially, the Aussies rather pooh poohed T20, probably cos it was a Pommie invention, but this year they’ve taken to it professionally with eight all new franchises, new names, and it’s been a rip roaring success. Each home game has been a sell out at the WACA.

I’m a cricket nut, a traditionalist, I’ve played a lot; but I won’t sit and watch a test match for more than a session. I won’t watch a whole one day game either. But the T20 is perfect. Test cricket ebbs and flows and can be as exciting as anything. 50 over game bores me to tears. It will die. T20, and tests = the future. And that’s fine by me.

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