London: Oct 14, 2011
Journalist Mile Coward, who has been covering cricket for approximately 40 years, said the rise of T20 is destroying cricket. Coward was present to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1960-61 West Indies tour of Australia which was Sir Frank Worrell's first tour as captain.
“The game is in a revolution not an evolution. I have great concerns with the sport. I feel T20 is monopolising the composition of cricket and the traditional values of the game has been undermined,” he said.
Though he acknowledged the commercial gain T20 provides, Coward felt the players and the public must recognise that it is from Test cricket that the shorter versions were born.
He noted that the authorities need to strike the right balance between the Test cricket and the limited overs cricket.
“We need administrators prepared to take a stand to strike the appropriate balance between the different versions...There is definitely too much cricket being played,” he added.
Coward lamented the fact that Twenty20 matches are all sold out very quickly while in contrast Test matches attract spectators in the mere hundreds.
According to Coward Twenty20 cricket cannot be the benchmark of the “gentleman’s game”.
“I can’t think the game can be sustained by the abbreviated format. Does it have a history, a culture, any romance or literature? How can Twenty20 cricket maintain the sport,” he argued.
“When you have a bowler bowling for just four overs or a batsman batting for half an hour...How is that going to give you literature. Can we remember the world champions?” he asked.