Cricket is more like a traditional game. It was invented by British in the 18th century and today it is the main sports where ever the British ruled. For example, cricket is more like a religion in India. For Australians, English, South Africa and New Zealand it’s more like about honor and dignity. In other Asian countries, it’s part of the culture now, it brings the people together.
There was a time when a bowler was allowed to bowl more than two short-pitched deliveries. Hats off to those men who faced those fastballs, helmets were not as protective as they are now. In fact, until 1970, batsmen didn’t prefer to wear the helmets either. Sir Vivian Richards is said to be the bravest batsman the history has ever seen since he never wore a helmet while batting. Richards literally used to peel off the bowlers. But with the time, safety became the first priority and therefore, restrictions were introduced. Every decade produced a slightly different cricket than the previous ones. But the charm of cricket never changed and that is the most beautiful thing about this game.
Years passed by and the fear of the death of test cricket kept on growing that whether the modern generation of cricket fans would wait for 5 days to see the final result. Then the T20 format of the game. It’s been almost 15 years since T20 cricket happened and still, people think it will or can overcome test cricket. Well, it hasn’t nor it ever will. Test cricket is completely different and if you can understand and read cricket, you will certainly enjoy test cricket than any other format.
There might be empty stands in few Asian cricketing nation in test matches but on the same side people in England, Australia, India, New Zealand and India attend test matches in big numbers. We can’t deny the fact that if a person doesn’t attend the match in a stadium, he will definitely watch it on TV. Channels and cricketing bodies have been generating a big amount annually through sponsors. Cricket’s nature will always remain the same, no matter what the era or the mindsets are, test cricket will be alive.
Every fifth year there’s a cricket world cup which introduces the fans to new things. New technology being used in cricket. But ICC has been changing the format of ICC World Cup. The next World Cup will have a completely different format where 10 teams will compete against each other and the top four will proceed to the semi-finals. ICC wants cricket to be promoted globally but on the other side, they want to reduce the number of teams to 10 from 14. People have been hoping for a cricket world cup with more than 14 teams but there’s no visible future regarding that. But cricket might be a part of Olympics if the governing cricketing bodies agree with the idea. It would involve more than 14 or 10 cricket teams and that will give cricket a popularity where it isn’t popular.
With the introduction of two more nations in the test cricket family, the scope of cricket grows. Ireland getting ICC’s full member status is said to be a motivation for other European cricketing nation like Scotland and Netherlands, who are the only hope of making cricket a much competitive game in Europe. Addition of Scotland and Netherlands might just be the birth of rivalries in Europe. Netherlands had lost its ODI status in 2014 after a poor display of cricket in the world cup qualifiers. But now, Netherlands is just a step behind from redeeming its ODI status since the winner of ongoing World Cricket League Championship will be part of the ODI cricket league which will start in 2019. Netherlands tops the table of World Cricket League Championship with two games remaining.
While, the chief of Scotland cricket believes that they believe Scotland will finish its thirst of being ICC’s full member very soon, following their arch rivals.
“What Ireland and Afghanistan have done, due to a change in the constitution of the International Cricket Council, is effectively break the glass ceiling that has been preventing associated nations like them and us becoming full members of the ICC and Test-playing countries,” said Brian. “We’re definitely on the right pathway and I’m very optimistic for the future,” added Tony Brian.
People have been thinking that T20 franchise leagues have damaged test cricket and One-day cricket but these days it seems very different. IPL, which is without any doubt the biggest franchise league in the world has itself started to introduce some Indian youngsters to the world of cricket. Jasprit, Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj and much more have been given a stage to perform. Yes. it is about money but T20 leagues have started to generate some youngsters. The same way Windies got themselves two or three new players through with a promising potential, among them, Evin Lewis is one. PSL has given Pakistan cricket a completely new shape. From a fragile batting line-up to a fearless top order. A proper bowling line-up, new stars are born.
The same way Natwest T20 Blast has given opportunities to a couple of new names to play for England in recent times.
Right when T20 leagues are criticized for being a business, it has become a stage for the upcoming generation of players to perform. You earn money, you earn fame and you might just earn a spot in your national team. Some cricketers, mostly from Australia have bagged IPL contracts way before playing for their national teams, for example, Glenn Maxwell and Chris Lynn recently. T20 is business, entertainment and a platform to get your own identity now!
Cricket is said to be less competitive and will be much less competitive in upcoming future, that it will be just about the top teams will be more dominant but, it turns out to be wrong. The talent is in the players, it’s up to them to make out a better result. For example, a fragile West Indian team turned over the 2nd test against England in their favor this summer. Scotland defeated Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe this summer. Afghanistan gave a rough time to West Indies, Zimbabwe defeated Sri Lanka in the ODI series, Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe in the ODI series. There are countless examples of how cricket can overturn at any time.
Cricket will offer the same charm in future. It will produce competitive games. We might see more new cricketing nations playing against each other. New technologies will be introduced. 4-days tests will be played, cricket will be cricket. It will be always there for you to make you somehow cheered up. It’ll be on your TV, no matter what the time is, you could take up your blanket, lay down on your sofa and watch it till 3 or 4 in the morning and it’ll be as beautiful as it always was. Watching big games together with the family, eating nachos with dip sauces and cheering in front of the TV as if you’re a spectator in the ground!