I switched on the TV today to be greeted by a match between the Panhala Panthers v/s Sinhagad Supremos on Neo Sports. Controlling my impulse to switch the channel, I lingered on to find out that it was the MPL – the Maharastra Premier League. Being brave, I watched a few balls and I don’t mind seeing good honest cricketers in action at any level, (my wife says I get glued to even Galli cricket), but another 20 over fare being dished out almost made me throw up.I am sure the MPL is a great idea and is giving opportunity to many cricketers but I feel too much of T20 is going to give us more Yuvraj/Yusuf Pathan type of cricketers rather than the Sachins , Dravids or the artistic Lakshmans. Maybe cricket will evolve into baseball in some time, and we dont want that do we?
Look – 20 overs cricket has popularised cricket but at the grassroots the accent should be on technique and talent. The balance has to be right 80% of Test cricket and ODIs and only 20% of T20.In the Intenational Cricket Calendar this balance is maintained, but due to the long long IPL season T20 grows weary on you.
And India has the traditionally a bad track records of playing a lesser number of tests against the leading nations. We also seem to have fewer tours. We have played a lot against Sri Lanka and that gets to be quite boring.It has also affected the greatness of some of our players. I remember in the 90s we played far fewer tests as compared to the one days and Sachin at his pristine peak was deprived of a real turbo boost to his test run tally. After that he got injured and quite frankly for ten years was never the same again till he got his second wind recently. This year we were scheduled for just 4 tests initially before South Africa gave us 2 more. This paucity of Test Matches could cost us our already shaky hold on the Number 1 ranking.
Its nice the Board requested Australia to consider a few test matches instead of 7 one day internationals when they tour us in October. Otherwise if you see we have the triangular series with Sri Lanka (again) and Zimbabwe, the Asia Cup (where at least we have Pakistan buit again Sri Lanka is there), A test series with Sri Lanka (yet again), a triangular series with India , New Zealand and guess who ?…Sri Lanka. Not very compelling viewing for an Indian Fan. Pakistan is playing both Australia and England and the Ashes are starting end of the year. Those matches will be good to watch. But for Indian fans it’s time to cry out loud “Bring on the Real Thing, Give us some Tests”