It is an axiomatic truth that today, more people are attracted to T-20 leagues like the IPL, BBL, and so on than test cricket. This popularity has been attained due to the significantly shorter period it takes for the completion of one game and the ample amount of fours and sixes that the audience gets to witness.
Test Cricket and T-20 Cricket
A test match is traditionally played over five days at the most but can sometimes be ended much earlier than if one team grossly outplays the other. In t20, however, the whole match barely lasts for longer than 4 hours. Each innings, consisting of 20 overs, is studded with huge fours and sixes and a glorious display of entertainment fused with cricket.
The Marketing of the IPL
Personalities ranging from fields as diverse as acting, politics, the music industry, etc., flock in to be a part of the audience during matches of the IPL – which is itself a testimony to the enormous popularity it has been able to attain over merely 12 years. The IPL is marketed primarily (but not limited) to the youth because a supply of adrenaline rushes and extravagant displays of batting, bowling, and fielding, keeps them captivated to the game.
Test Cricket – Death or Revival?
In the test series between India and Australia in December last year, Fox Cricket reported a massive television rating, with an average viewership of over 370,000 over 100 hours. This is now the most-watched test series ever, which dispels any notion of test cricket dying out to the craze of T-20. Justifiably so, because the whole series was replete with an extraordinary sense of competition, with both teams warring with one another for a memorable glory, on the other hand, it can be claimed that the glory of a T-20 match is significantly less short-lived.
The Oversaturation of T-20 Cricket
An average IPL season lasts for about a month and a half, with over 50 matches played daily. Somehow, this oversaturation of IPL cricket leads to a lessening of overall interest in the game, particularly from the older generation, who prefer a classically sound cover drive to the mammoth sixes that are characteristic of the shorter format of the game. A slice of the cricket watching population does not shy away from expressing their disdain at T-20 cricket, which they claim is full of pomp but lacks the air of a good old test match.
It must be remembered that liking one format of the game doesn’t necessarily amount to a complete opposition to another format. The global cricketing community needs to be based on a much more cohesive factor than the dichotomy of test cricket vs T-20 cricket. We all have our preferences, and notwithstanding the glitzy affairs as opposed to 5-day matches, we should embrace all of it under the blanket of cricket as a sport that unites, fulfils, and brings joy and enjoyment to all lovers of the game!