Colin Bryden

Keep the runs in check

2010-03-11 07:27
Sport24 columnist Colin Bryden (File)
Colin Bryden

It seems to be fashionable to be disparaging about the Indian Premier League.

Personally I find it an enjoyable diversion – to be watched occasionally with the knowledge that it is likely to be entertaining.

A 20-overs sprint is good fun, with the extra frisson of knowing that there is a fair amount of pressure on the players because of the money involved.

What I am getting tired of is ridiculously high scoring in longer versions of cricket.

The MTN40 was a worthy experiment but with 20 overs of power plays it was unfairly weighted in favour of batsmen.

Then there were the ODIs in India recently where winning the toss and batting first was almost a guarantee of a huge total and a win.

Yes, it was great to see Sachin Tendulkar make the first ODI double century – and he did it mainly with recognisable cricket strokes rather than with outrageous slogging – but my sympathies went out to the bowlers.

The thought of the World Cup in Asia next year being played on similar pitches – and stretching out over six weeks – is frankly depressing.

In their quest to increase the entertainment quotient, administrators seemed to have concentrated on legislation for quicker scoring.

It’s time some bowler-friendly rules were brought in – more bouncers perhaps, maybe even an increase in the number of overs one bowler can send down. After all, if a Tendulkar can bat through an innings and score 200, why shouldn’t an in-form bowler be allowed to keep bowling?

It’s probably impossible to legislate for more sporting pitches but to me a good contest is one where the bowler can beat the bat off the pitch and where scores of around 200 to 240 are competitive.

Back to the IPL. Let the sixes fly and the dancing girls gyrate. I won’t watch all of it but it will certainly help pass a few hours pass by pleasantly.

Colin Bryden is a former cricket correspondent of the Sunday Times and current editor of the Mutual & Federal South African Cricket Annual

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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